Emerging Perspectives: Student Chapters

Near Death Experiences and their Implications for the Afterlife

MJ Levin

What happens after death is a mystery that humans all over the world have speculated on since the beginning of time. In many religions, there is a sense of certainty among the followers regarding what to expect when they pass, as promised by God or a higher power they worship. Although no one really knows for sure, the closest we have come to proving the reality of the afterlife are the stories told by people who have had near death experiences, or even died temporarily and came back to life. Spiritual revelations during these incidents are a cross-cultural phenomenon felt all over the world, with details that overlap and hint at the answer to this unsolved mystery.

Near death experiences, or NDEs, are a profound and divine phenomenon in which someone, typically in a life threatening context, transcends the normal human experience as we understand it into another realm with heightened cognitive capacity and different laws of nature. The most common characteristics that describe NDEs include a sense of peacefulness and acceptance; seeing a bright, unfamiliar light; meeting religious figures or late loved ones; transcending space and time; and leaving your body, with the ability to see yourself from the outside. Other common reports describe moving through a tunnel towards the light, entering a new domain and reviewing one’s life. These incidents are oftentimes described in an overwhelmingly positive manner, yielding beneficial results; however, our society generally disregards them as false perceptions with little value that can be explained away by psychological or neurobiological factors (Facco et al., 2012)…


Find the rest of this chapter in Emerging Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Values in America HERE.


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