Near Death Experiences

October 22, 2018

 

Quick question: what happens after you die?

 

    Surprisingly, there are some people who, from the bottom of their hearts, can answer this question with what they feel is complete certainty. These people have experienced near death experiences, or NDEs, an experience that is be believed to  happen when one is temporarily dead.

 

    With modern medicine flourishing and the line between life and death becoming more of a two-way street, the world of near-death experiences is exploding with countless tales, tales anyone can access with a simple internet search. Please don’t be too quick to write off these stories as simple dreams. Scientists monitoring the brains of people with NDEs have realized that NDEs are more vivid not only than dreams but also than real life, as illustrated in this quote by CNN, “‘... if the memory is real, it's richer, and if the memory is recent, it's richer...to our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.” Whatever NDEs are, they’re as far from dreams as possible.  

 

    What can happen during an NDE? A lot, as it turns out. From burning Hell to being reunited with your childhood pet, NDEs cover a large scope of experiences. But many things come up constantly:

  • Meeting God: Meeting a being of pure, forgiving love and kindness is a common NDE experience. I will be using the word “God” as this is the wording I most commonly found, but Muslim experiencers described meeting Allah and others described this being as the “supreme being” or other less religious titles. For example, in Christian Andréason's NDE, he said, “...toward the end of my experience, I stood in the wonderful presence of a great Being of brightness and knew with my whole heart that I was in the midst of my Creator, who is a being of unconditional Love and infinite Light.”

  • Meeting a religious guide (who may or may not be the same as God above): meeting Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, and any other religious guide.

  • Seeing a light at the end of a tunnel.

  • Meeting dead family members: Yes, this includes pets!

  • Being surrounded by kind spirit guides: these may be the religious figures I already mentioned, angels, or simply spirits. No matter what, they tend to be described as radiating love.

  • Reviewing one’s life: many people reported reviewing all they had done in their lives with these loving guides.

  • Overwhelming love: many people who study NDEs believe that God is love and love is God. Nice, isn’t it?

  • Beautiful landscape: I’m talking about adorable cottages to castles made of sapphires.  Oddly specific, I know.

  • Vibrations: some people with especially vivid NDEs said that love and goodwill of a spirit were shown in their vibrations; the higher your vibrations, the closer you were to God.

  • Seeing one’s body: for those who didn’t go to a different location, people often saw their body beneath them. Those that did were able to explain with 98% accuracy what happened while they were dead. Yes, while they were dead!

  • The void: a less comfortable place where people described being totally alone in darkness.

  • Some type of Hell: Hell scenarios were uncommon and radically different, but unsurprisingly none were pleasant.

    While Hellish NDEs are really quite uncommon (1-17%, with most research putting them at about 4% of all NDEs), there is some silver lining. No religion was more likely to have a hellish NDE than any other, and atheists also had plenty of happy near-death experiences. After all, if God is love, why would a particular religious organization matter so long as you are loving and good? The same goes for people of different genders, races, and sexual orientations--gay people reported having NDEs and having them be heavenly at the same rate as straight people. People also reported being saved from Hell with prayer, no matter how informal. But on to happier topics--Heavenly NDEs.

 

    Feeling loved, worshipped, and unjudged is a theme almost as common as the light at the end of the tunnel. Surprising to many, God did not seem at all judgemental so much as caring and loving each and every one of his children. Dr. Dianne Morrissey said about her NDE, "I will never forget the love that surrounded me at that moment or the joy that ran through me. Can you imagine being hugged by God and your angel? It's an experience that defies description!” In fact, here are a couple more quotes to illustrate how loving Heaven was described:

 

    "I moved past my [dead] uncle into what I can best define as a sea of light. It was as if every atom in the universe had been electrified with color and light and sound, but more than that, with totally unconditional love. It was a welcoming to me. I dove into this ocean and with each moment, I felt more rapture and more joy and more just absolutely unspeakable love. As I moved through this sea, I became aware that I was moving to the center of the sea of light which I perceived, how can I say this, as a gnat flying into the sun. That is the perspective that I had for this sea of light.”- Reinee Pasarow.

 

    “In front of me were green fields and meadows. The grass itself was giving off the same light and life that had been in the presence of God. I saw no disease on the plants. It seemed as though even if you were to step on the grass that it would just spring back to life. Through the center of the meadows, I could see a crystal clear stream winding its way across the landscape with trees on either side. To my right were mountains in the distance and the sky above was blue and clear. To my left were rolling green hills and flowers, which were radiating beautiful colors. ‘Paradise'. I knew I belonged here. I had traveled the world looking for paradise and knew I had found it. I felt as though I had just been born for the first time. Every part of me knew I was home. Before me stood eternity, just one step away.”- Ian McCormack

 

    If you would enjoy reading full stories, you can find 43 here: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable.html

 

    In conclusion, NDEs are a fascinating field to research, full of excitement and joy. Whether or not you believe them to be true, the fact remains that the experiences people  tend to make beautiful stories that deserve to be appreciated in their full, loving beauty.

 

Citations:

Key Facts About Near-Death Experiences. (n.d.). Retrieved May 21, 2018, from International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc website: https://iands.org/ndes/about-ndes/key-nde-facts21.html?showall=&start=3

Filippo, D. S. (2017). Religious Interpretations of Near-Death Experiences by Dr. David San Filippo. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/science/articles/religious-interpretations-of-ndes.html#a12

Long, J. (n.d.). What 1000s of Near-Death Experiences Can Teach Us About Dying. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://goop.com/wellness/spirituality/1000s-near-death-experiences-can-teach-us-dying/

Bremfield, B. (n.d.). 'Afterlife' feels 'even more real than real,' researcher says. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from CNN website: https://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/health/belgium-near-death-experiences/index.html

Religion and the Near-Death Experience . (2016). Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/science/research/religion.html

Hell and the Near-Death Experience. (2017). Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/science/research/hell.html#a06

 

Notable Near-Death Experiences. (2017). Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable.html

Yensen, A. (2017). Arthur Yensen's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/experiences/arthur-yensen.html

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Adreason, C. (2016). Christian Andreason's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/christian-andreason.html

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Morrissey, D. (2016). Dr. Dianne Morrissey's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/dianne-morrissey.html

Cayce, E., & Williams, K. (2016). Edgar Cayce's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/paranormal/edgar-cayce/near-death-experiences.html

Durham, E. (2016). Elaine Durham's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/elane-durham.html

Swedenborg, E. (2016). The Trigger of Psychic Visions: Emanuel Swedenborg's Near-Death Experiences. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: hhttps://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers/psychic-visions.html

Vincent, K. R., Morgan, J., & Benneville, G. (2017). An 18-Century Near-Death Experience: The Case of George de Benneville by Dr. Ken R. Vincent and Dr. John Morgan . Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/religion/god-is-with-us/an-18-century-nde-the-case-of-george-de-benneville.html

Ritchie, G. (2016). Dr. George Ritchie's Near-Death Experience. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/george-ritchie.html

Rodonaia, G. (2017). Some People Were Dead For Several Days. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/science/evidence/some-people-were-dead-for-several-days.html

Bedard, G. (2016). Gilles Bedard's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/resources/music.html

Bubulka-Hatmaker, G. (2016). Grace Bubulka-Hatmaker's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/grace-bubulka.html

Wagner, G. (2016). Guenter Wagner's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/guenter-wagner.html

Storm, H. (2016). Reverend Howard Storm's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/howard-storm.html

McCormack, I. (2016). Ian McCormack's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/ian-mccormack.html

Pasarow, R. (2016). Reinee Pasarow's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved from Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife website: https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/reinee-pasarow.html

MacIssac, T. (2017, December 4). Reinee Pasarow's Near-Death Experience and Music Research. Retrieved May 30, 2018, from Uplift website: https://www.theepochtimes.com/uplift/in-near-death-experience-man-sees-hell-where-he-feels-all-the-bad-things-he-did-to-others_2369214.html

Sunfellow, D. (2018, March 21). NDEs & Hell [Web log post]. Retrieved from The Formula: http://the-formula.org/ndes-hell/

 

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