Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scientific perspective on NDEs

I stumbled upon this article unexpectedly and thought that it was worth linking.

I haven't studied it in-depth, but it does seem to regard the near-death experience as a unique form of consciousness. A number of patients were interviewed in a clinical setting for this study, and researchers recorded a number of brief observations similar (in some respects) to those made the self-selected experiencers who publish on Internet forums like NDERF.org.

(Hypothetical question: would an ND experiencer be more inclined to tell the "whole story" in a clinical setting to a trained observer, or on a semi-open forum that is perceived as being more "welcoming"?  Or, are the majority of NDERF.org respondents embellishing and confabulating their accounts?)

The most interesting observation--to me--is this:

The finding that conscious awareness may be present during CA is intriguing and supports other recent studies that have indicated consciousness may be present in patients despite clinically undetectable consciousness.

The reason that it interests me is that in a large number of NDE accounts, cardiac arrest is the trigger that launches consciousness from the body, something that the researchers seem to implicitly recognize. It serves as a boundary between physical and non-physical consciousness.  In plain English, the study is admitting that "CA patients really are conscious, even though we can't measure this with our instruments."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Beyond Sight: The True Story Of A Near-Death Experience"

By Marion Rome

This small book is possible the best-written, detailed and objective NDE account that I've found. It's available only on the Amazon.com Kindle as a download and seems to be self-published. I'll admit to not expecting much when I started it... But Ms. Rome does a masterful job at describing the "classic" NDE. I plan to read it a couple more times.

(Full disclosure: I have another flu / cold, so I'm not my usual faux-erudite self.)

Any student of the classic NDE scenario comes to expect certain touchstones in the various accounts (which I've sort of glossed over in previous entries, figuring that I would come back to the topic eventually).

It's hard to pick out the best part of the book to cite, because, really, it's all good... But if I had to settle on one snippet to excerpt, this would be a good one:

I am convinced that this heavenly place is here. Our world and that other world where we go after we die are the exact same one. Only the dimensions are different. There is a physical dimension and then there is a spiritual one, of which we can only access very small parts during our bodily lives, due to that very physicality. Our body is nothing but an envelope that hosts our soul for our time in the earthly sphere and, most importantly, it is something that prevents us from seeing and experiencing the real world. We cannot see everything with our eyes, in the same way that we cannot access the deepest levels of our feelings and emotions. Our soul, on the other hand, once freed from the constraints of this body,  certainly can, and it can in a way beyond everything we can possibly imagine.

I am still processing Joe McMoneagle's "Mind Trek," and this seems as good a place as any to ask, "So, what's the difference between an NDE, an OOBE, and a remote viewing?"  Because they are discretely different states of consciousness. Or are they?  Maybe it comes down to the amount of conscious energy allotted to the experience, and where and how consciousness is focussed. As someone who's had more than a few OOBEs, I can verify--from personal experience--that both McMoneagle and Marion Rome are accurately describing "real" states of consciousness that are accessible here, and now.  You just have to drop your physical blinders a bit to glimpse that fantastical "greater" reality.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Do you believe in the supernatural? Then you're delusional...

Thus was this week's teaser from New Scientist, which intrigued me.  Unfortunately, the article is behind a paywall. But I've found a PDF of this week's issue, so I will see if I can find out if I am, in fact, delusional (assuming I hold any of the offending beliefs).

However--the author made a statement that echoes something I've said a few times: "Surprisingly large numbers of people also hold beliefs that a psychiatrist would class as delusional."  So--is the rightness of a belief determined by the majority?  Or by the scientist?  That's a red flag to me. Yet, I can't disagree with it.  Scientists are often right. (They are also often wrong.). In the end, I tend to agree with scientists who designate some beliefs as delusional. But only because they are held by people who are diagnosed as mentally ill. The belief, itself, may not be inherently delusional, but the believer may be, for a number of reasons. I make these sorts of distinctions... Does science?

I intend to find out.