A near-death experience (NDE) is a personal experience associated with death or impending death. Such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light.
Kenneth Ring (1980) classified NDE's on a 5 stage continuum:
- feelings of peace and contentment;
- a sense of detachment from the body;
- entering a transitional world of darkness (rapid movements through tunnels: 'the tunnel experience');
- emerging into bright light; and
- 'entering the light'.
In Ken Ring's studies, 60% experienced stage 1, but only 10% attained stage 5.
NDEs are understood to involve one or a combination of the following features (Schwaninger et al. 2002; van Lommel 2011):
- an out-of-body experience (OBE)
- seeing or moving through a tunnel
- communicating with a being of light
- observing a celestial landscape
- meeting with deceased persons
- a life review
- loss of sense of time and space and/or
- a conscious return to the body.
Substance-induced near-death experience
"Some sleep researchers, such as Timothy J. Green, Lynne Levitan and Stephen LaBerge, have noted that NDEs are similar to many reports of lucid dreaming, in which the individual realizes he is in a dream. Often these states are so realistic as to be barely distinguishable from reality.
In a study of fourteen lucid dreamers performed in 1991, people who perform wake-initiated lucid dreams (WILD) reported experiences consistent with aspects of out-of-body experiences such as floating above their beds and the feeling of leaving their bodies. Due to the phenomenological overlap between lucid dreams, near-death experiences, and out-of-body experiences, researchers say they believe a protocol could be developed to induce a lucid dream similar to a near-death experience in the laboratory."
Meditation-induced near-death experience (MI-NDE), 2018 study: Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: a 3-Year Longitudinal Study -- "compared to regular forms of meditation, the meditation-induced NDE led to a five-fold increase in mystical experiences and a four-fold increase in feelings of non-attachment,” Van Gordon explained."
- Near-death experience (Wikipedia)
- Music for Ayahuasca-Assisted Near-Death Experience Therapy (MAANDET) by David Hedlund
- Study of advanced Buddhist meditators suggests inducing near-death experiences can be learned and perfected
- Near-Death Experiences and DMT