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The AWARE researchers are brave, no doubt about it. I’m far from convinced that woo is ready to come all the way out of the closet and stand to attention under the searing searchlights of sceptical scrutiny.

Hope I’m wrong.

The baby looks like he’s backing the losing team.

hate to sound pessimistic but even if they do everything correct do we think the skeptics will accept this. There track record of honesty in this area of inquiry is not good after all.

"I've discovered that there are only so many accounts of NDEs and mediums I can read before they all start to sound the same."

I'm smiling because I know exactly what you mean. But every now and then someone writes about these things in a way that still manages to touch me.

I've read hundreds of accounts of NDE's. This may be my single favorite:

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers01.html

And for those not tempted to click the link, here's a brief excerpt:

"As my sleepy eyes slowly became adjusted to the brilliant radiance, I could make out shapes in the light. There were people there!  People that I knew and loved. The place was completely familiar, as though I had been there just a few moments before.

'Did you have a nice rest?' one of my friends asked. 

My other friends broke out into roaring laughter. They were making a joke. They all knew what a grueling ordeal such ventures into the material world can be. They had all made such ventures themselves, many times before. I joined in the laughter. How good it felt to laugh so freely. How strange, to be so open, and yet it was all so familiar."

"If no hits at all are obtained, it will be hard to defend the proposition that anything is really "leaving the body."

I think one thing that will hamper the hits is the "how of leaving the body",many accounts of NDE's talk about watching the body from above looking down,instead of watching the ceiling looking up.

Since the "mark" is somewhere near the ceiling this does not fully take into account the modus operandi of alot of NDE's.

Thoughts?

By the way, that is a great picture! Maybe he's thinking:

"I don't wanna hear about these near-death things anymore. I know what it's all about—I just came from there!"

I'd like to believe there's no reason to expect a negative result but at skeptiko Penny Sartori said that the team will publish on AWARE late this year or early next year even though there are no compelling cases to write up

http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/1395-nine-lines-evidence-afterlife-4.html#post28288

"even if they do everything correct do we think the skeptics will accept this"

I'm not concerned about skeptics. I'm interested in evidence that I would accept.

"Since the 'mark' is somewhere near the ceiling this does not fully take into account the modus operandi of alot of NDE's."

I believe the images are on shelves near the ceiling. They are facing up. If someone's locus of consciousness were at the ceiling and he was looking down, he would presumably see the images. (If OBE perception works anything like physical perception ... Maybe it doesn't, but then it's pretty hard to test.)

"Penny Sartori said that the team will publish on AWARE late this year or early next year even though there are no compelling cases to write up"

I hadn't heard that. If there are no compelling results from the entire study, then I think the case that NDEs are truly paranormal will be greatly weakened.

"The baby looks like he’s backing the losing team."

Let's hope it's not our team! (But it might be.)

Here's a cure for boredom, maybe. (I posted it last night on the gone-cold "Books" thread.)

I just read an article in the latest (August) Wired by Matthew Honan about the hot market for "stunt books." (It's not online yet.) These are accounts of an author's attempt to accomplish something unusual, like read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, The Year of Living Biblically, etc. I bet you (MP) and/or your site's regulars could think of a few promising themes, even if only for laughs.

BTW, here's an interesting book authored by Sunday night's guest on Coast to Coast AM, Jeffrey Kripal, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University, who "shared his historical analysis of paranormal and psychical research. Instead of evaluating the paranormal through science, he views it through the filter of religious or human experience.

"Myers, one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), coined the term "telepathy" in 1882 from the Greek words telos and pathos, and attended hundreds of seances. Interestingly, Myers accumulated evidence of afterlife communications with a woman he'd been in love with, but the material was destroyed after his wife found out about it, Kripal reported."

http://www.amazon.com/Authors-Impossible-Paranormal-Jeffrey-Kripal/dp/0226453863/ctoc

Reviews:

“This is an excellent book. As well as being carefully researched and theoretically interesting, it is also engaging, witty, and thoughtful. Writing in an easy, contemplative style, Kripal is never less than rigorous and wide-ranging; he doesn''t get mired in statistics or parapsychological analysis, but instead, drawing on religious studies and cultural analysis, he explores key ideas and thinkers in their respective contexts. In the process, the reader is introduced to the largely rejected knowledge of the psychical, the sacred is resurrected in the paranormal, and lazy skepticism is challenged. Authors of the Impossible will contribute significantly to the intelligent, open-minded study of the sacred, while Kripal will, I suspect, become a key figure in the development of new trajectories in the study of religion.”—Christopher Partridge, Lancaster University

(Christopher Partridge )

“Jeffrey Kripal’s new book represents a serious intellectual challenge to the epistemological assumptions that govern the work of scientists and religion scholars alike. He demands nothing short of a paradigm shift in order to make sense of the odd, the anomalous, and the inexplicable. All of this he calls the impossible—the paranormal situations in which thought forms are said to become physical realities and the future to morph into the present and past. Kripal is no fluffy believer; he argues incisively and in detail in ways that seek to shake our materialist and rational foundations at their base, so that our defensive walls come tumbling down.”—Catherine L. Albanese, University of California, Santa Barbara

(Catherine L. Albanese )

Funny, today I tripped across a recent video of Dr.'s Peter Fenwick and Sam Parnia via Victor Zammit. I believe it's recent, though I'm not sure.

http://www.victorzammit.com/week1bb/

Scroll down for the video.

Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but their attitudes about the topic of ADC's and NDE's seems sooo confident. Sam Parnia, especially. He is usually rather reserved, and he tends to couch his opinions in intellectual caveats.
Since they are absolutely tied into the AWARE project, I'm thinking that they are sitting on a small time bomb. They seem almost smug. We'll see once it's released in 2012.

And Micheal, I know what you mean about the skeptics, at least the pseudoskeptics. I got over their fundamentalist and biased attitude a long time ago.

Even if there are some evidential cases it is inevitable that pseudoskeptics (i. e. pathological skeptics) will still dismiss the results. After all, it's impossible, so there just has to be some other explanation.

If the study results in no evidential cases there could be several explanations. If there are very few NDEs at all or if there are a number of NDEs but with no OBEs, that phenomenon itself would need to be explained. My guess is that this is the more likely possibility. There is something about the paranormal that seems to be averse to being tested.

The problem is if there are a number of NDEs with OBEs but with no reporting of the signs. Of course the NDEers might not have noticed the shelves at all in their riveting interest in their own bodies below. If some NDEers notice the shelves but don't notice the signs then there will be the difficulty of still accounting for all the evidence already accumulated in NDE research, that valid information is apparently obtained while the brain is nonfunctioning during cardiac arrest for instance. This evidence still clearly implies that the mind is somehow not purely a function of the brain, whether or not true OBEs during NDEs can be confirmed.

The best analysis of OBEs in general I have found is Charles Tart's (from http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=50 .

"...what is an OBE? Does the mind or soul really leave the body and go somewhere else, “out,” or is the OBE just a special ASC that is basically hallucinatory in nature, i.e. that the feeling and conviction that you are elsewhere than your physical body’s location is an illusion?

After decades of reflection on the results of my own and others’ research particularly in the light of my studies on the nature of consciousness and ASCs, I have a more complex view of OBEs that includes both of these possibilities at different times and more. I believe that in some OBEs, the mind may, at least partially, really be located elsewhere than the physical body—this may have been the case with Miss Z. At the opposite extreme, as with my virtuoso hypnotic subjects whose experience was vivid and perfectly real to them but whose perception of the target room was only illusory, I believe an OBE can be a simulation of being out of the body, and mind is as much “in” the physical body as it ever is. In between these two extremes, I believe we can have OBEs which are basically a simulation of being out, but which are informed by information gathered by ESP such that the simulation of the OBE location is accurate and veridical."

"I hadn't heard that. If there are no compelling results from the entire study, then I think the case that NDEs are truly paranormal will be greatly weakened."

I don't. What will be weakened is your theory about how they function and what is really going on, not whether some paranormal event is occurring. Any test such as the AWARE study is, is actually a test of your theoretical model of how what you are testing for works. If your understanding about how it works is wrong, then your test will be set up to look for something that does not exist in the way that you think it does.

I do NOT believe that NDEs are spirits leaving the body; I don't believe there are spirit eyeballs attached to disembodied spirit heads with spirit brains having perceptions of the "real" world.

And I do NOT believe that the spirit leaving the body explanation is the only paranormal way to explain NDEs.

It would also be wonderfully convenient if all paranormal phenomenon hinged on the results of the AWARE study, or if the NDE were the most compelling evidence of paranormal phenomenon. It is not.

Ultimately, a personal and permanent acceptance of the paranormal has to come from one's own experience. If it is never more than something you read about in books, then it's like wishing you could go to Hawaii, but never taking the steps to go there, or just not being able to do it.

Eventually you will probably lose interest in Hawaii, if only to prevent yourself from going crazy wanting something which you can't or don't want to go experience.

I believe that unquestionably either the afterlife is real, or the universe is desperately trying to make it real.

Why else so many consistent visions, with laws of physics being defied as people imagine personalities of the deceased?

It goes far beyond psychology. Is it possible the afterlife is not real, but it's trying to become real?

That's the only alternative I can imagine. Although, it would still leave us with a materialist's world in the end.

The AWARE study could 'fail'. And, if it fails simply because of irresponsible conditions, then we are looking at a devastating blow that will require years of 'cleanup' to bring afterlife knowledge back to the surface. There would also have to be a shift of interest from NDEs and the medical community back toward mediumship.

If it fails despite the protocol, then I will be forced to consider the aforementioned 'epic illusion' theory, that we are living in a material world yet we are all wired to seek out this specific idea of an afterlife, built into our consciousness like some deep-seeded failed computer program.

My intuition tells me AWARE will not produce satisfactory results. Just because the nature of the subject is like trying to catch smoke with your hands.

However, I certainly hope I'm wrong. If AWARE is greatly successful, things are going to change around town.

All the chips are on the table.

well we just got to wait for the study ehh.

Hope this turns off the italics.

I looked at the video recommended by RabbitDawg, and both Fenwick and Parnia make some very interesting comments regarding the accumulation of data that I don't take to be sympathetic to the status quo materialist model at all.

"What will be weakened is your theory about how they function and what is really going on, not whether some paranormal event is occurring."

I dunno ... Seems to me that if the most comprehensive and (from what I've read) best-designed study fails to produce evidence of veridical perception, it's a big blow to the idea that NDEs are something more than hallucinations augmented by snatches of sensory input.

I don't see how we can have it both ways. If we say that veridical results will be highly significant, then we can hardly say that an absence of veridical results is no big deal. That's a "heads I win, tails you lose" approach.

"If it is never more than something you read about in books, then it's like wishing you could go to Hawaii, but never taking the steps to go there, or just not being able to do it."

I've done more than read about it in books. Still, after a while it's natural to lose interest in any subject that you've pretty thoroughly explored. However, I'm not saying my current ennui is permanent. It's a mood.

Mainly I wanted an excuse to post the baby photo. I think it's hilarious.

if we don't get positive hits we would have to analyze every NDE in question to see if they are the sort that should have got a hit. Some NDEs after all skip the hospital stage.

"I don't see how we can have it both ways. If we say that veridical results will be highly significant, then we can hardly say that an absence of veridical results is no big deal. That's a "heads I win, tails you lose" approach."

The veridical results they get will probably be exactly like the veridical results we already have got.

If they get none at all, my impulse will not be to reject everything we have already got, but to ask why they did not get similar results. And it's not a question I'd answer by fabricating "probablies" that explain away the old results so that I can accept the new results. The total absence of positives would be a new mystery, not a new solution.

Also, the paranormal doesn't begin or end with the AWARE study or the NDE, and an AWARE study that hypothetically gets no positive results cannot address non-NDE paranormal phenomenon which still require explanation.

Looking for a "complete" explanation, we may have to consider that it may not be a simple matter of souls leaving bodies OR entirely brain produced hallucinations.

I think Parnia is asking the right questions. I think we falsely assume a lot more about what "hallucinations" are than we have a reasonable claim to.

One of the things I think the study may do is to lift the idea of hallucination out of the dismissive domain of materialism. It is probably time to begin distinguishing kinds of hallucination, between those that are imaginations and those that bring real data without sensation.

Of those that bring real data, there may be further divisions between real data that is private to the person having the hallucination, and real data that is received by multiple people having the same hallucination, therefore having the quality of being perceived because it is not private.

I think a lot of the conceptual lines of demarcation that people like Keith Augustine love are going to turn from solids into dashes.

There may be instances where it makes no sense at all to speak about what constitutes a hallucination and what constitutes an "objective" reality that cameras can capture; a phenomenon may evolve from one to the other.

And it may well be that what began as a study to answer the question of whether minds can separate from bodies may suggest more profound questions about the nature of reality itself, and so, not be a simple thumbs up or thumbs down experiment on a narrowly focused question.

I don't expect a simple yes or no answer from the study. Though that may be the intent, I do not believe that will be the result.

I'm pretty sure (>95%) the AWARE study will come up negative. Why? NDE perceptions are trancendental in nature. Yes, occasionally, events will be recalled, but these have emotional pertinence to the experient. remembering silly targets on shelves isn't going to happen. I'm more interested in the concurrent investigatiobs looking at brain oxygen levels. This should give us more of an indication of what's happening. I disagree with Michael P here. A negative result (from the veridcal OBE portion) should not weaken the NDE field, but rather qualify future investigations.
Let's not forget:
Mediumship studies (including exciting data from Virginia, DOPS)
Reincarnation (DOPS again)
Lab OBE research (Miss Z investigated by Charles Tart, Karlis Osis research of alex Tanous)
and of course the huge mass of psi research indicating brain - mind duality.


Rabbitdawg posts: http://www.victorzammit.com/week1bb/

--------------------------------------------

Rabbitdawg, Thank you so much for posting the link to the video. I enjoyed it very much. It was very positive and uplifting.

I share my sentiments with dmduncan. While I can see why one would expect at least even one hit out of a study of this particular magnitude, I personally am not really holding my breath very much for anything that will really propel NDE research forward, and if we do get even a few positive results, I'll be surprise. I do agree we may have to rethink some things if we get no hits at all, but to me it won't completely cancel out some of the good pieces of evidence that we've already accumulated.

I know where Prescott is coming from, there is only so much you can read on a subject, no matter how interesting and important, before the mind just goes 'enough already'. Ultimately there are mysteries that are impenetrable. I'm glad to see this study being done, it's great, and it is a big step forward but whatever the results, we will all still be arguing about what it all means a decade from now. And beyond..
These arguments will perhaps never be settled, maybe that's how it has to be, ultimately unknowable.

I do think though that we need to better understand and scrutinise many of the conceptual assumptions underlying much of the positive interpretations of NDEs. That is whilst I think there is considerable evidence for mind and consciousness distinct from the brain and perhaps going beyond the body, I think 'the believers' are not nearly skeptical enough of certain NDE interpretations. My big bugbear is the seeing/communications with "dead relatives" in the 'afterlife' or whatever you want to call it. Taking all this at face value is I think a mistake.

The believers here need to be far more skeptical on this front. Why take these contacts with 'dead relatives' at face value? Especially given the viability of other explanations: obvious wishful thinking, the power of the subconscious to fabricate illusions, even the collective unconscious and archetypal patterns may come into it, and other possibilities. Let us not overlook the obvious point that one of the things that defines human consciousness (and thus accounts for human history and our present dire circumstances) and sets us apart from the animals, are our self-deceptions, our folly, our muddle-headed thinking. Why should these self-deceptions cease after death (assuming of course consciousness survives death), especially in the state immediately after bodily death, where given the understandable shock and fears of any surviving consciousness during any 'transition', our fears and hopes would be most likely to manifest and cloud the mind (that we are assuming survives bodily death)?

In fact central to much religious commentary on the afterlife, especially from the Eastern religions (notably the Tibetan Book of the Dead) is that mind survives death, but so do the mind's illusions and fantasies! The believers in survival of bodily death need to be far more rigorous in their approach and look beneath the surface of the NDE experiential encounters and take into far greater account the subconscious and its motivations and related factors. On this front, I think the criticisms of the skeptics often misses the mark because of their a priori dismissal of possible survival of consciousness after death and the fact they are often enough wedded to materialist and monist theories of mind/brain. They thus miss the real weak point in the 'believers' literature on NDEs, notably the 'dead relatives' and 'spirit guides' visions being taken at face value since the skeptics are as likely to be dismissive of the collective unconscious and archetypal symbols and cultural patterning and their possible relevance to the NDE because of the skeptics' materialism (and thus lack of sympathy for Jungian psychology and philosophy) and their a priori dismissal of dualist models of mind/brain.

The same parallel exists in the considerable literature on seance mediumship where too many are quick to jump onto a survival interpretation, rather than acknowledging that whilst the evidence for paranormal phenomena associated with mediumship is considerable, the evidence for survival is another matter and it is certainly not on the same solid ground.

I know where Prescott is coming from, there is only so much you can read on a subject, no matter how interesting and important, before the mind just goes 'enough already'. Ultimately there are mysteries that are impenetrable. I'm glad to see this study being done, it's great, and it is a big step forward but whatever the results, we will all still be arguing about what it all means a decade from now. And beyond..
These arguments will perhaps never be settled, maybe that's how it has to be, ultimately unknowable.

I do think though that we need to better understand and scrutinise many of the conceptual assumptions underlying much of the positive interpretations of NDEs. That is whilst I think there is considerable evidence for mind and consciousness distinct from the brain and perhaps going beyond the body, I think 'the believers' are not nearly skeptical enough of certain NDE interpretations. My big bugbear is the seeing/communications with "dead relatives" in the 'afterlife' or whatever you want to call it. Taking all this at face value is I think a mistake.

The believers here need to be far more skeptical on this front. Why take these contacts with 'dead relatives' at face value? Especially given the viability of other explanations: obvious wishful thinking, the power of the subconscious to fabricate illusions, even the collective unconscious and archetypal patterns may come into it, and other possibilities. Let us not overlook the obvious point that one of the things that defines human consciousness (and thus accounts for human history and our present dire circumstances) and sets us apart from the animals, are our self-deceptions, our folly, our muddle-headed thinking. Why should these self-deceptions cease after death (assuming of course consciousness survives death), especially in the state immediately after bodily death, where given the understandable shock and fears of any surviving consciousness during any 'transition', our fears and hopes would be most likely to manifest and cloud the mind (that we are assuming survives bodily death)?

In fact central to much religious commentary on the afterlife, especially from the Eastern religions (notably the Tibetan Book of the Dead) is that mind survives death, but so do the mind's illusions and fantasies! The believers in survival of bodily death need to be far more rigorous in their approach and look beneath the surface of the NDE experiential encounters and take into far greater account the subconscious and its motivations and related factors. On this front, I think the criticisms of the skeptics often misses the mark because of their a priori dismissal of possible survival of consciousness after death and the fact they are often enough wedded to materialist and monist theories of mind/brain. They thus miss the real weak point in the 'believers' literature on NDEs, notably the 'dead relatives' and 'spirit guides' visions being taken at face value since the skeptics are as likely to be dismissive of the collective unconscious and archetypal symbols and cultural patterning and their possible relevance to the NDE because of the skeptics' materialism (and thus lack of sympathy for Jungian psychology and philosophy) and their a priori dismissal of dualist models of mind/brain.

The same parallel exists in the considerable literature on seance mediumship where too many are quick to jump onto a survival interpretation, rather than acknowledging that whilst the evidence for paranormal phenomena associated with mediumship is considerable, the evidence for survival is another matter and it is certainly not on the same solid ground.

The video of Parnia and Fenwick on the chat show is three years old.

Parnia has made relatively recent reference to at least one incredible(in his words) NDE which occured at Cornell. He only makes reference to it very briefly during a talk and doesn't give any detail whatsoever.

Solid veridical OBE evidence has already been harvested by Sabom, Sartori to name just two. The sixty year old carpenter(Sartori)(pink lollipop etc) case has confirmed Sabom's findings. True, he didn't see the target on the moniter(I didn't twist my head round that way, Penn) but his extremely accurate observations of his resuscitation make fraud the only realistic explanation if you want to refute it.
This is a white crow if ever I saw one. How many white crows do we need ?

The aware study will produce some of these accurate cases. Even if they don't see the target on the shelf you still have to explain how mind/brain can observe and gather information from an airborn position outside of it's comatose head.

One study is never conclusive of anything, pro or contra.

Most revived patients don't have (or recall having had) NDEs and of those very few that do most don't report veridical perception, journeys into the light, meeting dead relatives and life reviews seem much more common. Or at least that's the impression I get from reviewing the literature, confirmed veridical OBEs are statistically few and far between and are thus highly coveted by researchers.

So we're playing bingo here - only instead of 75 numbers to choose from we have 7500+. We can theoretically play just 5 rounds and win or it may take 50 rounds, or maybe even 500, the point is that you need to keep playing for a relatively large number of rounds before you can expect to get even a single hit, and if you quit playing too soon you may very well come up empty.

This kind of study ideally should involve many, many more participants and last on the order of 10+ years (the Lancet study lasted 13), then we'd have a much more solid overview of this phenomenon, real or not. But who would be willing to finance that?

That said, my own personal belief is that for some of Life's enduring mysteries and questions there will never be a definitive answer, no smoking gun, only yet more ambiguity and food for thought to keep us guessing and keep things interesting.

'confirmed veridical OBE's are 'statistically few and far between'

It depends on what you mean by confirmed, Markus. Confirmed by whom?
There are thousands of OBE observations that have been confirmed by the patients themselves asking the nurses and doctors if such and such a thing really happened. The literature is choc full of those.

Then there are the recollections of nurses and some doctors(all nurses.com)who have been surprised to be told what they were 'doing' while their patient was comatose etc. Quite a few of those.

And finally the major studies. Sabom for instance, didn't include... *thirty two*... (I think it was)cases where accurate veridical information was reported by the patients simply because he didn't feel the details were specific enough. But his six star cases plus the nightwatchman open heart surgery one are outstandingly evidential.
Sartori's study was only small but still came up with more outstanding cases.
Janet Schwaninger likewise.
(The Lancet study gathered information for four years and then had an eight year follow up)
The problem with the Aware study is that patients who have just exited their bodies are very unlikely to immediately start scanning the room for a target on a shelf, when an amazing light is beckoning them to Paradise, or some beautiful angelic creature is trying to take your hand.

"Just a sec, Jesus, I've just got to go and look up(or down) on that shelf over there and see what the picture is for the aware study...then I'll be right with you "

I think somebody will see it, just like they saw they other 'targets' in all the other sudies...but it's going to take time.
Let's be positive. Remember, there's all the other stuff that the scoftics have to deal with, aswell.

It wasn't the 'Lancet study' of course. I meant Van Lommel's published in the lancet. Sorry.

It depends on what you mean by confirmed, Markus. Confirmed by whom?

By confirmed I mean objectively and methodically investigated and documented to a degree that it'd stand up to (reasonable) peer-review and skeptical scrutiny.

I'm well aware of the plethora of anecdotal accounts out there but without such careful scientific validation I'm kinda reluctant to consider them as *equally weighty* supporting evidence.

I think somebody will see it, just like they saw they other 'targets' in all the other sudies...but it's going to take time.

I agree, if extra-corporeal perception is in fact real then it's only a matter of time until we get a hit.....but how much time? At what point does one say "we've waited long enough?"

Obviously a negative result will be pounced on by the debunkers and paraded around henceforth as yet another nail in the coffin of dualism while a positive one will likely first be met with accusations of "poor methodology," then "possible fraud" and then by stern-faced "more research is needed."

I'd agree with the latter. This study has the potential to kick off the largest paradigm shift in scientific history so I'm hoping those running things are being exceptionally rigorous and diligent, potential further research hinges on it.

There was a recent article in the January Issue of New Scientist Magazine (online) where the guy who ran the lab, Hogan, said that he thought the blurriness they found was evidence of the holographic nature of our universe. Now the reason this is interesting is because many near death experiencers say that during their experience it felt even "more real" and it was more clear than what we normally experience. If this side is the holographic projection then maybe what they are doing is their consciousness is moving over into the holographic film from which our side derives it's reality. In the film when they have access to "all information" then everything they experience would be more clear than what we experience here in this life.

There is a connection between NDE's and quantum physics and the holographic universe theory that no one has ever adequately explained away to me. How is it that people who have never heard of the holographic universe theory and know nothing about holograms oftentimes describe their experiences in terms that can only be called "holographic?" There is no way it is just coincidence.

People who have NDE's routinely talk about overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness, feeling like they are literally everywhere in the universe at once, time and space not existing, buildings that are "made out of knowledge", 360 degree vision, seeing colors they've never seen before, hearing sounds that they haven't heard in this physical universe, and during the life review seeing their whole lives flash by in an instant (bolus of information), and how the other side will feel even more real to us than this side does, and feeling the feelings and hearing the thoughts of the people they interacted with. I find these things to be very evidential because it parallels things I've read about in popular physics books.

Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, a PhD physicist says in his book The Spiritual Universe that "thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality." Perhaps on the other side it is even more true than here and that is why people like Mark H in his NDE description said he thought of a mountain and one appeared or A.J. Ayer's said that "his thoughts became people."

There are simply too many connections between NDEs and quantum physics and the holographic universe theory for it to be coincidental and I find that to be very evidential.

Trev. Posted: "The video of Parnia and Fenwick on the chat show is three years old"...

Thanks Trev. I wasn't sure. As Art described, it was uplifting, but Dr. Parnia seemed more confident to me than he usually is.
He normally goes into protracted CYA medical-speak, in part, I believe, to um, cover his a** in the event no hard evidence appears in the AWARE study.

However, I can't believe that a study this massive won't produce some sort of tangible results. I remember reading an interview with Dr. Bruce Greyson in Vital Signs, where he stated that he thought that the AWARE study wasn't large enough to verify OBE's, and that he wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't any identification of the targets at all. He even seemed to not care very much if the targets were identified or not.

His main concern seemed to be if this study, under fairly strict scientifically reputable conditions, would confirm a continuation of consciousness after cessation of brain function. Oxygen levels, hypoxia, et. al. would either be confirmed or dismissed. If no rational reason were found for a continuation of awareness, no matter how transcendent, then even further study might be warranted and justified.

The only thing that is real is consciousness. Atoms are mostly ghostly empty space and the sub atomic particles themselves are hardly like anything we think of as matter, being more like eddies in a stream than a rock or a BB.

The only thing keeping my hand from floating right down through the table they are resting on is the negative charges of the electrons in my hand repelling the negative charges of the electrons in the table. What we see and experience are the electro-magnetic charges between atoms and not the atoms themselves.

Sub atomic particles are able to appear and disappear, sometimes appearing as a wave and sometimes as a particle, pass right through what we think of as solid matter, communicate instantaneously with each other, sometimes even seeming to appear to communicate with the people who are studying them. There is very little that is "real" about our so called physical universe.

This side is little more than a holographic projection from someplace else, and our brains work holographically and are essentially a hologram embedded in a hologram which means that this whole physical reality is "Maya" an illusion.

Michelle M says in her NDE description that we will look back on our lives here like they were a "dream in itself." While we are here we think it's a long time but looking back from the other side this life will seem like it went by in the blink of an eye. This isn't the main show, it is just a very temporary place our souls come to learn a few simple lessons and they merge back into the Spiritual Universe.

We may never be allowed to know absolutely for certain that there is life after death because it is in the not knowing that the lessons are learned. If the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates then perhaps it's in the not knowing that the most powerful memories are created.

Losing someone we love is the ultimate lesson in separation - what it means and how it feels to be separate - so if we knew absolutely for certain that one day we were going to be reunited with them forever perhaps we wouldn't mourn quite as much. It's in the not knowing that we mourn, thinking we have lost them forever.

If we knew absolutely for certain that all the things that we love we were going to get back the separation we experience in this life wouldn't be quite as traumatic and the death of someone we love would cease to be the most powerful lesson in what it means and how it feels to be separate.

I am no philosopher, or even a eloquent speaker...however, has anyone considered the fact that "The powers that be" may not want us to "Figure it out"....
if this is really a "test" or a "School" and there have been plenty of "you are supposed to learn..." and "Your task isn't completed..." ETC ETC in the literature... so maybe no matter what we do figuring out "Psy" or even "Life after death" beyond a shodow of a doubt mucks up the works OR

we do figure it out, the man steps out from behind the curtain and we have to set up a new game to deal with the doldrums of eternity......

Hey I am just sayin....
OK now to try some limited HTML here

I hope this turns off the Italics....

Doh.... guess not.

'..by confirmed I mean objectively and methodically investigated and documented so it'd stand up to (reasonable) peer review and skeptical scrutiny...'

Markus, Sabom and Sartori did objectively and methodically investigate and document what they found(30 years apart)and it was reviewed by some of his peers(as was Penny's work by hers)...but it's never enough for the skeptics. Sabom was also a skeptic. He didn't believe he would find any evidence at all for veridical OBE's/NDE's. He thought the idea was ridiculous. The only reason the study was ignored by the materialistic mainstream was that it came to the wrong conclusion ie provided very good evidence that the mind can separate from the brain as did Sartori's study.

I might add that now we know that the prospective studies match the old retrospective studies, Ken Ring's work can also be seen as very evidential.

Interesting, Rabbit Dawg and Art

'..by confirmed I mean objectively and methodically investigated and documented so it'd stand up to (reasonable) peer review and skeptical scrutiny...'

Markus, Sabom and Sartori did objectively and methodically investigate and document what they found(30 years apart)and it was reviewed by some of his peers(as was Penny's work by hers)...but it's never enough for the skeptics. Sabom was also a skeptic. He didn't believe he would find any evidence at all for veridical OBE's/NDE's. He thought the idea was ridiculous. The only reason the study was ignored by the materialistic mainstream was that it came to the wrong conclusion ie provided very good evidence that the mind can separate from the brain as did Sartori's study.

I might add that now we know that the prospective studies match the old retrospective studies, Ken Ring's work can also be seen as very evidential.

Interesting, Rabbit Dawg and Art

"I'm pretty sure (>95%) the AWARE study will come up negative. Why? NDE perceptions are trancendental in nature"

I agree. I believe that the AWARE study is trying to measure non physical reality with a physical measuring stick. It won't work, or it won't work very well. Much better to measure the physical activities, or lack therof, of the brain during the NDE. At least this applies an "apples to apples" approach. This will be much easier than trying to catch that elusive butterfly in the dark and prove nearly as much.

I disagree that a failure to get any "hits", negates the non physicality of the NDE for the same reason. The perceptions occurring in the event are non physical in nature and do not easily relate to physical measurment.

'The perceptions occuring in the event are non physical in nature..'

Greg, please could you just clarify that a little more, it's puzzling me ?

It's in the "not knowing" that the lessons are learned - and the "not knowing" is what makes it so emotional - and because the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memories it produces - I doubt we will ever be allowed to know absolutely 100% for certain that there is life after death. There will always be a certain element of doubt there. If it were not so then those that have all ready crossed over would just be allowed to come and visit us whenever they wanted. They could simply holographically project into our lives and give us advice and talk to us whenever they wanted. The bridge that exists between this life and the next exists for a reason. All we are allowed is little glimpses into the next life - NDE's, death bed visions, the work of some Mediums, ADC's, dreams, EVP, etc. And always there are the doubters and naysayers telling us it isn't real. They wouldn't believe even if their deceased parents appeared before them and started talking to them. They would just say it's some kind of technological trick and keep on doubting. They are married to their Newtonian 18th century understanding of physics and science and have been completely bypassed by the strangeness of quantum physics. They lack the imagination to see past the world that surrounds them.

"Greg, please could you just clarify that a little more, it's puzzling me "

Trev, I meant that we are perceiving with non physical senses, more precisely,during the NDE transition, we are consciousness perceiving a non physical data flow. Any perception of physical reality would seem to be an anomaly, not conducive to physical testing.

I will be surprised if AWARE posts any definitive results in this area.

I'll be extremely surprised!

Thanks, Greg.
I think I understand what you mean. I guess I'm leaving myself open to scornful laughter but after years of perusing these curious accounts, it's made me believe in some kind of etheric spirit body surrounding the physical. What it is composed of(if it does exist) we'll probably never know but it must be(IMHO) able to be seen at some point, otherwise the dying(DBV's) would surely not be conversing with 'people they can see' and stretching out their hands to shake what appears to the carers etc as only fresh air.

I think this energy body detaches in the NDE, observes it's physical surroundings and goes back where it came from.

Then again, I might be a raving looney.

"we are consciousness perceiving a non physical data flow. Any perception of physical reality would seem to be an anomaly, not conducive to physical testing."

That's possible, but there are two problems with it, IMO. First, it means (as you say) that the phenomenon is not conducive to testing, which takes it out of the realm of empirical investigation. Second, the many reports of NDErs who did see their environment in detail would suggest that some kind of perception is taking place - and if they can perceive doctors and nurses, hospital equipment, or a shoe on a ledge, then why not a graphic image near the ceiling?

I do tend to agree that NDErs (if they are perceiving anything real) are "perceiving a non-physical data flow." It gets back to Brian Whitworth's theory of the universe as a virtual reality simulation (use the Google search box on the left side of this page to search for the relevant posts, if you're interested). The discarnate consciousness may be tapping into the programming code that supports the entire VR simulation. This would explain the ability to move effortlessly to any point of interest, even if it is hundreds of miles away, or to review one's past life from multiple perspectives (all the info is stored in the database).

But ... the graphic images hidden near the ceiling would also be part of the database, just as much as the doctors, nurses, ER equipment, shoe on the ledge, etc. So I would still expect the discarnate consciousness processing this data flow to be able to "perceive" (non-physically) the images. If no one can perceive even one of the images, even in hundreds of tests, then other, less esoteric explanations of NDEs become more plausible, I think - although the issue will not be definitively resolved either way.

Perhaps by nearly sheer synchronicity (hehe) the latest episode of Skeptiko discusses AWARE. I'm about to listen to it now.

http://www.skeptiko.com/sam-parnia-aware-doomed-to-fai/

Trev

You wrote:

"Parnia has made relatively recent reference to at least one incredible(in his words) NDE which occured at Cornell. He only makes reference to it very briefly during a talk and doesn't give any detail whatsoever."

Can you please reference this? Do you have a video or a script or something of where he said this? I'm extremely interested.

As for you, Michael Prescott, I think you should stop looking at the evidential aspect for a while, and investigate the more interesting and *deep* NDEs. And this one, of course, is the absolute top-notch NDE _IMAGINABLE_:

http://www.allaboutchristian.com/spirituality/index.html

Just listen to the intro song, lol :)

Peace!

I think the brain oxygen measurements will yield more conclusive results (one way or the other).

I'm a little anxious negative results from AWARE could precipitate loss of academic interest in NDE's in the same way the null Benson data has caused intercessory prayer research to fall away.

Hi Hjortron,

If you go to www.Horizon research.org you will find the video on the right hand side of the screen. Unravelling the mystery of the self-Parnia and fenwick. If you have located the right video, Parnia should be wearing a black jacket and white shirt(very smart)and you need to go to part five to locate the comment which is about half way through.

Hi Hjortron,

If you go to www.Horizon research.org you will find the video on the right hand side of the screen. Unravelling the mystery of the self-Parnia and fenwick. If you have located the right video, Parnia should be wearing a black jacket and white shirt(very smart)and you need to go to part five to locate the comment which is about half way through.

On one hand, I think it would be nice if something good came out of this study such as evidence for non-local experiences.

On the other hand, nothing anyone could say will take my experience away from me. I won't change what I know or who I am. My NDE is a gift and a challenge that probably defines me more than any other experience that I've had. Nothing will change that.

Marty said:
"has anyone considered the fact that "The powers that be" may not want us to "Figure it out"...."

This was a suggestion made by Sunday night's guest on Coast to Coast AM, Jeffrey Kripal, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University, and author of Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred

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