Research on near death experiences (NDEs) have revealed many amazing aspects of our Deeper Self. Because people live oblivious of it, their personal life gets governed by the ego. This leads to mediocrity in life and to the self-importance that destroys harmony in oneself and others.

The International Association for Near Death Studies ( has collected a fund of information on NDEs and comes up with its research outcome periodically. This article is based on its current report. Many useful lessons for life are there in it.

Salient Messages
Near-death experiencers come to love and accept others without the usual attachments and conditions society expects. They perceive themselves as equally and fully loving of each and all, openly generous, excited about the potential and wonder of each person they see. Their desire is to be a conduit of universal love.

Most experiencers develop a sense of timelessness. They tend to "flow" with the natural shift of light and dark, and display a more heightened awareness of the present moment and the importance of being "in the now."
Life paradoxes begin to take on a sense of purpose and meaning, as forgiveness tends to replace former needs to criticize and condemn. Hard driving achievers and materialists can transform into easy-going philosophers; but, by the same token, those more relaxed or uncommitted before can become energetic, determined to make a difference in the world.

One of the reasons life seems so different afterward is that the experiencer now has a basis of comparison unknown before. Familiar codes of conduct can lose relevance or disappear altogether as new interests take priority. Such a shift in reference can lead to a childlike naiveté.

There's no denying that experiencers become quite intuitive afterward. Psychic displays can be commonplace, such as: out-of-body episodes, manifestation of "beings" met in the near-death state, "remembering" the future, finishing another's sentence, "hearing" plants and animals "speak." A person's religious beliefs do not alter or prevent this amplification of faculties and stimuli.

The average near-death experiencer comes to regard him or herself as "an immortal soul currently resident within a material form so lessons can be learned while sojourning in the earth-plane." They now know they are not their body; many go on to embrace the theory of reincarnation.

Children’s NDEs
One of the interesting things about NDEs is that they can happen to people of any age and that those of children reveal some aspects which convince us about the true spiritual content of NDEs. Jean Ritchie devoted a full chapter for the experience of children in her scholarly book ‘Death’s Door’. Another researcher Dr Melvin Morse, an American pediatrician, who studied NDEs of children found that they express their feelings without the distortion of the adult-conditioning and so contribute better to the understanding of the experience. He says that children are filled with wonder and not influenced by the ‘State of the Art’ on NDE. That is what makes for the genuineness of their reports.

The research so far indicates that about 85% of children who experience cardiac arrest have an NDE. With improving cardiac resuscitation techniques, more and more children are surviving cardiac arrest. Apparently, youngsters of any age can have an NDE. Very young children, as soon as they are able to speak, have reported NDEs they had as infants or in the process of being born.

P.M.H. Atwater, a seasoned researcher on NDE, studied over 270 child cases. She found that 76% reported a comforting "initial" experience. Such experiences involved up to three elements, things like a loving nothingness, a friendly voice, a visitation by a loving being, an out-of-body experience, and/or the peacefulness of either a safe light or safe dark place

The following is an example of the most commonly reported childhood NDE:

In an episode of meningitis, a six-year old reported being out of her body with a sense of being completely free of pain and totally surrounded by love. She reported feeling like a soul neither boy nor girl, neither grown-up nor child. She felt a sense of absolute peace and completeness. When she looked down, she saw a girl lying in bed and empathized with her pain. On reflection, she realized she must be that girl, and with that thought, she was back in her body.

If the above messages ring a bell in you, it would be good to move into a deeper study of NDEs. Organizations like the IANDS and the NDERF can help. Related matters are dealt with in the book “In Quest of the Deeper Self”; its details are given in the website

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy.