Saturday, April 3, 2021
In 2020, my four-year-old son and I watched Soul, the Disney film, which introduces the near-death experience to a new audience, very young people, and examines consciousness, the afterlife, and the imperceptible stuff that makes us us. (My son is convinced now that when we die we ride an ethereal, very cool-looking travelator toward a blinding light in the sky.) Often in these screen-based times, we are encouraged to celebrate narratives that promote living the “right” way, which tends to involve appreciating and accepting every moment for what it is, and mindfully placing experiences and relationships above the pursuit of power or prestige or material goods. (Broadly speaking, this is the plot of Soul.) Most of us do not live like that, not entirely, and yet we feel like we should, lest we waste our precious time on this planet. Which is why near-death narratives fascinate us, and why they persist as events of interest in the culture. They ask: “What would you do with your life, if you had another chance?”
IMHO there are also other reasons NDEs fascinate us, such as, are they evidence of ADE's?