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Ghost Stories

THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

In order to understand life, one should first study death. It is an inevitable conclusion yet holds many mysteries. The Near Death Experience is probably the most talked about subject in the scientific establishment, yet there remains differing views.

The story of Lazarus has been thought of as a fairy tale by many. However, if he was raised from the dead today, he would probably be regarded as neither fairy tale nor some type of miraculous recovery, just another one of those Near Death Experiencers. If we consider this seriously for a minute then there must be more Lazarus's walking about today than there were in Biblical times. A huge amount of people are raised from the dead every year due to the wonders of scientific medicine.

In the 8th century in this country a monk named 'Bede' told the story of a Northumbrian man called Cunningham, who died during the night. At daybreak he returned to life and suddenly sat up to see his friends and family weeping about him, they were so shocked they fled in fear. Cunningham later described how he left his body to find himself in a heavenly place accompanied by a handsome man wearing a shining robe. He was not at all happy when he was informed that he couldn't stay and that he would have to go back to the living. He explained how he was reluctant to leave such a place of overwhelming beauty, however, he would not dare to question his guide. Then suddenly he found himself amongst the living again. Cunningham also stated that he had seen his own physical body and people standing around and even spoke of their conversations.

There are cases throughout history which similarise with incidents of today, this indicates that we are not looking at a modern phenomenon. Doctor Raymond Moody pioneered this subject and coined the phrase Near Death Experience (N.D.E.). His in depth research of hundreds of people brought him face to face with the phenomenon. People from all walks of life told him of their experience's after they had apparently left, or moved out of their physical bodies during a life threatening or near death crises in their illness.

There are several mundane explanations, however, with some witnesses certain causes could be ruled out, such as delusions, hallucinations, dreams, drugs and medicines, oxygen depravation and physiological disturbances. Only in the last six years has the scientific community treated such claims with derision. Recent surveys show that there's a surprising amount of correlation between patients who claim to have had a near death experience and actual procedures involved in their resuscitation. These similarities appear to enhance the evidence of a working phenomenon. However, there are those who believe that there's a more simple answer. Doctor Susan Blackmore, psychologist explains the near death imagery, such as the tunnel of light or a being of light to be aberrations of the dying brain. Some believe that imagery is an effect produced by the circular radiating arrangement of oxygen starved brain cells in the visual cortex.

The N.D.E. Which is brought on by (N.D.T) a Near Death Trauma has also been thought to have some sort of connection with profound U.F.O. experience's by a few individuals, such as beings of light observed during an N.D.E. and Entities observed in close encounters of the third and fourth kind. Also a mild connection with the 'Oz factor' proposed by Jenny Randles. She explains that "Phenomena from that different reality may step through and we may slip out of our own world for a brief moment. This could make sense of some experience's, notably those where a witness describes how they seemingly entered an alien environment parallel with, and closely similar to, our own, but clearly not quite normal, everyday reality". This theory interests me deeply and there are numerous reports that indicate its presence.

Reports from witnesses who have had a
N.D.E. sometimes show a telepathic communication with an outside source during the episode and again there are similar reports during C.E. 3 and 4 cases. Could it be possible that we are only looking for a connection so we can study new theories ? Some believe that the N.D.E. is similar to Out of the Body Experiences; there could be a possibility, however, Doctor Susan Blackmore has found that O.B.E's do not seem to be related to U.F.O. experiences, however , some still construct connections which lead you to believe neither of both.

After interviewing several people myself who claim to have had a near death experience I have come to the conclusion that they believe very strongly that they have had such an experience . Their experience has had some sort of influence or affect on their life such as, a reduced fear of death, a greater zest for life, increased respect and compassion for others.

During the past 12 months serious research has taken place into paranormal , mystical , anomalous experiences and beliefs and their relationship with perceptual imaginative thinking. There has been some new interesting information that shows that female's have less imaginative experiences than males and other startling similarities which show that the Near Death Experience is relevant to life and the paranormal. A much more in depth study is required before completely dismissing this anomaly as purely a psychological induced hallucinatory event. Such cases should be investigated thoroughly and well documented...