Dying doesn't mean you are finished, dying is just a changing of a new clothes and it's an even better one. We only have problem and suffering because we have this physical body. As long as we are free from this shackle, we will be so happy. That's why many people in the near-death experience, they come back here, they don't want to come back. They want to stay in Heaven forever.

Respected viewers, welcome to this week’s edition of Science and Spirituality, where we will examine near-death experiences (NDEs), which can illuminate the process of dying and the world beyond the physical and thus eliminate the fear of death. As Sufi poet and enlightened Master Rumi stated, “Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only when you set in the west can you rise in the east.” So what exactly is a near-death experience? Let’s hear some answers from radiation oncologist and author Dr. Jeffrey Long, co-founder of the US-based Near Death Experience Research Foundation and the author of the book “Evidence of the Afterlife.”

A near-death experience may be defined as two components— being near-death, and having an experience. The near-death part means that the person is so physically compromised from some accident or illness that they’re generally unconscious and may even be clinically dead. They’re so physically compromised that if they don’t improve physically, they will suffer irreversible, permanent death. And yet at that time, when they’re unconscious and should have no possibility of a remembered conscious event during that period, they do have the experience part of a near-death experience.

Do those who have undergone an NDE typically have an incomplete or vivid recollection of what happened while they were unconscious? Mr. Rene Jorgensen, an author and founder of the Canada-based non-profit organization NDE Light, studies the parallels between near-death experiences and the world of religion and spirituality.

We all know when we pass out, when we come back we are very confused. We don't remember the seconds just before we passed out, the brain is confused because it doesn't have enough blood flow. When there is not enough blood flow, the brain is very confused. It can't produce clear and coherent experiences. What you have with the near-death experience is it's a very clear and coherent experience. Psychologists have analyzed the experience saying there are no signs of schizophrenia or hallucination. It's a very clear and normal sane experience that people remember many years after. And you will have people who say, “I had my experience 30 years ago but it's still to me as clear as day, as if it was yesterday”.

In recent decades the medical community has shown great interest in near-death experiences, which has led to an increase in research on the phenomenon.

First we know from scientific experiments set up in hospitals that about one in five, 20% of people who have cardiac arrest are clinically dead and then brought back successfully, they report having a near-death experience. It's something that we can predict scientifically. It does happen to people and it happens quite often. There have been some estimates that in the US alone, at least 8 million people have had this experience. So it's a very common experience.

If we look at what happens when somebody is clinically dead and this goes to the theory of it being a hallucination, very few seconds after the heart stops beating after cardiac arrest, the blood flow to the brain stops completely; that means without blood flow to the brain, the brain can simply not function. The brain needs blood to produce conscious experience. The near-death experience is a very lucid and real and coherent experience so you need blood flow to be able to produce this experience. After eight to 10 seconds, there is no longer any blood flow. The mind cannot, when it's inactive, produce a hallucination.

The testimonies given by those who have had NDEs reveal the existence of certain identifiable stages that are universally observed regardless of cultural or religious background.

A basic scientific principle is that which is real is consistently observed. So you would expect if near-death experiences were real, you would consistently observe elements, not only among the over 1,300 I studied, but you would also expect that consistency of what goes on during near-death experiences from what all the other researchers are seeing in the thousands of other near-death experiences that have been reported.

From extensive review of the scholarly literature and looking over what other researchers are seeing and having studied near-death experiences as I have, what we’re observing in near-death experiences is consistently observed. And that consistency runs deep. We see the same consistency in the near-death experience among very small children. We see the same near-death experiences all around the world. It’s as if it doesn’t make any difference if you are a Hindu in India, a Muslim in Egypt, or a Christian in the United States, the similarity of the elements of near-death experience worldwide is striking.

What are the consistent, comparable and identifiable stages of a near-death experience?

A typical, detailed near-death experience would involve first what’s called the out-of-body experience. Consciousness separates from the body and goes above the body. They can often from that vantage point see below them their frantic resuscitation efforts.

They may then go through a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, there’s very often a mystical, bright light. In that area, they may also encounter deceased loved ones, not as a haunting or frightening event but as a joyous reunion. They may have a life review where they see parts or all of their prior life. They may be in unearthly, beautiful realms sometimes called heavenly realms. They may encounter what’s called a barrier which means, like for example, a stream across the path they’re on or a bridge, or something which they can’t cross. And then usually at that point in time, they’re involved in a decision, and that being a decision about returning to their earthly body.

Some of the most dramatic near-death experiences that I read involve the point of consciousness leaving far away from the physical body. They may travel outside of the emergency room where they’ve suffered, for example, a heart attack and cardiac arrest. They’re actually able to see and hear ongoing events far from their physical body and far from any possible sensory awareness.

For example, we’ve had people have consciousness and during this out-of-body experience part of their near-death experience go to the nursing station where they were, even though they are in the operating room with their heart stopped. We’ve had people in an operating theater where they had their heart stop and then yet their consciousness was in the cafeteria of the hospital where they were seeing and hearing right at that point in time what their family was talking about and that is absolutely medically inexplicable.

After they have their out-of-body experience, even if they were in an incredibly painful situation that caused them to nearly die, immediately they’re feeling no pain at all. They may feel a profound sense of peace and connection. In fact the most common word, what they feel and what is described in near-death experience is “love.” They feel love intensely, compassionately. They feel a connection or unity of people that they see and all other people. Very dramatic, incredibly intense, positive emotions described in near-death experiences.

As Dr. Long just stated, subjects often report that during their near-death experience they felt a profound, deep connection with everyone. A tenet that is common to all the world’s religions and spiritual traditions is that all beings are one. Scientific experiments in the field of quantum physics have demonstrated the fundamental unity of the universe.

Everything is interconnected. That's what we learn in religion and spirituality, that everything is one and we have the same principle in quantum mechanics. Particles, even though they are separate in space, are still interconnected.

There's this science of quantum entanglement. It's also called non-locality. The way that quantum entanglement works is that in experiments they take two particles apart and scientists said these particles communicate but they don't communicate at the speed of light, these particles are actually communicating instantaneously, which means that they communicate beyond time and space. And there they've concluded that these particles are in fact interconnected. That's why it's called entanglement, that all particles in the universe are not separated. They might look like separate physical entities, but in reality, they're still entangled, they're still interconnected.

We are grateful, Dr. Jeffrey Long and Rene Jorgensen for the introduction to some of your findings on near-death experiences. May your work continue to help give others a greater understanding of the after-life.

For more information on today’s featured experts, please visit the following websites:
Dr. Jeffrey Long
Dr. Long’s book “Evidence of the Afterlife” is available at www.Amazon.com

Rene Jorgensen

Books by Mr. Jorgensen are available at the same website

Thank you for your presence on this edition of Science and Spirituality. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May all beings experience the unconditional, everlasting loving embrace of the Divine as we all work toward creating a more beautiful, harmonious world.