posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 02:26 PM
An eighth century account
He came back to life and suddenly sat up - those weeping around the body were very upset and ran away. 'I was guided by a handsome man in a shining
robe,' he said. 'When we reached the top of a wall, there was there a wide and pleasant meadow, with light flooding in that seemed brighter than
daylight or the midday sun. I was very reluctant to leave, for I was enraptured by the place's pleasantness and beauty and by the company I saw
there. From now on I must live in a completely different way.' He later left all his wordly responsibilities and entered the Melrose monastery.
Likewise, Montaigne, in the sixteenth century, described the pleasure of nearly dying, having been thrown from his horse. As he lay inanimate:
Pleasure in letting go
My attendants tried to revive me but in vain and, thinking I was dead, they began to carry me with great difficulty to my house.
On the way, after having been taken for dead for over two hours, I began to move and breathe. It seemed to me that life held only from the tip of my
lips and I was closing my eyes to keep life out: I was taking pleasure in letting myself go. My life was merely a perception passing fleetingly though
my soul, which was as weak as the rest of me, although the whole experience was not only truly free of pain but was reminiscent of the gentle
sensation felt by those who abandon themselves to sleep. I believe that this is the same state that people find themselves in whom we see fainting in
death agony, and I maintain that we pity them without cause.
(off note...People spoke so eloquently back then and much more intelligent then nowadays... I love it)
Review of life during fall
The story of the Reverend Edmund Donald Carr, who miraculously survived on the Lond Mynd on a January night in 1865 can still be found in the
libraries of Shropshire country houses. In the weeks preceding Carr's adventure the snow had fallen to a greater depth than in the previous 51 years;
however he set off to walk four miles from Woolstaston to Ratlinghope after lunch, to preach to three people, after which he set off home in a
blizzard. He was not found for 18 hours, having lost most of his outer clothing before he finally passed out. In the course of one of the many falls
he had before this, he experienced what is described as the agonal phenomenon.
'The pace I was going in this headlong descent must have been very great, yet it seemed to me to occupy a marvellous space of time, long enough for
the events of the whole of my previous life to pass in review before me.'
From an article by Julian Critchley in the Independent Magazine
35,540 death-bed observations
The study was based on a large questionnaire survey; ten thousand questionnaires covering various aspects of death-bed observations were sent out,
half of them to physicians and the other half to nurses. Detailed analyses were conducted on the 640 questionnaires that were returned. The
respondents who returned these questionnaires claimed 35,540 death-bed observations.
Osis found that about 10% of dying patients appeared to be conscious in the hour preceding death. Surprisingly enough, fear was not the dominant
emotion in these individuals, according to the physicians and nurses in the sample. They indicated that discomfort, pain and even indifference were
more frequent. It was estimated that about one in twenty dying persons showed signs of elation. A surprising finding in this research was the high
incidence of visions with a predominantly non-human content. They were approximately ten times more frequent than one would expect in a comparable
group of persons in normal health. Some of these visions were more or less in accordance with traditional religious concepts and represented heaven,
paradise, or the Eternal City; others were secular images of indescribable beauty, such as landscapes with gorgeous vegetation and exotic birds.
According to the authors, more of these visions were characterised by brilliant colours and bore a close resemblance to psychedelic experiences
induced by mescaline or '___'. Less frequent were horrifying visions of devils and hell or other frightening experiences, such as being buried