Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Near Death Experiences

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.


Clinton Freeman said...

Being assholes don't keep people from seeing the bright light. It's the reason they come back.

C. Glen Williams said...

I can't help but wonder. If somebody did come back with, say, "There was fire everywhere and somebody was poking me with a pointy stick!" - were they a jerk who saw Hell, or just a masochist on their way to Heaven?

Ray said...

To be honest I actually did have a NDE. I was at the state fair passed out and was looking up at my father and uncle. They said something I didn't catch it and next thing I know I was in an ambulance. So it's not all Bull.

K.S.G. said...

Once upon a time many many years ago...in my youth (2000) I was on a delegation to X (NDA's folks) and we were only lightly armed, more so as a formality....no one shoots smurfs in suits...well up till then.

It was densely packed area thought to be secure, however we still had a military escort...perhaps 20 men in 5-6 units plus our 4 units. They weren't smurfs.

Up ahead there was a blast of light and sporadic gun fire so our escort took off(all of them). A few hours later our ride had failed to show up so we took off and were greeted by every ones fav friend, the RPG. We lost 2 units to incoming rpg's and the front of our truck got torn to shit ,our driver was killed... then we came under heavy fire so the person up front jammed the accelerator with the butt of the shotgun we keep upfront and I tried to steer and shoot at the same time... in the process I got hit 3 times.

the story goes on but...I got shot 3 times is what I'm getting after. I had the entire white tunnel bit...
However I've had it more than once. (I've been shot on more than on occasion ,well actually...cut, stabbed, burned, once shot in the face, dragged from moving cars...etc etc...can't you see I'm LOVED!)

The white tunnel is actually the blood draining from your eyeballs in conjunction with all the drugs one is on...it's not hard to imagine how one could conjure up the fact they were on their way up.

Though here's one...I smell the stench of death in my dreams and when I wake up it will still be with me till I get up and about.

RedLobo said...

All those near death experiences sound like they are all on drugs. I bet all NDE are just like the half-second between sleep and waking up. Your senses are all sending you info that your brain cannot process due to trama, shock, and injury.

Thus the tunnel of light is you trying to process the light from your eyes. The warm and safe feeling is the EMS people treating you, your just probably feeling them pull a sheet over you to keep you warm. Just, do not let them pull the sheet up over your head all the way because your screwed then. Hell, if I am bleeding to death, EMS people are thicker than family at that point.

The Star Trek geek probably just had a heart attack while watching a rerun of Star Trek on the Scifi channel. I would have a heart attack watching that crap, too. The Next Generation is SO much better anyway.

You know the are making that crap up when they talk about out of body experiences. I was floating above and saw myself. If they really were watching themselves they would say shit like, "Damn, I need to lose some weight!" or "That doctor has the worst hair implants ever!"

My bright light is the cops pulling me over. That or the sun waking my ass up at noon.


Stephen said...

Check this NDE out! If you think they are all warm and fuzzy, maybe you should read this. Maybe those with bad experiences just don't feel like sharing them as much.


rageous said...

It all depends on how you define the near death experience I guess. Look for instance at that asshat in Cali who at the last second dove out of the SUV he'd parked on the train tracks, saving himself.

His little white light wasn't heaven, it was the front end of a commuter train.

Jonathan said...

I've never had a near death experience if I did though it would probablly look like a combination of the sistine chapel and a hype williams video....yeah i don't know what thats supposed to be either

dingedarmor said...

Maybe that 'light' at the end of the tunnel is the gaping gate of hell's mouth wide open and flaming hot guiding these folk onto the landstrip of their eternal dreams.....or maybe it's a firefly. Yah never know.

Misterfitz said...

I had an NDE once. Here is an excerpt from my new book, "You People are so Gullible".

"As I approached the white light I noticed it wasn't a white light at all, but a mix of flashing lights. Then I saw the velvet rope and started feeling a lot of thumping bass notes.

A big burly guy with St.P on his T-shirt held me up. While I was waiting, a guy with long hair and sunglasses came up with two hot babes. St.P said, "Go right on in Jesus.". Jesus looked at me and laughed.

So as far as I can tell, Heaven is a nightclub that I'm not cool enough for."

DannyGo said...

I completely agree with Penn & Teller's evaluation od NDEs on their first season of thier cable show "BULLSHIT!" You'll have to see it to see if you agree. ;)

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