Near-Death Experiences—A New Take on Life, Part 4: Brian Miller’s Case Challenges the Skeptics


The skeptics will say, of course, that Miller’s experience was a hallucination. But if so, when did the hallucination happen? Certainly not before the arrhythmia hit him, when he seemed fully recovered and did not speak of any such experiences. That leaves only—if it did not happen while he was brain-dead, when it “shouldn’t” have happened—the time while he was waking up.

Except that this is a case where the patient regained normal functioning suddenly and smoothly. Not to mention that other problem with skeptics’ claims about NDEs and hallucinations: that even in cases where people emerge from unconscious states more gradually, the hallucinations or mental imagery they undergo are disjointed and fragmentary, not lucid, coherent, and peacefully joyous like what Miller reports.

Miller also says—a very common feature of NDE cases—that the experience has changed his outlook: “There is an afterlife and people need to believe in it big-time.” If Miller’s is like numerous other documented NDE cases, he will keep affirming for the rest of his life that the experience was indubitably real, made him more spiritually oriented, and removed his fear of death.

That, of course, is not the sort of thing people say about hallucinations. Someone who keeps insisting that a hallucination was real, and revealed life-changing truths to him, probably needs psychiatric treatment.

As the NDE reports of a benign deity and a joyous afterlife keep accumulating, skeptics will have to come up with ever more adroit arguments to deny the reality of each and every case. Anything but entertain the possibility that something is going on here.