The term Near-Death-Experience was once, in the 1970s, defined by the American psychiatrist Dr. Raymond Moody. He was one of the first in modern times to systematically investigate this extraordinary phenomenon. He recorded his findings in what would later become a worldwide bestseller: Life after Life, published in Dutch as Life after this Life. In that Dutch edition the term BDE: Bijna-Dood-Ervaringen was introduced, and that term became firmly established. But gradually people came to realize that this term was not an accurate representation of the phenomenon, because there was actually no question of ‘near death’ or ‘almost death’ (BDE) but rather of a mental state that can occur ‘close to death’ (NDE).

So what is a Near-Death-Experience? Well, the Near-Death-Experience (NDE) is a set of impressions during a special state of consciousness resulting from a period of clinical death, a serious illness, a near-fatal situation, or a dying process; but an NDE can also occur during high stress or deep mediation, or even quite spontaneously without any trigger.

In my case, they occurred spontaneously or through deep meditation where the monotonous rhythm of my own breathing took me by the hand, as it were, and guided me through the process of leaving my physical body. You can read more about this in both my books.

American and German surveys have shown that about 4% of the population has experienced an NDE, or something similar. Focused on Belgium, this would mean that a few hundred thousand people (around 600,000!) have had an NDE, or something similar. Something similar, because there are also other, so-called transcendental experiences that have many characteristics of the ‘ordinary’ NDE. My experiences belong to this latter group and can therefore be called transcendent experiences. I gave them the name ‘visions’.

NDEs occur in all times and all cultures, regardless of age, gender, education or religious beliefs.

If you want to know more about this, I can recommend the book Endless Consciousness by Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel. Its successor is also more than worthwhile. That book is called: The Secret of Elysion – 45 years of study of Near-Death-Experiences (about consciousness in love without where)


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