A British Chemist Shares Her Near Death Experience

And she says she experienced absolute audio and visual clarity when her mind was outside of her body:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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4 Responses to A British Chemist Shares Her Near Death Experience

  1. Jared K says:

    Santi,

    This is a really interesting topic you’ve been exploring lately. I’m agnostic about these kinds of experiences (though I still have hope and faith for an afterlife), but aren’t they powerful to hear?

    Do you have any leanings one way or the other on these NDEs?

  2. santitafarella says:

    Jared,

    I think that the phenomenon is real (if I were forced to bet). In terms of intuition, it feels right. Being a confused person in general, my thoughts on this (like everything else) may change over time, but that’s my best guess right now. I’m reading an academic book on the subject that is very good: “The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences.” It’s the most serious and authoritative (from a research point of view) of any of the books I’ve found on the subject. You might consider putting it on your Amazon wish list.

    I think NDEs are an extraordinarily hopeful sign that maybe the universe is not just material atoms shuffling in the void, that the mind is not reducible to matter, and there is some loving providence that will meet us at death. I, personally, do not want to die an atheist’s or an agnostic’s death (even though I am an agnostic). I don’t want to die like the pathetic characters in John Updike’s late fiction. I want to see my dead mother and grandmother, and other long gone relatives. I’ve got a few questions for God. These desires may be clouding my judgment of the NDE phenomenon, but NDEs strike me as a definite check on the theism side of the evidence ledger. NDEs also help with the problem of evil (theologically and philosophically).

    NDEs also say something (to me) about the problematics of atheism. Even if these are hallucinations born of brain trauma, it’s interesting that at the very base of the human mind is love and connection to the light, and a vision of paradise where those we love are reunited. If atheism means living without the core of the human mind, what does that say about the desolation that atheism represents, and its prospects for ever satisfying the human psyche?

    Another thing I like about NDEs is their apparent acceptance of just about everyone, ultimately, into a kindly light. There are bad NDEs, but they are not as prevelant as good ones. Some NDEs, I admit, are dark and problematic to a liberal hippie like me. I’m still thinking about what to make of those. But I like the thought that atheists and agnostics like myself might be pleasantly surprised at death. Intuitively, if God exists, it feels right to me that God is a bit of a prankster like this, but ultimately loves everybody, and generally accepts people as they are.

    Lastly, I think of my kids. One of the greatest emotional traumas of my life is the anxiety I sometimes feel when I think that I might die before my kids are grown (this happened to me with my own mom). Since my kids have been born, I’ve had two surgeries and three times I’ve been under anesthesia. Those are very traumatic feelings to have when you have kids. Nothing in atheism or agnosticism helps this anxiety, but NDEs help. If I were to die, the thought that I would be in a place to reunite with them later is deeply important to me. I really want to believe in this phenomenon. That there is even a little bit of evidence that this might be the case for people is worth exploring for me. Of course, the very fact that I want to believe it makes it important for me not to be gullible about it. But it’s hard. I’m human.

    —Santi

  3. Pam Hollifield says:

    Dear Santi,
    I’m a sensitive. Sensitives see and know “things”. I recently saw a friend’s husband who had died. He was a proclaimed agnostic. Agnostics are alone in the next world. He was sitting in an aluminum lawn chair (the kind that has that plastic weave). He was surrounded by nothing except gray. There was no ceiling, floor, or walls, just gray. This is an agnostics lonely existence in the next world. There is no auditory or visual stimulation in an agnostics next world either (no sensory stimulation whatsoever). You must believe in God and Jesus in order to talk to them in the next life. But of course, you can talk to God and Jesus now or anytime.
    In Light – Pam

    • santitafarella says:

      Pam,

      I don’t for one minute believe that you see or know more than any other human being about the afterlife. And I do not see any evidence that you are sensitive at all. A sensitive person, I would think, would not be so deliberately manipulative of others, telling them to change their honestly arrived at views lest they spend eternity tortured in a place of gray isolation. Your heart is quite obviously ice cold and hard. You need to think about the chilling way that you share your intuitions with others, and what it means to turn God into a callous and torturing devil.

      —Santi

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