On the Encounter with a Divine Presence during a Near-Death Experience

A Phenomenological Inquiry
  • Timothy West

Abstract

This chapter presents a phenomenological study of the experience of “encountering a divine presence during a near-death experience.” As a result of my own near-death experience (NDE), I was inspired to investigate what I intuitively felt was the essence and defining element of the phenomenon: the meeting with an omnipotent, all-knowing entity or what many people commonly conceive of as “God.” Although there exists a relatively large body of both empirical and speculative literature concerning near-death experiences, rigorous existential-phenomenological investigations, such as the study presented in this chapter, are rare. Since the nature of near-death experience defies “objective” measurement, qualitative or phenomenological methods seem best suited to describe the essence of this remarkable event.

Keywords

Physical Body Mystical Experience Phenomenological Inquiry Intense Feeling Bantam Book 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Atwater, P. M. H. (1994). Beyond the light. New York: Birch Lane Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bache, C. (1994). The perinatal interpretation of frightening near-death experiences. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 13, 25–45.Google Scholar
  3. Bush, N. E. (1994). The paradox of Jonah: Response to “solving the riddle of frightening near-death experiences.” Journal of Near-Death Studies, 13, 47–54.Google Scholar
  4. Colaizzi, P. F. (1978). Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it. In R. S. Valle and M. King (Eds.), Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology (pp. 48–71). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Evans-Wentz, W. (Ed.). (1957). The Tibetan book of the dead. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Moody, R. (1975). Life after life. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  7. Moody, R. (1977). Reflections on life after life. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  8. Moody, R. (1988). The light beyond. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  9. Morse, M. (1992). Transformed by the light. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  10. Rawlings, M. (1993). To hell and back. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.Google Scholar
  11. Ring, K. (1980). Life at death: A scientific investigation of the near-death experience. New York: Quill.Google Scholar
  12. Ring, K. (1984). Heading toward omega. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  13. Ring, K (1994). Solving the riddle of near-death experiences: Some testable hypotheses and a perspective based on A course in miracles. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 13, 5–23.Google Scholar
  14. Sabom, M. (1982). Recollections of death: A medical investigation. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  15. van Kaam, A. (1966). Existential foundations of psychology. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Vincent, K. R. (1994). Visions of God from the near-death experience. Burdett, NY: Lanson Publications.Google Scholar
  17. von Eckartsberg, R. (1986). Life-world experience: Existential-phenomenological research approaches in psychology. Washington, DC: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  18. Webster’s new world dictionary. (1988). New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  19. West, T. (1996). On the experience of encountering a divine presence during a near-death experience: A phenomenological inquiry. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy West
    • 1
  1. 1.NovatoUSA

Personalised recommendations