There are tales of seeing and following a bright light at the end of a tunnel, of seeing Jesus or one of the prophets and some of a little more ominous nature, of encountering Satan. Most of the experiences of which you are familiar, are from Western culture and for that reason they usually, but not always follow the above outline. Of course, people from other Eastern or Mid Eastern cultures usually encounter their own Gods and prophets during the near death experience, some seeing Yahweh, Allah, Mohammad or Buddha or other preferred historical Deities of their own cultures.
The obvious reason for this of course, is that when consciousness vacates the physical body, it does not die, but continues on in a quite predictable way which I have discussed. Now some of you will think that I am obsessed with death, since I have written other articles on this subject, but let me assure you that I am not in the least obsessed with death, but rather am determined to familiarize you with the reality of death as it really happens, so when that transition time comes, you will not fear death, but understand that when that door opens, you, in a very real way are the one who opened it. In knowing what to expect, you will not only prepare yourself for, but in a way, pave the road, creating to a large extent what you will encounter. I have told you before that no death really comes as a surprise, as the inner self knows the hour and place of your death from the moment of your birth. No one dies who does not wish to die, just as no one lives who does not have the desire to live.
You choose to live, knowing that to die is inherent in your first breath; you have already decided on the time, place and method of your death in advance, leaving room for contingencies of course, but in a very real way, all deaths are suicides, it’s just that you have separated yourselves from the inner aspect of your identity to the extent that each death comes as a surprise to the physically oriented consciousness, and after it happens, you will smile and say, “Damn, I knew that was going to happen.”
Animals have a more intimate understanding of death than humans, simply because they have not separated themselves as much from nature and the inner knowledge that was once closer to the surface of your own identity. To a large extent, animals still retain that inner knowledge that the body must perish for the identity to continue and they do not worry for their survival because the sense that consciousness and form have nothing to do with physical structures.
Near death experiences come in many varieties and there are as many different near death experiences as there are “real” death experiences, and they are just what they claim to be, “Near Death Experiences” and to understand what we are talking about here we need to decide exactly what “Death” means, and therein lies the problem because if we are to understand death, we must understand the action and motivation of consciousness. Living consciousness always lives, bodies don’t, they come and go, so what we are dealing with here is the releasing of consciousness from the physical body, and without a physical body, consciousness reverts back to its native state of non-physical reality and its inner astral body.
Once the body has “really” died, and consciousness released, it does not return, not to the present body, but assumes a new form more suitable for its new reality. When the physical body ceases to function in a manner that can support the living consciousness, that self aware consciousness (identity/personality) is released, and although there may be some confusion as to its new state of being, and although it may not even understand that the physical body has died, it cannot return. The “Spirit” and I usually don’t use that word due to religions connotations, the Spirit may hang around the death scene, yearning to reestablish itself in the now dead body not understanding that death has occurred. This type of confusion is often the precursor to what you might call ghosts roaming around once familiar homes and other places with meaning to them, these recently dead conscious personalities, refuse to face the reality of their own deaths, and end up hanging around familiar places far longer than they should, and sometimes to everyone’s consternation.
Some of the confusion is due to the fact that the ethereal (astral) body that the personality will assume upon death, will appear just as real as the old physical one did, except there are far fewer limitations to the new body. There will come a time when the separation must be acknowledged, others will help him/her understand their new situation and the personality will move on to its new, but familiar system where it has been before. The knowledge of the true reality of death will help you to understand and adapt to your new circumstances when that time comes.
In death as in life, you will see and experience what you believe you will see and experience upon death, because you see, you’re not really dead; you have just exchanged a physical body for an astral body. Those with deeply held religious beliefs face a bit of a handicap in that regard, because on one hand, if they believe in the triumph of good over evil, they might be met by saints, prophets, even Jesus whereas if they believe in the power of evil in the world, they might meet devils or Satan himself. The irony here is that people such as some Evangelicals and staunch Catholics will experience the lake of fire, purgatory or even hell, until someone helps them to understand that they are simply experiencing what they believe and what they have themselves created, and no Satan exists unless you create him, and in that case, he is yours to deal with, but only for a limited time. No one stays ignorant forever.
Of course, these are superlative hallucinations and have no real consciousness of their own, they derive any power that they have from your conscious energy, and when you deny them your attention and withdraw, they cannot permanently harm you, but they can inflict some temporary suffering if your belief in them is strong enough. Symbolism plays an important part here and you might well experience the grim reaper or the River Styx, the principal river of the lower world, which had to be crossed in passing to the regions of the dead. Whatever you do experience upon death, it is temporary and there will be others there to assist you in the transition.
Now back to the reality of the “Near Death Experience”. It also only exists as an adjunct to your beliefs. What you consider conscious life is only “alive and viable” while the consciousness resides within the body. In times of traumatic accidents or severe illness the body actually is in an in-between state, somewhere between life and death, but the consciousness has not yet vacated the body, even though your instruments may indicate a temporary lack of vital signs. It is also quite ordinary for a portion of the conscious personality to leave the body on unofficial “out of body” projections in the dream state or sometimes even in a state of reverie or contemplation of some past situation where you view some favorite scene from your past with such clarity that it seems that you are there. In some of these cases, the personality has projected a portion of his/her consciousness to that past remembered location. So, under certain conditions, even the temporary absence of consciousness does not mean death has occurred.
In your lifetime, you experience many small deaths, some more significant than others but all below your perception. One of your big mistakes is to confuse your body with your identity. You are not your body, you never were and you never will be. Your identity is inherent in your consciousness and you wouldn’t be caught dead without it. You regularly experience what would qualify as small deaths, times when your consciousness leaves the physical body for varying lengths of time for various reasons, but your conscious mind has trained itself to skip over these intervals, these small deaths. Your body consciousness, the gestalt consciousness of your cells, molecules, organs and tissues, is quite able to maintain the physical body for some time, without your overall directive, self aware, conscious oversight.
In sleep, your conscious self sometimes assumes its astral form and goes on its own expeditions, out of body projections, explorations of not only your own world, but also others. When the ego consciousness is drowsy, lulled into sleep, there is a freeing up of inner abilities that are your natural heritage, but have forgotten over time. You can then sometimes project your identity into alien worlds (different dimensions) where experience is entirely different than your own, and sometimes those quite lucid, hard to decipher dreams of fantastic places and times, are actually projections into other dimensions in your astral form. During these projections, your consciousness leaves the physical body in the good hands of the body consciousness and goes its own way while the ego is stilled. You could consider this a mini vacation to other worlds.
As in other similar experiences when consciousness leaves the body temporarily, the inner self accommodates the body by merrily skipping over these lapses, and usually you never know they have occurred at all. There is another aspect of which I have not spoken before, but will when the time is right. Here I will briefly touch on it.
Your physical body, your environment, your reality and indeed your world exists as a result of an endless series of energy pulsations and here the important word is pulsations. On and off pulsations, so unbelievably fast that the separations between the positive strokes of the pulsations to you would be considered simultaneous, meaning that the negative strokes of the pulsations would not be detected by any instruments that your science how has at its disposal. You and your world exist on the positive energy pulsations, and on the negative or non-positive pulsations, you and your world simply do not exist, but other aspects of your identity that you are not familiar with do exist.
You must consider what I have just said from your time oriented perspective and I realize that it scandalizes the intellect to say that these pulses happen so fast that you do not notice when you aren’t there. Energy is intermittent. It is not that you aren’t there during the off pulses; and I don’t know exactly how to say this, but the energy simply isn’t in its positive stroke, and you exist in another form as a result of the negative pulsation of energy. Think of a fan blade turning slow, so you can clearly see the blade. As the fan speeds up, the blades seem to fade into nothingness, until you do not see the blades at all, even though you know they are there, they are not there. Not a great analogy, but I hope it gives you some insight into the limits of physical perception.
You, your world, your universe exist as aspects of positive energy manifesting itself. There are also aspects of the negative energy pulsations and there, other parts of your identity exist in the universe of negative matter. (Anti-matter). So, in a removed way, your consciousness ignores the negative pulsations and the negative aspect of your identity focuses on them. To the part of your identity that focuses and exists in the universe of negative matter, it thinks that it only exists on the positive strokes and it considers your universe the universe of negative matter relative to its own. In this light, you endure continuous absences of consciousness, infinitesimal small deaths, also conveniently skipped over by your conscious perceptions.
There comes a time however when the same type of thing happens, only on a more permanent basis, creating a lapse of a more enduring type that you will definitely notice. The overall directing consciousness, the identity that is you, including the soul stuff which is so intertwined within and an integral part of your corporal self, begins the separation process, disentangling those intimate connections, freeing itself of the present materialized form and returning to the “basic reality” from which it came, which of course, it considers home.
An official death only happens when the organizing consciousness of the personality gives up the ship, so to speak leaves the body permanently, bringing about cessation of bodily functions that are necessary to support life. It is not unusual for consciousness to vacate the body in some cases of long lasting coma, in which case the body consciousness, that is the consciousness of the cells, molecules and organs provide the supporting structure that maintains the body, sometimes along with artificial means, long after the vital conscious personality has moved on to a new reality. In other words, the house is there but no one is home. As your scientists know, the body consciousness continues to function in varying degrees after the overall identity has transitioned, the hair and fingernails continuing to grow, sometimes centuries after the body has died.
What this really happens in the NDE, since all situations are different, the dying personality may or may not be experiencing a “Near Death Experience”, but in Western civilizations, for instance, there will be a surprising similarity between what people experience during these traumatic events, many seeing the obligatory bright light at the end of a tunnel and visiting with saints and prophets who are there to guide them. You will always experience what you think you will experience, in this body or out of your body. The “Near Death Experience” of other cultures of course, is far different in that they will experience their own saints, prophets and Deities. A Muslim will probably never see Jesus in a NDE.
This one irrefutable rule of the universe does not change whether you are in a physical body or not, you will always see what you think you will see, you will see what you think about, and you will think about what you believe. In short, most near death experiences are simply personalities experiencing in one form or another, what they expect to experience. God will not be there at the golden door to welcome you, but you may think He is. Your long dead relatives may “really” be there.