[Oct. 16, 2023: Staff Writer, The Brighter Side of News]
In popular culture, bright lights at the end of tunnels and ethereal out-of-body experiences have grown into familiar narratives surrounding the enigma of near-death moments. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)
In popular culture, bright lights at the end of tunnels and ethereal out-of-body experiences have grown into familiar narratives surrounding the enigma of near-death moments. But are these mere cultural stories, or do they hold more profound truths about the possibility of an afterlife?
Enter Dr. Jeffrey Long, a renowned cancer expert based in Kentucky. Notably, Dr. Long was once a staunch skeptic. Yet, after investing years into meticulous research, collating thousands of astonishingly similar accounts from diverse backgrounds, he has transformed into a firm believer in the phenomenon known as near-death experiences (NDEs).
Unearthing Thousands of Testimonies
Having documented over 5,000 accounts spanning more than 30 languages from various religious and cultural backgrounds, Dr. Long has pioneered an extensive collection of NDEs. His online repository serves as a platform for individuals worldwide to share their brushes with death, delivering gripping tales that challenge our understanding of life and death.
From figures in robes guiding people to fields populated with deceased loved ones to orbs of light leaving bodies and disappearing, the accounts are as varied as they are mesmerizing. Yet, despite their differences, the striking similarity in their core essence is undeniable.
Thirty-seven years ago, Dr. Long stumbled upon an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that shone light on NDEs, without offering a clinical explanation. It was a game-changer. Recalling his epiphany, Dr. Long shared with Insider, “All my medical training told me you were either alive or dead. But suddenly, I was reading from a cardiologist describing patients who had died and then came back to life, reporting very distinct, almost unbelievable experiences.”
Defining NDEs as lucid experiences undergone by clinically dead or comatose individuals, where they still feel emotions, interact with beings, see, and hear, Dr. Long emphasized their universality. Regardless of one's belief system—Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or atheist—the anecdotes he assessed bore remarkable resemblances.
Voices From Beyond
In 1998, Dr. Long and his wife laid the foundation for the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, offering a space for global users to chronicle their spiritual encounters. Harry, a contributor, poignantly narrated, “The bits of light closest to me were my parents, family who all passed before...connected to them were people who had influenced me and whom I had influenced.”
Dr Jeffrey Long [pictured] is a radiation oncologist who said that studying over 5,000 accounts of near-death experiences. (CREDIT: Jeffrey Long)
Similarly, Star conveyed her transcendence, saying, “A pure, brilliant light engulfed me...I was in the center of a vast nothingness, completely filled with the presence of the living God."
From Italy, Sarah's encounter with three ethereal beings was a testament to the universal nature of such experiences. “They gave me so much love…I didn’t want to leave, but I had to go back. That’s how it had to be.”
Findings and Implications
Delving deep into his collected data, Dr. Long made some startling observations:
About 45% of NDEs encompass an out-of-body sensation, where the consciousness is detached from the physical entity.
An overwhelming 75% of experiencers express a desire to remain in the perceived afterlife, overwhelmed by feelings of love and joy.
Over 50% testify to witnessing a 'heavenly' domain, and about 25% describe being enveloped in light or mist.
Crucially, nearly 100% of those who've experienced NDEs are no longer paralyzed by the fear of death.
From Researcher to Healer
Dr. Long's pioneering work has dramatically shifted his patient care approach. Previously reserved about his research, he now passionately shares his findings when his patients express interest. He ardently believes that an afterlife exists, a sentiment that resonates with his patients.
Expressing his conviction, Dr. Long stated, “I tell them that based on my research, I’m very confident that there’s a wonderful afterlife for all of us and that we will be reunited with our deceased loved ones. And that’s profoundly reassuring to them. To me, it’s a blessing to be able to share that with them.”
Dr. Long’s groundbreaking work on near-death experiences serves as a beacon of hope, challenging our perceptions, and providing solace in the enigma of existence. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)
His research, thus, serves a dual purpose. Not only does it challenge our understanding of existence, but it also empowers Dr. Long to aid his patients in confronting life-threatening ailments with newfound bravery and enthusiasm.
He sums up his mission beautifully: “My goal is to help them have more healthy days here on Earth. But I firmly believe that if and when they pass, they will be at peace.”
Today, as we navigate the complexities of life, Dr. Long’s groundbreaking work on near-death experiences serves as a beacon of hope, challenging our perceptions, and providing solace in the enigma of existence.
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