Many people claim to have had an experience of the afterlife, but few are as vivid and remembered so clearly as a man named William’s. William’s heart stopped beating following a severe heart attack. While he was saved in the end by paramedics, William believes he temporarily slipped to the ‘other side’, and remembers the process of dying.
William says he went through a range of emotions and even had time to think about Elvis, as he was dying.
At the end of the surreal experience, William said that he accepted death and as he did so, he was accepted by a “being of pure love”.
William made his claim on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation.
He said: “I felt my heart beating slower and slower when I heard my children crying out to me. Then there was darkness.
“I felt my being or ‘consciousness’ being pulled into a dark void. My first thought and feeling was curiosity.
“I wondered if this was what Elvis felt when he died. Then, I was angry and thought that Death was a sorry excuse for a being since he couldn’t come at me face-to-face.
“He had to sneak up from behind to get me this way. Then I contemplated that I was dying.
“As I accepted this, I felt a presence that told me I was dying and that it was going to be ok.
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“In this void, I felt no pain. I had a relaxing feeling, that was pleasant in a weird sort of way. I was still able to think and was aware that I was in a place and that I was not alone.
“I felt the presence of a Being of pure love and acceptance. This feeling of unconditional LOVE is overwhelming.
“This presence felt familiar, like I have always known this Being. I thought to the Being, ‘I do not want to die in front of my children. I couldn’t do that to them’.”
Neuroscientist Christof Koch, president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, believes visions such as William’s are relatively normal, and are typically signs the brain is running out of oxygen or scanning itself for survival techniques.
Dr Koch wrote in an article for Scientific American: “I accept the reality of these intensely felt experiences.
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“They are as authentic as any other subjective feeling or perception.
“As a scientist, however, I operate under the hypothesis that all our thoughts, memories, precepts and experiences are an ineluctable consequence of the natural causal powers of our brain rather than of any supernatural ones.
“That premise has served science and its handmaiden, technology, extremely well over the past few centuries. Unless there is extraordinary, compelling, objective evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to abandon this assumption.
“Modern death requires irreversible loss of brain function. When the brain is starved of blood flow (ischemia) and oxygen (anoxia), the patient faints in a fraction of a minute and his or her electroencephalogram, or EEG, becomes isoelectric—in other words, flat.
“This implies that large-scale, spatially distributed electrical activity within the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, has broken down.”