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NDE and Spiritism

The Intersection of NDE (Near Death Experience) and Spiritism

By Brian Foster




In the United States there has been literature and research about NDEs (near death experiences). There are many stories on the internet detailing what occurs for people that have had a NDE. The stories could have been lifted from one of the many books psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier. Xavier is a follower of Spiritism, which has been around since the 1850’s, founded by Allan Kardec. Spiritism is able to put NDE’s in context and explains in full what other people, through their experiences, have started to explore.





There has been numerous stories about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) since mankind have been on earth, but with the advent of the internet, the gathering and discussion of people’s experiences has reached a new level. To the people visiting and writing about NDE’s, their conception of the order of the Universe and their place within it have undergone a transformation. The knowledge that they really have a soul and it lives beyond their physical body brings a whole new set of questions. These questions can be answered by Spiritism.

Some of the recent NDE stories published on the nderf.org (Near Death Experience Research Foundation) site, underline the sense of otherworldliness and provides motivation to explore the state of the universe in which our spirit lives.

“While I was on the stretcher I observed a very white light at a distance, which I was approaching, I was like floating in the air.” – Victorio from Argentina, published in March, 2014[1]

“This unfolding of pictures and gaps developed and progressed continuously, presenting a constant delicate consequential line in perfect order, a chain of events, yet somehow they were all happening at once.  The past the present and the future were all happening at once.  It was inspiring to witness the order and sense that all these little pictures seemed to have in “the big picture”.  I felt a lot of compassion.  I was all forgiven.  In fact there was nothing to forgive.  I could see that my life had “perfect order” to it.  In some way it was like watching a mathematical equation or sum that makes perfect sense- such event and such event create this kind of result.  It was a simple portrayal of natural cause and effect with a gentle understanding.” – Romy from Australia, published in March, 2014[2]

People experiencing NDEs write about meeting spirits and communicating with deceased family members, as Fabio, from Italy, “I ‘feel’ a presence, something, someone, I can't explain it. I saw nothing and heard no word, nevertheless, I suddenly realize that the 'speaker' had always been there, and had followed me while I was in the tunnel, and somehow he had perhaps helped me to turn back. We began a silent dialogue. An immense and unconditional love. A flow of love.”[3]

Who are these other beings and how can we talk with family members long gone from the earth? Does our spirit only live once in a physical body or do we truly travel through multiple lives? Many religions and individuals believe in the concept of reincarnation. Reincarnation provides a framework for the existence of an immortal soul and a reason why we are truly reborn. People, who had no religious beliefs before, upon reviving from NDE’s have returned accepting their soul to be immortal and that reincarnation is a necessary process for our quest to become a better and more loving individual. Kevin Williams, who works on the www.near-death.com website, has complied and quoted parts of a research paper by Amber Wells, in his article he highlights to following:


“The majority of experiencers mentioned learning or enlightenment as the main purpose underlying reincarnation. Here are some comments by experiencers: 

"The spirit needs to embody itself in matter to experience it and learn. There are karmic patterns to learn lessons and to work spirit in matter."

"Life itself is a series of learnings. The lessons are universal, the two most important being truth and forgiveness."

"We progress at our own rate to reach the light. If you do things that take you away from the light, then you are perpetuating your time here."

"The inner quality is there, the inner self remains, but the external aspect that may have seemed very strong is dissolved. Individuality wasn't the same there. It was the same as everybody and everybody was me. Your spirit is always you. You are not the personality that you are on Earth. In the other realm you are everything, light is everything."[4]



The findings and comments above have all been explained by the doctrines of Spiritism. The people who have traveled through a NDE knew what they experienced, but now they have a name for the entire construct of the universe in which they entered for that brief period of time.


What is Spiritism?


Spiritism explains why we are here on earth, the causes of why we must live through good and bad times, and provides the basis behind the reasons why we travel through successive lives. Spiritism was presented to us by the Spirit world so we here on earth may perfect ourselves to prepare the earth to reach a higher plane of existence, while at the same time to improve our capacity to love one another.

Spiritism was brought to us via the work of Allan Kardec. In 1857, in response to the growing interest in spirits and mediums, Allan Kardec (pen name of the French teacher and educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail) organized a series of questions designed to discern the exact nature and wishes of the spirits. He did not accept information from just one medium, but verified the response to a question from multiple mediums throughout Europe.[5] Allan Kardec wrote a total of five books documenting the answers to his questions. The basic tenants of Spiritism are:


1.       Love God.

2.       Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

3.       Practice justice.

4.       Forgive all who offend you.

5.       Make amends for our own wrong doing.


The spirits revealed to us the basic facts of our existence:


1.       Your soul is immortal.

2.       You travel through multiple lives as a process to learn to love, be fraternal, and be selfless.

3.       The goal of God is for every spirit to one day be pure.

4.       There is no eternal hell, it is a station for souls who are materialistic and have an excessive love of self. Eventually, every spirit in hell realizes the need to throw off their material instincts.

5.       There are many levels of heaven. Heaven is not a place where we have eternal leisure, but one of on-going work to help others.

6.       Life on earth is like a school. You are assigned events in your life and how you react and behave will determine your spiritual progress.


In the 1930’s in Brazil, the medium Chico Xavier began psychographing (the process of a medium writing under the direction of a spirit) messages and books sent by spirits. From the very beginning he was told to always follow the doctrines of Allan Kardec. Chico wrote more than 400 books by the time of his death in 2002. All profits from his books went to charity.[6]  Within these books, the Spirits revealed information about Allan Kardec and the Spirit world’s plan for our future;


1.       When Jesus referred to the “Great Consoler”, he was foretelling the arrival of Allan Kardec.

2.       For the earth to progress, the human race needs to understand that every action they do here on earth will have consequences in their next life.

3.       The Bible was written by men under the influence of their beliefs and culture at their time. While the central spiritual message of love is eternal, the stories of the Bible, such as the Earth being made in 6 days are allegories and not meant to be taken literally.

4.       We are being told this because the human race is culturally and technically advanced to be able to accept these messages.

5.       Spiritism is not meant to replace religions, but to supplement them with the knowledge of the basic doctrine of reincarnation and its purpose.

6.       The spreading and acceptance of Spiritism will enable to world to begin a new age, where war is a thing of the past.

7.       The Spirit world has planned these events and is guiding the earth through subtle interventions.

8.       At some time in the future, science will definitely prove the existence of a soul and an afterlife.


As one can see, the statements presented in Amber Well’s paper, such as, “Life itself is a series of learnings. The lessons are universal, the two most important being truth and forgiveness”, have also been delivered to us via an alternative channel. That of the Spirit world communicating directly to mediums to alert us of a life beyond our single human existence.


The View from the Other Side


The view of our experiences from the Spirit world can be discovered in the books by Allan Kardec and Chico Xavier. Allan Kardec, in his book The Spirits Book, documents, by a series of questions and answers, what happens during the separation of the body and the soul;

154. Is the separation of the soul from the body a painful process?

“No; the body often suffers more during life that at the moment of death, when the soul is usually unconscious of what is occurring to the body. The sensations experienced at the moment of death are often a source of enjoyment for the spirit, who recognizes them as putting an end to the term of his exile.”

155. How is the separation of soul and body effected?

“The bonds which retained the soul being broken, it disengages itself from the body.”

-          Is this separation effected instantaneously, and by means of an abrupt transition? Is there any distinctly marked line of demarcation between life and death?

“No; the soul disengages itself gradually. It does not escape at once from the body, like a bird whose cage is suddenly opened. The two states touch and run into each other; and the spirit extricates himself, little by little, from his fleshly bonds, which are loosed, but not broken.” [7]

These statements were written in the 1850’s, well before the formal documentation of NDE’s arrived. Doesn’t the above fit perfectly with the sensation of the spirit somewhat free of the body, communicating with and seeing other spirits, but still connected? All who have had a NDE still had had a bond with their body, otherwise they would not have been able to return to their physical form. Death is only the destruction of our body, our soul is immortal.

In Allan Kardec’s book, Heaven and Hell, an evocation is being held at a Mortuary chamber on April 23, 1862. The participants are communicating with Mr. Sanson, who was a member of the Parisian Spiritist Society, he died on April 21, 1862. He had spent a year in suffering before his death and he expressed the wish to be communicated with after his death. Here are some of the excerpts;

7. Did you retain your awareness up to the last instant?

“Yes, my spirit retained its faculties. I no longer saw; I foresaw. My entire life unfolded within my memory and my last remembrance, my dying request, was to be able to communicate with you as I am doing right now. I next asked God to watch over you so that the dream of my life could be fulfilled.”

8. Were you conscious at the moment in which your body breathed its last? What happened to you at that time? What sensations did you feel?

“Life expires and sight, or rather, the spirit’s sight darkens. You find yourself in the void, the unknown, and then as if carried by an unknown power, you find yourself in a world where all is joy and wonder. I no longer felt anything, nor was I sure about what was occurring: nevertheless, an ineffable happiness surrounded me and I no longer felt the grip of pain.”[8]

Again, the same sensations, the same feelings of love and joy. There is a book, Workers of the Life Eternal, which was dictated to Chico Xavier in 1946, by the spirit Andre Luiz, which describes a death experience from the point of view of one of the spirit helpers in facilitating a person’s passing over to the Spirit world. Andre was assigned to a team of spirits who are to assist a man named Dimas to complete his life. Dimas’ mother, is also there in spirit to help her son in his first moments back in the Spirit world. The chapter on Dimas tells of the Spirit helpers preparing him for the final transition;

“Dimas-discarnate was now hovering a few inches above Dimas-corpse, attached to his body only by a thin, silvery cord similar to a delicate elastic thread between the abandoned brain of dense matter and the brain of rarefied matter of the liberated organism.

Dimas’ mother quickly left the material body and gathered up the new form, wrapping it in a pure white tunic that she had brought with her.

To our incarnate friends, Dimas was completely dead. To us, though, the operation was not yet complete. The Assistant determined that the fluidic cord should remain intact until the following day, taking into account the needs of the “dead man”, who was not yet fully prepared for a quicker disengagement.

And while the doctor was providing technical explanations to the sobbing relatives, Jeronimo invited us to leave, while entrusting the newly discarnate soul to the care of the woman who had been his devoted mother in the physical world.”[9]

The act of dying is not a solitary experience, but one in which the Spirit world actively assist us. The writings of the Spirit world reinforces and provides an independent validation of the findings of the research into NDE experiences. In fact, Spiritism provides the context, the reason, and the motivation for our life here on earth.

If you wish more information on Spiritism, there are several good places to start. One is YouTube, where you can search for Chico Xavier. There is a movie in Portuguese, with English subtitles, about his life. There is also a movie, with English subtitles, based on the first book dictated by the Spirit Andre Luiz, called Nossa Lar, which tells of his own death experience. Many books by Chico Xavier are in English and can be found at Amazon.  The Spirits Book, by Allan Kardec is also at Amazon, as well in PDF format, which you can search for at www.spiritist.us, the site also has a list of Spiritist centers in the U.S.  Lastly, the web site www.thespiritistmagazine.com is a good place to find materials.



Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions.

Works Cited

Kardec, A. (2006). Heaven and Hell. Brasilia (DF), Brasil: International Spiritist Council.

Kardec, A. (2010). The Spirits Book. Guildford, UK: White Crow Books.

NDERF. (2014, March 14). Near Death Experience Research Foundation. Retrieved from www.nderf.org: http://www.nderf.org/

Wikipedia. (2014, March 7). Allan Kardec. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Kardec

Wikipedia. (2014, March 7). Chico Xavier. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Xavier

Williams, K. (2014, March 4). Reincarnation and Near Death Research. Retrieved from Near-death.com: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation02.html

Xavier, F. C. (2008). Workers of the Life Eternal. Brasilia (DF) - Brazil: International Spiritist Council.


[[1]] www.nderf.org

[[2]] www.nderf.org

[[3]] www.nderf.org

[[4]] www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation02.html

[[5]] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Kardec

[[6]] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Xavier

[[7]] Kardec, Allan. The Spirits Book, White Crow Books Questions 154,155, pp. 134-135

[[8]] Kardec, Allan. Heaven and Hell, EDICEI Cap. 2, items 7-8

[[9]] Xavier, Francisco C. Workers of the Life Eternal, EDICEI, p. 267