Why near-death experiences intrigue me

God-lightSomeone recently asked me, “Why are you so fascinated with near-death experiences. Why live your life for some distant future and miss living your life now?”

That’s a valid point. A lot of people don’t live for the present. They live for some distant future. Some stay stuck in the past.

I explained that looking at the NDE phenomenon is one way for me to comprehend my present-day reality. Understanding death and the continuity of life helps me make the most of my present life. My studies in near-death experiences and spirituality have helped me shape a life philosophy based on a premise that we should fully live each existence we get.

We’re here for a reason, even if most of us don’t fully understand the scope of that reason. It will be revealed to us later, much as a good college professor will guide students through a maze of lessons and challenges and then later explain the particulars after the exercises have been completed.


Whether it’s Facebook or the newspaper or somewhere else, I constantly hear death stories. One Friday I read an article about a teen-age couple whose life plans were abruptly altered when the male was killed in a motorcycle crash. The following Monday I learned that a client’s husband was also killed in a motorcycle accident.

Then on Facebook I read a post by a woman who wanted to know how to talk to a new friend of hers whose only child just committed suicide.

Sudden deaths seem especially freaky. They take us by surprise. We have to cope with them quickly without any time to prepare mentally. In my case knowing about near-death experiences helps me process these events. My vision of death is much different than those who have not been exposed to much about spiritual adventure.

For example, I have heard first-hand several accounts from people who have “died’ in motorcycle crashes, and who eventually recovered to tell their stories. I have heard from others who have “died” in other kinds of crashes, electrocutions, drownings, heart attacks, combat, and so on. The argument is that these people did not actually “die” because they obviously came back, but I contend, as do they, that they did enter the dying process.

In so many of these accidental near-deaths, including botched suicide attempts, the victims often came back revolutionized in their thinking. They had what Dr. Alan Hugenot, a physicist who had an NDE of his own, calls a “brain shift,” like a total a mental makeover. They had become fearless as to the prospects of dying again (except for those whose NDE was hellish.)

Many had entered another reality for awhile and were confident that this other realm of existence was not a hallucination, dream, or trick of the brain. They often say it was “too real.” They came back with a refreshed look at what it means to live in this physical existence, what is truly important in life, and many vow to make the best of it.

They often have complete shifts in values, usually becoming more about service to humanity and less about ego. Their personality shifts often annoy and frustrate their friends and family who want the old personality back.


For me, the most liberating message garnered from collective near-death experience accounts is that there is a purpose for each of our lives. We’re here for a reason; we’re not just accidents of chaos. All the trials and tribulations of life on this planet are not accidental either.

We are enrolled in Earth School. Go, team, go! Earth life is like playing in an ultra-realistic simulator. There is much more to big-picture life than we can perceive.

Our reason for being here is to negotiate a spiritual reality—not to earn lots of fame and fortune. Success can be something quite simple and has nothing to do with social norms about career and material success. It could be about learning how to love even in adverse situations. It could be simply to find a way to weather the storms of negativity that surround us and to stay in a peaceful spot despite those forces, which is actually not as easy as it may sound. It apparently takes us a bunch of lives to get it.


Becoming familiar with near-death experiences and other spiritually transformative experiences like out-of-body adventures helps me process what so much of society convinces us is tragic. To flip the paradigm that death is horrible—that we actually survive it albeit in a different form—is amazingly freeing for the inner spirit. While there is always room for healthy skepticism, the evidence for soul survival continues to mount.

In many circles it’s still not popular to talk about death in anything but sad and grim terms, so when death occurs in our family or among friends, we’re stuck with suffering the old-fashioned way. When my mother died a few days short of her 93rd birthday our family faced a flood of well-intended condolences. Some people clearly wanted us to be or at least to appear more traumatized that Mom had died. They did not want to hear any scenario but their own, which supported the premise that death is 100% sad and that if we don’t openly suffer, it reveals a shortage of love for the deceased.

What about the suffering that people go through with the decline of their health, the more pervasive presence of daily pain, and bodies that no longer function well? In my mind, my mother is dancing in the streets of heaven overjoyed to be out of her pain-filled physical body and away from her walker. Her quality of life has drastically improved, an impression strengthened by the spiritual reading I do and from listening to the shares from NDErs I have met. Naturally I miss my mother’s physical presence in this physical world, but I fully expect to see her again and believe she still checks in from time to time (in her timeless world.)


NDEs and the paradigm that I call Earth School give me an exciting framework from which to live my life in the present. To me it is not much different than what science does by spending billions of dollars to try and figure out definitely how Earth and all its flora and fauna got here. Answers to big questions.

I won’t know the truth about NDEs until I have a real-death experience. However, going with the idea that we in Earth School have lessons to learn is a great way for me to deal with the downs in life. I think of them not as chance but as part of a lesson plan, and I look for the gifts even in painful circumstances. It helps enormously. It helps me be here now.