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Ok you've sold me on it. It don't know if you've read it but Laura Bellg's book was very interesting.

That NDE experience is actually pretty wild! And who besides a nurse, doctor, or hospital administrator would ever know such training rooms even exist?

What's also interesting is how some people seem to pop right over into an Afterlife, meeting dead friends, the Light, etc., while others remain on earth - for how long, who knows?

Wow! That is the kind of case that we need more of.

It would be hard to dismiss on the grounds that the patient had heard the staff discussing the practice room (w/ mannequins) because the staff working on the patient were, presumably, not trainees and it would be unusual for anyone to go into the detail of the practice room. Maybe, for some odd reason, someone would refer to the practice room at some point during the patient's stay, but all the detail of what is in it doesn't make sense in passing conversation. That won't stop Skeptics, I'm sure.

I'm going to have to buy this book. Thanks for the review!

Thanks for the review, Michael! I've been out of touch with the latest NDE releases and both these books look like winners. I'm gonna get the Bellg immediately, and the other as soon as it's available on Kindle.

I think I just saw what may be the dumbest atheist macro ever. I quote: "Bigfoot has more eyewitnesses than Jesus Christ". Um, yes, because Jesus' eyewitnesses are all kind of, you know, DEAD. Even if that's not what they meant, the entire Pacific Northwest probably contains a few more people than ancient Jerusalem.

Thanks for your nice review of our book, Michael!

You made a slight error though. Laurin Bellgs's book was published in 2016, not in 2005.

More later

Rudolf Smit (co-author and aka Smithy)

I just went and checked Amazon and it said The Self Does Not Die is currently unavailable. I guess I just have to be patient before I can buy a copy and read it? Sounds like a really good NDE book. Thanks! Great story about the mannequins by the way.

I am sorry, Bruce, but our book, The Self Does Not Die, won't be available on Kindle for the time being. It depends on how good the sales of this big paperback version is going to be before it is decided to also offer a Kindle version.

Rudolf Smit (co-author aka Smithy)

The veridical and extrasensorial experiences in the brink of death suggest that the mind endures after bodily death, but that does not imply logically, since it is logically possible that the nervous system develops some power, perhaps by electromagnetic fields, to obtain such data on the brink of the death, although this is not plausible. Then there is the question of reproducing these cases under lab conditions.

Thanks for the correction, Rudolf. Amazon lists the publication date of Bellg's book as December 2015, so I've updated it to 2015.

Art is right about the Amazon (US) listing of "The Self Does Not Die." The book (which was readily available a week ago) is now described as unavailable and out of print. The publisher should look into this.

Don't worry, guys! The first (limited)edition has already been sold out. A new edition is in the making and will be there shortly.

Cheers - Smithy

Smithy said:

"The Self Does Not Die, won't be available on Kindle for the time being. It depends on how good the sales of this big paperback version is going to be before it is decided to also offer a Kindle version."

Thanks for responding. I was wondering why you went that route, but now I see that the book is an IANDS publication. Boy—I think getting a kindle version will really help sales. I'm a bit surprised at the delay.

Anyway, it would make it easier for me!

The book is currently available on Amazon UK.

Hey Michael, I shared the story above about the guy floating through the ceiling with our minister. He loved it. I've shared all kinds of stuff I've learned on here with him. Like my mom used to say to me sometimes when I was a kid "truth is stranger than fiction."

It's all got to do with consilience. Eventually the evidence becomes overwhelming. They can't all be liars. Especially when you add in the stuff they say that fits in with quantum physics and the holographic universe theory. The connections are obvious.

Seeing more colors than normal = seeing the entire light spectrum instead of only a part of it. Realer than real = in a holographic projection there is always a certain degree of blurriness or fuzziness so they visit the original holographic film where that blurriness doesn't exist.

Buildings made out of knowledge = it takes consciousness to collapse the quantum wave into a particle. Feeling like they are everywhere in the Universe at once or they are the universe = in holographic film all the information is spread throughout the entire piece of film and each piece contains the whole and everything interpenetrates everything.

This can be rationally explained without recourse to woo woo explanations.

The patient obviously overheard some of the staff talking about the training room and this information sunk in subconsciously.

Then, when the patient was having his fever-brained near death, wish fulfilment hallucination, his mind constructed a likeness of this room based on what he had overheard.

Another so-called NDE debunked!


I'm currently reading a sceptical view on NDE's which tries to defend a physicalist account. The book 'Near Death Experiences Understanding visions of the Afterlife"is by John Martin Fischer and Benjamin Mitchell Yellen. It takes aim at the views of various authors advocating survival of consciousness. These include Pim Van Lommel, Bruce Greyson, Jeffrey Long and Eben Alexander among others.

I can't say I'm impressed with it so far. It seems to belabour promissory materialism. It asserts by some as yet unknown physical means the unconscious brain registers sensory input around it. How it registers something beyond the sensory field like the example given by Michael would, I think, strain this facile account. Regardless, the authors believe that physicalism has done such a great job so far in explaining the world that they think its paradigm will continue to do so.

Whatever view you think is correct, it's always good practice to keep an eye on the opposition. ;)

Douglas, you're entitled to your opinion, but I must take exception to two of the things you wrote:

"The patient obviously overheard some of the staff talking about the training room and this information sunk in subconsciously." There was no indication the stuff was discussing the training room. It would seem rather odd that they would be while preparing for surgery.

"Then, when the patient was having his fever-brained near death, wish fulfilment hallucination..." Who's wish would it be to visit a nurses' training room? I would think he could come up with better situations than a sterile, cold hospital training room, perhaps a garden or the seaside. As for it being it a "hallucination," what he described was eerily specific.

There is a youtube video of Rudolf H smith giving a lecture with more details.In Particulary curious about the case of 12 digits veridicalaty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GYXVtFHmDY

@ Smithy bedankt voor wat u doet.

Your are right Douglas. I think that the patient prior to his cardiac arrest had visited a friend in the hospital and mistakenly took the elevator to the training floor where he stepped out of the elevator and looked around until he realized that he was on the wrong floor. Obviously he had forgotten this incident but his good old subconscious mind had not forgotten and brought up the memory during his cardiac arrest. No woo-woo in that rational explanation either!

Yep! "Another so-called NDE debunked!"- AOD

I'm 99% sure Douglas's comment was satirical.

"I'm currently reading a sceptical view on NDE's which tries to defend a physicalist account. The book 'Near Death Experiences Understanding visions of the Afterlife"is by John Martin Fischer and Benjamin Mitchell Yellen."

Slate has a piece of writing from Fischer, where he says ... [NDEs] "We contend that none of them is convincing. That is, we argue that none of the arguments provides strong support for supernaturalism. We offer detailed naturalistic answers to all of the claims of the supernaturalists. It is just too quick and facile to leap to supernaturalist conclusions from the NDEs, although we understand the temptation to do so."

http://www.slate.com/bigideas/is-there-life-after-death/essays-and-opinions/john-fischer-opinion

In the same Slate collection is Prof. Sam Parnia (AWARE Study head) which has much more details on NDE characteristics. He seems more open to the opposing view.

http://www.slate.com/bigideas/is-there-life-after-death/essays-and-opinions/sam-parnia-opinion

I haven't read Fischer's book but I have read Parnia's Erasing Death and it's pretty clear there's a major disagreement between the two camps.

Besides, Fischer can only say

1. Illusion origin or

2. Physiological origin

whereas Parnia clearly does consider in his book

3. Transcendental origin, having ruled out 1 and 2

On the subject of new books, here's one I just found about through my local IANDS group.

http://time.com/4446877/near-death-experience/

It will be released on 8/23 and I'm looking forward to it. Note what Paul Perry has to say in the Time article. He's Moody's co-author, so when he speaks I listen!

@Bruce: Does the fact that this chap describes a biblical hell not rather bother you? Does it really seem reasonable and plausible to you?

There is a youtube video of Rudolf H smith giving a lecture with more details.In Particulary curious about the case of 12 digits veridicalaty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GYXVtFHmDY

@ Smithy bedankt voor wat u doet.

Dank voor het compliment (thanks for the compliment). Are you a fellow country man?

The case you asked about is case 2.5 in the book. It is about a coma patient who during her coma had an OBE and then observed a 12 digit number above on the top of the ventilator. This patient had an obsession with numbers, hence could remember all the twelve digits she "saw" in her OBE-state.

When she awoke she told the hospital staff. Her doctor wrote it down, but did not pay much attention to it. Only later on someone else discovered that the twelve-digit number as seens by this patient was exactly right.

Mind you, a chance of getting that number correct is one in 100 billion. There is a greater chance to win the jack pot in a nation wide lottery.

@Bruce: Does the fact that this chap describes a biblical hell not rather bother you? Does it really seem reasonable and plausible to you?

Good point, Julie. I confess to not thinking very much about that aspect.

But even with it, I'm still interested. I've seen quite a few NDE's with biblical references that are nevertheless insightful, and even inspiring.

In any case, I see such references as metaphorical. But then, I see *everything*—except for our "original" status in the bosom of Source—as metaphor.

And to be clear, I'm not saying that metaphors are the opposite of real. The body is a metaphor for separation and individuality. It's real in one context, illusion in another.

In any case, the author's viewpoint is thankfully not limited to what's in the Bible:

|“What is my Karma,” he wondered. “What did I do in my life or past life to deserve this punishment?”|

So he's obviously not a Bible-thumper.

I bet that Douglas's comment is sarcasm, but
therefore it is necessary to make this type of cases under lab conditions.

That was the second time Douglas did that, wasn't it?

As for the Biblical hell, there seem to be a few NDEs recounting a hellish afterlife.

I did find the way hell is depicted in "Life in the World Unseen" as making a lot of sense. In this supposed true account, one's character is reflected in where one winds up. The stingy person ends up in a hovel in a realm of like-minded stingy (non-generous) souls, while the truly cruel end up in an even lesser realm where they can torment each other. Anyone can leave anytime they wish, but the catch is is that they must acknowledge their souls' flaws before they can move on.

And, interestingly, Jesus alludes to something similar several times, as in the poor and meek shall sit at the head of the table. The very wealthy and proud always get stuck outside in the cold.

The current Catholic teaching is that Hell is refusing God. C.S. Lewis seemed to allude to something similar, that even if you're not Christian (horrors), when you die, what matter is good works in life and your good will towards others. So, it seems to me perhaps Hell is a deliberate choice - and there are many people who appear at least so proud and disdainful and hateful of others that they would probably choose hell.

This concludes today's sermon.

The tipping point is coming....
The biggest paradigm shift in history.
One can feel the evidence mounting to the critical point with these recent works. Exciting stuff.

Kathleen, my post was satirical. Anyone who has read my previous posts will know that I don't hold the view expressed in my last post.

I was having some fun with the usual stock skeptical response.

I'll also admit, I was being a little mischievous, and looked forward to an outraged response - i hope i'm not turning into a troll!

My latest blog entry regarding the arguments made in "The Myth of an Afterlife" that science favours the notion we cease to exist when we die, and that a disembodied soul could not perceive, think, feel, and deliberate.

An excerpt:

"Even if materialism should be false, doesn't the fact that mental capacities vary according to the intricacy and condition of one’s brain show that consciousness, or the mind, could not exist without the brain? Specifically, what about Augustine's and Fishman's claim that a disembodied soul or self would not be able to 'perceive, think, feel, and deliberate'?"

Read more and enjoy here!

http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/keith-augustine-in-myth-of-afterlife.html

No problem, Douglas. You did get me thinking of how unlikely it was for that person to see what he saw.

BTW, "Life in the World Unseen" is just $1.99 for Kindle. I'm re-reading it now, and picking up things I hadn't noticed before.

I read the book most of the cases I am familiar with,but it is a nice compendium. Personally I find Cases of the reincarnation type much more convincing evidence given the birthmarks aspect,but that's just a personal view.
I believe the rise of Quantum biology the discovery of quantum effects at macroscopic levels, lens substance to the possibility consciousnesses at its mot fundamental is Quantum ,trans-personal (but containing personal with in it)eternal,non temporal.

Hi Folks!

Do listen to this please:

NDE Radio's Lee Witting reads eight veridical NDE accounts from The Self Does Not Die:

http://www.talkzone.com/episodes/199/NDE080816.html

Cheers - Smithy

Just to say I emailed Keith Augustine about my blog entry. He's not keen on my quoting his email response, at least not on here. He said he might response to my critique at the "Secular Outpost blog or some similar venue"

I'm astonished that he is even considering responding to be honest.

A question that has often nagged me, when reading these stories of out of body seeing and hearing, is how the detached soul witnesses events in the physical world. The same question pops up in the séance room, where it's apparent that the spirits see clearly, even in pitch darkness. Prominent skeptic Susan Blackmore offers an informed argument (The Implausibility of Astral Bodies and Astral Worlds in chapter 17 of The Myth of an Afterlife) challenging the notion that an etheric double, made of finer substance, can see as we see.

The basic facts of vision are pretty well understood, to the point where an artificial system in the form of digital cameras can be constructed. We see by virtue of light, reflected off of objects, that strikes the retina of the eye, is encoded and transmitted to the visual cortex of the brain via the optic nerves, where an image is presumably rendered. Cameras don't see, they capture, encode, and generate a representative image from collected photons, and the current understanding of the body's visual system is analogous. What neurologists can't begin to explain is the conscious experience we have of being immersed in a visual world.

How does the eye of the etheric double see if light can pass through it? The darkness of the séance room and of the ceiling space where the patient "saw wiring, some pipes" may give us a clue. Cosmologists are largely in agreement that most of the matter and energy (i.e. light) in the universe is invisible to us. Perhaps it is this so called "dark" energy that illuminates the physical world that the astral body sees.

It's also possible that astral seeing occurs through another mechanism, a kind of mind sight, that doesn't require an ethereal eye to register ethereal light. Just as we have visual impressions while dreaming, perhaps the mind can directly apprehend the visible world without the mechanism (physical or ethereal) of an eye. Given that discarnate persons report possessing eyes and ears, I'm inclined to believe that is how they hear and see the physical world.

Susan Blackmore's chapter is available on her website, but I haven't linked to it as her site appears to have been hacked and is redirecting to another web address.

Hi David,

I think the etheric body uses Clairvoyance.I could be wrong though and maybe it's some other mechanism.

"How does the eye of the etheric double see if light can pass through it? The darkness of the séance room and of the ceiling space where the patient "saw wiring, some pipes" may give us a clue. Cosmologists are largely in agreement that most of the matter and energy (i.e. light) in the universe is invisible to us. Perhaps it is this so called "dark" energy that illuminates the physical world that the astral body sees.

It's also possible that astral seeing occurs through another mechanism, a kind of mind sight, that doesn't require an ethereal eye to register ethereal light. Just as we have visual impressions while dreaming, perhaps the mind can directly apprehend the visible world without the mechanism (physical or ethereal) of an eye. Given that discarnate persons report possessing eyes and ears, I'm inclined to believe that is how they hear and see the physical world."

Yeah, I too have wondered that. I think it's more plausible the second idea, because sometimes it is described that disembodied spirits entering the realm of organic beings as someone enters the realm of dreams.

This perhaps can be explained by the holographic idea: if the universe has a holographic structure, then everything that happens is in our mind but implicitly, which access our mind in a certain way simply to acquire information from the external world. Hence the ESP and disembodied spirits can perceive the physical world without energy transfer.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the underlying basis of the physical world is a matrix of pure information and that our mind processes this information in such a way as to render it into tangible three-dimensional forms. If this is true, then it doesn't matter if the mind is embodied in a brain (which is only one of those rendered physical forms anyway) or if it is disembodied. The same rendering process will still take place, based on the same underlying informational structure.

The so-called astral body would just be another part of the rendered environment. Note that some people who've had a near-death experience report having an astral body, while others report being a blob of light or having no particular form.

Also note that people who've had an out of body experience during an NDE often say that their perception was far clearer and more vivid than ordinary awareness. Possibly this is because they were able to access the underlying informational matrix more directly.

Try to imagine the physical world around you as a kind of bubble of rendered images unique to you. Other people live in their own bubbles. A shared reality is possible only because the underlying informational matrix is the same. But each person is rendering his own personal reality out of that informational substrate. There is not one overarching physical reality, but a multitude of personal realities, each processed and rendered by an individual consciousness. Only consciousness and the information it processes are ultimately real.

I'm not insisting that this model is correct (in fact, I don't believe that any model can be completely correct, since any analogy or metaphor will break down eventually), but if you try looking at it this way, a lot of the problems that we are discussing simply melt away.

For what it's worth, the so-called Seth material channeled by Jane Roberts posits a model of reality that, as I recall, is pretty similar to what's presented above.

"I think the etheric body uses Clairvoyance.I could be wrong though and maybe it's some other mechanism."

But clairvoyance is x, because we do not know its mechanism.

Can people here who've had weird experiences tell me if it's possible to practice having them or being open to them? They don't seem to work for me. I also haven't ever been successfully hypnotised, and I'm on the autistic spectrum; I've seen comments here before that a lot of sceptics/atheists are, and I'm wondering if that may be part of why I'm not susceptible. Might also be my anxiety - I don't want to give up control, but I think trying to do so in a safe manner might help fix that.

Chel,
Hypnotism is not something somebody does to you it is something you do to yourself under the guidance of someone who has studied hypnotic techniques including the art of suggestion. You do have to relinquish control somewhat but most hypnotized people retain some control in that they can come out of being hypnotized if need be. Not many people are able to achieve a deep level of hypnotism but that's OK; a light hypnotic state is sometimes effective in accomplishing whatever needs to be done. - AOD

chel,
Humbly, I would ask, why do you want to have "weird" experiences?

Why not happy experiences? Or self actualizing experiences? That sort of thing.

My general advice would be to be true to yourself. To improve that self physically, intellectually, and morally and improve honesty toward others and, most important, to yourself. And don't forget to relax and enjoy the journey. Allow yourself to laugh at yourself. Laugh at the tough things that happen. Then you'll be on a path with heart. And sometimes things beyond reason will happen as a side effect and you'll notice. Always be on guard against getting involved in specific group points of view.

Having weird experiences for the sake of it is ^very dangerous^ and can lead to insanity as well as other serious problems. Don't do it. Don't listen to anyone who suggests it might be fun or good.

"For the sake of argument, let's assume that the underlying basis of the physical world is a matrix of pure information and that our mind processes this information in such a way as to render it into tangible three-dimensional forms. If this is true, then it doesn't matter if the mind is embodied in a brain (which is only one of those rendered physical forms anyway) or if it is disembodied. The same rendering process will still take place, based on the same underlying informational structure. " - Michael

Hey! Your talking my language now.

"Try to imagine the physical world around you as a kind of bubble of rendered images unique to you. Other people live in their own bubbles. A shared reality is possible only because the underlying informational matrix is the same"

:-) !!! Or close enough/enough overlap that much of the reality can be shared, but it's never exactly the same reality. WE ARE GODS/WORLDS UNTO OURSELVES

"Also note that people who've had an out of body experience during an NDE often say that their perception was far clearer and more vivid than ordinary awareness. Possibly this is because they were able to access the underlying informational matrix more directly."

Maybe. An alternative I'd offer (though not saying I am correct) is that we, in our culture value clarity, so we put the OBNE/NDE above our normal perceptual experience. However, there are some drawbacks to the OBE state (I cannot speak to the NDE) that, once you get past all the novel and amazing (to normal awareness)features make you (me at least) realize that their are positives to normal awareness/logic, etc. ....I have noticed that humans have a tendency to go all or nothing. However, I tend to see that most things are a mixture of plusses and minuses.

I used to think Seth was full of it. Now I do not. So right, an underlying infinite matrix of information units, if you like, that we, as perceivers, assembled into internally consistent coherent "worlds" or "realities". The brain/body, etc are just assemblages, or low vibrational assemblies of multidimensional energy (you say "informational units").

The true secret here is that WE are doing this world creation amidst a sea of infinite information and possibilities.

I will try and answer your question "Chel", but this is my experience and to be honest I think there are many ways of having experiences as there are people. I too have trouble letting go- and haven't had success at being hypnotised, not that that has stopped me having psychic experiences.

For me it was a change in belief, having had a very credible reading from a psychic with defined details. This resulted in a total belief, and seemed to facilitate a means of channel.

I have no control over the weird stuff, its up to them. But I do ask for feedback, or help sometimes in very real situations.

But overall its stilling the mind that allows communication. Even now, I have to still my mind to discern my thoughts from theirs.

So I would say meditating regularly, as it helps to control your thinking. Then when you feel you have some control your thoughts more, pose some questions and see what you get. Even write them down to see if they eventuate, may help.

Nothing spectacular, but its the little things. Good luck Lyn x.

Here's a kind of funny story I read, I don't know how many years ago- at least 17.

A women who was an up and coming comedian, went to meditation classes and the instructor led them on a visualisation journey - you know the "we are going through a garden" etc. She mentioned how she had trouble concentrating and the next thing her recently deceased dad popped up and he was squealing

"I'm a popsicle" " I'm a popsicle".

She said she was alarmed and too scared to tell the class what had turned up for her. When she got home she phoned her mum.

"Well darling, she said, I didn't tell you this, but there were so many deceased at the funeral parlour, that your dad was put on ice".

Apparently he regularly came back and told of how he was going to pubs around the world to get her jokes. So she had a great head start to her career. Cheers Lyn.

I don't know about having weird experiences, but one way to have a certain kind of experience is to walk through pleasant natural surroundings, like a hike through the woods, without intrusive human talk and conversation. This kind be a form of meditation. One time doing this, standing on high ground and looking at some beautiful blue mountains, it was almost like I did see a sort of vibration in everything and there was a sort of "hum" noise, very low. It was all very slight, but was extremely pleasant to experience. It did remind me quite a lot of what Seth communicated.

@Eric: because I'm jealous of people who've seen and done these things, and my death anxiety is playing up and I think this might soothe it :( Of course I know enough about the paranormal to know that those circumstances make them less likely to work. I just can't trust the word of people I've never met that things will be okay. I can think of no logical reason for death to upset me - worst that can happen is, in the words of singer Emilie Autumn, "perhaps I shall get a good night's sleep at last". Yet I fret over it constantly. I don't think anyone here is a shrink, but having sensible people to talk to about this helps.

Chel wrote,

||Can people here who've had weird experiences tell me if it's possible to practice having them or being open to them? They don't seem to work for me.||

I'm basically in agreement with what Eric wrote in reply, though I don't think it's dangerous to work on using your innate psi abilities. I think one good way to do so is hang out with other psychics and trade readings. Yep, you try reading even if you feel you can't. The funny thing is, when someone new to reading tries to do it, they often do well. It's like biofeedback: you learn what it feels like to get a "hit," and you keep aiming for that feeling.

||I also haven't ever been successfully hypnotised, and I'm on the autistic spectrum; I've seen comments here before that a lot of sceptics/atheists are, and I'm wondering if that may be part of why I'm not susceptible.||

I don't know about how autism might relate to hypnotism, but I can explain comments I've made tot the effect that it seems like a lot of Skeptics have Asperger's.

I don't think it's because people on the spectrum are any less psychic. I think it's because there are certain people on the spectrum that have a hard time imagining the internal lives of other people. Thus, if they haven't personally experienced psi, they simply can't imagine anyone else having done so. The idea is just absurd!

Some people with Asperger's Syndrome also seem to reason and talk in a very rigid way. Skeptics definitely are highly rigid thinkers.

A lot of Skeptics have struck me as having a lack of ability to get their heads around the subject of psi and other "paranormal" matters, and the desire to determine a cause has led me to speculate that some of them might have Asperger's Syndrome. This may or may not be correct. Even if it is, it doesn't imply that people on the autistic spectrum are worse at psi than the general population; merely that, those who are worse at it might have a harder time understanding how it might be possible for others.

Would like to say here that I have a copy of the book and am enjoying reading all the anecdotes. However, I do so wish the cover wasn't made of that horrible, cheap cardboard that curls up in every direction. :(

OT Michael but seems SETI has picked up a signal
Now how cool would this be if it pans out?
-Marty


http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=36248

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