- Near Death Experience (NDE)
And Out Of Body Experience (OBE)
Near Death Experience (NDE) And Out Of Body Experience (OBE)
A Brahma Kumaris Perspective of NDE and OBE
A very interesting phenomenon that closely points not only to the existence of the soul and Supreme Soul but also to their form and qualities is the phenomenon of Near Death Experience (NDE) and Out Of Body Experience (OBE).
What Is A Near Death Experience (NDE)?
A near-death experience (NDE) is the experience reported by a person who nearly died or who was medically dead and then revived or in a situation where death is likely or expected. Some of the common circumstances in which an NDE can occur are:
serious illness such as cardiac arrest or brain hemorrhage; complications before an operation; injury, such as from a car accident, shock, electrocution, asphyxia (condition which results from interruption of respiration due to suffocation or drowning); suicide attempt; coma; serious depression, etc.
The most important feature of an NDE is that the person's consciousness is not in his or her physical body. It might function independently of brain activity, which suggests the existence of the soul. The physical body is usually stationary, while the consciousness of the person experiences an extraordinary freedom of movement, completely independent of the physical body.
During a Near Death Experience (NDE), the dying often have an Out of Body Experience (OBE), in which there is a sensation of rising up and floating above their own body while the body is surrounded by a medical team, and watching it down below, while feeling comfortable. While people are dying, they may be in intense pain, but as soon as they have this experience i.e. they experience leaving the body, the pain goes away and they experience peace, joy, bliss and a feeling of complete wellbeing.
Doctors who have been conducting research on NDE over the past few decades have in their studies noted that in the Out of Body Experience (OBE) state, many who have ‘physically’ died can, on revival, tell the doctors, nurses, operation room team and relatives exactly what they were saying or doing during the revival process from apparent death or from unconsciousness – both conditions in which a person is not physically active enough to see or hear what is going on around them. Many actually hear the doctors announcing them dead.
Many of the patients who have been revived are able to describe in great technical detail exactly what went on in the operating room while they were supposedly unconscious or dead.
e.g. A 44-year old patient, while in a deep coma, later told the doctor that a particular nurse had placed his dentures on the side. The patient accurately described the revival room, those in the room, as well as describing the attitude in the room that everyone was close to giving up on revival efforts.
All this suggests the existence of the consciousness (soul) as a non-physical energy independent of the physical body – in the Out of Body Experience, the consciousness is active and can hear and see, while the physical body is inactive or unconscious or in a coma or apparently dead (as perceived by the medical team).
The most incredible common feature in the majority of NDE and OBE experiences, as stated by the ones who go through the experience, is a meeting with a very bright light. This light is normally a highly radiant golden-white light, a powerful spiritual being of light. Usually, the experience involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching this light. This feature, without doubt, has the deepest impact upon the Near Death Experiencer (NDEr).
In the medical research studies conducted, very different kinds of tunnels are described by NDErs. The commonest one is a void, a blackness: a floating, a moving, a going towards the light. The structure of the tunnel, if anything, is minimal. One person had a tunnel in the form of a great big pipe. Other people go through swirling, whirling tunnels, but they themselves do not turn; the tunnel simply turns around them, while they themselves float through it.
This light that all NDErs encounter appears dim at its first appearance, but it rapidly gets brighter until it finally reaches a supernatural brilliance. They normally express in their experiences that it was a being, a very very personal being of light, with a very beautiful and sweet personality of its own. The warmth and love which radiate from this being to the dying person are just unimaginable and very difficult to describe. They feel extremely secure and loved in its presence and experience an uncontrollable magnetic attraction to this light. It is important to note that this experience of meeting with a bright light is at the consciousness level, which functions outside the physical body in an Out of Body Experience. The physical body in these experiences is unconscious or in a coma or seemingly dead (as perceived by the medical team). The experience is shared by the Near Death Experiencer after regaining consciousness.
Near Death Experiencers identify the being of light which they encounter or meet in various different ways depending upon their religious and cultural background and existing beliefs of this life. They normally say that they did not hear any physical voice or sounds coming from it, nor did they respond to the light through sounds, but there was a direct, uninterrupted transfer of thoughts and emotions in such a clear way that there is no possibility whatsoever of misinterpreting what the light has to communicate to them. This uninterrupted exchange does not even take place in the native language of the NDEr, yet, he understands perfectly. He cannot even translate the thoughts and exchanges which took place while he was near death into the human language, once he returns from the experience.
The Being of Light, as if an all knowledgeable entity, makes a presentation of sorts in front of the dying, in which a complete review of everything they have ever done in this life is projected. Interestingly, some of the common thoughts that the light (being) directs to the person are: ‘Are you ready to die?’ ‘What have you done with your life that is sufficient enough?’ ‘Is it worth it?’ and ‘What have you done with your life to put across to me?’
A very important point to note though is that all NDErs insist that these questions, though emotionally very strong, are not at all asked as if to accuse or threaten or criticize the dying. On the other hand, no matter what their answer may be, they feel an extraordinary acceptance coming from the light, which they have never experienced in any human relationship. The light, rather than being a ‘checker’ (or having a strict personality) shows an all loveful personality, which is highly overwhelming. The light sometimes tells the person that they must return to life. Sometimes, they are given a choice of staying or returning. In either case, the NDErs as taken over as they are by this experience are not willing to return. Some people who do not believe in the existence of God actually come back from this saying very strongly that although prior to this they had no religious or spiritual beliefs, now they believe that there's a God, and there's a life after death.
The above experiences strongly suggest the existence of a Supreme Being or Supreme Soul or God and points to the form of this Supreme Energy as being a spiritual point of light with qualities like unlimited peace, love, bliss and power.
The world in which we play our part and the one on which we are now living is known as the physical world. This is because all living beings here have a physical form. Here the laws of science come into play and 'time', 'history' and 'geography' are important parameters of life. It is a world of action, experience and expression. Beyond the physical world of action lies an infinite, timeless dimension of complete silence. This is the original home of all souls, the non-physical world(‘paramdham’ or ‘shantidham’ or ‘nirvandham’), a soft golden red light world where we once stayed, as a soul in a state of total peace and bliss. In the Rajyoga meditation taught by the Brahma Kumaris we experience this 'supreme region' of highest consciousness. This experience is similar to an Out of Body Experience and Near Death Experience. The experience is explained below:
Read over the following words slowly and silently. Using the power of visualization, aim to experience them in your mind:
I focus on myself, a soul, a golden star like point of light.
I reside between the eyebrows, in the middle of the forehead.
I radiate golden rays of peace, purity and love in all directions.
In this awareness of I the soul, with the power of my mind I can travel beyond the limits of my physical senses.
I visualize myself gradually going beyond this physical body.
I, the sparkling star like energy, fly into the night sky.
I see myself floating above a vast ocean of buildings and lights.
Slowly I rise higher and higher to enter space.
I am surrounded by millions of stars and planets.
Slowly I see myself flying beyond the physical world of five elements.
I, the golden star, full of peace, enter another dimension, a soft golden-red light world.
A world of sweet silence and peace.
full of peaceful light stretching far far away.
I feel pure warmth here, surrounded by light.
I the being of light sparkle in this element.
I am free of all tensions, extremely light.
This is where I belong,
This is my home.
I recognize this place.
I had forgotten it, but now I have rediscovered it.
In front of me there is a brilliant point of light just like myself.
I come closer and closer to this Supreme Being of Light.
The Supreme Soul radiates golden rays of the light of unlimited peace in all directions.
He is an Ocean of peace.
I feel the waves of peace passing over me, I absorb the light of sweet peace.
I bathe under the shower of golden peaceful light.
All burdens are being washed away.
It is so soothing, calming and relaxing.
Spend a few minutes in this positive experience and then gradually come downwards to take your seat back in the physical body.
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