Near-death experiences shed light on views of afterlife
What happens when we die? That question has been around for a long, long time. According to many religions and philosophies, we go to a beautiful place that is closer to God. That is, if we have lived a good life on Earth.
Some people who, through illness or injury, have been clinically dead or near-dead claim to have had what are now commonly called “near-death experiences” or “NDEs.” This phenomenon has been studied by people who sometimes come to different conclusions about what the experiences are.
Is it a spiritual journey to the afterlife? Or, is it biological experience involving the brain that is a sort of hallucination?
THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
Usually, this experience follows a pattern: The person goes out of their body, often floating above and witnessing the situation. Often, their life flashes before them like a fast movie. Then, they enter what is often described as a “tunnel” that quickly takes them to a place of increasing light – a special and beautiful kind of light.
Upon arrival, they may be greeted by loved ones who have previously passed on. Or, they may meet someone that they did not necessarily know beforehand. The NDE experiencers may have interactions and discussions with these people. Also, typically, but not always, the person reports feelings of great happiness and profound peace.
Finally, the individual learns that this is not their time to pass on and that they are to return to life on Earth. Meanwhile, back where their physical body is located, medical personnel may be working to save them. Or, some other circumstances may be present that allows physical life to continue for this person.
What do these reports from reasonable and apparently sane people mean? Hallucination, neurological and biochemical event? Or, a real trip to the afterlife? Obviously, it is difficult if not impossible to prove either way. At least with the knowledge we have at this time.
Many psychics claim to be able to communicate with people who have “crossed over” to “the other side.” For some, this may be corroborating evidence that the NDE is real. It may be comforting to hear about these accounts because many of us have loved ones who have passed on. And, of course, one day we all will.
Do we just cease to exist? Here today gone tomorrow. Dust to dust.
Or, if we do go somewhere, we might wonder about what those good people who have passed on are up to. Are they sitting around playing harps? Have they disappeared as individuals into a larger body of spiritual energy? Are they hanging out in a paradise? Are they working toward graduating to the status of angels or angels-in-training? All of the above?
What about all of our military personnel who pass on in large numbers from the wars past, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do they maintain their military orientation when they pass on? Do they stick with some of their buddies as they get oriented in a new training and operational environment? Can they become part of a special operations force and covert intelligence network that functions from this unconventional operational platform in the afterlife?
Considering all the good people that have passed on over all of the generations and thousands of years, those who lived a full life and those who died young, that could be quite a large and significant force.
How do they feel about what is going on here on Earth? Are they far away, or closer than we might think, separated from us by a thin membrane or veil? Are some of them assigned as “guardian angels,” a sort of case officer for us? Do they whisper in our ear or come to us in our dreams at night? What other activities might they be involved in that affect Earth?
It is interesting for many of us to ask these kinds of questions and think about these things once in a while. It is the bigger picture. Maybe some of it is wishful thinking. Yet, we on Earth obviously could use some extra help. It is comforting to think that there might be angels and covert Heavenly special ops intelligence agents behind the scenes helping out. Angel agents.
A STORY TO CONSIDER
In my novel MISSION INTO LIGHT, one part of the story involves such an experience by the main character, Mike Green. On an operation in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain national wilderness area north of Sedona, Arizona, with the 10-person joint-service research team is working with, Mike is shot in the leg and another bullet grazes his skull. He instantly looses consciousness, falls to the ground, and starts loosing significant amounts of blood.
His friends immediately start to tend to him and another wounded member of the team. Meanwhile, Mike has a near-death experience:
Slowly, Mike’s awareness returns. He is disoriented. He looks below and sees his own body, unconscious and bleeding profusely from the leg and head. Another member of the group is bloody from his shoulder down to his hand, the arm of his shirt soaked with blood.
He sees his friends pinned-down by two snipers below him. Below him? Where is he? Has he somehow gotten to a high point along the cliffs?
Mike sees his Uncle Jack directly below him, firing bursts from his automatic weapon, and pulling more clips from his pockets. Near Jack lies Mike’s own body. Jack picks up Mike’s body, throws it over his shoulders, and tries to make his way down a hill, which Mike watches from above.
Slowly, the green forest below him fades from view. Darkness comes over him.
Then, a point of light becomes visible on the horizon. Mike is being drawn toward the point of light, first slowly, then more quickly, as if he were shooting river rapids in a canoe. The point of light draws closer, and Mike finds himself in a tunnel of beautiful golden light.
He seems to slow down now, like the inevitable calm water at the end of a river rapids. Mike drifts slowly through the tunnel and the golden light becomes brighter. Other colors seemed to sparkle through the golden light, like hundreds of tiny rainbows.
Ahead, he can see figures that seemed to be people. As he flows closer to them he can make out four beings. They seem to be waiting for him as he comes closer and closer.
Then, he finds himself surrounded by the four figures. He knows them. They are his four grandparents, and they embrace him. They passed on many years ago, though were a big part of his life when he was a kid. The five seem to float in the light. His grandparents communicate with him in unison.
They tell him, “Yes, Mike, this is the land of the Great Spirit. It is the beautiful place that many religions and philosophies have always taught.”
“There is constant rejoicing and peace in this land. But we feel sadness at the hardships faced by our people in your world. And we feel a longing to help the people there.”
“There are groups of beings who want to bring the two worlds together, to make Heaven and Earth one place. There are efforts underway to accomplish that very mission.”
“That work is proceeding. One day soon, that miracle will come to pass, and there will be a great celebration, a great happiness among all the people.”
“You, Mike, must return to the other world, and tell your family and friends about what you have seen.”
“We have one more thing to show you, something you have a need to know.”
Then, they help Mike take a fantastic journey into deep memories in his DNA, or maybe it is time travel into the ancient past of the Cherokee people in their Smokey Mountain homeland, or maybe both simultaneously. He learns some amazing things.
After this experience concludes, he finds himself with his grandparents again.
“Mike, you must now return to the other world. You still have many more seasons before you join us here in the Spirit land.”
They embrace him again, with happiness. Slowly, the golden light begins to fade and Mike is moving back through the tunnel of light. He sees his grandparents waving good-bye to him until they fade from his sight.
The light grows dimmer and dimmer until it is only a point on a distant horizon. And then darkness.
Mike’s next sensation is the sound of other people talking. He opens his eyes and sees a hospital room in Sedona, his friends gathered around his hospital bed.
He tries to tell about his experience.
“I was floating above the fight at the canyon, watching you scrambling for safety. I saw my own bloody body being carried by Uncle Jack down the rocky path away from the sniper.”
“A tunnel of golden light led to the land of Spirit . . . It wasn’t a dream.”
“I was in the golden light, and saw my grandparents.”
The others listen carefully as Mike tries to recall details of his journey and his meeting with his grandparents.
After he finishes his story, Mike looks closely into the faces of the friends around his bed. Some of their eyes are wider than usual. Some are expressionless, though a smile can be seen in their eyes.
The group’s commanding officer, combat veteran Air Force Colonel Tom O’Brien, standing near the door, gives Mike a knowing wink.
About the Author
Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.
- Near Death Experiences: Changing the World (ghosttalkblog.com)
- Pam Reynolds’ Amazing Near-Death Experience (epages.wordpress.com)
- Near-Death Experiences and Conscious Brain Activity After Clinical Death Now Grounded In Science (jewishterrorism.com)
- Near Death Experiences Explained by New Study? (guardianlv.com)
- Near-Death Experiences – What Do They Not Mean? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
- Studying the Great Beyond: The Afterlife Experiments (weird.answers.com)
- Ancient Egyptian Beliefs Concerning the Afterlife (history.answers.com)
- Is There Truly An Afterlife? (glowville.wordpress.com)
- afterlife – part one: Colton Burpo (hunt4truth.wordpress.com)
- Near-death experiences: the brain’s last hurrah | Anil Seth (theguardian.com)