Reaching Heaven from Earth
It is yet another typical day here in my room and just like what I usually do in order to let the time pass, I think of random stuff. This time, the thought of me, dying and how I will die, comes to my mind. I imagine myself not waking up from a bad dream or my really old self dying in a hospital bed due to illness or very old age. Questions like ‘How am I going to die? What would it be like? How does it feel? Where do I actually go, wait, do I really go somewhere?’ suddenly pop in my head. Among those questions, one really stood out –what does it feel like to die? The thought of persons having near death experiences (NDEs) come to my mind and the memory of my younger sister came with it.
Upon arriving at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center for her check-up, my sister passed out and she was rushed to the emergency room. My parents were frightened while her doctor was reviving her. Gladly, she was revived but along with it, she had an unexpected story. After she passed out, she said that she was walking in a long road where she was surrounded by light. At the end of the road, she reached a big and tall podium which she described as the tall table that our mother used whenever she was the master of ceremony in school activities. What’s bizarre is that behind the podium, my sister said that she saw our pets—dogs, hamsters, and fishes, which already died and behind them were our deceased relatives smiling to her. Surprisingly, the clothes that she described to our parents matched the clothes that our dead relatives were wearing during their wake. As she walked towards them, a being that she believed to be God talked to her. She described it as a person without a face and she said that it radiated a bright white light that didn’t seem to hurt her eyes. It said, “Kailangan mong bumalik. Kailangan mong… (You have to go back. You have to…)” and she was revived by her doctor without hearing the last sentence. Upon remembering this, a whole lot of new questions about NDEs and those who experienced it bothered me like, ‘Did they really see God? What made them see their dead relatives? Does it actually feel good or bad? How can they actually go back to life after dying?’ So in order to feed my curiosity, I opened my laptop and did some research.
According to the Cambridge Dictionaries Online, a Near Death Experience is an experience described by people who have been close to death, in which the person feels as if they have left their body and are watching themselves from above. It is also described by people who were either clinically dead or in a situation where death is likely or expected. The man who focused public attention to the concept of NDEs and actually coined the term was Dr. Raymond Moody (Williams, “Dr. Raymond Moody”). After being intrigued by a case study about a psychiatrist who ‘died’ and recovered after being pronounced dead to his family, Moody made a study and talked about it in his book “Life after Life” which was published in 1975 ( qtd. in Studymode, “Near Death Experience”). In his work, he recorded and compared the experiences of 150 persons who died and recovered and from this he outlined the nine elements that usually occur during a near death experience.
The nine elements that Moody talks about is, hearing a strange sound which is a buzzing or ringing noise while having the sense of being dead. It is then followed by a feeling of painlessness as soon as he leaves the body and it is usually accompanied by experiencing peace. The third element is the out-of-body experience where a person describes himself hovering above his body and actually seeing what the medical team is doing to it during an operation. He may also see his relatives by the time that he is dying. The person also experiences being in a spiritual body that appears to be a sort of living energy field. The next is the tunnel experience which is like going through a dark path in high speed and then...
Cited: Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge University Press, 1999. Web. 27 August 2013.
Cole, Diane. “Hyperactive Brain may Create ‘Near-Death’ Visions.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 1996. Web. 25 August 2013.
Grabianowski, Ed. “How Near-Death Experiences Work.” How Stuff Works. Discovery Communications, 1998. Web. 2 September 2013.
Moorjani, Anita. Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. New York City: Hay House, Inc., 2012. Print.
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