It is estimated one in five people have had a spiritually transformative experience (STE).
Spiritually transformative experiences (STE’s) may be used as an umbrella term to describe unusual (paranormal, preternatural, anomalous, mystical, etc) occurrences that challenge ones’ perceptions of themselves, orientation to their environment, and their world view. STE’s cause a spiritual shift in identity, values and life priorities.
There are many types of STE’s. Near-death experiences (NDE’s) are probably the most profound and well researched type of spiritual transformation. Countless books, magazines, experiencer testimonials, and scientific studies have recorded cases of NDEs dating back centuries. More recently, movies and documentaries have taken on the subject matter.
It is estimated 4 – 5 % of the population have near-death experiences.
You may have heard someone in your family, or a friend, describe an experience of “being at deaths door” or “being clinically” dead, and coming back to tell of “another realm” or “the afterlife”. They have not suddenly become mentally ill; they have had a legitimate experience. This is a near-death experience.
According to the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies, near-death experiences are “intensely vivid and often life-transforming experiences, many of which occur under extreme physiological conditions such as trauma, ceasing of brain activity, deep general anesthesia or cardiac arrest in which no awareness or sensory experiences of any kind should be possible according to the prevailing views in neuroscience.” In simple terms, the brain should not be conscious. But experiencers report they are conscious and very aware.
Verifiable proof called veridical perception, demonstrates awareness despite no recorded brain activity.
The best way to demonstrate the range of NDE’s may be by example:
- A car crashes, the occupant is thrown from the car. Suddenly, the victim is above the scene watching everything. From emergency responders, who keep the unconscious victim alive, to hospital arrival and response, the victim is the watcher, the witness from above. They lift further, above the hospital, above the town, above the world, to a space where they are at one with all, part of an ineffable universal love. After being revived in hospital, they wake days or weeks later to recount their experience and are able to confirm the exact order of responder events, what responders were wearing, what doctors were saying, and medical tests that were performed.
- A child drowns and is rescued by their mother. They are unconscious but they see their mother, as if hovering over her right shoulder, administering CPR. The ambulance arrives, the child is taken to hospital where, days later, the child regains consciousness. During their time in a coma, they visit a beautiful land with the prettiest colours, not even close to the colours on earth. They walk with angels and spend time with their pre-deceased Grandma. Once awaken from their coma, they tell their story. Suddenly, they also know how to speak another language and their scholastic abilities are far beyond their pre-drowning capabilities.
- A scheduled surgery has gone awry, all monitors show no signs of life. The individual is pronounced dead after several attempts at revival. Twenty minutes after the monitors showed no signs of life, the patient is awake. Shortly after the patient tells of a tunnel, life review, bright light, beings of light and their instructions for the patient to return, it is “not their time”. They recall returning to their body, away from a place of oneness, back to pain and other human senses.
These three examples give a tiny glimpse of the near-death experiencer. One thing is known from the NDE: consciousness continues after bodily death. If you have the opportunity to hear or read about the NDE experience, take full advantage of the knowledge and wisdom being shared. The lessons learned from these experiencers can literally change the world.