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A phenomenon reported by people who have been declared clinically
dead by medical experts, or passed close to death through
accident or illness, but who are revived. They report an altered
state of consciousness where they feel they are traveling
through a tunnel towards a warm and bring light, or they are
floating above their body watching medical effects to revive
Intriguingly near death reports from different cultures around
the world are typically consistent and in many instance agree
well with the essential features of the post mortem state
that is described in 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead'. There
is also a marked similarity to reported inner journeys of
shamanism and astral travel.
The term 'near death experience' [NDE] was coined by American
doctor, Raymond Moody in the 1970s to describe the above phenomenon.
Prior to the publication of Moody's book 'Life after Life'
in 1975, NDE was not openly talked about, but afterwards it
became more acceptable, and in 1982 a Gallup poll suggested
that as many as eight million Americans had had some kind
Moody and a number of other NDE researchers like Kenneth Ring,
a psychologist and founding member of the International Association
of Near Death Studies at the University of Connecticut, were
able to identify a number of traits in common to NDE, even
thought the experience was always unique to each individual.
They concluded that in a NDE people typically experience one
or more of the following phenomena in this sequence: a sense
of leaving the material world behind [being dead], or an out
of body experience in which they fell they are floating above
their bodies looking down; cessation of pain and a felling
of great calm and peace; traveling down a dark tunnel towards
a light a the end; meeting spirit being, many of whom are
dead friends and relatives; meeting a spirit guide who takes
them through their life story [see life review] and puts their
life into perspective without any negative judgment; and finally
an abrupt, and sometimes reluctant, return to life.
The great majority of NDEs are described as positive and uplifting;
around 3 per cent are described as negative or frightening.
Almost anyone can have the experience and it is not limited
to the religious, although many people who have experienced
an NDE do become more spiritual or develop a belief system
afterwards. Almost all say they lose their fear of death and
it is replaced by a strong belief in an afterlife. Many discover
a new meaning and purpose to their lives that they may have
previously lacked. In some cases the NDE leaves a person with
a heightened intuition or psychic powers.
On the negative side some people find adjusting back to life
difficult after an NDE. Feelings of anger, guilt, depression
and disappointment because they have to return to life are
common. However, many people are thrilled by the wonder of
the unique experience and intensely grateful and empowered
by it, as well as humbled.
Research by Ring and his colleagues indicated that people
with a difficult or traumatic childhood could be more prone
to NDE than others due to their personality and psychological
make up. Ring also suggested that an NDE may be a form of
enlightenment and can have a tremendously positive effect
on the world if enough people experience it or assimilate
the lessons that can be learned from it.
Even though millions of people claim to have had an NDE it
is impossible for researchers to scientifically Lance report
According to skeptics the NDE, is a dream or hallucination
caused by lack of oxygen, the release of the body natural
painkillers [endorphins] or increased levels of carbon dioxide
in the blood stream as the brain dies. NDEs were reportedly
produced by Ronald Siegel, a researcher at the University
of California Los Angeles School of medicine, when LSD and
other drugs were administered to subjects. NDE supporters
stress that drug-induced hallucinations and NDEs are totally
different things, such explanations do not take into account
the fact that many people brought back to life can give accurate
accounts of their resuscitations or procedures carried out,
or report conversations they overheard at the time they were
allegedly dead. This suggests that some part of consciousness
can separate from the body at death.
There is also the argument that people are simply making the
whole experience up. A Dr Sabom, a Georgia Cardiologist, interviewed
100 hospital patients who had narrowly escaped death. Of these,
61 per cent reported experiencing classical NDEs of the style
closely resembling those described in 1975 by Moody. By the
end of his investigation Dr Sabom administered that before
he started to investigate he felt sure that NDEs must be 'conscious
fabrications, either on the part of those reporting them or
those writing about them. However, once he began to investigate
he was surprised by the genuineness of the phenomenon.
Another respected cardiologist who - add section on Lancet
report to confirm reality of experience.
NDE researchers Raymond Moody found a striking similarity
in accounts of 150 people who claimed to have had an NDE -
so much so that he was able to identify 15 different elements
that recur again and again in these reports. He constructed
a typical experience that contains all of the NDE elements:
A man is dying and, as he reaches the point of greatest physical
distress, he hears himself pronounced dead by his doctor.
He begins to hear an uncomfortable noise, a loud whining or
buzzing, and at the same time feels himself moving very rapidly
through a long dark tunnel. After this he finds himself outside
of his own physical body, but still in the immediate physical
environment, and he sees his own body from a distance, as
though he is a spectator, he watches the resuscitation attempt
from this unusual vantage pint and is in a state of emotional
After a while he collects himself and becomes more accustomed
to his odd condition. He notices that he still has a 'body',
but one of a very different nature and with very different
powers from the physical body he has left behind. Soon other
things begin to happen. Others come to meet and help him.
He glimpses the spirits of relatives and friends who have
already died, and a loving, warm spirit of a kind he has never
encountered before - a being of light - appears before him.
This being asks him a question, nonverbal, to make him evaluate
his life and helps him along by showing his a paranormal instantaneous
playback of the major events of his life. At some point he
find himself approaching some sort of barrier or border, apparently
representing the limit between earthly life and the next life.
Yet, he finds that he must go back to earth, that the time
for his death has not yet come. At this point he resists,
for by own he is taken up with his experiences in the afterlife
and does not want to return. He is overwhelmed by intense
feelings of job, love, and peace, despite his attitude, thought,
he somehow unites with his physical body and lives.
Later he tries to tell others, but he has trouble doing so.
In the first place, he can find no human words adequate to
describe these unearthly experiences. He also finds that others
scoff, so he stops telling other people. Still the experience
affects his life profoundly, especially his view about death
and its relationship to life. [Raymond Moody, Life After life].
According to psychics it is through energy
that spirits are able to communicate across the boundaries
between the earth and spirit planes. Positive energy, created
by good deeds, love, harmony, spirituality and respect is
uplifting and enlightening, whereas negative energy is dangerous,
unsettling and draining.
Albert Einstein in his watershed publication, 'Relativity:
the Special and General Theory' , described all existence
as energy, although it takes many forms. According to the
theory of relativity all matter, from people and plants to
tables and chairs, is comprised of energy structures -atoms,
molecules and electrons - that vibrate at different frequencies.
The energy of matter that forms an object we consider solid,
such as a table, vibrates slowly that we are able to physically
perceive its matter. The energy of matter we cannot see, such
as the air we breathe, vibrates very fast. Einstein's theory
is in fact a very new age concept.
Psychics and energy healers believe that the physical body
vibrates slowly enough to be tangible, while energy on the
spirit plane vibrates so fast that it doesn't seem to have
an appearance e or present at all, unless a spirit chooses
to represent itself in a tangible form. So when it comes to
spirit contact the spirit needs to lower its energy vibration
and the medium needs to raise his or her vibration so communication
can be made.
According to psychics, negative energy can be disastrous to
a person's life and can cause bad luck and poor health. There
are a number of ways to cause or generate negative energy.
For example, a persons thoughts can create negative energy.
On a physical level, constant pessimism can lead to low self
esteem and the unhappiness such negativity attracts, and on
a magical level pessimism can also be damaging as magical
will responds best to optimism and good intention. In some
cases [see psychic attack] enough concentrated negative thought
about oneself or another person is believed to cause negative
things to happen to oneself and/or others. Illness can also
generate negative energy, as can negative thoughts about others,
arguments, criminal acts, injustice, tragedy and violence.
Many mediums believe that spirits often come through because
they want to make amends for negative energy that they once
spread in their lives. They may also come through because
the negative energy generated by intense emotion or acts of
violence, trauma or injustice has somehow trapped them and
they can't break free.
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