What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? What if the testimony of people who have experienced an NDE, (near-death experience), gave us the answer?
After a car accident, heart attack, stroke or any other accident, people have been clinically killed but have come back to life.
During the period when they were dead they went to see the other side of life, they left their bodies to live an incredible spiritual journey.
Some of these people came back as after a long journey of initiation, full of wisdom and love, with a knowledge of the meaning of life and their mission on earth.
Others have seen the gates of hell and understood the warning!
NDE an experience that has always been known
The Near Death Experience, which has been studied by the scientific community since the 1970s, is not something new.
Evoked by Plato in the myth of Er (Book X of the Republic) and by Tibetan Buddhism, NDE is an experience that has always been lived by men and described in many sacred texts.
What is the near-death experience?
NDE refers to a set of sensations experienced in the time between life and death, in a transitional phase.
This experience, of what seems to be a journey into the “afterlife”, was brought to light in 1975 by the American psychiatrist Raymond Moody.
In his book “Life after life”, more than 20 million copies of which have been sold and translated into 26 languages, the doctor brings together the stories of 150 patients who have experienced NDE.
Since then, science has tried to give rational answers.
However, there remains a troubling question, as no answer has been given with certainty.
All the scientists were able to “do” was to determine the circumstances in which a NDE could occur, describe the steps involved and count the number of people who had experienced it.
Also, some of the clinical conditions that can lead to an NDE are known:
Cardiac arrest, post-traumatic shock after hemorrhage, anaphylactic shock, electrocution, coma, cerebral infarction, suicide attempt, asphyxia or severe depression.
Psychologist Kenneth Ring has identified five stages in the NDE
- floating (50% of experimenters remember floating in space)
- the exit from the body (37% say they have flown over their body and the people around them)
- the tunnel (23% say they have been lured into an increasingly dark hole)
- light (16% then saw intensely white light)
- love (10% say that after entering the light, they felt an immense feeling of love, incomparable with what they had experienced before)
To this can be added the appearance of missing relatives and the panorama of life – many survivors see their lives unfold with stops on the highlights.
In the Netherlands, cardiologist Pim Van Lommel has carefully studied the issue.
His study, conducted in the cardiology departments of ten hospitals from 1988 to 1996 and published in the medical journal “The lancet”, found that of a panel of 282 cardiac arrest survivors, 18% experienced an NDE.
Some skeptics have nevertheless made hypotheses and explain the NDE through physiological theories.
Anoxia, oxygen deprivation, could trigger a NDE.
In addition, there are psychological reactions that lead to changes in consciousness.
However, none of the attempts to explain the situation so far have been recognised as satisfactory and many areas of shadows remain.
NDE stories very often agreeing
Many of these testimonies tell that at the other end of the tunnel they saw family members, and some learned family secrets that were confirmed upon their return.
The concordance of the testimonies of survivors, regardless of culture, remains one of the most troubling elements.
For a long time, people who had experienced imminent death preferred to remain silent.
The lack of words to describe the extraordinary aspect of what they had experienced and the fear of being perceived as “crazy” by doctors or their relatives was an obstacle to sharing their experience.
Raymond Moody’s book not only made it possible to unveil the NDE, but it also and above all freed the survivors’ voices.
We were thus able to discover to what extent the different stories converged on a large number of points.
A light filled with love and infinite knowledge
Some of the people who have experienced a NDE evoke a light.
Whether it appears as a sun or is related to an immaterial being, it is described by witnesses as a source of love and infinite knowledge.
In this light they feel loved as never before on Earth.
NDE, An experience that makes a difference
In some of the people who have experienced a NDE, there is a complete disappearance of the fear of death and a feeling of infinite love for others.
Philippe Labro, the journalist, writer and filmmaker, shared his NDE in a book “La traversée” (Gallimard).
He tells what happened to him after severe pneumonia:
“I feel like I’m coming out of my body. I feel like I see myself on the bed” “I get a little altitude and float above the room and above my body.”
He then recounts his passage through the tunnel, towards the light:
“Here, now, there is no suffering. The light comes to bring me a feeling of peace”
“I only have a comforting and surprising feeling of peace and even more love than I have felt recently.”
This love is often described as very powerful and undefinable, many survivors, like Philippe Labro, come back with the impression of having experienced true love.
Some of them even admitted that they did not want to return to life because they were so much at home in this infinite love, without suffering or fear.
NDE: to heaven or hell
This is the first observation of these testimonies, if the majority had an extraordinarily pleasant experience to the point that they did not want to return to their bodies, others and the testimonies are less numerous, find themselves in places of suffering, fear and describe the image that one has of hell.
In 1999, Kenneth Ring estimated the number of negative NDE at 5%.
Some researchers believe that these types of stories are rare because the people concerned have more difficulty sharing them for fear of reliving these moments and also they generally know why their experiences have led them to the gates of hell and do not want to have to explain themselves on them.
In most cases of negative NDE, these people understand the warning and upon their return stop hurting.
NDE : the encounter with the being of light
The most striking encounter that some people make is a being of light overflowing with love and wisdom and who asks them the 2 crucial questions:
“What have you done with your life?”
“What have you done for others?”
And then, right after the questions, these people see their whole lives unfold with all the details and breaks on the moments when they gave love and other breaks on the moments when they hurt others.
And if at that moment they feel shame, the whitelighter remains full of love without seeming to judge them.
What we learn from the NDE
What we can deduce from the testimonies is that all our actions are recorded in the smallest details, with even more detail than in our memories.
People who see their lives unfold during a NDE not only see all the scenes in detail, but they can also feel the effect of their actions on others, the pleasures or injuries they have intentionally or unintentionally created.
We are there to learn to love and give love to others, this is what can bring us closer to the light.
Those who do evil will be punished, this is what we are already taught in many religions and which confirms the notions of Heaven and Hell.
In one of the teachings of the book of Enoch it is said that we should not worry about the harm that is done to us, not to keep remorse or cultivate a desire for revenge against someone because in any case, all good or bad acts will be judged.
And in the technique of radical forgiveness, we are told that if we often experience the same kind of problem, the same trials, the same kind of unhealthy people, it is because we have not learned the lesson, that the only way to stop it is to forgive.
And forgiveness does not mean leaving crimes unpunished, no, it means allowing your soul to free you from the trauma and move forward, because to dwell and keep anger is to poison your mind.
3 interesting documentaries on NDE
Negative NDE, they have seen hell
Here, personally I find these testimonies really comforting, to share with our loved ones and especially with people who have difficulty grieving after the loss of a loved one or who are afraid of death.
To go further
If you are interested in the subject and want to know more, I invite you to read the very detailed testimony of a NDE: