NDEs can happen to anyone who is close to death, and as a result it is only natural for them to share common features. Every near-death experience is different, but a combination of some or all of these features is often reported.
‘NDEs usually occur spontaneously and unexpectedly, when someone is genuinely near death or during a life-threatening situation, so it may take a while for the person to realize what is going on. No two NDEs that we are aware of are the same, although many share certain characteristics and go on to result in significant life changes.
The most common characteristics or themes were first identified by Dr Raymond Moody in 1975 in his book Life After Life. Not every NDE comprises all of these components- some may have just one or two. Characteristics or themes may come and go, and don’t necessarily occur in any order. Some may be intricate and in-depth, others may be simple.
This list summarizes Moody’s findings about the most commonly shared features of NDEs:
- Hearing the news of being close to death (or of being dead),
- Hearing ‘white’ noise,
- Having an out-of-body experience (OBE),
- Experiencing feelings of peace and tranquillity,
- Travelling through a dark tunnel,
- Seeing a bright light,
- Entering another realm,
- Meeting those who have already died,
- Meeting a ‘Being of Light’,
- Communicating without words,
- Experiencing a ‘life review’,
- Feeling a sense of unity or interconnectivity,
- Experiencing distortion of time,
- Coming to a barrier or point of no return,
- Being sent back to life.’
From #WhatIs A Near-Death Experience? by Dr Penny Sartori.
This is an extensive list of features and may by slightly overwhelming to someone who is learning the basics of NDEs. However, it is important to understand the individuality and fluidity of NDEs. Consequently, once this has been understood you can apply the aspects that are related to your query.
Have you ever experienced some of these features during an NDE? We’d love to hear about it!
You can find more on the scientific aspects of NDEs in our other blog posts.