A near-death experience (NDE) is a personal experience associated with death or impending death. Such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light.
I believe NDEs offer us the best evidence of life after death.
Over the years, I’ve read numerous accounts from average people and medical professionals like Penny Satori who is one of the leading experts on Near Death Experiences.
I recently read an account where a young woman developed an embolism after giving birth and she went into cardiac arrest. She flat-lined several times and after an hour of trying to resuscitate her the doctors pronounced her dead. Then they noticed a pulse..
Four days later she woke up and she had a story.
The woman left her body and watched the doctors working on her. Then she was whisked off on a journey by an ‘orb of light’ that communicated with her via thought. Yeah, I know that sounds a bit funky monkey but stay with me..
She was shown the world from a different vantage point, as in flying, and I don’t mean United Airlines.
She experienced the world more vividly and profoundly than is humanly possible.
She felt an overwhelming sense of being loved.
She was shown deceased relatives.
She was shown a little girl who was yet to be born. This child would be ‘different’ and would teach people acceptance.
She was told that she had to go back by her deceased mother.
She told her doctor everything except the part about the child because the knowledge that the child was going to have problems upset her and she hoped it wasn’t true.
The doctor implied that it was nothing more than an hallucination.
She didn’t mention it again to anyone outside of her family until many years later when she was working as a staff nurse and a lunch-time conversation turned into a discussion about weird stuff that happens to people who are close to death. She shared her story and this time she mentioned the child because 21 years after her NDE, her daughter had a little girl who was born severely autistic. Alongside her daily challenges was an infectious sense of humour and the ability to make people choose love over anger.
I’m not done yet.
One night this woman’s granddaughter (then aged four) told her that she remembered seeing her ‘before’. Her grandmother didn’t immediately understand until the girl told her that she saw her when she “died and went to heaven”.
“I saw you there”.
How can people, whose hearts have stopped (and who are clinically dead) report lucid and structured experiences when their brains are not working?
The answer is that we still don’t know but at least the medical profession is starting to take the NDE seriously.
AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) is the biggest ever medical study into NDEs led by Dr Sam Parnia where scientists at the University of Southampton spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria. Of those interviewed – 39% claimed to have had some form of awareness before their hearts were restarted. One man’s 57 year old man was able to accurately recall everything that was going on around him after his heart stopped.
Dr Parnia: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating.”
Dr David Wilde, a research psychologist said, “There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died.”
The study concluded that in some cases of cardiac arrest, recollections of awareness are compatible with out of body experiences that correspond with actual events. Also that a number of people may have vivid NDEs but don’t recall them due to drugs or brain injury. Most importantly, the findings are such that further investigation is warranted. In other words, it’s time for the medical profession to treat NDEs and the people who experience them with more respect than the usual, ‘The brain does funny things’.
The experience I spoke about in the previous post wasn’t an NDE or an OBE – That’s out of body experience, not Order of the British Empire – but I DID experience the overwhelming feeling of love and peace which is something that NDErs frequently describe..
Some Common Elements of the NDE
- A feeling of overwhelming love
- Mental telepathy
- Life review
- Experiencing God
- Unlimited knowledge
- Shown the future
- Told to ‘go back’
- Tunnel and light
Some of the scientific theories are plausible. Theories such as The Dying Brain Theory or The Temporal Lobe Theory etc. However, one theory I have always rejected out of hand is The Hallucination Theory. The woman in the story brought back knowledge of something yet to happen and it not only happened but was validated. That doesn’t sound very ‘hallucinatory’ to me.
NONE of the dying brain theories adequately explain why people are able to bring back knowledge of things YET to happen. The best some skeptics can come up with is ‘coincidence’. ‘Coincidence’ is what people say when they can’t be arsed to dig deeper. Essentially – it’s a cop out – followed by ‘There is no proof, therefore it doesn’t exist’. They state their ‘opinions’ as facts. To be fair, the skeptics I am referring to are not really skeptics at all. They are what Marcello Truzzi calls, ‘pseudo-skeptics’ The true skeptic looks at ALL the facts and evidence before they form an opinion and even then they will remain OPEN to changing their minds in the light of new evidence. The pseudo-skeptic never changes his/her position.
Science understands the human body but it does NOT understand the nature of consciousness. There is no proof either way but there is a mountain of evidence to support survival of consciousness and thanks to the AWARE study there is scientific evidence obtained under TEST conditions.
“We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.” ~ Dr David Wilde
There is no denying that the evidence is there to support the theory that consciousness survives death. Most importantly, the lives of those who experience them are never the same. They look at life differently and have no fear of death. Some even come back with ‘psychic abilities’ that they didn’t have before such as being able to see ‘auras’ or predicting the future. I read about one lady who was able to move objects with the power of though after her NDE. Sadly, her blog was inundated with nasty comments and she shut it down from public view.
You don’t have to believe these people but they deserve their truth as much as you deserve yours and this is their truth.
If you’ve had an NDE or a similar experience to me and want to share it, please do. If you want to talk about it privately, send me an e-mail. I would be fascinated to hear your story. Meanwhile, here’s a few websites and books for you to get stuck into.
NDE Books That I’ve Read & Recommend
Dying To Be Me ~ Anita Moorjani
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey To The Afterlife – Eban Alexander
Evidence Of The Afterlife: The Science Of Near Death Experiences ~ Jeffrey Long
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of Near Death Experience ~ Pim Van Lommell
Wisdom of Near Death Experiences: How Understanding Near Death Experiences Can Help Us Live More Fully ~ Dr Penny Satori