(1) Those cases who came
closest to death, or were clinically dead, just
as Moody's cases reported, told of being outside
of their bodies, of moving through a void or
dark tunnel toward a luminous light, of meeting
with departed relatives and friends, of having
a feeling of great comfort and bliss and of
being surrounded by compassionate love, a feeling
so beautiful they longed to remain, and when
they returned to the "earthly" realm,
they were affected by this feeling the rest
of their lives.
No one type of person was especially likely
to have this experience. It cut across race,
gender, age, education, marital status, and
(3) Religious orientation
was not a factor affecting either the likelihood
or the depth of the NDE. An atheist was as likely
to have one as was a devoutly religious person.
(4) Regardless of their
prior attitudes - whether skeptical or
deeply religious - and regardless
of the many variations in religious beliefs
and degrees of skepticism from tolerant disbelief
to outspoken atheism - most of these people
were convinced that they had been in the presence
of some supreme and loving power and had a glimpse
of a life yet to come.
(5) Drugs, anesthesia
and medication did not seem to be a factor in
inducing these impressions and exquisite feelings
of a NDE. Indeed, drugs and anesthesia seemed
to be more likely to cause a person to forget
memories of a NDE.
(6) He definitely concluded
that NDEs are not hallucinations because hallucinations
are rambling, unconnected, often unintelligible
and vary widely, whereas NDEs tend to have similar
elements of a clear, connected pattern.
(7) Based on the information
of those who had reported such incidents, the
moment of death was often one of unparalleled
beauty, peace and comfort - a feeling of
total love and total acceptance. This was possible
even for those involved in horrible accidents
in which they suffered very serious injuries.
Dr. Ring found there was a tremendous comfort
potential in this information for people who
were facing death.
(8) After going through
a NDE, people reported a loss of fear of death
as well as a greater appreciation of life. They
also reported stronger feelings of self-acceptance
and a greater concern and sense of caring for
other people. They had less interest in
material things for their own sake. Many tended
to become more spiritual - though not necessarily
more involved in organized religion.
(9) Almost all subjects
who experienced a NDE found their lives transformed
and a change in their attitudes and values,
and in their inclination to love and to help
others. Dr. Ring was convinced that these were
absolutely authentic experiences and noted that
since returning, many of them had occasion to
think about ‘what might have been.' And
their subsequent lives were powerful testimony
to our common ability to live more deeply, more
appreciatively, more lovingly, and more spiritually.