Life after death: Expert discusses research into topic
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Science is yet to offer any tangible evidence of the afterlife but there are some people who claim to already know the truth. In particular, people who have gone through so-called near-death experiences (NDEs) are often convinced they have gained insight into life after death. NDEs survivors are often involved in traumatic injuries or medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, or even temporary, clinical death.
One such person is Kristin K, who claims to have developed life-threatening pneumonia 21 years ago when she was only 14-years-old.
During the incident, Kristin was in her bedroom as she had been ill with bronchitis and was out of school.
The woman shared her account with the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF), which collects and catalogues NDE reports from around the globe.
Kristin said: “The day I had the near-death experience was on mother’s day and my grandparents, with whom I had a very close relationship, came to visit.
“I was lying down in my bed and in my room. I felt very sluggish from the bronchitis and was very apathetic.
“I can still remember looking at the ceiling when I felt a state of weightlessness.”
All of a sudden, Kristin said she found herself floating towards the ceiling.
She then looked down and saw her body still lying in bed.
And yet, despite the terrifying ordeal, she claims not to have been afraid.
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She said: “I felt like I was held, safe and loved.
“Then everything around me became very luminously bright and a warm light pervaded everything.
“I saw a brightly shining circle whose edges dissolved into soft, yellowish-red colours.”
Kristin claims a voice then spoke to her, giving her a choice between moving on and staying behind.
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After choosing to stay alive, Kristin said she found herself back in her body and was soon after discovered by her parents who took her to the hospital.
Kristin’s account may seem incredible but it is not unique and likely a byproduct of natural processes.
Although scientists have not yet figured out what causes NDEs, the leading theories state they are hallucinations triggered during moments of trauma.
According to one theory, the hallucinations are caused by an insufficient amount of oxygen flowing to the brain.
Another theory suggests NDEs appear when brain cells start to die.
Whatever the case may be, researchers do agree NDEs are very often life-changing events.
Dr Neil Dagnall, a reader in Applied Cognitive Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), has previously told Express.co.uk how NDEs can emphasise the need to find meaning in life.
The expert said: “In some cases yes – NDE does validate pre-existing beliefs in the afterlife.
“In other instances, it emphasizes mortality and the need for meaning in life.”
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