I’m (slowly) reading Jay Ingram’s Theatre of the Mind, and was recently thinking about out-of-body, near-death experiences. I’m speaking here of the hovering-over-the-body, don’t-go-into-the-light shtick. They have a commonality, which Wikipedia sums up nicely:
- A sense of being dead.
- An out-of-body experience. A sensation of floating above one’s body and seeing the surrounding area.
- Pleasant feelings, calmness. A sense of overwhelming love and peace.
- A sensation of moving upwards through a tunnel or narrow passageway.
- Meeting deceased relatives or spiritual figures.
- Encountering a being of light, or a light (possibly a religious or divine figure).
- Being given a life review.
- Reaching a border or boundary.
- A feeling of being returned to the body, often accompanied by a reluctance.
When you hear or read reports about near-death experiences, they’re always positive. Isn’t that a little weird? Why doesn’t anybody have a really terrifying, nightmarish near-death experience? Maybe they do and they’re just unwilling to talk about it? Or maybe this whole phenomenon is just the hallucinogenic result of the brain going into temporary deep hibernation?
Regardless, it is encouraging that our limited explorations of the apparent here-after are universally positive.