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Near Death Experiences - NDE's

In a Near Death Experience the spirit - soul - leaves the physical body usually after a major trauma - accidents, illnesses, problems in surgery - cardiac arrest - anaphylactic shock, coma, fever, anesthetic, unconsciousness, physical injury, arrhythmia, seizures, suicide, or severe allergic reactions. It is a moment of release by the soul from the physical.

Some people refer to this phenomenon as an 'After Death Experience'.

Most people report that they are outside of their physical bodies - traveling through a tunnel toward a source of white light (the creational source of our reality).

They usually report meeting a deceased relative or heavenly being, coming to a precipice or place where a decision about life or death must take place, seeing one's life pass before their eyes, sometimes in order called a 'life review', acute awareness, a feeling of timelessness, and intense emotions.

Most NDEs are positive but occasionally negative experiences do occur. Upon awakening the near-death experiencer may return with unusual abilities previously unknown to them. Some of these include: seeing auras and other related paranormal abilities, awareness of science and other technologies regarding time and space, change in personality and spiritual transformations.

In what seems like a long period of time to the soul, though perhaps only several seconds or minutes in our linear time, the soul may get to review what will happen to it should it return. There are always the physical ailments that may or may not heal. Then there are those that would be left behind to consider. As linear time does not exist in other than our 3rd dimensional reality, the soul will often ponder it's choices.

Sometimes a soul will come back even if it does not want to as it has issues to work out. Usually that soul will consider this a second chance and become more spiritual in the remaining time it has here on earth. Many of these souls have gone on to write about NDE's to help others understand what is going on, on the other side.

Many believe that have returned because they have been chosen to do something spiritual for the planet. Most people who return do have a more spiritual slant on life. After all they have faced the other side and should return on a higher frequency and with more knowledge. Some go on to become healers or helpers.

Some people remember their NDE's experiences while others have some vague memories.

This is similar to dreamtime wherein some people wake up and remember events on the other side - while others have no memory of anything.

I had a NDE at age 5 when I had pneumonia and nearly died. I was in the hospital and saw myself out of my body watching. Next thing I knew I was sitting in a tree with a little boy my age talking about meeting again in this lifetime - much later on - to do some work related to the tree. (This could symbolize the Tree of life - as my life path has unfolded.) I don't think I've met him yet - but I feel him connected on another level where we still meet on the other side.

In January 2000 - A dream was like a NDE in that I remember being in a source of light - then hearing water whooshing - saying good-by to 2 other aspects of my soul. Next i quickly returned to my physical body as a feeling of moving through a tunnel' and spiraling downward. I felt no physical pain and didn't feel as if I had died during the night - or anything like that. I just had the experience and remember it very clearly.

The media has given much publicity to NDE for many years. It is just another way for souls to remember their connection to a Source of Consciousness.



Show me heaven
By Amanda Hancox
Producer, BBC Radio 4

As more and more people come forward with accounts of near-death experiences, new research is about to examine the out of body experience to see whether mind and body really do separate at the point of death.

It is only 30 years ago that the term near-death experience was coined. An American researcher, Raymond Moody, used it to describe the reports of a large number of people who, whilst apparently dead, had seen deceased relatives, tunnels of light, life reviews and felt an overwhelming sense of peace, before being resuscitated.

Recent studies have shown that one in 10 people who have had a cardiac arrest report an near-death experience (NDE). These experiences are reported across many cultures and religions. Some believe they offer a glimpse of an afterlife while others see them as the result of a dying brain.

In March Dr Sam Parnia and Professor Peter Fenwick will begin a year-long study, looking at patients who have had cardiac arrests to find out if they have had any experiences or memories whilst their heart stopped beating.

It seems to me many of the ingredients of a belief in heaven are present in the near-death experience and confirmed by it
Professor Paul Badham
In particular they are interested in those who report an out-of-body experience (OBE), when the "experiencer" looks down on their body and surroundings from a height.

At Hammersmith Hospital and 12 other hospitals across the UK, symbols will be placed in strategic places so that only those who have an OBE will be able to see them.

"If these claims are verified" says Dr Sam Parnia, "then this will have a huge implication for science because what it would indicate for us is that our current understanding of mind, body and brain isn't sufficient and that it is possible for the mind/consciousness to separate from the brain at the end of life."

However, a similar but small scale study at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, last year was inconclusive. Over a five-year period eight out of 39 cardiac arrest patients had a NDE and of those only two had an OBE. Unfortunately, neither of them was in the right place to spot the symbols.

Evidence of the 'other side'

Penny Sartori, who conducted the research at Morriston Hospital, believes it is very easy for people to dismiss NDE as hallucinations.

Northern Lights
NDEs are described as beatific visions
"I documented 12 cases of people who had had hallucinations and I found that the hallucinations were very different from the NDE." Hallucinations tend to be random and non-specific whereas the NDEs follow a definite pattern and the reports are very clear and precise.

Professor Paul Badham, from the University of Wales, Lampeter, who helped oversee this study, believes these experiences are evidential for believing in heaven.

"People do describe a paradise or kind of environment, they do describe being met by a being of light who seems to know them, they often have a review of their past life. They often have a sense of passing self judgement on that kind of life that they have lived. So it does seem to me that many of the ingredients of a belief in heaven are present in the NDE and confirmed by it."

However, Professor Christopher French, who looks into paranormal experiences at Goldsmith College, London, is more sceptical. "Virtually all the aspects of the NDE have been reported in other contexts," he says.

13 hospitals taking part
Symbols to be placed in strategic places
Will only be seen by those having an out-of-body experience
The life review can be caused by the brain firing in unusual ways as a result of a lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the blood stream. Endorphins released during times of stress can create a sense of peace and the tunnel of light could reflect abnormal patterns of firing in the visual cortex.

"I think it will be a long time before we fully understand the NDE," says Professor French, "but it's an incredibly fascinating and profound experience for the people that have it and it would certainly be a mistake for science to close its eyes towards those kinds of experience.

"Potentially they can tell us an awful lot, not only about how the brain may operate at the kind of extremes but also about normal everyday consciousness and so, definitely, we ought to carry on studying these experiences and taking them seriously."

After Death, What? will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio 4 at 2030 GMT on Monday 26, January.



Evidence of 'life after death'

October 23, 2000 - BBC

Scientists investigating 'near-death' experiences say they have found evidence to suggest that consciousness can continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function.

However, the claim has been challenged by neurological experts.

The researchers interviewed 63 patients who had survived heart attacks within a week of the experience.

Of these 56 had no recollection of the period of unconsciousness they experienced whilst, effectively, clinically dead.

However, seven had memories, four of which counted as near-death experiences.

They told of feelings of peace and joy, time speeded up, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another world, encountering a mystical being and coming to "a point of no return".

None of the patients were found to be receiving low oxygen levels - which some scientists believe may be responsible for so-called "near-death" experiences.

Lead researcher Dr Sam Parnia, of Southampton General Hospital, said nobody fully understands how brain cells generate thoughts.

He said it might be that the mind or consciousness is independent of the brain.

He said: "When we examine brain cells we see that brain cells are like any other cells, they can produce proteins and chemicals, but they are not really capable of producing the subjective phenomenon of thought that we have.

"The brain is definitely needed to manifest the mind, a bit like how a television set can take what essentially are waves in the air and translate them into picture and sound."

Dr Chris Freeman, consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, said there was no proof that the experiences reported by the patients actually occurred when the brain was shut down.

"We know that memories are extremely fallible. We are quite good at knowing that something happened, but we are very poor at knowing when it happened.

"It is quite possible that these experiences happened during the recovery, or just before the cardiac arrest. To say that they happened when the brain was shut down, I think there is little evidence for that at all."

Life after near death

More people are now brought back from the brink

February 4, 2000 - BBC News

From the corner of the room, Christine Ellingham says she could see emergency medical staff crowding around an unconscious body.

They were desperately trying to revive the woman, and to save her unborn baby.

"I knew that it was me lying on the table. But I was outside of my body, floating in the corner of the room. I was very calm and it made perfect sense to me that I should be watching what I understood to be the final moments of my life.

"I felt absolute peace and serenity. There was light around me and it grew and grew until I couldn't see my body any more.

"Then I felt an amazing sensation of rushing forwards through the light, or rather that the light was rushing back over me. I couldn't see him, but I knew that my father, who had died four years previously, was there with me, and I felt totally, totally safe."

"I felt that my father was almost carrying me, like I was a child again, and then the light slowed and stopped and my father told me that my baby needed me. I felt very sad that I had to leave, but I wanted to be with my baby.

"There was another instant where I was still surrounded by light, and then, bang! I slammed backwards."

She said that the next thing she experienced was "excruciating pain" - and her eyes opened and she saw the nurses she said she had seen from behind just moments ago.

"I cried and cried. I was in so much pain, but I felt an elation and a certainty that both me and my baby were going to live."

Christine underwent an emergency Caesarian operation, and her son Liam, her first child, was born six weeks early. She said that she had been planning to go back to work as soon as possible, but instead decided to look after Liam full-time.

he said: "I was spared, and I was spared to look after Liam. I have never been a religious person, but the experience has made me feel secure that there is an afterlife, and the people that I love and have passed away are still there, watching over me and my family."

Professor Paul Badham of Lampeter University - who studies the philosophical implications of near death experiences - said that despite media hype, the phenomenon is quite rare.

However, he says the reports of people who have had near death experiences tend to contain similar elements.

"It is very common for people to report going out of their body and looking down on their body," he said

"Going through a tunnel is also a common experience, as is being surrounded by light. The meeting of deceased relatives or friends is also commonly reported.

"People will also say that they feel they are in the presence of a spiritual reality. A Christian may interpret this as Jesus. One atheist who had an out of body experience said that he later realized that this presence was responsible for the governance of the universe."

Prof Badham said that the numbers of people experiencing the phenomena are rising, as medicine improves and pulls more people back from the brink.

He says that people who report near death experience sometimes "see" things that it would have been impossible for them to see if they had been unconscious on an operating table.

He said: "Not everyone who is near death has this experience - it just does not follow that it is a last physical response to death.

"This is an experience which transcends cultures, religions and classes - I believe this experience is probably the base for our belief in an afterlife."