Saturday 25 February 2023

Understanding the significance of Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

I have not made any extensive investigation of the reports of Near Death Experiences (NDEs), beyond reading descriptions of such things, by people whose reliability and honesty I am not usually able to evaluate. 

(Except that I am always suspicious of those who attempt to make money or get fame from reporting their purported paranormal or mystical experiences.)

Nonetheless, I have noticed that reports of NDEs have a broad consistency about them - which is in great contrast to the descriptions of 'Heaven' that have also been made over the centuries. 

It seems to me that NDE accounts are attempts to describe various personal experiences of the same objective thing; while instead accounts of 'Heaven' could well be descriptions of many uniquely-personal and subjective experiences.  

My interpretation is that NDEs are a real thing that have actually happened to at least some of those who report them; while those who claim to describe Heaven are mistaken, because they have not actually experienced Heaven, but a variety of other states instead. 

(I do not believe that anybody can experience Heaven without being resurrected, which is not reversible. Therefore all valid accounts of Heaven by mortal Men must be secondhand, and - at best - derived from communication with those who inhabit Heaven. Accounts of being-in Heaven will therefore be wrong or imagined, in some way or another.)

What about NDEs - what do they 'prove' and how can they be explained? 

I think NDEs suggest that our conscious-selves can exist in a spirit form that continues after death. 

This, indeed, is probably what happens in ordinary dreaming sleep; when our spirits likewise almost detach from our bodies and our consciousness stays with the spirit and leaves the body. Hence, our dream-consciousness may then have a wide range of experiences not possible to the body. 

The spirit in sleep does, however, remain attached to the body, however tenuously, as evidenced by the fact we can be woken by things perceived-by or done-to the sleeping body: or else we would be dead. 

And the same applies to Near Death Experiences; because, of course, they may be near to death, but by definition the person does not actually die.  

In sum; Near Death Experiences seem to be some variant of a general phenomenon that also include dreaming sleep, and other types of delirium (e.g. due to pyrexia, intoxication, and many types of illness); happening when there is a near-detachment of our conscious spirit-self from our body.

Such an experience may suggest that a further and complete separation of conscious-spirit from body would be possible; and that then the detached spirit would remain alive, conscious, and purposive - at least for a while.

This is how NDEs are often regarded as evidence for 'life after death' - that is, for spiritual life continuing after death of the body. And furthermore, NDEs suggest that this continued spirit life is - at least initially - likely to be conscious, and the post-death spirit able to make decisions.  

By my understanding of salvation; it is from this post-mortal state of continued and conscious spirit existence following mortal death of the body; that Men are able to choose to follow Jesus Christ to resurrection and eternal life in Heaven - or else to reject that possibility, and choose something else. 

1 comment:

Colin said...

The NDE literature provides such strong evidence/proof that we are more than physical bodies and that changes everything. It also means that scientific materialism is at best incomplete.