For humans, heaven seems to be sort of a gated community that very few could pass. This is probably why humans have always been so curious about near-death experiences. These experiences are the only channel to know what really lies beyond.
What does NDE really mean? While it’s not exactly a scientific term, near-death experiences describe a situation in which one’s life is in jeopardy. Most people who have felt the experience report being profoundly transformed. Here are a few of them:
1. “I Know It’s Not My Time to Die”
In 2002, Anita Moorjani was diagnosed with lymphoma. She fell into a coma in 2006 and later woke up feeling more spiritual. In an interview with TODAY in 2016, she described her experience. She said “It was like I had 360-degree peripheral vision of the whole area around. But not just in the room where my body was in, but beyond the room.” She also described how she met her father who had previously passed away. She said that her father told her that this is as far as she can go and if she goes any further, she will not be able to turn back. But Moorjani said that she didn’t want to turn back because for the first time she felt as if her pain was gone and everything was beautiful around her. She felt as if she was enveloped in a blanket of unconditional love. After she woke up, she said that her tumor shrunk by 70% in just 4 days. It was as if a miracle had happened! She woke up and told everyone “I know I’m going to be okay. I know it’s not my time to die.”
2. “It Flew Around and Then It Came Back”
A novelist named Ernest Hemingway had a near-death experience during the First World War. While he was recovering in Milan from a shrapnel wound, he wrote a letter dated 18th October, 1918 to his family describing how dying is easy and the real heroes of the world are parents. He said in his letter that all heroes are dead and he has looked at death in the eye too. He later described to his friend, exactly what he had experienced.
” A big Austrian trench mortar bomb, of the type that used to be called ash cans, exploded in the darkness. I died then. I felt my soul or something coming right out of my body, like you’d pull a silk handkerchief out of a pocket by one corner. It flew around and then came back and went in again and I wasn’t dead anymore.”
3. “I Was Dead and in Hell”
In 1981, a 22-year old named Veronica-Ulrike Barthel was struck by lightning while driving. She said that she first had an out of body experience and saw herself holding the steering wheel of her car with burned hands. Then she went through a tunnel and found herself standing in front of a gate that read “Welcome to Hell”. After entering through the gate, she was told to wait in the waiting room where she could see other people getting tormented. She said, she later met Jesus over there who sent her back to her body. When she came back to the real world, she kept screaming “I was dead and I was in hell!!!” over and over again.
4. “It was a Very Bright Streak”
Mrs. Krystyna who was a resident of a small town in western Poland was diagnosed with meningitis at the age of 26 years. According to her, she passed through a tunnel filled with light. She met her father who had been dead for over 4 years who looked very happy and radiant. He told her to go back and live her life to the fullest. When she turned her back on him, she saw her deceased brother looking very sad and submerged in a bog till his shoulders. She woke up to the doctors trying to revive her but all she could think of was that they were trying to hurt her. She said “I have never seen a light like that. It was a very bright streak.”
5. “You have 45 Years”
Dr. George Ritchie died of pneumonia in 1943 but he came back to life nine minutes after he died. He described his experience as epic and wrote about it in his book Return From Tomorrow and My Life After Dying. He said that he experienced everything; from having an out of body experience to meeting Jesus. He recalled Jesus saying “It is left to humanity which direction they shall choose. I came to this planet to show you through the life led to love. Without our father you can do nothing; neither could I. I showed you this. You have 45 years.” Dr. George couldn’t understand what God meant by him having 45 years because he lived 64 years after that experience but when he came back to life, he felt as if his throat was on fire and a weight was crushing his chest.
I’ll be honest with you guys. I don’t believe in an afterlife but these near-death experiences definitely cannot be ignored. Sometimes these experiences can be comforting and pleasant but sometimes they can be spooky too. Scientists all over the world are trying to find out the reason why our bodies and brains respond so differently to trauma. Hopefully, in the near future, we will have some explanations to justify these near-death experiences!