Near-death survivors tell us stories of out of body experiences and spiritual awakening. Many are interpreted as some form of religious experience and in most cases results in a total life transformation. Is it really possible to attain enlightenment through this experience?
Most people would perceive that spiritual awakening is associated with religious personas, like saints, gurus, yogis, and lamas. Therefore, ordinary people experiencing spiritual awakening can be both fascinated and frightened. There are some who intentionally journey towards enlightenment through spiritual and self-development, meditation, yoga and other ritualistic traditions. But there are others who experience spiritual awakening during their near death experience (NDE).
In an essay written by Dr. David San Filippo titled Religious Interpretations of NDEs, he stated that “A near death experience is a conscious experience in which the individual experiences a sense of being detached from the physical world during the process of psychological dying.” Medically, near-death experiences as described by Dr. Filippo, is when the patient cannot breathe making the muscles in the heart to fail and powerful substances are released. Also, NDE survivors say that they would have an out-of-the-body experience, where the spirit or the soul detaches itself from the body. During these detachment, survivors can experience seeing darkness or the light, meeting spiritual and divine people, and somehow judging their lives. In a survey performed in 1991, there were 13 million Americans, (5 percent of the population) who report they had experienced an NDE which brought about a spiritual awakening which transcended any culture and religion. Regardless of whether the person believes in the divine or Supreme Being, near-death experiences do happen and it is amazing how similar people’s experiences are, across all cultures and belief systems..
What happens during a near-death experience?
The survivor first feels a sense of being dead and peace. The soul or the spirit separates from the body and meets with different entities which have already passed away like family, friends, even angels and religious persona. The spirit seems to be rising into the air and encounter a Light which is often associated with the Supreme Being, whether it is God, Allah, or the Universal Creator. The survivor then often reviews their life themselves. Commonly, the survivors feel reluctant to go back to the world of living. Survivors cannot sense any time or anything that would restrict them from being wherever they want. There are significant psychological effects of these near-death experiences on survivors.
According to Dr. P.M.H. Atwater (People are dramatically Changed by NDEs), here are some the psychological effects which can also be referred to as enlightenment or spiritual awakening: Feelings of Unconditional love - NDE survivors turn themselves into fully loving and generous people who express themselves to each person they see.
Timelessness - survivors begin to ‘go with the flow’ and tend to let go of schedules and time frames. They shift their focus and give more importance to ‘living in the present’. Psychic abilities - some survivors return to the world of the living with heightened senses and extra-sensory perception. The soul - since having experienced the soul or the spirit separating from the body, survivors understand that the body is nothing but a coffer for the soul and show more interest in reincarnation and accept this concept regardless of their previous beliefs.
Communication- survivors often have expanded vocabularies and use language differently than they did before. Peace - the vast majority if not all people who experience a near death experience and or spiritual awakening all have one thing in common. They do not ‘worry’ about the past or the future but live in the ‘present’ with an overwhelming sense of peace and love pervading their lives and those around them.
© Joylina Goodings 2013