Near Death Experiences
"It was simply the most amazing, beautiful thing, I have ever, ever experienced"
The scientific studies give all the statistics, but it is the raw power of the accounts themselves that I would encourage you to read, or listen to, as they are so comforting.
A Gallup poll done in America in 1992 estimated that 13 million Americans had had NDE’s: About 740 per day and 4% of the population.
Raymond Moody who coined the phrase, in publishing his research findings in his book Life after Life in 1975, sparked a plethora of research: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, John Audette, Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring, Michael Sabom, Melvin Morse, Jeffrey Long, and more recently Pim Van Lommel and Sam Parnia.
Moody found that there were a dozen or so common elements to an NDE. Not all experienced them all, but all contained several. Out of body awareness, meeting a deceased relative, meeting some sort of barrier that if they go beyond they cannot return, meeting a being of light, a life review, being told they must go back.
These other researchers produced similar findings.
The IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) was founded in 1978 which funds research and produces a quarterly peer reviewed Journal , the Journal of Near-death studies. Independently Jeffrey Long founded the NDERF, (The Near Death Experience Research Foundation). Jeffrey Long now has over 4000 accounts of NDE’s in his database.
People started waking up to their reality.
What we have here is a phenomenon that has been written about since 400 BC , instils profound and beneficial changes on those who experience them, personally or vicariously through others , and is similar irrespective of religion. The NDEs of children who could not possibly have found out about them by other mean, say the same things as those of adults. They occur when the brain is clinically dead, in a state where hallucinations are just not possible. Hallucinations produce electrical activity in the brain, and there is none. Hallucinations are largely frightening experiences : like putting on a public talk.
Neither could hallucinations produce a common pattern of experiences such as those identified by Raymond Moody and other researchers, and by definition, hallucinations don’t describe reality.
There are so many accounts of the patient accurately describing what went on in the operating theatre.
And there is no conventional explanation.
One wonderful example is Lloyd Rudy’s post it notes: A patient described seeing his post it notes on a screen.
Apart from being in a place not visible from the operating table, the post it notes were telephone messages that hadn’t been received before the operation had started.
Another patient asked why the surgeon had been strutting around like a chicken during the operation. Embarrassed that he had been found out, the surgeon admitted that he’d handed the operation over to a junior and to keep his gloves sterile by not touching anything, had them pressed to his chest and was indicating instructions via the use of his elbows.
As Jeffrey Long points out, the evidence for the authenticity of the data is in the detail.
Skeptics say the evidence is all anecdotal without proper scientific investigation, yet also cannot provide an explanation themselves.
The latest research by Sam Parnia published in 2014 involved the clinical observation of patients undergoing cardiac arrest. They rigged various operating theatres here in the UK, Austria, and the US to enable scientific study. 2060 Cardiac arrests, 330 survivors, 101 interviewed.
46% showed some sort of awareness
22% had a feeling of peace
13% reported senses more vivid than normal
13% reported feeling separate from their body
8% encountered a mystical being
7% came to a border or point of no return
6% had a sense of understanding everything.
Two had experiences that the researchers could verify, but one was too ill to be interviewed. The other’s description of the events in the operating theatre were accurate and verified, including an observation that one of the team was bald from the way he wore his hat.
So this research matches the findings of the anecdotal evidence and clearly shows that consciousness is separate from the body.
Penny Sartori was a nurse whose interest was triggered by her experiences with patients. She went on to do a PhD in Near Death experiences and now gives talks and has written several books.
After 8 or so years studying them she has this to say about NDE’s:
“The crucial point I want to make … is that NDEs undoubtedly occur and have very real, life-changing effects on those who have them. Further to that, the wisdom gained during the NDE can be life enhancing and have hugely positive effects on those who have not experienced an NDE – all we have to do is take notice and hear what these people have to say.
"The biggest thing I have learned since undertaking my research is not about death but about life. With our current technology and consumerist, materialist way of life, we have forgotten the most important thing – how to live.”
And they are not new.
Here's one from 1849: Admiral Francis Beaufort described his experience as a young man of nearly drowning in Portsmouth harbour.
“From the moment that all exertion had ceased, a calm feeling of the most perfect tranquility superseded the previous tumultuous sensations… though the senses were deadened, not so the mind; it’s activity seemed to be invigorated, in a ratio which defies all description… The whole period of my existence seemed to be placed before me in a kind of panoramic review, and each act of it seemed to be accompanied by a consciousness of right or wrong…
Anita Moorjani’s NDE is one of the most well known and documented. She also recovered seemingly miraculously from Hodgkin Lymphoma
My friend Sean Madden was out running one evening and ended up on a narrow country road with cars speeding past in the dark so he tried to get off the road and into a field. He tore his arm lengthways up from the wrist on barbed wire. That did the job.
“I saw a beautiful orchard and beings…
..As I neared the beautiful orchard, I came to a cold stream, I knew as if being told, I can never come back if I cross this stream, I didn't like my life so far, so I battled against it fiercely but found I couldn't cross it. “
He then met a being of light.
“Imagine a being, of pure light, thousands of times brighter than the sun; whose countenance is pure love. And once surrounded by this being's light and love, you become a part of this being - eternally and irrevocably united in some way to this wonderful light. Imagine a being whose sole concern is for your welfare and your every need: who will 'wipe every teardrop' from your eyes and surround you in immeasurable peace and bliss. A being who radiates perfect knowledge of you and of all mystery. A being of infinite majesty and yet humble enough to entertain our presence and sincerely care for us as no human could..”
“It [the light] started to envelope me with love. It was alive! It spoke to me, it worshipped me and everything
about me. I said about prayers to St Augustine and it wasn't interested, it didn't want to know how many Hail Marys I had said but only
"How much love was in my heart?"
"How was my spiritual life on Earth?"
So it’s hardly surprising that people who come back from NDE’s are transformed. They are more compassionate, have a zest for life, do more for charity, want to learn things and live life to the full.
But just in case anyone is wondering if life is so great the other side, why shouldn’t they just go and join them, please don’t! The statistics show that those who have had a life review in an NDE rarely try and take their life again. Life is a gift. We learn to deal with those people who we would truly love to give a near death experience to!
People are changed
People who return from NDEs are changed. They have lost their fear of death. They are much less materialistic, are much more kind and loving, and do more charitable things.
And a mark of the power of their evidence is of the changes that are made to people who investigate them.
The fact that traditionally trained medics can be so impacted upon as to change their thinking requires the rest of us to stand up and listen. Consciousness existing outside the human brain is totally contrary to their education.
Raymond Moody, Jeffery Long, Pim Van Lommel, Penny Sartori and others have changed their careers and lives over this.
Kenneth Ring referred to the impact that studying Near Death Experiences have on people as being like a benign virus.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: “Spiritual growth is the sole purpose of life on Earth”.
Thomas Fleischmann says that he developed the same personality changes as those who had NDEs merely through his medical experience with those who had.
It's the life review that has the biggest impact on people. Kenneth Ring describes this most dramatically. Just search for him on YouTube.