Essay, Research Paper
The near death experience is an out of body experience that occurs when a persons body stops functioning. When the body stops something leaves the body. That something is the individual vitality of the experiencer. Some people think the vitality that leaves the body is the spirit, soul, or essence. Most people who come close to death remember nothing, although about one third report that “something happened.” No two people have identical near death experiences. Although they all have very different details they all contain underlying messages such as:
1. Moving through a dark space or tunnel
2. Experiencing intensely powerful emotions, ranging from bliss to terror
3. Encountering a light. It is usually described as golden white, and as being magnetic and loving: occasionally it is perceived as a reflection of hell
4. Receiving some variant message, for example “it is not your time”
5. Meeting others: may be deceased loved ones, recognized from life or not, sacred beings, unidentified entities and/or “beings of light”, sometimes symbols of ones own or other religious traditions.
6. A life review seeing and re-experiencing major and trivial events of ones life. Sometimes from the perspective of the other people involved, and coming to some conclusion about the adequacy of that life and what changes are needed.
7. Having a sense of understanding everything, of knowing how the universe works.
8. Reaching a boundary-a cliff, fence, water, some kind of barrier that may not be crossed if one is to return to life.
9. In some cases, entering a city or library.
10. Rarely, receiving previously unknown information about ones life. Example adoption, or hidden parentage, or deceased siblings.
11. Decision to return to body by a voluntary or involuntary. If voluntary it is usually associated with unfinished responsibilities.
12. Returning to the body.
The near death experience gives us a glimpse into the afterlife. For many people is proof that an afterlife exists. They offer us an understanding of the nature of the universe, and the nature of God.
Near death experiences are not very widely excepted throughout the scientific community. There is some information that leads many to believe that the brain is able to produce hallucinations, thoughts, and visions, that are similar to these near death experiences. The best counterargument for this information is that fact that many people learn things and hear others speaking about them who are not near their body during the near death experience.
Near death experiences do not give concrete proof of an afterlife, although they do provide some insight into what happens after life leaves the body. For many people a near death experience changes their life forever, and for them is proof of an afterlife.
Kreefts, Peter, Ronald K. Tacelli.Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Inter Varsity
Press: Illinois, 1994