How Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) Work
Many people have re-counted occurrences in their life journey where they were fully aware they had died and came back into body. It is spiritually rumored that we come into our life journey with a choice of five death windows where we can pack it up and decide to go back home if it gets too tough in our self-created Disneyland.
Dr. Raymond Moody coined the term “near-death experience” in his 1975 book, “Life After Life.” Many credit Moody’s work with bringing the concept of the near-death experience to the public’s attention, but reports of such experiences have occurred throughout history.
Near-death experiences are common enough that they have entered our everyday language. Phrases like “my whole life flashed before my eyes” and “going into the light” come from decades of research into these strange, seemingly supernatural experiences that some people have when they’re at the brink of death or actually died.
But what exactly are NDEs? Are they hallucinations? Spiritual experiences? Proof of life after death? Or are they simply chemical changes in the brain and sensory organs in the moments prior to death?
After doing some Google surfing and getting tons of stories and definitions of what a near death experience actually felt like, I found the most typical definition of this experience falls into the category listed below. One thing is certain, NDEs do exist but for what purpose in the soul’s journey, only the person who has experienced one might have the answer to that.
Seven Characteristics of a Near-Death Experience
- Intense, pure bright light – Sometimes this intense (but not painful) light fills the room. In other cases, the person sees a light that they feel represents either Heaven or God.
- Out-of-body experiences (OBE) – They feel they have left their body. They can look down and see it, often describing the sight of doctors working on them. In some cases, the person’s “spirit” then flies out of the room, into the sky and sometimes into space.
- Entering into another realm or dimension – Depending on the person’s religious beliefs and the nature of the experience, they may perceive this realm as Heaven or, in rare cases, as Hell.
- Spirit beings – During an OBE, a person may encounter “beings of light,” or other representations of spiritual entities. They may perceive these as deceased loved ones, angels, saints or God.
- The tunnel – Many NDE studies find themselves in a tunnel with a light at its end. They may encounter spirit beings as they pass through the tunnel.
- Communication with spirits – Before the NDE ends, many people report some form of communication with a spirit being. This is often expressed as a “strong male voice” telling them that it is not their time and to go back to their body. Some also report being told to choose between going into the light or returning to their earthly body. Others feel they have been compelled to return to their body by a voiceless command, possibly coming from God.
- Life review – This peculiarity is also called “the panoramic life review.” The person sees his entire life in recollection. These can be very detailed or very brief. They may also perceive some form of judgment by nearby spirit entities.
Can they be explained?
Concepts explaining near-death experiences fall into two basic categories: “scientific explanations” (including medical, physiological and psychological) and “supernatural explanations” (including spiritual and religious). Neither of these explanations can be proven or disproven. Acceptance of supernatural explanations are based on one’s spiritual and cultural background.
The scientific viewpoint offers convincing evidence that many aspects of NDEs are physiological and psychological in nature. Scientists have found that the drugs ketamine and PCP can create sensations in users that are nearly identical to many near-death experiences. It is also possible, however, that the drugs mentioned have the capability of lifting the veil from the part of the brain that allows us to see beyond this physical dimension. So, who to believe?
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
Whether you approach the unexplained experience of an NDE from a supernatural or scientific viewpoint, one thing is certain; something very powerful happened to these people who had them. In most cases, it changed them for the rest of their lives. There is so much we do not know about afterlife. To have touched it in some way and returned, I have no doubt the experience goes deep. Sometimes those effected return with documented abilities that they did not have before.
Nine of Wands:
Working through a difficult situation. Many of the stories I read shared the same experience of having to “choose” whether they wanted to go back to life, some being “told” it wasn’t their time. But in each case, a decision was made.
Ace of Wands: Inverted (Upside Down)
Birth of a new phase of life and beginning of a passionate new outlook. Since pulled inverted, I feel it supports the viewpoint of everyone who had an NDE experience – nearly dying to have this awesome out of body or spiritual experience is not how they would have chosen to get that encounter!
Knight of Pentacles:
Solid foundations of belief, stubborn and honest in presentation. I feel this card shows that what people who have had NDEs recall is the real deal to them, whether you believe it or not. No one is going to tell them different.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine. (life cycles) Learn more at her website: www.szrwhitewings.com