Have You Ever Seen A Living Ghost?
Most of us fear the specters that unexpectedly float through the air but what if that same ghostly entity was you? What if the ghosts that we witness, are not of the dead but the almost dead.
You’ve heard of those who were deemed clinically dead but were able to come back. Once many of these poor souls (pardon my pun) have returned to their bodies, they testify to many similar experiences. Collectively, these experiences have come to be known as the Near-Death Experience or NDE.
Tales of otherworldly experiences have been part of human cultures seemingly forever, but NDEs as such first came to broad public attention in 1975 by way of American psychiatrist and philosopher Raymond Moody’s popular book Life After Life. He presented more than 100 case studies of people who experienced vivid mental experiences close to death or during “clinical death” and were subsequently revived to tell the tale. Their experiences were remarkably similar, and Moody coined the term NDE to refer to this phenomenon.
Although the features of NDEs vary from one case to the next, common traits that have been reported by near-death experiencers (NDErs) are as follows:
1. A sense/awareness of being dead.
2. A sense of peace, well-being and painlessness. Positive emotions. A sense of removal from the world.
3. An out-of-body experience or OBE. A perception of one's body from an outside position. Sometimes observing medical professionals performing resuscitation efforts.
4. A "tunnel experience" or entering a darkness. A sense of moving up, or through, a passageway or staircase.
5. A rapid movement toward and/or sudden immersion in a powerful light (or "Being of Light") which communicates with the person.
6. An intense feeling of unconditional love and acceptance.
7. Encountering "Beings of Light", "Beings dressed in white", or similar. Also, the possibility of being reunited with deceased loved ones.
8. Receiving a life review, commonly referred to as "seeing one's life flash before one's eyes".
9. Receiving knowledge about one's life and the nature of the universe.
10. Approaching a border, or a decision by oneself or others to return to one's body, often accompanied by a reluctance to return.
11. Suddenly finding oneself back inside one's body.
Worthy mention must be given to certain of our dreams. Some sleep researchers have noted that NDEs are similar to many reports of lucid dreaming, in which the individual realizes he is in a dream. Often these states are so realistic as to be barely distinguishable from reality.
In a study of fourteen lucid dreamers performed in 1991, people who perform wake-initiated lucid dreams (WILD) reported experiences consistent with aspects of out-of-body experiences (OBE) such as floating above their beds and the feeling of leaving their bodies. Due to the overlap between lucid dreams, near-death experiences, and out-of-body experiences, researchers say they believe a protocol could eventually be developed to induce a lucid dream similar to a near-death experience in the laboratory.
The scientific NDE studies performed over the past decades indicate that heightened mental functions can be experienced independently of the body at a time when brain activity is greatly impaired or seemingly absent. The numerous cases of individuals who site similar experiences are too great to ignore. Whether the experience of being separated from our body occurs when we are close to death or even when we sleep, it is apparent that there is another process at work that we do not yet understand. There is a part of us, which can definitely be considered a living ghost.
I love my New York home. Its diversity inspires me. I would not for the world trade my multitude of experiences there.