In this blog I answer the question of what are near death experiences, and I list the most common things that happen when a person goes through one.
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It should be noted that near death experiences do fall under the category of out-of-body-experiences (or OOBE). However, most people consider them to be different from astral projection.
Let’s talk about the phenomenon of what are near death experiences. A near death experience, or NDE, is when a person physically dies - their heart stops or their brain no longer receives oxygen, etc — but they come back to life, often thanks to medical intervention.
During the time that they’re technically dead, they have a spiritual, or at least non physical, experience. Usually it is positive and life-changing. The event normally lasts only a few minutes. Although, for some people, they can be dead for as long as thirty minutes or more before they come back.
Not everyone who clinically dies has a near death experience — but that’s a topic for another blog post. And, yes, maybe some of the people who claim to have one are making it up or exaggerating it.
Buuuuuut all that said, there are too many documented cases of it happening with way too much in common - even to people with different backgrounds and religions or no religion — for us to dismiss it altogether. That would be irresponsible and just plain crazy. We can disagree over what causes NDEs, but there’s no denying that they really happen.
Here are some of the commonalities that seem to happen across the board for people who have what are called near death experiences:
#1 What are near death experiences? Pure bliss, apparently.
Pretty much everyone who has an NDE describes it as a positive experience. They seem to have a feeling of immediate relief from pain, both emotionally and physically. Bliss, joy, happiness, and peace are just some of the words commonly used to describe the experience.
I think this is particularly comforting for those of us who have lost loved ones to what we would consider a painful or traumatic death.
If you’re a follower of authors/speakers who promote deliberate creation and law of attraction, this will be familiar to you. Both Seth of the Jane Roberts books and Abraham Hicks talk about the bliss that happens when you give up resistance and negative emotion in order to reconnect with your Source.
#2 Time and space no longer exist.
Time stops. Over and over, people describe this aspect of their NDE. Time and space as we know it here no longer exists. What does that mean exactly? I’m not sure that those of us who haven’t had an NDE will ever fully be able to grasp it. The concept is that what would normally be experienced in hours or days can be felt in a single moment simultaneously.
People are often able to be in more than one place at the same time. They may be in a heaven-type state but also hovering nearby their physical body and watching what’s going on. (This lines up with books I've read about reincarnation where people describe hanging around for their own funeral before going to the next life!)
Often, people are able to relay conversations they overheard. This is particularly fascinating because they don't just mean in the operating room or the scene of the accident. They report accurate things from places where their body was not physically present.
Stephanie Arnold (you can google her or watch her on the Netflix show Surviving Death) was able to talk about what her doctors were saying and doing in the hospital room. She also saw what her daughter and nanny were doing in another spot in the hospital. AND she even described what her husband was wearing when he got off an airplane on his way to see her.
#3 Tour guides will be there to help you out.
There’s usually a meet and greet. People describe seeing some sort of loving, light-filled beings. Are these angels or spirit guides or ancestors? We all use different words, but it seems these beings exist, whatever we call them.
Oftentimes people will say they specifically interacted with a deceased family member like a grandparent or a dear friend who has already passed away. Even when people describe situations where they didn’t recognize a specific relative, they still still felt like they knew the beings somehow…they just couldn’t figure out how they knew them.
It’s pretty comforting to think about the fact that there’s some sort of tour guide for the process. Makes it seem a little less intimidating, right?
#4 What are near death experiences? Events people don’t want to come back from, so it seems.
This one makes me laugh a little, even though it can have dire consequences for the people who are actually living through it. It seems that the people who have near death experiences do not want to come back to our measly Earth experience.
Some people feel actual disgust about having to come back to their bodies. It can lead to depression for some. This is interesting to me, because so many people are afraid to die, but the people who do don’t seem to want to come back.
I’ve heard Abraham Hicks address this. So many people are living out of alignment with their Inner Being that dying and returning to Source is a blissful, thrilling experience. Of course they wouldn’t want to return to being out of alignment. The goal then becomes to learn to connect with Source while we’re here so that we can enjoy that bliss whether we are in human body or in a non physical state.
When people do return to their bodies after having an NDE, there are usually two surprising things that happen:
#5 People almost always maintain a vivid recollection of the near death experience.
One is that they remember the experience with extreme clarity and that vividness does not fade. They can recall it in great detail, including conjuring up the emotions, even years after it has happened to them.
Experiments have been on this particular aspect, leaving scientists stunned as to how and why patients can recall the NDE literally more accurately and vividly than they can other real life memories.
(If you want more information on that, try googling the 2017 study done by researchers at the University of Virginia.)
#6 When a person comes back, they may have newfound psychic abilities.
The other fascinating aspect of people who come back to their bodies after having a near death experience is that they often return to their human life with newfound psychic abilities. This may come in the form of precognitive dreams, some sort of telepathy, the ability to communicate with spirits, or some other extrasensory perception.
Now, according to most of the authors I read (see my book list here), each of us is able to tap into these ESP abilities even without having a near death experience. Plus, there are plenty of people who intentionally have out-of-body-experiences without a traumatic event or physical death happening.
That said, it’s a pretty cool side effect of an NDE. It makes perfect sense to me personally that once something that significant has happened to you it would open the door and make it easier for you to tap into other, similar spiritual/paranormal aspects of life.
Some other helpful information…
If you’re new here, you may be confused to see that I discuss and believe in both NDEs as well as reincarnation, since a lot of people think you must choose one. I always highly recommend that readers check out this post where I explain how near death experiences and reincarnation are not mutually exclusive — they actually support each other! (You gotta go somewhere in between your lives! And when you’re done being a human…)
You may also be interested in checking out this blog post where I list books that talk about what are near death experiences in much greater detail.
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