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The 12 Extraordinary & Eye-Opening Stages of Near-Death Experiences

Episode 4 of Season 8 on Afterlife TV: Near-death experiences are extraordinary journeys where ordinary people die (temporarily) and travel into the spirit world before coming back to the physical world. My investigation of the afterlife, coupled with my interviews of many near-death experiencers, have revealed 12 eye-opening stages most people go through during their near-death experiences. And this is the fascinating subject of today’s episode.

As one amazing example of these stages, I play a clip of one person’s near-death experience that occurred during a visit to her dentist. Her story is both comforting and enlightening, and her message at the end is worth listening to by itself.

All the photos in the video were taken by the ever-loving and beautiful, Melissa (my wife), so thanks to her for that. I’m happy to have learned how Melissa’s photos have brought beauty and peace to your listening. I appreciate you letting us know. And thank you for listening and welcoming me back for this new season of the show — Season 8. I’m glad you’re enjoying it once again. Please send me a comment wherever you like to communicate with me:, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or iTunes.

Much love, Bob Olson ~ &

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

Bob: Hey everybody, Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV. You can find us at This is where we talk about life after death and we answer the meaningful questions you have around that subject. I wanna thank our sponsor, Best Psychic Directory, where you can find over 900 psychics and mediums, Tarot readers, animal communicators, energy healers right there where you can also read reviews written by people like you who have had readings from these people and you can search by either location or specialty. All right. So, that’s Please check them out.

Now, today, this is the fourth episode of season eight. You were able to listen to episodes one, two and three all at once. If you missed any of those, then certainly go back and check those out on or YouTube or iTunes, wherever it is that you listen to this show because you might have missed something really cool there. Today is gonna be a cool episode because we’re gonna be talking about near-death experiences. We’re gonna be hearing a highlight from someone who had a very cool near death experience and I think you’re gonna enjoy listening to that.

Again, it’s from an episode in the past that you might have heard before, but sometimes when you separate these things and it’s been years since you’ve heard it, it’s fun and even educational to listen to it again. It’s certainly gonna be educational in reference to the clip that you’re gonna be hearing about near-death experiences. What are the most common stages one goes through during an NDE? And then when you hear the highlight from the near-death experience that’s going to be described to you, then you will go, “Oh, wow, she did follow some of those common stages.”

So, that’s what we’re going to be doing today. Before we get to that, I just wanna thank everybody who has left reviews on for two of my books, “Answers about the Afterlife,” which is now available on audio. So, if you like audio books and you’ve been waiting for that, that is now available. And you’ll hear a clip from that in a moment. Or I wanna thank those who left reviews for “The Magic Mala: A Story That Changes Lives.” Both by me, Bob Olsen, and I really appreciate you writing these raving reviews that you have about them. It means a lot to me and I’m glad that those books were so meaningful to you. So, thanks so much for doing that.

I, like so many of you, really love the near-death experiences because how often do we get to talk to somebody who has been to the spirit world and then come back? Now, some people might not know what a near-death-experience is. This is right from my book, page 225. I’ll just read it, very short. What is a near-death experience? As mentioned at the beginning in this book, a near-death experience is when a person dies for a brief time, a few seconds to a few minutes, and then comes back to life. During this brief period of death, from the person’s perspective, he leaves his body, views it from above, and then moves toward and often into the light of the spirit world.

At this point, he is greeted by deceased loved ones or other spiritual beings with whom he will review his life and recognize the lessons from it. Soon he is told he must go back to his physical life at which point he finds himself back in his physical body. In many cases, information that the person obtained while out of their body has been confirmed, for instance, what doctors said or did in the emergency room that a person lying dead could never have known otherwise.

So, that’s what a near-death experiences if you don’t know. And if you check out Afterlife TV, we have lots of exciting examples of that if you look in the menu of all the people, the guests that we’ve had. You certainly can check out Natalie Sudman. I interviewed her a few times. Dr. Lani Leary, you’re gonna hear a clip from hers in just a moment. And Anita Morjani [SP]. Those are three real amazing near-death experiences and there’s more. So, just check that out on, or again, wherever it is that you listen to Afterlife TV.

All right. We’re gonna hear from Alan Adelberg. He’s a voice-over artist who read “Answers about the Afterlife” for the audio book. He is reading from page 226 where he answers the question, “What are the most common stages one goes through during a near-death experience?” These are very common. Now, not everybody is gonna go through all of these stages, but many people do, and they’re pretty cool. So, check this out and then I’ll be right back.

Alan: “What are the most common stages one goes through during a near-death experience, NDE? These stages differ from one person to another, but there are some common stages that typically occur with most near-death experiences. In the early stages of the NDE, most near-death experiencers recognize that they are out of their body. In many cases, the person initially sees his body in front of him. If he died during surgery, for instance, he is looking at his body while watching the doctors and nurses attempt to resuscitate him. Many of the people who’ve experienced NDEs have told me that they were surprised to feel almost no connection with their body. They knew it was their body, but they felt emotionally disconnected from it. Many told me they were surprised at how old and dreadful it appeared to them. Some people never saw their body, but instead found themselves in some other place.

Natalie Sudman, author of “Application of Impossible Things” is a near-death experiencer who found herself on a stage-like platform in front thousands of non-physical beings after her vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Iraq. She told me she was riding in the Land Rover one second, then blinked and found herself standing in front of an auditorium filled with the spiritual beings who are all wearing white robes. Natalie became aware that she was downloading information about her physical life experiences to these beings. Some near-death experiencers found themselves traveling to distant lands. Simply by thinking about a place, they would instantly find themselves there. Some people traveled to see friends or relatives even if they lived across the country or across the world. Others traveled to countries they had never visited before as if they were on vacation and they were able to describe these locations with detailed accuracy long after their NDE.

Many near-death experiencers found themselves floating in darkness, but not a scary darkness. Many have told me that there is light within this darkness, what some have described to me as a velvety darkness. And many talked about hearing a beautiful, melodious sound somewhere in the background of their environment, which they could also smell, feel, and taste. Their senses we’re all connected. A few described this sound to me as resonating like the faint ring after a wind chime is rung. From this point, the average near-death experiencer found himself moving toward a brilliant, radiant light that is much brighter than our sun, but it doesn’t hurt their eyes. This light emanated intense love and made them feel incredibly safe and joyful. Some refer to this light as God, source, or creative intelligence.

What I found especially interesting was that some people said the light came to them. It’s surrounded them like a warm blanket, while others said that they moved toward it. This is often where the tunnel that we’ve all heard about comes into play. Those who had a tunnel experience say that they traveled through the tunnel toward this light. Often, once people reach the light or the light reached them, near-death experiencers were typically met by a spiritual being, a greeter. I’ve also had some people tell me that the spiritual being met them soon after they were looking at their body, such as while in the surgery room. This spiritual greeter has been described by people as a spirit, an angel, a saint, a light beam, or a religious figure usually associated with the near-death experiencers’ religious beliefs, and still, in many cases, the spiritual being was a deceased relative or even a deceased pet.

Some people met more than one spiritual being such as a few deceased family members. Others said they were met by one spirit, but felt the presence of other spirits nearby. In any case, the spiritual being’s presence made the person feel comforted, loved, and safe. The closer the being came to them, the more these feelings grew, and if the spirit communicated with the person it occurred telepathically. In this way, the spiritual being knew everything the person was thinking. Whenever the spiritual being was a deceased loved one, they were often messages about love, forgiveness, and pride that the spirit felt toward the near-death experiencer. Sometimes this was a joyful reunion and sometimes the spirit interacted with a more serious tone, especially if the spirit had instructions for the person about how to alter the course of his life.

Numerous near-death experiences then went through what’s known as a life review. This is where they reviewed their choices, words, and actions in life and felt the impact of how their behavior affected others. Some described this as watching a three-dimensional movie on a panoramic screen that spanned between 180 and 360 degrees around them. In most cases, the spiritual beings did not judge the person for how they lived. Instead, any spirits present usually counseled the person to not judge himself for behavior around which he was ashamed or regretful. The purpose of the life review, the spirits pointed out, is to learn and grow from this insight, not feel remorse around it.

The spiritual being or beings sometimes told the person having the near-death experience the reason he needed to go back or at least what he still needed to accomplish in his life. This was when he was told that this was not his time to die and that he would have to return to his physical body and life. Almost all near-death experiencers admitted to not wanting to come back. Some attempted to argue their case for staying in the spirit world. Even those people with families and other loved ones here in the physical dimension and who had generally happy lives usually wanted to stay in spirit. Although some feel a sense of guilt around that admission now that they’ve returned, especially those with young children, the fact that they felt this way teaches us a lot about our true spiritual lessons.

There is an emotional detachment from the physical world. This is not to say that our loved ones in spirit do not have love and compassion for us, they most certainly do. And their love has an intensity that is far beyond our human comprehension, but what we learn from near-death experiences in this way is that those in spirit do not worry about us. They know we are all going to be just fine. They know we are eternal beings having a brief human experience, and that we too will return home to the spirit world in what feels like a split second to them. If I could make a faint comparison that might illustrate the situation, it would be like a family taking a vacation together and when one family member gets homesick and decides to return home earlier than the rest, that family member is happy to be home and knows that the others will be coming home soon.

In the end, near-death experiencers found themselves back in their physical bodies at which point they often needed to heal from whatever it was that caused them to temporarily die. These are the typical stages of a near-death experience. Not every near-death experiencer experiences all these stages and not necessarily in the order I presented. And certainly there are stages that occur with some people that I have not mentioned, but this is what is common and characteristic of the average NDE.”

Bob: Thank you, Alan, for that. If you liked that clip and you’d like to hear more, we have 150 questions and answers that you can listen to in the audio book format of “Answers about the Afterlife”. Check it out on or right there on Amazon where you can get the audio version, or even Okay. The next thing I wanna share with you is the highlight that, I think I gave it away, is told by Dr. Lani Leary. Lani had a near-death experience earlier in life. And it came about after a visit to her dentist of all things. So, let’s listen to that now. I know this all started with a dentist visit. Who knew, right? Who could have expected that, a dentist? Tell us about your near-death experience, how it started and what took place.

Dr. Lani: Yeah. Well, I was going for a routine dental procedure and I was almost 29 years old, happily married, and had a beautiful two-and-a-half-year-old baby and just took myself to the dentist for a regular procedure, and I was in the dentist chair and given nitrous oxide, laughing gas. And the first thing I knew I was lying back in the dentist chair and the next thing I knew I was up in the corner of the room looking down at my inert body and I felt no fear, I felt no anxiety. And as I looked at my body, I really felt a fondness for it. I knew this body, but I knew that I was not that body. And I felt an old familiarity with it, but as though it was ready to be tossed off and go to the Salvation Army.

Bob: Wow.

Dr. Lani: It was well used and well loved. But I didn’t need it back, I didn’t want it back. But the dentist was frantically working on me and I was trying to communicate. I was trying to talk to the dentist, the dentist didn’t hear me. And I just looked at my body with kind of a fond detachment, and I had no sense of time, so I don’t know how long I was up there in the corner of the room. But the next thing that I was aware of was that I was entering a tunnel and my mother, who had been dead for 15 years, was right at the entrance to the tunnel with her arms out and she was whole and she was beautiful, vibrant, and healed. She was healed, and that was really important because she did not die whole and vibrant and thriving in this way.

And I saw her and I knew it was her and I went into her and I was not able to say goodbye when she died. She died suddenly and unexpectedly. And I communicated with her telepathically, so it was as though I thought and she received and she thought and I received, I heard it inside of this being, whatever this I was now. And I said to her, “I love you,” and she said, “I know,” in such a way that the energy went around me like her arms. And I said, “I miss you,” and she said, “I know.” And what I knew in that communication was that all those things, every single day of my life that I had wanted to tell her or I wanted to ask her, I already had. What I knew is that she had always been with me and there had never been any separation between us. And I knew that she knew that I loved her.

And all those years I had felt so guilty that I had not been able to say goodbye. And I was 13 years old and a typical teenager wanting distance and independence, and I had felt so guilty as though really there was a part of my 13-year-old brain that felt so just…oh, despair doesn’t even come close to it. But as though she had died believing that her only daughter didn’t love her because I hadn’t told her that. So, in this moment of communication that was healed and I knew that she would always be with me, and I still know that. I know that now. I know she’s right here.

So, the next thing I was aware of was that I was going into this tunnel and I had to go through this tunnel because I could see a speck of light and it was as thought I was a magnet and I was drawn to this light. There was no question that I was going toward it. And I was in this tunnel that was so beautiful and magnificent. As I close my eyes now I can see it and feel it. And it was an opalescent blue, like there was mother of pearl all around this tunnel. And as I went through this tunnel, I heard the most magnificent music. And I went closer and closer to the light, and the light got bigger and bigger and brighter as though I was looking at the sun but there was no pain in looking at this light.

And I was in front of the light, and then I was aware that the light was all around me just like my mother’s arms, and then I was in the light and I was the light as though there was no separation between a drop of water and the ocean. It was one in the same. And I knew I was home. I was home. And I really…I experienced, I felt, and I knew a Love, with a capital L, that I had never experienced on Earth, this unconditional love so that I knew that I was forgiven for anything I thought I couldn’t be forgiven for.

Bob: Wow.

Dr. Lani: I was one in the same, I belonged, and I was loved beyond measure, and I wanted to be there. And the next thing I was aware of was that the light…and you can call the light whatever you want because it’s beyond name. The light said to me in the same way that my mother and I communicated, “You must go back,” and I yelled with whatever force I had, “No!” And the light said again, “You have work to do. You must go back.” And I still yelled, “No!” And then I felt myself churning back through this tunnel almost like I was in a blender, and I can say it was emotionally physically…my experience was that it was almost painful to come back. And then the next thing I knew I was back in the dentist chair and my life changed.

Bob: I bet it did. And tell me, how did the dentist react? I just find it kind of curious.

Dr. Lani: Yeah. Well, this was back in 1981, ’82, and the dentist…I think that the dentist believed…we didn’t talk about it. The dentist believed that he had resuscitated me. That’s fine. And he just wanted to make sure that I was able to drive home.

Bob: Yeah.

Dr. Lani: And I did. I’m not sure he had ever had that experience before. And certainly, I hadn’t. I’d never spoken with anyone who had that experience. I didn’t have the language.

Bob: Right. I read something that you wrote that you also felt something for the dentist and you felt a lot of compassion for him in something that either you said and was transcribed or that you wrote, which was in your book. You actually seemed to feel more compassion for him.

Dr. Lani: Yes, because he was so…he was scared and agitated and I was really trying to communicate, “I’m okay. I’m okay. It’s okay. It’s all okay.”

Bob: Isn’t that beautiful?

Dr. Lani: And he couldn’t receive it.

Bob: Yeah.

Dr. Lani: I think that there is so much communication to us and I think that we might block it because of either our grief, our fear, our agitation, and so there is help coming to us, but just because we can’t perceive it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Bob: Okay. So, that was Dr. Lani Leary talking about her near-death experience. If you wanna watch or listen to the full episode of that, we’ll give links below in the show notes so you can do that. Otherwise, that’s it for this fourth episode of the eighth season. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you’re having a great week. We’re having a heat wave here in New England right now as I record this. Woo-hoo. And if you hear a little buzzing in the background it’s because of the air conditioners. Sadly, we absolutely need them, otherwise we would melt. All the equipment here would melt.

Please check out our sponsor, If you’re enjoying these episodes and you’re new to Afterlife TV, be sure to check out or you can find us on YouTube, iTunes, and of course, you can sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any future episodes, or you can follow us on our Facebook page. All those links are right there on I hope you have a wonderful week and we’ll see you next week. All right. Bye-bye.

Male: That’s all for another fantastic Afterlife TV episode. Bob couldn’t be happier. If you enjoyed this episode as much as Bob, please leave a comment on, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. And don’t forget to check out Bob’s book, “Answers about the Afterlife.” Thanks for watching Afterlife TV.

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

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  1. Steve says:

    Hi Bob,
    i just wanted to share my own experience of what might have been a NDE,4 years old and almost drowned thankfully i’m still here. I remember even today my life to be was in reverse not in much detail but the future surrounding family members,it was like a non colour film being played back a lightening speed snap shots of siblings,mum and dad,until i was pulled up out of the water.
    This memory is as vivid now as it was nearly 60 years ago.My eldest sister was the last person i saw.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Steve,

      Sounds like a fascinating experience. Thank you for sharing it.


  2. Marie says:

    Is it possible to have an NDE without any physical trauma to the body. I have an incredible story, I have had 2 very different stories about NDE’s experienced by me. One during surgery, the other sitting at home after a very physically trying morning of hours of crying. I wish I had learned something from that but, I don’t know that I did. I am having a very difficult time understanding what all this meant to me.

    • Bob Olson says:

      Hi Marie,

      I think what you might have experienced was an OBE, out-of-body experience, not an NDE. I hope that helps. I’ve done episodes on OBEs here on


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