Somewhat unexpectedly - because NDE doesn't have much interest for me - I found myself reflecting on what teachers and guides have taught on the subject. The conclusion I drew is that I don't have a clue! I simply don't know if they ever gave any guidance on the subject. If they didn't then perhaps it's because such experiences used to be rare compared with the situation today and that's an understandable situation. Then I began thinking about when I became aware of the NDE phenomenon and I could make only the vaguest guess at when it was. So can anyone give a fix on when reports started to be seen more widely? Next I began to wonder if they might have even more importance than I already credit them with? They might allow seekers without any experience of the death-and-afterlife situation to get an idea about what happens when death is approaching. It's taught by guides and teachers that we are supported during our transition from incarnate to discarnate life by our helpers - guides if you wish - who accompany us as we pass from this world to the next. There are countless stories of people who, before passing over, have told living relatives that they have seen and/or spoken to 'dead' ones. If it's the case that most/all of us are accompanied as described, then there probably has to be be a point before death when our helpers draw especially close, a situation leading to accounts by the dying of sometimes becoming aware of their presence. In a situation where an individual is seriously ill or badly injured it may be uncertain even to those in spirit whether the individual will succumb, hence those discarnate helpers may draw very near in case death does take place. Given the increasing numbers of situations in which prolonged illness is a factor and/or prolongd medical intervention takes place from which the patient eventually recovers, it's surely logical that there will be ever-increasing numbers of individuals experiencing an apparent near-death event. If that's the case then maybe this will become a significant factor in humankind's awareness of survival et al? Something to replace mediumship and the philosophy of Spiritualism which was so vital for me but which I've long now become convinced is of shrinking importance as a door-opener to the notion of survival. Beyond the simple notion of survival, however, there yet has to emerge an alternative philosophy to carry folk forward. Anyone got any ideas about what?