What’s a near-death experience? A delusion? A neurochemical imbalance? The aftermath of anesthesia on a dying brain?
The term “near-death experience” in groundbreaking book Life After Life,which outlined nine elements of the experience, including a life review, an outof-body experience, encounters with deceased loved ones and a decision to return to one’s body.The professor expanded the list to encompass 16 elements, including a sudden insight, experiencing scenes from the future and coming to a point of no return.
According to most literature, common elements include an out-of-body experience, a feeling of peace with the universe and a connection with a brilliant white light.
Regardless of the common elements, a lack of consensus of a single definition of the near-death experience still remains, and many of the terms used to describe this experience are imprecise. Entire lifetimes can be reviewed, deceased beings met and gifts given all within seconds or minutes of earth time. The emotional intensity of is unlike any other experience a person can encounter on earth.
Most people think you have to “die” and then “come back” . You don’t need to be declared clinically dead although many near-death experiences are the result of accidents, heart attacks and similar events that are often, but not always, fatal.
Furthermore, it’s not necessary to experience all nine elements, or even more than a handful to have a near-death experience. According to Webparanormal association the key is not how many elements you experience, but rather, that you return permanently transformed, unable to return to your former life.
The Scientific View of NDEs
What does the scientific community have to say about near-death experiences? Are NDEs a transformative experience or are they a result of hyperventilation or the byproduct of anesthesia? Science continues to greet the matter of the NDE, indeed psi, (all matters parapsychological or psychic) with a healthy dose of skepticism. According to current scientific thinking, the neardeath state is a delusion caused by hypoxia (reduced oxygen) in the brain, resulting in hallucinations. Experts believe the brain shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds after the heart stops beating and once that happens, it’s not possible to be aware of anything. Current thought claims there is no basis for the belief that we survive physical death.
Yet, even as science expresses skepticism, more and more experiencers are stepping forward, with testimonials on Youtube. No question, NDEs have grabbed hold of the public’s awareness. Yet, despite this increased awareness, one important aspect of the NDE, perhaps the most important, has been largely ignored. NDE after-effects.
What Are NDE After-Effects?
NDE after-effects are permanent transformations which are even less well understood than the NDE itself. These after-effects have not been widely researched and in our nomenclature, are often regarded as modern day miracles. NDE after-effects are disturbing and disruptive and remain with the experiencer far after the NDE is over. Not every experiencer has the same aftereffects. Just as each NDE is unique, each set of after-effects is unique.
Some experiencers return to life with traits completely foreign to them, supernatural gifts, such as enhanced cognition and unconventional sensory abilities. Some of these are expressed as compulsions. Many after-effects have no outlet for expression on earth, such as enhanced chemical sensitivity or the ability to know what complete strangers are thinking or feeling. NDE after-effects have consequences in many realms, from cognitive and physiological to social and psychological.
While all of the after-effects are fascinating, the cognitive and physiological aspects, which are irrefutable and demonstrable, have not been closely examined and call for greater probing.