I Taught a GPT with 1,000 Near-Death Experience Stories and Asked 8 Fascinating Questions

10 min readJun 5, 2024

Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) are incredibly fascinating. These are profound psychological events with mystical elements that occur in life-threatening or end-life situations.

If you are new to NDEs I would suggest listening Andy Petro’s story.

For many (including myself), NDEs are a giving hope and promise that there is more to life than just our physical existence. You would could never fully prove that there is life after death, this is simply a paradox. But the possibility that consciousness could continue beyond the body is a compelling and comforting idea.

I did working on a spiritual knowledge base and the below research was a sub part of it. This knowledge base as I call it Atma, is all I know about spirituality and the most important aspects of life. This is my inner wisdom that I can always learn from. But building such a knowledge base is challenging especially if you have limited time.

So in case of afterlife topic beyond the spiritual beliefs I wanted to analyze the NDE accounts too, this is why I conducted the following unique research.

I performed this project to understand these experiences and study them with modern Large Language Models (Artificial Intelligence).

What Was The Process of the NDE Corpus Research?

  1. I taught OpenAI’s GPT-4 based custom GPT using the extensive collection of NDE stories from the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF.org). This organization has compiled thousands of personal accounts of NDEs, providing a rich corpus for analysis, for this specific research I picked only the English language stories.
  2. Then I created a custom GPT, which I named NDE Expert. (Available for public for free) This specialized AI is designed to analyze and understand the intricate details of NDE stories.
  3. The ‘NDE Expert’ GPT uses both the dataset and its own large language model (LLM) to answer questions about NDEs. This combination allows it to provide insightful and informed responses based on the personal accounts and the sophisticated analytical capabilities of the GPT-4o model (as of 2024).

In the responses I paid attention to further anonymize the answer, and in order to ease the reading I slightly edited the text without altering any words. I also highlighted some important takeaways.

8 Questions Connected to NDE and Afterlife

What is the first thing you see, and how do you feel when you realize you are not in your body?

The first thing you see and feel after realizing you are not in your body varies among different near-death experiences (NDEs), but common themes include a sense of peace, a bright light, and a feeling of detachment from physical pain.

For example, Aaron E. described feeling incredible peace and seeing himself kneeling in front of a brilliant light, accompanied by a strong voice​​. Similarly, Ahmed B. reported feeling a sense of detachment from his body, experiencing weightlessness, and floating towards a light, while also feeling a deep sense of calm and relief​​.

Is there anybody present when you feel out of your body? If so, who?

During a near-death experience (NDE), many individuals report the presence of other beings or entities:

  1. A Feeling of Presence: Many people feel the presence of a comforting being. One individual described feeling enveloped by an immensely kind presence that provided a sense of compassion and understanding​​. Another person sensed a Presence that offered peace and comfort, despite not being able to visually identify it as a specific person​​.
  2. Deceased Relatives: Some individuals encounter deceased relatives. For instance, one person felt surrounded by deceased relatives who were there to help them and provide joy and lightness​​.
  3. Mystical or Divine Beings: There are reports of encountering beings that are perceived as divine or mystical. One experiencer described being accompanied by a being of light, while another felt the presence of a supreme being communicating truths through telepathy​​​​.

What messages did these beings convey?

During near-death experiences (NDEs), beings often convey profound and transformative messages to the experiencers. Here are some of the key messages reported:

  1. Love and Compassion: Many NDEs include messages about the power and importance of love. For example, one experiencer received a message about the need to live with more compassion and less judgment, emphasizing the divine and non-judgmental love that encompasses everyone equally.
  2. Universal Connection and Oneness: Another common theme is the interconnectedness of all beings and the universe. This understanding often brings a sense of unity and peace, as one experiencer described gaining knowledge about the universal connection, feeling united with the world and understanding that we are all part of a greater whole .
  3. Purpose and Meaning of Life: Some NDEs carry messages about the purpose of life, emphasizing that life on Earth is part of a larger journey and that our actions and experiences have profound significance. One individual learned that we are caretakers of the planet and that our purpose involves living harmoniously and contributing positively to the world around us.
  4. Existence of a Higher Power: Many NDEs affirm the existence of a higher power or divine being. For instance, an experiencer felt the presence of God or the Holy Spirit, who communicated messages of love and guidance. This presence often brings a sense of peace and reassurance about the continuity of life beyond physical existence.
  5. Guidance on Living: Beings often provide practical advice on how to live a better life. Messages might include the importance of living with kindness, justice, and love, and the understanding that our actions have significant impacts. One experiencer noted the importance of being just, kind, and loving to create a positive change in the world.

Were there any special, unique message that is notable and concrete?

Carl’s near-death experience occurred after a severe car accident that left him with significant injuries. During the accident, he felt himself leave his body and observed the crash from above. As he was out of his body, he asked, “Is it time, is it time,” to which a voice responded, “NO it is not time.”

Carl was then transported through a tunnel of light and found himself standing before Christ. Christ told him, “No you must return for this reason, you will have a son born unto you.” This prophecy was fulfilled three years later with the birth of his son, Julian. Carl was shown his entire life, both the good and the bad, and was given a message to share: “They must learn to love all that is around you. They must learn to love our God OR return to this world and live life all over again.”

This experience had a transformative impact on Carl’s life. He embraced a new sense of purpose, dedicating himself to spreading the message of love and spiritual growth he received. Despite facing a terminal illness, Carl expressed no fear of death, feeling a deep sense of peace and clarity from his encounter.

He also developed psychic abilities, such as predicting future events, which he viewed as gifts from Christ. Reflecting on his time with Christ, Carl often told people, “Your time or God’s time?” to emphasize the divine timing and purpose behind his experience.

Did people with NDEs receive any information about what happens after they really have to departure from physical existence?

Yes, people who have experienced Near-Death Experiences often report gaining insights or receiving information about what happens after departing from physical existence:

  1. One individual described being in a bright tunnel and encountering “Beings of light” who were waiting to welcome them. These beings were beneficial and distinct from the surrounding light, which was soothing and not blinding​​.
  2. Another person shared that they saw their deceased grandmother, father, and dog, affirming the existence of an afterlife. This experience led to significant life changes, including a stronger focus on sharing love and information, and not judging others​​.
  3. A different account detailed seeing a bright white light that resembled a galaxy. This light was composed of the energy of deceased beings, described as paradise where individuals were inseparable and filled with joy. The person felt a strong desire to stay there for eternity​​.

Is reincarnation real?

A person recounted their NDE, where he had a life review that included their past lives. This review was part of a broader understanding of their soul’s journey and the interconnectedness of their experiences across different lifetimes​​.

Another individual shared that their NDE reinforced their Hindu beliefs in reincarnation. They described the soul’s continuous cycle and the process of being reborn​​.

In another account, a person experienced a vision of life as a spiral, where life begins, stops, and begins again, aligning with the concept of reincarnation and the Dharmic belief in Samsara​​.

Another NDE narrative described an awareness that if they did not return to their current body, they would eventually reincarnate in a different one to complete their earthly missions ​​.

These above accounts suggest that reincarnation is a recurring theme in some NDE experiences, supporting the idea of the soul’s continuous journey through multiple lifetimes.

What does a life journey mean in the context of eternity or a chain of lives?

A life journey means the continuous evolution and learning of the soul through various lifetimes and experiences. Here’s how this concept is explained in NDE accounts:

  1. Life as a Test: One NDE account described life as a series of tests or tasks that need to be completed positively. Each decision and action taken in life contributes to a “life balance” that is evaluated during a life review. If the balance is not sufficiently positive, the individual may be sent back to complete their tasks, indicating that life is a process of learning and growth, contributing to the soul’s development for eternity​​.
  2. Successive Decisions and Eternal Harvest: The journey of life involves making successive decisions, each impacting the future course for oneself and others. The culmination of these decisions is evaluated as a “harvest” that determines the quality of one’s eternal existence. This perspective emphasizes the importance of striving for a positive impact throughout one’s life​​.
  3. Reincarnation and Samsara: Another account explained the vision of life as a spiral where life begins, stops, and begins again, reflecting the concept of reincarnation. This continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth is aimed at escaping the cycle of Samsara by achieving enlightenment or ultimate understanding, highlighting the soul’s journey across multiple lifetimes​​.
  4. Pre-life Planning and Life Blueprint: An NDE experience described pre-life planning where the soul chooses its future life experiences, including family, personality, and major life lessons. This planning indicates that each life is part of a larger blueprint designed for the soul’s growth and evolution, with each experience contributing to the overall journey towards enlightenment​​.
  5. Connection and Oneness: The journey of life is also seen as a path to understanding the universal connection and oneness with all beings. An NDE mentioned the interconnectedness of individuals and the importance of forgiveness and love, which are essential for spiritual growth and the collective elevation of humanity​​.

What could be a ‘common’ near-death experience account, considering all the stories?

(Editor: Basically I requested the AI to put together all stories into one)

As I left my body, an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility washed over me. I could see my physical form lying still, but I felt no attachment to it. A brilliant light appeared before me, and I felt myself being drawn towards it, enveloped by an indescribable warmth and love.

The light intensified as I moved closer, and I found myself in a tunnel surrounded by hues of colors I had never seen before. Each color seemed to have its own vibration, filling me with a sense of awe and wonder. As I floated through this tunnel, time seemed irrelevant; everything was happening simultaneously, yet there was no urgency or rush.

At the end of the tunnel, I entered a vast, open space that felt infinite. Stars, planets, and galaxies stretched out before me in every direction, a cosmic panorama of unimaginable beauty. Despite the vastness, I felt intimately connected to everything around me. I could feel the essence of life in each star and the gentle pulse of the universe itself.

I then noticed several beings approaching me, beings made of light and energy. They had no distinct features, yet I recognized them on a deep, spiritual level. One of them, who seemed to be the leader, communicated with me telepathically. Their thoughts were clear and pure, conveying messages of love and understanding without the need for words.

“Welcome,” the being said, “You are safe here. You have much to learn and remember.”

I was shown scenes from my life, moments both significant and seemingly trivial. Each scene was accompanied by a profound understanding of the impact my actions had on others and myself. I felt a deep sense of empathy and compassion, both for myself and those I had interacted with throughout my life.

“These are the lessons you chose to learn,” the being explained. “Every experience, every relationship, is part of your growth.”

As the review continued, I was shown glimpses of other lives, lives that I had lived in different times and places. The realization that I was part of a larger tapestry of existence filled me with a sense of purpose and continuity.

I also encountered loved ones who had passed away. Their presence was comforting and familiar. My grandfather, who had been a guiding figure in my childhood, embraced me with his light. “It is not your time yet,” he told me gently. “There is still much for you to do.”

The beings of light guided me to a place of indescribable beauty, where the landscape seemed to be alive with energy and color. Flowers radiated their own light, and the air was filled with a harmonious melody that resonated with my very soul.

In this serene setting, I felt the presence of a higher consciousness, a force of pure love and wisdom. This presence communicated with me, not through words, but through a profound sense of understanding and acceptance. I was filled with knowledge about the nature of existence, the interconnectedness of all things, and the boundless love that underpins the universe.

You are loved beyond measure,” the presence conveyed. “Go back and share this love. Live your life with compassion and understanding.”

Final Thoughts about NDE stories and Afterlife Experiences

The insights gained from these experiences cut me a little bit off guard, they have a lot of things in common and what surprises me the most is that they do not logically contradict each other. Of course, some call the higher power God or Siddhartha, but in their attributes, these beings, including our spiritual guides, are similar. And they have an all-encompassing positive presence.

Reading these 1,000 NDEs I sometimes felt I wanted to learn more, ask more questions. It sure an overwhelmingly mindfulness state of exitance.

Anyway, if you have your own questions feel free to ask NDE Expert yourself, this way you may also dig answers from these stories to you.

I really hope this quick research was meaningful and somehow enlightening to you dear reader.

Also if you are looking for more spiritual resources check out my favorite spiritual books to read.

Originally published at https://joelbooks.com on June 5, 2024.