Near-death experiences are often thought of as mystical phenomena, but research is now revealing scientific explanations for virtually all of their common features... via Peace of Mind: Near-Death Experiences Now Found to Have Scientific Explanations - Scientific American
"Our most deeply held beliefs are not fundamentally intellectual. They are emotional, and they are social. That goes for religious beliefs and it goes for political leanings as well. In fact, the same thing can be said for just about any other bedrock belief structure we can have."