There's no afterlife, says man who 'died' twice

Sasha Eliasson claims he 'died' twice after an accidentSasha Eliasson

A young man who experienced clinical death twice in one year has claimed it was "all just black" and said there was no evidence of any form of supernatural afterlife.

The testimony of Swedish student Sasha Eliasson, 22, was posted on  Reddit. The story was also covered in the UK's Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.

It contradicts the many accounts of walking through a tunnel towards heavenly light-filled arena, or of travelling in the opposite direction towards something more frightening, that have been given by others who have come close to death on the operating table or elsewhere.

Eliasson claims he "died" twice, once after a motorcycle crash and once after overdosing on painkillers.

He claimed that being dead was like taking "a short nap".

Traditional accounts of near-death experiences speak of bright lights and tunnels; Sasha Eliasson experienced only blackness.Jesse Krauss/Wikipedia

His motorcycle crash was in June last year and he overdosed by accident a few months later, after surgery. Under Swedish law, doctors on both occasions had to tell him he had been clinically dead.

Eliasson, a self-confessed lifelong atheist, said death was devoid of thought or consciousness.

He said the crash left him with "no pulse, no breathing and no consciousness". The subsequent overdose "caused my pulse to drop to around 10bpm and my respiratory system shut down".

He said: "I had no idea, it was just black emptiness. No thoughts, no consciousness, nothing.

"Both times I was just 'not there'. It was just all black. I would describe it as when you take a nap. A short nap with no dream, you wake up and it feels like you've been sleeping a long time, when in reality it's only been about 15 minutes.

"The only reason I know is because the doctors were obligated to share the information with me. 'So yeah, you were dead for a couple of minutes, just FYI' hahaha.

"So if the doctors wouldn't have said anything I would've just thought that I took a dreamless nap."

He said it was definitely not just a gap in his memory. "Much like a dreamless nap, you don't just wake up and feel like time just jumped ahead. You know that you've been asleep for a while. At the same time, you can't really remember experiencing anything at all, unless you had a dream.

"So yes and no. I experienced something, and that something was nothing."

He said he now has less fear of death.

"I know now that death is nothing worse than sleeping. When you die, you just stop existing, nothing to worry about!"

The experience confirmed his lack of belief. "I have always been an atheist, but I have always had a part of me that hoped there was a God or Heaven or something greater than us. I mean, who wouldn't want there to be a Heaven?

"I am still an atheist, and now I know that there is no such thing as God or Heaven. At least not for me. My reasoning behind that is no God would ever put a person and family through such a experience.

"I am an atheist, and always will be. But I believe that your belief is your belief. The only thing we can share is our own experiences and let people make up their own mind. People need to stop forcing their own beliefs onto others."

Sasha Eliasson

On people who believed they had glimpsed the reality of an afterlife, he said he believed their minds were "still active" and they had been dreaming.

He concluded: "All I want to accomplish in life is to have fun and make other peoples lives better as best as I can.

"No personal achievement will matter to me once I'm dead, the only thing that will live on after my death will be my impact on the people that are still alive. And hopefully my impact will be positive!"

He also said: "All you have to do is accept that death is what it is, a part of life, then you will understand that it is nothing to be afraid of... Once you're dead, that's it, it's over."

Later, responding to queries about his story, Eliasson told Christian Today: "Well, all I reslly wanted to do with my Reddit post was to share my story and hopefully nudge people in a positive direction in life. A lot of people couldn't see past the fact that I had different beliefs and experiences. This led to people arguing about spiritual and relgious things that no one really knowd the answer. I really hoped that this would be an eye-opener to how narrow-minded our world is. Imagine a world where people just accepted the fact that people have different beliefs? That's a world that I would like live in."