Sebastian Junger’s Near-Death Experience and New Book

Sebastian Junger, a famous author, journalist, and filmmaker, almost died from a ruptured abdominal aneurysm in June 2020. Known for his stories about people facing death, like in his book “The Perfect Storm” and his reports from war zones, Junger found himself confronting his own mortality.

In his new book, “In My Time of Dying,” Junger explores this near-death experience. He describes seeing a deep, black hole open next to his hospital bed and having visions of his deceased father comforting him.

At one point, he urgently told the doctors, “You’ve got to hurry. You’re losing me right now.” Thankfully, the doctors acted quickly, and Junger survived.

This experience left Junger deeply shaken, causing him anxiety and depression. He realized that death could find him even in the safest places, like his home in the woods of Cape Cod.

This was more unsettling than being in war zones, where danger is expected.

To cope with these feelings, Junger wrote his book, released on May 21. Despite being a rational thinker and atheist, he found a new appreciation for life.

His book, which has been on the New York Times’ bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction, encourages readers to value life and find a “reverence for life” without needing religion.

Some readers have criticized Junger for not attributing his survival to a higher power.

However, Junger believes that the existence of the universe itself is a greater mystery than religious explanations. He is amazed by the fact that the universe exists and that we are part of it.

Junger also reflects on the limits of human understanding. He compares our knowledge of the universe to a dog watching TV—seeing the pictures move but not understanding how or why it happens.

This led him to think more about his father, who was a physicist, and the mysteries of existence.

In the end, Junger’s near-death experience served as a reminder of his mortality. He urges people to live each day as if it might be their last and to focus on what truly matters.

He asks, “What would you want to focus on if you knew this was your last day—who would you want to be?” Junger believes that we should strive to be that person every day.

This profound realization came from his medical crisis, giving him a new perspective on life and how to live it fully.

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