Tunnel of Light: Making Sense of Near-Death Experiences

In 1982, a young stained-glass artist by the name of Mellen-Thomas Benedict lay dying of an inoperable brain tumor. In order to have the best quality of life before his immanent death, Benedict declined chemotherapy treatments. After about 18 months of hospice care, Benedict woke up one day around 4:30 a.m., knowing he was going to die. A few hours later, Benedict had a near-death experience in which he perceived being surrounded by a beautiful shining light that he automatically felt was a symbol of “the Source” or “Higher Self.” He described the experience as one of joy and peace: “It was just overwhelming. It was all the love you’ve ever wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures, heals, regenerates.” He described feeling a strong desire to communicate and travel toward this light that emanated love, peace, harmony, as hu- man souls swam around him. Benedict’s own consciousness expanded — perceiving and knowing all things from all time. It was this stage of infinite consciousness that revealed to him that death should not be seen as an “end” but instead as a transition into the infinite reality of being: immortality.

Benedict was clinically dead. His nurse rushed to his bedside and found no vital signs, no blood pressure or cardiac activity. Shortly after leaving the room, she heard a loud crash. Upon returning, she found him lying on the floor, trying to reach the window. Within three days, Benedict was discharged from the hospice and felt better than he had ever felt before. Three months later, follow-up brain scans were performed and astonishingly showed no signs of the tumor. Benedict’s physician referred to this occurrence as a “spontaneous remission” (which is commonly known as a spontaneous regression: the spontaneous cure or improvement of a severe disease). But Benedict chose to call it a miracle.

1 Comment

  1. I have epilepsy. When I have seizures I see the light tunnel, I enter it and light becomes very intense then I black out. I don’t believe its near death experiences , its just the brain shutting down well that’s what I think.

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