Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Near Death Experience

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"NDE" redirects here. For other uses, see NDE (disambiguation). "Near-death" redirects here. For other uses, see Near-death (disambiguation).
A near-death experience (NDE) refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body; feelings of levitation; extreme fear; total serenity, security, or warmth; the experience of absolute dissolution; and the presence of a light.
These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or otherwise very close to death, hence the term near-death experience. Many NDE reports, however, originate from events that are not life-threatening. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDEs has increased.[1] The experiences have been described in medical journals as having the characteristics of hallucinations,[2][3][4] while parapsychologists, religious believers and some mainstream scientists have pointed to them as evidence of an afterlife and mind-body dualism.[5][6][7][8]
Popular interest in near-death experiences was initially sparked by Weiss's 1972 The Vestibule, followed by Raymond Moody's 1975 book Life After Life[9][10] and the founding of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) in 1981.[11] According to a Gallup poll, approximately eight million Americans claim to have had a near-death experience.[12] Some commentators, such as Simpson,[13] claim that the number of near-death experiencers may be underestimated. People who have had a near-death experience may not be comfortable discussing the experience with others, especially when the NDE is understood as a paranormal incident.
NDEs are among the phenomena studied in the fields of psychology,[14] psychiatry,[15] and hospital medicine.[16][17]

Contents

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[edit] Characteristics


Ascent of the Blessed by Hieronymus Bosch is associated by NDE researchers with aspects of the NDE[18][19]
The earliest accounts of NDE can be traced to the Myth of Er, recorded in the 4th century BC by Plato's The Republic (10.614-10.621), wherein Plato describes a soldier telling of his near-death experiences.
Researchers have identified the common elements that define near-death experiences.[20] Bruce Greyson argues that the general features of the experience include impressions of being outside one's physical body, visions of deceased relatives and religious figures, and transcendence of egotic and spatiotemporal boundaries.[21] The experience may also follow a distinct progression, as illustrated below.
The traits of a classic NDE are as follows:
  • A sense/awareness of being dead.[20][22]
  • A sense of peace, well-being and painlessness. Positive emotions. A sense of removal from the world.[20][22][23]
  • An out-of-body experience. A perception of one's body from an outside position. Sometimes observing doctors and nurses performing medical resuscitation efforts.[20][22][23][24]
  • A "tunnel experience". A sense of moving up, or through, a passageway or staircase.[20][22][24]
  • A rapid movement toward and/or sudden immersion in a powerful light. Communication with the light.[22][23]
  • An intense feeling of unconditional love.[23]
  • Encountering "Beings of Light", "Beings dressed in white", or similar. Also, the possibility of being reunited with deceased loved ones.[20][23][24]
  • Receiving a life review.[20][22][23]
  • Receiving a "life preview" in the cases of George Ritchie and Betty Eadie, which Ring calls an NDE "Flash Forward".[25]
  • Receiving knowledge about one's life and the nature of the universe.[23]
  • A decision by oneself or others to return to one's body, often accompanied by a reluctance to return.[20][23][24]
  • Approaching a border.[22]
  • The notice of unpleasant sound or noise (claimed by R. Moody).[9]
  • Connection to the cultural beliefs held by the individual, which seem to dictate the phenomena experienced in the NDE and the later interpretation thereof (Holden, Janice Miner. Handbook of Near-Death Experiences. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publishing Data, 2009.).
  • Hearing music. According to a study conducted by Dr. Joel Funk, Psychology professor at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, close to fifty percent of people who have had a NDE remember hearing music.[26]
Kenneth Ring (1980) subdivided the NDE on a five-stage continuum. The subdivisions were:[27]
  1. Peace
  2. Body separation
  3. Entering darkness
  4. Seeing the light
  5. Entering the light
He stated that 60% experienced stage 1 (feelings of peace and contentment), but only 10% experienced stage 5 ("entering the light").[28]
Clinical circumstances associated with near-death experiences include cardiac arrest in myocardial infarction (clinical death); shock in postpartum loss of blood or in perioperative complications; septic or anaphylactic shock; electrocution; coma resulting from traumatic brain damage; intracerebral hemorrhage or cerebral infarction; attempted suicide; near-drowning or asphyxia; apnea; and serious depression.[29] In contrast to common belief, Kenneth Ring argues that attempted suicides do not lead more often to unpleasant NDEs than unintended near-death situations.[30]
The distressing aspects of some NDEs are discussed more closely by Greyson and Bush.[31] Karlis Osis and his colleague Erlendur Haraldsson argued that the content of near death experiences does not vary by culture, except for the identity of the figures seen during the experiences;[32] however Yoshi Hata and his team reported NDEs with substantially different contents than those described above.[33]

[edit] Research

Contributions to the research on near-death experiences have come from several academic disciplines, among these the disciplines of medicine, psychology and psychiatry. Interest in this field of study was originally spurred by the research of such pioneers as Jess Weiss, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, George Ritchie, and Raymond Moody Jr. Moody's book Life After Life, which was released in 1975, brought public attention to the topic of NDEs.[20] This was soon to be followed by the establishment of the International Association for Near-death Studies (IANDS) in 1981. IANDS is an international organization that encourages scientific research and education on the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual nature and ramifications of near-death experiences. Among its publications are the peer-reviewed Journal of Near-Death Studies and the quarterly newsletter Vital Signs.[11]
Later researchers, such as Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring, and Michael Sabom, helped to launch the field of Near-Death Studies and introduced the study of near-death experiences to the academic setting. The medical community has been reluctant to address the phenomenon of NDEs, and grant money for research has been scarce.[11] Nevertheless, both Greyson and Ring developed tools usable in a clinical setting. Major contributions to the field include Ring's construction of a "Weighted Core Experience Index"[34] to measure the depth of the near-death experience, and Greyson's construction of the "Near-death experience scale"[35] to differentiate between subjects that are more or less likely to have experienced an NDE. The latter scale is also, according to its author, clinically useful in differentiating NDEs from organic brain syndromes and nonspecific stress responses.[35] The NDE-scale was later found to fit the Rasch rating scale model.[14] Greyson[36] has also brought attention to the near-death experience as a focus of clinical attention, while Melvin Morse, head of the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and colleagues[24][37] have investigated near-death experiences in a pediatric population.
Neurobiological factors in the experience have been investigated by researchers in the field of medical science and psychiatry.[38] Among the researchers and commentators who tend to emphasize a naturalistic and neurological base for the experience are the British psychologist Susan Blackmore (1993), with her "dying brain hypothesis",[39] and the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, Michael Shermer (1998). More recently, cognitive neuroscientists Jason Braithwaite (2008)[40] from the University of Birmingham and Sebastian Dieguez (2008)[41] and Olaf Blanke (2009)[42] from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland have published accounts presenting evidence for the brain-based nature of near death experiences.
In September 2008, it was announced that 25 U.K. and U.S. hospitals would examine near-death studies in 1,500 heart attack patient-survivors. The three-year study, coordinated by Sam Parnia at Southampton University, hopes to determine if people without heartbeat or brain activity can have an out-of-body experience with veridical visual perceptions.[43] This study follows on from an earlier 18-month pilot project.[44] On a July 28, 2010 interview about a recent lecture at Goldsmiths,[45] Parnia asserts that "evidence is now suggesting that mental and cognitive processes may continue for a period of time after a death has started" and describes the process of death as "essentially a global stroke of the brain. Therefore like any stroke process one would not expect the entity of mind / consciousness to be lost immediately". He also expresses his disagreement with the term 'near death experiences' because "the patients that we study are not near death, they have actually died and more over it conjures up a lot of imprecise scientific notions, due to the fact that [death] itself is a very imprecise term".[46]
Researcher Lakhmir Chawla at George Washington University medical centre in Washington D.C. argues that near-death experiences are caused by a surge of electrical activity as the brain runs out of oxygen before death. Levels were similar to those seen in fully conscious people, even though blood pressure was so low as to be undetectable, and could generate vivid images and feelings. The gradual loss of brain activity had occurred in the approximate hour before death, and was interrupted by a brief spurt of action, lasting from 30 seconds to three minutes. Sam Parnia refuted this explanation, claiming that Lakhmir Chawla had not provided proof that the electrical surges he recorded were linked to near-death experiences, saying: "Since all the patients died, we cannot tell what they were experiencing".[47]
Among the scientific and academic journals that have published, or are regularly publishing, new research on the subject of NDEs are Journal of Near-Death Studies, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, British Journal of Psychology, American Journal of Disease of Children, Resuscitation, The Lancet, Death Studies, and the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

[edit] Variance in NDE studies

The prevalence of NDEs has been variable in the studies that have been performed. According to the Gallup and Proctor survey in 1980-1981, of a representative sample of the American population, data showed that 15% had an NDE.[48] Knoblauch in 2001 performed a more selective study in Germany and found that 4% of the sample population had experienced an NDE.[49] The information gathered from these studies may nevertheless be subject to the broad timeframe and location of the investigation.
Perera et al., in 2005, conducted a telephone survey of a representative sample of the Australian population, as part of the Roy Morgan Catibus Survey, and concluded that 8.9% of the population had experienced an NDE.[50] In a more clinical setting, van Lommel et al. (2001), a cardiologist from Netherlands, studied a group of patients who had suffered cardiac arrests and who were successfully revived. They found that 62 patients (18%) had an NDE, of whom 41 (12%, or 66% of those who had an NDE) described a core experience.
According to Martens[51] the only satisfying method to address the NDE-issue would be an international multicentric data collection within the framework for standardized reporting of cardiac arrest events. The use of cardiac-arrest criteria as a basis for NDE research has been a common approach among the European branch of the research field.[17][52]

[edit] Biological analysis and theories

The first formal neurobiological model for NDE was presented in 1987 by Chilean scientists Juan Sebastián Gómez-Jeria and Juan Carlos Saavedra-Aguilar from the University of Chile.[53] In the 1990s, Rick Strassman conducted research on the psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT) at the University of New Mexico.[54][55][56] Strassman advanced the theory that a massive release of DMT from the pineal gland prior to death or near-death was the cause of the near-death experience phenomenon. Only two of his test subjects reported NDE-like aural or visual hallucinations, although many reported feeling as though they had entered a state similar to the classical NDE. His explanation for this was the possible lack of panic involved in the clinical setting and possible dosage differences between those administered and those encountered in actual NDE cases. All subjects in the study were also very experienced users of DMT and/or other psychedelic/entheogenic agents. Some speculators consider that if subjects without prior knowledge on the effects of DMT had been used during the experiment, more volunteers would have reported NDE.
Critics have argued that neurobiological models often fail to explain NDEs that result from close brushes with death, where the brain does not actually suffer physical trauma, such as a near-miss automobile accident. Such events may however have neurobiological effects caused by stress.
In a new theory devised by Richard Kinseher in 2006, the knowledge of the Sensory Autonomic System is applied in the NDE phenomenon. His theory states that the experience of looming death is an extremely strange paradox to a living organism; as a result whereof, during the NDE, the individual becomes capable of "seeing" the brain performing a scan of the whole episodic memory (even prenatal experiences), in order to find a stored experience comparable to the information of death. All these scanned and retrieved data are permanently evaluated by the mind searching for a coping mechanism of the potentially fatal situation. Because people who experience NDEs report the experience of memories long considered lost, this theory necessarily depends upon a theory of memory in which all memories are indefinitely retained.
The theory also states that out-of-body experiences, accompanied by NDEs, are an attempt by the brain to create a mental estimation of the situation and the surrounding world. The brain then transforms the input from sensory organs and stored experience (knowledge) into a dream-like idea about oneself and the surrounding area. This, in turn, depends on a subconscious function of the sensory organs, rather than a total sensory loss.
Whether or not these experiences are hallucinatory, they have a profound impact on the observer. Many psychologists not necessarily pursuing the paranormal, such as Susan Blackmore, have recognized this, and seek its biological cause.[57]
According to Engmann,[58] near-death experiences of people who are clinically dead are psychopathological symptoms caused by a severe malfunction of the brain resulting from the cessation of cerebral blood circulation. An important question is whether it is possible to "translate" the bloomy experiences of the reanimated survivors into psychopathologically basic phenomena, e.g. acoasms, central narrowing of the visual field, autoscopia, visual hallucinations, activation of limbic and memory structures according to Moody's stages. The symptoms suppose a primary affliction of the occipital and temporal cortices under clinical death. This basis could be congruent with the thesis of pathoclisis—the inclination of special parts of the brain to be the first to be damaged in case of disease, lack of oxygen, or malnutrition—established eighty years ago by C. and O. Vogt.[59] According to that thesis, the basic phenomena should be similar in all patients with near-death experiences. But a crucial problem is to distinguish these basic psychopathological symptoms from the secondary mental associated experiences which may result from a reprocessing of the basic symptoms under the influence of the person's cultural and religious views.
Research released in 2010 by University of Maribor, Slovenia had put near-death experiences down to high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood altering the chemical balance of the brain and tricking it into 'seeing' things.[47] Of the 52 patients, 11 reported NDEs. [60][61]
An article by Netherlands researchers Pim van Lommel et al., argues, "With a purely physiological explanation such as cerebral anoxia for the experience, most patients who have been clinically dead should report one."[17] Accordingly, a lack of predictable experiences should cast doubt on wholesale explanations of NDEs. According to Southampton University researcher Sam Parnia, "Death starts when the heart stops beating, but we can intervene and bring people back to life, sometimes even after three to four hours when they are kept very cold. It could be that a far higher proportion of people have near-death experiences but don't remember them."[47]

[edit] REM state

It is suggested that the extreme stress caused by a life threatening situation triggers brain states similar to REM sleep and that part of the near death experience is a state similar to dreaming while awake.[62] People who have experienced times when their brains behaved as if they were dreaming while awake are more likely to develop the near death experience. Further stimulation of the Vagus nerve during the physical and/or psychological stress of a life threatening situation, or the product of the imperiled brain, and may trigger brain conditions where the person is in a dream-like state while awake.[63][64][65][66]

[edit] Lucid dreaming

Some sleep researchers, such as Timothy J. Green, Lynne Levitan and Stephen LaBerge, have noted that NDE experiences are similar to many reported of lucid dreaming, wherein the individual realizes he is in a dream. Often these states are so realistic as to be barely distinguishable from reality.
In a study of fourteen lucid dreamers performed in 1991, people who perform wake-initiated lucid dreams operation (WILD) reported experiences consistent with aspects of out-of-body experiences such as floating above their beds and the feeling of leaving their bodies.[67] Due to the phenomenological overlap between lucid dreams, near-death experiences, and out-of-body experiences, researchers say they believe a protocol could be developed to induce a lucid dream similar to a near-death experience in the laboratory.[68]
Other similarities include seeing oneself from the outside (an out of body experience), floating or flying, heightened awareness, and feelings of joy or peace. Some researchers believe this is caused when the mind is deprived of the majority of its senses and relies on the expectational processing. In this regard one experiences what one would expect to happen in their current circumstance. This could explain experiences caused by mental trauma such as a near miss accident in which the mind may close itself off at least partially to the senses and ones caused by physical trauma in which again the mind closes itself off to the world.[citation needed] At present, there exists no clear physiological or psychological basis for any relationship between lucid dreaming and NDEs.

[edit] Computational psychology

Modeling of NDEs using artificial neural networks has shown that some aspects of the core near-death experience can be achieved through simulated neuron death.[69][70][71][72] In the course of such simulations, the essential features of the NDE, life review, novel scenarios (i.e., heaven or hell), and OBE are observed through the generation of confabulations or false memories, as discussed in Confabulation (neural networks). The key feature contributing to the generation of such confabulatory states are a neural network's inability to differentiate dead from silent neurons.[73] Memories, whether related to direct experience, or not, can be seeded upon arrays of such inactive brain cells.

[edit] Van Lommel studies

The first clinical study of near-death experiences (NDEs) in cardiac arrest patients was by Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist from the Netherlands, and his team (The Lancet, 2001).[17] Of 344 patients who were successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest, approximately 18% experienced "classic" NDEs, which included out-of-body experiences. The patients remembered details of their conditions during their cardiac arrest despite being clinically dead with flatlined brain stem activity. Van Lommel concluded that his findings supported the theory that consciousness continued despite lack of neuronal activity in the brain. Van Lommel conjectured that continuity of consciousness may be achievable if the brain acted as a receiver for the information generated by memories and consciousness, which existed independently of the brain, just as radio, television and internet information existed independently of the instruments that received it.[16]
Van Lommel et al., reported that 62 of the 344 patients with cardiac arrest reported a near-death experience. Of these 62, 50% reported an awareness or sense of being dead, 24% said that they had had an out-of-body experience, 31% recalled moving through a tunnel, whilst 32% described meeting with deceased people. Moreover, while near-death experiencers commonly report feelings of peace and bliss, only 56% associated the experience with such positive emotions. No patients reported a distressing or frightening NDE.[22]

[edit] Effects

NDE subjects have increased activity in the left temporal lobe.[3] NDEs are also associated with changes in personality and outlook on life.[20] Kenneth Ring has identified a consistent set of value and belief changes associated with people who have had a near-death experience. Among these changes one finds a greater appreciation for life, higher self-esteem, greater compassion for others, a heightened sense of purpose and self-understanding, desire to learn, elevated spirituality, greater ecological sensitivity and planetary concern, and a feeling of being more intuitive. Changes may also include increased physical sensitivity; diminished tolerance of light, alcohol, and drugs; a feeling that the brain has been "altered" to encompass more; and a feeling that one is now using the "whole brain" rather than a small part.[20] However, not all after-effects are beneficial[74] and Greyson[75] describes circumstances where changes in attitudes and behavior can lead to psychosocial and psychospiritual problems.[76] Often the problems are those of the adjustment to ordinary life in the wake of the NDE.

[edit] Afterlife viewpoints

Many view the NDE as the precursor to an afterlife experience, claiming that the NDE cannot be adequately explained by physiological or psychological causes, and that the phenomenon demonstrates that human consciousness can function independently of brain activity.[77] Many NDE-accounts seem to include elements which, according to several theorists, can only be explained by an out-of-body consciousness. Michael Sabom reports a woman who underwent surgery for an aneurysm, and who reported an out-of-body experience that she claimed continued through a brief period of the absence of any EEG activity. [78][78] In another account, from a prospective Dutch NDE study,[17] a nurse removed the dentures of an unconscious heart attack victim, and was identified by him as the one who removed them, although patient was in a coma and undergoing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation at the time.
Many individuals who experience an NDE see it as a verification of the existence of an afterlife.[79] This includes those with agnostic/atheist inclinations before the experience. There are examples of ex-atheists, such as the Reverend Howard Storm,[80] adopting a more spiritual viewpoint after their NDEs. Storm's NDE may also be characterized as a distressing near-death experience.[81]
Jeffrey Long, a scientist practicing the specialty of radiation oncology, has claimed after his own study that life does indeed unequivocally exist after death, arguing that medicine simply cannot account for the consistencies in the accounts reported by people all over the world having experiences, which he cites as "generally lucid" and "highly organized", and saying that his work is an important step toward bringing science and religion together.[82] Likewise, individuals who do not experience an NDE after cardiac arrest lost interest in spirituality, although their fear of death also decreased.[17] Both processes, like most of the psychological transformations associated with a close brush with death, take place over several years.[17]
Greyson claims that: "No one physiological or psychological model by itself explains all the common features of NDE. The paradoxical occurrence of heightened, lucid awareness and logical thought processes during a period of impaired cerebral perfusion raises particular perplexing questions for our current understanding of consciousness and its relation to brain function. A clear sensorium and complex perceptual processes during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the brain."[83]
A recent study by Sam Parnia suggests that such patients are "effectively dead", having no neural activity of those necessary for dreaming or hallucination; additionally, to rule out the possibility that near-death experiences resulted from lack of oxygen, Parnia rigorously monitored the concentrations thereof in the patients’ blood, and found that none of those who underwent the experiences had low levels of oxygen. He was also able to rule out claims that unusual combinations of drugs were to blame because the resuscitation procedure was the same in every case, regardless of whether they had a near-death experience or not. According to Parnia, "Arch sceptics will always attack our work. I’m content with that. That’s how science progresses. What is clear is that something profound is happening. The mind – the thing that is ‘you’ – your ‘soul’ if you will - carries on after conventional science says it should have drifted into nothingness." [84][85]
A few people feel that research on NDEs occurring in the blind can be interpreted to support an argument that consciousness survives bodily death. Kenneth Ring claims in the book Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind that up to 80% of his sample studied reported some visual awareness during their NDE or out of body experience.[86]
The NDE is often cited as evidence for the existence of the human soul, the afterlife, and heaven and hell, which appear in religious traditions. On the other hand, skeptical commentators view NDEs as neurological and chemical phenomena occurring in the brain, and thus the result of purely physiological and neurobiological mechanisms. The imagery in the experiences also varies within cultures.[87][88][89]
Recent research into afterlife conceptions across cultures by religious studies scholar Gregory Shushan [90] analyzes the afterlife beliefs of five ancient civilizations (Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt, Sumerian and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, Vedic India, pre-Buddhist China, and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica) in light of historical and contemporary reports of near-death experiences, and shamanic afterlife "journeys". It was found that despite numerous culture-specific differences, the nine most frequently recurring NDE elements also recur on a general structural level cross-culturally, as if to suggest that the authors of these ancient religious texts were familiar with NDE or similar. Cross-cultural similarity, however, can be used to support both religious and physiological theories, for both rely on demonstrating that the phenomenon is universal. Others dispute in favor of cultural similarities; [91] and others suggest that the experience is essentially universal, but altered in detail by cultural bias.[92]

[edit] Personal experiences (Self-reported)

  • Return from Tomorrow by George G. Ritchie with Elizabeth Sherrill (1978). George G. Ritchie held positions as president of the Richmond Academy of General Practice; chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Towers Hospital; and founder and president of the Universal Youth Corps, Inc. He lived in Virginia. At the age of twenty, George Ritchie died in an army hospital. Nine minutes later he returned to life. Ritchie's story was the first contact Raymond Moody (who was studying at the University of Virginia, as an undergraduate in Philosophy, at the time) had with NDEs. It inspired Moody to investigate over 150 cases of near-death experiences, in his book Life After Life, and two other books that followed.
  • In 1990, Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer suffered a heart attack while playing polo, leaving him clinically dead for six minutes. He later said of the incident, "I've been to the other side, and let me tell you son, there's fucking nothing there."[93][94]
  • Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie (1992). One of the most detailed near-death experiences on record.
  • Saved by the Light by Dannion Brinkley. Brinkley's experience documents one of the most complete near death experiences, in terms of core experience and additional phenomena from the NDE scale. Brinkley claims to have been clinically dead for 28 minutes and taken to a hospital morgue, but that claim and other claims by him are disputed.
  • Placebo by Howard Pittman (1980). A detailed record of Pittman's near-death experience.
  • The Darkness of God by John Wren-Lewis (1985), Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Psychical Research No 5. An account of the far-reaching effects of his NDE after going through the death process several times in one night.
  • Two have associated their experiences with their decision to join the Bahá'í Faith. Reinee Pasarow has presented her experiences and an extended talk which was filmed Part 1, Part2, with a partial transcript, analyzed from a religious point of view in a commentary and analyzed as part of the paper The Exploration of Life After Death. Pasarow was interviewed by Kenneth Ring. The second is Ricky Bradshaw whose story has been reviewed in several books.[95][96][97]
  • Anita Moorjani, an ethnic Indian woman from Hong Kong, experienced a truly remarkable NDE which has been documented on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website as one of the most exceptional accounts on their archives. She had end-stage cancer and on February 2, 2006, doctors told her family that she only had a few hours to live. Following her NDE, Anita experienced a remarkable total recovery of her health.[98]
  • Goldie Hawn, while giving a speech at the Buell Theater in Denver, Colorado, reflected upon her near-death experience. When she was younger, and starting out as an actress, she and a group of friends were in a severe car crash together. While she was unconscious, she remembers looking over herself while the paramedics were trying to revive her. She also mentioned seeing a bright light and being told it was not her time soon before she awoke.
  • Kiki Carter, a.k.a. Kimberli Wilson, an environmental activist and singer/songwriter, reported a near-death experience in 1983. The day after the experience, her mother, Priscilla Greenwood, encouraged her to write it down. Priscilla Greenwood published the story in September 1983 in a local metaphysical journal. For 24 hours after the experience, Kimberli had an aftervision which was a catalyst for her interest in quantum physics and holograms.[99]
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper, is Piper's account of his own near-death experience. EMTs on the scene determined Piper had been killed instantly after a tractor-trailer had swerved into his lane, crushing his car. Piper survived, however, and later claimed that he saw loved ones and friends as well as magnificent light; he felt a sense of pure peace. Piper had a very difficult and painful recovery, undergoing 34 surgeries.[100]
  • Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo, is a father's account of his son, Colton, and Colton's trip to heaven and back. After discovering that Colton's appendix has ruptured, he was rushed to the hospital. Unconscious, Colton alleges to have met Jesus, God, his great-grandfather whom he had never met, and his older sister lost in a miscarriage.[101]
  • Parallel Universes, a Memoir from the Edges of Space and Time by Linda Morabito Meyer is a NASA scientist's account of several near death experiences at the hands of her parents and William Franklin Mosley of the Temple of the More Abundant Life in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The author claimed that during these experiences, she visited Heaven, saw Jesus, and was in the presence of God. [102]

[edit] In popular culture

  • The 2001 novel Passage (hardcover, ISBN 0-553-11124-8), by Connie Willis, follows the efforts of Joanna Lander, a research psychologist, to understand the phenomenon of NDEs by interviewing hospital patients after they are revived following clinical death. She becomes the partner of Dr. Richard Wright, a neurologist who has discovered a way to chemically induce an artificial NDE. Their studies lead Joanna to the discovery of the biological purpose of NDEs.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

Notes
  1. ^ Beauregard, Mario; Denyse O'Leary (2007). "Toward a Nonmaterialist Science of Mind". The Spiritual Brain. New York: HarperOne. pp. 368. ISBN 978-0-06-085883-4.
  2. ^ Buzzi, Giorgio. "Correspondence: Near-Death Experiences." Lancet. Vol. 359, Issue 9323 (June 15, 2002): 2116-2117.
  3. ^ a b Britton, Willoughby B. and Richard R. Bootzin. "Near-Death Experiences and the Temporal Lobe." Psychological Science. Vol. 15, No. 4 (April 2004): 254-258.
  4. ^ Blackmore, Susan: Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences (1993). London, Grafton.
  5. ^ Grossman, Neil (Indiana University and University of Illinois), Who's Afraid of Life After Death? Why NDE Evidence is Ignored, Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), 2002
  6. ^ Fontana, David (Cardiff University and Liverpool John Moores University), Does Mind Survive Physical Death?, 2003
  7. ^ London Telegraph, 10/22/2000 article: Soul-searching doctors find life after death, about Drs. Peter Fenwick and Sam Parnia studies of heart attack survivors
  8. ^ Carter, Chris: Science and the Near-Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death (2010). Toronto, Inner Traditions. ISBN 1-59477-356-4
  9. ^ a b Moody, R. (1975) Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon - Survival of Bodily Death. New York: Bantam
  10. ^ Duane S. Crowther (2005). Life Everlasting Cedar Fort, p. 19.
  11. ^ a b c IANDS. "Near-Death Experiences: Is this what happens when we die?" Durham: International Association for Near-Death Studies. Informational brochure available at www.iands.org
  12. ^ Mauro, James "Bright lights, big mystery".Psychology Today, July 1992.
  13. ^ Simpson SM. (2001) Near death experience: a concept analysis as applied to nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Nov;36(4):520-6. PubMed abstract PMID 11703546
  14. ^ a b Lange R, Greyson B, Houran J. (2004) "A Rasch scaling validation of a 'core' near-death experience". British Journal of Psychology, Volume: 95 Part: 2 Page: 161-177
  15. ^ Greyson, Bruce (2003), "Near-Death Experiences in a Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic Population", Psychiatric Services, Dec., Vol. 54 No. 12. The American Psychiatric Association.
  16. ^ a b van Lommel, Pim (Hospital Rijnstate),"A Reply to Shermer: Medical Evidence for NDEs" in Skeptical Investigations, 2003. [1]
  17. ^ a b c d e f g van Lommel P, van Wees R, Meyers V, Elfferich I. (2001) "Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands" in The Lancet, December 15; 358(9298):2039-45. PDF version of article
  18. ^ Pim van Lommel (2010). Consciousness Beyond Life: The science of the near-death experience. HarperOne. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-06-177725-7.
  19. ^ Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino (1997). On the Other Side of Life: Exploring the phenomenon of the near-death experience. Perseus Publishing. p. 203. ISBN 0-7382-0625-3.
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  26. ^ "The NDE and Music " by Kevin Williams
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  30. ^ Ring, Kenneth. Heading toward Omega. In search of the Meaning of Near-Death Experience, 1984, p. 45. "Subsequent research on suicide-related NDEs by Stephen Franklin and myself [Ring] and by Bruce Greyson has also confirmed my earlier tentative findings the NDEs following suicide attempts, however induced, conform to the classic prototype."
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  36. ^ Greyson B. (1997)"The near-death experience as a focus of clinical attention". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. May;185(5):327-34. PubMed abstract PMID 9171810
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  38. ^ Mayank and Mukesh, 2004; Jansen, 1995; Thomas, 2004; Fenwick and Fenwick 2008
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  45. ^ Anomalistics Psychology Research Unit - Invited Speaker Series 2009-10 Abstracts and biographies
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  49. ^ Knoblauch, H., Schmied, I. and Schnettler, B. (2001). "Different kinds of Near-Death Experience: a report on a survey of near-death experiences in Germany",Journal of Near-Death Studies, 20, 15-29.
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  53. ^ J.C. Saavedra-Aguilar and Juan S. Gómez-Jeria. "A Neurobiological Model for Near-Death Experiences". Journal of Near-Death Studies, 7(4) Summer 1989. Pp. 205-222. http://200.89.70.78:8080/jspui/handle/2250/14775
  54. ^ Rick Strassman (with Slawek Wojtowicz, Luis Eduardo Luna and Ede Frecska), "Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies", 376 pages, Park Street Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-59477-224-5
  55. ^ Rick Strassman, DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, 320 pages, Park Street Press, 2001, ISBN 0-89281-927-8
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  57. ^ Bruce Greyson, Kevin Nelson, Susan Blackmore, webpage:News-wdeath11-2006-04.
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  99. ^ Kimberli Wilson
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[edit] Further reading

  • Atwater, P.M.H. (2007) "The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die". Hampton Roads Publishing. ISBN 978-1-57174-547-7
  • Blackmore, Susan (1993) Dying to live: Science and Near-Death Experiences. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-87975-870-7
  • Blanke, Olaf; Ortigue, Stéphanie; Landis, Theodor; Seeck, Margitta (2002) Stimulating illusory own-body perceptions. The part of the brain that can induce out-of-body experiences has been located. Nature, Vol. 419, 19 September 2002
  • Britton WB & Bootzin RR. (2004) Near-death experiences and the temporal lobe. Psychol Sci. Apr;15(4):254-8.PubMed abstract PMID 15043643
  • Carter, Chris (2010) Science and the Near-Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death Toronto, Inner Traditions. ISBN 1-59477-356-4
  • Corazza, Ornella (2008) Near-Death Experiences: exploring the mind-body connection. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-45519-0
  • Cowan, J. D. (1982) Spontaneous symmetry breaking in large-scale nervous activity. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 22, 1059-1082.
  • Father Rose, Seraphim (1980) The Soul after Death. Saint Herman Press, ISBN 0-938635-14-X
  • Fenwick, Peter and Elizabeth (2008) The Art of Dying. Continuum Books, ISBN 978-0-8264-9923-3
  • Greyson, B. (2000) Some neuropsychological correlates of the physio-kundalini syndrome. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 32, 123-134.
  • Holcroft, Christopher J. (2011) Finding Thomas. Infinity Publishing, ISBN 0-7414-6475-6
  • Jansen, Karl L. R. (1995) Using ketamine to induce the near-death experience: mechanism of action and therapeutic potential. Yearbook for Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness (Jahrbuch furr Ethnomedizin und Bewubtseinsforschung) Issue 4 pp55–81.
  • Kübler-Ross, Elizabeth M.D. (1991) On Life After Death. Celestial Arts, ISBN 978-1587613180
  • Moody, R. (1977) Reflections on Life After Life: More Important Discoveries In The Ongoing Investigation Of Survival Of Life After Bodily Death. New York: Bantam
  • Moody, R. (1999) The Last Laugh: A New Philosophy of Near-Death Experiences, Apparitions, and the Paranormal. Hampton Roads Publishing Company
  • Morse, Melvin & Perry, Paul (1992) Transformed by the Light. New York: Villard Books, ISBN 978-0679404439
  • Morse, Melvin, & Paul Perry (1990) Closer to the Light: Learning From the Near-Death Experiences of Children. New York: Villard Books, ISBN 0394579445
  • Peake, Anthony (2006) Is There Life After Death? Chartwell Books in USA & Arcturus in UK, ISBN 978-0785821625
  • Pinchbeck, Daniel (2002) Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. Broadway Books, trade paperback, 322 pages. ISBN 978-0767907422
  • Pravda (2004) Reanimators try to grasp the afterlife mystery. Pravda article 21.12.2004. (Article translated by: Maria Gousseva)
  • Raaby et al. (2005) Beyond the Deathbed. Norwich: Jarrold Publishing.
  • Rivas T. (2003). The Survivalist Interpretation of Recent Studies into the Near-Death Experience. Journal of Religion and Psychical Research, 26, 1, 27-31.
  • Rodrigues, Linda Andrade (2004) Ex-atheist describes near-death experience. Standard Times, Page C4, January 31, 2004
  • Shushan, Gregory (2009) Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations Universalism, Constructivism and Near-Death Experience. New York & London, Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-4073-0
  • Strassman, Rick (2001) DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, 320 pages, Park Street Press, 2001, ISBN 0-89281-927-8
  • Thomas, Shawn (2004) Agmatine and Near-Death Experiences. Article published at www.neurotransmitter.net
  • Thondup, Tulku, Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth: A Tibetan Buddhist Guidebook with a CD of Guided Meditations",Publisher: Shambhala; Pap/Com edition (December 12, 2006), ISBN 1-59030-385-7 (10), ISBN 978-1-59030-385-6 (13)
  • Gómez Jeria, Juan Sebastián: A Near-Death Experience Among the Mapuche People. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 11(4) Summer, 1993. http://200.89.70.78:8080/jspui/handle/2250/14861
  • Gómez Jeria, Juan Sebastián: A Near-Death Experience in Pu Songling's 8trange Stories from Liaozhai's 8tudio. Journal of Near·Death Studies, 25(2), Winter, 2006. http://200.89.70.78:8080/jspui/handle/2250/14883
  • Gómez Jeria, Juan Sebastián and Saavedra Aguilar, Juan Carlos: A Neurobiological Model lor Near-Death Experiences:The Problem of Recall of Real Events. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 13(2), Winter, 1994. http://200.89.70.78:8080/jspui/handle/2250/14887.
  • Saavedra Aguilar, Juan C. and Gómez Jeria, Juan Sebastián. Response to Commentaries on "A Neurobiological Model for Near-Death Experiences". Journal of Near-Death Studies, 7(4) Summer 1989. http://200.89.70.78:8080/jspui/handle/2250/14776

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