Near-death experiences or NDEs, a phrase coined by Dr. Raymond Moody, is a bit of a misnomer. The experiencer does not start their story with, “The day I almost died.” No. The story is about the day they indeed died, as in ‘flat-line’, no-pulse-die. Miraculously, their story continues after dying, albeit in a different form, and their stories conclude with an all too often resistant return to earth.
NDE stories tell of a fantastic after-life. If there weren’t so many accounts describing the same extraordinary features, I wouldn’t believe them. But the truth is, multitudes of these stories exist spanning across ancient times through to today and spatially across the globe, across cultures. Remarkably these stories are convincingly consistent.
The Republic’, written by Plato around 360 B.C.E, includes a story of a soldier who dies and in the after-life witnesses reward for the just and punishment for the immoral. Dr. Raymond Moody’s book ‘Life after life’, credited with bringing widespread attention to the phenomenon, documented 150 interviews with people who died, traveled to a non-physical realm, then returned back to earth to their bodies. Other well-known independent accounts include those of Betty Eadie in ‘Embraced by the Light’ and Howard Storm in posted interviews. I also like to tune in to Biography’s show ‘I survived beyond and back’ airing Sunday evenings.
The stories converge on many peculiar observations, lending me to believe that the experiences are true accounts of the same phenomenon. If we can remove our skepticism, these stories give us insight into our true natures and what happens when we pass from our temporary home here on earth.
Based on documented near-death accounts, the following is what I understand about who we really are.
At death, our spirit makes a sudden and quick departure from our material body on earth. Some can hear the separation of spirit as a great “whooshing sound.” Others say they physically feel the separation like the pop of a cork.
Once our spirit separates from our body, we feel more alive than ever, with no pain and no worry. We feel free.
We observe the aftermath of our death from somewhere above and may not instantly recognize our former selves; strangely we feel little attachment to that life.
One of the first things we notice is our heightened senses. Free from the physical limitations of our human eyes, ears, skin, etc, we are more keenly aware and perceptive of everything.
We literally feel the emotions of those around us; maybe it’s fear and panic or grief, concern and shock. We can see from all angles, front, back, behind, underneath, sideways all at once.
We find our true selves are of light energy and can move from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ effortlessly, with a mere thought. Lacking a body, we “fly” through objects and across vast distances and even across time at tremendous speeds.
It sounds like something out of a superhero movie or a science fiction one like ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Star Wars’. Maybe we love those stories so much because they resonate with us somewhere deep to our core; that we are in fact, superhuman beings having a human experience on earth.
Happy to return home at long last, we travel as fast as we are comfortable through a dark tunnel, toward the light, to heaven. The darkness is darker than black and is more than the absence of light. But we are not afraid.
We feel calm and well. We feel increasing amounts of absolute bliss and tranquility as we travel closer to heaven. The light is remarkably bright, brighter than anything we have ever seen. It should be painful to look at, but with spirit eyes, we can see the light perfectly without wincing.
We see that heaven is full of beings of light and love. We find we can communicate with others, and even the universe, psychically, without speaking. We convey and receive thoughts, emotions, intentions, and images without loss of meaning as often happens significantly say in an email lacking visual facial cues and intonation. We communicate volumes of this kind of pure data, instantly.
Our life review, a task we all must complete upon our return from earth, is one example of high-tech, high-speed communication. The life review is a panoramic, n-dimensional display of our entire life. We review/relive every moment of our life, but this time feeling the emotions of those we encounter. We review volumes of these moments at great speed, and with absolute clarity.
During the review we celebrate when we have given of ourselves freely. We feel embarrassed and disappointed when we have been harsh and unkind. We see that our trophies don’t mean much. We understand completely, for the first time the absolute importance of treating others as we want them to treat us.
We know, finally and absolutely why we went to earth. No, it’s not to prove our dominion over the physical. Nor is it for having a career and living comfortably in a big house with a pool and nice furniture. Our purpose is immaterial. We all volunteer for an earthly sojourn in order to grow and transcend the physical realm.
We come here to consciously choose love above all (enticing) earthly obstacles. We come here to choose love over fear. To choose love over greed. To choose love over the material. To choose love over jealousy. To choose love over competition or a need to feel better than others. These are our lessons on earth. We here are to learn, not simply with our minds, but with our hearts and soul that all that really matters is love. As it is in heaven, so shall it be on earth.
This is a difficult, but worthy task. Ask any person who has died and come back. They will tell you that returning to earth is the last thing they want to do. And that climbing back into their bodies is like putting on an old soaking wet jacket when all you want is warmth. But they understand without fail, that their lives have a valiant purpose and meaning, and it was not yet their time. So they return of their own free will and they have quite the story to tell. Our journeys here, they say, are worthy of a cause, worthy enough to give up our superhuman abilities for a short while.