A few years ago, I read a most interesting book by Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr. entitled “Life After Life.” This book describes in graphic detail numerous Near Death Experiences (NDE) of many of his patients. He became so intrigued by this that he began a deliberate study of this phenomenon. He later wrote another book in which he coined the term NDE to describe what happens to people who become clinically dead, then are revived.
The basic tale told by most NDE people is quite similar in its basics with a few variations. In sum, it involves leaving the body, seeing the surroundings where the death occurs, then going into a dark tunnel, then finding a source of light to which they migrate. As they reach the light, some are accompanied by a ‘Being of Light’ who radiates love and knowledge; there is a review of one’s life in great detail, then the person is told that they must return since their time is not yet. People who experience NDE’s are generally changed spiritually and have no fear of death, and in many cases regret having come back to life.
A very good friend of mine died on the operating table during surgery and experienced a NDE. She later wrote me to describe the events which took place. Her parting comment was that we never need to fear death and how beautiful it is on the other side.
In looking over the literature of books published on this subject, I am amazed how much has been written. Many skeptics attribute this experience to nitrogen narcosis, carbon dioxide changes in the body and tricks which the brain plays to minimize the death process. Yet, there is so much to this that it is interesting that the scientific community has not given this more attention.
The other day as I was thinking about this, I began to wonder why people are given this glimpse of the other side and what it could possibly mean. In some writings, it is shown that there is an abundance of love and knowledge, peace and beauty there. There are also indications that humans experience life on earth as really death compared to that on the other side.
Euripides, an ancient sage, sums it up very well:
“Who knoweth, if to die
Be but to live;
And that called life by
mortals, be but death.”
It seems that a soul is required to go through life on earth to appreciate what is available in the afterlife.
This is not too farfetched. Consider Adam and Eve who had a paradise on earth, but had no knowledge of sin. Had they not fallen to the wiles of Satan, they might still be in the Garden of Eden. But, after the fall, they had to experience death, sin, illness, inhumanity and a host of plagues which are visited to life on earth.
Perhaps by making souls serve a life sentence on earth, the Creator has provided us a meaningful and unforgettable experience of what disobedience to God can mean for eternity. What better way to assure an eternity of peace and love when a soul is now experienced in the alternative choice. And, what a marvelous solution that God set it up this way, so that by following His way, we may enjoy an eternal Kingdom free of pain, hate and sin, and live forever in an overwhelming state of peace, knowledge and above all – LOVE.