The Near Death Experience (NDE)

Is this what we all have to look forward to?
Is this what we all have to look forward to?

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.

This would explain it
This would explain it

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.

The Near Death Experience (NDE)
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Most Helpful Girl

  • sunshineglow
    I want to know only one thing: Did more or all of collected stories all painted same pattern with butterflies and meadows and etc? Or that was one or very few exceptions? I can allow there is some few such personal experience examples, but if someone paints whole system of how things work in a certain way, that's a bit odd.

    There's another book I've read and it had it's own kind of, bias/repeated similar experiences. They were Different from what you described here.
    You will find all sorts of books out there with their own "worlds" that don't repeat anywhere else except in that book...

    I think it's either
    some sort of hidden propaganda (doesn't matter if you're good or evil, heaven is for everyone, justice doesn't exist - which is of course what would rather make the righteous angry and a horrible sinner happy), which might make people believe its okay if they become even completely unethical during this life - because - who cares - righteousness is for stupid and a work in vain anyway.
    It is well known this might stem from authors who are secretly some cult members. You never know. There might not be such information available about them. But Journey of souls book really angried me, just as it did others who do feel the inner calling towards Good. You never know what are intentions of that author. Bible says something along the idea of Satan preffering that people don't know he exists. Also satanic Bible is suggesting all opposite from Bible. It's suspicious when you read someone says "oh even rapist is godly unflawed soul...". I mean how do they know? I mean this was invented example but, just saying. Maybe if he terribly regretted and remorsed, but that is another thing. Meanwhile this is not sounding right.

    As for this book and similar calibre books, there's also another possibility

    2) author just wants to cater to wide audience and get rich by selling a book which has positivity inside even if it's a lie and he knows it. Which is a form of lack of ethics again.

    I've read some other kind and heard IRL some other kind of near death spiritual experiences. They were not positive. They both were scary.

    I don't deny positive ones exist, but like you said, in sea of monetized lies, one doesn't know whom to exactly believe.

    Also new age book section is full of dark people pretending to be spreading good things and philosophies. And also is full of weirdest things. I gave up on that genre, it just too often refers to things that I later discover are completely forbidden in Bible. So one must wonder. At least the question "why would that be so?"

    We definitely shall be careful what we read and whom we decide to believe.
    Helpful 1 Person
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guy

  • DJB72
    Not everyone's NDE fits that description.

    I attempted suicide several times in my 20s. The last time I believe I was dying. Maybe I died. I'm not sure.

    I felt myself let go. Then it was black. Cold. And I mean black, not dark.

    Bleak. A place where there was no hope.

    There were voices I recognised in the blackness. Reminding me of every mistake I've made. Every person I've hurt.

    The blackness itself was clawing at me. I tried to push it off but I didn't have a way to. My hands went through it but it clung to them like crude oil.

    I knew I'd NEVER feel hope or peace or love again. There was only despair..

    I'm a Christian. I have been since 1985 (this was in 2000). I'd never really thought about heaven and hell. I was in emotional pain so I took a massive overdose to end my life and the pain.

    In the blackness I began to weep. I realised I would be in that place, experiencing that pain for ever.

    It felt like for ever then yes, a blast of light cut through the black and a figure with a sword started slashing at the places the blackness was holding me. The darkest parts withered at the touch of the blade and I was cut free.

    He lifted me out of the blackness and into my room. He sat on my bed beside me as I lay down, then stood and walked to the door. As he did he turned and said "don't do that again". It was a command but with no sense of condemnation of what I'd done.

    I had to go to my doctor the next day because I had no medication left (I'm diabetic - on pills at that point). He tested my blood, urine, let's just say it was "thorough". I had to undergo a full psych workup.

    My experience wasn't the "typical" NDE. I have never been tempted to end my life since

    You hear about the "Heaven" visions. Green fields, blue sky etc

    I saw Hell.
    LikeHelpful 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Yes, a small percentage of NDE's don't fit the pattern, and are negative and dark. No one knows why.

    • DJB72

      There's always the possibility that there could be something after this life that science simply can't explain. Maybe even two possible destinations...

    • dustybiker

      Does that make you fear your death now? Or do you think you would have a different experience?

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Floppy2112
    I have heard of some pretty compelling NDE's and others that did not sound so convincing. The ones I pay attention to are from children and from those who verifiably came back with knowledge they could not have otherwise known. Some people are full of shit and just want attention. And if you read enough of these stories you can make one up. However, just because people have the capacity to lie, it does not mean they are all lying.
    Children, particularly young children, do not have the capacity to make complex and nuanced lies, so that's why I find their stories more interesting, presuming they are telling of it in there own words.
    People who saw things and know things they could not have previously known, like what some relative was doing at the time they were 'dead'.
    The other aspect that makes it difficult to discern is people sometimes tinker with the definition of the word 'death'. When I think of death, I mean no heart or brain activity for a sustained period of time.
    I am suspicious of people who tell stories that happen to happily coincide with their worldview with no conflict. Those people, I believe are bullshitting.
    The good news? Well we will all find out one day. All these questions will be answered. We're either nothing and cease to exist at death, or something like a soul continues on. One day, all of us will know the answer.
    Like 1 Person
  • zeitgeist057
    I would suggest you look a bit into the chemical dimethyltrimptamine, commonly known as DMT. It is produced by the brain at birth and at death, and is taken in religious ceremonies such as the ayahuasca ceremony and also spiritually and recreationally in DMT crystal form by psychonauts around the world.

    The effects of DMT are very similar to those describe by NDE narratives, and involve loss of ego, astral projection/leaving the body, sense of peace, loss of perspective of time, etc. etc.

    My hypothesis is the brain releases this chemical and you go into a hallucinatory state and that helps the brain not deal with the trauma of death. Similar to how the brain releases adrenaline and endorphins when you are hurt and you don't feel the pain as intensely.
    LikeHelpfulDisagree 3 People
  • OddBeMe
    Or this could be a hallucination by the brain during the throws of death to make us feel better.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • but note the fella above who was in pain at death... a continuation of his misery here, but was bounced back and from that, got better. could there be energy floating around out there that communicateswith us when our "egos" are out of the way.

    • OddBeMe

      @lightbulb27 maybe. But no proof of it. What we have proof of are dreams where pain is felt. Hell I know when I’m lucid dreaming that I have to take a piss.

    • These aren't like dreams at all though, because unlike dreams the details of the experiences do not fade over time. The patients also often (actually, in most cases) reveal details about what was occurring at the time they were believed to be dead, and the event has a lasting, long-term impact upon their lives, which mere dreams never do.

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  • Twalli
    I was declared clinically dead. I don't remember anything. I did have morbid ideas for stories afterwards. Most have faded by now. That's all that I can say about being dead. I had a pretty morbid imagination for a while. I also though I was having nightmares of the ICU, turns out they make sure you're awake every two hours, so it was probably just that I never got adequate sleep.
  • Flower7
    Well, it seems like there has to be a reason why so many people have experienced the exact same thing. I believe that there is truth to this.
  • Keyboardkat
    And who then is perpetrating this hoax, do you think? What about the fact that these people, one, did not know each other before being interviewed, and two, rather than broadcast their experience in a search for fame or money, they were reticent and reluctant to talk about it, and three, they all told very similar stories, even though they had had no chance to communicate with each other, even if they had known each other, which they did not. How do you explain this? I know of one case where there was a ceiling fan in the room, and the patient told the doctors that he had floated up to the ceiling and seen the label of the manufacturer on the upper surface of on of the blades; and someone climbed up a ladder to check, and sure enough, there WAS a label there which COULD NOT be seen from below! I would not be dismissive of all this. Maybe we really DON"T know everything. At least you should be receptive to the possibility that you actually could be wrong!
  • MrKinktastic
    Given the ones from Hindus and others also fit the same general mould there’s definitely something there. That said none of them actually died, just spent time with no brain activity at most so it’s impossible to say wha might happen if they go further into that state. The reports also closely match reports of high dose ketamine, nitrous oxide and other NMDA receptor drugs which essentially hit a reboot button in your brain and shut off higher brain functions so it might be a similar mechanism in those near death experience reports. Or that might be what happens when you are conscious without your brain, it’s impossible to say.
  • Guardian45
    I've never died and come back, but I have come close in what I perceived as NDEs as a paramedic. The most terrifying was 'self-inflicted' when I narrowly missed crashing my vehicle head-on into a dump truck at speed. I averted killing myself and my passengers by accelerating my vehicle past the dump truck into a snowbank. For what was most likely less than a minute, everything moved in slow motion except my thinking as I reviewed my alternatives to death by MVA. I happened to choose correctly or perhaps I was just lucky or blessed by an angel. I'll never know.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous
    Sometimes death is less painful than life