The existence of the Near Death Experience is a fact. Why would that be true?
'Experience' is the inner processing of information. When someone experiences 'pain' - we don't say to that person that the pain does not exist. That is because we have all experienced pain, and therefore we know it exists. We can not however, with our five senses 'see' pain. It is a feeling. It's an internal processing of information. It's an experience and all experience is internal and therefore subjective.
When you get into the realm of subjectivity, you are no longer in objectively measurable terrain. You may be able to objectively measure side effects of the subjective experience - such as biological and physical reactions - for instance at the brain level. However, the subjective experience itself is not measurable.
What makes the near death experience challenging for many is that 1) not all of us have experienced one (and you may not voluntary try it), and 2) we are not yet able to measure any side effects of it.
What we then tend to do is to say it doesn't exist. But that is like saying a gay person cannot feel gay. Try to measure that. The other option is to explain it away in some reduced version of that what the near death experiencers - those who have actually had the experience - report in their attempt to explain what the experience is like to all those who have not experienced it. Again, this is like a gay person explaining to a straight person what it is like to be gay. Or like a women trying to explain to a man what it is like to be female. Or Jim trying to explain to Tina what it is like to be Jim.
This is precisely where the discussion and the understanding of a near death experience is going side ways. Those who have not experienced it, try to find proof and explanation for it. Subjectivity is something many seems to have become very afraid of. However, when millions of people on the planet describe a certain phenomenon, that alone if plenty of 'proof' the experience exists.
Why is this near death experience discussion so heated? Well, let's go back to being gay again. Being gay doesn't fit the construct many people live within. You are not 'supposed' to be gay. You are supposed to get married and have children. There is a lot of 'proof' for that. The man produces sperm, the female eggs - together it makes children. Therefore, that is how it is supposed to be. At the biological level this is true. However, 5% of the human population has clearly found another way to experience sexuality. Perhaps sexuality is not only biologically relevant. If you are not gay, this is not your experience. Relating to an experience you have not had is difficult, especially when it challenges the believe constructs you are attached to.
So what believe construct is at play in the near death experience discussion. People who have reported a near death experience claim things such as hovering over their dead body while still being alive and well. They are able to perceive all that is happening 'down there'. They then go through a 'tunnel' to experience light forms, the meeting of deceased, angels and realms. At some point they are told it is not their time yet and are sucked back into the physical body. Sounds crazy? The construct resisting this experience to be what they report it to be, is the construct of life and death or more fundamentally of what we humans are.
Is there life after death? If there is, you are not your physical body alone. You would need to be a being that can travel beyond earth life. Just like it is difficult to measure 'sexuality', it is difficult to measure 'beingness'. You can 'measure' sexuality at the biological level by observing reproduction organs. You can measure beingness by your biological presence. The problem arrives at the level of unseen or imperceivable by the observer - the experience itself. The experience of gayness is a subjective experience of sexuality beyond the biological appearance.
The experience of 'beingness' as being outside of the body or beyond the biological appearance is experienced by many people. 50% of people 'believe' in life after death. Through meditation, yoga, plant medicine, intense exercise, art and even science - people have beingness experiences that go beyond their biological experience of life - that is their experience.
Dealing with the unseen and unexperienced phenomena has always been a source of heated discussion. Until you have experienced 'pain', our minds try to comprehend this 'thing' everyone is talking about. You feel left out. It's scary. Uncontrollable. It doesn't correspond with your known constructs of life. You can't relate. We then want to explain or dismiss it. We get into all kinds of theories of what pain would be. Those who have experience pain continue to press that it really exists and try to describe it in all of the colors of the rainbow. Those who have not experienced it will bring out their measure instruments and science labs.
For others the unknown is exciting and sparks curiosity and creativity. They will try to help others go beyond their existing constructs to experience what they experience - or at least be open to the possibility of the experience. They will try to make it 'visible' and 'experienceable'.
These two seemingly opposing forces are both facilitating the process of progress. It helps us look at the experience from many points of view. It helps us dig deeper - and in all that digging our knowing expands and we find new unexpected and before unseen, unexperienced treasures. We should welcome all who are passionately interested. What we should avoid is dismissal and closed mindedness. Instead we should continue to dig into the unknown and look for its treasures.
The practical question is whether you want to experience gayness or beyond-body-beingness or whatever unknown experience you may be interested in. This turns the discussion beyond the need to proof it and toward the deeper understanding of the experience itself. It would help those who have the experience to not be dismissed, perceived as crazy and left on their own.
Some experiences are very intense and have significant after effects. A near death experience is a transformative experience. Those who have experienced it often feel like a different person having difficulty to explain to family and friends what it is like and how they have changed. For a deeper review of the after effects of an NDE, read Pim van Lommel's book Consciousness Beyond life. What they need is to be taken serious, to be accepted and guidance for how to integrate the experience into their life.
The near death experience itself is a fact. You can't dispute the experience of 'pain', just because you never experienced it. What it proofs is for many people still in the unseen, unknown and unexperienced as with all subjective experiences. If I've never seen an apple fall of a tree, convincing me of the existing of gravity is not different from a gay person trying to explain to a straight person that sexuality can be experienced beyond biology. Nobody has actually seen gravity itself. We have just experienced the effects of it. The effects of gravity are as much a production of the 'mind' as an NDE is. The only difference being who has observed it. Until observed and experienced - it will remain believed or unbelieved.
To the openminded straight person 'gayness' isn't a threat of his constructs but can instead learn so much from the gay person - to lift his own sexuality experience beyond the biological experience of it. Perhaps the aspects of male and female in all us exists on a gradient scale. And perhaps the sexual experience is not only about the biological functional use. That is also the exciting opportunity in studying and learning from NDE. Those who have experienced it are the way-showers into the unseen. Perhaps the NDE experience is here to tell us something about life and death. We should listen to them and follow them into the unknown to find what is out there. We should perceive those experiences as hints of what is beyond the horizon.
The honest truth is that we can be full of believes and assumptions about experiences we have never experienced. We can pick and choose our position based on what does and does not fit us - rather than expanding our mind. To maintain our worldview, we can choose to dismiss, deny, ridicule and explain away. However, when an experience 'is' it 'is'. If you have never taken drugs - you don't know what taking drugs is like. You can only guess. Even though taking drugs may not be what you want to experience, that does not mean it doesn't exist, isn't real or belongs to the hallucination category. When we start to see the meaning and realness of schizophrenia, paranormality, psychosis, drug use, depression, burn-out, suicide and near-deadness - we may learn something profound.