Paranormal Casefile: Near Death Experiences
For every human on earth, death is a part of life. For some, coming close to the precipice of death can bring about something known as a Near Death Experience or NDE. This profound happening that many people experience who have been sent to the brink and pulled back has been the subject of much study and has been recorded since ancient times. Individuals largely report similar characteristics, which makes this phenomenon very curious. This is a very complex and extensive phenomena and this post really only scratches the surface and I’ll definitely be revisiting this topic again in the future!
During an NDE, people can experience a wide variety of things such as being outside of the body, also known as an OBE and some gave described seeing their physical body from above while doctors work to revive them. They also report a knowing that they are dead, have feelings of levitation, total serenity and oneness with the universe, unconditional love and acceptance, warmth, security, and absolute dissolution. Then there is the infamous tunnel experience where one can experience darkness, but then see a light, or have a feeling of rapid movement towards a being of light, which then communicates with the experiencer. There is also the possibility that some many encounter already deceased family members and loved ones. Additionally, one can also experience a life review and may have to decide whether to journey to the beyond or return to their mortal body. On the flip side though, there have been negative experiences reported where people who have come back from death describing distress, anguish, pain and fear, and even being in a Hell-like scenario.
For the religious, NDE’s simply affirm the belief in life after death, however, modern science has made many attempts to study this phenomena and find a rational explanation. Science suggests that the experience that people have results from “disturbed bodily multi sensory integration” that occurs when someone almost dies, or does indeed die, but is shortly resuscitated. In some studies, abnormal activity in the brain has been found to give people the feelings they experience during an NDE and may be thought of as some kind of disassociate defense mechanism when the body faces death or a life-threatening situation. Notable doctors who have studied this phenomena are Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring, and Michael Sabom. Between 1975-2005, 3,500 people Worldwide who experienced NDE’s had their cases studied. Research continues to this day to get to the bottom of it.
Regardless of what these experiences really are, many who experience them often associate the experience as an important point in their life to change their values, outlook on life, and become a better person. There can, however, be negative consequences as well where some can develop psychosocial and psychospiritual problems.
Could NDE’s just be a preprogrammed final action of the brain to ease people into death? Is it just a hallucination? Or is this really the threshold people experience before moving into another realm of existence, suggesting there is life after death?