who die (or almost die) and come back to life have a memorable,
tangible and often life altering experience. The experiences
have many common elements. The following list highlights
some of the most common elements of near death experiences.
1 Feeling that the "self" has left the body and is hovering
overhead. The person may later be able to describe who
was where and what happened, sometimes in detail.
2 Moving through a dark space or tunnel.
3 Experiencing intensely powerful emotions, ranging from
bliss to extreme distress.
4 Encountering a light. It is usually described as golden
or white, and as being magnetic and loving.
5 Receiving some variant of the message "It is not yet
6 Meeting others: may be deceased loved ones, recognized
from life or not; sacred beings; unidentified entities
and/or "beings of light" sometimes symbols from one's
own or other religious traditions.
7 A life review, seeing and re-experiencing major and
trivial events of one's life, sometimes from the perspective
of the other people involved, and coming to some conclusion
about the adequacy of that life and what changes are needed.
8 Having a sense of understanding everything, of knowing
how the universe works.
9 Reaching a boundary, a cliff, fence, water, some kind
of barrier that may not be crossed if one is to return
10 In some cases, entering a city or library.
11 Receiving previously unknown information about one's
life, e.g., adoption or hidden parentage, deceased siblings,
12 Glimpses into future events.
13 Decision to return may be voluntary or involuntary.
If voluntary, usually associated with unfinished service
to loved ones.
14 Returning to the body.
Many see near death experiences as an experience of the
afterlife. This implies the view that the neardeath experience
can not be explained by physiological or psychological
causes and that consciousness, in some instances, might
function independently of the brain. Some near death -accounts
include elements which, according to some theorists, are
most simply explained by an out-of-body consciousness.
For example, in one account, a woman accurately described
a surgical instrument she had not seen previously, as
well as a conversation that occurred while she was understood
to be clinically dead. In another account, from a proactive
Dutch near death study, a nurse removed the dentures of
an unconscious heart attack victim, and was asked by him
after his recovery to return them
Many people who experience a near death event tend to
see it as a verification of the existence of an afterlife
in particular they tend to be convinced of the reality
of the experience as an intimation of the afterlife. This
includes those with agnostic/atheist inclinations before
There exist reports about, what appears to be, connections
between deceased persons and persons who have had an NDE.
These visualizations happen over a long period after the
near death experience. Ken Mullens , who was clinically
dead for more than 20 minutes, reported spiritual encounters
in his life after his NDE. As he reported, deceased persons
he communicated with were often unknown to him, but were
connected to people he met at a later point. While many
such reports are criticized and discredited by the scientific
field they remain a mystery. Since they have no apparent
medical or physical explanation they might be said to
belong the interpretative and phenomenological dimension
of the NDE, as investigated by the field of Near-death