Near Death Experiences – Are They Spiritual?

Ellena Arroyo

Near Death Experiences, also called NDE’s, are particularly intense situations that are usually brought about under periods of great duress or in crisis situations such as a car accident or other emergency. People who have had near death experiences report meeting angels and seeing loved ones who have passed on. They also report a beautiful white light that is beckoning them onward into another realm. People who have come back from such an experience are usually beside themselves with joy at how peaceful and beautiful their experience in the afterlife was, and often, their fear of death becomes nonexistent from that point forward.

These near death experiences, to the people who have had them, are the single most meaningful moments of their lives, prompting the question “Are near death experiences spiritual?” Scientists are looking at the Pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, as the physical location where spiritual experiences happen in our bodies. Just because we are closer to understanding spiritual experiences from a physical perspective does not make these experiences any less spiritual. Spiritual experiences are subjective to the person experiencing them, even if the physical responses in the brain are established. A near death experience meets the established criteria for a spiritual experience because during these experiences the individual typically has an encounter with divine beings in a transcendent reality; a reality that is not here on Earth.

What makes these near death experiences even more spiritual is the lifelong effect that they have on those who experience them. People who have had near death experiences say that they are forever changed as a result of having them. People who have come back from these experiences have made peace with their own life and death and some people say that did not want to come back to their bodies because the experience that they were having was so immaculately beautiful. Even so, people who have had near death experiences feel so strongly that it was the single most influential moment of realization of their lives that they are often excited to share their realizations that death is not the scary ending to life that people imagine it to be.

Because spirituality is a subjective experience and everyone interprets such experiences differently, only the person who has the near death experience stories will truly understand the life changes that it has brought about for them. Each individual interprets things differently, but most people who have had a these experiences agree that it was far more real to their being than anything that they had ever known or have since known. Changing the way that these people see life and death in a very real way, these experiences have shaped the remainder of life for the people who have had them, adding clarity and surety to what was previously unknown to them.

In this world full of absolutes, death being seen as the one thing that we cannot escape, the people who no longer have had near death experiences afterlife fear the unknown and no longer believe that death is something that needs to be escaped. We can learn a lot from people who have had these experiences, even if we ourselves never have one. Death is merely a transition, not the finality of all things. When we let go of our fear of what happens to us when we die, we suddenly find that life itself takes on a mystical new quality and though the experiences that we have during our time here on Earth are precious and wonderful, it is not all that there is and we need not cling to life as if it were.

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