Many people have reported these feelings and sensations when lingering on death's door. Is it a glimpse of the afterlife or just hallucinations as the brain slowly shuts down?
Out of body Experiences
Reports range from out of body experiences (some people having seen their own dead bodies), to a tunnel of light, a sense of well-being and relief from pain to visions of loved ones who have already passed. These experiences, along with many others, are collectively referred to as 'near death experiences' or NDE's.
Although there have been many historical reports of similar experiences, it is with the advent of medical technologies ability to resuscitate people after much longer periods of ceased bodily function, that NDE's have become more common.
Tunnel of Light
More people experience the first stages of NDE, than the later stages.
There have been many theories of what is taking place during an NDE. Common amongst more spiritual people is that it is the transition from life to the afterlife. Many cite it as proof positive that the human consciousness can survive the death of the physical body.
It is also noted that many of the NDE 'symptoms' are felt by those that have not suffered life threatening events, or people in deep meditation and those lucidly dreaming. These facts are also said to prove that NDE experiences have no link to an existence, or proof of the afterlife.
However, it should be understood that many people utilise meditation, lucid dreaming and the use of DMT for spiritual practices. These practices have been used for many, many years by those seeking to better experience and commune with the spirit realms.
Even if the brain itself is causing these events, could it be priming the experiences consciousness for the afterlife?