For many, if life after death is to be accepted as true, solid proof is necessary. One of the most compelling indicators that serve to prove there is in fact life after death, involves the NDE (or near death experience).
There seems to be an uncanny amount of commonality that runs through most descriptions of a near death experience. Many who have experienced an NDE return back to their physical body with reports of seeing a bright, white light, moving through a sort of tunnel, experiencing ecstatic bliss and joy and sometimes even encountering a supreme loving being who asks them if they are ready to pass from their physical existence into the afterlife. For many, the Near Death Experience serves as powerful proof of life after death. Those who return from a near death experience generally do so with a new-found firm belief in life after death. As a result, many of those who experience an NDE go on to live out the remainder of their life with an expanded consciousness and a new awareness. They see the world and their existence as a whole, through new eyes. It seems, there are few who have the life after death experience or an NDE, who do not experience some type of major shift in their consciousness. A profound and unwavering belief in life after death seems to be the most common result.
Scientists in their efforts to explain such phenomena have arrived at several different theories as to how and why many people experience what seems to be an NDE. For many of these scientists it would seem that the idea of the reality of life after death is simply too difficult to entertain. Many of these theories hinge upon such physical factors as low oxygen levels, carbon dioxide in the blood or a failing brain to explain why many people share a very similar experience when they come close to death and then return to full consciousness to tell about it. These scientists view NDE reports to be nothing more than a hallucination that occurs through a pure physiological response to the brain in trauma.
Those who believe in the validity of the NDE, point to numerous questions that simply defy answers under the explanation of the brain in trauma theory. For example, many who have experienced an NDE report an experience of floating above their body and even into other areas while their physical body lies beneath them unconscious. Many of these people are able to recount conversations verbatim and accurately describe the physical characteristics of those present in the room itself while they floated free from their body. Also scientific theories about the brains physiological response do not adequately account for the incredible similarity of these supposed ‘hallucinations.’
All of this aside, I personally do not see that a scientific explanation (if there is one) necessarily contradicts a spiritual one. After all, Why must a physiological trigger negate the reality of the near death experience? Is it possible that there could be a physiological response within our dying body that occurs as a precursor to leaving the physical body?
The human body is not separate from spirit. All is united as energy. I therefore see it as very possible that the physiological changes in our body and brain at the time of near death DO in fact trigger the near death experience. However, this does not make it any less real or valid. Perhaps our brain is pre-wired (by God, Source, universal energy, whatever you like to call it) to introduce us into the realm of the afterlife when certain conditions within our physical body come into play...lack of oxygen, various blood gases, etc.
I see this whole argument akin to scientist attempting to explain away the validity of all transcendent experience due to brain waves or brain chemistry. We do in fact know that during meditation our brain waves change and our breathing slows. This is a very real physiological response that often occurs alongside a spiritual experience. Many have even reported having an out of body experience during deep meditation. I don’t see how the fact that meditation changes our brain waves makes any such experience any more or less ‘real.’
The way I see it, we are spiritual beings temporarily housed in physical bodies. Our physical bodies then are intricately connected to the realm of spirit...they are actually a ‘product’ of spirit. The mistake then lies in believing that the two are separate and then in using one to try to dismiss the other.
If there really is an afterlife and the near death experience provides us with a glimpse into the realm of the afterlife, we could only assume that being that we are experiencing this realm while still being essentially 'attached' to our physical body, it is not altogether unlikely that there would be certain physical factors that occur as a precursor to the NDE.
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