Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Near Death Experience

The “Lazarus Syndrome,” or NDE, refers to a near death experience. The name originated with the biblical Lazarus who was said to have risen from the dead. NDEs have been reported throughout history by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks as well as in the Bible.

People have reportedly heard themselves pronounced dead by an attending physician. Many, including my mother, recalled traveling rapidly through a long, dark tunnel in an out of body experience. Seeing a bright light, they felt a previously unknown warmth and peacefulness. They’ve also reported being met by a friend or relative who has already passed on, and has, in the process, experienced feelings of extreme love and bliss.

In my mother’s case, she was giving birth to one of my brothers, who was born breech. She said that after traveling the tunnel toward a brilliant light, she was met by her deceased father and told her that it wasn't her time. He reminded her of her three small children at home. At that point, she struggled back to life. According to Dr. Keith D. Wilson, author of Cause of Death, some physicians theorize that the experience is nothing more than hypoxia or decreased oxygen supply to the brain’s temporal lobe. Many, however, believe that it’s a forward look into the unknown realm of death.

Carl Sagan believed that NDEs are latent memories from birth. In his book, Broca’s Brain, he says, “The only alternative, so far as I can see, is that every human being, without exception, has already shared an experience like that of those travelers who return from the land of death; the sensation of flight; the emergence from darkness into light; an experience in which, at least perceived, bathed in radiance and glory. There is only one common experience that matches this description. It is called birth.”

Well-known psychic Sylvia Browne has described the process of dying in several of her bestselling books. She claims to have spent numerous lives on earth and recalls her own demise. She says that she also traveled down a long tunnel but that the bright light seemed to radiate from her own body.

Melvin Morse, M.D., in his book, Closer to the Light, reports that the near-death experiences of young children he interviewed in the hospital were identical. Over a hundred children, ages three to nine, who had suffered NDE during surgery, all experienced the same tunnel and light as did their adult counterparts.

Morse concludes that because the children were too young to be influenced by religious teachings or preconceived notions about death, the near-death experiences hold some validity.