The study of those people who were declared clinically dead and those who had near-death experience reveals that like we cannot interpret God as every religion has its own belief so we also cannot interpret experiences of Heaven by a follower of a particular religion.
Most people describe meeting a "being of light." These meetings will be according to their specific religious beliefs - Christians meet Jesus. The study says the path to heaven is more non-physical than physical and it is like returning to the source referred as the being of light. Mostly the experiencer has the understanding of the "God beyond God" (Paul Tillich) and that they can only reach God or heaven through Jesus or like and it is problematic because the 'real' God sounds beyond this understanding.
Peter Fenwick says "Although the 'being of light' always has a spiritual significance, it is only seldom that people describe seeing a particular religious figure such as Christ. Even those people whose Christian faith is strong don't always see Christ. Much more often there is a feeling of 'coming before one's maker': the being is felt as 'God' in a very broad sense."
The light has been the predominate feature in near-death experiences. Fenwick found that the light was experienced by 72% while 88% experienced calm, peace, or joy which is a positive feeling state.
He says "Although many of these visions of Paradise include strong well-formed, visual images, sometimes the imagery is much less pictorial, at times almost losing its form completely. And yet it still remains intensely emotional, and still gives this very strong impression of heightened awareness." The expanded awareness seems to be the essence of the experience of heaven in essence and whatever religious figure we meet, the feelings of peace, joy and love are felt.
Michael Grosso says "The light is a symbol of consciousness and meeting the dead relatives, out-of-body states, and life-reviews are all manifestations of the light are "extensions of consciousness,"
Jung says,"If we approach this task with psychological views that are too personalistic, we fail to do justice to the fact that we are dealing with an archetype which is anything but personal...'
Dr. Carlos Alvarado of University of Virginia says that people who have out-of-body experiences experience another dimension, but at the same time it interacts with the mentality of the individual.
Researcher Jeffrey Long calls the experience a "co-created experience" of both personal and impersonal events.
P. M. H. Atwater says "other worlds" in the near-death experience do not seem to have their own independent existence and rather than the light originating from other worlds it seems the other worlds have their origin from within the light. The near-death experience is a subjective experience that is co-created with the personality of each person. Like people who believe and preach that Jesus is the only way and those who die without Christ will go to hell. I prefer to see heavens gate from a more universal perspective.
Fenwick uses the term, neutrally spiritual. this term describes my experience correctly as the nature of the light being a neutral spiritual energy from a God beyond God.
The research of near-death experiences highlights the essence of heaven. With this insight and an in-depth understanding of what hell really is, we can prepare ourselves for the safe journey into heaven and beyond heaven.
Rene Jorgensen is a philosopher of religion and member of the International Association of Near-Death Studies http://www.ReneJorgensen.com He is author of the book Awakening After Life in which he reveals the lost knowledge of religion gained from research of Near Death Experiences:
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