I found it to be a very interesting read and so thought I would share what it said with you.
The book is about death and was first published twenty five years ago by a psychologist Raymond A. Moody. In it he interviewed people who have been through near-death experiences. He has spoken to 150 people who have had near-death experiences and surprisingly their stories about what they say are very similar, despite their varying beliefs about the afterlife.
Near-death in the book is defined as when someone has literally been pronounced as dead by the doctor and their heart stops beating.
The common themes are:
1. HEARING THE NEWS, THE NOISE, THE TUNNEL
The dying person hears himself being pronounced dead by the doctor, than he hears a loud ringing or buzzing sound and feels himself moving rapidly through a dark tunnel. People who were pronounced dead could see everything what happened afterwards,
and accurately described it to those who were present.
2. OUT OF THE BODY
After he finds himself outside his physical body and can see his body from a distance, as though he is a spectator. He watches the resuscitation attempts.
After a while he notices that he has a ‘spiritual’ body, with very different powers from the physical body he has left behind. He can move through walls and travel at fast speed and can communicate directly with thoughts instead of words.
3. MEETING OTHERS
Others come to meet and help him. He sees spirits of his relatives and friends who died before him.
4. THE BEING OF LIGHT
He sees a being of light. The being asks him to evaluate his life and helps him by showing a playback of the major events of his life. The being communicates questions such as ‘are you ready to die?’ and ‘what have you done with your life that you want to show me?’ The being of light emphasises doing good for others and seeking knowledge.
5. FEELINGS OF PEACE, JOY AND LOVE
He is overwhelmed by intense feelings of joy, love and peace.
6. THE BORDER
At some point he approaches a barrier which represents the limit between earthly life and the next life.
7. COMING BACK
At this point he must go back to earth, because the time to die has not yet come.
He resists going back because by now he is taken up with his new experiences in the afterlife and does not want to return. Despite this attitude he somehow reunites with his physical body and lives.
8. TELLING OTHERS
Later he tries to tell others, but finds it hard to express his experiences in words and finds that others don’t believe him or think him to be confused, so he stops talking about his experience.
9. CHANGED VIEW ON LIFE
However the experience profoundly affects his views about death and its relationship to life.
This is just a very brief summary of the key themes in the book, which is full of different examples and quotes from interviews, I thoroughly recommend it for anyone interested in this topic.
In my view the book proves that there is something after this life, because others have actually seen some part of it. Sceptics try to explain these experiences away by saying that for example it is the dying brain’s lack of oxygen that makes it hallucinate into thinking these thoughts. However, the fact that so many of the people interviewed have had similar experiences indicates, that it cannot be hallucinations causing this, as surely than everyone would report seeing different things. In the book the author addresses some further concerns that others usually bring up.
For me, reading this book has made me think about what I would say to the being of light if I met him, and what things that I have done in my life would I be proud of and would like to show him.
The sad answer to this question was that I couldn’t really think of many things that I could name. There were some moments that I am proud of in my life, but these are more personal achievements rather than selfless acts of kindness. This really made me think about what I could do to address this balance.
Have you or anyone you know had a near-death experience and has any of the above rung true for you?