For many years the strange phenomenon known as a near-death experience has been a hot topic of debate and speculation. Those who have experienced a near-death experience compare them to being a vivid dream that usually involves their spirits being removed from their bodies, lifting up into the sky past the city scape and eventually finding themselves behind heaven’s gate – or alternatively they might find themselves descending, being transported into the fiery caverns of hell.
Patients who have had a near-death experience often describe vivid details of their encounters, ranging from meeting magnificent beings of glorious angelic comfort to hideous visions of monstrous demons and atrocious, torment filled hellscapes. There are a variety of books written on the subject by surviving subjects of these strange occurrences, who often describe them as being enrapturing, enlightening and life changing. On the other side of the spectrum are the skeptics, who believe that near death experiences are nothing more than a dream-like hallucination brought on by the wild imaginations of a brain that is being deprived of critical necessities such as oxygen and blood.
Near-death experiences are similar among many reports ranging from many countries, cultures and age groups. Patients who have had such an experience also claim that they eventually find themselves in a dark tunnel, with a light a the end. Feelings of joy and serenity are said to occupancy the journey through the tunnel, as the patient reviews over memories in their life and experiences visions of deceased relatives. The patient, upon coming close to the light, is told by an ominous voice that it is not yet time for them and the experience is ended abruptly, sending them back to the world of reality as they “wake up,” returned to their hospital bed.
In over a dozen hospitals around the United States and England, there are paintings on top of the roofs. Their purpose is to study the validity of near-death experience claims, with the justification being that any patient who would happen upon an out of body experience after cardiac arrest would have seen these images on the top of the buildings.
Though the results of such a test has returned inconclusively thus far, millions of American adults have reported experiencing a near death experience – all with similar accounts. Patients often claim to have had an awaking of sorts through the experience from the many unusual happenings found within such an occurrence – if nothing else they are usually happy to still be alive, having experienced what they consider afterlife. Through the concepts of near death experiences are debated by skeptics and the faithful, one thing that cannot be argued is that it is certainly a deeply emotional and touching occurrence and also an unusual way to renew one’s appreciation of life.
Melinda Beck, Seeking Proof in Near-Death Claims, Online.Wsj.Com