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The Physics of Near-Death Experiences: A Five-Phase Theory©

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Ed. Note: The phenomenon of near-death experience continues to attract the interest of a wide range of scientists, among them Dutch researcher Maureen Venselaar. In this article, she proposes a significantly updated theory on what happens during such events, rooted in the dynamics of both physics and astrophysics. This topic has been a longtime focus of study for IONS and its network of colleagues. Most recently, we reported on the “Final Passages” forum hosted by the Promega Corporation and the BTC Institute, and we are collaborating with Deepak Chopra on a feature film titled Death Makes Life Possible.

The near-death experience (NDE) is an impressive, extraordinary, and life-changing event that usually happens during unconsciousness. Well-known features of the NDE are the out-of-body experience, traveling through a tunnel, and seeing a light. In their quest to find answers about the cause of the NDE, the mainstream scientific community has so far come up with two explanations.

The first one considers the NDE a neurological phenomenon. From this perspective, features such as the life review, the sense of being out of the body, seeing a tunnel or light, and other “strange” things represent some kind of hallucination caused by electric stimuli, stress, medication, or a lack of oxygen. The neurological explanation identifies the brain as producing the features of not only the NDE but also consciousness.

The second explanation considers the NDE a supernatural phenomenon, defined as an unknown world or reality outside of our known reality. In this theory, the brain is thought to be receiving from a presumably vast and endless cosmic consciousness. When people experience an NDE, they are therefore connected with cosmic consciousness. This supernatural theory also explains such features as the life review, the out-of-body experience, and traveling at great speeds.

However, both theories fail to consider a link between the severity of the trauma or the sickness that leads to an NDE. Also, neither theory addresses the idea that an NDE becomes more profound and more complete as a trauma or a sickness grows more life threatening. These statements do not conform to the opinions of NDE-experts.1 Furthermore, neither theory takes into consideration that the NDE has successive phases. This idea also does not conform to the opinions held by NDE experts such as David Fontana, Janice Miner Holden, and Kenneth Ring.2 Above all, neither the neurological nor the supernatural theory explains all features of the NDE as we know it.

For these reasons, I felt challenged to discover and to develop a new coherent and all-inclusive theory. I analyzed hundreds of NDEs, and after more than ten years of study, I am convinced of a third possible explanation, which connects severe trauma or sickness to the appearance of an NDE. It also adds another ten features to the list of NDE characteristics (all of which are under copyright):

  • vibrations and small explosions occurring deep in the physical body before the out-of-body-experience starts
  • the experience of a ghostly body of energy (light) that seems to be a copy of the physical body but with no change in personality
  • seeing the moon, the stars, the Milky Way, and other heavenly bodies during distant out-of-body travels
  • a sensation of becoming as small as a grain of sand or vice versa, a feeling of expansion, when reentering the physical body
  • indications of traveling faster than the speed of light
  • feeling the strong attraction of a huge “magnet-like” force
  • seeing two tornado-shapes of energy appearing as an immense “hourglass”
  • seeing a blue/green beam of light, or a red/pink beam of light, or both, each representing an outcome the person can sometimes choose between
  • the crucial role of the NDE-person’s thoughts
  • the likelihood of forgetting whatever (higher) wisdom might have been experienced

The Five-Phase Theory©

As we approach the end of life, our sensorial observation decreases, our normal consciousness fades, and deep down in our physical body, at the atomic and subatomic level, a fundamental process starts that releases an “exotic energy” (that is, light-energy, or photons). I believe this exotic energy is the foundation of another, new, pure, and perfect body, as well as another kind of consciousness or awareness. With this new body (of exotic photons), we can travel through the barrier of space and time, as those who experience an NDE often report.

These are the successive phases of a complete NDE:

  • separation from the physical body
  • a journey through a tunnel to a heavenly light
  • being in the presence of the light, near a border
  • the return through a tunnel to the physical body
  • unification with the physical body

Phase 1, The Separation

The Experience: When people are severely traumatized (for example, due to an accident or a sickness), they lose their normal consciousness. They also hear strange noises and feel vibrations and small explosions deep in their physical bodies.3 Almost instantly, NDE-people experience another kind of consciousness and a different body, often seeing their own physical bodies while, for example, standing next to it (autoscopy). This is the out-of-body experience. NDE-people realize that they have a “ghostly” body of energy (light), which seems to be a copy of their physical body, but they don’t notice any change in their personality.4 Sometimes they see other beings of light, their guides to “heaven.” They don’t feel the pain of their physical body anymore but feel happy and peaceful. They can hear and see in a different way, but they cannot communicate with nearby family or friends or the doctors and nurses giving medical care. Sometimes NDE-people hear doctors pronounce a declaration of death.

Scientific and Theoretical Ground: To explain these first experiences, I refer to the scientific research of biologist and medical scientist Alexander Gurwitsch and Nobel Prize–winner and biophysicist Fritz Albert Popp. They determined that unstable atoms in our physical body release exotic light-energy in the form of photons. Mathematician Jan Willem Nienhuys, among others, confirmed this and also ascertained that dying cells release countless photons. Photons as lightkwanta (independent localized units of energy) are related to consciousness, according to Popp, and to information, according to philosopher of science Ervin Laszlo.

The release of light-energy from a traumatized body can also be indirectly affirmed by the scientific research of, among others, intensive care doctor L. S. Chawla and longtime near-death researcher P. M. H. Atwater. These researchers have established that in or near the physical body of traumatized or dying people, the electromagnetic values (those related to light) change.

The body of research noted above, from Gurwitsch through Atwater, helps to explain why NDE-people feel vibrations—waves of energy going through the physical body, a sense of leaving the physical body, and the experience of another kind of body and consciousness.

In this context, family members and friends occasionally report seeing a mist, a fog, or a light leaving the body of a dying loved one—which forms another new body.5 This new body is, more or less, a copy of the physical body (perhaps this occurs because photons are related to the transfer of information—in this case, about the shape of the physical body from which they came). In 1967, Robert Croockall, a geologist and well-respected investigator of out-of-body experiences, reported observations of mist.6 I confirmed this phenomenon in 2011 by interviewing family members of those who had passed.

Perhaps life after life is just another representation of light-energy. Quantum physicist David Bohm was convinced that all matter in this universe (which, of course, includes our physical body) is light, but in a condensed frozen state.

A Cautious Conclusion: If one’s body is severely traumatized, an out-of-body experience will occur, where that body is formed by exotic photons, producing an autoscopy. This is the beginning of life after life as beings of exotic light-energy formed by exotic photons. At such transitional moments, our daily consciousness, connected to the brain under normal circumstances, transforms into a broader, transcendent consciousness. Because the photons that form our new body can travel in space-time, the next life can presumably be “eternal.” And because these photons are capable of carrying information about who we were before the trauma, our new exotic photon body can be roughly the same as our physical body.

Source: M. Venselaar ©

Phase 2, The Journey through a Tunnel

The Experience: As a trauma grows more severe, NDE-people (as beings of pure exotic light) travel farther from their physical bodies. They see, for example, the roof of the hospital from above. Soon they are surrounded by a dark space, and they sometimes see grey or dark beings. Almost concurrently, they see the earth, moon, stars, and the Milky Way, as astronauts do (i.e., the relativity of space).7 They also realize that as bodies of light, they are becoming as small as grains of sand.8 A tunnel opens, and they travel through this tunnel at or faster than the speed of light due to the attraction of a powerful “magnet,” a beautiful heavenly light, which grows larger and larger. All the while, they experience sounds and colors. Again, these descriptions are drawn from the research.9

Scientific and Theoretical Ground: The first scientific statement that might explain these events is that magnetism and light are two aspects of the same substance.10 Another fact is that light can be influenced by attraction and gravity, whereby the effect of a gravitational collapse is to contract a substance.11 The assumption is that these phenomena exist on a physical and an astrophysical scale.

On the astrophysical scale, stars explode at the end of their lives and release a certain quantity of stardust, or energy and matter. After that, roughly three things can happen: (1) if a star has little mass, the dust and energy form a nebula; (2) if a star has more mass, the dust and energy form a compact or round nebula; (3) if a star has a very great mass, the dust and energy ultimately collapse and form a black hole. In other words, the strong contraction of a substance can lead to a black hole—a real hole in the fabric of space, which can also be part of a wormhole.

Source: M. Venselaar ©

A wormhole is a tunnel through space in which time can become relative.12 Photons can travel through black holes without being destroyed and probably through wormholes as well. Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, acknowledge the possibility that tiny black holes and tiny wormholes exist.13 It has also been shown that photons can travel faster than the speed of light (by physicists Günter Nimtz and Alfons Stahlhofen), so kwanta-like photons can probably travel through space-time.

A Cautious Conclusion: When someone gets closer to the end of life because of a trauma or a sickness, the unstable atoms of the declining physical body release an increasing number of photons. The more photons that are released, the more compact the new body becomes because of magnetism and gravity collapse. The more compact the new body becomes, the more complete and profound the NDE.

I suggest that three things can gradually happen after the release of different amounts of exotic photons, depending on the progress and severity of the trauma: (1) when a small amount of photons are released, then there is the creation of a ghostly body (a nebula); (2) if the release of photons increases because of a more severe trauma and more unstable atoms, then there is the creation of a “body” in the form of a ball, a dot, or a grain of sand (a compact nebula); (3) when a great mass of photons is released due to both an accelerated pace of unstable or dying atoms and the approach of the end of the physical life, then there is the creation and opening of a blackhole (the opening of a tunnel, spinning into it, and traveling through it).

A small blackhole opens, and a tiny wormhole comes into existence. NDE-people speak about “tunnels” and “endless strings of very elastic energy.” Such strings or tunnels form a connection between the dying physical body and the new body of exotic light. As a trauma becomes more life threatening, more distance is gained from the physical body and our blue planet, and the moon and stars come into view as they do for astronauts. NDE-people at this phase travel as dots of lights, farther and farther, faster and faster, through this unique tunnel (a tiny intrauniverse wormhole) and, in the end, faster than the speed of light (i.e., relativity of time). After a while and somewhere near the edge of our universe, they reach that most beautiful light—the magnet.

Phase 3, Final Destination (For Now)—The Light

The Experience: NDE-people report slowing down as they reach the beautiful light at the edge of that “heavenly world.” They also experience a border that they realize cannot be crossed. Only the truly dead cross that border and enter the eternal world of light.


Near the light, NDE-people report having a life review and sometimes a life prospect (how their future might unfold). They meet other beings of light (in most cases their “deceased” family members) and a higher, spiritual being of light. Communication is instant. There is also a moment of judgment, but that moment is full of grace and love. According to NDE-people, they find that light equals love equals knowledge and information. In addition, NDE-people report an experience of receiving answers to all of humankind’s questions.

Moreover, NDE-people see two huge tornadoes appear in the form of an immense “hourglass.”14 The upper tornado spins clockwise and outward, while the lower tornado spins counter-clockwise and inward.

Scientific and Theoretical Ground: The astrophysical aspect of my NDE-theory requires a phenomenon in the universe where photons can stay for a while. As described by science writer Kitty Ferguson, this is possible near an event-horizon, which is the beginning or the border of a black hole.15 A black hole is far from black, however; it is surrounded by light—much light (see the work of astrophysical and planetary scientist Andrew Hamilton16). It is probably a black hole that forms the beginning of an “interuniverse wormhole”—a wormhole between universes.

This might relate to the theory that there is more than one universe (as held by cosmologist and theoretical physicist Alan Guth, cosmologist Max Tegmark, theoretical physicists Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt, among others). Remarkably, according to Stephen Hawking, one theoretical astrophysical model of two adjacent universes is an hourglass. Such an “hourglass-model” has an upper tornado and a lower tornado: the upper tornado spins clockwise and outward, and the lower tornado spins in the opposite direction.17

Source: M. Venselaar ©

The universes can be part of a continuum.

Source: M. Venselaar ©

A Cautious Conclusion: During an NDE, a person travels in space-time through a small private tunnel (intrauniverse wormhole) to the edge of our universe. This tiny tunnel is connected to the traumatized or dying physical body and is held open in part by the person’s own energy. Perhaps this is why people are no longer dots of energy but become again like ghostly copies of their physical body near the event horizon and the wormhole to another universe.

The image NDE-people see of an hourglass is formed by two tornadoes, which spin in opposite directions. These are two different universes: one of them is our own, and the other is an astral universe, whose essence is a variety of subtle vibrations of light. Our universe is heavy, cold, and small; the other universe is lightweight, warm, and huge. Superstring theory allows for two (or more) universes of differing sizes.

In the center, at the edges where both universes meet, there is another wormhole (formed by a black hole and white hole) that is different from our private black hole and tunnel through space-time; it is the beginning of an interuniverse wormhole, or “door” to another astral universe (an entrance very likely not private but common).

On the event-horizon at the border of the interuniverse wormhole, NDE-people are stopped. They don’t cross the border and enter the (common) interuniverse wormhole to “heaven.” As NDE-people report, they are still stuck to their physical body by an endless string of very elastic energy. As I speculated earlier, this is probably a tiny intrauniverse wormhole through space-time. The event-horizon is surrounded by light, a genuine, concrete magnetic force. This is where NDE-people meet deceased loved ones, likely composed of indestructible photon bodies. The communication is almost immediate and seems to be telepathic as informed (nonlocal?) photons are exchanged. The life review (or life prospect) is made possible by the relationship between photons, the information they carry, and holographic phenomena. And the fact that light equals information may explain why NDE-people become aware of the answers to humankind’s questions. All information is available here before it disappears behind a mist, a fog, stardust, or light near the black hole and wormhole to this other heavenly universe.

Phase 4, The Return

The Experience: NDE-people report seeing a blue/green or red/pink beam of light that sometimes they can choose between.18 They know that the blue/green beam means continuing their life on earth and the red/pink beam means the end of their life on earth (but the beginning of eternal life behind “the door to heaven”). Their thoughts seem to be crucial to this choosing process. NDE-people return, of course, sometimes against their will, through a still-open private tunnel back into their physical bodies.19 And for the second time, they see stars and planets on the way back.

Scientific and Theoretical Ground: The beams of light are probably due to the Doppler-effect (named after mathematician and physicist Christian Doppler). During such a phenomenon, blue/green light is created when stars, matter, or stardust approach us, and red/pink light is created when stars, matter, or stardust recede from us.

Source Blue veil: ESA © Red veil: ESA/STscI/AURA/John Hopkins University ©

Cautious Conclusion: The red/pink and blue/green colors are most likely explained by the Doppler-effect. When NDE-people approach that beautiful, lovely light, that whirlpool of energy and matter, the everlasting “big bang” where two universes meet, they see that matter is coming toward them out of the causal source that creates everything we know in this universe. Because this energy and matter is approaching, it looks blue/green. NDE-people also see the color red/pink created by matter (and so on) moving away from them and toward the black hole “door” to that other universe, traveling farther and farther away from the galaxy/earth and the physical body.

These beams of light, in combination with our thoughts (or the thoughts of a higher spiritual being of light or both) seem to determine our destiny. Thoughts are crucial not only during the life review but also in (re)setting an NDE-person’s goal, destiny, or life prospect.

Finally, NDE-people travel back as a “dot” (due to both gravity as well as—in theory—the coming together of the energy of the exotic body with the energy that has held the private tunnel open) through the intrauniverse wormhole, the tunnel, through space-time.

Phase 5, Unification

The Experience: NDE-people approach or reenter the physical body as a ball or dot and then experience a sensation of expansion while regaining full connection.20 They again feel a kind of vibration during the process of reconnection, as well as the pain of the physical body. They have usually forgotten the wisdom they received when they were near the heavenly light. Some NDE-people wish to return to the heavenly light.

Scientific and Theoretical Ground: Nowhere is gravity exactly the same—neither on the earth nor throughout the universe. Therefore, the attraction between objects, stars, stardust, and so on is not always the same. Because of gravity or its absence, objects, stars, and stardust can either cluster or not. Gravity exists on an astrophysical scale (concerning the universe) and on a physical scale (concerning particles/kwanta).21

Cautious Conclusion: When NDE-people return to earth, they do so with a very compact “body.” This is maintained during their journey through the tunnel, or wormhole, from the extreme forces of gravity that exist there. They then “unfold” into their physical body due to the reduction of the force of gravity. All the light-energy flows back into the atoms of the physical body and connects with it. Electromagnetic values probably change again. As the trauma stabilizes or decreases, daily consciousness is regained.

An Astro-physical Phenomenon

All known features of the near-death experience may be explained by a coherent, consistent astro-physical theory (incorporating both physics and astrophysics). In this perspective, the NDE is a five-phase journey through the barrier of space and time. It is triggered by severe trauma or sickness whereby deep in the physical body, at the atomic and subatomic level, a fundamental process begins that releases exotic light-energy, which forms the new, afterlife body and the new, broader consciousness. The NDE becomes more profound and complete (with all features) as the trauma or sickness grows more life threatening. In general, based on the research, this process appears the same for everyone, regardless of culture, race, sex, social class, or worldview.


* Some of the following citations are in Dutch. Neither Maureen Venselaar, the article's author, nor the editors were able to translate all these notes in time for the article's publication, though every effort was made to include all publishing information in Dutch.

1. M. Morse in De tunnel en het licht by R. A. Moody (Bruna: Utrecht, 2002); also see P. M. H. Atwater, Naar het licht (Strengholt: Naarden, 1995).

2. David Fontana, Na de dood (Ankh-Hermes: Deventer, 2010); also see Janice Miner Holden, Bruce Greyson, and Debbie James, eds., The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences (Praeger Publishers, 2009); and finally see Kenneth Ring, Life at Death (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1982).

3. For example, a woman in Gedachten over leven na dit leven by R. A. Moody (Strengholt: Naarden, 1996).

4. For example, Fenimore in De duisternis voorbij by A. Fenimore (Bruna: Utrecht, 1995).

5. For example, Dr. Hout in Na de dood by David Fontana (Ankh-Hermes: Deventer, 2010).

6. Robert Crookall in The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences by Janice Miner Holden, et al.

7. For example, Nancy Evens Bush in Naar het licht by P. M. H. Atwater.

8. For example, Michel in the KRO TV documentary Een tweede leven (A Second Life), aired August 2010.

9. For example, Martel in The Funny Side of Death, a National Geographic Channel documentary (Duncun Productions: Vancouver, Canada, 1994); also see Betty in Geleid door het licht by B. J. Eadie (Bruna: Utrecht).


11. B. Cox, physicist, professor at the University of Manchester, and a scientist at CERN, Switzerland.

12. P. Davies and R. Mallett, “Time Machine,” an episode in National Geographic Channel’s documentary series Naked Science; February 2009 (Mallett thinks it is possible in combination with spinning blackholes and cosmic strings).

13. For example, A. De Rújula in “Time Machine,” an episode in National Geographic Channel’s documentary-series Naked Science.

14. For example, Atwater in Naar het licht by P. M. H. Atwater.

15. Kitty Ferguson, Een reis naar de grenzen van het universum (Bzztôh: Den Haag, 1993).

16. “Cosmic Monsters,” National Geographic Channel, aired in January 2009; also “Journey to the Edge of the Universe,” National Geographic Channel, aired in July 2009.

17. Website of J. Wicherink:

18. For example Michelle in Nader tot het licht by M. Morse (Elmar: Rijswijk, 1991).

19. For example, Kurt and June in Nader tot het licht by M. Morse.

20. For example, a ten year old in Nader tot het licht by M. Morse.

21. For example, an unnamed person in Eindeloos bewustzijn by P. van Lommel (Ten Have: Kampen, 2007).

22. B. Cox, physicist, professor at the University of Manchester, and a scientist at CERN, Switzerland.

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  • Anonymous Icon

    BodyTalk Jun 06, 2012

    At age 6 I recalled an experience that my mother explained really happened when I was 18 months old, I believe it was an NDE - I have also never been able to wear a watch, which I started to learn 6 years ago that other NDE's also experience I am wondering if this is something that has been researched ?


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    TheRogue1000 Jun 06, 2012

    I've rarely seen an article which so completely removes the awe, excitement and life changing aspects of the NDE. I recently read "Dying To Be Me", by Anita Moorjani. After her NDE, her cancer riddled body which had grown numerous growths of lemon size, responded by completely cancelling those growths out - IN THREE WEEKS - and the doctors had to let her go. What she learned from her NDE - the wisdom - she brought back with her and her entire life has changed. Scientific explorations, without incorporating the spirituality of the individuals, will never "get it". Simply put, it ain't just all about photons! LOL

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    JimHWhite Jun 06, 2012

    Maureen - Have you read / studied Dr. David R. Hawkins and Dr. Ervin Laszlo, with their bigger picture of what the universe is really like and why we can have such experiences? Both suggest that the universe remembers all events (including thoughts) and everything is interconnected. Until you start to think of what the main characteristics of our universe, and we as spiritual beings on it, are and have been, it is difficult to fit everything together. Jim H. White who writes as Jesuis Laplume.

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    YolaineatACISTE Jun 06, 2012

    Hi, Lee-Ann,
    I am the past President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. IANDS has collected some research on electric sensitivity following an NDE, which includes the commonly shared intolerance of watches or having watches malfunction. This aftereffect is a subject of a larger scale study being conducted right now. Email me at if you are interested in participating and also learning their results.

    To Maureen,
    Congratulations on this wonderful quantum theory of NDEs! Certainly many NDErs will resonate with aspects of it. I think there is much value in this approach that is definitely worth pursuing. However, one issue I see is that according to Dr. Allan Kellehear who did many cross cultural studies of NDEs, non-Westerners never reported a "tunnel" or anything that resembled a tunnel. And not all western tunnels are experienced in the same way. Western NDErs report everything from a cave to a subway tunnel complete with tiles. A metaphorical interpretation might explain the cultural differences and many, many different descriptions of the tunnel. In many western languages, we have the phrase, "There is a light at the end of the tunnel" which signifies hope and all things light and positive at the end of a dark period. Many of these experiences arise from traumatic events, so that might be consistent with a more spiritual message that there is "hope to come."
    Yolaine Stout

  • Michael Austin Jun 06, 2012

    Dr. Venselaar: Awesome, courageous research synopsis. Thank you. It'll take me a while to absorb and appreciate what you've published here.

    As a life-long intuitive I've sometimes gone hunting for the physics which must underlie such experiences, and I find it challenging to get enough good explanations. I've posed questions on physical theory to some of the best researchers I could meet. After Jessica Utts' presentation at a 2007 IRVA convention was one such occasion. I've picked up a few pointers from reading Amit Goswami's theories and listened to him in person. I also asked Stephan A. Schwartz in 2010 where he had seen the best published hypotheses (to date) about the physics of intuitive experiences, and at that point he replied that he thought Dean Radin's "Entangled Minds" book was good. And I'm also a follower of what Russ Targ has suggested in a couple of his later books. But I'd yet to see anything about NDEs.

    IoNS: You could use a "Share" button *specific to each article (for people like me) who will post things like this to facebook or other social media. This page will be shared at, and positive feedback from notables like Stan Krippner have been received about that site,

  • PressToDigitate Jun 07, 2012

    What could be more important to the human future than to get a handle on this phenomenon and how our transcendental Souls actually 'work', in their [sometimes tenuous] connection to our meat-bag biology, which lower life forms often confuse with the 'self'? Why aren't IONS and IANDS, and related organizations collaborating on rigorous, highly instrumented hospicial studies of actual 'death' events, using things like Gas Discharge Visualization, which has already demonstrated Soul departure as the body deanimates?

    Unequivocal instrumental proof of discarnate, incorporeal human survival - and, ideally, a reliable thanatronic interface for practical transcommunication therewith - is the highest and most urgent scientific and technological objective that man could attain. It seems that only our fear (of ridicule, of political or religious incorrectness, or of truly stepping into the unknown) has thus far prevented a full scale assault on these easily defined problems in electrophotonic and optomagnetic engineering.

    If IONS launched a Kickstarter or similar campaign to raise millions of dollars to address this problem directly, through a Radin-led team of credible researchers (including S. Schwartz - and G. Schwartz, and Sheldrake, Goswamy, Tiller, Hagelin, etc.), it would surpass in its impact the Manhattan and Apollo projects, combined.

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    Eldridge Huntington Jun 07, 2012

    This research closely matches my out-of-body experience.

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    jcwizard Jun 07, 2012

    Having experienced many NDE's and out of body experiences or astral projections this is the most accurate scientific explanation i've ever read. There are many areas of your theory which resonate deeply with my personal experiences and even what i'd consider to be factual references such as time travel, travelling faster than the speed of light, the comments on received and perceived knowledge, wisdom, light,love and the telepathic understanding and communication with the beings I encountered both from the past and the future etc. The privacy aspect also resonates but only when chosing to travel ( I was able to speed up and slow down my journey chosing to stop in places that appeared to me although I made no choice of how these places manifested or that is how it seemed)

    I was always completly safe and totally aware with a clarity of consciousness which was amazing. At no point did i feel at all in danger of death and i actually asked myself to speed up the travel which i was able to do with remarkable agility after a little practice. It's a completely natural environment full of the love and grace you describe and as i chose to speed up the travel i did encounter what i suppose could be described as a barrier although i made a conscious choice to end the experience and return and that has been the case with all my experiences to date.

    I have been inspired by your theory to further investigate the science involved but what you've written seems so right i find it very difficult to disagree with anything..........

    Thank you

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    jcwizard Jun 08, 2012

    Having read your research again and had time to consider the implications i'm even more impressed especially the references to the cosmic consciousness or Akashic Record as it's more widely known in esoteric circles. You are right when you say that every thought and deed is stored in the great field of knowledge and access is gained thourough NDE's and is also possible by meditation and the development of spiritual training.

    These abilities are within us all......................we are born with the ability to communicate with the divine and unfortunately these special gifts are in the main educated out of us by a lack of recognition of such by our academic systems..

    There's one point that i really need to make and that is that with the right training you don't have to suffer the trauma of serious injury to experience the joys of NDE's or astral travel..........

  • Kishi10 Jun 08, 2012

    The collection of NDE accounts is to be commended. But, there is so much about this article and thread that bothers me. The physics bother me. Like TheRogue1000 above, I have read 'Dying to Be Me' which describes a switch being turned on that connects everything and everyone in the universe transcending time and space. This account and many more accounts of super-consciousness allude to an expanding, non-local interconnectivity, not a journey. Apparently, the notion of 'tunnel' is cultural, and this bothers me because it's an important part of the theory. That it's called a 'theory' bothers me. That the 'theory' is explicitly copyrighted, like a work of fiction, bothers me. I'm bothered.

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    jcwizard Jun 08, 2012

    I agree entirely with your above comment on copywriting theory! impossible you can only copywrite the text used and it's infinately possible to explain in any number of ways.........................

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    PrimalBoogie Jun 08, 2012

    I have a photograph of an active vortex, if anyone would like to see it. It's quite remarkable. You can see the doppler shift as the particle waves are stretched and compressed in a loop that twists around itself, forming a "bowl" directly in front of the aperture. I had an NDE at age ten. I think once it opens for you, it remains open, both in external space and in the hyperspace within the individual. After forty years I finally caught a picture of it. I don't know much about science, but I understand some things about reality.

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    photonbody Nov 02, 2012

    It is not true that only Westerners experience the tunnel phenomenon. I am not a Westerner and I did experience a very cogent tunnel in my NDE.

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    photonbody Nov 02, 2012

    I am not upset at her presentation of the photon release at the death of atoms and the rest of the discussion (which in fact is a fairly well thought out, interesting and plausible idea), but about the fact that she has decided to copyright the phases of a spiritual-scientific phenomenon that is ubiquitous in near death experience, itemizing and describing it in a manner that becomes a serious hindrance to anyone else seeking to enumerate and describe the features and progressions of near-death-experiences.

    It is sad that Near-Death phenomenon has become so sensational that its very meaning, purpose, sacredness, truth and authenticity is at stake.

    Millions of accounts given by NDEs as a service to humanity are for exactly that purpose. They are to be understood, referred to freely by whomsoever chooses to understand them and write about them, with no special master "list" needing to be bought or referenced (out of copyright compulsion).

    My advice to all undocumented NDEs is to first get a copyright on your experience and every feature of it so that the features you experience will not be lifted and added to some lemonade list of NDE characterists for the sake of self-aggrandization and even profit.

    I have written a long post on this issue on my blog at

  • fbowie Jan 18, 2013

    There may be something in this, but I was left unsure as to whether the shift from photons emitted from the body and what is related as the content of the NDE of an individual who returns is linked to the cosmic level metaphorically, sympathetically or actually. If the latter the mechanisms were not sufficiently clear. If I understood the theory correctly the quantity of photons emitted is related both physical trauma and proximity to death, and to the ability to form an externalised 'exotic' body' (the term seemed to encompass what in Theosophical and other Western esoteric traditions would be known as the etheric and astral bodies). Attractive as this might be as a theory of NDE's, and there may indeed be a line of inquiry worth pursuing here, it does not account for the similarities between NDE accounts and those of 'ordinary' OBEs. The picture of life beyond or outside the physical body given by the likes of Robert Monroe and Bruce Moen, using TMI hemi sync methods, or the LBL (life between lives) accounts that arise from hypnotic regression, are too consistent with NDE accounts to postulate completely separate physical mechanisms. In the case of people using hemi-sync brain wave patterning or hypnosis to travel to these non-local realms, there is no physical trauma involved. Thought patterns and intention play a part, but rather than physical trauma the process seems more akin to learning to dowse, or using thought to move an object on a computer screen or across a table. It is probably something we can all do with training.
    I doubt whether the copyright has legal force, and would not prevent scholarly use of and reference to these ideas. Authors who don't want their ideas to be plagiarised are best protected by publication in a recognised, dated journal, book or blog so that they can claim precedence if necessary.

  • Maureen Venselaar, PhD Mar 10, 2013

    From the author:

    I want to say thanks for all the compliments/feedback etc. I'll give a general response:
    My book/the five phase theory/the ten new features/the article, are all protected by copyrights (by publishers). And a priori:I don't want any trouble for me or anyone else.
    This article is only about a new NDEexplanation. So: the awe-feature is not mentioned (but nevertheless: the NDEfeatures I summarized, reveal inherent how amaizing the NDE is).
    This article concerns a complete hypothetical NDE, based on the NDEconcept of well-known NDEexperts. So indeed,f.e.: not every NDE has the feature of the tunnel. But it is worth pursuing what kind of images people use in other parts of the world, like Asia. And even more: what kind of images kids use. F.E. one kid told me he saw a huge diabolo (= a toy which looks like a "hourglass").
    Furthermore I presume that features of the OBE are part of the NDE, but that the OBE can also occur in different kind of circumstances. But nevertheless I presume also that the NDE is not quite the same as a OBE ,or as experiences of super consciousness etc., although there are many simularities.
    The distortion of time/watches is a well known aspect NDEpeople sometimes experience. May be these kind of sensitivities are related to the changes in electromagnetic values, as reported by dr.Chawla, in the first phase of the NDE.
    Finally, I do really hope this theory is a plausible idea worth pursuing, so we will find all answers concerning the NDE phenomenon. Especiallly because this theory does indeed resonate deeple with personal experiences, as NDE'rs told me, during my lectures.
    I'll hope to publish my book in english one day. Nevertheless, this article with a summary of my NDEtheory can already be a indication for new multi-disciplinary NDEresearch, charactrized by a fruitful open learning process between different kind of specialists like NDEpro's, (astro)physicists, medical doctors, and also i.c. life after death: specialists in world religion.
    For example: Hindoe teacher Krishna tells us more or less the same:"I now travel from planet to planet faster than elektromagnetic waves"; And Mohammed travelled back from heaven by: Al Boeraaq (this means: flash of light). And old communities f.e. the aboriginals and american natives, describe also life after death as a journey to the stars; And even more: not only astronomers assume that there are 2 universes. Hindoeism as well as Islam (and Taoism) assume the same).

    Lastly, above all: I'll hope this new NDEtheory supports NDErs and their families: the NDE is not anything wird, but is an undeniable part of nature as a whole and of our human nature (which gives us insight in life after death, for everyone on earth).

    Well, again, many thanks for all your reviews.
    I wish you and your loved ones, lost of love.
    With utmost respect,
    Email: contact(at)

  • matthewx78 Apr 14, 2013

    Well. A very good friend who is also an amateur philosopher had this to say about this theory when I presented it to and I have to say that I agree with it.


    It seems like a variety of physicalism, if not materialism, that regards "ghosts" as physical (photonic). As such, it has pretty much every logical problem that ordinary physicalism does, if not necessarily all of the empirical ones.

    It has additional empirical ones, though. It doesn't seem to be good physics. I mean, electrons discharge photons all the time every time they drop into a lower energy level -- and absorb them all the time, moving into higher energy levels. Our bodies are notably not all that transparent, nor are the walls of buildings, etc., so how any continuity of consciousness could result is not explained. Nor is how the information assumed to underpin experience could be transferred to large degree to photons from the nervous system. There doesn't seem to be a clear mechanism for that, as opposed to just a release of photons carrying no such information.

    "Photons as lightkwanta (independent localized units of energy) are related to consciousness, according to [Fritz-Albert] Popp..." Really? News to everyone else... Also, Popp has not won a Nobel like the article claimed.

    Even if both the dubious physicalist assumptions and the dubious physics were correct, how either the coherence or continued interaction of that information could be maintained would be unclear. Light propagates outward from the emitter, with each photon increasingly separated from the others. Entanglement is the only known mechanism that could explain correlation -- and that would require coherence to be maintained much longer than would be likely. Moreover, if you invoke nonlocality, the whole bit about photons being emitted from dying cells becomes an unnecessary addition.

    Nor would photons appear like a mist-like simulacrum of the body. They would move at light speed in every direction until they were absorbed by matter, not stick together like slowly diffusing smoke. ...Much less reverse their course to be reabsorbed by the body.

    Worse, beyond the bad physics, it doesn't seem to me that this explains much of anything with regard to either NDEs or the mind-body relationship. It's also inconsistent with the fact that people experience transcendent states in deep meditation (etc.), too.

    That's just for starters and it gets worse from there. It's pseudoscience that still wouldn't add up even if it was real science.

    Anyway, hey, you asked what I thought...

  • matthewx78 Apr 14, 2013

    An issue I personally had with this theory is that many of the aspects of NDE's that it rest I have not even heard of or have heard of it happening hear and there.... I would like to rest a theory on very common and replicable elements. This would give it much more parsimony.

  • matthewx78 Apr 14, 2013

    Perhaps in the half dozen books I have read, numerous web sites I have read, and the lectures I have listen to I missed something. That said some statistics of how often these aspects occur would be favored.

    IONs member and contributor for 3 years and Baltimore IONs program committee member (Matt Willett ---

  • Anonymous Icon

    Xapgirl May 15, 2013

    Upper and lower 'tornados' spinning in opposing directions... sounds like a torsion field to me. I practice Matrix Energetics and this uses the torsion field of the heart to access universal consciousness/the field/the force/the all-that-is-everything/the interconnectedness of everything/god (whatever term you are comfortable with), collapse quantum possibility waves and allow for a new outcome to emerge. It has been shown that solid matter does not exist except when we observe it, and everything in our universe, ourselves included, is formed of patterns of light (energy) & information. In tracking these patterns of light and information, as we learn to do in Matrix Energetics, I have observed that such patterns can have a coherence, and remain in one 'place' whilst being observed. I am not a scientist, merely a seeker,(probably like many others reading these posts), but it seems plausible to me that patterns interacting/entangling with the body, or of the body, may well be observable to those with the necessary sensory acuity - such as observing an OOBE or death in process. We receive vastly more data through our subconscious than we use to process information in our conscious minds - by a factor of millions. That we cannot readily interpret such data using left brained language, logic and empirical observation does not mean that it has no value or information to impart: it is, by dint of volume and quality of data alone, much better informed than our conscious thoughts and should be valued, not disregarded as woo-woo. As I am learning, it is possible to train ourselves to pay attention to this information - with sometimes mindblowing results.

    I've not had an NDE but aspects of the descriptions resonate with my OOBE. My own (one and only remembered) OOBE was the most incredible, joyful and consciouness-expanding experience of my life. I was tugged to my ceiling then, in an instant, up among the planets. I would do it again daily if only I could. I never have been able to wear watches, not before nor after. Have I had an OOBE before? I've certainly flown often in my dreams but until my definite OOBE I was always fearful of rising up too high. Not any more. The OOBE also brought me the final stage of healing from a long-term illness, and clarity in my life's direction for the first time in my life. I felt, at last, like I had come home.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Xapgirl May 15, 2013

    "We receive vastly more data through our subconscious than we use to process information in our conscious minds - by a factor of millions."

    Sorry, that was clumsily written! But I hope you understand the point I am making.

  • Anonymous Icon

    jazzrasool Mar 01, 2014

    In the 1990's I realised some mind-body effects could only be described by accepting that Consciousness and Gravity were complementary to one another much like Electricity and Magnetism were within their unified parent force of Electromagnetism. At the time physicist Roger Penrose and Anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff suggested that Quantum Gravity acting on the brain gave rise to consciousness. At the same time I was proposing that, because of many biological processes being reversible, Consciousness acting through the brain or body could give rise to shifts in gravitational field and thus alter the fabric of space and time.

    At the time I was proposing that if consciousness could cause shifts in gravitational field then our experience of time and space would alter and it might even be possible to perceive non-local regions of space and time (As in Remote Viewing and Precognition). The alteration of gravitational field would even alter the functioning of clocks or watches in the field of the individual. Hormone concentrations may in fact be responsible for the altered state of time and space.

    In my life, rather clumsily, I have found myself in situations where I was nearly killed including in surgery as well as with brain inflammation. Over the years I came to experience many altered states. I took up Qigong practices designed to alter the relationship between nervous system, immune system and endocrine system. I have seen the 'arrival of the future and the departure of the past' in the 'hour glass' where the constriction was the present moment where my consciousness was inhabiting my body.

    I am aware that over 90% of the universe is considered to be 'dark matter' or 'dark energy' that sits between the spaces of ordinary matter structures -in the field of energy between them. From that point of view my body is the visible interference pattern of waves of energy from that invisible field. It is essentially a multitude of standing waves that maintain the body in a mostly fixed overall form. It is like a note played on a guitar string or on a flute. Just as changing the note can be achieved by playing a different string or by placing a finger over one of the flutes air holes, so it is possible to 'switch' the body note from a visible one to one that cannot be seen and possibly one that is being registered in another dimension. That switch is triggered by many factors but most typically a shift in perception, shift in hormone proportions or a shift in the bioelectrical activity that arises from changes in respiration which alters energy availability in cells from mitochondria as well as coherence/chaos levels in neuronal firing patterns. At the simplest level, such changes in coherence can bring about epilepsy or physiological convulsions. In other ways a person can enter into a trance possibly even go on to have an OBE or NDE.

    Such knowledge is not new. It has simply been misplaced and is found in a new form in every generation.

  • matthewx78 Oct 08, 2014

    Interesting comments Jazzrasool

    Yeah I still favor the hypothesis of quantum consciousness in this matter. :)

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