Those reporting near-death experiences (NDEs) often mention having seen a wall, valley, bridge, river, thick fog, or gate that they sensed as an pivotally important border. They were somehow aware that, if they crossed this border, they would be unable to return to their mortal bodies and to resume their earthly lives.
In this context, I offer two further notes taken from Pim van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience (New York: HarperCollins, 2010).
The first is from an account given by a boy who was born deaf and who almost drowned at the age of ten:
Then I reached a border. Even at the age of ten I needed no further explanation. I simply understood that I’d never be able to return if I crossed this border. But some of my ancestors were on the other side, and they caught my attention because they were communicating through a kind of telepathy. I was born profoundly deaf. All my relatives can hear, and they always communicate with me through sign language. Now I had direct communication with about twenty ancestors via some kind of telepathy. An overwhelming experience. . . . (39)
Another account mentioning a border also hints at a possible pre-mortal existence, which (for obvious reasons) I found striking:
He showed me a gate behind which I saw the same landscape. But now, with this gate in front, it suddenly looked extremely familiar. I came to the startling conclusion: I’ve been here before. It felt like a homecoming after an arduous journey. A state that led to complete peace of mind, a peace of mind I hadn’t known for a long time. For me this was the highlight of the experience. Without a word the figure encouraged me to decide whether I wanted to remain in this state or whether I wanted to return to earthly life. I could either enter the gate or return to the lifeless body, which I immediately sensed below me. I had the impression that entry through this gate meant definitive physical death. Aware that this was my chance to go back knowing that this state of being is a reality that feels more real than what we call reality and thinking of my young wife and our three small children, I opted to return . . . (39-40)
A curious item, still quite mysterious, from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: