Posted by
Jim Goad
• 11.29.12 10:15 am

Back in the late 80s and early 90s—when most of you were either infants or even a mere gleam in the eye of the man who had a one-night stand of unprotected sex with your mom—there was a brief spurt of pop-culture interest in what are known as Near Death Experiences, AKA “NDEs.”

These events usually involve clinical death rather than legally defined death—in other words, your heart stops beating and you cease to breathe for a few moments…or minutes…until a burly team of sweaty and sexy paramedics revives you—during which you leave your body, float upward toward a tunnel of light, hobnob with dead relatives, and then finally meet Jesus, at which point you exchange idle pleasantries and trade back rubs.

For many, the experience confirms their previously held religious beliefs, at which point they resolve to lead a more spiritual life, which usually means they cease masturbating to barnyard porn and begin volunteer work at the local soup kitchen once a month.

Theories both scientific and religious abound as to what exactly is happening in these cases. Those on the scientific side of the aisle insist that what’s going on is a purely neurological phenomenon, while the spiritually minded would like to believe that such events prove their long-held suspicion that Jehovah God is perched somewhere right above the clouds, ready to greet us with a warm smile and a pipin’-hot tray of sugar cookies the moment we depart this vale of tears.

As someone who was clinically dead twice in early June 2008—I mean, blue-skinned, no-breathing, no-heartbeat dead—I’m here to report that I saw absolutely nothing. No tunnel of light, no angels, no 70 virgins, no Goddess Kali with amazing dental work on her all-consuming vagina, no nothin’. There wasn’t even a sense that any time had elapsed. It was as if I had blinked, then was suddenly in an ambulance (the first time) or the same hospital room (the second).

This appears to suggest two options:

1) Either those who see angels are the same superstitious, credulous, schizoid types who see UFOs and can hear the Virgin Mary talking to them while they shop at Walmart, or…

2) God didn’t invite me to his party.

Have you or anyone you know had a Near Death Experience? Did you see anything? If you did, was it anything you didn’t expect to see? I’m asking for a friend.




  1. SammyDavis says:

    I passed out while on magic mushrooms, and became conscious of being unconscious. There was “nothing.” No up or down, sight or sound. Just void and intense fear that seemed to last a million years. Two earth minutes had passed when I came to. I had fallen backwards and cracked my head off of the toilet bowl. No heart stoppage.

  2. Vlad says:

    I believe in astral stuff outside of NDEs.

  3. Ecgtheow says:

    My aunt is very adamant about her NDE. Late teens, early 20s. Had a brain tumor and underwent a dangerous procedure to have it removed. She recounted floating up, seeing the doctors and nurses surrounding her, was transported to the waiting room and overheard a conversation among her family – recalls vividly, down to each word said. Suddenly as if being shot from a cannon, as she described it, she found herself in a dark, hazy milieu. Just enough ambient light at first then more light emerged at the end of a dark tunnel. She felt things crawling on her and was keen to see what it was. She realized she was surrounded by insects, 360 degrees, again, as in a tunnel. All kinds of species. They swarmed and covered her, and of course, she was terrified. She was bitten all over and in agony until she cried out for help. Once again, she experienced a sudden jolt and found herself surrounded by nothing but white light. Her emotions changed instantaneously. Terrified one “second,” completely without fear and at peace the next. No sound whatsoever. Then, a voice. The voice was non-threatening and very comforting. She described it as a lengthy conversation, but the jist of it was that it proceeded to tell her that she was in danger of being too distant as a result from the choices she had made in her life up to that point. There was more for her to do (nothing specific) and it simply wasn’t her time. At the conclusion of the encounter, she felt a final jolt and awoke in her body. Her surgery was over and was recovering with her parents at her bed side.

    She’s in her late 40s now. Has been very successful in her career and been married for a long time. Had two kids. Has been like another mom to me. I never thought of her as the hysterical type. Not a raconteur of tall tales, by any means. For all intents and purposes, and for the sake of clarification, she has it together. With that said, she’s very firm in her belief in what happened to her was real and has tuned out all the noise which speaks to the contrary, for good.

  4. esseff says:

    the times where i’ve been closest to death, are the times where i’ve felt the most alive:)

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