I don't know why, but this morning a thought popped into my head: How come anytime you hear someone talk about his or her near-death experience, they always talk about the light at the end of a tunnel? Implicit in that description is that they are going someplace safe and good, a place, perhaps, like heaven.
Pam Reynolds, a person who was once legally brain dead, describes her experience thusly:
The feeling was like going up in an elevator real fast. At some point very early in the tunnel vortex I became aware of my grandmother calling me. The feeling was that she wanted me to come to her, so I continued with no fear down the shaft. It's a dark shaft that I went through, and at the very end there was this very little tiny pinpoint of light that kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The light was incredibly bright, like sitting in the middle of a light bulb.
Interesting, but nice to know. I'm guessing her grandmother went to meet her at some celestial airport, only to find out it wasn't Pam's time. Hopefully her grandmother didn't have to make a long trip or anything, cause that would suck.
In fairness, not everyone talks about tunnels. Some people's vision of the next world is charmingly geeky. Bill, for example, had this to say:
I remember at one point "dreaming" that I was on the bridge of a Star Trek-like spaceship, just standing around watching the crew doing their stuff at their consoles. There were some doors along the wall, and I realized, in a very matter-of-fact way, that one of them led to an area of beautiful light. I was drawn to it, but before I could go through it, I was distracted by my sister-in-law", whom I had not noticed was on the bridge, saying something very loud. I love her dearly, but she does irritate me sometimes by being really loud in public, and I said something to the effect of "Margy--hold it down a little, will you?" In the process, I forgot about the door, and I guess the "dream" ended there.
Bill's experience might be more akin to a kind of purgatory. I mean, on the one hand you get to hang out with the crew from Star Trek, but on the other you're sister-in-law is also on the ship, probably embarrassing you in front of Captain Kirk and Spock.
Still, how come I never hear of anyone that's had a bad NDE? Something like:
I was walking across Sunset Blvd. and I heard a horn sound, and the screech of tires and then...nothing. Everything went black. Then, suddenly, I was outside my body, looking down at the scene, and could see that my fishnet stockings and gold lame skirt were badly torn, and one of my stilettos was lying 20 feet away from me. And then I saw this light. It was bright red, and came from a huge cave of some sort, and I was being drawn to this cave of red light, and fire, and it was hot. And then I heard a voice, my pimp, I think, asking where my money was. Next to him was David Hasselhoff, or someone who looked like David Hasselhoff, wearing a Speedo. That's when I woke up.
I guess I would like to see more honest portrayals of NDE. Because some of these people are assholes, and you just know they did not see a bright light. And they're probably embarrassed to talk about their actual experience, so they say stuff about lights, and verdant fields of grass and tulips...and it's all bullshit.
Ummmmmm, I guess that's all I have to say on the subject.