Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) are as seemingly real as they are life-changing.
For reference, NDEs are defined as “Lucid (experiences) associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death.”
In this article, we’re going to discuss the nature of NDEs – including the accumulating scientific evidence regarding their validity. Included are ten incredible accounts of individuals who have “crossed over” only to return to their Earthly abode.
Let us first discuss the evidence.
The Evidence for NDEs
“There was no confusion. This was not a dream. This was the real experience of my soul outside of my body, outside of my personality, outside fo my ego, and outside of my human form. Having a real experience at what I call ‘The Source.’ [original author’s emphasis]”
“It was more real than this reality. We all remember that experience better than anything else in our life.”
Two NDE testimonies from the documentary ‘Beyond Our Sight.’
It is estimated that around 17 percent of people who nearly die have an NDE. People who report an NDE come from a wide range of backgrounds: adults, children, religious and non-religious, physicians, scientists, ministers, and more. NDEs are reported across the world, with no area of the globe more or less likely to have an NDE.
Something interesting is that there seems to be commonly observed features of many NDE experiences. Some scientists believe that this commonality of experience also serves as proof for the validity of NDEs.
Among the most common experiences are:
- Seeing and hearing apart from the physical body.
- Passing into or through a tunnel
- Encountering a mystical light
- Intense (generally positive) emotions
- Review of life experiences
- Encountering deceased loved ones
- The choice to return to their earthly life
Nine Lines of Evidence of a Near Death Experience
Jeffrey Long, MD, founder of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF, nderf.org), cites nine “lines of evidence” that suggest the reality of near-death experiences.
#1- Lucid, organized experiences while unconscious, comatose, or clinically dead.
From a scientific perspective, having a highly lucid experience while unconscious, comatose, or clinically dead should not be possible. Yet, 74.4 percent of near-death experiencers (NDEers) report experiencing “More consciousness and alertness than normal.”
#2 – Witnessing ongoing events from a location apart from the physical body while unconscious.
Nearly have of NDEers report seeing or hearing events from a perspective that is apart (typically above) their physical bodies.
#3 – Enhanced, “supernormal” vision.
In a survey of 1,122 NDEers, over 64 percent responded “Yes” to a question inquiring into any “supernormal” vision experiences. It is noteworthy that just 19 percent responded “No” to the question. (16 percent responded “Uncertain.”)
#4 – NDE under general anesthesia.
Having a lucid experience should not be possible under conditions of general anesthesia. However, NDEs (including some of the most extraordinary cases) are often reported under anesthesia.
#5 – Life reviews.
Many NDEs include at least a partial “life review.” Most NDEers describe the life review as taking place from a third-person perspective. Most tellingly, these life reviews often contain parts of their lives that they’d long forgotten until that point.
#6 – Encountering dead loved ones.
Many NDEs include encounters with deceased relatives. In one interesting study, one-third of NDE cases of this type included encountering relatives with whom the NDE experiencer had a poor or distant relationship. Some of these cases also involved meeting a relative or loved one who had died before the NDEer was born.
#7 – NDEs of young children mirror those of adults.
NDE accounts from young children are considered important, as they are less likely to have established religious or spiritual beliefs and less developed vocabulary. In one study, experimenters analyzed the responses of NDEers aged six or younger (average 3.6 years) to the rest of the group. Of the 33 questions asked, there were no statistically significant differences to the responses between the young children’s age group and the older participants.
#8 – Similar NDEs across cultures.
In Western society especially, we’d think that and NDE would be dependent on the spiritual or religious background of the experiencer. However, the evidence shows NDE content to be “strikingly similar” across cultures. This led one study to conclude: “All near-death experience elements appearing in Western NDEs are present in non-Western NDEs.”
#9 – After-effects of NDEs.
NDEs appear to transform the lives of those who experience them. 278 NDErs answered the question, “My experience directly resulted in…:” Here is how they responded:
- Large changes in my life: 152 (54.7%)
- Moderate changes in my life: 68 (24.5%)
- Slight changes in my life: 28 (10.1%)
- No changes in my life: 14 (5.0%)
- Unknown: 16 (5.8%)
Taken together, this compounding evidence seems to point toward – not away from – the reality of near-death experiences.
10 Amazing Near Death Experience Testimonies
Each of the following NDE accounts is curated from Quora and checked for validity.
Sharon Elizabeth Jensen
“Everything around me was white, cloud white, not bright, shiny, can’t-see light, [but] comfortable light. In fact, everything was comfortable as the most amazing and beautiful music I have ever and will ever hear again (no Human music will EVER compare favorably) was wafting literally in the air and surrounding everything.
I have never really understood what the meaning of ‘unconditional love’ was; cynical being that I am, but I sure do now. Wow. SO wonderful and completely inexplicable in words.”
“I floated on my back along an invisible path surrounded by a speckled gray atmosphere. A white light illumined far in the distance. I kept my eyes on it without diverting my gaze as I moved towards it.
Absolute peace purified me. I shed all earthy worries, perspective, and concerns, things that I didn’t realize I’d been carrying vanished, and in their place, complete freedom overtook me.
I felt unburdened, blissful, harmonious, and centered, but these words don’t convey how amazing the experience was for me. There are no words that can adequately describe how I felt. The only way I can try to get across what it was like is to ask you to think of the best day of your life; the day you felt utter peace, a day when abundant love filled your heart, and you had no worries or things that you needed to get done, and then multiply those feelings by a million maybe even a trillion; yes, it was that good!”
“I wasn’t dead, as my consciousness was still there; I wasn’t alive as I was no longer in my body. I was just simply being. I was an eternal force. An energy beyond explanation. It was like floating in the air.
I was no longer seeing the world — I wasn’t even seeing black. I was in a place bright as white. It was peaceful and perhaps heavenly.
The thing that I remembered the most was a sense of selfishness if I can truly put it into words. As I remembered my life, it really didn’t have much feeling of worth anymore. I felt like everything is perfect and just the way it should be.”
“It is an incredible feeling, the most beautiful ‘place’ which I ever visited during this life. It is like being in the heavenly place of the immense beauty of structures observed there and sounds perceived. It is our true home where our spirits reside.
The world, which I did enter, was pure light, pure resonations, pure oscillations, pure sound that all created an unbelievable beauty. Do you remember your early childhood and how you cuddled to your mother, felt absolutely safe, warm, and comforted? This is the exact same with the difference that the world which we are speaking about is the world of pure energy, a world where our souls reside.”
“What GOD showed me that day, there are not enough words on earth to tell you, but I will do my best with want words I have. There was the most beautiful gate, where we saw my parents, grandparents who had died a long time ago. One person I didn’t know, but he told me he loved me too. They all said they are fine and would wait for me to come back. We went on in. It seemed like everything was in a room, but you could see forever. You would be in one place, then in a second; you were somewhere else.
There was so much to see the clearest rivers and streams. The water was crystal clear. The sky was so blue, the grass so green, and when you walked in the grass, you didn’t leave footprints. The most beautiful music you have ever heard. The flowers were the most beautiful I had ever seen. I didn’t see any person who was sick, or cripple, or looked unhappy.”