N.D.E.'s, or Near Death Experiences, are rather intriguing. I remember reading Raymond Moody's book "Life After Life" when I was in high school. At the time I determined that N.D.E.s were the result of the brain's reaction to extreme stress and pain. I'm still convinced on this point, but I have an open mind.
Of course the big question is: are N.D.E's proof of 'life after death,' or, that our consciousness can exist outside the physical body? If our consciousness can exist outside the physical, then all the facts we currently have about neuroscience and physics will be challenged.
That's a big tamale, if you think about it. Here are my random thoughts about Near Death Experiences.
1. There seems to be no doubt in my mind that the experience, to these people, is very real and very vivid. People have painstakingly accurate recall, and often their lives are significantly altered after the N.D.E.
2. On the other hand, we know other events can bring on such vivid 'hallucinations,' such as drugs, extreme emotional trauma, epilepsy, and sudden acceleration of the body (jet pilots have reported these experiences).
3. I'm intrigued that the majority of people report an experience that closely parallels a Buddhist philosophy of life; one I happen to have an affinity for.
4. It's interesting that prior to modern medicine, N.D.E.s are rarely, or vaguely, reported. Is it because with modern resuscitation methods, and modern drugs, more people 'live to tell the tale?' Or, centuries earlier more people believed in god and afterlife, so reports of such experiences were hardly surprising or newsworthy? Finally, is it because modern medicine and procedures cause these events?
5. The 'out of body' portion of the experience is most intriguing to me. People report hearing conversations of loved ones and medical personnel verbatim, while in a coma, or 'unconscious.' People see their own body from above, and can later report details they couldn't have seen with their physical eyes.
6. I'd be willing to consider that there are aspects of human consciousness that we are yet to understand. But science should be able to prove it, and, this higher level consciousness would not be exclusive to humans.
Here are some reported N.D.E.'s. Enjoy tickling your brain.