Nov 6, 2006
The afterlife has been a mystery for centuries. There is no concrete proof an afterlife even exists. Many people report near death experiences, including floating above their lifeless bodies and tell of deceased relatives waving them into “the light” at the end of a tunnel-like walkway. Since they are near death experiences, the events are short, and offer no real afterlife tales beyond the first few moments of death.
Physicians offer the suggestion that the “light and tunnel” scenario is actually the brain being deprived of oxygen. Hypoxia, lack of oxygen to the brain, is also responsible for the euphoria or peaceful feeling so many people who have had near death experiences describe.
Many skeptics argue that these people did not attempt to cross over, but rather had a dream as a result of anesthesia or trauma that rendered the person unconscious. Many people who have had a near death experience claim to have seen the Virgin Mary, or other religious figures upon their attempt to go into the light. Studies have shown that this is common among religious adults, and scientists believe they are actually having a “dream” based upon what their faith teaches them should happen when they cross over into the afterlife.
Believers of a life after death find comfort in knowing that our life as it is now is merely an exchange of sorts, exchanging a physical body for a spiritual world. In some cases this belief even helps us to cope with the passing of a loved one. Knowing that there is a possibility they will return to us making contact, and will also be there to welcome us when our time has come to move on to another plane of existence.
Many people also believe that spirits can return from the afterlife and make contact with us. Unexplained bumps in the night, voices, extreme temperature changes, or objects not being where we left them can have a host of logical explanations, but there are times when we cannot fully explain the how and why. Often times just a few of these occurrences are enough to force people to sell houses or call priests, however there are no proven cases of people being harmed or even killed by ghosts.
Angry ghosts seeking revenge and harming or murdering innocent people are merely the makings of urban legends and stories to tell around campfires. As humans, we tend to believe urban legends and run screaming at the first sound of a creaking floorboard or shadow cast on a wall. We don’t take the time to debunk our experiences; we act first and think later.