Think that all near death experiences are alike? Think again! More and more research is showing that there are a wide variety of experiences that people have at the moment of death….and there is no ONE universal experience (no pun intended 🙂 that applies to every person, who dies and “comes back.”
It’s not surprising that what we BELIEVE happens after death, does tend to play a role in what we experience while clincally dead….and different people, with different beliefs and perspectives, will have variations in what they see while dead. (for example, Japanese NDE’s are very different than experiences reported in Western cultures, and people who are very wedded to one religious perspective DO in fact tend to have experiences that reinforce those prior beliefs.)
What that all means of course, is anybody’s guess….as there ARE in fact, so many universal elements of the NDE that transcend cultures and beliefs and seem to be part of the human experience instead. Check out the BBC article below featuring the work of Dr. Sam Parnia, a pioneer in NDE research and the scientific exploration of what happens when we die.
While it is “definitely clear that people do have experience at the time that they’re dead”, Parnia says, how individuals actually choose to interpret those experiences depends entirely on their background and pre-existing beliefs. Someone from India might return from the dead and say they saw Krishna, whereas someone from the Midwest of the US could experience the same thing but claim to have seen God. “If the father of a child from the Midwest says, ‘When you die, you’ll see Jesus and he’ll be full of love and compassion,’ then of course he’ll see that,” Parnia says. “He’ll come back and say, ‘Oh dad, you’re right, I definitely saw Jesus!’ But would any of us actually recognise Jesus or God? You don’t know what God is. I don’t know what God is. Besides a man with a white beard, which is just a picture.
“All of these things – what’s the soul, what is heaven and hell – I have no idea what they mean, and there’s probably thousands and thousands of interpretations based on where you’re born and what your background is,” he continues. “It’s important to move this out of the realm of religious teaching and into objectivity.”