Near-Death Experiences

Extracts from an article by B. Greyson and B. Harris in Spiritual Emergency, C. and S. Grof (ed.);

“…These near-death experiences, or NDEs, are often the seeds that either immediately or eventually flower into profound spiritual growth.

“…Because it often occurs to people who are not looking or prepared for spiritual growth it is particularly likely to lead to a spiritual crisis.

“…Sometimes people who were totally unprepared to face a spiritual awakening, as in a NDE, may doubt their sanity; yet they are often afraid of rejection or ridicule if they discuss this fear with friends or professionals.

“…Common emotional problems following NDE include anger and depression at having been returned, perhaps against one’s will to this physical dimension.

“…They often have problems fitting the NDE into their traditional religious beliefs, or into their traditional values and lifestyles.

“…NDEers may find it impossible to communicate to others the meaning and impact of the NDE on their lives. Frequently, having experienced the unconditional love of the NDE, the NDEer cannot accept the conditions and limitations of human relationships.”

From Stormy Search for the Self, by C. and S. Grof:

“…Near-death experiences frequently lead to spiritual emergencies, because they fundamentally challenge the beliefs about reality held by many people who undergo them. These totally unexpected events take people by surprise: a car accident in the middle of rush-hour traffic or a heart attack during jogging can catapult someone into a fantastic visionary adventure that tears ordinary reality asunder.”

The universal experience of Death is one of the most predictable yet mysterious events in our lives. The process of dying can be associated with an extraordinary inner-journey into the transpersonal realms of the psyche.

Extract from: The Stormy Search for the Self by C. and S. Grof;

“…Although there are individual variations, the experiences of the people who come close to death seem to follow a general pattern. One’s entire life up to that point can be reviewed in the form of a colourful, incredibly condensed replay within seconds of clock time. Consciousness can detach from the body and move around with great independence and freedom. Sometimes it floats above the scene of the accident and observes it with curiosity and detached amusement; at other times it travels to distant locations.

“Many people describe passing through a dark tunnel or funnel that brings them to a light of supernatural brilliance and beauty, a divine being that radiates infinite, all-embracing love, forgiveness, and acceptance. In a personal exchange, perceived as an audience with God, they receive a lesson about existence and its universal laws and have an opportunity to evaluate their past by these new standards. Then they choose to return to ordinary reality and live their lives in a new way congruent with the principles they have learned.”