Photo credit: From Wikimedia. A painting by Thomas Eakins, 1889. Public Domain.

Since the beginning of civilization, people have questioned the existence of life after death. People who have died briefly and been revived believe that they actually looked into the window of an afterlife. Those who have undergone a Near Death Experience (the experience of dying and being revived) have related very similar experiences during their time of “death.” Whether they were revived from a drowning, heart attack or surgery gone bad, some of the similarities reported are:

*Out of body experience of floating above their own bodies and watching medical team try to revive them. During this time, they could hear and see what was going on below, but their bodies were unresponsive.

*Going towards a bright light that got brighter and larger. Sometimes they were accompanied by a loved one who had passed away.

* Seeing and communicating with dead relatives or close friends who had passed away. Often they would be told to go back.

* Feeling no fear, but a sense of calm, peace and love.

* Feeling reluctant to go back.

* Experiencing a life review (Life flashes before their eyes) or a life preview (future events are seen).

* After being revived, they no longer feared death.

Scientists, psychologists and medical professionals who have studied the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences disagree on the reality of the reports. Some say they are just hallucinations, others say that the visions are due to unusual electrical activity in the brain, others have different explanations.

But those who have lived through a near death experience believe that what they experienced was real and that they actually were at the portal of the afterlife.

Researchers continue to study Near Death Experiences for answers to age-old questions about life after death. What do you think?

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