Since antiquity, our ancient ancestors have been both fascinated and frightened by the prospect of death. From their fascination with what happens after death, our ancient civilisations have created a rich tapestry of ancient knowledge and wisdom which has shaped humanity.

Now thanks to our modern medical techniques, more people are being revived from the brink of death, even many minutes after their body has shut down. Some will remember their experiences following resuscitation on the operating table. Read on to discover more about how we are recovering ancient knowledge about near-death experiences.

What is an NDE?

A near-death experience (NDE) occurs when you die, and you still experience some reality when you are technically dead. Normally, death has occurred after the heart temporarily ceases to function, sometimes for a few minutes, prior to recovery. Reports of near-death experiences may contain images, feelings, sounds, and other elements which can be very vivid, striking, and overwhelming.

An NDE is a life changing individual experience of dying. When positive, NDE’s may encompass a variety of sensations. These include a feeling of separation from the physical body, a feeling of bodily ascension or levitation, being bathed in the light and love of the divine, and a complete calmness and serenity. When negative, such experiences may include feelings of intense fear, distress, voidness, hellish appearances, and vast emptiness.

A near-death experience can be described as the fully lucid, semi-lucid, or remembered experience of the process of dying such as during resuscitation following a cardiac arrest. People who recall NDE’s describe a variety of seemingly impossible or dreamlike phenomena including going through a tunnel of light or viewing their body from above.


The main stages of an NDE

Around 10 to 20% of people who have returned from the dead have experienced a tunnel, white light, infinite love, extra-terrestrial or angelic beings and ancestors, a vivid life review, and a choice to go back. The five NDE stages noted by researchers are a feeling of peace, the light-body separating from the physical body, entering complete darkness, seeing a bright light, and entering another realm of existence through the light.

It is a common feature of an NDE to experience love, peace, healing, and serenity as well as vivid imagery including motion through a tunnel or a life review of past events. Also, some NDEs include out-of-body experiences and encounters with other beings, such as loved ones or anonymous entities perceived as angels or extra-terrestrials.

If you died now, you would likely experience something like this. You feel peace and relief from you’re your body and mind were in and a perception of relaxing sound or ethereal music. Then your spirit or light-body ascends above your physical body. Your spirit leaves the earthly realm and ascends rapidly through a universe of darkness into a tunnel of light. This leads to a brilliant heavenly place where you are joyously met by luminous people mirroring deceased friends and family. Then you may meet with a deity, an angel or extradimensional being, or be bathed in brilliant light and pure love. Then you may have a rapid life review that illuminates all the good and bad that you have done and how this has affected you and the people around you. Then you may return to your physical body and live your life a transformed person to benefit others.

Experiences of Heaven, Hell, and the Void

Most NDEs in the past four decades have been pleasant, joyful, and deeply healing and transformative. The most joyous things that people experience are communicating with loved ones who had passed away, being in heaven in front of an ornate gate, seeing angels or luminescent beings made of giant shimmering crystal radiating pure love, and intense feeling of pure and divine love.

Although far less common, there have been many reports of frightening near-death experiences. Some are deeply disturbing and may include negative feelings such as the feeling of being outside of one’s body, a sense of being alone in darkness, or other frightening scenarios. Sometimes, features normally reported as pleasurable are perceived as hostile or threatening. For example, a man was thrown from his horse, flying high with the tops of the trees, whilst emergency doctors and nurses were saving his life. He shot through darkness toward a bright light, flying past shadowy deceased family members. He was scared by the bizarre spectacle and his inability to influence it.

Overtly hellish experiences are a very rare form of distressing near-death experience. For example. a man with heart failure felt himself falling into the depths of the Earth where he saw a set of high, rusty gates, which he perceived as the gates of hell. A near-death experience of falling or travelling into the void is a perception of vast emptiness or nothingness. This brings forth feelings of loneliness, isolation, and nihilism. For example, a woman giving birth who experienced flying over the hospital into empty space with a group of entities who informed her that she was not real and had been allowed to imagine her life despite her memories of her life on Earth.

NDE Research, Psychedelics, and Shamanism

Near-death experiences are not actually proof of life after death. Like out of body experiences, NDE’s may be related to changes in the temporal parietal region of the brain, and slower blood flow on the retinas may trigger the tunnel imagery of many NDEs. However, this does not explain many features and experiences of NDE’s. So, researchers are open to alternative accounts such as the release of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) at death. In fact, there are similarities between hallucinogenic and death-death experiences, with ketamine having the closest effects to an NDE rather than the effect of DMT.

Near-death experiences can leave a lasting impression including a reduced fear of death. Often people who have survived a near-death experience focus on the meaning of their own experiences. This often leads to positive changes in their perspectives of life and death. They also feel a clear sense of purpose and feeling of divine love as well as increased psychic abilities including intuition, telepathy, and precognition.

Gregory Shushan has compared experiences of the afterlife with those of five ancient civilizations and their shamanic afterlife journeys. Shushan found similarities that could not be explained by coincidence plus differences specific to modern and ancient civilisations. Near-death experiences are common to ancient civilisations throughout history with similar NDE experiences reported for different tribes, cultures, or religions. Also,  on top of the common NDE features, messages or unlocked memories are given to an individual soul during an NDE.

Spiritual Energy Healing from Near-death Experiences

Many people find religious or spiritual significance in their NDE, and details of the experience based on culture or religion. For example, a movement towards the light may be their soul departing for heaven. Also, those who have a NDE often feel that they have had a glimpse of the afterlife or divine truth beyond normal reality. Some receive messages from angelic beings or past family members and make significant, often radical changes to their lives.

Many people who survive an NDE discover that the traumas and problems that they had before their NDE experience vanish. They heal from the inside out by transforming themselves, their diet, and their way of living with a massive emphasis on helping others and using their knowledge and psychic gifts wisely.


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