Near Death Experiences
Near death experiences have been reported for centuries. Much research has been conducted regarding these experiences including experiences of altered states of consciousness. There are striking similarities in these experiences, these include 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 can affect a persons' life long term.
I read a book recently by Anita Moorjani and her Near Death Experience, this is her very personal account of her NDE after which she wrote the book 'Dying to be Me'. 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. She lay in a coma in hospital and all her vital organs were failing. Anita was given only hours to live and all her family were called to the hospital. It was at this time she had her NDE. She experienced an absence of time and space, felt no pain whatsoever and received pure healing. She was totally aware of everything that was going on around her bed and could here the doctors around her bed saying there was no hope for her, there was nothing else that could be done. She could not understand as there she was feeling no pain, she was feeling incredible, light and free. She came back into her physical body convinced the reason she had the experience was to share this with others. She needed 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.
I have conducted my own research project on NDE's and found similar results to those already researched. 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). The strange part is that there are commonalities across experiences, countries, cultures and religions. One 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 enhanced self identity, the other dimension experienced 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 be able to feel emotion and personality. For all participants the NDE was a reality and not an illusion. Also all participants had reported becoming a better person because of the experience. Reports of physical and emotional changes, expanding the 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.
My research into this area is still ongoing, I have only given a basic outline here. If you have had an experience and would like to be included in my research I would love to hear from you.