Near Death Experiences


The Near Death Experience (NDE) is a powerful argument for the existence of the afterlife. As medical resuscitation techniques are being improved more and more people are being brought back from the border of clinical death. A number of them recount an intense profoundly meaningful experience in which they seem to be alive and functioning outside their body. For many, a near death experience is an extremely powerful emotional and spiritual experience.  The evidence for the NDE is consistent, overwhelming and esoteric - experienced by the many.   

  • Myth of Er

    The earliest accounts of NDE can be traced to the Myth of Er, recorded in the 4th century BC by Plato's The Republic (10.614-10.621), wherein Plato describes a soldier telling of his near-death experiences.

  • Out of Body

    Researchers have identified the common elements that define near-death experiences. Bruce Greyson argues that the general features of the experience include impressions of being outside one's physical body, visions of deceased relatives and religious figures.

Common Elements of Near Death Experiences

Each near-death experience is unique, but as a group NDEs display common features.

  • Intense emotions: commonly of profound peace, well-being, love; others marked by fear, horror, loss
  • A perception of seeing one's body from above (called an out-of-body experience,  or OBE), sometimes watching medical resuscitation efforts or moving instantaneously to other places
  • Rapid movement through darkness, often toward an indescribable light
  • A sense of being "somewhere else," in a landscape that may seem like a spiritual realm or world
  • Incredibly rapid, sharp thinking and observations
  • Encounter with deceased loved ones, possibly sacred figures (the Judges, Jesus, a saint) or unrecognized beings, with whom communication is mind-to-mind; these figures may seem consoling, loving, or terrifying
  • A life review, reliving actions and feeling their emotional impact on others
  • In some cases, a flood of knowledge about life and the nature of the universe
  • Sometimes a decision to return to the body

Explanations for the Near Death Experience

“No one physiological or psychological model by itself explains all the common features of NDE. The paradoxical occurrence of heightened, lucid awareness and logical thought processes during a period of impaired cerebral perfusion raises particular perplexing questions for our current understanding of consciousness and its relation to brain function. A clear sensorium and complex perceptual processes during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the brain.”