Near-Death Experience: Gone Today… Here Tomorrow


Ok, here’s a radical statement. Get ready! Sometimes a person may die but not stay dead. Oh, I know you’ve seen that on TV shows. The person’s heart stops and medical personnel grab a defibrillator, shock the person, and the heart begins to beat again. Guess what…that person was clinically dead for a short time.

The patient may have had some unusual experiences while they were out of it besides just being electrocuted by that “dang” defibrillator. These experiences have been assigned a name because so many people have had an occurrence like this and have talked about it.

This “happening” is referred to as a “Near-Death Experience”(NDE)and may be defined as “a lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the actual or threatened imminent death.” NDEs have been well documented since 1975.

NDEs may happen due to physical traumas and accidents, attempted suicides, during surgeries or seizures, after cardiac arrest or strokes, because of severe allergic reactions or anaphylactic shock, on account of high fevers, in reaction to anaesthetics, and unconsciousness or coma.

People experiencing a NDE may express feeling that they are outside of their physical body. They often describe common sights and happenings as, being in a tunnel, viewing a brilliant light, coming in contact with a spiritual being or relatives and/or pets that have already died.

The person in the tunnel might have the facts of their life pass in front of their awareness for a review. They may feel that they must reach a decision about whether they continue on further into the tunnel or go backwards to their life on earth.

And if all that is not incredible enough, persons who come back to life here on earth, may have new abilities they did not previously possess. Some describe themselves as having more awareness, being somewhat psychic in nature, and possessing a more intense belief in a Higher Being and a different feeling about the reminder of the life they have on earth.

Many people feel somewhat set apart and alone with a feeling of enlightenment that they percieve to be superior to those around them. There is also some fear of talking about this new knowledge due to the possibility that one may be viewed as “off their rocker!” A person may have an intense desire to talk only to another person who has had a similar experience. They may have trouble finding the right words to describe their experience.

Various researchers have attempted to describe the common aftereffects that are typically experienced by the individuals involved. Besides the loss of the fear of death, persons reported feeling more spiritual and thinking in more abstract ways.

Some experienced bouts of depression. They reported becoming more charitable and less competitive. They had heightened sensations of all their senses and had increased intuitive abilities. Curiosity combined with a hunger for knowledge and learning were common, as well as a child-like sense of happiness and wonderment.

Complete reversals of personality often took place. A previously unforgiving person now replaces their former need to punish and judge others with a forgiving nature. Over-achievers are transformed into easy-going and relaxed reflective thinkers. And those indifferent to the world become involved members of society resolving to make an improvement in the world.

Some reported physiological changes included: unusual sensitivity to light and sound, decreased tolerance of pharmaceuticals, electrical sensitivity, increased allergies or sensitivities. Some claim to possess the ability to heal and others changed their diets eating more vegetables and grains and eliminating meat. They may seem to be physically younger in appearance and act more juvenile.

I was confused by the reference to electrical sensitivity I found in my research. It was explained as a condition whereby the forcefield around an individual affects nearby electrical equipment.

It was described as being sporadic in effect and persons noticed the following happening: watches stopped, microphones “squealed,” tape recorders quit, television channels change by themselves, light bulbs popped, and computers suddenly lost their memory. I have experienced many more light bulbs popping or popping in what seems to be rapid succession.

People who have had NDEs may change their approach to health, jobs, finances, lifestyle and relationships. Some may have to relearn parts of their former existence. Most make these adjustments and live enriched, healthy, and productive lives.

NDEs are not a new phenomenon but have occurred throughout history in all cultures and by people from many different religions. There is a tremendous interest in the subject because people desperately want to know what happens when and after we die. It was previously voiced that we didn’t know the answer, because no one had ever died and came back to tell us.

Today people are not only sharing NDE accounts, they are writing books on the subject. There are actual research programs out there studying and trying to explain what causes these experiences. Are these accounts of NDEs credible or hoaxes? A Gallup Poll conducted in 1993 estimated that 12 to 15 million adults in the US alone have had an NDE.

Only about a third of people, who come close to dying, will have a have a NDE. Of those who do experience a NDE, they usually state that their lives are forever changed. Most no longer doubt the existence of life after death or they believe that part of their consciousness will survive after their physical death.

If a person is searching for others who have had NDEs, they may stumble across a helpful organization called IANDS(International Association for Near-Death Studies). “The mission of IANDS is to respond to people’s needs for information and support concerning Near-Death and similar experiences and to encourage recognition of the experience as genuine and significant events of rich meaning.”

Author: Teresa Robbins LPN

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