The term “near-death experience” (NDE) was coined in 1975 in the book Life After Life by Raymond Moody, MD. Reports of NDE have been found in every part of the world, with new and exciting breakthoughs in scientific research having confirmed and validated this phenomena.
In one recent example a young man requesting anonymity has explained that he died during a surgery that doctors performed after his accident when he had merely a 5 percent chance to live. During the time he was pronounced dead (for 52 seconds) he saw his deceased grandmother tapping on his temples until he came back to wake up gasping for breath on the operation theatre. At this time doctors put him on a breathing machine which was so painful that he slipped into a coma where his entire life of 18 years, from birth, to his early years (including things he never could remember so far) to until the time he went into coma played out. He also found that he could ‘switch’ from first person to third person while his memories would play out. The memories kept playing endlessly, including the painful memory of the accident and the time he slipped into coma. Tired of the looping he decided that he will go to ‘sleep’ when the memory of the accident returns. In this ‘sleep’ within the coma state, he dreamt of his grandmother again swinging him in a playground, and she swung him so hard he saw himself fall from the swing and this made him wake up. He was out of the coma! He miraculously recovered within the next few days. His feet were deemed for amputation, yet they healed miraculously after this NDE as he walked out from the hospital within 5 weeks and joined college again shortly.
The fact is that numerous people have reported Near Death Experiences (NDE) when they have returned to life miraculously. Most have reported higher states of consciousness when they have interacted with angels, spirits of deceased relatives or had other-worldly experiences where they were prompted to return back to life once again while they were comatose or even medically dead.
Scientists discussing the phenomena at The New York Academy of Sciences have said that ‘the phenomana of NDE can no longer be ignored. There is clear and enhanced consciousness, with memories, self-identity, cognition, and emotions during coma. There is reason to assume that our consciousness, with the continuous experience of self, does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain. Unaltered self-identity, apparently can be experienced independently from the lifeless body. People are convinced that the self they experienced during their NDE is a reality and not an illusion.’
The content of NDE and the effects on patients seem similar worldwide, across all cultures and times. The subjective nature and absence of a frame of reference for this experience lead to individual, cultural, and religious factors determining the vocabulary used to describe and interpret the experience. For instance a Christian might see himself meeting angels, seeing a vision of light, god or heaven, while a Hindu might see other visions connected to their own spiritual beliefs.
In the Rijnstate Hospital, Netherlands P van Lommel MD and team studied cases of 344 consecutive cardiac patients who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in ten Dutch hospitals.
|Elements of NDE1||Frequency (n=62)|
|1 Awareness of being dead||31 (50%)|
|2 Positive emotions||35 (56%)|
|3 Out of body experience||15 (24%)|
|4 Moving through a tunnel||19 (31%)|
|5 Communication with light||14 (23%)|
|6 Observation of colours||14 (23%)|
|7 Observation of a celestial landscape||18 (29%)|
|8 Meeting with deceased persons||20 (32%)|
|9 Life review||8 (13%)|
|10 Presence of border||5 (8%)|
Depth of NDE was linked to high scores in spirituality such as interest in the meaning of one’s own life, as well as in showing love and accepting others. Intuitive changes were often experienced. During the NDE itself it is common to have reports of people being able to see everything even when they are in deep coma.
During the pilot phase of this study in one of the hospitals, a coronary-care-unit nurse reported a veridical out-of-body experience of a resuscitated patient: “It appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient’s prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. 4 weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man.”
NDE has been found to be transformational for those who went through the experience. Many have lost their fear of death and have found new meaning and purpose in their lives. Positive changes were more apparent at 8 years than at 2 years of follow-up, indicating that the experience has long term impacts with increasing intensity of spiritual transformation with every year since the experience.
It certainly looks like, there is something within us that is more powerful than death. Something phenomenally magical is always alive within us even after death, and this ‘self’ has the power to heal and improve everything.