A near-death experience (NDE), refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, extreme fear, total serenity, security, or warmth. Also the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light, which some people interpret as a deity.
These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or otherwise very close to death, hence the term near-death experience. Many NDE reports, however, originate from events that are not life-threatening. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDE-s has increased. Many in the scientific community regard such experiences as hallucinatory, while paranormal specialists and some mainstream scientists claim them to be evidence of an afterlife.
Popular interest in near-death experiences was initially sparked by Raymond Moody's 1975 book Life After Life and the founding of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) in 1981. According to a Gallup poll, approximately eight million Americans claim to have had a near-death experience. Some researchers claim that the number of near-death experience-rs may be underestimated, mainly because some such individuals are presumably afraid or otherwise reluctant to talk about their experiences.
There is some controversy as to how to define a NDE. Researchers have not reached a consensus on how to define NDE. A letter to health care professionals from IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) developed a NDE definition by consensus of the IANDS Board to be: “A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the time of actual or threatened death or medical compromise”. The research definition used by others is similar: "A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death". NDE-s may occur in adults or children. NDE-s have been reported from the time of Plato, and in a variety of cultures around the world.
An important point is that you do not have to have physically died (with cessation of breathing and/or heart function) to have an experience like a NDE. Experiences identical to NDE associated with clinical death have been reported in a variety of circumstances in which there was no associated life-threatening event. Such circumstances may include, for example, non-fatal traffic accidents, mountaineering accidents, and childbirth. Experiences similar to NDE are relatively common in terminally ill patients, and are referred to as “deathbed visions” or “nearing end of life experience”. NDE-s are one part of a spectrum of significant human spiritual experiences. An experience can be deeply significant and meaningful to the experience-r without meeting the strict definition of NDE. Such experiences may be referred to as “NDE-like experiences”.
The level of consciousness during the experience was almost always described as fully alert, and often (as one experience-r described) “far more conscious than humanly normal.” These experiences seem quite apart from anything encountered in daily living. When NDE-rs surveyed were asked “Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?”, 81% answered no.
Researchers are impressed with both the similarities and dissimilarities of NDE experiences. While some experience-rs have a detailed and prolonged experience, others have a shorter and less "dramatic" experience. They believe all NDE experiences are significant and important in our quest to learn their meaning.
No two NDE experiences are identical, but within a group of experiences certain patterns become evident. NDE experience-rs describe one or more of the following (the order may vary):
1. Difficulty in explaining the NDE.
Ordinary language often seems inadequate to describe these extraordinary experiences.
2. Associated life threatening event.
The threat may be real or perceived, physical and/or psychological.
3. Separation of consciousness from the body.
Sensation of viewing surroundings from a place other than the physical body. Some may see their bodies, and often frantic resuscitation efforts. They are generally able to hear what is being said, often to the considerable embarrassment of medical personnel involved in the resuscitation. In the out of body state, they are not able to interact physically with anything or anyone. There is often a sense of peace, and virtually never discomfort.
4. The ability to see and hear details of events (which may be close or distant from the body) while unconscious.
These details (which may include a pronouncement of death) are often later confirmed by others who are generally astonished and mystified that the experience-r was aware of these events while unconscious. In a recent survey, NDE-rs were asked “Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?” 37% answered affirmatively.
5. Experiencing intensely powerful emotions.
These emotions may include ecstasy, fear, peace and calm. Most NDE-s are associated with very pleasant emotions, but around 18% are associated with emotions of fear, judgment, emptiness, etc. It should be noted that positive life changes are usually associated with frightening experiences, including a near complete absence of fear of death. The positive life changes are so significant, that most frightening NDE experience-rs later say they are glad they had the experience.
6. Hearing distinctive sounds.
Experience-rs may report hearing a variety of unusual sounds or noise. They may be described as pleasant, musical, buzzing or ringing. Often music is described that is almost always beautiful beyond what is worldly possible.
7. Passing into and through a dark tunnel.
The tunnel is variably described regarding its appearance and size. Researchers have not encountered an NDE-r with a claustrophobic sense in the tunnel. Movement in the tunnel may be described as relatively slow or extremely fast may accelerate in the tunnel. Occasionally another being(s) accompany this tunnel passage, though usually it is traveled alone. A bright light is usually seen at the end of the tunnel, and seems to be the destination of the travel through the tunnel. A tunnel experience is described by 54% of NDE-rs surveyed.
8. Encounter with a bright light.
The light may be without form, or is often perceived as a being, either a spiritual being or a departed loved one. There is usually, associated and intense feelings of love, joy, or peace associated with this encounter. The light may be seen at a distance, or entered during the experience. A light was seen by 69% of NDE-rs surveyed.
9. Meeting others.
The experience-r may encounter other spiritual beings or departed loved ones. Deceased pets have been encountered as well as other animals (most often birds or butterflies). The encounter with others is generally described as joyous and loving. Other beings were seen by 74% of NDE-rs surveyed.
10. Life review.
At times, experience-rs are presented with a rapid panoramic review of their lives. This life review may include brief reviews of moments of their past life, or may be extremely detailed, with a presentation of how the experience-rs actions affected others around them. At times, the experience-r will actually see and feel their actions from another persons perspective, and actually feel what the other person felt. Some have received previously unknown information about ones life, i.e. adoption, hidden parentage or deceased siblings. A life review occurred in 35% of NDE-rs surveyed.
11. Seeing or visiting beautiful locations.
Some experience travel to beautiful cities, libraries, gardens, pastoral scenes and shiny bodies of water.
12. A sense of knowing universal order and purpose.
Some experience a sense of deep understanding of the universe and/or life's meaning and purpose. Many NDE-rs state they were shown enormous knowledge, but could not return with it. Others return with their understandings. In describing universal order and purpose, by far the most common concept discussed is “love”. A sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose occurred in 62% of NDE-rs surveyed.
13. Reaching a boundary.
The boundary may be a gate, cliff, fence, water, or some other barrier which the experience-r perceives may not be crossed if they are to return to the body. A boundary was encountered in 44% of NDE-rs surveyed.
14. Awareness of future life events.
Some experience "flash-forwards" in time to witness themselves and events at a future time. Such visions may involve the experience-rs future life, or may be more global. Such global visions are often apocalyptic. NDE “prophesy” has led to considerable discussion and debate. The researchers impression is that such prophesies are not inevitable, and are subject to change by the choices we make. Awareness of future events is described by 44% of NDE-rs surveyed.
15. Decision to return.
The decision to return to the physical body may be voluntary or involuntary. If voluntary, the decision to return is often made following discussion with spiritual beings and is often associated with unfinished life lessons or responsibilities. Whether voluntary or involuntary, feelings of sadness, loss, depression and anxiety may follow return to this life. Involvement in a decision regarding return to the body occurred in 62% of NDE-rs surveyed.
16. Returning to the body.
Often (but not always) feelings of pain associated with the life threatening injury return.
17. Special gifts.
Some experience-rs report psychic or other paranormal abilities after an NDE. Commonly described is a marked increase in intuitive ability. Another common phenomena is “electrical sensitivity” where NDE-rs discover their watches stop and nearby electrical devices (often lights) go out. There has never been a good large-scale scientific study of these phenomena. When researchers asked NDE-rs “Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?,” 54% answered yes.
18. Changes of attitudes and beliefs.
A belief in God, loss of fear of death and a more loving interaction with others often follow an NDE. Virtually all NDE-rs have no fear of death. Some NDE experience-rs establish more loving relationships. Other NDE experience-rs find their change in attitudes and beliefs may alter previously established interpersonal relationship dynamics resulting in conflict with loved ones, family and friends. Changes in attitudes or beliefs following the NDE was described by 91% of the NDE-rs surveyed....For more information on this fascinating subject, refer to this site: Near Death Experience Research Foundation
Spiritual Reality: Near Death Experiences (2010) - FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTARY:
There is a spiritual awakening going on right now in mass proportions and is growing exponentially. By the end of this video, you'll have no doubts about our true, divine reason for being here. You'll feel uplifted and re-energized!
There are many commonalities amongst virtually every person who has had a near death experience. This video encompasses these commonalities to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is so much more to our existence than what we can perceive on a third dimensional reality.
Dr Pim Van Lommel's scientific studies on near-death experiences and consciousness:
Van Lommel is best known for his scientific work on the subjects of near-death experiences and consciousness, including a prospective study published in the medical journal The Lancet. He is also the author of the 2007 Dutch book titled Endless Consciousness: A scientific approach to the near-death experience (Eindeloos Bewustzijn: een wetenschappelijke visie op de Bijna-Dood Ervaring), which has been translated to German, English, French and Spanish (English translation: Consciousness Beyond Life, The Science of the Near-Death Experience", Harper Collins, 2010). In his book Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience, he postulates a model where consciousness is beyond neurological activities of the brain. He suggests that the brain is merely a terminal for accessing consciousness which is nonlocal (i.e. situated outside the physical body). In this model the brain is analogous to a computer terminal accessing a mainframe or the internet. He further hypothesizes that noncoding DNA and quantum mechanics would make such nonlocal access possible and this model can explain how near-death experiences can be experienced and remembered by people whose brain had no measurable activity. Van Lommel studied medicine at Utrecht University, specializing in cardiology. He worked as a cardiologist at the Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, for 26 years (1977-2003).
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