Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences

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The Life of Most Excellent Shariputra - Thrangu Rinpoche

Dr. Moody shares eyewitness accounts of those who have shared the experiences of the dying: the "empathic death experiences" occurring when those gathered at the bedsides of the dying have their own visions of the afterlife. Brimming with case studies and drawing upon a lifetime's research as well as recent findings, this important book will change the way we think about life and death.

Glossary of Pali terms - Buddha Vacana

Dr. van Lommel provides scientific evidence that the near-death phenomenon is an authentic experience that cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis, or oxygen deprivation. He further reveals that after such a profound experience, most patients' personalities undergo a permanent change. In van Lommel's opinion, the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. In Consciousness Beyond Life, van Lommel shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that, remarkably and significantly, consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body.

In fact, very few cases of 'veridical perception' during NDEs have been corroborated. In many cases, details which are said to have been accurate "are not the kind that can easily be checked later" (Blackmore, "Dying" 114). Even the 'founding father' of near-death studies, Raymond Moody, concedes that most cases of alleged veridical perception during NDEs are found well after the fact and are usually attested to only by the NDEr and perhaps a few friends (114). And in one study Carlos Alvarado found that although nearly one-fifth of participants claimed to have made "verifiable observations" during their OBEs, only 3 of the 61 cases even "qualified as potentially veridical when experients were asked to provide fuller descriptions" (Alvarado 187).


The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, by Max Heindel, …

On the other hand, what of the alternative explanation? If NDEs were really glimpses of an afterlife, why is it that only a fraction of those who come close to death (about 10-20% per van Lommel et al.) report them? Physiology provides a ready answer: Woerlee has calculated that around 20-24% of those undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) have some degree of consciousness restored CPR, a fraction of whom could be having NDEs precisely because the conditions are ripe for an altered state of consciousness (Woerlee, "Cardiac" 233, 244). And why aren't NDEs consistently reported (nearly 100% of the time) after the controlled induction of hypothermic cardiac arrest or "," where patients are clinically dead for up to an hour? The vast majority of those who come as close to death as possible without actually dying experience (van Lommel et al. 2041). If NDEs are to be understood as glimpses of an afterlife, are we to conclude that 80% of individuals cease to exist when they die, while the remaining 20% survive bodily death?

The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception Chapter XII Evolution on the Earth

The near-death literature is filled with anecdotes of NDErs providing accurate details about events they could not have possibly learned about through normal means. But as I hope to make clear, claims of unequivocal paranormal perception during NDEs are greatly exaggerated. Let's take a closer look at a few well-known cases widely held to provide such evidence.

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The case was quickly celebrated because of the lack of synaptic activity within the procedure and Pam's report of an apparently veridical OBE at some point during the operation. But it has been sensationalized at the expense of the facts, facts which have been continually misrepresented by some parapsychologists and near-death researchers. Although hailed by some as "the most compelling case to date of veridical perception during an NDE" (Corcoran, Holden, and James), and "the single best instance we now have in the literature on NDEs to confound the skeptics" (Ring, "Religious Wars" 218), it is in fact best understood in terms of normal perception operating during an entirely nonthreatening physiological state.