In a study of 302 NDEs, 29% saw familiar beings and 25.8% saw unfamiliar beings. Out of the 166 individuals seeing beings, 53% saw familiar beings while 47% saw unfamiliar beings. Blood relatives (25.9%) and religious figures (22.9%) made up the highest percentage of familiar beings. Studies of NDEs that date back to the 1970's and 80's are revealing strong clues as to what waits for us after physical death.
One-tenth went to the final stage, termed "entering the light" by researcher Kenneth Ring, who states that beings are more commonly seen at this stage. In a 2001 study by Van Lommel, he found that of 62 patients, 32% met with deceased persons.
Of those that reported seeing religious beings, Jesus, God, and angels were reported 12.7%, 5.4%, and 4.8% of the time, respectively. Those who saw familiar beings saw blood relatives (25.9%), relatives (5.4%), friends (6.0%), and others (15.7%). Interestingly, of blood relatives seen, 9.6% saw their grandmother and 4.8% saw their grandfather. As one would expect there were lower frequencies of visits to parents, siblings, and children as fewer of them would be deceased.
A t-test, using a p value of p<=0.05, was performed to determine if any correlation existed to seeing beings. A p value above 0.05 would indicate a questionable probability of correlation. This t-test showed significant correlations between seeing familiar beings and blood relatives.
Breaking the data into age groups using the chi square table with the same criteria as the t-test, older NDEs show a higher chance of encountering a familiar being and seeing blood relatives.
Statistically significant correlations proved the results were not attributed to chance alone. These strong correlations, well below 0.01, include beautiful locations; universal order/purpose; seeing a light; decision to return; tunnel; share experience; life change; changed beliefs; and future life events.
Individuals who encountered beings were more like to perceive a universal purpose or order. Those who saw beings were more likely to report seeing light, beautiful locations, and the tunnel. Other beings were more likely to deliver reports of future events and be associated with the decision to return. NDErs who saw beings were more likely to have changed beliefs, life changes, and were more slightly likelier to share their experience with others.
One unique finding is that grandfathers would more likely appear with grandmothers than to appear alone.
A study of 120 NDEs in 2001 showed that more parents came back for children, grandparents for grandchildren, and children came back for parents than any other reason when given a choice to return to earth or not.
The chi square test was used to determine whether the observed difference is due to chance or if it is statistically significant. A p value under 0.01 is usually considered statistically significant. The following items had correlations well under 0.01: Life change and changed beliefs; universal order and paranormal gifts; universal order and life change; life change and paranormal gifts; universal order and life review; life change and decision to return; life review and changed beliefs; life review and life change; and other beings and decision to return.
The lives of NDErs changed significantly. Lifestyle changes comprised 18.9% of them and included answers about living life to its fullest with a sense of purpose. They spoke of the golden rule of "do unto others." They also spoke of the importance of relationships, being kinder to others, being more compassionate, stopping to smell the roses, service to others, and becoming non-materialistic.
The group of those commenting on dying and mortality (33.7%), talked about the lack of fear of death and the certainty that life continues beyond death. After an NDE, there was a marked decline in the fear of death and a belief in life after death. NDErs understand that we have a purpose for being on earth and we are not alone in the decision to come to earth.
A total of 41.3% changed beliefs concerning religion and spirituality. The changed belief of 27.6% of these NDErs was "Spirituality." Comments included, "I've learned to forgive. Also, I am profoundly aware of the oneness of all, the presence of God, and that ALL of creation is spirit!" The comments had a tone of oneness, universality, unconditional love, connection, and talked about God in a manner non-specific to one religion.
The high correlation between universal order/purpose and paranormal gifts (telepathy, hands on healing, precognition, empathy, ability to see spirits, etc.) could suggest paranormal gifts are a part of the universal order and purpose.
Those that experience the tunnel, the light, reunion or meeting with beings, and the life review seem to have a more defined universal purpose and order. Love tends to be the one emotion mentioned as the overriding message of the whole NDE.
The spiritual world is very real, as every NDE who witnessed it will confess. We now know what Heaven comprises in part and that our purpose here is part of God’s plan. Our lost relatives are only lost to us in the physical sense, but they await us in Paradise. A long lost question of many is finally answered.