A Near Death Experience As A Religious Experience

1921 words - 8 pages

A Near Death Experience as a Religious Experience

A near death experience can be defined as an event which occurs to
people when seemingly the bodily functions which confirm life have
stopped, (i.e. clinically dead). It often has an ‘out of body’ element
and may be interrupted in a religious or non religious way. Most
individuals who claim to have had a near death experience say that
there is a sense of indescribable bliss, ecstasy and peace. Similarly,
a religious experience is usually described as a non-empirical
occurrence, and may be perceived as supernatural. It is a mental event
which is undergone by an individual and of which that person is aware.
Recipients of a religious experience usually say what has happened to
them has ‘drawn them deeper’ into knowledge of awareness of God. This
experience that each individual has is absolutely unique and cannot be
shared with anyone. Looking at the definitions of both types of
experiences and their features, it can be clearly seen that both are
very similar. However, some can also say that a near death experience
as nothing to do with religion and God, this may also depend on an
individual’s blick.

Some may interpret a numinous experience by being in the presence of a
divine or awesome power as neither a religious or near death
experience. It could instead be justified by only scientific
explanations. In pharmacological terms, chemical explanations can bring
forward aspects such as drugs, stimulants, anaesthetics or strong pain
killers as being the reason for the rare experiences. These medical
explanations could cause an individual to ‘drift off’ by seeing
illusions and hallucinating. This could cause the person to think they
are either dying or being contacted by a supernatural or divine being.

“I began to experience the most wonderful feelings. I couldn’t feel a
thing in the world except peace, comfort ease – just quietness…” (An
individual who claims to have had a near death experience)

Moreover, it could also be explained in physiological terms; where an
individual could have a body illness, or the brain being deprived of
oxygen. These could distort their image of the world leading to them
not obtaining a real picture of what’s going on, and hence making them
think they are undergoing a divine experience, whether religious or
near death. It could also be the result of affects in neurological
terms (involving the nervous system). The brain could be affected by
nerves and how they are working. This could also be in connection with
common diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and other,
whereby they affect the individual’s brain and what they perceive.

“I tried to tell my nurses what had happened when I woke up, but they
told me not to talk about it, that I was just imagining things.” (An
individual who claims...

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