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“However the many anecdotal reports of patients being able to ‘see’ and recall detailed events that had occurred during the actual cardiac arrest, which have been verified by the hospital staff cannot be simply explained in this way”

When the person that has had an NDE and they come back and talk about what they have seen and heard in another room sometimes a good distance from the ER room such as a waiting room for relatives and friends and verified by relatives and even hospital staff this to me is additional proof of the ability of consciousness being able to leave the human physical body.

If they talk about what they saw in the ER room this to me is a lower level of evidence of consciousness leaving the body. As a side note a fireman gave me a picture of a soul leaving a body as that person was crossing over while they were trying to save him. I put that picture in a very safe place; so safe I cannot find it.

MP, thanks for your ceaseless pursuit of real evidence.

What Parnia is saying here is well known medical fact and it is why NDEs originally grabbed the attention of some physicians, like Moody. At bottom, NDEs are occurring at a point where they should be physiologically impossible.

Parnie is not saying that NDEs are absolute proof positve of an afterlife. He is saying that we cannot explain these events by our current medical/material paradigm. Parnia leaves room for the spiritualist to maintain his beliefs because, based on medical science, those beliefs cannot be ruled out.

Woerlee, on the hand, twists and edits and outright ignores medical science for the purpose of crushing out a spiritual interpretation.

That physicians like Woerlee attempt to seriously and authoritatively raise the skeptical objections that they do is baffling to me. They know better. They must. If they slept through those classes in medical school they should be asking for input from peers who work in that specialty before publicly releasing skeptical theories.

People like Keith Augustine, though not trained in medicine, are deep enough into the subject matter and sufficiently schooled in logical thinking that they should be able able to assess the medical explanations with more objectivity (just as you have).

I can't avoid the sense that the Woerlee's of world are deliberately trying to deceive the uninformed every day Joe's and Jane's (think shallow slick articles in Time, Newsweek, etc) with half baked medical mumbo jumbo.

I can't understand why they would do that. There is something that is just plain mean spirited underlying their efforts.

The paper was published by the journal Medical Hypotheses:

http://tinyurl.com/y4g5gbq

Bryan Williams commented briefly on the paper at Public Parapsychology in October, 2007:

http://tinyurl.com/y3l25rk

I agree with a lot of what Erich says.
Whenever I read Woerlee's proposals/papers, I never feel satisfied that ....YES...BINGO...BULLSEYE..he's right, you know ...' THAT'S ' what it is!
I get the feeling that he knows something is going on, but he doesn't want to know..and he doesn't want you to know, either. That's why he has already predicted the outcome of the Aware study for us. Sort of like, "Heh, guys, don't bother wasting your time there. I'm very clever(which he is of course) and I can tell you there is nothing in it. All done and dusted, case closed, nothing to find, now just come away.
I might be wrong, of course.

I might be wrong, of course.

...on the other hand you may be right!

Thanks, Zerdini. I may be right, of course.

I think it's irrelevant when they are happening. Our universe is made of information and the only thing that is "real" is consciousness. Or as Sir James Jeans stated, "The stream of human knowledge is impartially heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of this realm."

In a holographic universe everything is infinitely interconnected, each piece contains the whole, and our separateness is an illusion. The idea that we were ever "in" our body is an illusion. There is no "in" or "out" of the body. There is only consciousness. Or as Friedrich von Schiller states, "The universe is one of God's thoughts."

So what is important are the thoughts and ideas that these near death experiencers bring back with them. What they say they experienced during these transcendental and mystical experiences, and that is why I am endlessly fascinated by the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe. When near death experiencers say things like "I felt this overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness with the Universe," and "I literally felt like I was everywhere in the Universe at once," and "I could see in 360 degrees all around me," and "I had access to all knowledge," and "I simply had to think of a time and place and I was there experiencing everything about the people there," and "we communicated telepathically and information was instantly downloaded into my brain in a bolus of information." When they say they had a life review and that they felt the feelings and emotions of the people they interacted with and heard their thoughts and felt like they were them, that corroborates the holographic universe theory.

Not only do I find it evidential, but it also lets me know that this so called "physical reality" isn't so physical and not really real; and like Michael Talbot, David Bohm, and many others have stated, we really do live in some kind of strange holographic projection.

Doug wrote, "The paper was published by the journal Medical Hypotheses."

Thanks. I saw the name Medical Hypotheses on the paper, but wasn't sure if it was the name of a journal or just a classification used by the Web site.

Update, 4-15: I've now revised the main post to include this information.

Art, nothing you have written conflicts in any way with what spirit communicators have always said.

The only difference is that the spirit communicators are living in the next dimension of life whereas the NDE'rs are still on earth.

I think Dr Bruce Greyson sums up the current state of affairs quite objectively in his paper Incidence and correlates of near-death experiences in a cardiac care unit [General Hospital Psychiatry 25 (2003) 269–276] (also included in the uploaded folder):

No one physiological or psychological model by itself
explains all the common features of near-death experiences.
It is plausible that some features of these experiences may
be attributable to neurochemical mechanisms, whereas others
may be understood better as psychological reactions, and
still others may resist explanation pending the development
of new models of mental function [22]. The paradoxical
occurrence of heightened, lucid awareness and logical
thought processes during a period of impaired cerebral
perfusion raises particularly perplexing questions for our
current understanding of consciousness and its relation
to brain function [21,22]. As prior researchers have concluded,
a clear sensorium and complex perceptual processes
during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the
concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the
brain [3,4].

I think Art's viewpoint does conflict with spirit communications in some ways. For instance, if I understand him correctly, Art believes that when we die we obtain universal knowledge, while spirit communicators usually say they don't have all the answers and are still in the dark about some things.

"Art believes that when we die we obtain universal knowledge, while spirit communicators usually say they don't have all the answers and are still in the dark about some things." - Michael Prescott
-------------------------------------------

LOL! Yes, you hit the nail on the head! But I don't think it's necessary for us all to agree and believe the same thing here, and in fact I don't believe that is possible. Duality and separation seem to be inherent and inescapable properties of the physical universe and perhaps it's that way for a reason.

It's a holographic, connectedness, and oneness thing. All the stuff that separates us in this life won't exist in Heaven, which I believe is the holographic film from which this side derives it's reality. I believe that is why near death experiencers say they experienced even more consciousness than normal, or it seemed "realer than real." There is a certain inherent blurriness to a holographic projection and that is what we are living in now.

All the duality and separation that we experience in this life disappears when we enter the Light. Everyone becomes instantly enlightened when they become connected to the Light. I don't believe in different levels in Heaven. I believe that is an idea that was made up here.

I think it is difficult for those of us who are still in this Physical Universe to really grasp what those feelings of oneness and connectedness in Heaven really mean. Different levels in Heaven to me has connotations of duality and separation and I just don't believe that exists on the other side.

Duality and separation is something we experience while we are in this life but won't exist in Heaven. Information is downloaded holographically, as a "bolus" of information, instantly. It's like if I were to mention a Zebra and you automatically think of a striped horse-like animal that lives on the plains of Africa.

I've posted links to NDE's before that mention those feelings of all knowledge before. I guess those that disagree with me just ignore or dismiss them as being made up.

I tend to latch onto the NDEs that corroborate or parallel the holographic universe. When near death experiencers say stuff that sounds very holographic to me I tend to think that those experiences were real. I just don't think it's possible for the average person who has no knowledge of the implications of what the holographic universe means to make something like that up.

Not too many people have read The Holographic Universe or fully understand the implications. It changes everything.

When I was about nineteen years old I was in church one time and the Preacher held up a copy of the Bible and said "it's either all true or it's all lies!" Well, when I was nineteen years old that sort of made a little sense to me, but now that I'm a whole lot older (57) I know that isn't really the way life is. Some of it can be true and some of it can be lies.

It's up to each person to decide what they are going to believe or not believe. I doubt it matters too much what we believe. I don't believe our "salvation" is conditional on belief. I lean towards the idea that the Creator of this Universe was so smart that (S)He was able to create a Universe where everyone learns what they are supposed to learn whether they want to or not. The Universe is perfect and our lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where live, or what we believe.

And that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

And that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

Fair enough, Art if that's what you believe - stick to it - but that doesn't make it true.

I prefer to take cognisance of people who are living in the next dimension(s) rather than the earthly theorists.

One of the people I resuscitated had been flat-lined for sometime- (I know this because it was that way when I walked into the room and it took me awhile to get the CPR going).
What was relayed to me (the contents of the NDE) included events immediately before I started the CPR.
I don't think of this as proof of anything- but I know there are plenty of such instances out there.
Woerlee and Augustine (among others) try to explain these cases using a materialist foundation. This seems valid to me.
The people I don't get are the ones who ignore the whole issue.

“I doubt it matters too much what we believe.”

You may want to check on history to find out if this is a valid statement art. What we believe tends to have consequences even severe consequences. Profound atrocities have been created due to what some people believe and these atrocities continue even in the 21st century.

“I prefer to take cognisance of people who are living in the next dimension(s) rather than the earthly theorists.”

I agree my personal experiences with the paranormal and my research into the history of spiritualism has taught me much at least at an intellectual level of knowledge. My one realization taught me about the relationship of ignorance and the relative phenomenal world. Realizations cannot be shared contrary to popular belief. I.e. 2500 years later few in the world even know what the Buddha realized including most Buddhists monks.

2000 years later few in the world know what Jesus meant when he stated it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. My point realizations cannot be shared.

There is a knowing (knowledge) and a knowing beyond knowing (understanding) and it is my view only a realization can give us a knowing beyond knowing. Those teachers that believe they can teach understanding have deceived themselves and confused their students. Maybe the best we can do is to create an environment for understanding; meaning a realization or realizations to occur.

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance”. Confucius

But then without our ignorance (unawareness) who or what would we be?

http://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/Creation/Related.htm

This link is sooooooo close to explaining our original innocence.

“I doubt it matters too much what we believe.”

Art my apologies I took this out of context; when I reread it now I think I get what you mean? Some spirits that come through the other side state that we can be affected by our beliefs. Many spirits claim that knowing something about life after this life can be helpful. Most state it is how we live this life and our motivation for our deeds and our service to others that count.

"Fair enough, Art if that's what you believe - stick to it - but that doesn't make it true." - Zerdini
--------------------------------------------

Ouch! So your saying what I believe is "untrue?" That's okay. I doubt it matters. We'll find out when we get there.

Art writes

All the duality and separation that we experience in this life disappears when we enter the Light. Everyone becomes instantly enlightened when they become connected to the Light. I don't believe in different levels in Heaven. I believe that is an idea that was made up here.

Well, accounts about the afterlife from NDEs, and from mediums, are a bit different is all. Maybe that's the source of the disagreement here.

My intro into this field of research started with NDEs. I had no interest in mediums (the NDE busted through my skeptical barrier, I had not done homework on mediumship yet). Reading about NDEs, however, painted a different picture, and I had a different interpretation about the afterlife than I do now. Many of the more famous NDE accounts describe a really esoteric world, without physicality, where everyone just seem to float around, formless in hyper-reality, absorbing universal knowledge, being inter-connected, and various 'New Agey' concepts.

This is all great and all, but it left me feeling a bit hollow. While it might be fun to break down all holographic barriers and become an all-knowing aspect of eternal consciousness, etc etc, I would eventually become pretty malcontent.

Really, a single day on 'Earth', cheering up somebodies day at a coffee shop, dealing with challenges, meeting new people, drinking a cup of tea and having some excitement is more rewarding to me than spending a billion-years in some universal-knowledge light, creating things with my mind and zipping around the stars. I started to really consider the value of reincarnation if that's all the "afterlife" could offer.

Mediumship, through Leslie Flint, Borgia, and many others painted a much, much better picture in my mind. They teach that the crux of being human: social interaction, and having a lifestyle with a bit of solidarity (earth, sky, buildings, bodies, language, food, air, etc) continue in the hereafter.

Now to go back to the snippet of Arts: in this world, I don't think there's going to be a complete removal of 'separation' as a concept. Heck, who would want to even exist in a world so lopsided?

So long as there's social interaction, there's going to be separation. Your theory that there are no "levels" in the afterlife is a funny one. If we have storms in our minds, we're going to end up in poor conditions in the next world. I really doubt Dr. Mengele is basking in eternal bliss right now. You may have loved ones in the next world you are tragically separated from because they're in different planes, and you can't communicate with them. And that's just one example of where you may feel separation.

How about "breaking up" with people? What if your spouse dies on Earth, you re-marry, then you have to leave your second-wife to return to your original? Again, separation.

You theory that the afterlife has no varying levels is not applicable unless our minds are completely wiped clean, unless our human identities are destroyed. First of all, there's no evidence to this, second of all, this would be a very lousy view of the universe. Although some people (of certain Eastern religions) desire their individual-destruction, the vast majority of us LIKE who we are.

Finally, a realm without any separation at all, would be a realm without learning, without experiences, without real emotion. Again, I would rather live a thousand lives on Earth than even one life in such an inhuman existence.

In summary, studying NDEs, I've found that they actually support the descriptions by mediums. Certain NDEs are without a physical nature, but very many more 'advanced' NDEs continue on to describe arrival in the 'Summerland' realm, with Earth-like conditions and civilization. I believe the very esoteric, non-physical NDEs are actually the undeveloped, immature stages of death, where one is sent through the great beyond, given certain knowledge and understandings, before the individual is sent off to lead their new life.

Here's a perfect example: http://www.near-death.com/forum/nde/000/14.html

The NDE begins in a very non-physical environment. As it progresses, the being of light morphs into a rather normal individual in a robe and hood. They end up in a sort of administrative office, with other guides trying to figure out what to do with him. It seems to demonstrate that the initial stages of the NDE could be very controlled and tailored by higher authorities, but this environment is not the standard-of-living. The "being of light" describes to his colleagues that he's pulled a lost soul (the NDEr) "from out there", which I interpret as the jungle of non-physical planes where guides work as they round up the recently departed.

"In summary, studying NDEs, I've found that they actually support the descriptions by mediums"

Cyrus Kirkpatrick: very well stated comments. My original research into the paranormal was with NDE's in the early 90's but they left me seeking deeper into these mysteries of life.

I think some of the greatest breakthroughs for me at least have been when an advanced spirit comes through a medium. They are rare but their words I find are profound.

Also I found enlightened Hinduism very interesting and often profound in much but not all of their teachings.

Hi,

This is Vicky Silvers, Asst. Editor for Christian.com which is a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians, to directly fulfill Christian's needs. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the ENTIRE christian community an outlet to join together as one (no matter denomination) and better

spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features aside from the obvious like christian TV, prayer request or even find a church/receive advice. We have emailed you because we have interest in collaborating with you and your blog to help us spread the good word. I look

forward to an email regarding the matter, Thanks!

God Bless,

Vicky Silvers
vicky.silvers@gmail.com

Vicky, that was spam.

"I really doubt Dr. Mengele is basking in eternal bliss right now." - cyrus
--------------------------------------------
Both my parents were German ancestry. My mother was actually born in Bochum, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1928 with her family when she was 11 years old. My father's family were Palatine Germans and came here because of religious persecution. They were Protestants and the German Catholics kicked them out.

If neither one of my parents had ever immigrated here and I had been born in time for WWII I would have been a German soldier, and perhaps even an SS Nazi. I am blond haired and blue eyed, 6 feet tall, and when I was young I was in pretty good shape.

I worked in Laboratory Animal Medicine and did experiments on Lab Animals for 20 years. I learned to cut meat my freshman year in the UGA Abbatoir and then dropped out of college for a year and half and cut meat for Winn Dixie in Vero Beach, Florida. My dad was a chemist for Armor meats in Chicago and worked as a chemist and my grandfather took care of laboratory rabbits for Armor in Chicago, Illinois also. So I get my lab animal genes and meat cutting genes honestly. It was almost like it was bred into me.

My point is that if I had been born a German I would have fought as a German. If I had been born a Muslim I would think like a Muslim. If I had been born a Russian Communist I would have been a Russian. It all depends on where you are born and how you are raised and taught as to what you believe and what you end up doing in life. If you are a German you fight as a German. It has little to do with choice, and everything to do with circumstances. Luck. We become the person our genes and biochemistry and upbringing molds us to be.

I am deeply suspicious of free will and lean heavily towards fate and predestination. Perhaps all that matters is that the soul experience duality and separation, time and space, and make memories of what it feels like and what it means to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe. We may look back on our lives here like it was a dream or a movie or a play and we were actors acting our part. We may realize that the people in life we disliked were really just playing the part they were assigned so our soul's could experience duality and separation so the soul could learn what it means and how it feels to be separate.

And endlessly arguing on message boards or blogs is probably just one more way to experience duality and separation. They both seem to be inherent and inescapable properties of the physical universe.

Just a tech note. With Windows from XP on, I think, you can right-click on a Zip file/folder and choose Extract Files. This works for ZIP and RAR files. No need to download a utility.

“We may look back on our lives here like it was a dream or a movie or a play”

I think we look back now on our lives and it appears to us as a dream, movie, or a play.

“And endlessly arguing on message boards or blogs is probably just one more way to experience duality and separation”

First the relative phenomenal world is about variation not duality. Our perception is dualistic but perceptions are not realities. There are many examples of how this perception of duality limits our view of the manifestation of absolute reality. Good/bad, valid/invalid, saved/not saved, right/wrong, rich/poor, moral/immoral, plus/minus, God/devil, etc.

Do you really believe that this blog is about endlessly arguing? I prefer the term dialog. Many good books and comments have been revealed on this blog. Yes there will be some who will stick with their beliefs in spite of the evidence and I suspect we all do that to some degree. That variation thing again.

Art wrote: Ouch! So your saying what I believe is "untrue?" That's okay. I doubt it matters. We'll find out when we get there.

No, that is not what I am saying. It could be true or untrue. Read my second sentence as well.

We don't need to wait till we get there.

People who actually live in the Afterlife have already told us what life is like there.

"With Windows from XP on, I think, you can right-click on a Zip file/folder and choose Extract Files."

Hey, you're right. I never noticed that.

In my version of XP (Home Edition), you have to choose "Open with ..." and then select "Compressed (zipped) folders."

I didn't realize this was built into the OS. Thanks for the tip.


From the NDE I posted:

"So much for choice; everything is pre-determined," I thought.

"Not so," my guide said. "Almost all of your choices are free. It is the drive to do well which limits what you will choose. And it makes you predictable."

Round we went. Free will was something they would apparently bend heaven and Earth to protect. The decision I was to make must be my own free choice.

It's an interesting set of beliefs, Art. I'm curious about the origins. I just think it would be unfair to say that your interpretations are the result of studying NDEs and spirit communication, simply because of the sheer amount of data from both these subjects which directly challenges your viewpoints.

In many NDEs, and nearly all spirit communication, the 'authorities' hit us over the head again and again with: "We all have free will"

"There are varying levels in the afterlife based on mental states / we are our own hell"

and "We are not intangible beings, but live in very real environments, have hobbies, jobs etc"

In fact one of the convincing points for me is how so much info from the other side is completely consistent.

So you must have drawn your beliefs from outside of the realm of spirit communication.

And you're certainly entitled to your own beliefs.

Cyrus, thank you for that excellent post on individuality and the afterlife. It sums up how I feel, and certainly ties in with what I've seen and experienced of Spirit. I'm very leery of the "individual = bad" mindset of some Eastern beliefs. It seems pessimistic and focussed far too much on the idea that individuals can suffer, to me. Joy and peace don't depend on the destruction of self. Selfishness, yes, but that is not the same as self.

I would not want to find myself in a situation where I was suddenly just part of an amorphous mass and knew everything. How utterly boring! I look forward to being able to learn new things, experience new things, and not tire of them. That's one of the joys of Spirit that those I've met radiate - and they vary from a hundred to four thousand years old, by earthly count. Things like gardening, or exchanging gifts at a market, or learning mathematics and music, are just as much part of life there and its sense of the divine, as anything one would take as being obviously "spiritual".

“In fact one of the convincing points for me is how so much info from the other side is completely consistent.”

This is an excellent point. When I studied NDE’s there was a lot of things being reported back that were not always that consistent but after a few years of research especially into spiritualism there was much more consistency. I called this looking for consistency a cross validation approach. It is not perfect but it may overcome some wishful thinking ideas and challenge our existing paradigm.

When it comes to the after life research we have to be very very careful that we do not let wishful thinking take over our beliefs. The hard part is that cherished beliefs maybe even wishful thinking can become our paradigm and paradigms are hidden from our conscious awareness. And as we all know our paradigm can become thee paradigm in spite of the evidence.

I am communicating now with a traditional Christian friend and it is fascinating to view how his beliefs which appear now to be his paradigm only allows him to see certain words or information. Any word or sentence that I write that does not fit his paradigm he does not respond to. I suspect it does not even enter his consciousness if it goes against his paradigm. Kind of like the ultra skeptics that pick and choose what part of the metaphysical phenomena they want to respond to.

√When it comes to the after life research we have to be very very careful that we do not let wishful thinking take over our beliefs.

This is why we have to be vigilant against 'New Ageism'. At least in my opinion. The New Age subculture is basically the anything-goes belief system. 2012 Apocalypse? Sure... UFO plot to take over the world, why not?

Same thing happens to NDEs. There are also NDE accounts I'm suspicious of which are very, very New Age, including those with unusual global prophecies which have, so far, never come true.

The afterlife is lumped into the New Age category, not only at bookstores but in societies' views. The afterlife needs to be "rebranded", if that makes any sense.

And as we all know our paradigm can become thee paradigm in spite of the evidence.

Sure. I think there are innumerable planes with different environments, but there's a lot of consistency, especially concerning the "primary plane" that seems to attract 90% of human souls. There are many alien elements to this world and lifestyle that may be completely different than subjective beliefs about the afterlife. Which I think is interesting... in life and science there is opinion, and then there is fact, and fact will always win in the end.


As far as new age Jesus was for his time as new age as you can get. What I find interesting even if he came back today he would be rejected by most of those that claim to be his followers, especially the preachers.

Yes I have studied new age beliefs and it is quite interesting as they can become as rigid in their beliefs as any Christian fundamentalist.

"Sure. I think there are innumerable planes with different environments, but there's a lot of consistency, especially concerning the "primary plane" that seems to attract 90% of human souls."

Agreed. I have been allowed to visit that primary plane twice and it is beautiful beyond belief. Colors we cannot describe here on earth. There was no music that I heard and it appears that the music is ten to one hundred times better than even American idol.

I have read about one person recently that went to a higher dimension than most but on earth she devoted her entire adult life on serving and teaching sick and needy children and seeking spiritual knowledge.

She did state in that higher dimension it was creative, beautiful, compassionate, and very brightly lit. Also she claimed that there are even higher dimensions than hers.

Maybe the best is yet to come.

Art the best is yet to come ok.

"There are also NDE accounts I'm suspicious of which are very, very New Age, including those with unusual global prophecies which have, so far, never come true."

FYI, I wrote about one such case (Dannion Brinkley) here:

http://alturl.com/8s8d

Is ten to one hundred times better than even American idol

This isn't saying much. I'm concerned, William. 10x better than Sanjaya is technically speaking around the same as Yanni.

So how do you experience these visits if you don't mind me asking? OBE, an NDE, a feeling that you're there in dreams, or...?

“This isn't saying much. I'm concerned, William. 10x better than Sanjaya is technically speaking around the same as Yanni.”

That was my idea of humor.

“So how do you experience these visits if you don't mind me asking? OBE, an NDE, a feeling that you're there in dreams, or...?”

In dream states that I found out several years later during my study into these mysteries of life are called visitations.

Maybe this is better humor as I work with small children I found this story interesting.

(A young boy was intensely concentrating on drawing a picture.

His mother said: “what are you doing.”

The child responded: “I am drawing a picture of God.”

His mother responded: “no one knows what God looks like.”

The young boy answered her proudly: “well they will when I am finished.”)

From teaching your children about God. P47 Rabbi David J Wolpe

I have been very troubled for several years at the increasing opposition of "science" to the concept of faith. I have seen such a precipitate and complete breakdown in the once friendly relations between the two fields, that today scientific academe clearly holds antipathy for religion and faith. Recently, there have been increased public calls by for science to actively destroy humanity's to religion. I think it is clear that this very limited study, the very concept of which is so riddled with holes, that it was intended from the outset to be used in science's war on faith. The results are so very limited and narrowly drawn, that they really prove nothing with regards to NDE's other than that a comprehensive study, devoid of bias and prejudice, is necessary.

Look how it is being used in the media as the basis for saying that "
NDE's are nothing but the result of increased CO2 in the blood". Now let's never underestimate the inability of the media to understand any scientific study. Many of the people writing the stories and the headlines are deeply ignorant of basic scientific principles - it's hopeless to expect them to understand the rules of scientific research, and the inherent conservatism which must be used in encountering new studies. In addition, the media is apparently incapable understanding, much less reporting, the limitations and extremely narrow confines of the vast majority of research. So many reporters, writers and editors are intellectually lazy, and simply will not take the time to learn what is needed to navigate the subtleties of scientific studies.

Were it not so, in this particular case they would have asked some simple question? Why is it that most NDE's, regardless of racial, cultural or national background, are so similar? Why don't we have NDE's which are as varied as dreams? Isn't that what we should expect if NDE's are nothing but the result of chemistry and physiology? Why do you ignore the thousands of accounts of "outside the body" experience, complete with descriptions of conversations and events occurring in the presence of the patient with no brain activity? What about "pre-death encounters" and how NDE-ers acquired "unknowable" knowledge?

What it comes down to, is that anyone who advances theories such as the effects of CO2, trauma or narcotics on the brain are among the causes of NDE's, are doing so BY FAITH. They have no more evidence for their conclusions than do those who hold NDE's to be outside of science. Indeed, the "quantifiers" have LESS basis for their conclusions than do the NDE experiencers themselves, who by a huge majority report their NDEs as entirely different from dreams, and instead as real as anythign they ever did.

It's ironic that those who strive so hard to undermine NDEs, wind up using faith to do so.

“Recently, there have been increased public calls by for science to actively destroy humanity's to religion.”

Maybe that destruction of the dogma of much of religion will result in a new emphasis on spirituality. Maybe not.

“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them”. Titus Livius

“So many reporters, writers and editors are intellectually lazy, and simply will not take the time to learn what is needed to navigate the subtleties of scientific studies.”

May want to read up on the ten steps a society goes through during its own self-destruction which history gives us plenty of evidence of. It is most interesting to me how a society will stick with the same economic or political ideology in spite of the evidence that is failing.

Even in the consulting leadership culture the idea we can pay for performance has devastating effects but yet we continue down the same path thinking we can buy quality and performance.

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance”. Confucius

“It's ironic that those who strive so hard to undermine NDEs, wind up using faith to do so.”

Welcome to the world of cherished beliefs and paradigms. Nice usage of the word ironic.

“In seeking wisdom thou are wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it thou are a fool”. Rabbi Ben-Azai

It always seems to me that the science versus religion atmosphere around now owes a lot to the carryings-on of bigots on either side. So, you've got Dawkins, Hitchens and the truly unpleasant Myers, and their mirror images, the fundamentalist-creationist-American religious right. The media certainly focuses on that sort of stuff. It makes much better copy than all the scientists who have no concern with people's religious/spiritual views, or the people whose religion is not of the literalist variety and don't see science as the enemy. It certainly makes better copy than all the scientists who have - gasp - religious or spiritual beliefs of their own.

I regret to say that I just received an email from an ex email exchanger (KA) with this link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu1ErDeQ0Zw

In this video, Michael Sabom appears saying: "She (Pam Reynolds) heard conversation that she could not have heard physically because both her ear canals were plugged plus she had no brainwaves at the time anyway."

I already placed a comment on this youtube piece of documentary. Temporarily (and most likely "from now on"...), I am withdrawing my support for Dr. Michael Sabom. Let Keith believe Susan Blackmore if he will. I will not follow him in his (Keith's) faulty choices. Indication of flaw is indication of flaw; no matter if this applies to Blackmore or to Sabom.

Best Wishes to all,
Julio

Julio, This video your referring to 'may' be one of the Maryland Iands documentary videos that Anon posted, a couple of days ago. I'm going to trawl through them to see if it is, as I can't get the posted link to work.

That's a pretty sloppy statement on Sabom's part, assuming you heard him correctly.

The link worked for me. I've now watched the video.

Sabom did say those words, and it's disappointing that he would make such a clear misstatement of fact. The documentary itself reinforces this error, telling us that Pam's NDE started only after her heart was stopped (which is untrue).

The video is worth watching for Pam's description of her experience. I just wish the overall presentation had been more factual.

Has anybody actually(who had acesss to her medical records)(I know time lines have been proposed) claimed to have worked out the time lines ie exactly when her OBE happened ? I know it appears it started when Spetzler was cutting into her head...but can the 'deepest possible'(according to Spetzler) anaesthetic state cause the EEG to produce a relatively flat line. If it can...and I say IF ...then I think this is what Sabom may have been referring to.

a flat line (not relatively)

Hello, I'm new here, so I don't know if this has been discussed here before, but one of the most interesting NDE's was that of the logical postivist philosopher AJ Ayers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Jules_Ayer

It's interesting because Ayers was one of the last people who would have accepted the reality of NDE's, both from the perspective of his personal convictions and his academic reputation.

The weasel words with which he rationalised the experience are very illuminating:

From Wiki:

In 1988, shortly before his death, Ayer wrote an article entitled, "What I saw when I was dead"[8], describing an unusual near-death experience. Of the experience, Ayer first said that it "slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death ... will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be."[9] However, a few days later he revised this, saying "what I should have said is that my experiences have weakened, not my belief that there is no life after death, but my inflexible attitude towards that belief". [10]

In 2001 Dr. Jeremy George, the attending physician, claimed that Ayer had confided to him: "I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my books and opinions." Ayer's son Nick, however, said that he had never mentioned this to him.

It is most unfortunate and ultimately self-defeating for NDE supporters to overstate their case by misstating facts. Those who hold that NDEs are more than the sum of chemical reactions and physiological processes, among whom I number myself, must use pristine facts and figures when making the case for NDEs.

Also, I note that Skeptiko's Alex Tsakiris has a post entitled, "Near Death experience Skeptics Running Out Of Excuses": http://www.skeptiko.com/near-death-experience-skeptics-running-out-of-excuses/

He also interviews Dr. G.M. Woerlee.

Thanks for the tip about the new Skeptiko interview. Interesting stuff. I admire Dr. Woerlee's willingness to be grilled on his views, even if I mostly disagree with his position.

I still can't make that link to 'Sabom,' work. It doesn't matter though, because I've found a video on the Maryland Iands site where Dr Sabom does indeed get it wrong(If the prevailing facts of the case are correct). Maybe he couldn't resist the very prevalent human urge to make one's case better for the TV cameras. I don't know.
Nevertheless, Reynolds was still in the deepest anaesthetic state possible where I believe there can be an absence of brainwaves(but I'm still trying to find that out, for certain, so please don't quote me)
He doesn't make the same mistake in 'Light and Death,' though, which is the treatise. Everything is correct there, apart from a later assumption from Sabom that her experience continued through cardiac standstill, but that doesn't matter so much to us.
Sue Blackmore also takes liberties with describing her own so called NDE. "I've had ALL the features of the near death experience"
...when she plainly has not. She did not meet disceased relatives for instance and bring back paranormal information etc.

Michael Shermer, when responding to the Reynolds case blithely states that anaesthesia awareness happens 'quite often,' when it plainly does not.

On the Don Rather 48 hour special(Maryland Iands)Spetzler also mentions that her brainwaves were absent and that she was dead by any definition. I'm sure he was aware that this would be taken to mean that her experience occured when she was dead, so why did he say it.
I believe there are some odds and ends that need tying up on this case, both for skeptics and nests of believers. And it needs someone better qualified than me.

I don't think we'll ever know if the NDE really happened when she truly flatlined or not. Regardless though it's a pretty good case.

I mean to say, if the NDE really continued to persist upon her flatline state.

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