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
No one type of person was especially likely to have
this experience. It cut across race, gender, age,
education, marital status, and social class.
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.
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.
anesthesia and medication did not seem to be a factor
in inducing these impressions and exquisite feelings
of an NDE. Indeed, drugs and anesthesia seemed to
be more likely to cause a person to forget memories
of an NDE.
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
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.
After going through an 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.
Almost all subjects who experienced an 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.