There are many facts about Near Death Experiences that have come to light through the research in that field over the last 30 years. The more we look into them, the more we receive wonderful messages about the wider truths.

The near death experiences (NDEs) that occur following an accident provide a positive proof that they depict genuine travels to the other side and are not triggered by one’s fear of proximity to death. A point raised by the skeptics is that when the NDE occurs following a serious illness, the patient may be in consternation due to the impending mortality, causing hallucinations of the kind that are usually reported in NDEs. This stand, however, cannot hold good in the cases of accident victims where they usually have the NDE before they have time to think, some in an unconscious state. Quite a few of these cases are collected and given by Jean Ritchie in her book “Death’s Door”.

The other issue that supports the fact of NDE being a truly mystical experience is that many such are reported by children. At those young ages, they are not influenced by religious or other conditioning factors about death. They are not prejudiced like the grown-ups and they come up with candid statements about the experience. Dr Melvin Morse collected information on a number of such incidents and published a book on them.

The Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF.org) has gathered a large list of NDE accounts and made them available to readers. The following factors, signifying extraordinary insight into life and death, stand out as wonderful pointers to the fact that the reality of life and death are not anywhere near what our conventional minds would make of them.

ONENESS WITH DIVINITY: The NDE makes the person realize that we are always one with Divinity and that the separation is an illusion created by the mind because of its insufficient awareness. In Sanskrit scriptures, this oneness is referred to as Advaita (Non-dualism). The following message can be deduced from Gwen J’s NDE of NDERF’s archives (No. 3156):

What Gwen remembered was that she had completely merged again with God. It was a void, darkness, but unconditional love. She was no longer a separate being. She felt she was where she belonged, where she came from. It was perfect. When it was time to return to this life, she had to again differentiate from God and become a separate soul again. Yet she felt she would still be a part of God. As soon as she felt that way, she was back on Earth in this physical body.

THE ETERNAL NATURE OF THE TRUE SELF: As is well known, the NDEs usually take away the fear of death. This is because, when they are in the wider consciousness, they understand their true nature which is immortal and beyond any destruction. Lord Krishna describes the nature of the Self in the Bhagawad Gita (chapter 2) as follows:

“The Self is neither born nor does It ever die. It is unborn, changeless and ancient. It is not extinguished when the body is dead. Weapons do not cleave the Self, fire does not burn It, water does not wet It and the wind does not dry It.”

This is reflected in the NDE of Sarah from the records of NDERF.

During her NDE, Sarah went through some higher-dimension sensations initially. Then she turned her attention to the light that was glowing around a fork to the right. She entered into the light, and was transformed by a feeling of utter joy. There was nothing but joy. She said to the light "I'm here", and the light said "Great" in a voice that rang with happiness and bliss. She gave herself up to the bliss and learned many things that sound corny when described but are truths for her that resonate through her now and forever. She learned that she is eternal and though she may experience many forms of death, she will always know who she is. She has nothing to fear, only more to experience and she is the one that ultimately chooses what she experiences. She says, “It sounds hokey but believe me it feels really, really good to know these things inside yourself.”

RETURNING HOME: Some People who go through NDE see the other side as the true home. They see life on this Earth as a temporary journey away from home. It is interesting to note that the ancient Tamil philosophy of India has given expression to this aspect in its description of the esoteric side of life. It says that the four things that give meaning to life are Aram, Porul, Inbam, Veedu – these are translated as: Leading a virtuous life, Enjoying wealth, Enjoying happiness and Returning home. (‘Veedu’ in Tamil means Home). The following excerpt from an NDERF episode (3163 Carl D) exemplifies this aspect of returning home:

Carl never found adequate words for what to call it, except for "HOME." He just knew it was HOME, his real HOME. . . . . . THEY promised that when he was finished with all that is to be done on earth, he could go HOME again. To express what HOME was like has been impossible for him to do. Everything HOME is connected. It is all One. It's Light. And that Light is Love.

Reflection on the above aspects of NDEs can bring in abiding peace by helping us get rid of absurd conclusions about us, about Divinity and about life and death. For related issues visit the website: http://spirituality.yolasite.com

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He 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 presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.
Blog: http://nde-thedeeperself.blogspot.com