though you have considered all the facts.
Wendell Berry, Manifesto
This is not a religious blog.
Or maybe it is.
That’s because it’s about numinous experiences. A numinous experience is any event that feels like a contact with a transcendent reality. A near-death experience is one kind of numinous experience. So is a spiritually transformative experience (STE). Or an “exceptional human experience” (EHE). Or a mystical experience (mystical experience). Sometimes an out-of-body experience (OBE) will have a transcendent quality. It’s like a religious conversion. All these are numinous events.
You will notice that all of these descriptive phrases take up far more time and space than simply the acronym. So, because of my specialty with distressing near-death experiences, I call them NDEs. Yes, I do recognize that this blurs lines many people consider important, and which I, too, sometimes consider vital. Unfortunately, more people understand “NDE” than know the meaning of “numinous.” “NDEs” is simply more efficient. NDE purists think I am indiscriminate. True. I have a difficult time with doctrine.
In any event, it is clear that questions concerning religion lie behind many difficulties with understanding near-death experiences and their close relatives. What is it about religion that causes so much confusion? Here are a few contenders:
- Religion has to do with an unseen and often inexpressible aspect of life, something beyond the physical. So do NDEs.
- Religion has to do with values, relationships, self-discovery. So do NDEs.
- Religion has to do with encountering a powerful force greater and more meaningful than anyone can describe. So do some NDEs.
- Religion, or its observance, can transform a person’s life. So do most NDEs.
- Religion, at its best, has more to do with life on earth than it does with an afterlife. So, I believe, do NDEs. My view.
As I see it, there are two major differences: [Read more…] about Religion and Distressing NDEs, Part 2