Near-death experiences (NDEs) are on the increase do to advances in modern medicine. They are being taken more seriously, that is for sure, and that may be contributing to the increased number of people who are reporting them. There might be other reasons too. Recently, there has certainly been more research devoted to NDEs.
In case you haven’t heard of near-death experiences, here is a definition from Psychology Today’s website.
“A near-death experience is, simply, an experience that a person reports having had while in a physical state in which the risk of death was imminent. Commonly, the person’s heart temporarily ceased to function at some point prior to recovery, as after a heart attack. Reports of NDEs can include images, sensations, and other conscious elements that are often vivid and striking.”
When someone reports a near-death experience, they have returned to this dimension and their current body either by choice or in some cases they are told it is not their time. We don’t know how many near death experiences ended up in actual death because the individual chose not to return to their body.
What strikes researchers of NDEs is that there are a number of similar experiences. Here is another quote from Psychology Today’s website.
“Feelings of peacefulness or serenity are typical in NDE accounts. They may also include vivid imagery, such as bright light, movement through a tunnel, or visions of events from one’s past (also called a “life review”). Some NDEs include “out-of-body experiences,” in which one feels removed from one’s physical body. And some reports describe encounters with other beings, such as loved ones or anonymous entities perceived as angels.”
Near death experiences are real. What they mean can of course be debated.
It seems to me that an NDE can be a catalyst for a rapid deconstruction of old religious beliefs and a reconstruction of new spiritual beliefs that are most likely based on the individual’s experience rather than some old worn out dogma. Think about it for a minute. Most people who have experienced an NDE experience a deep sense of peacefulness and wellbeing. Physical pain is no longer present. There is a feeling of being detached from the physical body. Is this perhaps our “natural “state? Could this be a description of heaven?
During an NDE, individuals often encounter another being and the loving connection is instantaneous. Sometimes these beings are recognized as deceased loved ones. Does seeing their deceased loved ones change their belief in life after death? Most often the individuals having the NDE are given a choice to continue on or to return back to their body on Earth. And if they return, their body usually begins to miraculously heal. How does this happen?
I have never heard of an NDE where the individual was threatened with eternal damnation. Nor have I heard of one where the individual was judged for their actions during their lifetime. So, no hell and no judgment. Instead, a deeply loving and peaceful experience.
When someone recognizes loved ones who have passed away do they ask themselves, “where do they reside?” Do they question how they are able to be there during their NDE experience? This suggests strongly that we continue after our physical death.
What I read and hear from individuals who have had an NDE is that they no longer fear death because they have an experience of it that is much different from what they were taught to believe. They have a peace about them because they have been reminded of what that peacefulness feels like. They have a different appreciation of life. They often change their life’s trajectory and dedicate themselves to something totally new. They are indeed changed forever by the experience. What a beautiful reconstruction.
I understand Near Death Experiences can be very stressful. One of my friends who had experienced one said she would never like to experience another. We don’t have to actually experience an NDE. We can benefit from their stories. Experience is a great teacher but so are firsthand accounts from others.
I think seeing NDEs as a rapid deconstruction and reconstruction is an interesting way to understand the change that happens to anyone who experiences one.