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I've read quite a few NDE's that were published before Raymond Moody wrote and published Life After Life. I've bought little paperback books at used bookstores about life after death that are a grab-bag of stories about life after death, reincarnation, mediums, spirit possession etc. all mixed together - and there will usually be a couple of stories in each book that would be labeled as obvious NDE's today. One of these books is "Glimpses of the Beyond", by Jean-Baptiste Delacour published in 1971. http://www.amazon.com/Glimpses-Beyond-Jean-Baptiste-Delacour/dp/B000BBQL6K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259358410&sr=8-1

“that she had been restored through the efforts of Dr. Kittredge, an old physician of her native town, who had been several years in the spirit world”

The data just keeps on coming in that there is more to this world than meets the eye of materialism.

Another wonderful entry!

Now if only we could get some information on how to cultivate some sort of relationship with this other plane now, rather than passively read the accounts of others and wait impatiently with our doubts and uncertainties.

“Now if only we could get some information on how to cultivate some sort of relationship with this other plane now, rather than passively read the accounts of others and wait impatiently with our doubts and uncertainties.”

Maybe doubts and uncertainties are the very stuff of the development of the soul as an individual identity that can become a unique expression of that that is or that Isness that most call God. Most talk about the ego as some kind of fallen nature to overcome that has no purpose. Maybe egotism is a phase of development that creates through experiences and choices this individual identity that is utilized by Oneness as a unique expression of its qualities of love and divine intelligence.

If you were Oneness and wanted to create infinite unique expressions of your Oneness what process would you use to create those infinite unique expressions? Is egotism one phase of development of that soul?

Your may want to reread the recent post entitled the gift of doubt.

I remember reading in one of Brunton’s books that he believed that an enlightened Hindu that had removed all doubt about death being the end of our existence; Brunton believed they might be reincarnated in America in their next life to learn the many lessons they did not learn as an enlightened Hindu.

Maybe being enlightened and removing all doubts about death being the end as Michael stated causes one to check out so to speak in this world and not participate in the drama of the world. Maybe that drama teaches us more then we have given it credit for.

It appears to me most of us want paradise here and now without realizing it is our level of consciousness and awareness that creates our heaven not how much knowledge we have obtained such as creating a relationship with the other plane or world of existence.

That said if a medium was coming to town that could do direct voice mediumship or physical manifestations I suspect I would attend that séance.

Just some random thoughts not meant to be taken as truths.

When he first begins to feel peculiar, I noted that he thought he was surrounded by 'people' urging him to, in this case, rest.

I've come across this many times before, in fact I've just finished reading about French film director Philipe Lambro's experiences while gravely in hospital. He described a whole line of 'dead' relatives and friends urging him to give up the struggle and go with them, his father being the first to address him.

This is the dying experience. It will happen to all of us.

One wonders why there is not more of this from earlier times, the idea of the Greek or Roman underworld is not appealing.

“One wonders why there is not more of this from earlier times, the idea of the Greek or Roman underworld is not appealing.”

I suspect these NDE’s did occur in earlier times but were not documented. With books and now the Internet they are coming out of the woodwork so to speak.

Would you explain Alice what you mean by the idea of the Greek or Roman underworld is not appealing.

"Biography of Mrs. J. H. Conant, the World's Medium of the Nineteenth Century"

This book seems to be on archive.org

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=Biography%20of%20Mrs.%20J.%20H.%20Conant%2C%20the%20World%27s%20Medium%20of%20the%20Nineteenth%20Century

It's also at google books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=P4oDAAAAYAAJ&dq=Biography+of+Mrs.+J.+H.+Conant,+the+World's+Medium+of+the+Nineteenth+Century&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=kP3lparp62&sig=H9Y2hkPiO43IHEDxuQyVkTsQVxw&hl=en&ei=FB0SS-S3IYaMMtDEmDM&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAcQ6AEwAA

The first page at google says "image not available" but subsequent page images seem to be there. You can download a pdf file of the page images.

Thanks, anonymous, for the links.

Regarding the Greco-Roman underworld ("Hades"): it was seen as a dark, misty place populated by wraiths. The spirits possessed memory and some self-awareness, but were incapable of taking any action. A better afterlife was reserved for a few heroes, who went to romp and feast in the Elysian Fields. For the average person, the afterlife was seen as an eternity of aimless wandering through a murky, gloomy netherworld.

I suspect that this idea arose because such a condition is indeed often encountered in an early stage of death, and a few spirits get stuck there for a long time. Most spirits, however, seem to pass through this twilight zone very quickly, and in some cases they are not even aware of it. Passage through the dark "tunnel" (in NDEs) may possibly represent passing through this zone, with the "tunnel" imagery intended to screen out awareness of the disturbing environment.

and of course if you were dead enough to make it to the latter stages of an NDE 2500 years ago well lets just say it became a DE.

One early account of an NDE is from Plato- the story of ur (or er). This account has many elements that would be in alignment with what is currently considered 'standard fair'.

True, although I'm not convinced the story of Er is meant to be taken literally. Still, it may have been inspired by some actual incident that Plato had heard about.

A similar but much more lively debate rages over the story of Atlantis, also found in Plato.

Carol Zaleski's "Otherworld Journeys" traces NDE accounts back to medieval times. You can read some of these accounts here:

http://www.near-death.com/medieval.html

Hi MP,

Thanks for these, always enjoy reading these early accounts to look for the commonalities. As you know, I wrote an article on this very subject for Darklore #3, and included in it the 'dream' that Mrs Piper had while in hospital which again shares many commonalities with NDEs:

http://www.dailygrail.com/essays/death-before-life-after-life

BTW, I'm currently reading Archie Roy's "The Eager Dead", and noted an interesting vision experienced at the death-bed of former British Prime Minister Alfred Balfour:

http://www.dailygrail.com/essays/death-before-life-after-life

Sorry for the multiple links, don't mean to spam your comments! Just fascinating material that I enjoy discussing.

Er, sorry - that second link should've been:

http://www.dailygrail.com/blogs/Greg/2009/11/Mighty-Rushing-Wind

"I suspect these NDE’s did occur in earlier times but were not documented." - william
--------------------------------------------

Very few people were literate until just recently. So I suspect what happened is that those that had NDE's, death bed visions, and mystical experiences told their stories sitting around campfires and whatnot and the few who were literate heard those stories and then embellished them and added their own interpretation to what the stories meant. Perhaps it is just human nature that when we hear of unconditional love and forgiveness that we just can't believe it. We have to add in justice, retribution, vengeance, and punishment in order to make the story fit more with our own belief system and culture. We have to make God in our own image. We believe God, the Creator of the Universe, is just as stupid as we are. That it would be impossible for Him or Her to create a Universe where the soul learns what it is supposed to learn, and where we can't really hurt ourselves because this Universe is "Maya", an Illusion, and where the soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it learns what it supposed to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe.

“We believe God, the Creator of the Universe, is just as stupid as we are.”

As a famous person once stated stupid is as stupid does.

I think the term stupid is why so many or even most people will not admit to their ignorance. We would rather be called sinners than ignorant because often stupid is used as a synonym for ignorance. I also think that maybe the human ego really self confirms itself as a reality by being called a sinner.

But then without that ignorance that many call stupid there would be no us just Isness. We exist as perceived separate entities that most call souls or spirits due to our ignorance of our perfect reality. There may be a lot more to the Adam and Eve “myth” than meets the eye.

FCOL! Plato wrote the Socratic dialogs almost 2500 years ago, and he says that Socrates had a long talk with a fellow Athenian soldier who had an NDE after being severely wounded. And what he saw on the Other Side was in intense color, with sound! Plato has been translated into Arabic and every Western language looong ago, FCOL!

been , I find your comment on Islam deeply offensive and don't think it has a place on a blog such as this.

I agree with Pearl, and I will delete the comment by "been."

The first person I resuscitated from heart attack told me about how she had seen me working from above. She relayed a number of details about what went on (a nurse and doctor showed up during the CPR, she knew what they said and so on…). She had seen a ‘light’ of some sort, but had decided to return to her body. One funny thing was she somehow knew that I was a bit timid in my efforts at first (it was my first time doing this in real life and I needed to push down on this woman’s chest and… it was strange for me.)
Anyway, after she talked for a bit about what she had experienced I asked the doctor what he thought about what she was saying.
“She’s very confused,” was his reply.
The nurse hadn’t heard anything.
This is why I think NDE’s may have been common for along time before they were well reported.

PS- I think Er is based on an actual incident- I'm not sure the reporting is meant to be exact--

I agree with sonic. When I woke up in the hospital after my car accident and tried to tell my doctor about what I had experienced (my NDE), he looked uncomfortable and changed the subject. People were very dismissive, so I learned not to talk about it. I still don't.

what did Been say?

"what did Been say?"

he was not too keen on the religion of Islam.

he appeared to miss the point of the teachings of jesus.

but then the teachings of jesus were and are profound and easier to talk about then to live in our everyday lives.

ie the love your enemies thing.

I think the position of the medical profession by and large is still that these 'things'(like Sonic's anecdote of an OBE) happen but they don't really happen because they can't happen because science says they can't happen.

That's why Dr Kevin Nelson(a neurologist from Kentucky) is persisting with his theory that REM is responsible for the near death experience. You have to ignore most of the known facts in the literature but hey, when one is trying to help science get rid of the pesky NDE, little things like that don't matter.

Laura Geraghty, a school bus driver from Boston Massachusetts had a heart attack and floated out of her body etc. She was interviewed by CNN and was certain of what had occured to her. Certain that she had 'seen herself.'

Dr Nelson was then interviewed on behalf of common sense and relayed his theory. And I'll bet that more people believed him than believed in the word of Laura and of course that's understandable. It happens... but it doesn't really happen because it can't happen.

I 'defy' anyone(except Keith) to read thoroughly the experience of Stefan Von Jankovitch when he was watching his own resuscitation at the roadside after his near fatal car accident... and then propose REM or the mind model as an explanation for the fascinating information he was able to gather.

There are only two possibilties, in my humble opinion.
1. He made it all up
2. He really was watching from above.

link...(just type the following, most of you will be familiar with the case) Do any near death experiences provide evidence for survival of the human personality after death, Cook, Greyson and Stevenson case 12

His life was dedicated to all matters spiritual after the experience(1964) and he only recently died in 2006 (aged 86) so that is rather a long time to kid oneself.

The *link* that S Wood above refers to posting is here: (not sure if one was posted - or just stripped out in the comments)

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_12_3_cook.pdf

(it's a PDF file and as above, the case is #12 within the document)

Thanks felipe. I'm not exactly a magician on the old type-pad, and believe it or not, I'm not sure how to post links correctly, so instead of confusing everybody, I tend not to bother.
Hope it doesn't annoy anyone too much.

I find I can get to where I want to go in cyber space with just typing in the sentence(as I posted)above.

Gee I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be too fond of Islam now days. I for one like planes slamming against buildings and suicide bombers....

Thanks for the link Felipe.

And I am positive Keith could cook up a how it could have been explanation.

Although for the life of me I am trying to figure out what Islam had to do with this blog.

Oh well but seriously can't people see why many many people have a problem with Islam and the only people to blame for that are Muslims.

Just me two cents now, I was just curious.

"Dr Nelson was then interviewed on behalf of common sense and relayed his theory. And I'll bet that more people believed him than believed in the word of Laura"

Maybe. Maybe not. Scientific materialism enjoys enormous prestige among people who style themselves as deep thinkers and policy makers, but I think its prestige among regular folks has been eroded somewhat. Note the disconnect between the popular reaction to Climategate and the response of governments and media. At a popular level, the scandal has badly damaged the credibility of the AGW movement (to the point where TV comics are now ridiculing climate scientists), but at the level of politics and media, things are proceeding as if nothing has changed.

Similarly, Dr. Nelson's approach may be persuasive to the reporters covering the case and to Dr. Nelson's academic colleagues, but less persuasive to average TV viewers, who do not view life after death as an impossibility and may even have had some paranormal experiences of their own.

Increasingly, politicians, academics, media people, and other would-be opinion shapers are talking only to themselves, while the general public tunes them out.

I remember a recent CNN article about NDEs featured Nelson's theory (which has interestingly been around for about three years now) and another doctor interviewed said something along the lines he felt that NDEs were real and naturalistic explanations was "agnostic hogwash". Of course it's just his opinion, but it's really hard to know what the mainstream thinks about things like NDEs. I think it might be possible people are too busy enjoying life to concern themselves too much about things like this, which maybe a good thing.

If a NDE were just this great experience of bliss that ended when you came back and didn’t really affect you life once it was over, then I could understand the materialist explanation of it being a product of brain chemistry or something like that. But the experience isn’t over when you come back. In many ways it is just getting started at that point. It isn’t all bliss and love and “isn’t the universe awesome?” kind of stuff. There are some pretty significant challenges to be dealt with along the way.

I’m not the same person I used to be. I’m still “me” in the sense that there is continuity of experience. But in many ways I’m not “her”, the girl who died in a head-on collision. This is a common experience among NDErs. I think the cumulative body of evidence shows something important happened to us.

Sandy, unfortunately the skeptics say drastic life changes as a result of NDEs isn't good evidence for NDEs being real. Putting themselves in their shoes, I can see where they're coming from.

Sorry, I meant to say "Putting myself".

"I think it might be possible people are too busy enjoying life to concern themselves too much about things like this, which maybe a good thing."

To some extent this must be true, but I also think there's a lot of denial about death. This week's TV Guide includes an interview with Ray Romano, who is starring in a new cable series called "Men of a Certain Age." The show deals with men having a midlife crisis. From the article:

=====

Asked if he ever thinks about his mortality, Romano says, "I'm 51 ... So this show is gonna be over and I'm gonna be 56, and then I'm gonna be 60 -- how am I not gonna be scared of death? And I decided you just have to ignore death until it happens. You *want* to be blindsided by death."

"I don't ignore it," [his costar Andre] Braugher says. "I just try to prepare for it."

"No!" Romano shouts. "*Ignore it*."

Braugher says he just finished reading a book he bought for his wife called *How We Die.* "So I know what happens," he says, "how you feel when you die."

"Well, don't tell Ray," [costar Scott] Bakula says, "'cause that's gonna blow his plan."

=====

“Oh well but seriously can't people see why many many people have a problem with Islam and the only people to blame for that are Muslims.”

Blaming almost always if not always moves one away from seeking understanding. Victim hood is also a move away from understanding.

When my religion becomes thee religion problems arise. The history of Christianity and Islam is filled with self-righteous horrible actions against humanity in the name of God.

I have noticed in my life that looking into a mirror whether it is a nation or individual can be an awaking and not a pleasant awaking.

“the only people to blame for that are Muslims.”

That is a very convenient statement that suggests in life we often resort to it is them not us. All is connected nothing happens in isolation. The ripple effect is a condition of the relative phenomenal world.

When I was a consultant we had something we called the organizational salute and it basically was cross your arms and point in both directions and say it is them not us. Most of my consulting revealed to me that most mangers wanted to fix their employees and did not have a clue that as manager or CEO they were the biggest cause of the problems that existed within their organizations.

Deming tried by failed to much of what he called this profound knowledge to American managers with little success. The end result the taxpayers now are bailing out two of the big three and then we have banks and Wall Street, which is another story there to be told.

William

Only Muslims are to blame for Islamic Terrorism. No one forced them strap bombs on themselves, bomb cities, murder non Muslims, fly planes into building. I do not support attacking Muslims at will but seriously if they want people to respect them they need to become respectable.

Michael, on the flip side there are those people in the world who are on the other side of the spectrum and are constantly worried about death even though they may not be seriously ill or even that advanced in age. I've heard of cases that are so extreme people have essentially locked themselves in their homes. Death is constantly on their minds even as they try to go on with their lives. Admittedly, these people are probably less common then people who deny or accept death.

Which brings us to the question, how do we accept death regardless of our views on the afterlife but at the same time without fearing it to the point we can't function? It seems like a balance.

I deleted the comment by "been" because

a) the comment was totally off-topic,

b) the comment was bigoted and nasty, and

c) I did not want the thread hijacked.

I also banned "been," making him a "has-been."

The topic of this post and the accompanying thread is NDEs. Please stick to the subject.

Sandy, unfortunately the skeptics say drastic life changes as a result of NDEs isn't good evidence for NDEs being real.

Aftrbrnr, the skeptics don’t seem to be interested in actually looking at the evidence that has been collected over the years. The link I put into my last post connects to a talk by Dr Bruce Greyson that goes over quite a bit of history of NDE research and covers many of the things that skeptics just ignore. It is well worth watching.

BTW, I found it interesting that Dr Greyson mentions a geology professor from Zurich who collected 30 accounts of NDEs and had them published in the yearbook of the Swiss Alpine Club in 1892. I wonder if these accounts are online somewhere. Has anyone heard of these before?

Hey Sandy, just wondering. . .

As someone that has never had an NDE (and don't plan on having one unless the circumstances force me into the situation), why do you feel your NDE was real and gave you closure? I'm not being skeptical, I'm just curious because this is a position the vast majority of NDE experiencers take. I suppose this maybe a question that will be hard to put in words for you.

"I wonder if these accounts are online somewhere."

The researcher was Albert Heim, a.k.a. Albert von St. Gallen Heim. His report was "Notizen uber den Tod durch Absturz" or "Remarks on Fatakl Falls," 1892. It was translated into English in 1972. As far as I know, the text is not online.

Closure??? That isn’t a word that comes to mind when I think of my NDEs (I had one as a small child as well as an adult experience). I do think I’ll survive death. I don’t think that my sense of that experience is going to convince anyone else of the “realness” of NDEs, and maybe it shouldn’t. As a scientist I think that it is the cumulative body of evidence that is important, not the individual stories. That being said, my experience is personally very important to me. And yes, it seemed very real. More real that this life seems to be.

Okay I will be nice again Michael.

The researcher was Albert Heim, a.k.a. Albert von St. Gallen Heim. His report was "Notizen uber den Tod durch Absturz" or "Remarks on Fatakl Falls," 1892. It was translated into English in 1972. As far as I know, the text is not online.

Thanks, Michael.

"Remarks on Fatakl Falls"

Oops. "Fatakl" should read "Fatal."

But you already knew that.

Heim's study began with alpine climbers but grew to include various other cases in which a person believed he was facing imminent death.

Michael-ref your comments on Dr Nelson,

My gripe with Dr Nelson is that he's obviously a smart guy. You have to be smart to be a doctor, let alone to specialize in neurology. So he should know that dreaming while awake is not possible when the systems are down, ie no blood flow to the brain(or insufficient blood flow)(If there is sufficient blood flow to the brain then why bother trying to resusitate, surely there's no need to)

Therefore his theory is undermined before we even get to the mechanics of it, which I might add are far fetched to say the least. So why is he persisting ? Some of this stuff sticks and discredits the experiences of people like Sandy. It certainly does over here. Olaf Blanke's OBE experiment for instance, is gaining momentum even though it's completely irrelevant(though it is interesting)

I would just like to hear, just once from Dr Nelson, that hey, you know it's possible that there is a transcendental explanation. Instead
I suspect he has completely ruled it out.

"It can't be THAT"

I 'defy' anyone (except Keith) to read thoroughly the experience of Stefan Von Jankovitch when he was watching his own resuscitation at the roadside after his near fatal car accident... and then propose REM or the mind model as an explanation for the fascinating information he was able to gather.

I know your comment was tongue-in-cheek, but I see little point in offering explanations of alleged veridical paranormal perceptions during OBEs/NDEs here. Any explanation I might offer would be dismissed as soon as it is offered, so why put in the work? Indeed, your comment already dismisses the possibility of a credible normal explanation before any explanations have even been offered! So offering one would be as futile as digging a hole only in order to fill it back up. I'm not even sure providing a normal explanation would be necessary given what I say about UFOs below.

(And I don't put much stock in Kevin Nelson's recent REM-intrusion theory of NDEs, though I wouldn't want to rule out the possibility that REM-intrusion might have something to do with NDEs without clear evidence that it does not. An example of such evidence would be, for example, the sort of evidence that falsified Carl Sagan's "birth model" of NDEs: that those born by Cesarean section were equally likely to have NDEs. That settles that issue in the negative decisively, IMO. I know that many here believe that NDEs occur during brain inactivity, but that is a merely a claim, a weak inference at best--not an established fact.)

The reason I suggested that some of you take the time to at least give a preliminary look at the UFO evidence (say, by doing something as "demanding" as watching "I Know What I Saw") was to make a point about how you assess the NDE evidence.

The point of the exercise was not to learn about UFOs, but to learn about how you assess evidence. And when it comes to assessing evidence, I think many here invoke an inconsistent double standard in accepting NDE testimony while rejecting UFO testimony.

In essence, some here are eager to take the position that something leaves the body in NDEs because otherwise, "How do you explain that!? At the same time, they are reluctant to take the position that extraterrestrial spacecraft are visiting Earth despite "How do you explain that!? This suggests that such beliefs are not primarily based on evidential considerations, but rather on prior personal inclinations.

Your failure to embrace the extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis implies that no counterexplanation is really necessary for the Cash-Landrum radiation burns, or for the Belgian Air Force pursuit of an ostensible aerial object they could never catch up with but which was detected on radar. (And I think that's right; ignorance of an explanation is not a positive reason to affirm any particular imaginable explanation. "You can't explain it, therefore extraterrestrials are visiting us" is an argument from ignorance.)

However, my point--which seems to have been lost on many here--was this: It seems to me that if no counterexplanation is needed for "inexplicable" UFO cases, none is needed for "inexplicable" NDE cases, either. If it is reasonable to be skeptical of extraterrestrial visitation in spite of such prima facie evidence for it, then it is reasonable to be skeptical of something leaving the body in NDEs in spite of prima facie evidence for that, too.

I don't expect you to agree, but at least I can offer a rationale for why one should be skeptical of both (or else believe in both.) I've never seen a decent rationale for why one should believe in interacting spirits but disbelieve in visiting extraterrestrials (or vice versa) when there is so-called "inexplicable evidence" for both.

I swear I am about to write Winston Wu and have him add this to his long list of skeptical fallacies.

You cannot research the paranormal unless you also research alien abductions.

I would recommend we call this new fallacy The Augustine.

Christ Myth, Memes, The Universe popped out of nothing, hallucinations which are identical the actual events going on around them and now the alien objection.

I do not see the 21st century being kind to materialists.

I suspect this has been explained to you know and I suspect it will be again and again.

The issues in of itself isn't if the brain completely has no activity but does it have enough activity to do what NDErs do. The answer is a firm no.

Let me give you an analogy . Lets say we had a flashlight with batteries in it that were 99% dead. Barely alive. I think you would find it to be a remarkable thing then if that flash flight shined brighter then normal. If not, why not?

I think you know enough about NDEs to see the parallels.

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