Is This Proof of Life After Death?
For years people who have talked of having an out-of-body near-death experience have been dismissed as crackpots or attention seekers. But a new study reveals that one in 10 heart-attack victims have spoken of just such an episode which left them feeling either at peace or at the gates of hell.
When the first explanation for near-death experiences came, it seemed straightforward.
According to scientists the cause was anoxia, when the brain is starved of oxygen.
Caroline Watts of Edinburgh University explained: “Cells in the visual cortex of the brain are dying off and some are firing randomly.
“It has been argued that this causes flashes of circles which appear to be a tunnel with a light at the end to the person experiencing them.”
“People who have experienced near-death experiences – NDEs – often say it is pleasant.
“But if you are near death or injured your body releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural opiates, which help to produce the serene and peaceful feelings associated with NDEs.”
However, a survey published in 2004 reported that after a 13-year study conducted in Dutch hospitals appears to turn this theory on its head.
According to the man in charge of it, Dr Pim van Lommel, anoxia cannot be the sole explanation as only 18 per cent of heart attack victims experienced an NDE.
If the theory was correct, he argued, all patients who were later revived should have had one. This has led Dr van Lommel and other medical professionals to speculate that the mind can operate independently from the brain.
One of the striking things about NDEs is how similar they are.
In cardiac victims they often start with the feeling of floating out of the body and viewing ongoing medical efforts to save them.
This is followed by a voyage through a dark or black tunnel towards a bright light and accompanied by feelings of love and peace. Sometimes there is a review of your life.
Many report meeting either a supernatural being, such as Buddha or God, or dead relatives who tell them it’s not their time to die and to go back. People who experience this type of NDE subsequently no longer fear death.
However, sometimes people are dragged or fall down the tunnel towards a black nothingness away from the bright light. This void is described as a place full of fear, pain and terror. Not surprisingly, these people fear death afterwards.
Reverend Douglas Davies, a Professor in theology at Durham University and an expert on NDEs, said: “There is not a single Christian perspective on this issue and it depends on what tradition you come from.
“There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that NDEs are proof of life after death and that there is a soul.
“This idea is more important to Roman Catholics than it is for Anglicans who generally believe that when you die you remain dead until Jesus Christ returns for Judgment Day. NDEs don’t fit in with the idea of Jesus rising from the dead because nowhere in the scriptures does it say he had an NDE and visited heaven and came back.
“There are scientists who are now arguing that the brain and mind are separate. But this doesn’t mean this is proof of a soul and to make this captive to Christian belief could be a mistake.
“Interestingly, NDEs are like religious conversion experiences. “Many of those who become born-again into a religion report they no longer fear death.”
Ann Winsper, a parapsychologist, said: “Many theories have been put forward to explain NDEs in purely “scientific” terms. However, for every theory proposed there have been scientific studies of cases that do not fit the proposed explanation.
“Death is usually accepted once a patient has a flat EEG (Electro Encephalography) reading . . . brain death equates with death of the individual.
“However there are documented studies of patients having accurate impressions of events that took place while their brains showed a flat EEG.
“This has enormous implications. Does it imply that consciousness continues after death, and does this confirm that NDEs are not simply the last gasps of a dying brain, but transcendence to another plane of consciousness?
“So far, we just don’t know.”
You may also enjoy reading Liz Taylor’s Near Death Experience
Adopted from an original article in the Sunday Sun
Posted on Wed 15th Sep 2010 12:00:09
True Life Near Death Experiences
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The phrase “near-death experience” was first used by Dr Raymond Moody in his 1975 book, “Life After Life.”
Many credit Moody’s work with bringing the idea of the near-death experience to the public’s attention, but reports of such experiences can be traced back throughout history. Plato’s “Republic,” written in 360 B.C.E., contains the tale of a soldier named Er who had an NDE after being killed in battle. Er described his soul leaving his body, being judged along with other souls and seeing heaven.
SO WHAT IS A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE?
A near-death experience is when someone close to death or suffering from some trauma or disease that may lead to death, experiences events that seem to be impossible, unusual or supernatural. While there are many questions about NDE’s, one thing is certain – they do happen! So many thousands of people across the world have reported these strange occurences when at the point of death that they are impossible to ignore.
SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE?
Feelings of calmness – These feelings may include peacefulness, acceptance of death, emotional and physical comfort.
Intense, pure bright light – Sometimes this intense (but not painful) light fills the room. In other cases, the subject sees a light that they feel represents either Heaven or God.
Out-of-body experiences (OBE) – The subject feels that he has left his body. He can look down and see it, often describing the sight of doctors working on him. In some cases, the subject’s “spirit” then flies out of the room, into ¬the sky and sometimes into space.
Entering into another realm or dimension – Depending on the subject’s religious beliefs and the nature of the experience, he may perceive this realm as Heaven or, in rare cases, as Hell.
Spirit beings – During the OBE, the subject encounters “beings of light,” or other representations of spiritual entities. He may perceive these as deceased loved ones, angels, saints or God.
The tunnel – Many NDE subjects find themselves in a tunnel with a light at its end. They may encounter spirit beings as they pass through the tunnel.
HERE ARE SOME TRUE LIFE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES:
I have not shared this experience publicly in fact I am a little hesitant on sharing with you, the few I have told in the past say I was hallucinating or was delusional at the time. I guess that is why I have kept it inside me for so many, many years. Just in the past decade or so have I read and heard more and more people sharing there NDE with the public and revealing very personal details in books. I guess that’s what prompted me to share this with you now!
Well, like I said it was l973 and I was in the hospital with a high fever. I had lost massive amounts of blood and had bad cramping of the stomach due to a miscarriage. I remember being in the emergency room and then they admitted me to a private room. When I was there and the doctor was examining me my heart stopped, my fever was off the thermometer, and he called in more doctors and nurses.
I distinctly remember starting to myself leaving my body and floating up to the top of the room. As I looked down there were five doctors, 3 nurses and IV’s being put in both arms and a heart machine trying to bring me back! I just looked down on them and it felt so good to be up there that it was really quite beautiful and I really didn’t care to go back. The next thing I recall was floating way up to a place in a bright luminous light that I have never seen in this world words could not describe the warmth, love, and peaceful feeling that was in this light. I was 17 then and I saw a huge 3 dimensional screen come up bigger then any movie screen I had ever seen in life! I just stood there watching my whole entire life pass before my eyes on this screen everyone in whom I ever was encountered with in my 17 years of life was on this screen every emotion and feeling was also played too! It was surreal! After that I started floating toward a tunnel it was very long but the light on the other side was unbelievable I was in so much bliss going toward the light the feelings I had felt was so loving and peaceful nothing like I ever felt on earth I really wanted to go and never come back here! It was pure joy peace and bliss but I was told I had to come back my purpose was not filled here. I started floating back next thing I remember looking down at my body with all those doctors trying to bring me back and fighting for them not too!! I could not move a muscle in my body yet as my spirit body was moving back into my physical body I kept saying no no don’t do this to me let me go don’t save me I was really hoping they wouldn’t bring me back! I learned one thing when I was there I will always remember I guess it was my lesson or something I never really understood, but I do believe whole heartedly that the message was really simple about life but yet everyone in this world has a hard time trying to live there life that way for some reason I have seen in the decades I have lived since then.
The message was to love each and everyone and judge no one or nothing! Just that simple! I have touched many peoples lives over the years and I hope to continue too with this message I hope I have touched yours.
Hello, my name is Saundra and I want to relate an experience of mine that I am not certain is a near-death experience, because some aspects usual to NDE’s are missing. I have suffered throughout my life with severe illness, Lupus played a large part in my debilitation When I was a young, married mother of two, I believe I was twenty five at the time, I suffered a Lupus flare-up, for which I was hospitalized I was profoundly weak, but with another week or two of confinement ahead, I asked for permission to go home for a day I did go home against my doctor’s counsel, and paid dearly for the foolish, impulsive act The symptoms that landed me in the hospital, intensified to the point that I could no longer bear the terrible, crushing pain in my spine and chest, and breathing had become so difficult that I knew, without doubt, that I would soon lose consciousness and ultimately, die! At that stage, I didn’t have the slightest inclination to call the hospital; I needed a power beyond human ability! My then-husband, heeded my gasping cries that he call my minister, but he had to leave me because we didn’t have a phone I did not see or hear him leave, for by that time I was no longer conscious There was no tunnel, but one minute I was lying face down on my bed and the next –I was in the sky! I don’t recall actually leaving my body, but I knew I wasn’t in it, I thought I was dreaming, and I kept wondering if I were dreaming, yet it was so real! There were big, puffy, white clouds surrounding me, and I caught glimpses of blue sky, “and I’m still wondering “What is happening to me”? I was becoming very frightened because I could not understand, and then suddenly, there was singing all around me, voices, many, and many, voices singing praises to God the most beautiful music I’d ever heard! And then I joined in their song, as if I knew that song always, and I really had never heard it before! I remember the joy and beauty of it all as if it happened yesterday! I saw no one, and I didn’t go anywhere else, I did not look down and see my body lying on the bed, but I did see part of a giant white wing, and -then-I knew! I became panic-stricken, and I began to fervently pray; I told the being that knew was there and had to be God, that I couldn’t die, “Who would take care of my children”?! And then a voice, not heard with my ears, but somehow within my head, said “Don’t be afraid, you will not die, you will live, and you will live to be with your children ” Love, as I never experienced, and couldn’t even imagine, was in that voice And then I was in my body, I did not experience the return, I was just back!
I would like to share my NDE with you and anybody else who may be interested. My name is Kevni Greenwood I live in, Essex, England.
On the 30th November 1984, me and three mates went fishing on a small boat in the river Thames Estuary. It was extremely cold on that particular day. At approximately 3.30pm, me and one of my mates (Clive) decided to call it a day (we had been fishing since 7.00am) and pull in our fishing rods. All four of us thought it was time to head for home. Clive and I carefully walked up the deck to retrieve the fishing rods. This done, we slowly made our way back to the cabin. Suddenly Clive slipped on the icy deck, he grabbed hold of me – I thought he was joking for a moment, but as we fell of the side of the boat I realised the full implication of what was happening.
What seemed like an age passed (in fact only a spit second) and it took all I had in me to gain control of my senses. This done, I realised because of the water current we were drifting very rapidly away from the boat. Darkness was imminent and my mate Clive (who could not swim) was in a state of shear panic. I tried to hold on to him and calm him, but by now he was completely freaked out – he struggled free, not entirely to my dismay as by now self preservation was in charge. Bless his soul I hope he did not suffer too much. Because of my experience with the sea and water (I was in the merchant navy for 7 years), and being a strong swimmer, I mentally prepared myself for some heavy shit. Staying as calm as possible, I started treading water and steadied my breathing – thinking all the time, I will be saved! I had seen the distress flair go up by one of the other guys on our boat.
After drifting for 15-20 mins, I realised that my location was rapidly changing due to the under water currents and the shit I was in was getting very deep indeed. It was, by now, nightfall and getting extremely dark, I could see lights on both shores as I spun and turned in the water. I seemed to slow down slightly realising that the tide was turning around. This was about 1 hour after falling in – I was completely disoriented and I knew that although help was probably searching for us hypothermia was my biggest threat. So I continued to tread water to generate heat – I also knew it would be a miracle if I lasted more than 1-2 hours in that temperature. A large ship moved past me, some 3-400m away and I shouted for help with everything I had in me – but to no avail. At this point I knew the ship was not going to help or stop. I was thankful its rudder had not sucked me in – I started to cry, I can’t quite recall what I was saying to myself, but it was along the lines of “please God, don’t let me die, I want to see my Mum and I have got such a lot to do before I go”. Then, I went very quiet and serious, slowed my breathing once more and prepared myself for what I thought was inevitably the end. I closed my eyes and after a short while, I started to feel warm and a distant light appeared in my minds eye. This light got slowly bigger and stronger and I began to feel really warm, almost hot. As the light advanced, I let it engulf me with its radiance and felt the feeling of upliftment. I felt no fear, pain or cold. It was very nice, safe and beautiful. At the split second that I was about to enter the white light, something inside me opened my eyes and shouted “NO! not yet! You have things to do”. A few moments after the light had gone, a rescue helicopter with search light spotted and focused on me. A small dinghy with a father and son was nearby and urged me to keep shouting so they could pinpoint me – this they did. To cut my story short, they proceeded to help me on board and headed for shore. An ambulance at shore side took me to a hospital, 15 minutes drive away. I noticed the time, it was 9.30pm. I am extremely grateful to whom or whatever saved me, but I am very puzzled by the time-gap. It is as if I lost 2-3 hours, could anybody help me find them?
The event took me a long time to overcome, but since it happened, I have been slowly drawn to all aspects of spiritual matters and would be very interested if anybody could shed some more light on what may or may not have occurred that night. My friend, Clive Merton, perished – but I still feel he is with me at times.
My name is Tom and I’m 45 years old. I had an experience back when I was about 10 years old. I didn’t tell anyone about it for a long time. I’m not sure why.
I was getting a ride from a friend on the back of his bicycle. He suddenly veered into traffic. I heard the screeching tires of the car behind us. The car hit the bike and catapulted me into the air. I was thrown into the other lane of traffic. As I was in the air I could see another car coming toward me. I thought “I’m going to die” and then I blacked out before hitting the street.
I found myself waiting in front of something that I can only describe as a black curtain. I did not have any physical sensations, but I could think and communicate. I wanted to go behind the curtain, but I had to wait for permission. There were three “people” behind the curtain and they seemed unsure about letting me in. I couldn’t see what they looked like, just vague images behind the curtain. Then one of them told me “It’s not time yet, go back.”
I felt a rushing sensation, then my consciousness changed from what I had just experienced to what I was used to. I heard a car door slam. The driver of the car that hit me got out and asked if I was alright. The oncoming car had stopped in time. I felt a little shaky but otherwise was ok. I don’t understand how I was able to hit the pavement without experiencing at least some scrapes or bruises, if not a lot worse.
I was 19 years old when I had this experience in 1965. I had caught a nasty flu that was nearly epidemic in my town and before I could recover both my parents came down with it. There were just the three of us, so I took over taking care of them–this was flu with high fever, aches, head and chest congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and all the nasties you can get with influenza. By the time my Mom and Dad were feeling almost human I relapsed and was incredibly sick–that’s when it happened.
I was too sick to read or watch TV; I was seldom awake, just laying and hurting. I recall that I suddenly felt light as a feather and totally free of discomfort. I noticed that I was looking down at myself: I was laying on my left side, my hair tangled on the pillow, and by the shape of the blanket over me, my knees were drawn up to my abdomen and my hands curled up under my chin. I can recall every detail of that view from the pattern in the blanket, the light blue pillow case, to every tiny detail of myself and the room. Then I noticed that my eyes were closed and it dawned on me that I was seeing myself from above–seeing myself and my eyes were closed! I felt no troubling emotions, just the awareness that I was not inside myself any longer. I remember thinking, “I wonder if I’ve died?”
A cloudy gray mist formed around me that had sparkling white pin points of light within it and I seemed to float higher and higher when I saw a bright white light in the distance. It grew in brilliance as though I was approaching a star in a night sky, yet it didn’t cause any discomfort to my eyes. At the same time I felt a pulling sensation from the light from my navel and also simultaneously I was overcome with the most wondrous emotions of love and joy and acceptance. It was so fantastically joyful, like a long awaited homecoming. I desperately wanted to get into that incredible light. I could not, however, get past the gray mist which had accompanied and surrounded me. It held me back.
The next thing I remember is I’m back in myself, in bed, feeling emotionally uplifted but disappointed to discover I was not dead! I felt a longing for that incredible Light. At that moment I totally lost my fear of death–I KNEW from the experience that death is not an ending, but a return or homecoming to where life begins. While I continued to recover from my flu relapse, I thought about what I’d experienced continually. I didn’t want something I treasured to be ridiculed so I never told anyone until just this year when my father left his body and made his transition into the Light.
It was many years after my experience that I discovered the term Near Death Experience. I could personally relate to what I read about them–the Light IS real. We don’t really die–our spirits just go home to where we’re loved best and wanted most.
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