Skip to comments.Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research
Posted on 09/17/2011 3:16:55 PM PDT by NYer
DURHAM, N.C.—Grandma was just resuscitated. She wakes up and tells you a bizarre story of coming out of her body and going to heaven. Has she developed psychosis? Was her brain damaged from the lack of oxygen?
After over 30 years of research, scientists have concluded that this is not the case. Instead, they think that this phenomenon is something today’s science is yet to understand, and that it is an opportunity for the advancement of science.
The phenomenon was coined near-death experiences (NDEs) in the 1975 book “Life After Life” by Raymond Moody, M.D. and Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology. NDEs generally include cognitive, affective, paranormal, and transcendental experiences.
Examples of NDEs include experiencing a change in one’s perception and way of thinking, feeling peace or calmness, gaining extrasensory perception (ESP), going through a review of one’s life and seeing the effects of one’s actions on others, a feeling of leaving the body, seeing deceased people and other beings such as angels, and feeling as if one has entered another dimension.Greyson believes that NDEs are an indication that the mind is independent of the brain because impaired brain functions would be expected during the clinical situation that the NDErs underwent, but his research found no corresponding impairment of mental functions in NDErs.
“In most cases, people’s mental functioning is better in the NDE than [it] is during our normal waking life,” Greyson said during an interview with The Epoch Times.
“Their thinking is faster, is clearer, is more logical, they have more control over their chain of thought, their senses are more acute, their memories are more vivid.
“If you ask somebody about their near-death experience that happened 15 years ago, they tell it as if it happened yesterday. If you ask them [about] other experiences from their life at the same time, they are very fuzzy memories, if they have any at all.
“[…] When you think that these experiences, which are characterized by enhanced thought processes [that] takes place when the brain is not functioning well or sometimes not functioning at all since it is in cardiac arrest or deep anesthesia—times when brain science would tell us that you shouldn’t be able to think or perceive or form memories—it becomes quite clear that we can’t explain this thing on the basis of brain physiology.”
Another phenomenon related to NDEs is shared death experiences, in which a person close to a dying person experiences something with the same characteristics as NDEs.
Moody first heard about shared death experiences in 1972 from a medical professor of his. The professor’s mother had a cardiac attack, and when she was trying to resuscitate her mother, she felt herself leaving her body and saw her body resuscitating her mother. As her mother died, she saw her mother in spirit form, and the spirit met some beings, some of whom she could recognize as people whom her mother had known. Then, her mother and the other people were sucked into a tunnel.
After over 30 years of research, Moody estimates that shared death experiences are as common as NDEs. As he studied more of these cases over the years, he found that the features of shared death experiences are similar to those of NDEs.
One of the most common features of shared death experiences is that the shared death experiencer sees the spirit of the dying person, which appears as a transparent replica of the person, or an oval or sphere of light leaving from the head or chest of the dying person’s physical body, Moody told The Epoch Times in an interview.
Sometimes, the bystander would also experience the life review of the dying person. A woman in Georgia was documented as having talked with her husband’s spirit as she saw his life review when he was dying, and she also saw a being that identified herself as the miscarried daughter she and her husband had lost.
Moody thinks that shared death experiences act as strong evidence for the view that the mind exists independently of the brain, because the people experiencing them are in no way having impaired brain functions at the time.
“All of the features that I identify as the initial near-death experiences that I studied years ago are also present in people who have these experiences at the bedside, who incidentally are not ill or injured,” Moody said during his presentation at the conference.
“There’s nothing wrong with the oxygen flow to their brains, and yet they have identically the same experiences that I hear from people who did come close to death.”
After an aortic dissection and 8 hours on ice with a body temp of 65 degree’s while it was repaired to save my life, I guess I am damned because there were no lights, nothing and after 8 hours it was like one seconds time for semi-comfortable to trying to pull a respirator away from me post-op in the dark.
I posted something similar to this on another Website, but I know when I was dying in the ER, I don’t remember seeing any lights, dead relatives, nor do I recall floating above myself. I remember dark, blackness, and quiet. Maybe when people say hell is the absence of God, that is what they mean.
Amazing and TRUE!! When You come back, You see a beauty and Amazement in Life that can only be created by the Supreme Artist and Creator of Our Infinite Universe of Beauty!
Our Loving and All Powerful GOD!
I know a man in his eighties that had one of these when he was about eight. He is still clear minded, but he describes this experience with a clarity that matches this story. I don’t know what it was, but something happened.
Shortly before my grandmother passed away at 100, she was in the hospital bed and talking to her siblings who had passed away before her. I believe they were welcoming her home.
Clintoon remembers black ugly vermin crawlin all over him during his heart failure! I usually don’t believe a word this Criminal says, but on this quote from Clintoon, I totally believe his words 1000%!
After 3 heart attacks, dad had an “electrical malfunction” of his heart and was declared dead, even to the point where his fingers were curling indicating that if they were able to resuscitate, he would probably suffer brain damage.
They did resuscitate, he did not have brain damage and he remembers nothing of the incident. We asked.
I wish he could have told us wonderful stories of how he almost made it to heaven but he remembered nothing.
“I remember dark, blackness, and quiet. Maybe when people say hell is the absence of God, that is what they mean.”
That would scare the crap out of me. How have you dealt with it since?
Over the years, I have been interested in things of this sort, and have read/listened to many interviews on the subject.
One very telling thing is that more than once, actually more than twice, I’m not sure how many times, I’ve heard people who actually work in the medical profession say something like “It’s just an unspoken subject. Everybody knows something happens when people die, sometimes they will see the spirit leaving the body, other things happen. But we just do not talk about it.”
And a couple times I heard things like this, it wasn’t the guy who comes and empties the trash cans, it was highly trained and experienced cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists, that sort of thing.
Who knows? I had a kind of traumatic experience when my wife passed that has haunted me to this day...
I have not heard that ... hmmm .
Many moons ago, while in college, I wrote a paper about NDE’s and have had a keen interest since. For thirty plus years I hoped to meet someone who had experienced it. On the day of my mom’s funeral a stranger approached and said,”I just want to tell you,from personal experience, your mom is in the most beautiful and loving place you could imagine.”. I was blown away and related the story to the priest. He replied, “Not everyone has the same experience, some have black monsters chasing them”. My guess is that he may meet the monsters.
What about After Death Experiences?
In India it is reported that the person arrives in front of a bureaucrat sitting behind a desk who then asks the "decedent" "Why are you here?" "There has been a mistake in the paperwork and you must go back."
It is reported that in the Middle Ages the "decedent" was examined in a hostile non-therapeutic fashion.
Wyatt Earps brother immediately prior to his death said to Wyatt; "remember what we were talking about the other day(crossing over)I don't see anything!"
I know a woman who was "Killed" in an accident, her heart was not functioning, no breathing in essence dead. She woke up two days later and reported no out of body, no tunnel of light, no warm fuzzy interrogators, no relatives. As she said "Just blackness!"
In conclusion, these reports are interesting but are not evidence of an after life. Sorry!
I learned one thing from my near death experience.
Either your dead or you ain’t!
Yeah, I was told the same after surgery, however they did say that I lost a kidney and almost lost several other organs and it took 2 "kerchunks" to get the ticker going again....no difference was noted with my brain however. ; )
My late husband had an NDE when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease back in the early 70s. He was on the operating table having a splenectomy when his heart stopped. He said he felt himself out of his body, at the top of the room, looking down on the doctors trying to resuscitate him. He said he felt completely peaceful and good - and could sense his grandfather’s presence near him. He was nothing like a “true believer” and I believed him. I’ve since been comforted by reading accounts of NDEs. I know it’s not particularly Biblical, but there does seem to be something going on. And I’ve read in many of these people recognize it’s Christ they’re seeing as “the Light” and feeling a great enveloping love from it. I find this very comforting!
Not likely... because God is in Hell.. He is omnipresent
My mother had a NDE about 12 yrs. ago. Her heart stopped, and they used the electric “paddles” on her chest. She told me later that she was in “the prettiest place”. She had been a dedicated Christian all her life. - I never got a private moment alone with her from that day until she finally passed away two weeks later. My father was very distraught and required constant attention, nurses were coming in and out of the room, and there was just no opportunity to talk with her and ask in more detail what she saw.
Seems the “evidence” points more to an after-life than not.
Was supposed to have died in a car crash .. rainy night, slick and dark road, went off a small mountain road and hit a boulder.
Woke up in a Life Flight chopper and Scared the #ell out of the rescue team who ‘thought’ that I had died! (Fooled Them 8)
No lights, No visions .. Nothing
Never even knew that I had been ‘gone’ for over 20 minutes!
To me it is only those who are living who relate their experiences. Those who remain dead do not tell us. There is a VAST difference between the two groups.
These worked when i collected them, but we must prove all things but the established Word of God. (Acts 17:11)
Glimpse of Eternity with Ian McCormack: stung by box jellyfish: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3682855866783766146 -Download: http://www.divinerevelations.info/Documents/ian_mccormack/Glimps_of_Eternity_GoodQuality.mp4 (Download)
Dr Maurice Rawlings - NDE Interviews: To Hell and Back; including an atheist)Download: http://media.tbn.org/download/tbn/gallery/To_Hell_And_Back.wmv
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6547221602055506348&q=mickey+robinson&total=57&start=0&num=50&so=0&type=search&plindex=1 ( Mickey Robinson air crash to Christ)
Roman Gutierrez Twice dead: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3754387560159309665
Channel 7 news man raised from dead after 40 minutes: http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-2334132798216105638&hl=en
NDE Research: Gary habermas Near Death Experiences and the Afterlife (Video File download) http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/context/lts_fac_pubs/article/1214/type/native/viewcontent
BBC documentary, The Day I Died 1- NDE Documentary Part 1 of 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1vWoUoiaP4
23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1694635918884432260
Matthew Botsford - To Hell and Back http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/Amazing/Matthew_Botsford011206.aspx
Deerinda Lowe Gets A Second Chance http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Deerinda-Lowe-120810.aspx
The Day Jeffrey Thompson Almost Died http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Jeffrey-Thompson-072810.aspx
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=390590177647370865&hl=en Heaven & Hell Accounts - Final Destiny
I see no immediate harm in your belief nor do I intend to belittle it. I believe in an afterlife I just don’t think NDE’s are proof of it. I think it was St Paul that said we have to believe in things unseen. I can live with that advice.
I've studied the sciences all of my life. The one thing I've learned is that there's much more that we don't know about the world or the forces around us than we know.
Carl Sagan used to say, "if there isn't other life in the universe, it's a terrible waste of space."
I modified it a bit and say, "if there isn't life after death, it's a terrible waste of life."
If never said it was proof. I just happen to believe in Heaven and Hell and there seems to be some emperical evidence that they are real. What is great is we will all know definitively some day.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
I like Scripter's tagline, from C.S. Lewis, goes something like:
You are aren't a body that has a soul, you are a soul that has a body.
The soul is the source of our life and makes the body alive, is the source of consciousness and awareness, and the soul uses the brain sort of how a person uses a computer. Workarounds are possible.
Here is one account: On November 16, he preached his last sermon on Excuses (Luke 14:16-24) and hundreds were won to Christ that night. He was very ill afterward, the illness thought to be fatty degeneration of the heart. Arriving home in Northfield November 19 for rest, he climbed the stairs to his bedroom--never to leave it again. He died about seven a.m. December 22, with a note of victory. He is reported to have said such things as the following at his death: "I see earth receding; heaven is approaching (or opening). God is calling me. This is my triumph. This is my coronation day. It is glorious. God is calling and I must go. Mama, you have been a good wife...no pain...no valley...it's bliss."
Maybe that's what happened, then. I haven't been able to make sense of it since October, 2007 when it occurred.
I was on the floor of the hallway by the master bedroom, he died in my arms, and I tried frantically to resuscitate him, pounded his chest, attempted mouth to mouth, and then I was up at the ceiling looking down, watching myself. It could have been anything from a second or two to several minutes, I don't really know. Then, I was back to myself, and stared at that spot on the ceiling for a long time.
It wasn't a person who died in my arms that night though. It was Woodie, my Lab.
We think we are moving forward in time.
In reality we are looking at the extreme recent past.
We've been looking backwards our ENTIRE LIFE.
What was this solar system 100 million billion trillion years ago?
What will it become again in the same time?
Squash that time line into the middle of infinity.
Our natural state is DUST. Our perceived existence/reality is not our "REAL" state.
We dream to rest our eternal consciousness/soul from the grind of being animated into this temporal realm of dust.
I beg to differ. They may not be conclusive evidence, but they do collectively suggest there is something there, at least for some of us.
I have been on here for years but very seldom post anything. I just have to tell you about a friend of mine, Kay, who died years ago at the age of 16. She was in a cancer hospital in Texas and had made friends with a girl who was named Amy. Amy died but Kay was too sick to be told about it. Right before she died Kay said “Jesus, I didn’t know you were bringing Amy with you.” So I do believe that it is possible that a loved one can great us along with our maker on the other side.
Being naturalistic for a moment. I have never seen a study where people reporting such NDE "experiences' have been measured on an introvert-extrovert scale, an optimistic/pessimistic scale. Would there be a difference in that optimists report "heavenly" experiences while depressives report "hellish" experiences? I would predict depressives would report more demonic, fearful NDE's.
One man’s evidence is another man’s proof.
People were alive that saw Christ’s miracles, and were healed, and spoke with Him, and not even Jesus Christ in the flesh could convince people about how to avoid Hell and be saved.
It’s not a surprise people want to discard first hand testimony from a person who’s dead and comes back to life. Rationalization is the second greatest human drive.
True. You did not say “proof.” My bad!
I would say no.
there have been plenty of accounts from unsaved people that have died and have been in Hell, that have come back and have become saved people.
Every one of them that I’ve heard, say they were not Christians before, they did not consider themselves good people, and were not looking to change their life, much less find Jesus Christ.
I'm completely convinced myself.
Thanks for sharing
When all of you die let me know. I am wanting to see my family again.
I know this from a family member who is in AA.
My relative had a friendship with a pastor who ministered to substance abuse people in the hospital who were dying from the damage they had done to their bodies via their alcoholism.
Lots of times this meant being around the hospital at odd times, being around at night. He relayed to my relative that he always knew when someone died because he could see lights descending down to the hospital and then departing shortly afterwards. One AA guy I knew who was on the rebound (we thought) getting better, died unexpectedly, and this pastor was on his way over that night and he saw the lights while driving up and was hoping it wasn’t our friend, but he said he knew it was.
This is a fascinating subject. While I don’t have my own personal NDE story, I do have a few stories of people in my life who’ve had experiences.
About 10 years ago, my (then) mother-in-law died at the hospital, and her husband was by her side. At the very moment she died, he said he felt a calming, reassuring presence flow through him and a voice tell him “Don’t worry, we have her.”, as if the Sweet Chariot swung low to pick her up. I was there (but not in the same room) when it happened and he told us this less than a half hour after the fact. I don’t doubt him as he is not the kind of person who would ever make something like that up.
Earlier this year, my sister attempted suicide by OD and almost succeeded. She was told she “died” on the way to the hospital and was brought back. She spend a day and a half in a coma and said that she never saw a light, or heard or felt anything - just blackness. Really creeped me out.
Similarly, Christ Himself told Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen, and still believe." I don't think that was a condemnation of Thomas. I don't think those who claim to have experienced NDEs had necessarily set out to experience them. I think I can assert with a fair degree of confidence that God reveals the true nature of reality (temporal and otherwise) to each of us uniquely, individually and personally. I don't think there's anything wrong with us sharing our individual experiences with one another, and in fact, many of the great Christian Mystics are reknowned for having done so.
I think the danger potentially comes from those who purport to have some special, esoteric knowledge who do not, and/or those who grasp onto the individual revelations to another as a comprehensive, holistic view.
It's kind of like the tale of the five blind men and the elephant. God may reveal the "tail" to one person, who, for where he is at, and what he is holding, is a totally adequate revelation...yet when he tells others that an elephant is like a rope, and others take that as "gospel" (so to speak) one individual's experience becomes a distortion of the overall reality.
I look at NDEs much like that. Certainly, I believe these people have had some type of profound experience, and for the most part, they tend to corroborate my faith-based beliefs and understandings of the afterlife. Yet, I never lose sight of the fact that they remain highly personal and unique experiences to each individual.
Before my dad died he no longer acted like he knew any of us were in his room- but he seemed to be talking to people he knew well that had already died- including his favorite sister.
A friend of ours had a massive heart attack and had to be revived by ER team- she said she was up in the corner of the wall and ceiling watching the whole thing, then went back into her body and woke up in horrific pain.
My mother saw nature that she couldn’t see- she was inside the hospital with window covered and talked about seeing deer, butterflies- was different.
To me the accounts I have read and people I have talked to lead me to believe that NDE’s are neither proof nor evidence of life after death. Those who accept them fail to account for the cultural variations in the reports. The Indian reports of NDE’s report a bureaucrat telling the “decedent” there has been a mistake in the paperwork and he must return. That is quite different from the being of “light” that many Westerners report. Then there are people who report they experienced NOTHING. Just black NOTHING!
If you have ever read descriptions of Hell, you would find that not everyone experiences the exact same things there. Not everyone has the same punishments, it is determined by what they’ve done while in the body.
So there are some people who account for Hell that actually saw ‘the pit’ as it is described, and felt heat, pain, etc. But Hell is also described for some as being cast into ‘outer darkness’.
So an Indian’s description of what they experienced as ‘blackness’ could very well be what awaits him there.
After all Hell is eternal separation from God. There are varying degrees of that separation, and we know there are varying degrees of punishment that people have earned for themselves that they now will be paying for, as they decided not to believe that Jesus loved them and had already paid for their sins.
I know a man in his eighties that had one of these when he was about eight.
As did I at 10.
Not likely... because God is in Hell.. He is omnipresent
That is the most bizarre comment I have ever read.
I have experience myself. I am not sure if I died or not. I was a child and my first experience was I was asleep and the next thing I remember being lifted up toward the ceiling. As I got close to the ceiling I felt a cold rush of wind. Hearing this wind frighten me. For some odd reason, I knew I would be going thru thee ceiling and I had acknowledge that I left my body back in bed. So I cried out to Jesus and the next thing I felt I was slammed back down. That my eyes opened fast and suddenly with me staring at the ceiling.
Another occasion again I was asleep. I found myself walking around the house but the weird thing the lights were off but I could see where I am going. Again I knew it was 1 am and I knew another part of me was in bed and my parents in their room. Yet I was enjoying myself like a playful child because I found myself walking thru the walls.
My father had a heart attack and he told us of him leaving his body and he saw the doctors working on him. He then began to be lifted up further only to see Jesus glowing in ray of gold brightness. He then was able to hear the nurses calling out for him, and that is when he was slammed back into his body.
My mother was beautiful also. She told of her leaving her body and she came to an area of complete darkness. She said she was afraid of making a step forward for fear of falling. So she prayed “Though I walk thru the Valley of Shadow of Death, I shall not fear for thine is with me” she kept repeating that until she looked up and she saw a pinpoint light and it got brighter and brighter. She then finally arrived into the light and saw Jesus. She told me that there were children surrounding him some as 13 and younger like 1 month old. The older children were playing around him and the babies would fly and sit on his shoulder and get off. The babies were taking turns sitting on his shoulders. Some were playing that a few were tugging on his white robe. So then Jesus called her name and asked her to look at him, but she refused. Again he called her out and asked to look at him. Again she refused. He then asked her why doesn’t she want to look at him, she reponded because she is not worthy. He told her why does she feel like that. My mother told him because she was full of demons and she was going to Hell. He then asked her who told her , but again my mother refused. He then said “O I know don’t worry I will take care of that person. You are not full of demons”. He then told her “Look see that door, you can go in and not return and be with me or you can simply return”. My mother thought about us and she asked that she wanted to return. He told her ok but to remember that the door will always be open for her. He then told little girl about the age of 12 to guide my mother back into her body. He also told the little girl whatever my mother wanted to listen and give her what she wants. My mother asked about my brother and me, and the little girl showed my brother and me but in the future I suppose. I am grateful that God allow to let me have my mother for another 10 years until she passed in 1997 as well as for my father who passed in 2005. I miss them very much but I know where they are.
So that was my experience
And the mind is the OS. But man must be born again through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, and get a new OS.