NDE experiences

I would like to know what you think about NDE experiences.
It appear that not one but all those who had such an experience agree on the fact that…

  1. There is God.
  2. God is not aligned with any religion or spiritual faith but judge according good or bad
  3. When someone will exit the tunnel will see whatever they follow in their life so if they follow Christianity will see Jesus if they follow Buddism will see Buddha if the follow Shiva will see Shiva and so on, if they did not follow any religion but their life was good then they will see other nice things.
    I was reading a book from Abe Alexander called PROOF OF HEAVEN.
    This guy is a surgeon that die and then came back to life.
    According to him he was really dead no heart beating no brain activity so he was not in a coma.
    His experience is vivid and focus unlike experience lived by anyone under the influence of drugs in which everything is out of focus and their recollection is very poor.
    So what you think about it?:hmmm:

I think its possible that some are true, but from what I’ve heard, most have some serious problems.

For starters, it seems as though there is evidence that the brain can cause a lot of what people experience in NDEs.

Second, is the soul separate from the body at this point? If it is, how do people experience light at all? The soul itself has no sensory powers.

Third, if the soul is separate from the body, is it a miraculous resurrection every time someone has an NDE? But most of the time as far as I know the people aren’t technically brain dead…which would contradict the idea that the soul is separated from the body

These experiences often seem to “natural” in that they lack traditional theological style language as other visions do…theyre too much about going to the cloud in the sky and all that

I think they are very interesting to read about but I don’t have a definitive theory about them.

Does the Catholic Church have any opinion on what to make of NDE?'s

From what I have gathered from many spiritual traditions, the soul DOES have sensory powers, and this is manifested in the dream.

Science has proven that a tremendous percentage of dreams occur when the physical body is at its most NON-SENSORY state, almost clinically dead in terms of sensory deprivation to the brain from external sources, but sensory stimulation is still experienced from “another” source, namely the soul.

Nearly all NDEs are an extension of this…

I suspect that near death experiences would fall in more or less the same category as private revelations, such as Our Lady of Fatima:

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

Thanks,
that makes good sense.
Mary.

I don’t think NDE’s are valid sources of theological truth based simply on the fact that they are near death experiences.

The person didn’t die and if the person didn’t die, then their soul didn’t leave their body; and, if their soul didn’t leave their body, then anything that they’re experiencing is solely happening to them inside their own head.

Beyond that, even if NDE’s contain genuine spiritual experiences, the content of these experiences are questionable at the very least and need to be tested against the things that are not questionable. For me, as an evangelical protestant, that’s the Bible. For Catholics, that’s the Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium.

To put a Scriptural point on that second issue (emphasis mine):

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3, ESV)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9, ESV)

Or to put it the way ole’ Tozer put it:

If an arch-angel from heaven were to come, and were to start giving me, telling me, teaching me, and giving me instruction, I’d ask him for the text. I’d say, ‘Where’s it say that in the Bible? I want to know.’ And I would insist that it was according to the scriptures, because I do not believe in any extra-scriptural teachings, nor any anti-scriptural teachings, or any sub-scriptural teachings. I think we ought to put the emphasis where God puts it, and continue to put it there, and to expound the scriptures, and stay by the scriptures. I wouldn’t – no matter if I saw a light above the light of the sun, I’d keep my mouth shut about it 'til I’d checked with Daniel and Revelation and the rest of the scriptures to see if it had any basis in truth. And if it didn’t, I’d think I’d just eaten something I shouldn’t, and I wouldn’t say anything about it. Because I don’t believe in anything that is unscriptural or that is anti-scripture.

How is that possible when the brain activity are totally dead?

Second, is the soul separate from the body at this point? If it is, how do people experience light at all? The soul itself has no sensory powers.

How do you know?
According to these people as soon as the body die the consciousness take over and with this consciousness you can see, feel, perceive even better then when you are encased in a body.

Third, if the soul is separate from the body, is it a miraculous resurrection every time someone has an NDE?

According to the church everything is possible for God so why you doubt?

But most of the time as far as I know the people aren’t technically brain dead…which would contradict the idea that the soul is separated from the body

According to Abe Alexander the doctor who examine him found him brain dead and so all other people who had NDE experiences.

These experiences often seem to “natural” in that they lack traditional theological style language as other visions do…theyre too much about going to the cloud in the sky and all that.

What that means… theological style language?

I do not really know why they are called NDE when in fact the person die for real even if for short time. How can they say NEAR DEATH when in fact they are found dead by doctors?

The person didn’t die and if the person didn’t die, then their soul didn’t leave their body; and, if their soul didn’t leave their body, then anything that they’re experiencing is solely happening to them inside their own head.

Are you saying that the doctors got it wrong and you as a non doctor got it right?:confused:

Beyond that, even if NDE’s contain genuine spiritual experiences, the content of these experiences are questionable at the very least and need to be tested against the things that are not questionable. For me, as an evangelical protestant, that’s the Bible. For Catholics, that’s the Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium.

Does the Bible ever talked about NDE experiences?:confused:

Great book. Infact, the deacon of our parish, who is also the director of the deaconate for our archdiocese, has arranged for Dr Alexander to come and speak to the deacons of ur archdioces next year…I’ll be able to attend…

One thing he did tell me, as he had many people share their NDE experiences to him, considering his vocation, is that not all NDE are wonderful. Some are down right terrifying. You just dont hear about those

Clearly, for those who have read the book, Dr Alexander’s medical situation that brought out about his NDE, was not your typical NDE due to his brain activity, or lack there of, and what was going on.

For those who dont know, Dr Alexander is a well known neurosurgeon. He knows how the brain works, and realized his medical condition was very different.

First of all, the medical definition of death is a slippery concept. There are the legal requirements of what is considered sufficient cause to declare someone dead, but that does not mean that the person is, in fact, actually dead.

Specifically, when “front line” Doctors talk about death they usually mean a cessation of pulse and respiration, and possibly the cessation of brain function but when pathologists talk about death they are specifically referring to the four mortises (paleness, lividity, coolness, and stiffness) that indicate a complete cessation of all metabolic activity.

I’m not saying I got it right, but I am definitely saying that they got it wrong. They misdiagnosed death. It happens and more often than most of us would think.

No, but it’s not exactly like medical care in those days would have often occasioned the opportunity to talk about it.

What the Bible does talk about, however, are resurrections. Lazarus, specifically, came back from the dead three days after he was buried and the really interesting thing about his case is that he seemed to have no recollection of what, if anything, happened to him during the time he was dead. There are some interesting traditions regarding what he said he saw while he was dead, and it wasn’t pleasant. (He is purported to have been so disturbed by the sight of the souls of the dead in Hell that he never again smiled for the remainder of his natural life.) I’m disinclined to give much credence to those traditions, but I’ll give them more credence than any modern NDE.

But, in the end, it doesn’t matter what the Bible says or doesn’t say about NDEs. What matters is what the Bible says versus what the people who’ve had them are saying. They, typically, don’t line up… and, for that matter, what the people who’ve had NDEs say often don’t line up with what other people who’ve had NDEs say. Regardless, I’ve hitched my wagon to the Bible, not to NDE experiences and when the two disagree, I’m going with the Bible.

Pam Reynolds: case in point
Extraordinary episode in the history of NDE research described in great detail by Michael Sabom, chapter 3, “Light and Death”. Noted by Sabom, the medical documentation of the events surrounding this case “far exceeds any recorded before and provides us with our most complete scientific glimpse yet into the near death experience.”

Intensive analysis of NDE phenomena Chris Carter, “Science and the Near Death Experience”.

I’ve spoken to many people who have described their NDEs to me (used to bring the Eucharist to the hospital). One of these people even saw his DOG. Read Carter’s book, it will erase all doubt and especially it addresses the speculation that brain chemistry and other such things “create” the NDE. It’s real and I think God is allowing us to examine it for His purpose because it appears to me time is short.

I am not speaking about every NDE, but there are some things that I have read can be caused by the brain—sort of hallucinations—that can be similar to those of NDE’s. I am pretty sure that out of body experiences are often like this.

Now in cases of NDEs its not as though the brain is always totally dead but that it is dying or the heart has stopped or the person has stopped breathing, etc. So in these cases the brain could be responsible.

Well, I can’t say for sure. There is a lot that isn’t clear about how the soul survives beyond the body. That said, I think it is highly unlikely that sensitive powers would exist. This is because these powers are based on sensing the material world around us using sensory organs. How could a soul which isn’t made up of matter feel matter? How could a soul see anything like we do? What’s the body for if the soul does that without the body?

It is possible for God to rejoin the soul and the body, but it would seem to be much more dramatic when it happens than the NDEs which are often doubtful and odd in many ways. When Jesus was resurrected, it was a big deal.

I don’t think “all other people” is correct here. Brain dead and damaged aren’t the same…and if they really were brain dead, that is completely brain dead, we wouldn’t just have an NDE on our hands but a resurrection of some sort. Yet somehow these seem not to be considered among the more impressive miracles for many believers…

I mean things like when people go to heaven and see a bunch of family members sitting around playing the flute or whatever its not the same as the saints who have seen heaven and described it. They are way to “natural” as I said.

Probably there is a good reason why the NDEs are different in certain aspects.
Suppose in your life you are getting a 10 mark and somebody else got a 6 or 5 mark.
If you are God wouldn’t you give more to the one who got a higher mark?:rolleyes:

When i was in Penang for my holidays years ago i assisted to one hindu festival.
I could not believe my eyes when i saw participants with knives and other metal things inside their flesh.Not only that but as soon as these guys reach the end of the procession and took the metal off their flesh automatically the hole close as nothing would have happened.
Little blood and in some cased no blood at all.
What this means?
I do not know but this make me believe that is possible to disconnect the consciousness from the body.
How do they do?
I was told that 3 weeks before the festival they eat only vegetarian food and spend most of these 3 weeks chanting mantra.
Anyway you can see a bit in this site.
Warning if you do not like to see knives and some blood do not open this link.

jamie-monk.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/phuket-vegetarian-festival-my-favourite.html

My mother had an NDE, and yes she was dead, for nearly 3mins, and no she swears this was NO DREAM, she felt more alive dead than she does alive, all her memories, thoughts and who she was, was still their, at first she was floating above her body, she could see everything, all the doctors working on her, looking at her body all she could think was, I don’t want to return to that! she felt peaceful, wasn’t panicking, but completely calm, she then floated out into the waiting room where she saw me and my father in the waiting room, word for word she can repeat what was said, now you tell me that’s the brain shutting down if your dead 3 floors away yet can quote exactly what was said?! next thing she was getting pulled upwards in this sort of tunnel, she couldn’t see the sides but it felt like a cacoon, at the end of this dark tunnel was a light, now this is what my mum usually cant stop talking about, as the light got closer the feelings of love were out of control, she said no words on earth cannot describe this light, love is not a big enough description, if you had a body, it would explode from this amount of love, also it was a blinding light, if you had eyes it would be impossible to see, it was something so stunningly beautiful that to this day she cannot forget it, all she wanted to do was to reach this light, it was a feeling like wherever she was going, she’s been to this place before, like returning home after a long holiday and all you want to do is get home, the one thing she noticed was in this realm was no time, time didn’t exist and in this place was where we really belong, earth is not our real home, its the spiritual realm which is where we belong, as the light got closer she heard a voice telepathically saying its not your time yet, it said you have 2 children that u must look after and in time you will return to us, but she didn’t want to return to her body and funnily enough she started to ague with this voice pleading not to send her back, she knew beyond this light was a place of pure love and beauty, then before she knew it she was back in her body in full agony…

For her to say this was a dream or it was the brain shutting down is madness, it was THE most amazing thing she has ever experienced, she even went into depression for 6months after it because she says nothing on earth can compare to what she saw and felt, to be released from her body was a thing of pure relief, she calls her body a prison, and has no fear for the day God lets her free again, always tells us to never be afraid of death and that God will take care of you, and all of us are a part of a much bigger picture… she’s also not Catholic by the way, not even that religious, but she was on her to Heaven…

Aaron, your mother’s description reminded me of something my deacon told me with his ministry with those who have had NDE; many of them find it really hard to go on living in this life happily because their experience was so wonderful, so profound.

Some actually get bitter when they have been brought back to this life. One he mentioned was a priest in our archdiocese. He was MAD that the doctors were able to bring him back. He continued to be mad until he passed away 5 years later.

Even with me and my sister still left behind my mother still did not want to return, my mother admitted this to me and apologized, but she says where she was, nothing on earth can compare to it, like I said she went into depression because of it, she said if you have ever had a comedown then times it by a 1000 and your still not close, all she wanted was to do is reach this light, she laughs at people who say its just a dream or its the brain shutting down, she reckons you don’t really come alive until you die, that’s when we enter a place where we are supposed to be, my mum thinks these same people are in for a big shock one day;)

I had one. I was above my body and I knew that if I went through the roof heaven would not be going to heaven. I never saw a tunnel or anything like that

I believe that, theoretically, it is possible to have one. If God wants to show someone a vision, He’s perfectly capable of doing so, whenever He wants. However, if you’ll analyze the many different claiments and their supposed visions, you’ll notice that they contradict one another. It’s not like several different people saw the same Heaven-- they saw wildly different things. This leads me to believe that most of the people who go out and publish books about their supposed near death experiences are simply in it for the money. They know there’s a ton of people out there who want hope while clinging to a shell of religiousity. Those people fill up our mosques during Ramadan.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.