As someone who has undergone two near death experiences I am interested in what death has to teach teach us in these circumstances. So, here is a brief look at some reports of ‘Near Death Experiences’.
These experiences affect those who have had them deeply and profoundly and they have been reported for centuries. These include experiences of altered states of consciousness.
Bruce Greyson Near Death Researcher
Bruce Greyson defines a NDE as “A profound subjective event with transcendental or mystical elements that many people experience on the threshold of death” (Greyson, 1994 p.460). A great deal of research has taken place on the experience of Near Death and commonalities have been noted across experiences, countries, cultures and religions.
There are striking similarities such as seeing a bright light, thoughts of peace, being out of body, meeting spiritual beings, being told to come back, feeling a decrease in fear of dying, sharing with others and also a transformation in the persons sense of self and their lifestyle. These things appear to be commonalities even when we look at the effects on the physical body. These experiences often affect a persons’ life long term.
Anita Moorjani wrote her book ‘Dying to be Me’, very personal account about her own Near Death Experience. After losing her best friend and close relative to cancer Anita was herself diagnosed with the disease. Within 4 years the disease had brought her to deaths’ door. As she lay in a coma in hospital and all her vital organs were failing she was given just hours to live and all her family were called to the hospital. It was at this time she had her NDE.
According to Anita she experienced an absence of time and space, felt no pain whatsoever and received pure healing. She could hear the doctors around her bed saying there was no hope for her, there was nothing else that could be done. She was totally aware of everything that was going on around her and could not understand what the doctors were saying as she felt no pain, instead feeling light and free. She came back into her physical body convinced the reason she had the experience was to share this with others and to share her story and how her own fears had led to this illness. After being completely riddled with cancer Anita left hospital just a few weeks later totally cancer free. Her body was healed and so was her mind. This experience continues to impact on her, she tells of a change of self, a change to her physical body and to her life world. You can read more about her story here: Anita Moorjani.com.
Pim van Lommel Near Death Researcher
A study by Pim van Lommel found people experienced life changing effects from a NDE. He did a longitudinal study over 8 years, with interviews at the time of the NDE, 2 years later and then again 8 years later. He found some participants reported another dimension experienced that had no concept of time and space and in this dimension the experience felt more real than the physical existence. Some reported taking off their body like a coat but still being able to feel emotion and personality. All participants said the NDE was a reality and not an illusion. All the participants reported enhanced self-identity and becoming a better person because of the experience. They spoke of physical and emotional changes, expanding their spiritual side and becoming much more sensitive to others.
Near death experiences can be seen as life changing events which bring about mostly positive changes in the person who has the experience and for their future. Without a doubt an experience enhances life and changes perception.
Have undergone two near death experiences I would agree with the above reports that suggest they are life changing, and l would also say that they are life enhancing. I came to realise that we needn’t fear death as a great taboo but, rather, that the more open we are around this subject the more it transforms into becoming something deeply life affirming.
Embracing death as a part of our culture has the capacity to enhance our lives, recognising the miracle of life as manifested on this planet. My own experiences has affirmed in me a deep gratitude for Mother Nature and the interdependence of all beings in this beautiful sacred dance we call life.
Have you had a near death experience? If so we would love to hear about it.
What did you experience?
Has it changed your life and if so how?
Has it deepened your connection with the world around you?