NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are intense experiences that can occur during an alteration or – apparent – abolition of consciousness (such as cardiac arrest or coma). They are characterized by some elements that are found, in a similar way, in all the stories of the subjects:
the clear perception of having found oneself in a different dimension from the ordinary dimension of earthly life, even at a spatio-temporal level;
the memory of being out of your body and having followed the resuscitation maneuvers by doctors and nurses;
the feeling of great peace, of serenity, and not wanting to go back into the own aching body;
the vision of a tunnel or a door, beyond which there was an intense but not blinding light that did not have earthly equivalents;
meeting with deceased relatives or friends, or higher level entities.
After returning from this “journey”, most subjects say they are no longer afraid of death.
Often great changes occur in their lives, some of them change partner or work, and those who develop artistic skills or pranic capacities.
They always occurred
The testimonies of near death experiences are traceable throughout ancient and modern history. Plato, for example, tells about the NDE that happened to soldier Er, in his work La Repubblica. In more recent times the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung described in great detail his experience of death, which occurred following a heart attack, in the book “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”. Until the 1970s, there were few traces of NDE in the medical literature because the techniques of resuscitation were less sophisticated, but also because the few patients who dared to mention their experience, were often considered suffering from mental disorders. The psychiatrist Raymond A. Moody was the first to deal with it with scientific rigor, collecting and analyzing a series of testimonies. Since then, the research has multiplied, with collections of case studies increasingly extensive and articulated.
Two opposite ways
The NDEs are today the subject of debate between to different scientific positions 1) There are those who claim that they are visions produced by electrical impulses or substances released by a hypoxic brain or in critical conditions. 2) There are those who think that the science has limits in explaining this phenomenon and that the NDE open to the possibility that our consciousness resides outside our body and continues to live beyond the death of the physical body. Beyond the possible hypotheses, the NDEs are a topic that lies on the border between different branches of knowledge, philosophy, anthropology, religion and represent a fascinating stimulus for all those who are interested in exploring the meaning of their existence .