As the readers know, I have read a lot of NDE’s and I enjoy considering the ideas presented. Most people put zero stock in these things.
I have running discussions with a very nice fellow at work about these things. He is a Conservative, traditional Bible scholar and he wants nothing whatsoever to do with NDE’s. He was polite enough to read one of my books, but he never even considered it as anything but fiction.
Ok, fine. But I turned up a Bible passage where Paul is pretty clearly stating that he knows a man who is reliable and who had, what sounds like for all the world, like an NDE. Paul entertains it, while these folks will not. Here we go:
2 Corinthians 12 (New International Version)
12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations.
Paul is not pooh-poohing this man’s description of what happened. He refers to it as “surpassingly great revelations” in this translation. So he’s ok with it.
And he does not really describe the man’s experience, except to say that the things are “inexpressible”. Many NDE’ers describe the inability to describe what they experienced! They try to, but they always leave the caveat: this falls short, I can’t really do it justice.
They describe things that are extra-dimensional. Things like many more colors than we have. Music that is multi-dimensional and impossible to describe yet indescribably beautiful. They frequently describe the idea that on the other side, there is no time! That events just “are” and it’s very similar to the way that Physicists describe what the 4th dimension would look like, if you could see it: events past, present and future are all laid out side by side at the SAME TIME! Now how the heck do you describe that? How do you get your mind around that? Well, just like Paul says, these things are indescribable in our realm.
Other things NDE’ers frequently cite are the non-speaking, perfect telepathic communication. I’m not sure how that would work but it’s an almost universal element of just about every NDE I’ve ever read.
They describe the “life review” where you relive your life from ALL persepctives: from yourself in the moment, from yourself viewing the review, and from ALL the other participant’s point of view at that time, and oh yea, SIMULTANEOUSLY! So again, I can’t imagine that too well.