What People Who've Had Near-Death Experiences Know (That The Rest Of Us Don’t)

What near-death experiences teach people about Heaven, God, and the meaning of life.

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What if you suddenly realized that you are FOREVER alive? That whether or not you are in this body doesn’t change the fact that your consciousness lives eternally. How would this jaw-dropping “aha” moment change your belief system about the universe and the way you currently live your life? This is just one of the insights and dilemmas typical of a near-death experience (NDE), who “in the blink of an eye”, can find himself traveling outside his body and somewhere else.


NDErs are the folks we hear of who die and come back, so many of their stories are even medically documented. A great number of NDErs report leaving their body, and then eventually floating through a tunnel toward a light that makes our sun seem but a flicker of a candle. Often, they are escorted by relatives or friends, embodying amazing patterns of light. They are people who have passed from this physical plane, some known in this life, others not. In this place of no time, communication is telepathic, and thoughts are immediately heard and understood. (Yikes! So much for hiding our true feelings!)


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Usually, NDErs remember having an instantaneous and holographic "Life Review", kind of like 360-degree simultaneous sight, but with all the senses. They see and feel their life to this point, not only from their perspective but also from the experience of those whose lives they have touched —  both directly and indirectly. They experience each feeling they have for each moment of life. They feel each emotion of every person they interact with, knowing personally the pains they caused or the joys they brought.

Sounds like personal karma to me. We do reap what we sow. Not only do they see this for the path they’ve taken, but they also see the other paths they could have chosen and how those effects would have played out. Traveling at the speed of thought (Yep, that fast!), NDErs notice that they can hold themselves back or allow themselves to move up and onward, depending on their beliefs and yearnings. If they desire to remain close to the material plane, they do. If they choose to return, they do. Free will is the law in the life beyond, as well as here.

For even previously unbelieving NDErs, God is experienced in a way that is beyond words but may be best described as the energy of Love or the sound of an all-encompassing harmony. This musical energy penetrates their entire being, vitalizes every fragment, and fills them with an understanding that is later beyond their human capacity for holding. They realize they are truly alive with the spirit and energy of God, who paradoxically is at once beyond human perception while also experienced deeply and personally. They share with us the lessons they’ve learned. Consciousness is. Here in spacetime, all energy is simply transformed from one aspect to another, from formlessness into form and back again, a cosmic ebb and flow, spirit interchanging with this state called matter.


To them, the reality beyond feels more real than this one. And they tell us that, though we feel like separated drops in this sea of materiality, we are interconnected in the one ocean of consciousness. We may sense our patterns of color and sound, yet we are each of the one light. We are each a unique part of this whole, here to radiate love in a way only we can, when we choose to live our highest purpose. Information courses through us, giving us what we require, and no matter how small any act of love, its effects ripple outward inconceivably throughout the universe.

We can choose consciously the kind of energy we pulsate into this cosmic web, or not. Each of us makes a difference because our energy at once affects everyone and everything else. Whoa! Mind-blowing isn’t it? So here they were, then there they were, but now they’re back. If they were being monitored in the hospital during their NDE, they usually astonished medical staff by being able to describe exactly what was happening while they were “clinically dead”, even happenings that would have been out of sight or out of the room from where their body was lying.

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Even if they were blind in their physical body, they were able to see through the psychic eyes of their spirit body. Needless to say, NDErs tend to lose their fear of death. They come to understand that death is as easy a passing as a sleepy child going from wakefulness to dreaming. Then there are the life-changing gifts. NDErs often return with psychic gifts they did not have previously. Intuition, telepathy, precognition, clairvoyancee, or healing abilities. There is a renewed sense of purpose to do their part in the whole of life. And it involves bringing love into the world, often in some different kind of way than anything they did previously.


Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? So why might such indescribable lightness initially cause a problem back here on Earth? The light feels spacious, but within it, one loses all sense of the border that once defined the territory of self. The dark feels familiar and well-marked, yet now is too small and tight to accommodate the vastness of spirit. For people who've had near-death experiences, it can feel terrifying when you need to get back to living your daily life. Your ground has been shaken; all former foundations leveled. It’s tough to feel like you fit in, once you’re aware of this larger life beyond. People have a hard time relating to what you tell them.

And, the memory of such thorough and unconditional love is a stark contrast to what here can barely pass for love. (No wonder we all have love relationship issues!) The awareness of purpose is before you, but you face the doubters who ridicule not only the actuality of your experience but also the higher values consistent with such all-inclusive love. Reality is upside down in this place where competition and exclusion seem wise; while in an interconnected life, you know all such games are self-defeating because there is nothing that lies outside the self. When what happened to you goes against everything you once believed, it is difficult not to obsess about finding answers to your innumerable questions. Especially about the nature of life, energy, and this consciousness that resides independently of the perceptual bubble we call the body.

It’s all so overwhelming. It would just be easier to not tell anyone else about your experience and to go back to living life the way you did prior. Except you can’t. Once NDErs get over their initial shock, and take some time to adjust, they usually begin taking huge steps toward a different approach to life. When they finally open up about their experience, it’s like uncorking a bottle of incredible champagne. The best of who you are has been bottled up for way too long, and now it comes pouring out. It might be a bit messy at first, but AAAH so delicious! They know they are here to be loved in action.


And as courage overtakes old fears, they ready themselves to go against the usual current to be a loving force in the world. Relationships may take a turn, those that align more with fear and anger dropping out of view, and those which resonate with higher vibes of love clicking into place. (So if you’re wondering why you’re losing all of your current relationships, that may be the reason why!) Armed with spiritual awareness, NDErs tend to live more intuitively, perceiving that little Voice within that suggests the path forward. They frequently change careers to make more use of their spiritual gifts.

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And nothing, nothing feels so alive and in alignment as when the spirit of our life matches up with the spirit deep inside. So, what can we all learn from those who come back from the world beyond and have such an earth-shattering, mind-blowing message to share with us? First of all, NDErs are the first to remind us that they aren’t any more special than the rest of us. Anyone can change their lives and experience a deeper, richer experience of the universe. Here are a few lessons we can gain from their experiences, so we, too, can live like they live. Tune in. Literally. We don’t need to have an NDE to connect to this spiritual reality; every one of us is already linked to Spirit, God, Universe, whichever name we choose to give this Oneness of being.


Tuning in, technically, is about getting to the specific energy channel for perceiving. Tuning in, practically speaking, is about turning our attention to the tiny subtleties within. The stirrings that arouse our interest and curiosity. The ideas that supposedly “just come” to us, and fill us with a magnitude of excitement. This requires a quietness of inner space, pointed listening, and an ear willing to hear. We have to get out of our way…stop the distractions already. Give trust a chance. Start with small steps, and let yourself see what happens!

Love is always the key to spiritual perception. When we allow ourselves to be filled with love, in whichever manner we are able, it is this love energy that “unlocks the door,” or “sets the dial” for tuning in. It is an open heart, a joyous willingness to be used for higher purposes that “shifts the gear” toward receiving the needed information from that ineffable Presence.

Pick a metaphor that works for you…the idea is to realize that the energy state of your heart, the state of your emotion and motivation, is what puts you into space for feeling Spirit. It’s not grace. It’s not about being lucky or more worthy or gifted. It’s about deciding to trust that God is comprising your very essence, and turning the valve on to let that essence stream forth. No wonder it’s been called “life-giving water flowing from deep inside you!”


Quantum physics is helping us understand this lock and key mechanism a bit more technically, so we don’t have to ignorantly resort indefinitely to a parable. Suffice it here to say that when everything is energy at varying patterns and frequencies (that is, speeds of traveling light waves), as scientists have also begun to realize, then our energy has to relatively match another energy for us to be able to perceive it. Since the energy we call "God" is an energy of love, we have to at least somewhat be in a state of love to perceive, receive, and amplify that love.

And that is exactly what we begin to set in motion when we turn our hearts to love. Now go for it! What do you have to lose? Feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, anxiety, and depression? You wouldn't mind shedding those, would you? Begin again, in the belief that you are interconnected and one with All of life. That you are as uniquely important as any other being in the cosmos. And that you are here to express in your style the energy we call Love.

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Valerie Varan, MS, LPC, NCC, is a holistic/integrative counselor and coach, and is the author of Living in a Quantum Reality: Using Quantum Physics and Psychology to Embrace Your Higher Consciousness