Near-Death Experiences

November 29, 2009 Updated: August 21, 2011
Jakoby believes people should have the opportunity to talk about things they have experienced and discuss related feelings. (Josef Jelkic/The Epoch Times)
Jakoby believes people should have the opportunity to talk about things they have experienced and discuss related feelings. (Josef Jelkic/The Epoch Times)

Bernard Jakoby is recognized as an expert in death research in the German-speaking regions. In a dialogue with The Epoch Times, he shared his findings about life after death, near-death experiences, and after-death contacts.

I met with Bernard Jakoby at the Kulturhaus Schwartzsche Villa Café in Berlin. The café is a community project and has a serene atmosphere with a view of the park and its beautiful old trees—just the right place for our contemplative topic.

Jakoby recalled how it all began. The topic has always fascinated him. He was a senior in high school when Life After Death by Dr. Raymond Moody, the now classic text on death research, came out. At about the same time in the early 1980s, three one-hour segments on the same topic, hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross, aired in Germany. This confirmed Jakoby’s hunch that life after death and the continued existence of the spirit or mind, independent of the physical body, are real.

A few years later, in 1986, Jakoby’s mother became ill with incurable cancer. His father was also diagnosed with cancer in 1988. Jakoby described the ensuing four years prior to his parents’ deaths (they died within a short time of each other) as a growth experience. It was an especially intense time, particularly the last two years, which included emergency surgeries and chemotherapy treatments.

The night before his mother’s death, when death seemed imminent, Jakoby’s brother called him. Jakoby got in his car and drove back to the hospital. As he was waiting at a traffic light, tears suddenly filled his eyes, and he was overcome by a wave of relief, joy, and happiness.

In his books, Jakoby discusses death from the perspective of the mourners and offers practical advice.(Courtesy of Bernard Jakoby)
In his books, Jakoby discusses death from the perspective of the mourners and offers practical advice.(Courtesy of Bernard Jakoby)

When he arrived at the hospital seven minutes later, he learned that his mother had passed away at the exact moment when he had felt the intense emotions at the traffic light. This event became a key experience for him. He wanted to know more, to know exactly what happens when a person dies.

A time of mourning followed. In 1994, Jakoby moved to Berlin to collect empirical research data. He began to seek out people who had near-death experiences, and those who claimed to have after-death contacts. He placed ads in two of the local listings publications and initiated discussion groups for interested people and those who had such experiences.

“Berlin is a good place for this kind of research, if you are open-minded about such things,” Jakoby said.

Slowly, Jakoby established himself in Berlin by working as a death coach and connecting with the esoteric community. He met many people who, like himself, had experienced things and were looking for answers, but were stymied by the scientific community’s preconceived notions and their reluctance to investigate these events further.