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Near-Death Experiences: Two Books Provide More Compelling Evidence

Too much to ignore, discount, or dismiss.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

June 23, 2013 - 9:00 am

PJ-NDE 2

Who are these NDE researchers? Fringe types? New Age gurus?

Far from it. Apart from Long the radiation oncologist, Dr. Pim van Lommel is a world-renowned Dutch cardiologist. Dr. Bruce Greyson is professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr. Michael Sabom is a cardiologist in private practice and on staff at two hospitals in Atlanta. Dr. Raymond Moody, sort of the patriarch of the field who first published the groundbreaking Life After Life in 1975, is a psychologist and medical doctor with PhDs in philosophy and psychiatry.

Where do they publish their studies of NDEs? Apart from widely read, sometimes bestselling books put out by major houses, Miller notes that by 2005 over 900 articles on NDEs had been published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals like Psychiatry, The Lancet, Critical Care Quarterly, Journal of Near-Death Studies, American Journal of Psychiatry, and British Journal of Psychology, Resuscitation and Neurology. Not bad. Even a nonscientific type like me knows that such journals are very rigorous about what they publish.

But most interestingly of all, far from having started out with a religious or spiritual agenda, most of the major NDE researchers affirm that they were skeptics before they started inquiring scientifically into NDEs. Van Lommel wrote:

I grew up in an academic environment where I was taught that there is a reductionist and materialist explanation for everything…. I had always accepted this as indisputably true…. That death is the end used to be my own belief.

Sabom’s aim in studying NDEs was to “refute them, to prove that they could be explained naturalistically” (my emphasis). But he ended up writing: “I have searched for such an explanation over the past five years and have not found one that is adequate.”

Another researcher, Dr. Melvin Morse, wrote after a three-year study of NDEs:

After looking at all the other explanations for near-death experiences, I think the simplest explanation is that NDEs are actually glimpses into the world beyond. Why not? I’ve read all the convoluted psychological and physiological explanations for NDEs, and none of them seem very satisfying.

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All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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From another perspective, consider the bond which appears to exist between identical twins. There are too many accounts of a twin being aware of or have a sympathetic experience to that of a distant twin to explain by what we know.

There is far more going on than we understand. And science may not be the best tool by which to understand it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I cannot look at this physical universe, its beautiful constructs, the vast scope and size, its incredibly intricacies, its power and majesty, and not stand in both awe and trepidation.

I recently watched a Nova special on our own sun and was taken by one scientist who looked upon the first findings from the new satellite as the results stunned the team and said, "I cannot fathom its complexity."

I have no doubt there is a God who created this beautiful universe and we cheat ourselves when we don't acknowledge His Hand in its creation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Too much to ignore, discount, or dismiss." Just watch the true unbelievers ignore, discount and dismiss it. In my own life I've had a vision while I was praying that exactly and precisely came true a week later. No coincidence at all. I also received the gift of praying in tongues when I was 21 years old. There is simply no rational explanation for the immediate ability to speak another language but it's my reality.

I find myself nonplussed by agnostic fundamentalism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had a NDE in the late 90s when I had kidney surgery. When the doctor told me that they had a very difficult time bringing me to, I asked him why he even bothered. The place I visited was wondrous, happy and populated with souls that welcomed me. The experience changed my life forever....and I no longer have a fear of death. My dad used to say that hell was here on Earth. He was correct.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The supernatural is by definition not subject to scientific proof.
The paranormal, which comprises inexplicable events in this world,
is, but study can only increase our understanding of _this_ world.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Given that we will all die eventually, what is the harm in believing there is an afterlife? There either is, or there isn't one. If the latter, then there is no loss incurred for being wrong- you won't know you were wrong.

I prefer to be hopeful, and won't expend one bit of vitriol on such believers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Full disclosure: I'm a devout Catholic.

I'm compelled to take mild exception to the use of the term "evidence" when applied to NDEs as "evidence for an afterlife." In the sciences (from which I come), evidence must be reproducible to within the limits of precision of the applicable equipment. That doesn't seem to be the case here, despite the commonalities reported by NDErs.

NDEs are suggestive of phenomena beyond that of the temporal, material world. I won't quarrel with that. But until we can use those experiences in a more rigorous way -- a way that will support prediction -- we must be appropriately restrained in our language and (of course) our inferences.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some predictions: Many people will keep having NDEs. Of those who consider themselves atheists or skeptics before they have NDEs, the large majority will turn into people who believe in an afterlife, and in most cases also a deity. NDEs will continue to profoundly affect almost all people who have them for the rest of their lives. Striking instances of corroborations will keep increasing as time goes on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Too much to ignore, discount, or dismiss."

I hate to be a poop, but one could also say this about flying saucers, ESP, and a lot of other phenomena with which we have fooled and entertained ourselves over the years. (This is not intended to be a claim that there is no after life.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Beloit,
All I can say is read "Proof of Heaven". It changed my reality. I think it's remarkable what Alexander reports.
One other point, Both Asante and Alexander are of the opinion that hell is a human construct, not a heavenly one. Think about that for a while.
Both authors indicate that what we do here on earth influences the revelations to come.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Consider that the universe is 14-1/2 billions years old and that simple life arose on earth within the first billion, that implies the universe is full of life. We simply lack the technology to find it or communicate with it.

Have we been visited by other space faring civilizations? Possibly. It doesn't at all unreasonable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not much has changed over the years since Heinlein noted that the evidence
for extraterrestrial visitors is overwhelming, as is the evidence for a rather unreliable human capability of Extra Sensory Perception.

Some years ago the CIA paid the SRI to investigate ESP: It is a real ability,
but it tends to drive its practitioners crazy, and there is something similar
to quantum indeterminacy involved; Attempts to use the results to affect
future events in the real world destroys the accuracy of the results.

Maybe the Space Aliens have found a way to use ESP; They are certainly
smarter and more evolutionarily adapted to technology than a bunch of apes
who came down from the trees last week and out of the caves yesterday.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Only a fool thinks this life is all there is or that that point of it is survival until procreation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've never had an NDE, but I do believe there is much more than this life. I believe that the human need to believe in something greater is just one proof of His existence. NDEs may be another.

The closest we have is a story around the death of my much-loved grandmother. A night or two before she passed, my aunt had a very vivid dream of my grandfather who had passed five years before walking through the fields of the farm where both had spent all their lives and my mom and aunt had grown up. As my aunt described it - "He was coming for mom, and it was all right."

As for everyone seeing the Being of Light, I believe we all stand before Him to be judged for our life at the end to be assigned our final places. If your deeds don't merit a place in His regard, what worse punishment would there be than to know love and acceptance like that once, for a few fleeting moments, and then be cast away from it for a time unspecified?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am open to the idea we may live repeatedly, learning and growing from each life experience.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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