Blog 10 – Common Features of Near Death Experiences (NDE’s)

This blog examines research into Near Death Experiences (NDE’s). An NDE happens when a person is on the edge of life (technically dead) but is then brought back to life through medical intervention. We should always be mindful, that the body of the experiencer is still capable of life as the person is revived. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have heard the account.

There is various research into Near Death Experiences. The first accounts go back thousands of years. NDE’s first became part of public awareness through the Raymond Moody book Life after Life in the 1970s. The book documented cases of NDE’s. There have been thousands of people reported to have had an NDE. Although, it is suggested in the literature that it is still a taboo subject, and might be underestimated.

These are the common features of NDE. There are some contradictions in shared experiences, i.e., feeling of peace and quiet and hearing a noise. No NDE is the same, they don’t always apply in the same sequence, and sometimes some of the more common themes aren’t experienced by everyone. The most common themes are;

1, Hearing the news of their death
2, Being out of their body
3, Feeling of peace and quiet
4, A Noise
5, Floating around
6, A dark tunnel
7, Meeting others who have passed
8, A bright light
9, Life review

There is a tenth, but I don’t naturally class as part of the experience, where it is reported is the experiencer comes back to their body. Obviously, this occurs! What I find more interesting is the impact it has on their lives. A study shows that suicide attempts who have an NDE’s reported more positive outcomes than those that didn’t have an NDE (researcher). A lot of people who have an NDE become less frightened of death, and it has a positive impact on their lives.

So what do NDE’s tell us? Firstly, it is always worth noting with NDE’s, the body is still capable of life when they have the NDE. It makes it more complicated in saying it is evidence for life after life/afterlife. So, let’s look at some of the main theories.

Life after Life: The NDE supports the evidence for life after life, but doesn’t give conclusive proof. By definition, an NDE examines the point between Life and Death. It is clear something happens with so many witnesses accounts, and some of the evidence points to life after life, i.e., in some cases, they talk about people they have never met before, but when the viewer looked into it further found evidence that the person had a connection to them. It is strong evidence for the life after life hypothesis. Also, there is evidence of awareness of the environment, even though they are unconscious. It is also supported in other paranormal areas that people can perceive the world across space-time, i.e., mediums, remote viewing, etc.


Hallucination Hypothesis: It is clear NDE’s, are real. There have been thousands of reported NDE cases. I don’t think people are making these stories up. There isn’t an accepted theory in the literature. Also, NDEs’ don’t conclusively support life after life, but neither does it contradict it. The problem lays in the nature of NDE’s that the body is still capable of life, so researchers say you can’t dismiss the hallucination hypothesis. However, examining NDE’s might form a part of the jigsaw puzzle that can answer whether there is life after life.


There is no accepted cause of NDE’s, but the two most established theories are life after life and the hallucination hypotheses. Both arguments have things they need to explain further. Often overlooked by researchers is the effect of an NDE. People who have an NDE report having less fear of death and many cases report more spiritualist awareness. It is suggestive that a viewer of an NDE, thinks it is more life after life than a hallucination. There are too many cases of NDE’s to be considered fraud or people just making them up. Therefore, I view NDE’s as people giving valid accounts, therefore it is something people need to take seriously, and it has the potential to provide us with insight into the nature of consciousness.

I will be presenting a series of blogs around the paranormal: The next topic is “Past Life Research.”

If your interested, you can buy my book at Amazon
Thanks for reading, Ian

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