Falsehoods arising out of Near Death Experiences
Many people have written and spoken about their experiences of dying and then coming back to life. This phenomenon has been termed an NDE — near death experience, and the survivors have returned with amazing, intriguing, engaging, and supernatural stories that make for good reading. Suddenly, the NDE experiencer thrusts him/herself into the spotlight as an expert on the afterlife. But it’s my contention that, at best, such experiencers have skewed perspectives that are to be regarded as most any other personal event that has meaning only for the experiencer — similar to the way a dreamer is impressed by her own dream. At the heart of the issue is the egoic self.
People who speak about their NDEs do so out of ego. What is ego? It is the accretion of thought that creates a sense of who you are, but this is a false sense because it is not real, not permanent, always changing, and subject to incursion by thoughts, memories, and information. The ego is created by way of mental conditioning by influences such as teachers, parents, authority figures, religion, and so on. All of these influences create a false sense of reality and a skewed perspective of what is called reality. Therefore, the conditioned, egoic mind interprets the NDE only according to the information by which it already has been conditioned. So, the “special messages” and information “brought back” to be shared with others is tainted by the egoic mind and is not representative of any great truth at all.
NDE survivors speak about things that happened to them, which are apparent events that are phenomena occurring in the great space of one ultimate reality that is untouched, unfazed, and unaffected by anything that ever seems to happen. These phenomena are interpreted by the conditioned mind and given credence and importance. The experiencer conveys a false sense of insight, because they are perceiving all events only according to the ego, by the past.
All experiences are representations of the past, and the past is only a collection of thoughts. As soon as the mind steps in with its interpretation and retelling of events, it is the past, because the mind is a product of thought, and thought is always in the past. Thus, all NDEs, like all other events of life, are known only by way of a biased worldview, regardless of how real and profound the experience seemed to be.
When the NDE experiencer pontificates on his/her experience it is in the context of a very limited worldview colored by conditioning, information, memories, fears, hopes, desires, experiences, etc. And because they have only had one (perhaps on rare occasion, two) NDEs, they somehow come up with a seemingly profound discovery about what the “nonphysical” world is all about. They want to share this with others as if they have gleaned special insight about angels, Jesus, dead relatives, spirit guides, and on and on. But, when you have had hundreds or thousands of OBEs then you realize there are so many nuances and variables that no singular explanation, cosmology, or worldview can be rightly — accurately — suggested.
At best, apart from the egoic sense of self, we can only say that there is an apparent world of phenomena in which the sense of self experiences events, beings, and objects not commonly experienced in this so-called physical world.
Reality is that which is permanent, never changing. But the problem is that most people are always looking “out there,” and never “in here,” at the permanent source of the looking. Everything except for this permanent source is limited, changing, phenomenal, skewed, bounded, and apparent. A person who has an NDE has no more insight than a person meditating on the meaning of a tree. In fact, the latter person is far more likely to come up with something profound that has nothing to do with phenomena.