NDEs Near Death Experiences Explained

Approx. reading time 6 min.

NDEs Are a Mystery to Most People

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are subjective, profound psychological events that some people report having.

There’s no doubt that the average person is unaware of what an NDE is and whether it is real or imagined. Those who are aware of what an NDE is might believe it’s just a hallucination, perhaps brought about by anesthesia, medication, or just plain wishful thinking.

Since the beginning of social media, people have been sharing their personal stories of near-death experiences with the world. As a result, individuals seem more comfortable sharing their more unusual experiences, whether humorous, sad, or strange. 

So, Just What Is an NDE?

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are a phenomenon in which a person who is close to or clinically dead reports leaving their body and having a powerful and life-changing experience. These experiences often involve floating above one’s body and moving through a tunnel towards a bright white light.

Even more intriguing, many have recounted that they arrive in something akin to an afterlife upon reaching the end of the tunnel. Interestingly, once there, they are greeted by loved ones and friends who have already passed. They also report seeing visions of breathtaking landscapes. In other accounts, they meet an important religious icon central in their lives. Survivors report feeling an immense sense of euphoria and seem to gain instant insight into the nature of existence itself.

Some People Want to Stay

Many who have had a near-death experience (NDE), recount finding themselves in a kind of heavenly realm.  A common thread in NDE reports claims that upon awakening, they want to immediately return to this state of bliss.
Admittedly, not everyone experiencing an NDE describes it in such favorable terms. However, most say they feel comforted and exhilarated by the incredible beauty of the experience. Even more astonishing are the countless people who claim that death no longer frightens them after the event.

Science Claims It Has the Explanation for NDEs

Are these experiences real, or are they simply an automatic function of the brain when the body begins to shut down.  According to science, many things happen simultaneously when someone is nearing death. Scientists say reported NDEs may be hallucinations caused by a sudden surge of energy in the brain, similar to a stroke.
Intriguingly, many neurobiological researchers propose that physiological and neurobiological factors can explain NDEs. Some suggest that oxygen deprivation, changes in brain chemistry, or the release of certain neurotransmitters during the dying process may contribute to the vivid and often mystical experiences reported by individuals. 
Adding to this, psychological factors, such as the stress of a life-threatening situation, psychological defense mechanisms, and cultural or religious beliefs, may also influence the content of NDEs. Individual interpretations and expectations can shape the way people recall and describe their experiences.

Good and “Bad” People and NDEs

Generally, no evidence supports the assumption that ‘good’ people get pleasant NDEs and ‘bad’ people have distressing ones.

Surprisingly, Catholic Saints have reported hell-like NDEs, while criminals have experienced heavenly ones. This is proof that individual behavior does not determine the outcome of a near-death experience.

It is impossible to predict what kind of experience someone may have. Accounts show that the experiences of NDEs can differ from one person to another. So, it stands to reason that the idea of a “good” or “bad” person having a specific type of near-death experience doesn’t hold water. Instead, it appears that each individual’s unique journey, no matter what kind of person they are, doesn’t determine what kind of NDE they will have. Therefore, while we may like to think otherwise, it cannot be automatically be assumed that “good” people have pleasant NDEs and “bad” people are doomed to have frightening NDEs.

One Man’s Hellish NDE Experience

A man, who wishes to remain anonymous recounts his own NDE experience. This man always believed he was a decent person and tried to treat others with respect. He even attended church with his family every Sunday.

One day, a car slammed head-on into his. He describes suddenly being in the depths of hell. There, he witnessed unimaginable suffering. 

Even more terrifyingly, he was surrounded by people screaming for help and mercy, yet it was evident that help was not coming. The only thing keeping him sane at that moment was believing that God would rescue him. Immediately upon having this thought, he was thrown back into the physical realm, waking up in the hospital with his family surrounding him. The man later stated that the horrifying experience changed him profoundly. He left his job soon after and became a pastor. 

child-going-into-the light

Account of NDE and a Past Life Review

NDEs often prompt individuals to reevaluate their lives and morals, leading to a deeper understanding of their purpose in an instant. In this gripping account, a man, who prefers to remain anonymous, shared his incredible encounter with his physician. As he faced an imminent collision, time slowed down, allowing him to reflect on his life in a flash. Astonishingly, he even felt a detachment from his physical body as he crashed into a truck.
When in the out-of-body state, the man embarked on a life review guided by a being filled with love and light. Immersed in profound love and compassion, he re-examined his moral choices throughout his lifetime. This transformative experience revealed to him that he was an integral part of the universe with a distinct purpose. As a result, it changed how he lived his life from then on.

Blind People Can See During an NDE

Incredibly, blind people have reported being able to see clearly during their NDE. Psychiatrist and author Brian Weiss tells the story of a blind older woman who suffered a cardiac arrest. The woman later reported that during the event, she left her body and stood near the window watching the resuscitation attempt. She watched, fascinated, as the medical personnel pounded on her chest and pumped oxygen into her lungs.
While the doctors were trying to bring her back, something mundane occurred. A pen slipped out of a doctor’s pocket and rolled to where her spirit-self was standing by the window. The doctor noticed the pen, picked it up, and slipped the pen back into his pocket. All the while, everyone else is frantically working to save her life, which, happily, they succeed in doing. 
A few days go by, and the blind patient drops a bombshell on her doctor. She tells him that she saw everything that happened during her cardiac arrest. She even mentioned the pen that fell out of his pocket.

child-going-into-the light

Children Having NDEs

Near-death experiences, including those of children, are a complex and debated topic. Children are incredibly innocent but also have vivid imaginations. Sadly, many parents listening to their child’s account of their near-death experience often dismiss it as a dream.

Children’s near-death experiences share some common elements with those of adults, but there are also unique aspects to consider. Many skeptics have questioned the accuracy of children’s near-death experience (NDE) stories, due to their young age and lack of life experience. However, research has shown that children can be extremely reliable sources for near-death experiences, as they are less likely to embellish or shape their story to fit an expected narrative.

Remarkably, children who report NDEs often have detailed memories of the experience, and even those who don’t remember much, still report a strong feeling that something unusual happened. This could point to these stories as being genuine and not simply products of the child’s imagination.

Also like adults, children may report feeling detached from their physical bodies during a near-death experience. And also like adults, many children describe moving through a tunnel toward a bright light.

Describing their Near-Death Experiences

One hindrance children face is communicating to others about their near-death experiences as they lack the vocabulary or cognitive skills to express their feelings and perceptions. However, some children can describe events in vivid detail that could only be known by outside observers, such as what doctors or nurses might report during a medical emergency. In some cases, children frequently report encounters with deceased relatives, perhaps grandparents or angels and other loving beings during their near-death experiences.

One Boy’s Near-Death Experience

One well-known and extensively documented case of a child’s near-death experience is that of Colton Burpo. In 2003, when Colton was just four years old, he was rushed to surgery for a ruptured appendix. Colton claimed that he saw himself on the operating table and accurately described the events that took place during the surgery, even though he was unconscious. Then things changed, and he said he was in a beautiful place and met his miscarried sister in heaven, a sister his parents had never told him about. He also described meeting his great-grandfather, whom he had never met in life.
At first Colton didn’t tell his parents about his experience as he was frightened that they might not believe him or that they would be upset or angry with him.  Over time, Colten eventually revealed his experience. Amazed but not disbelieving, his father eventually wrote a book about his son’s near-death adventure.

Consciousness and the Afterlife through Near Death Experiences

The above studies of near-death experiences give considerable demonstrative evidence of consciousness after bodily death, which is not explained by current physical laws. Nor can it be explained by the medical world, this challenges certain ideas of consciousness.


Near-death experiences (NDEs) are subjective, profound psychological events that some people report having after a near-fatal incident or during a serious illness. These experiences often involve a variety of sensations. These include a sense of detachment from the body. A feeling of moving through a tunnel. Encountering a bright light, and having a life review. While the exact nature of NDEs is still a topic of debate, they are typically described as positive, transformative, and often accompanied by a sense of peace or euphoria.

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Carol Nicholson is thirty-five years a professional Psychic Medium and author of numerous Psychic and Spiritual courses since 2001.
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