Near death experiences

 

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    To continue with our researches around the possibilities of existence of non-material realities we will present, after dream/meditation (see the post : “materialism vs religion”) and telepathy (see the post : “telepathy”), the near death experiences.

    Near death experiences (NDE) are experiences made by persons who were very close to lose their lives. For example, with the modern reanimation techniques, many persons come back to life even after they have been declared clinically dead and they very often report strange spiritual experiences. You can connect to the internet site made by IANDS (http://www.iands.org) for more detailed information on these experiences but roughly we can say that, even if none of these experiences is similar to others, we can find great similarities and recurrent themes among them. For instance, if you read some stories of NDE (see the site given above or other sites) you will often find themes like : out-of-body experiences (OBE); spiritual travels; passing through a dark tunnel; vision of spiritual beings; encounters with deceased persons; visions of paradise-like worlds; consciousness of a border between life and death; precise memory and review of all the things that happened during one’s life; feeling of unprecedented love and freedom; information/knowledge about life and the laws of the universe; difficulties to come back to the physical body…

     Note : even if most of the near death experiences seem to be nice and full of love, some NDE appear to be unpleasant or terrifying. In my opinion, it is therefore not advisable to intentionally create these experiences, through suicide for example. The risks to lose one’s life and have a bad final experience may encourage us not to try this kind of adventure. We will deal with this issue of suffering (why are we suffering?) when we will try to give answers to the following fundamental question : what is the meaning of life ? For the moment I would give this advice to the persons interested by NDE : read NDE testimonies made by persons who had these experiences accidentally, feel the positive things that they describe but don’t try to replicate these experiences.

     To give answers to our question (are there other realities than the physical/material reality ?), we will focus on a very precise experience frequently occurring during NDE : out-of-body experience (OBE). This name “out-of-body experience” means that the person experiencing a NDE can, very often in the first stages, see his or her body from “outside”, as if his or her consciousness had gone out of the body.

     We first have to notice that OBE are quite common in NDE but can also be experienced during daily life (during meditation, relaxation or during a strong kundalini experience) 0r in relation to an intense emotion (fear, great pleasure, trance…). So even if OBE are highly subjective moments and are not experienced by every human being, we can say that these experiences exist, they are part of the whole range of possible human experiences (sometimes after a OBE, persons who had closed eyes can describe details of the scene or of the persons present, that they could not possibly know by other mean than the OBE. It proves that these experiences are not “dreams”, “illusions”, “fantasies” or whatever, but true realities. We can also add that the travel experienced during NDE seems very real, even more real than physical reality itself and cannot be compared to a dream experience for instance).

     Moreover, OBE question the traditional idea that our consciousness is linked to our physical body or to our brain. More precisely, OBE show that our consciousness can be “supported” by the “outside” reality (our consciousness, what we are, can see from outside our body, this body that we usually consider as ourselves).

     We can also add that according to many stories of NDE, in this spiritual consciousness disconnected from our body, the consciousness can move and the usual frontiers of space and time are not as rigid as they are in the material reality : when the consciousness is out of the body, it can see the physical reality (as with normal eyes and describe it very accurately at the end of the OBE when the consciousness goes back in the body) but it can also go very quickly to distant places. The persons experiencing and OBE in NDE have the feeling that their consciousness, what they are, obey to the thoughts they emit and is no more dependent of space and time constraints : for example, if they think about someone of their family, then they very quickly see this person, feel its emotions and see the environment where they live. This characteristic tends to prove than the consciousness during a OBE is still in contact with the physical reality but does not obey anymore the rule of this physical reality. This type of “no space and time limit” logic can sometimes also be found in astral travel during meditation (but not all meditators experience astral travels during meditation, it is a rather difficult stage to reach).

     Finally we can say that the three examples that we developed (dream/imagination/meditation; telepathy; NDE/OBE) show us that other dimensions/spaces/realities than the physical/material reality do exist. We can then conclude that :

1) there are sufficient proofs of non-physical realities to say that the materialistic philosophy is a mistake, an incomplete vision of life. Materialism and/or sciences have not yet totally integrated the existence of these parallel realities. These systems do not explain everything and are therefore incomplete. We need to go beyond materialism if we want to have a clear understanding of what “reality” truly is.

2) We can also say that the religious system is maybe closer to reality than the materialistic system because the religious system accept the existence of other/parallel/spiritual realities alongside the material reality.

     After these statements, we have to define the characteristics of these so-called “parallel realities”. Each religion gives special attributes to after-life, God, spiritual worlds… Which religion can we trust ? Is it possible to find rational laws to explain all the characteristics of reality ? Is it possible to imagine that spiritual realities obey laws different from rational laws ? Could it be that “upper realities” obey notions like love or dharma (i.e moral values) ? Could it be that these laws ruling the “upper realities” also rule our material world without the humans being conscious of it ?

      Many questions are unsolved, we will have to try to find answers to them. This will be the subject of the next post.

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About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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