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"The problem with this explanation is that there's no evidence that endorphins are released when a patient is flatlining. And it takes a while for endorphins to build up in the body, and also takes a while for their effects to dissipate."

And this has the hallmark of a bogus explanation: It sounds plausible enough to make the casual observer go back to sleep, except that it doesn't really fit.

In addition to the problems you mentioned, it also doesn't seem that endorphins are a complete pain killer either. They might help lessen pain, but do not seem capable of explaining away the complete absence of it.

"There could be several possible explanations for the lack of or no pain phenomena."

“One way skeptics try to explain the pain issue is to say that the traumatized patient is temporarily high on endorphins, which dull pain and produce euphoria”

One and counting. They have to find an explanation if not their whole system of beliefs comes tumbling down. Talk about a slippery slope just one unexplained phenomenon and they no longer have an existing system of beliefs and this means they must face up to their preexisting ignorance. That is a big ouch to the ego.

Many atheists feel they were “taken in” when young by religious beliefs and they have no intention of being taken in again. If a atheist can find a god spot in the brain and prove to themselves that the reason people are religious is due to Darwinism in action then that person can explain away just about everything that has to do with the paranormal.

We humans are interesting people as recently I heard a preacher explain how a loving god could send a soul to a pit of fire for eternity. Of course it fit his existing religious paradigm and his examples made god in man’s image but it allowed him to keep his existing beliefs intact and only those that believed like he did would not end up in that pit of fire.

Now for a variety of reasons I think we are interested in what other people think even what ultra skeptics think and how they respond to data not within their existing paradigm. From my own point of view it gives us insights into our own desires as a need to keep our existing system of beliefs intact.

“I do think that the majority of us still tend to think that we need everyone else to wake up before we can arrive at heaven on earth”

The intelligence that came through George Wright the medium brought this home with its teachings. The real change comes from within no matter what the external circumstances are that we meet in life. And surprisingly this intelligence taught that it is the little things in life that can often be very beneficial to our awaking to this underlying reality of all appearances.

As far as heaven on earth I have changed by beliefs somewhat as to this occurring for most people on earth. Few I suspect do; but I believe at this time that a heaven type environment comes after transition through several dimensions. Of course the next dimension to many could be considered heaven compared to the earth environment.

And surprisingly this intelligence taught that it is the little things in life that can often be very beneficial to our awaking to this underlying reality of all appearances.

Little things? You mean like butterflies?


NDErs, on the other hand, report an instantaneous cessation of pain as they leave their body, and an instantaneous resumption of pain when they return.

Careful. This sort of argument can backfire on you. I found this example on the web:

"Just as I neared the light I felt a stab in my thigh."

I guess we really need to know the stats on how often the pain goes away during the OOBE and comes back during the return to bodty. As far as I know no one has calculated percentages.

“Little things? You mean like butterflies?”

Yes exactly like butterflies. They are one of my favorite creatures. They look so unattractive then after spending time in a transition phase they come out a beautiful creature. Kind of like soul development. We are gods in the making. I have right behind me in my computer room a picture of a caterpillar into a chrysalis then flying out as this beautiful creature.

Speaking of butterflies anyone see the new series tonight called kings. Interesting take on the Old Testament drama at the time of David and a present time fictitious city and its political arena of materialism and its industrial military complex and of all things butterflies. And yes even a love story.

So, we could assume that ideological atheists (i.e. the materialistic, organized and apologetic ones ) are consistently below 3%, they keep being a very small minority in U.S. Socially, and for all practical purposes, they are almost non-existent (i.e. non influential).

This is why I find it hard to believe that resistance of the paranormal is fueled by materialism. Academics may be more materialistic but they are an insular bunch. Most people don't pay attention to them once they leave college (if they go at all). And people are becoming less dogmaticly religious and more spiritual. Something else is preventing the majority from accepting that mediums are for real. (Barna says less than 25% of Americans believe we can communicate with the dead.) I'm curious as to what it is. Sadly I think it is simple indifference to questions about anything other than taking care of immediate needs and watching football

I've been surfing around Google Books and found this interesting factoid. On pg 15 of At the Hour of Death Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson say that Gallup found that demographicly, those least likely to believe in life after death are "non-white, uneducated (grade school), low-income groups residing in large cities with populations of one million or more."

Not quite what Id call an academic bunch. Maybe those more pessimistic about life in general tend to be pessimistic about life after death too.

There's a different study showing that belief in the paranormal tends to rise along with education: high school graduates are more likely to believe than high school dropouts, college graduates are more likely to believe than those with no college, and people with master's degrees are more likely to believe than people with only bachelor's degrees. The trend reverses when you get to Ph.D.'s, who are less likely to believe in the paranormal than almost any other group.

If I recall correctly, this study is discussed in Best Evidence, by Michael Schmicker.

Perhaps the discrepancy between the studies arises from the fact that one of them is asking about belief in an afterlife, while the other is asking about belief in the paranormal in general.

BTW, the finding about "non-white, uneducated (grade school), low-income groups" being most skeptical of an afterlife comes from the same Gallup study that found that 8 million Americans have had NDEs.

The evidence that NDE's are real lies in the ABSOLUTE CONVICTION in the experiencers mind that it WAS REAL. If it is all in the brain then what mechanism is it that conjures up these absolutely lifelike images ?(always relevant to what is actually going on) Lie on a bed and imagine yourself to be floating above looking down on yourself. Concentrate..keep imagining..then get up and walk away. Do you now believe that you were really above yourself...don't think so. The 'conviction' is the 'proof'. I've looked at the near death experience for thirty years and heard the nonsense talked by the rationalists of academia, Sue Blackmore in particular, poo-pooing, dreaming up daft explanations and continually moving the goal posts.."it's the dying cells firing off,'s a spasm in the occipital lobe, it's random firing, it's chemicals, it's a combination of the first and the wait ...the second and the third, anything other than what it really is.

The evidence that NDE's are real lies in the ABSOLUTE CONVICTION in the experiencers mind that it WAS REAL.

Thanks, Steve. It is really difficult to get used to the fact that so many people dismiss my experience as a fantasy. That’s the really tough part about coming back. You wonder if you’re the one who is crazy or if almost everyone else is.

You wonder if you’re the one who is crazy or if almost everyone else is.

It's the same with other mystical realizations. I'm pretty sure that anyone yet to experience the deeper reality has a tendency to interpret other's descriptions of the same as a sort of mental breakdown.

Which it is, of course. It's just that it's a positive mental breakdown.


Sandy, you have to remember that a lot of people just can't or won't even consider the possibility of life after death. You might think it would be great news for all but it's not so. It makes many people very angry....'absoute rubbish'...'horseshit, when your dead your dead'..dont give me that load of trollocks, how can you have life without a body? 'Dont be so naive' they say, grow up and face your own's no different from father christmas and the tooth fairy..c'mon ! But some people like yourself know otherwise!

Materialists and skeptics come in two varieties mild and etra picante. The mild are rather agnostic about anything paranormal but their egos are not involved that much.
The other type the CSICOP variety have their entire self image invested in their materialst worldview.They are deeply Threatned by anything that would suggest their world is not a set of solid bricks,mechanically interacting.
It is a true believer syndrome a deep and abiding faith in the metaphysics of materialism. Even though the Quantam Enigma and other particle issues have shown their world is a grossly simplistic construct they can not let go.

They can believe in string theory,multiple universes and dark matter but survival is too much for them. do not throw your pearls before swine Steve.

"do not throw your pearls before swine"

for they shall demean them.

"It is a true believer syndrome a deep and abiding faith in the metaphysics of materialism"

the true believer syndrome is kind of like a fundamentalist religious person.

Thanks for the comments. When I read Gerald Woerlee's explanation for the near death experience( nice chap that he is) I believe the skeptics will never abandon their position, even if Parnia's Aware study eventually produces some positive results. ME....credulous nobody that I am, has looked at the near death 'DUCK,' indentified it as a duck, seen it waddle, quack and swim..but apparently my dimwit senses have decieved me. Mr Woerlee says it is in fact A HORSE...OF COURSE !

For me it's not just one piece of the puzzle that convinces me of the reality of life after death but the total aggregate of evidence that sways me heavily in the direction that this life is not all there is. It's like a puzzle with quantum physics and the holographic paradigm being the outside pieces and inside the puzzle are near death experiences, death bed visions, ADC's, dreams, mystical experiences, Mediums, EVP, etc. Each little piece contributing something and telling me that there's more to this life than meets the eye.

Yes, talking of mystical experiences(loosely).. may I recommend the story of the 1963 Sheppton mine disaster(David Fellin and Henry(Hank)Throne, trapped 300 feet below the surface for six days. Both experienced the most extraordinary visions, one of them being the 'simultaneous' siting of the recently dead Pope John who stayed with them throughout their ordeal(these guys were not religious and their minds were clear and lucid) as was revealed afterwards when the pair were separately interviewed by psychiatrists( The American Journal of Psychiatry-observations of sensory deprivation in a life threatening situation-COMER et all) FASCINATING!... apologies if you are already familiar with it( Eccentric journalist Ed Conrad( Ed covers most of it very well, although he is considered to be a bit wacky.

On the topic of Near Death experiences I watched two and a half men today, and the main character Charlie Sheen had a near-death experience where his dad spoke to him.
Its episode three of season four I think. Interestingly enough the first thing his brother responded with was 'its probably just hallucinations produced by dying brain cells', to which Charlie said 'Oh this was no hallucination'.
I was Suprised to see them featured on such a high profile show.

I am an NDEr myself and have discussed the hidden symbols with other NDErs. My guess is that the form of vision that NDErs have outside the body is very different to vision in this dimension. Kenneth Ring calls it "mind-sight" a 360 degree form of vision through ones consciousness and it is really difficult to explain how one 'sees' on the other side. Thus, seeing a hidden symbol may not be that easy.

On the Jesus thing, many researchers call this aspect a "co-created" experience where the mentality of each individual interacts with the other very real dimension. Because being outside the body is truly a powerful and overwhelming experience, our minds grasp at the tools available - meaning the conditioning of our mind. We may choose to project Jesus, a relative, a being of light, or no form at all as our 'guide'.

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