by Arthur Stein and Andrew Vidich
The consensus of the greatest mystics of the world’s traditions, regardless of time, culture, age, ethnicity, or prior spiritual training, corroborates evidence of a scientific nature, supporting their personal experiential findings.
There is not one light for Christians, a different light for Jews, yet another light for Muslims, and still another light for Hindus and Buddhists. In all NDEs, there is a single universal all- encompassing Light, which exhibits three attributes: love, life, and intelligence or wisdom. These three attributes repeatedly appear in NDEs (Near Death Experiences). Specifically, such appearances of light generally occur in the eighth stage of more advanced NDE’s . Researchers have outlined the stages of NDEs as follows.
Stages of a Near Death Experience, NDE
NDE Stage 1. In the first stage, persons undergoing an NDE generally experience some form of strange or altered state of consciousness without pain or bodily sensation.
NDE Stage 2. In the second stage, they experience feelings of deep peace and quiet and the loss of all pain.
NDE Stage 3. In the third stage, they usually find themselves separated from their body. Here they can view their body from somewhere above it. Their sense of hearing and sight is greatly heightened, and they can often see through things and move through walls without limitations. These “new senses” operate beyond the limitation of the time-space continuum. Through this new extrasensory perception, they now begin to be aware of another reality.
NDE Stage 4. In the fourth stage, they find themselves moving in a dimensionless space through a dark tunnel, sometimes accompanied by the sound of bells or rushing of water.
NDE Stage 5. The fifth stage is reached when they sense a non-earthly environment and often a dazzling landscape with gorgeous colors.
NDE Stage 6. In the sixth stage, people often meet deceased ancestors whom they clearly recognize.
Dante in his epic The Divine Comedy speaks of this last stage of the journey: “I have been in that Heaven that knows his light most, and have seen things, which whoever descends from there has neither power, nor knowledge, to relate.”
Melvin Morse reported in his research that nearly all children and one in four adults have an element of light in their account. “They all report that the light appears at the final stages of the near-death account after they had an out- of-body experience or have traveled up the tunnel.”
The same inner light experienced by the great saints, sages, and mystics is, in both intensity and degree, witnessed by those who undergo NDEs. It is also, in most cases, identified as or with God, and as the source of love, and substance of Life. Many who experience NDEs see this same eternal “ringing radiance” as the source of perfect wisdom or super intelligence.
As the light enters into and embraces the inner spirit, the person often experiences a sense of deep, profound transformation. After the NDE, this transformational catalyst often results in significant lifestyle and character changes with far-reaching effects. Along with this powerful transformational catalyst comes a new acceptance of oneself and interest in the meaning of life. Life itself takes on a higher purpose, filled with ever-increasing amounts of joy and peace never known before. This element of lasting transformation distinguishes the experiences of inner light from other non-light meditative experiences, and is well documented in the scientific work of Pim Van Lommel.
The vast field of near death studies has accomplished a great deal in validating these phenomena as real and not hallucinations or drug induced. Yet surprisingly, very little direct research has explored the meaning of the visionary experiences of light and sound, which figure prominently in most NDEs. In trying to understand these experiences coherently, we have chosen to view them through the eyes of a cross-section of those who have actually experienced them. For our purposes, these experiences can be generally classified into six broad themes or categories:
Categories of Near Death Experiences, NDEs
NDE Experience 1. God is all-embracing Light and Music.
NDE Experience 2. The Light is unconditional love and wisdom.
NDE Experience 3. Human life is an expression of the infinite continuum of Light, appearing and reappearing through countless lives and bodies (reincarnation).
NDE Experience 4. Spiritual evolution is the highest purpose of human life.
NDE Experience 5. The process of evolution is a self-reflective process free of eternal judgment.
NDE Experience 6. The Light is the central element in reshaping and changing people’s lives.
About the Book
This article is excerpted from Let There Be Light: Experiencing Inner Light Across the World’s Sacred Traditions available at amazon.com and with booksellers nationwide.
For more information please visit: ExperiencingDivineLight.net