1. People have NDEs while they are brain dead
Cardiologist Michael Sabom described a near-death experience that occurred while its experiencer – a woman who was having an unusual surgical procedure for the safe excision and repair of a large basilar artery aneurysm – met all of the accepted criteria for brain death. The unusual medical procedure involved the induction of hypothermic cardiac arrest, in order to insure that the aneurysm at the base of the brain would not rupture during the operation. The patient’s body temperature was lowered to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, her heartbeat and breathing ceased, her brain waves flattened, and the blood was completely drained from her head. Her electroencephalogram was totally flat… Read more
(1) Article: People Have NDEs While Brain Dead: The Case of Pam Reynolds
(2) Book: Light and Death: One Doctor’s Fascinating Account of Near-Death Experiences, by Michael Sabom
(3) Article: Further Analysis of the Veridical Element of Pam Reynolds’ NDE, by Ian Lawton
(4) Article: NDEs: Brain Physiology or Transcendental Consciousness? Or Both?, by Kevin Williams and Gerald Woerlee
2. Out-of-body perception during NDEs have been verified
Dr. Bruce Greyson documented perhaps one of the most compelling examples of a person who had an NDE and observed events while outside of his body which were later verified by others. The only way that these events could have been observed by the experiencer was if in fact he was outside of his body. Al Sullivan was a 55 year old truck driver who was undergoing triple by-pass surgery in 1988 when he had a powerful NDE including an encounter with his deceased mother and brother-in-law, who told Al to go back to tell one of his neighbors their son with lymphoma will live. Furthermore, during the NDE, Sullivan accurately noticed the surgeon, Dr. Hiroyoshi Takata, operating on him was “flapping his arms as if trying to fly” with his hands in his armpits. When he came back to his body after the surgery was over, Sullivan’s cardiologist was startled that Sullivan could describe Dr. Takata’s habit of arm flapping. It was Dr. Takata’s idiosyncratic method of keeping his hands sterile and pointing out to surgical instruments and giving instructions to surgical staff.
(1) Article: Do Any NDEs Provide Evidence for the Survival of Human Personality after Death? (PDF), by Cook, Greyson, et al
(2) Website: University of Virginia, Division of Perceptual Studies, Bruce Greyson
(3) Article: People See Verified Events While Out-Of-Body
(4) Book: The Near-Death Experience, Problems, Prospects, Perspectives, by Bruce Greyson, Charles Flynn, et al
(5) Video: Science and Postmortem Survival, by Bruce Greyson
(6) News: Scientists Validate Near-Death Experiences, ABC News
3. People born blind can see during an NDE
Dr. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper completed a two-year study into the NDEs of the blind. They published their findings in a book entitled “Mindsight” in which they documented the solid evidence of 31 cases in which blind people report visually accurate information obtained during an NDE. Perhaps the best example in his study is that of a forty-five year old blind woman by the name of Vicki Umipeg. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons… Read more
(1) Article: Near-Death and OBEs in the Blind: A Study of Apparent Eyeless Vision (PDF), by Kenneth Ring et al
(2) Article: People Born Blind Can See During an NDE, by Kenneth Ring
(3) Book: Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind, by Kenneth Ring
4. People have been clinically dead for several days
George Rodonaia underwent one of the most extended cases of a near-death experience ever recorded. Pronounced dead immediately after he was hit by a car in 1976, he was left for three days in the morgue. He did not return to life until a doctor began to make an incision in his abdomen as part of an autopsy procedure. Prior to his NDE he worked as a neuropathologist. He was also an avowed atheist. Yet after the experience, he devoted himself exclusively to the study of spirituality, taking a second doctorate in the psychology of religion. He then became an ordained priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He served as a pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Baytown, Texas. Rodonaia held an M.D. and a Ph.D. in neuropathology, and a Ph.D. in the psychology of religion. He delivered a keynote address to the United Nations on the “Emerging Global Spirituality.” Before emigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1989, he worked as a research psychiatrist at the University of Moscow.
(1) Article: Some People Have Been Dead For Several Days
(2) Video: Testimony of Dr. George Rodonaia, YouTube Video
(3) Book: Pathways To Peace: Understanding Death and Embracing Life, by Christine Spencer
5. People having NDEs have brought back scientific discoveries
Perhaps the best example of a person having an NDE and bringing back a scientific discovery from it is the NDE of Lynnclaire Dennis (www.mereon.org). Lynnclaire had an NDE where saw a complex geometric structure: a knot of Light she recognized to be “the energy of all matter,” “life itself,” “light”, as well as “time and space.” During her life review, a being of light told her she would be “a catalyst for change” and “for love” in the future. She refers to this knot of light as “The Pattern.” With no knowledge of mathematics or geometry, Lynnclaire provided a detailed description of this new dynamic structure which caught the attention of renowned University of Illinois Chicago knot theorist, Dr. Louis H. Kauffman, who identified it as a previously unknown version of the Trefoil knot: it is geospherical and polarized. The matrix generated by The Pattern was given the scientific name the “Mereon Matrix.” Top scientists around the world became attracted to it when its Prime Frequency derived by the mathematics – a “rational” golden ratio – generated the entire Matrix within the natural medium of water using a CymaScope. It is no stretch of the imagination to say this new mathematical discovery is the very science of life and living. The Mereon Matrix’s sequential process generates a coherent link to living and non-living systems whether they are physical, mathematical, philosophical, or social. The importance of this discovery – the elusive “Pattern of patterns” – is underscored by the fact that a 600+ page academic textbook was published about the Mereon Matrix in 2013 by Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of science and health information. This textbook entitled “The Mereon Matrix: Everything Connected Through (K)nothing” is the culmination of Lynnclaire being a catalyst for change and love as revealed in her NDE. The Mereon Matrix to currently helping humanity solve some of its most critical problems by offering a new way of systems modeling applicable across a multitude of sciences. It provides the world with an algorithm representing the unification of knowledge and gives a scientific framework charting the emergent growth process of systems. Astrobiologist Neville Nick Woolf used the Mereon Matrix to map the formation of matter starting with the Big Bang. The Mereon Matrix defines, and sequentially and dynamically unites, the fundamental forms we know to be the building blocks of matter: the Platonic and Kepler solids. In reference to physics, the Mereon Matrix is a 120/180 polyhedron with triangular faces – a geometric structure which may be the “mother” of all physical matter because it “breathes” and “births” new systems. At the center of the Mereon Matrix is a core structure that is a pattern match for theories about the structure of the nucleus of an atom. The Mereon Matrix is a dynamic process currently being used as a template for a Universal Systems Model. Modeling human clinical molecular genetics is the first example of this application. The Mereon Matrix is currently being explored in multiple scientific domains including alternative energy technologies, medical informatics and healing modalities.
(1) Article: Lynnclaire Dennis Near-Death Experience
(2) Article: The Science of Life Discovered From Lynnclaire Dennis’ Near-Death Experience
(3) Website: The Mereon Legacy CIC
(4) News: Elsevier Publishes a Scientific Textbook About a New Mathematical Discovery Found in a Near-Death Experience
(5) Book: The Mereon Matrix: Everything Connected Through (K)nothing, by Lynnclaire Dennis, et al
6. NDEs have produced visions of the future which later became true
Many people were given visions of the future during their near-death experience. Generally, these visions foretell a future of catastrophic natural disasters and social upheaval followed by a new era of peace and have actually already come to pass. Some of them did not happen as foretold. Many of these apocalyptic visions are to happen within the next few decades. Examples of events which have been foretold by the NDE visions of the future by Edgar Cayce include World War I & II, the 1929 Stock Market Crash, the fall of the Soviet Union and communism, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Desert Storm war against Iraq in 1990, and the 9/11 terrorist attack.
(1) Article: Some People Correctly Foresee the Future: Dannion Brinkley’s NDE
(2) Article: The NDE and the Future: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
(3) Article: Edgar Cayce on the Future
7. Groups of dying people share the same NDE
A rare type of NDE called the “group near-death experience” is a phenomenon where a whole group of people have an NDE at the same time and location. They see each other outside of their bodies and have a shared or similar experience. In 1996, NDE researcher Arvin Gibson interviewed a fire-fighter named Jake who had a most unusual NDE while working with other fire-fighters in a forest. What makes it unique is that it happened at the same time as several co-workers were also having an NDE. During their NDEs, they actually met each other and saw each other above their lifeless bodies. All survived and they verified with each other afterwards that the experience actually happened. Jake’s near-death experience was so interesting that Gibson’s local chapter of IANDS invited him to tell his story at one of their meetings. Another example of a group NDE is described in the IANDS publication Vital Signs (Volume XIX, No. 3, 2000) and is described in a greater way in Dr. Stephen Hoyer and May Eulitt’s book entitled “Fireweaver: The Story of a Life, a Near-Death, and Beyond.”
(1) Article: May Eulitt and Her Friends’ Group Near-Death Experience
(2) Article: John Hernandez and His Firefighting Co-Workers’ Group Near-Death Experience
(3) Article: Steven Ridenhour and His Girlfriend’s Group Near-Death Experience
(4) Article: Four Hospital Patients Group Near-Death Experience
8. NDEs cannot be explained by brain chemistry alone
Dr. Jeffrey Long (www.nderf.org) is a physician practicing the specialty of radiation oncology in Houma, Louisiana. Dr. Long served on the Board of Directors of IANDS, and is actively involved in NDE research. In his book, “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences,” Dr. Long documents a study he conducted – the largest scientific study of NDEs ever. It is based on his research of over 1,300 NDEs shared with NDERF. Using his treasure trove of data, Dr. Long explains how NDEs cannot be explained by brain chemistry alone, how medical evidence fails to explain them away and why there is only one plausible explanation – that people have survived death and traveled to another dimension. Dr. Long makes his case using nine lines of evidence and they are the following:
a. Crystal-Clear Consciousness: The level of conscious alertness during NDEs is usually greater than that experienced in everyday life – even though NDEs generally occur when a person is unconscious or clinically dead. This high level of consciousness while physically unconscious is medically unexplained. Additionally, the elements in NDEs generally follow the same consistent and logical order in all age groups and around the world, which refutes the possibility that NDEs have any relation to dreams or hallucinations.
b. Realistic Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs): OBEs are one of the most common elements of NDEs. Events witnessed and heard by NDErs while in an out-of-body state are almost always realistic. When the NDEr or others later seek to verify what was witnessed or heard during the NDE, their OBE observations are almost always confirmed as completely accurate. Even if the OBE observations include events occurring far away from the physical body, and far from any possible sensory awareness of the NDEr, the OBE observations are still almost always confirmed as completely accurate. This fact alone rules out the possibility that NDEs are related to any known brain functioning or sensory awareness. This also refutes the possibility that NDEs are unrealistic fragments of memory from the brain.
c. Heightened Senses: Not only are heightened senses reported by most who have NDEs, normal or supernormal vision has occurred in those with significantly impaired vision, and even legal blindness. Several people who have been totally blind since birth have reported highly visual NDEs. This is medically unexplainable.
d. Consciousness During Anesthesia: Many NDEs occur while the NDEr is under general anesthesia – at a time when any conscious experience should be impossible. While some skeptics claim these NDEs may be the result of too little anesthesia, this ignores the fact that some NDEs result from anesthesia overdose. Additionally, descriptions of a NDEs differ greatly from those people who experiences “anesthetic awareness.” The content of NDEs occurring under general anesthesia is essentially indistinguishable from NDEs that do not occur under general anesthesia. This is more strong evidence that NDEs occur independent from the functioning of the material brain.
e. Perfect Playback: Life reviews in NDEs include real events which previously occurred in the lives of the NDEr – even if the events were forgotten or happened before they were old enough to remember.
f. Family Reunions: During an NDE, the experiencer may encounter people who are virtually always deceased and are usually relatives of the NDEr. Sometimes they include relatives who died before the NDEr was even born. If NDEs are merely the product of memory fragments, they would almost certainly include far more living people, including those with whom they had more recently interacted.
g. Children’s Experiences: The NDEs of children, including very young children who are too young to have developed concepts of death, religion, or NDEs, are essentially identical to those of older children and adults. This refutes the possibility that the content of NDEs is produced by preexisting beliefs or cultural conditioning.
h. Worldwide Consistency: NDEs appear remarkably consistent around the world, and across many different religions and cultures. NDEs from non-Western countries are incredibly similar to those occurring in people in Western countries.
i. Aftereffects: It is common for people to experience major life changes after having NDEs. These aftereffects are often powerful, lasting, life-enhancing, and the changes generally follow a consistent pattern. NDErs themselves are practically universal in their belief that their experience of the afterlife was real.
(1) Article: Common Elements Are Found in NDEs, by P.M.H. Atwater
(2) Book: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry
9. The skeptical “dying brain” theory of NDEs has been falsified
Two competing hypotheses are advanced in a book by skeptic Susan Blackmore entitled Dying to Live and they are (1) The Afterlife Hypothesis and (2) Susan Blackmore’s Dying Brain Hypothesis. The Afterlife Hypothesis states spirit survives body death. The NDE is the result of spirit separating from the body. The Dying Brain Hypothesis states the NDE is an artifact of brain chemistry. According to the dying brain hypothesis, there is no spirit which survives body death. Skeptics who claim the author of Dying to Live is non biased are proven wrong; skeptics who claim she provides scientific proof are shown, by her own words, to be in error.
Because NDEs have many common core elements, this suggests that they are spiritual voyages outside of the body. Also, if the dying brain creates NDE illusions, what is the purpose for doing it? If our brains are only a high-tech computer-like lump of tissue which produces our mind and personality, why does it bother to create illusions at the time of death? If everything, including the mind and personality, are about to disintegrate, why would the brain produce a last wonderful Grand Finale vision? Even if NDE elements can be reduced to only a series of brain reactions, this does not negate the idea that NDEs are more than a brain thing.
(1) Article: A Critique of Susan Blackmore’s Dying Brain Hypothesis, by Greg Stone
(2) News: Science Can’t Yet Explain Near-Death Experiences, Reuters News
(3) News: No Medical Explanation For Near-Death Experiences, New Scientist News
10. Skeptical arguments against NDEs are not valid
Sociologist Dr. Allan Kellehear states that some scientific theories are often presented as the most logical, factual, objective, credible, and progressive possibilities, as opposed to the allegedly subjective, superstitious, abnormal, or dysfunctional views of mystics. The rhetorical opinions of some NDE theories are presented as if they were scientific (Kellehear, 1996, 120). Many skeptical arguments against the survival theory are actually arguments from pseudo-skeptics who often think they have no burden of proof. Such arguments often based on scientism with assumptions that survival is impossible even though survival has not been ruled out. Faulty conclusions are often made such as, “Because NDEs have a brain chemical connection then survival is impossible.” Pseudo-skeptical arguments are sometimes made that do not consider the entire body of circumstantial evidence supporting the possibility of survival or do not consider the possibility of new paradigms. Such pseudo-skeptical claims are often made without any scientific evidence.
(1) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
(2) Book: Experiences Near Death: Beyond Medicine and Religion, by Allan Kellehear
11. Quantum theory supports concepts found in NDEs
Principles of quantum physics and quantum mechanics supports concepts found in NDEs including a universal light (the Big Bang), a creator of the cosmos (Gödel’s incompleteness theorem), an omnipresent energy field (the “God particle” or Higgs field), a cosmic memory (holographic universe), a holistic oneness of all things (holographic principle), a conscious universe (fractal cosmology), panpsychism (quantum indeterminacy and emergence), collective unconscious (quantum consciousness), consciousness creating reality (Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle), telepathy (quantum entanglement), mind over matter (wave function collapse), synchronicity (space time continuum), mind/brain dualism (wave-particle duality), mind/body separation (quantum nonlocality), an immortal “soul” or consciousness (quantum immortality and the law of conservation of energy: energy can neither be created nor destroyed), out-of-body experiences (quantum superposition), astral body (bioelectromagnetics), bilocation (quantum coherence), the NDE tunnel (black holes and wormholes), multidimensional realms (string theory), a higher self (parallel universes), an invisible realm (dark energy), a Void realm (zero point field), a timeless realm (theory of relativity), entire lifetime memory (holonomic brain theory and Orch-OR), life review flashback (delayed choice quantum eraser experiments), life review flash-forward (many-worlds interpretation), instantaneous spirit travel (electricity teleportation and quantum tunnelling), reincarnation (omega point and quantum gravity), subjectivity as true reality (principle of complementarity), objective reality as illusionary (simulation hypothesis).
(1) Article: Quantum Theory Supports Near-Death Experiences
(2) Article: T. Lee Baumann’s NDE and Physics Research
(3) Article: Near-Death Studies and Modern Physics (PDF), by Craig Lundahl et al
(4) Article: Non-Local Effects in the Process of Dying: Can Quantum Mechanics Help? (PDF), by Peter Fenwick
(5) Article: A Quantum Biomechanical Basis for Near-Death Life Reviews, (PDF), by Thomas Beck et al
(6) Article: How the New Physics is Validating NDE Concepts, by C.D. Rollins
(7) Book: The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, by Fritjof Capra
(8) Book: The Physics of God: Unifying Quantum Physics, Consciousness, M-Theory, Heaven, Neuroscience and Transcendence, by Joseph Selbie
(9) Book: God at the Speed of Light: The Melding of Science and Spirituality, by T. Lee Baumann
(10) Book: The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life, by Evan Harris Walker
12. The transcendent nature of minds in NDEs corresponds with physics
New developments in quantum physics show we cannot know phenomena apart from the observer and how the observer plays a supreme role in creating reality. Arlice Davenport has challenged the hallucination theory of NDEs as outmoded because the field theories of physics now suggest new paradigm options available to explain NDEs. Mark Woodhouse says the traditional materialism/dualism battle over NDEs has already been solved by Einstein. Since matter can now be viewed as a form of energy, an energy body alternative to the material body can now explain NDEs. This is also supported by Dr. Melvin Morse who has described NDEs that are able to realign charges in the electromagnetic field of the human body and wiring of the brain. He reports on patients having NDEs who recover from diseases such as pneumonia, cardiac arrest, and cancer (Transformed by the Light, pp. 153-54) suggesting the brain acts more like a receiver of information much like a television, radio, or cell phone. Signals, such as voice or music, in the form of electromagnetic waves, are received by the brain and processed to make them audible to the senses. At death, the brain (receiver) dies; but consciousness (the signal), in the form of electromagnetic waves, continues to exist (in the airwaves).
(1) Article: Energy Monism: A Solution to the Mind-Problem that Connects Science and Spirituality, by Mark B. Woodhouse
(2) Book: Transformed by the Light: The Powerful Effect of Near-Death Experiences on People’s Lives, by Melvin Morse and Paul Perry
(3) Article: A Critique of Susan Blackmore’s Dying Brain Hypothesis, by Greg Stone
(4) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
13. NDEs support the “reducing valve” theory of consciousness
One particular theory of consciousness which is supported by NDE research involves the expansion after death. Stanislav Grof, a leading consciousness researcher, explained this theory in the documentary entitled “Life After Death” by Tom Harpur: “My first idea was that it [consciousness] has to be hard-wired in the brain. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how something like that is possible. Today, I came to the conclusion that it is not coming from the brain. In that sense, it supports what Aldous Huxley believed after he had some powerful psychedelic experiences and was trying to link them to the brain. He came to the conclusion that maybe the brain acts as a kind of reducing valve that actually protects us from too much cosmic input … I don’t think you can locate the source of consciousness. I am quite sure it is not in the brain – not inside of the skull … It actually, according to my experience, would lie beyond time and space, so it is not localizable. You actually come to the source of consciousness when you dissolve any categories that imply separation, individuality, time, space and so on. You just experience it as a presence.”
(1) Website: Official Website of Stanislav Grof
(2) Article: Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?, Scientific American
(3) Study: Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin, by Carhart-Harrisa, Erritzoea, et al
(4) Book: The Doors of Perception, (PDF), by Aldous Huxley
(5) Book: When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Realities, by Stanislav Grof
(6) Book: The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death, by Stanislav Grof
14. NDEs demonstrate the return of consciousness from death
An anecdotal example of evidence that a person’s consciousness leaves and returns to their body during an NDE comes from the research of Dr. Melvin Morse. Olga Gearhardt was a 63 year old woman who underwent a heart transplant because of a severe virus that attacked her heart tissue. Her entire family awaited at the hospital during the surgery, except for her son-in-law, who stayed home. The transplant was a success, but at exactly 2:15 am, her new heart stopped beating. It took the frantic transplant team three more hours to revive her. Her family was only told in the morning that her operation was a success, without other details. When they called her son-in-law with the good news, he had his own news to tell. He had already learned about the successful surgery. At exactly 2:15 am, while he was sleeping, he awoke to see his Olga, his mother-in-law, at the foot of his bed. She told him not to worry, that she was going to be alright. She asked him to tell her daughter (his wife). He wrote down the message, and the time of day and then fell asleep. Later on at the hospital, Olga regained consciousness. Her first words were “did you get the message?” She was able to confirm that she left her body during her near-death experience and was able to travel to her son-in-law to communicate to him the message. This anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the near-death experience is a return to consciousness at the point of death, when the brain is dying. Dr. Melvin Morse thoroughly researched Olga’s testimony and every detail had objective verification including the scribbled note by the son-in-law.
In June 2005, scientists of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research at the University of Pittsburgh announced that they succeeded in reviving dogs after three hours of clinical death. The procedure involved draining all the blood from the dogs’ bodies and filled them with an ice-cold salt solution. These dogs were scientifically dead, as their breathing and heartbeat were stopped and they registered no brain activity. But three hours later, their blood was replaced and they were brought back to life with an electric shock with no brain damage. A spokesman said the technique will eventually be tried on humans.
(1) Article: The Resurrection Men, ParamedicUK News
(2) Website: Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, University of Pittsburgh, PA
(3) Book: Parting Visions: Uses and Meanings of Pre-Death, Psychic, and Spiritual Experiences, by Melvin Morse
(4) Book: A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife, by Victor Zammit
(5) Book: Human Personality and Its Survival After Death, by Frederic W. H. Myers
15. Memories of NDEs are More Real Than Normal Memories
Researchers at the Coma Science Group, directed by Steven Laureys, and the University of Liege’s Cognitive Psychology Research, headed by Professor Serge Bredart and Hedwige Dehon, have demonstrated that the physiological mechanisms triggered during NDEs lead to a more vivid perception not only of imagined events in the history of an individual but also of real events which have taken place in their lives. These surprising results – obtained using an original method which now requires further investigation – were published in PLOS ONE. The researchers looked into the memories of NDEs with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDEs were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events. Their results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
(1) Article: Characteristics of NDEs Memories as Compared to Real and Imagined Events Memories
(2) Article: The Memories of NDEs: More Real Than Reality?
(3) Article: Features of NDE in relation to whether or not patients were near death, by Owens, Cook, et al
(4) Website: Coma Science Group
(5) Book: Near-death experiences, by Bruce Greyson, in Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, by Cardeña, Krippner, et al
16. Raymond Moody’s NDE study has been replicated
In 1975, Dr. Raymond Moody published a book entitled “Life After Life” which described his findings from his study on near-death experiences. Moody’s book became a bestseller and focused public attention on the NDE like never before. Moody recorded and compared the experiences of 150 persons who died, or almost died, and then recovered. Moody outlined nine elements that generally occur during NDEs: (1) hearing strange sounds, (2) feelings of peace, (3) feelings of painlessness, (4) out-of-body experiences, (5) experiencing a tunnel, (6) rising rapidly into the heavens, (7) seeing beings of light, (8) experiencing a life review, (9) a reluctance to return to the body. Dr. Ken Ring’s replicated this NDE study by Dr. Raymond Moody. Ring’s research conclusions include:
- Dr. Moody’s research findings are confirmed.
- NDEs happen to people of all races, genders, ages, education, marital status, and social class.
- Religious orientation is not a factor.
- People are convinced of the reality of their NDE experience.
- Drugs do not appear to be a factor.
- NDEs are not hallucinations.
- NDEs often involve unparalleled feelings.
- People lose their fear of death and appreciate life more after having an NDE.
- People’s lives are transformed after having an NDE.
(1) Book: Life At Death, by Kenneth Ring
(2) Article: Dr. Kenneth Ring’s NDE Research
(3) Website: The Official Site of Dr. Kenneth Ring
(4) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
17. NDEs have been validated in scientific studies
On October 23, 2000, The BBC reported: “Evidence of Life After Death” about a study in the UK conducted by Dr. Sam Parnia and others at the University of Southampton which provided scientific evidence suggesting the survival of consciousness after clinical and brain death. Then on June 29, 2001, ABC News reported: “Study Suggests Life After Death: Brains of Dead Heart Attack Patients Still Function” concerning the same study. These findings support other NDE evidence suggestive of life after death.
(1) News: Evidence of Life After Death, BBC News
(2) Study: University of Southampton NDE Study
(3) Book: What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death, by Sam Parnia
(4) Website: Horizon Research Foundation, Erasing Death, by Sam Parnia
(5) News: Soul-searching doctors find life after death, Telegraph UK
18. NDEs can be considered to be an objective experience
Carl Becker, Ph.D. received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 1981. He has researched NDEs in Japanese hospitals and literature for 30 years. Dr. Becker has published numerous books on bioethics, death and dying, and NDEs in both Japan and the United States. Currently, Dr. Becker is a Professor of Bioethics and Comparative Religion at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. Carl Becker examined four ways in which NDEs may be considered objective:
- Paranormal knowledge that is later verified
- The similarity of deathbed events in different cultures
- Differences between religious expectations and visionary experiences
- Third-party observations of visionary figures, indicating that they were not merely subjective hallucinations (Becker, 1984).
(1) Book: Paranormal Experience and Survival of Death, by Carl B. Becker
(2) Article: A Philosopher’s View of Near-Death Research (PDF), by Carl B. Becker
(3) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
19. Out-of-body experiences have been validated in scientific studies
In 1968, a paper by Dr. Charles Tart was published entitled “Psychophysiological Study of Out of the Body Experiences in a Selected Subject” which documented the out-of-body experience of a young woman who was one of his research subjects. What makes her particular out-of-body experience remarkable is that she was able to leave her physical body, read a 5-digit number from a significant distance, and correctly recall the number to Dr. Tart upon return to her body. The odds of guessing a 5-digit number correctly are 1 in 100,000. Her OBE is an outstanding example of “veridical out-of-body perception” – where verified events are observed while in an out-of-body state. Read more here..
(1) Study: Autoscopic Evidence: Dr. Charles Tart’s Out-of-Body Experience Research
(2) Study: Psychophysiological Study of Out-of-the-Body Experiences in a Selected Subject (PDF), by Charles Tart
(3) Book: The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bridging Science and Spirit Together, by Charles Tart
(5) Article: The NDE and Out-of-Body Experiences: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
20. The replication of OBEs satisfies the scientific method
In 2002, Neurologist Professor Olaf Blanke and colleagues at Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland were using electrodes to stimulate the brain of a female patient suffering from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. They found that stimulating one spot – the “God spot” – the angular gyrus in the right cortex – repeatedly caused out-of-body experiences. The doctors did not set out to achieve this out-of-body effect – they were simply treating the women for epilepsy. Apparently the increased electrical activity in the brain resulting from seizure activity (abnormal electrical activity in the brain), makes sufferers more susceptible to having near-death experiences. The doctors believe the angular gyrus plays an important role in matching up visual information and the brain’s touch and balance representation of the body. When the two become dissociated, an out-body-experience may result. Writing in the journal Nature, “Electrodes Trigger Out-of-Body Experiences,” the Swiss team said out-of-body experiences tended to be short-lived, and to disappear when a person attempts to inspect parts of their body (autoscopy). Professor Blanke told BBC News Online that “OBEs have been reported in neurological patients with epilepsy, migraine and after cerebral strokes, but they also appear in healthy subjects. Awareness of a biological basis of OBEs might allow some patients who suffer frequently from OBEs to talk about them more openly. In addition, physicians might take the phenomenon more seriously and carry out necessary investigations such as an EEG, MRI, and neurological examinations.” However, It must be pointed out that Blanke views OBEs as merely induced mental self-images and not an actual experience of consciousness separating from the physical body. Nevertheless, Blanke’s study does show that OBEs satisfy the scientific method as being a real phenomenon worthy of scientific research.
(1) News: Doctors Create Out-of-Body Sensations, BBC News
(2) Article: Out-of-Body Experiences and Brain Localisation, by Vernon M. Neppe
(3) Article: The Trigger of Brain Stimulation: Dr. Bruce Greyson’s NDE Research
21. Autoscopy during NDEs have been validated in scientific studies
Pim van Lommel led a 2001 study concerning the NDEs of research subjects who had cardiac arrest and the results were published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet.. The findings of the study suggests that research subjects can experience consciousness, with self-identity, cognitive function and memories, including the possibility of perception outside their body during a flat EEG. Those research subjects who had NDEs report that their NDE was a bonafide preview of the afterlife.
(1) Study: NDE in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, by Pim van Lommel, et al
(2) Website: Official Website of Pim van Lommel
(3) Article: About the Continuity of Our Consciousness, by Pim van Lommel
(4) Book: Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience, by Pim van Lommel
22. Experimental evidence shows NDEs are real experiences
Science demands verifiable evidence which can be reproduced again and again under experimental situations. Dr. Jim Whinnery, of the National Warfare Institute, thought he was simply studying the effects of G forces on fighter pilots. He had no idea he would revolutionize the field of consciousness studies by providing experimental proof that NDEs are real. The pilots were placed in huge centrifuges and spun at tremendous speeds. After they lost consciousness, after they went into seizures, after they lost all muscle tone, when the blood stopped flowing in their brains, only then would they suddenly have a return to conscious awareness. They had “dreamlets” as Dr. Whinnery calls them. These dreamlets are similar to near-death experiences and they often involved a sense of separation from the physical body. A typical dreamlet involved a pilot leaving his physical body and traveling to a sandy beach, where he looked directly up at the sun. The pilots would remark that death is very pleasant.
(1) Study: Acceleration Induced Loss of Consciousness: A Review of 500 Episodes (PDF), by James Whinnery
(2) Article: Loss of Consciousness and Near-Death Experiences, by James E. Whinnery
(3) Article: The Trigger of Gravity: Dr. James Whinnery’s NDE Research
23. Dream research supports NDEs and an afterlife
One of the strangest cases in the history of dream research is described in the documentary, The Secret World of Dreams. It describes the amazing story of a woman named Claire Sylvia. She was a professional dancer with several modern dance companies. As the years passed, Claire’s health began to deteriorate. Claire Sylvia had to undergo a heart and lung transplant. Soon after the transplant, she began having strange and incredibly vivid dreams about a young man she didn’t recognize. Eventually, Claire realized that the young man in her dreams was the eighteen-year-old organ donor whose heart and lungs resided in her chest. Through her continuing dream contacts with her donor, she learned a lot about him including his name. She then decided to do the research to find out if this “heavenly” information was correct.
Yale University Pediatric Cancer specialist Dr. Diane Komp reported that many dying children have NDEs which often occurred during dreams. One boy, for example, told Dr. Komp that Jesus had visited him in a big yellow school bus and told him he would die soon. The boy died as he predicted.
According to the celebrated psychiatrist and dream analyst, Marie Louise Von Franz, and based on her analysis of over 10,000 dreams of the dying, the meaning being communicated is that the light of the individual, one of the common metaphors for life that we’ve heard so often, goes out at death but is miraculously renewed on the other side. In other words, the spirit seems to live on. This dream then illustrates perfectly a profound insight of the great psychoanalyst and mentor of Dr. Von Franz, Carl Jung, MD, who has said: “The unconscious psyche believes in a life after death.” According to Jung, dream symbols which exist in the very depths of the soul behave as if the psychic life of the individual will continue. In Dr. Von Franz’ words: “These symbols depict the end of bodily life and the explicit continuation of psychic life after death. In other words, our last dreams prepare us for death.”
(1) Article: Dreams and the Near-Death Experience: A Connection to the Afterlife
(2) News: Precognitive Dreams, Science Frontiers
24. Deathbed visions supports NDEs and an afterlife
Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon has researched, in depth, the universal phenomenon of the Deathbed Vision (DBV) and has included her findings in her book, One Last Hug Before I Go. Complete with her own personal encounters, and those of numerous other DBV experiencers, this revolutionary work explores DBVs throughout history, from ancient Egypt to modern-day America. Through the visions and experiences common to all dying people, one can learn more about the spiritual journey that begins with death. According to recent studies, only about 10% of people are conscious shortly before their death. Of this group, 50% to 67% have DBVs.
(1) Article: Deathbed Visions, by Carla Wills-Brandon
(2) Website: Official Site of Carla Wills-Brandon
(3) Article: Deathbed Visions, by David Sunfellow
(4) Article: A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife, Chapter 20, by Victor Zammit
(5) Book: One Last Hug Before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Deathbed Visions, by Carla Wills-Brandon
25. Remote viewing supports NDEs and an afterlife
On April 23, 1984, the Washington Post reported: “The Race for Inner Space” about the CIA’s remote viewing program. On August 12, 1985, the Deseret News reported: “The United States is Still Involved in ESP-ionage.” Other media attention followed. One theory about how remote viewing works is that gifted or trained people can tap into a “Universal Mind.” NDE research also suggests the reality of a Universal or Collective Consciousness. Some of the most credible remote reviewers, such as Joseph McMoneagle, received their remote viewing powers from a near-death experience.
(1) Website: Official Site of Joseph McMoneagle
(2) News: The Race for “Inner Space”, Washington Post
(3) News: The United States is Still Involved in ESP-ionage, CIA
(4) Article: Remote Viewing, Wikipedia
26. People having NDEs are convinced they saw an afterlife
In 1977, Dr. Kenneth Ring was a brilliant young professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut who read Dr. Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life, and was inspired by it. However, he felt that a more scientifically structured study would strengthen Moody’s findings. He sought out 102 near-death survivors for his research. He concluded:
“Regardless of their prior attitudes – whether skeptical or deeply religious – and regardless of the many variations in religious beliefs and degrees of skepticism from tolerant disbelief to outspoken atheism – most of these people were convinced that they had been in the presence of some supreme and loving power and had a glimpse of a life yet to come.” (Dr. Kenneth Ring)
For the multitude of near-death experiencers who know they have left their bodies and received a glimpse of life after death, there is no amount of clinical explanation that will ever convince them otherwise
(1) Article: People Who Have NDEs are Convinced They Are Real
27. Atheists believe in an afterlife after having NDEs
Atheists have deathbed experiences and near-death experiences just like everyone else does. The philosophy of Positivism, founded by the famous atheist named A. J. Ayer, is the philosophy that anything not verifiable by the senses is nonsense. Because NDEs mark the end of the senses, Positivists believe the survival of the senses after death is nonsense. But this philosophy has been challenged by its founder A. J. Ayer himself. Later in life, Ayer had an NDE where he saw a red light. Ayer’s NDE made him a changed man: “My recent experiences, have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death … will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be.” (Ayer, 1988 a,b) (Read more about it from an article in the National Post and an article by Gerry Lougrhan: Can there be life after life? Ask the atheist! (by Gerry Lougrhan, Letter From London, March 18, 2001.)
A non-NDE example comes from Antony Flew, a champion of atheist beliefs for more than 50 years. In a news article titled “Atheist Discovers ‘The Science of God’“: “One of Britain’s most prominent atheists has decided that God might exist after all. Professor Antony Flew now believes there is scientific evidence supporting the theory of some sort of intelligence behind the creation the universe. Professor Flew, 81, a professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Reading, said that this was the only explanation for the origin of life … “I’m thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots – cosmic Saddam Husseins,” he said in his new video, “Has Science Discovered God?”
(1) Article: NDE Analysis of Atheists
(2) Article: Did Atheist Philosopher See God When He ‘Died’?
(3) Article: What I Saw When I Was Dead (PDF), by A. J. Ayers
(4) Article: Atheist Discovers “The Science of God”, Telegraph UK
28. Childhood NDEs are remarkably similar to adult NDEs
The NDE researcher P.M.H. Atwater has pointed out the fascinating anomaly that an amazing number of people important to the evolution of humankind may well have had such an episode during their childhood. She discusses this at length in both of her books, Future Memory and Children of the New Millennium. Some of the notable child NDEs she came across were Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth I, Edward de Vere/the 17th Earl of Oxford (who most likely is the real Shakespeare), Winston Churchill, Black Elk, Walter Russell, plus several others.
(1) Article: Children Have NDEs Similar To Adults: P.M.H. Atwater’s NDE Research of Children
(2) Article: Childhood Near-Death Experiences, P.M.H. Atwater’s Research
29. NDEs have been reported for thousands of years
Reports of near-death experiences are not a new phenomenon. A great number of them have been recorded over a period of thousands of years. The ancient religious texts such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Christian Bible, and the Koran describe experiences of life after death which remarkably resembles modern NDEs. The oldest surviving explicit report of an NDE in Western literature comes from the famed Greek philosopher, Plato, who describes an event in his tenth book of his legendary book entitled The Republic. Plato discusses the story of Er, a soldier who awoke on his funeral pyre and described his journey into the afterlife. But this story is not just a random anecdote for Plato. He integrated at least three elements of the NDE into his philosophy: the departure of the soul from the cave of shadows to see the light of truth, the flight of the soul to a vision of pure celestial being and its subsequent recollection of the vision of light, which is the very purpose of philosophy.
(1) Article: NDEs Have Been Reported Since Ancient Times: Plato’s Testimony of a Soldier Named Er and His NDE
30. The expansion of consciousness occurs during NDEs
The following NDE descriptions of consciousness expansion supports the theory of consciousness described above by Stanislav Grof. It theorizes that the brain acts as a reducing valve of cosmic input to produce consciousness. At death, this reducing-valve function ceases and consciousness is then free to expand. The following NDEs support this:
a. “I realized that, as the stream was expanding, my own consciousness was also expanding to take in everything in the Universe!” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)
b. “My mind felt like a sponge, growing and expanding in size with each addition … I could feel my mind expanding and absorbing and each new piece of information somehow seemed to belong.” (Virginia Rivers)
c. “In your life review you’ll be the universe.” (Thomas Sawyer)
d. “This white light began to infiltrate my consciousness. It came into me..It seemed I went out into it. I expanded into it as it came into my field off consciousness.” (Jayne Smith)
e. “My presence fills the room. And now I feel my presence in every room in the hospital. Even the tiniest space in the hospital is filled with this presence that is me. I sense myself beyond the hospital, above the city, even encompassing Earth. I am melting into the universe. I am everywhere at once.” (Josiane Antonette)
f. “I felt myself expanding and expanding until I thought, “I’m going to burst!” The moment I thought, “I’m going to burst!”, I suddenly found myself alone, back where this being had met me, and he had gone.” (Margaret Tweddell)
g. Susan had an out-of-body experience where she left her body and grew very big, as big as a planet at first, and then she filled the solar system and finally she became as large as the universe. (Susan Blackmore)
31. NDEs triggered by drugs satisfies the scientific method
Dr. Karl Jansen is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is the world’s leading expert on ketamine. He has studied ketamine at every level. While earning his doctorate in clinical pharmacology at the University of Oxford, he photographed the receptors to which ketamine binds in the human brain. He has published papers on his discovery of the similarities between ketamine’s psychoactive effects and the near-death experience during his study of medicine in New Zealand. Because there exists a biological basis for NDEs and a method to replicate NDEs, this satisfies the scientific criteria for NDEs being a real, scientific phenomenon. However, this is not to say there are no problems with comparing hallucinations with NDEs as will be shown later in this web page. Dr. Karl Jansen’s ketamine research findings include:
a. NDEs and ketamine produce identical visions (see Ketamine: Dreams and Realities).
b. NDEs and ketamine both induce real visions of a real god (see this Lycaeum.org article: Using Ketamine to Induce the NDE).
c. Ketamine affects the right temporal lobe, the hippocampus and associated structures in the brain, the “God” spot (see this online paper Can Science Replace Religion?).
d. NDEs are an important phenomenon that can safely be reproduced by ketamine (see How to Have an NDE).
(1) Book: Ketamine: Dreams and Realities (PDF), by Karl Jansen
(2) Article: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions: The NDE and Science
32. NDEs are different from hallucinations
NDEs are not a denial of reality, as is often seen in drug or oxygen deprivation induced hallucinations. There are not the distortions of time, place, body image and disorientations seen in drug induced experiences. They instead typically involve the perception of another reality superimposed over this one. For example, one young boy told Dr. Melvin Morse that “god took me in his hands and kept me safe” while medics were frantically trying to revived his body after a near drowning. He said and understood everything happening to him, but simply perceived something we usually don’t perceive at other times in our lives. German psychiatrist Michael Schroeter-Kunhardt in his extensive review of all published near death research states there is no reason to believe NDEs are the result of psychiatric pathology or brain dysfunction.
(1) Article: Dr. Melvin Morse’s NDE Expert Page
(2) Article: A Review of Near-Death Experiences, by Michael Schroeter-Kunhardt
(3) Article: Are NDEs Hallucinations?, by Kevin Williams
(4) Article: Is the NDE Only N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Blocking? (PDF), by Peter Fenwick
33. NDEs change people unlike hallucinations and dreams
No matter what the nature of the NDE, it alters lives. Alcoholics find themselves unable to imbibe. Hardened criminals opt for a life of helping others. Atheists embrace the existence of a deity, while dogmatic members of a particular religion report “feeling welcome in any church or temple or mosque.”
Nancy Evans Bush, president emeritus of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, says the experience is revelatory. “Most near-death survivors say they don’t think there is a God,” she says. “They know.” In 1975, when Raymond Moody published Life After Life, a book that coined the term “near-death experience” (NDE) to describe this hard-to-define phenomenon. Moody interviewed 150 near-death patients who reported vivid experiences (flashing back to childhood, coming face to face with Christ). He found that those who had undergone NDEs became more altruistic, less materialistic, and more loving.
Bruce Greyson and Ian Stevenson have been instrumental in gathering evidence indicating that religious backgrounds do not affect who is most likely to have an NDE. They have mapped out the conversion-like effects of NDEs that can sometimes lead to hardship. “They can see the good in all people,” Greyson says of people who have experienced the phenomenon. “They act fairly naive, and they often allow themselves to be opened up to con men who abuse their trust.” They have gathered reports of high divorce rates and problems in the workplace following NDEs. “The values you get from an NDE are not the ones you need to function in everyday life,” says Greyson. Having stared eternity in the face, he observes, those who return often lose their taste for ego-boosting achievement. Not even the diehard skeptics doubt the powerful personal effects of NDEs. “This is a profound emotional experience,” explains Nuland. “People are convinced that they’ve seen heaven.”
(1) News: Is There Life After Death? (PDF), U.S. News & World Report
(2) Article: Getting Comfortable With Near Death Experiences: An Overview of Near-Death Experiences, by Bruce Greyson
(3) Article: People Are Dramatically Changed By NDEs, by P.M.H. Atwater
34. NDEs have advanced the field of medical science
Another example of bringing back scientific discoveries resulting from an NDE comes from Mellen-Thomas Benedict. After his NDE, Mellen-Thomas Benedict brought back a great deal of scientific information concerning biophotonics, cellular communication, quantum biology, and DNA research. Mellen-Thomas Benedict currently holds eight U.S. patents and is always working on more. In a 2007 interview with Guy Spiro of Lightworks, Mellen-Thomas discusses this phenomenon:
“One of the things I did that got me a lot of attention was working with the University of Texas. I was brought in with Dr. Ken Ring and not told what it was going to be or any details whatsoever and I didn’t know anything until we entered the room. By the way, this was videotaped and recorded. At that time, I could do almost a self hypnosis and get to the light.
“So, the University of Texas sat me down and they said, ‘Today, we are going to be working on something call CNT.’ That was all the information that they gave me, that it was a medical problem, and then I did my technique. In those days, the only tools that I brought with me were a big pad of paper and large Crayola crayons. I could sit there, go to the light and still speak to you and draw pictures while seeing.
“With this experiment, I went to the light and asked ‘What information can we bring back?’ I almost immediately started drawing and I drew something that to me looked like two horse shoes. A big horse shoe facing down on the bottom and a smaller horse shoe facing up on top. I said, ‘The answer is in this upper horse shoe and it’s these three segments.’ I numbered them exactly and I said, ‘That’s where the problem is and the real problem is in this third piecing which is this thing.’ I was pointing out a gene, but I didn’t know any of that. And then I drew picture and I said, ‘There are two heads on it and one head is normal and the one that isn’t right is overriding the head that is. If we can figure out a way to cleave that head off, I think we can cure this.’
“It turns out that I was exactly right. I helped decode a genetic disease and the information was very accurate. Everybody thanked me and I went away. Then about three months later, I started getting letters and calls saying, ‘My God, you hit it right on the head! This is astounding. There is no way you could have had this information in advance.’ I did a fair number of projects like that and a fair number of think tanks, all of which you have to sign nondisclosures and promise to never talk about. I worked in a lot of think tanks with some very impressive world class scientists over the next ten years until I retired from all that in 1995.”
(1) Article: Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s Near-Death Experience
(2) Article: A Conversation With Mellen-Thomas Benedict, by Guy Spiro
35. NDEs have advanced the field of psychology
In a hospital in Switzerland in 1944, the world-renowned psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, had a heart attack and then a near-death experience. His vivid encounter with the light, plus the intensely meaningful insights led Jung to conclude that his experience came from something real and eternal. Jung’s experience is unique in that he saw the Earth from a vantage point of about a thousand miles above it. His incredibly accurate view of the Earth from outer space was described about two decades before astronauts in space first described it. Subsequently, as he reflected on life after death, Jung recalled the meditating Hindu from his near-death experience and read it as a parable of the archetypal Higher Self, the God-image within. Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology, centered on the archetypes of the collective unconscious. During his near-death experiences, he met the avatar of the physician who was treating him and was still living on Earth.
(1) Article: The Father of Analytical Psychology: Carl Jung’s Near-Death Experience
(2) Article: Analytical Psychology, Wikipedia
(3) Article: Category: Carl Jung, Wikipedia
(4) Book: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl G. Jung
(5) Website: The Jung Page and Center
36. NDEs have advanced the fields of philosophy and religion
Philosophies and religions were founded on NDEs. The famed Greek philosopher, Plato, described at the conclusion of his legendary work entitled The Republic, the NDE account of a soldier named Er which has greatly influenced religious, philosophical, and scientific thought for many centuries.. Plato integrated at least three elements of this NDE into his philosophy: (1) The departure of the soul from the “cave of shadows” to see the light of truth, (2) The flight of the soul to a vision of pure celestial being, (3) Its subsequent recollection of the vision of light, which is the very purpose of philosophy.
When it comes to religion, one NDE was responsible for making Christianity a world religion. The apostle Paul once persecuted Christians until he converted to Christianity himself because of an NDE which he described as follows: “I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this person – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that people are not permitted to tell. (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). In this letter, Paul based his authority as an apostle on this NDE. Some or all of his revelations of Jesus certainly came from this NDE. The inspiration of much of the New Testament can therefore be attributed to Paul’s NDE.
Tibetan Buddhism is a religion based upon the NDEs of “deloks” which are described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, whose actual title is “The Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Intermediate State” or “Bardo Thodol.” This holy book describes what happens after death and has striking parallels with modern NDEs. The Bardo Thodol is a guide that is read aloud to the dead while they are in the out-of-body state between death and reincarnation in order for them to recognize the nature of their mind and attain liberation from the cycle of rebirth. The Bardo Thodol teaches that once awareness is freed from the body, it creates its own reality as one would experience in a lucid dream. This dream occurs in various afterlife realms (bardos) in ways both wonderful and terrifying. Overwhelming peaceful and wrathful visions and beings appear. Because the deceased may be in a state of confusion due to its disconnection from its physical body, it might need help and guidance in order for enlightenment and liberation (Nirvana) to occur. The Bardo Thodol teaches how we can attain Nirvana by recognizing the heavenly realms instead of entering into the lower realms where the cycle of birth and rebirth continue.
(1) Article: NDEs Have Been Reported Since Ancient Times: Plato’s Testimony of a Soldier Named Er and His NDE
(2) Article: The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wikipedia
(3) Article: NDEs and Christianity: Testimonials of Those Who Have Seen Jesus
(4) Article: Moses’ Revelation’ on Mount Horeb as a Near-Death Experience (PDF), by Dov Steinmetz
(5) Article: Experiences of Soul Journeys in the World’s Religions: the Journeys of Mohammed, Saints Paul and John, Jewish Chariot Mysticism, etc. (PDF), by Roger Walsh
37. NDEs have the nature of an archetypal initiatory journey
Dr. Kenneth Ring believes NDEs can be viewed psychologically as archetypal initiatory journeys involving a death of one’s old ego and a rebirth of a new Self. In addition, he thinks an adequate interpretation must incorporate the spiritual realm of Kundalini experiences, the imaginal realm, and the Mind at Large. As Ring envisions in his essay in the book, The Near-Death Experience: A Reader, this shift in thinking will deconstruct our traditional Western worldview. It may bring a dramatic next step of evolution towards a more ecological and more compassionate consciousness.
(1) Article: Near-Death and UFO Encounters as Shamanic Initiations Some Conceptual and Evolutionary Implications, by Kenneth Ring
(2) Article: Carl Jung’s Near-Death Experience
(3) Article: Archetypal Near-Death Experiences, by Kevin Williams
(4) Article: Jung and the Beyond (PDF), by Eduard C. Heyning
(5) Article: On Life After Death (Analytical Psychology) (PDF), by Carl G. Jung
(5) Book: The Near-Death Experience: A Reader, by Lee W. Bailey, Jenny Yates
(6) Book: The Red Book (PDF), by Carl G. Jung
38. Contact with the deceased have occurred under scientific controls
On October 4, 1999, the University of Arizona announced a study conducted by Dr. Gary Schwartz: “UA Researchers Look Beyond the Grave” concerning scientific evidence supporting a theory of the existence of a Universal Living Memory. This was achieved by testing highly qualified psychic mediums to see if they could contact the dead. The success of this study is important in that it supports NDE research in providing a scientific foundation toward investigating the survival of consciousness after death.
(1) Article: Scientist Claims Proof of Afterlife
(2) Study: Accuracy and Replicability of After-Death Communication (HBO experiment), by Gary Schwartz, et al
39. Many people have experienced after-death communications
An after-death communication (ADC) is a spiritual experience that occurs when a person is contacted directly and spontaneously by a family member or friend who has died. During their seven years of research, Bill and Judy Guggenheim at www.after-death.com collected more than 3,300 firsthand reports from people who believe they have been contacted by a deceased loved one. Their book, Hello From Heaven, documents many such experiences.
(1) Article: After-Death Communications: Bill and Judy Guggenheim’s Research
(2) Article: Study Shows Psychic Mediums Really Can Read Your Deep Secrets
(3) Article: After-Death Communication Synchronicities From a Mother to Her Family – by Kevin R. Williams, B.Sc.
(4) Article: The Ghosts of Flight 401, by John G. Fuller
(5) Book: Hello from Heaven: A New Field of Research-After-Death Communication Confirms That Life and Love Are Eternal, by Bill and Judy Guggenheim
40. A transcendental “sixth sense” of the human mind exists
On September 11, 2003, new research by the Institute of Psychiatry caused British scientists to announce that there is convincing evidence that people are capable of paranormal feats, such as premonitions, telepathy, and out-of-body experiences. The British Association for the Advancement of Science was told an increasing number of experiments support the theory of a human “sixth sense” – an ability which may have its roots in our past, when the ability to sense the presence of a predator was a matter of life or death. The view that people are capable of paranormal feats, such as premonitions, telepathy, and out-of-body experiences, is supported by new research by the Institute of Psychiatry, which suggests the human mind may exist outside the body like an invisible magnetic field. The research is being led by Dr. Peter Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist at London University, who has just completed a survey of heart patients claiming to have had “near-death experiences” after their hearts had stopped beating.
(1) News: Study Into Near-Death Experiences Supports Theory of a Sixth Sense, Scotsman
(2) Article: Science and Spirituality: A Challenge for the 21st Century, by Peter Fenwick
(3) Book: The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of over 300 Near-Death Experiences, by Peter Fenwick
(4) Website: Horizon Research Foundation
41. The brain’s connection to a higher power has been validated
Dr. Melvin Morse is the former Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and has studied near-death experiences in children for over 15 years and is the author of several outstanding books on the subject. In his book, Where God Lives, Morse makes the case that a connection to the right temporal lobe of the brain (the “God Spot”) to a higher power or “force” in the universe has been validated in the merging of scientific and paranormal research. Such research includes the following:
a. Right temporal lobe activity verifies the reality of the brain’s connection to a higher power (see Where God Lives)
b. Memories can exist outside of the brain (see Holonomic Brain Theory, Holographic Principle, Orch-OR).
c. Evidence exists supporting the theory that consciousness exists in some form after death (see the NDE of Pam Reynolds).
d. People can exhibit supernatural powers after having an NDE (see Joseph McMoneagle and Remote Viewing).
e. The brain can be induced to have paranormal experiences (see The Trigger of Brain Stimulation).
f. Consciousness research supports the reality of discarnate consciousness (see Dr. Gary Schwartz HBO Study) and global consciousness (see The Global Consciousness Project).
g. Scientific evidence exists supporting the theory of reincarnation (see Dr. Ian Stevenson’s research).
(1) Book: Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe, by Melvin Morse, Paul Perry
(2) Article: Quantum Theory Supports Near-Death Experiences, by Kevin Williams
(3) Book: Light and Death: One Doctor’s Fascinating Account of Near-Death Experiences, by Michael Sabom
(4) Website: Official Website of Joseph McMoneagle
42. Apparitions of the dead have been induced under scientific controls
Dr. Raymond Moody, who became famous for his pioneering studies of NDEs, has been working on ways of inducing facilitated apparitions in a controlled setting. He took as his model classic works from ancient Greece which suggested that when people wished to contact a deceased loved one they consulted with an ‘oracle’ at a psychomanteum. A psychomanteum is a specially built laboratory using mirrors to help facilitate the psychic process. Part of the actual psychic process includes the sending of telepathic messages, sending vibrations – to the selected recipient in the afterlife. Moody has reconstructed the process with astonishing results – 85% of his clients who go through a full day of preparation do make contact with a deceased loved one – but not necessarily the one that they are seeking to meet. In most cases this occurs in his specially build psychomanteum but in 25% of cases it happens later in their own homes – the client wakes up and sees the apparition at the foot of the bed (Moody 1993:97). According to Dianne Arcangel, an associate of Dr. Moody, in some cases when contact is made with intelligences from the afterlife information is transmitted to reveal something that the person seeking contact does not know (1997). Moody gives full instructions on how to create your own psychomanteum in his book Reunions: Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones and on his Psychomanteum page.
(1) Book: Reunions: Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones, by Raymond Moody, Paul Perry
(2) Book: A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife, by Victor Zammit
(3) Article: The Trigger of Psychomanteum: Dr. Raymond Moody’s Psychomanteum Research
43. Studies show prayer to be effective under scientific controls
On October 25, 1999, BBC News reported: “Healing Power of Prayer Revealed” about a study at a university hospital in Kansas City, U.S. about scientific evidence of healing through the power of prayer. Then on June 5, 2000, BBC News reported: “Prayer Works as a Cure” about a different study conducted at the University of Maryland providing more evidence of healing through prayer. These findings support NDE research findings which demonstrates the reality of a transcendent consciousness. Dr. Larry Dossey has done extensive research on the efficacy of prayer and has written several excellent books on the subject.
(1) News: Prayer Works as a Cure, BBC News
(2) News: Healing Power of Prayer Revealed, BBC News
44. Scientific evidence of reincarnation supports an afterlife
On June 11, 1992, at Princeton University, Dr. Ian Stevenson presented a paper entitled: “Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to Wounds on Deceased Persons” providing scientific evidence suggestive of reincarnation which was published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. These findings support reincarnation in NDE research findings as well. Reincarnation has been called by some to be the greatest unknown scientific discovery today. In the last chapter of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s book entitled Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1967), he provides rigorous scientific reasoning to show how reincarnation is the only viable explanation that fits the facts of his study. He considers every possible alternative explanation for his twenty cases of young children who were spontaneously able to describe a previous lifetime as soon as they learned to talk. He was able to rule out each alternative explanation using one or more aspects of these cases. Later research has even bolstered his case in favor of the existence of reincarnation. His study is also completely reproducible which means that anybody who doubts the validity of this study is perfectly welcome to repeat it for themselves. I believe it is only a short matter of time before his discovery of the existence of reincarnation is finally realized by the scientific community and the world to be accepted as one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.
(1) Article: Can Reincarnation Be Proven? How Researchers Have Investigated Claims of Past Lives
(2) Article: Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to Wounds on Deceased Persons (PDF) by Ian Stevenson
(3) Article: Carol Bowman’s Library of Articles and Cases on Reincarnation
45. NDEs support the reality of reincarnation
Amber Wells was a student at the University of Connecticut and wrote a research paper based on her study of the near-death experience for her senior honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Ken Ring. Her paper was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in the fall of 1993. In her study, 70 percent of the group of near-death experiencers demonstrated belief in reincarnation. Claims have been documented by other researchers of direct knowledge of reincarnation which became available during the near-death experience itself. An example of this type out-of-body research of knowledge can be seen in a letter written to Dr. Ken Ring by John Robinson: “It is a matter of personal knowledge from what the being with whom I spoke during my near-death experience told me about my older son, that he had had 14 incarnations in female physical bodies previous to the life he has just had.”
(1) Article: Reincarnation Beliefs Among Near-Death Experiencers, by Amber Wells (PDF)
(2) Article: The NDE and Reincarnation: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
(3) Article: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy: Evidence of Reincarnation
46. Xenoglossy supports reincarnation and an afterlife
One of the most amazing psychic phenomena, which religionists, skeptics and atheists have continuously and deliberately ignored is xenoglossy – the ability to speak or write a foreign language a person never learned. After all other explanations have been investigated – such as fraud, genetic memory, telepathy and cryptomnesia (the remembering of a foreign language learned earlier), xenoglossy is taken as evidence of either memories of a language learned in a past life or of communication with a discarnate entity— a spirit person. There are many cases on record of adults and children speaking and writing languages which they have never learned. Sometimes this happens spontaneously but more often it occurs while the person is under hypnosis or in an altered state of consciousness. In some cases it is only a few words remembered but in other cases the person becomes totally fluent and able to converse with native speakers sometimes in obscure dialects which have not been in use for centuries. There are literally thousands of xenoglossic cases, many hundreds of which have been documented. They involve modern and ancient languages from all over the world. Psychic investigators, such the highly credible Dr. Ian Stevenson, used scientific method to illustrate xenoglossy and claim that there are only two possible explanations — either spirit contact or past life memory both of which are evidence for the afterlife.
(1) Article: A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife, Chapter 22, by Victor Zammit
47. Past-life regression supports reincarnation and an afterlife
Past life regression such as that practiced by Dr. Michael Newton, simply involves placing a person under hypnosis and asking them to go back through their childhood to a time before they were born. In many cases the person begins talking about his or her life or lives before the present lifetime, about their previous death and about the time between lives including the planning of the present lifetime. The main reason why at least some of these claims must be considered as evidence are:
a. The regression frequently leads to a cure of a physical illness.
b. In some cases the person regressed begins to speak an unlearned foreign language.
c. In some cases the person being regressed remembers details of astonishing accuracy which when checked out are verified by the top historians.
d. The emotional intensity of the experience is such that it convinces many formerly skeptical psychiatrists who are used to dealing with fantasy and imagined regressions.
e. In some cases the alleged cause of death in an immediate past life is reflected by a birthmark in the present life.
(1) Article: Michael Newton and the Journey of Souls
(2) Website: The Newton Institute for Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy
(3) Article: A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife, Chapter 24, Victor Zammit
48. The Scole Experiments supports NDEs and an afterlife
Victor Zammit is a lawyer who has collected a large body of evidence supporting the reality of an afterlife. Zammit has an excellent article concerning what many regard as the greatest afterlife experiment in the world. The evidence collected over a period of more than four years and with more than 500 sittings by the Scole Experiments and the afterlife team is absolute, definitive and irrefutable. Scole is a village in Norfolk, England. Using it as a base, mediums Robin and Sandra Foy and Alan and Diana Bennett and other experimenters produced brilliant evidence of the afterlife in England, the U.S. Ireland and in Spain. Their results are being repeated by other groups around the world and will convince even the toughest open-minded skeptic. The group began with two mediums delivering messages from a non-physical group. Many of these messages contained personal information that nobody else could know about. Soon the messages came in the form of voices which could be heard by all in the room. Then came the actual materialization of people and objects from the non-physical side.
(1) Article: The Scole Experiments Prove the Afterlife, by Victor Zammit
(2) Article: The Scole Investigation: A Study in Critical Analysis of Paranormal Physical Phenomena, by Montague Keen
49. Electronic voice phenomena supports NDEs and an afterlife
For more than 50 years, experimenters all over the world have been tape recording “paranormal voices” – voices which cannot be heard when a tape recorder is playing but which can be heard when the tape is played back. Many of these messages have been reported to be from loved ones who have passed on. Such messages would include the experimenter’s name and also answers to the experimenter’s questions. It is a phenomenon known as “EVP” or “electronic voice phenomenon” and there are thousands of researchers around the world researching this fascinating psychic phenomenon. This phenomenon is particularly relevant to evidence supporting the survival hypothesis because it follows strict scientific procedures and have been duplicated under laboratory conditions by various of researchers in many different countries.
Friedrich Jürgenson (pictured above) is considered to be the “The father of EVP” because he was the first to capture EVP successfully on a recording device. One particular recording changed his life forever. After playing back on of his recordings, he was shocked to hear his mother’s voice say “Friedel can you hear me. It’s mammy.” Friedrich’s mother had long ago passed away and the endearment he heard was used exclusively by her. Jürgenson was now convinced these unusual audio transmissions were voices from the afterlife. In 1964, Jürgenson published a book on his EVP research entitled “The Voices From Space.”
After reading Friedrich Jürgenson’s book, Dr. Konstantins Raudive (1909–1974), a Latvian psychologist who was a student of Carl Jung, meet with Jürgenson and conducted EVP experiments with him. As a result, in 1965, Raudive began to conduct his own EVP research and with the help of various electronics experts, Raudive recorded over 100,000 audiotapes, most of which were conducted using strict laboratory conditions. Raudive would confirm the accuracy of his recordings by inviting listeners to hear and interpret them. Over 400 people were involved in his EVP research and all heard the voices. This culminated in his 1968 book entitled “Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With the Dead.” Raudice’s research into EVP gave experimenters various methods for recording EVP’s including the EVP classification scale that is used by researchers today. The popular paranormal TV series called “Ghost Adventures” features an overwhelmingly number of convincing EVP recordings as they occur.
(1) Article: Konstantin Raudive and His ITC EVP Breakthrough
(2) Website: Association TransCommunication
(3) Website: World Instrumental Transcommunication
(4) TV Show: Ghost Adventures Home Page
(5) Book: Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With the Dead, by Konstant Raudive
50. Psychometry supports NDEs and an afterlife
According to Wikipedia.org, “psychometry” is a psychic ability in which the user is able to relate details about the past condition of an object or area, usually by being in close contact with it. The user could allegedly, for example, give police precise details about a murder or other violent crime if they were at the crime scene or were holding the weapon used. About.com’s Paranormal Phenomena website lists information about several of the most convincing psychometrists.
Stefan Ossowiecki, a Russian-born psychic, is one of the most famous psychometrists. Ossowiecki claimed to be able to see people’s auras and to move objects through psychokinesis. His psychic gifts enabled this chemical engineer to locate lost objects and missing people, and he assisted in several criminal investigations. In 1935, he participated in a test of his psychometric powers – a test devised by a wealthy Hungarian named Dionizy Jonky that involved a sealed package. Jonky stipulated that this test was to be conducted eight years after his death. (Jonky and Ossowiecki did not know each other.) First, 14 photographs of men were placed in front of Ossowiecki, one of which was of Jonky. Ossowiecki picked out the correct photo. Next, Ossowiecki accurately described many details of Jonky’s life and correctly identified the man who held the package for the past eight years. Finally, Ossowiecki was presented with the sealed package Jonky had prepared before his death. Ossowiecki touched the package and concentrated. “Volcanic minerals,” he said. “There is something here that pulls me to other worlds, to another planet.” Oddly, he also sensed sugar. Inside the package was a meteorite encased in a candy wrapper.
In later experiments, Ossowiecki performed remarkable psychometric feats with archeological objects – a kind of psychic archeology. These tests were conducted by Stanislaw Poniatowski, a professor of enthology at the University of Warsaw who could verify the accuracy of what Ossowiecki “saw.” While holding a 10,000-year-old piece of flint, Ossowiecki was able to describe in amazing detail the lives of the prehistoric people who made it. In other tests he provided similar descriptions of people who lived as long ago as 300,000 years. Some of the information he provided was not even known by experts at the time, but confirmed by discoveries years later!
Ossowiecki described his visions as being like a motion picture that he could watch, pause, rewind and fast-forward – like a videotape or DVD.
(1) Article: What You Need To Know About … Psychometry
(2) Article: The Ontario Canada Psychometry Experiment – An Ontario, Canada psychometry study.
(3) Book: A World In A Grain Of Sand: The Clairvoyance of Stefan Ossowiecki by Barrington, Stevenson, et al
51. Other anomalous phenomena supports an afterlife
Other anomalous phenomena supports the Afterlife Hypothesis including astral projection research such as that done by Jerry Gross. Also anomalous phenomena associated with the following:
- Deathbed Visions
- Quantum Theory
- Dream Research
- After-Death Communications
- Remote Viewing
- Consciousness Research
(1) Article: Jerry Gross’ Out-of-Body Research
(2) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions
52. The burden of proof has shifted to skeptics of an afterlife
All neurological theories concluding NDEs to be only a brain anomaly, must show how the core elements of the NDE occur subjectively because of specific neurological events triggered by the approach of death. These core elements include: the out-of-body state, paranormal knowledge, the tunnel, the golden light, the voice or presence, the appearance of deceased relatives, and beautiful vistas. Perhaps the final word should go to Nancy Evans Bush, a NDEr with the International Association for Near-Death Studies, who said: “There is no human experience of any description that can’t simply be reduced to a biological process, but that in no way offsets the meaning those experiences have for us – whether it’s falling in love, or grieving, or having a baby.”
(1) Article: International Association for Near-Death Studies Before the Millennium, by Nancy Evans Bush
(2) Article: The NDE and Science: Kevin Williams’ Research Conclusions