The common themes revealed by those having a near death experience (NDE) begin with an awareness of floating from their bodies. Over 13 million Americans claim to have near death experience stories. Most were clinically dead, but revived only to return with tales of dying and seeing a light at the end of a tunnel.
Some stories recount how people attempted to get the doctors' attention or how they grew impatient and left the operating room, moving through walls and doors as though they weren't there.
No One Able to See Them
Many recall wandering through the hospital and visiting with family members in the waiting room, although their presence was undetected.
Later, they're able to recite what was said during that time and describe the various activities they witnessed.
Witness to Own Death
There are countless stories about people hovering over their lifeless bodies, watching as medical personnel attempted to rescucitate them.
Most are able to give details of the moments immediately following their deaths. They can accurately recount conversations between the medicial workers and describe the various medical procedures peformed on them. These are things they couldn't possibly know.
Many of the stories told have astounded those who were in attendance during the time of death. Even scientists can't explain this phenomenon with hallucination theories or the misfiring of neurons in the brain.
Greeted by Loved Ones
The majority of the NDErs report the presence of a deceased famly member or angelic being standing by their deathbed who reassures them and calms their fears.
In other stories, the "greeter" appears inside the tunnel or at the end of the tunnel when the person emerges into the brilliant white light.
Still, some NDE stories retell how there were multitudes of people in the light who were also being greeted by loved ones or angelic beings.
NDE to Hell and Back
In a few of the NDE stories, the experience isn't so calm or pleasant. In fact, some NDErs claim they went to hell. These NDE stories are often traumatic to the person and to those who hear of their experience.
One man, upon being revived, screamed that he'd seen the devil and was petrified. He went on to describe horrific scenes of great suffering and masses of tangled bodies being burned alive.
Impossible to Describe
Most of the stories tell about visiting with deceased loved ones and being able to touch them. NDErs claim the world they visited was more vibrant and real than their physical one.
Feelings of joy and happiness over being reunited with loved ones overwhelms NDErs. The profound universal love is more than they can bear; they become emotional when attempting to explain it. They find explaining the world they visited impossible to describe.
First Recorded NDE
The first recorded case of a Near Death Experience is believed to have been in 699 AD. That's not to say it was the first one to ever happen.
Drythelm, from Northumbria (modern NE England and Southern Scotland) found himself being guided from his lifeless body by a "shining countenance in a bright garment".
Drythelm was shown hell and the outer skirts of heaven, but wasn't allowed beyond the gated wall. He was directed back to his body.
Once revived, he entered the monastery and dedicated his life to serving God and retelling his NDE story to those he felt were guided to him.
This Must Be Heaven!
The lush scenes that NDErs talk about sound like paradise. They tell about how alive and vibrant the world they visited was. Even the colors are more brililant, and some are not like any colors found in the physical world.
Choral and instumental music sometimes greets NDErs, yet unlike anything they've ever heard. Most NDErs say that the phsycial world pales in comparison to the one they visited. They anticipate their eventual return.
Many of the NDE stories reveal that the return back into their bodies was involuntary. Some claim they were given the choice to return to their physical bodies while others were simply told it wasn't their time and that they must return.
They speak of having a sense of traveling very rapidly through space. Many recall seeing the earth as though in a science-fiction movie and approaching the planet from outer space.
For most NDErs, there is a long-lasting sense of having journeyed a great distance from earth into a different dimension or realm of existence.
Those who are involuntarily sent back usually express great sadness and remorse over not being able to stay, yet the majority do re-adjust once back in their bodies. Still, most NDErs talk about how they felt more alive in the other world. Stories abound with how lives are changed after a NDE.
One woman quit her job and returned to college to pursue a career in medicine, while a former drug addict recovered and went on to help other addicts. Several wrote books, while others discovered new talents or psychic abilities.
All agree that they no longer fear death.
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