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The Afterlife: Two Near Death Experiences (NDE) Testimonies

Near Death Experience

All civilizations have their own accounts of what is happening on the brink of death. For more than two millennia, we have been talking about journeys in which heroes, prophets and kings cross this threshold in two ways: they die before returning to the world of the living, depositaries of a message for men.

Exploring the afterlife

All the epics, all the myths and scriptures of the world speak of near death experiences. This theme is treated in three different forms: the first illustrates it as a descent into hell.

Thus, in Greek mythology, certain heroes, such as Heracles (the famous Hercules), try to snatch a missing person from the kingdom of the dead or to unravel its mysteries.

According to another belief, mystical ecstasy and blessing allow the ascent to a higher world. The Prophet Muhammad sets out on a heavenly journey and returns from the paradise world with the knowledge that is still in effect today among Muslim practitioners. The Eleusinian Mysteries had, in ancient Greece, the value of religious rituals of acceptance and preparation for death. Zoroaster (priest), Saint Paul (apostle), Mani (founder of Manichaeism) or Enoch (seventh of the fathers of Genesis) are also represented as returning to the earth, surrounded by celestial magnificence. Jesus dies on the cross and returns from the dead through Resurrection.

The third representation is based on imaginary journeys, like the wanderings of Odysseus, which, in particular, will descend into the underworld of Hades. But the stories of great sailors, such as those of Marco Polo (around 1254-1324) or Ponce de Léon (around 1460-1521), are also related to this form of storytelling. All return to the known world after crossing improbable borders, then tell stories of incredible treasures, enchanted gardens, spirits, fabulous creatures and monsters.

Witnesses from beyond

Currently, we have countless accounts of the afterlife and near death experiences, reported by clinically dead people and yet brought to life. This is not a pictorial representation of exotic journeys, but rather experiences, most of them serious. In our modern era, the traveler from beyond is a kind of “witness of the ether”. The popularity of this type of story exploded in the 1970s with the book by D. Raymond Moody: Life After Life. Since then, a flood of books and stories has fueled the market and popular culture.

In a television interview, the American engineer Tom Sawyer tells how he was trapped for fifteen minutes under a truck:

“My heart has stopped beating. This void took the form of a tunnel, then, before my eyes, I saw a bright light; it was the light between the lights, it was, to put it simply, the very essence of God ”

Dated from the 6th century, the following account is attributed to Saint Salvian:

“Six years ago, when I died, I was lifted up by two angels and taken into the heavenly heights, so that under my feet was not only our sad earth, but also the sun and the moon, the clouds and the stars. Subsequently, I was led through a door that shone more than the sun. I entered a house whose floor shone like gold and silver. An indescribable clarity reigned here and its extent is indescribable. ”

These two accounts seem to describe the same near death experience, although fourteen centuries separate them. The concordances are impressive. The same plot is therefore found, regardless of the age, sex, social or ethnic affiliation of the subjects and, as the previous examples prove, eras: out of the body, tunnel, light, film of life, meeting with beings of light, judgment on past life, forced return to the mortal envelope.

Flat electroencephalogram

In a study conducted in England on sixty-three patients whose hearts stopped, seven people reported a near death experience. According to the director of this research, Dr. Sam Parnia, this is the best evidence ever obtained of the existence of life after death. The patients brought back to life evoked joy, light, warmth, visions of beings of light or of deceased parents. At that time, their electroencephalogram was flat. Is a force of perception then possible without the brain? Some scientists attribute these sensations to combinations of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the brain. Dr. Sam Parnia refutes this hypothesis by stating that the seven people had significant oxygen concentrations, so that hypoxia in no way explains the journey into the afterlife. It also excludes hallucinations, due to the realism and the quantity of details of the testimonies provided. In view of their clinical condition, their brains were unable to activate such clear processes or to collect memories.

A life after death ?

In 1994, Dr. Parnia carried out other experiments. The people tested had to breathe extremely quickly, then fell into unconsciousness. The guinea pigs then evoked states and experiences similar to those experienced by clinical deaths.

To Parnia remains the question of whether all these signs constitute proof of life after death. Only further research could provide an answer. But the most intriguing point remains the striking agreement between the stories. Is death a start, not an end? Is an existence possible at the end of our bodily and earthly life?