Near Death Experiences. How do you know when you are dead?

Near Death Experiences?

On Ascension Thursday this is a topic that has some relevancy.  It's a Spiritual one. This question I was asked a couple of weeks ago whilst having a chat that strayed into Religion (not on my part) in McDonalds with somebody I see on a regular basis. I seem to have an increasing amount of these sorts of strange conversations these days. It's a bit of a morbid one but probably something that we all think about at some stage in our lives. The question was this (exact words) "When you're dead, do you know you're dead?". I've had some near death experiences (read my Testimonial)  but haven't actually died and come back
from the grave so to speak, more like close shaves, so cannot really give a qualified answer of what it's like on the other side. I said to him ...... "I'll ask my vicar at my local church, see what he knows".

This question is one of those million dollar life questions that doesn't really have many answers, not from this world anyway. Hollywood has it's answers, Religion has answers, Science thinks it has answers, people who have actually died and come back must have answers, so this article will look at the various different views and see what comes out in the wash and see what the Bible and the Church has to say, if anything?

To start with a good video gives an insight on people famous and not so famous and their experiences travelling from life to death and back, you could call them Survival Stories. Is there something out there or is it just an empty void of nothingness like switching off a computer?

Vid: 10 Amazing Near Death Experiences via The Richest

The Hollywood Take
This question "When you're dead, do you know you're dead?" raises one film in mind that I watched many years ago which haunted me for weeks afterwards. It has a go at answering that very question. It's called "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman. It's just a film and is bizarre until you get near the end and the penny drops very loudly indeed. In this film the answer is a definite NO we don't know we are dead, not intially anyway. Certainly worth a watch if you have not seen and are curious about such things. The Others Trailer

Heaven is For Real (2014) is another film based on a 2010 New York Times No1 best-selling Christian book featuring a Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. I haven't personally seen the film but judging by the trailer it looks worth watching! It delves into many facts the most important being "will anybody believe what you are saying" and will people think you are a psychiatric ward admission candidate? All things you have to take on board when considering spilling the beans on such matters!

The Athiest Take

An Atheist (A non believer) who spent a short while medically dead is our best insight into post-life. A man who died twice for about two minutes at a time, once from a motorcycle accident, once from an overdose of painkillers, gave his answers via Reddit and fielded questions on his experience. Here's the questions and what he had to say

On the sensation of death after a near death experience twice by an Atheist according to The Telegraph

"I had no idea, it was just black emptiness. No thoughts, no consciousness, nothing."

"Both times I was just "not there". It was just all black. I would describe it as when you take a nap. A short nap with no dream, you wake up and it feels like you've been sleeping a long time, when in reality it's only been about 15 minutes.

"The only reason I know is because the doctors were obligated to share the information with me. "So yeah, you were dead for a couple of minutes, just FYI" hahaha.

"So if the doctors wouldn't have said anything I would've just thought that I took a dreamless nap."

On whether he really experienced 'black emptiness' or if this was just how his memory filled in the 'blank'…

"It was definitely not just a gap. Much like a dreamless nap, you don't just wake up and feel like time just jumped ahead. You know that you've been asleep for a while. At the same time, you can't really remember experiencing anything at all, unless you had a dream.

"So yes and no. I experienced something, and that something was nothing."

On whether the different causes of death yielded different experiences…

The two experiences were exactly the same. The only difference is that the accident one, I remember the seconds before a lot more clear. The second time, I was in so much pain that I wasn't really fully aware of my surroundings if you understand what I mean.

In summary:

"Death is death. Once your dead, that's it, it's over."

...said the man who died twice.

Somebody who had a near death experience twice) full article at The Telegraph

The Science Take:

Science mainly states that when we die, that's it, curtains, it can explain the process in amazing detail, but there are other scientific theories out there which are detailed here below and make interesting reading.

Robert Lanza wrote a Scientific take on death and here's an excerpt from that article that is a bit of a "brain fryer" and heavy reading but sheds some light of what is thought of life and death in scientific circles.

According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air – if you take everything away, what’s left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can’t see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, “Now Besso” (an old friend) “has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us…know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.
Read more at Robert Lanza

An article on the 10 phases of death goes into great detail about the process of death an what actually happens in a scientific manner. Do they have the answer? 10 Fascinating Stages of Death via Listverse /

Science recently though has come up with some proof that there just maybe "life after death" as illustrated in an interesting article from The Telegraph titled "First hint of 'life after death' in biggest ever scientific study! Is the answer there?

From my experience with Science merely from my  opinion is this  "science provides answers to questions..............but those answers then only generate more questions to find more answers"

The General View from the Masses

Scouring some forum style websites such as Yahoo Answers and the Quora Forum reveals some interesting answers from the web from various walks of life. Yet again can't verify whether the answers are correct but they make interesting reading none the less.

Answers from Yahoo Answers with names

The UK Goddess *Accalia*
Best Answer (according to Yahoo Answers: You won't know if you're dead because you will be dead. There won't be a you anymore.

Fact of the matter is you can't not exist. Just like we had no knowledge of who we were before we were born or even afterwards until our brains matured enough to comprehend the world around us, theres no way to tell your not existing because the moment your comprehending your surroundings your existing there is no alternative. If the universe never existed then how would any of us know unless it existed for us to be here in the first place?

Nobody knows exactly. When you die you end you cant think therefore you wont know. this answer might not be what your looking for but its probably the best answer because its the truth.

You will see something on you foot saying your name and the time of death but the Doctor will have the right answer to your answer

Quora Forum
Jim Davis, Survived terminal illness and two near-death experiences, yet here I am.

You will not feel anything, for you will have no sensory capacity. The organs that provide you with your senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight will be entirely inoperable. You will never feel hunger, fatigue, or pain. But what bothers most people about death is that they know they will be completely and forever cut off from loved ones. It sounds lonely, but don't worry, you won't mind. Your brain, which you would need to make sense of these senses or to feel that loneliness, will not work, either. If you can meditate for a little while on what it was like before you were born, that is what it will be like after you die.

Margie Bock. Death and dying can be a celebration of that person..

Who knows and who cares. The focus should always remain on life. That is the only thing we know for certainty that exists.

The Religious Take

Pure religious faith suggests that the soul or spirit lives on after death, it's only the body that dies, but pure science suggests that consciousness can only exist in a living brain. This video delves into some Near Death esperiences from a more religious angle with an Atheist and a Muslim saying they saw Jesus Christ during their experience. Near Death Experiences: Proof that Jesus Exists 

As mentioned earlier the "When you're dead, do you know you're dead?" question was referred to my Vicar at the local Church and he had this to say:

"When you die and you are a Christian you know you are dead. Otherwise you just go into a deep sleep"

My interpretation and additions are these

"When you die and you are a Christian you know you are dead and you know where you are going. Non believers just go into a deep sleep and have no idea where they are going"

A quote for those who are non believers revealing what happens when they die and where there spirit goes and a story from Jesus told to his disciples concerning  Lazaraus the Beggar (A believer) and a Rich Man (A non believer). Jesus said that Lazarus died and went to Paradise but the rich man ended up in Hades. This quote illustrates that you have to be a believer in this life here on earth and not afterwards when it is too late!

Luke 16:19-31
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

General Bible Quotes concerning Death and the After Life.

Genesis 3:19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Ecclesiastes 12:7
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Daniel 12:2
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Ezekiel 18:4
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Romans 2:6-8
Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Ecclesiastes 9:5
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

John 11:25
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Finally when Jesus was hanging on the cross with two thieves on either side, one rebuked him but the other said this and Jesus replied to him in this quote below

Luke 23:42-43
 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.


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