Ever since I read the classic work on the subject by Raymond Moody Jr., called 'Life After Life', I've had a very strong interest in this topic. I'm not sure why I've been so drawn to it, but one of the reasons would have had to have been the stories themselves, recounted by individuals who apparently were deceased during the time they had their otherworldly experiences.
Now, being the naturally sceptical person I am (some would go even further, and say "cynical person"), at no point in time have I ever been inclined to actually believe that what these people experienced were glimpses of any kind of "afterlife". The main reason for my scepticism hasn't been due to any kind of "scientific proof", or evidence, that was lacking, but because the stories themselves were what I like to call 'Disneyesque'.
A person is dying, and as he or she is pronounced clinically dead by their doctor, they notice that their vantage point has changed, and they now see themselves (or I should say, their physical form) from the vantage point of the ceiling looking down. They realise that the rotting carcass they see below is their physical manifestation, and they are either repulsed by, or more often indifferent, to what they see. They are convinced that what is lying on the bed below just isn't who they really are, and at this point in time they notice other things as well: conversations about their current state by the attending doctors and nurses, the equipment they're using, the frantic attempts to revive them, all the while being overcome by feelings of acceptance and peace.
A sudden change of pace often occurs at this point, wherein the patient realises they've died, and they now find themselves being transported down what looks to be a rather unusual corridor, or tunnel. It happens very quickly, and in appearance is rather like the image seen above, at the end of which is a strange light - the 'Being of Light'. This light, through its very presence, challenges their prior beliefs about what it means to die, and many have said that from this point onward they would resist being sent back, because what they found whilst in the presence of this "being" was perfect acceptance.
It is at this point that they experience the "life review", which is a panoramic, three-dimensional display of their entire life, in every detail, but from the perspective of others; that is, they experience the effect their actions had on those around them. Apparently no judgement is made by the 'Being of Light', it being imparted to them that the nature of our reality here on Earth is to learn through experience, and that making mistakes is a part of that process. At this point either a decision needs to be made, or the person in question goes a little bit further into the experience, and finds himself in a garden of some description, with flowers, and butterflies, and... you get the idea.
Well, let me just say that I'm not buying any of it. The whole thing sounds suspiciously like something that Walt Disney would dream up; it's all too perfect, and pretty, and colourful and grand. Now, I will not say that there aren't good, evidential reasons to accept these experiences as being what those who undergo them believe them to be, that being the reality of the afterlife (there are what are known as 'Veridicial NDE's', which are interesting on their own). However, the old saying always keeps popping into my mind, that if something sounds too good to be true, then it is. These stories sound too good to be true, and I keep thinking, "What's the catch?" I feel these people are being deceived somehow, if they indeed are in some way real. The religious folk reading this will know what I mean - 2 Corinthians 11:14.
Now, I'm not in any sense "religious", but I find that this particular passage sums up my sceptical, cynical attitude rather well. I just get the strange, perplexing feeling that these people are just being duped, misled, betrayed. The whole thing just seems too picture perfect, with not a thing out of place. Reality just isn't like that, because it can't be like that, because in order for it to be like that we would need people who are also perfect. Something, I know not what, is seriously wrong with this whole phenomenon.