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Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. — Peter Ustinov

Q & A – 28 Is there Proof that NDEs are Real?

Question: I need more proof that NDEs are real, do you have any more evidence?

Answer: Yes, there is a lot more evidence. The paper below was written by EtepongeNekoKun whom has done a lot of research into near death experiences. He has a channel on “You Tube” and a “Blog.” Check out his work, it is great stuff.

Near Death Experiences / Out Of Body Experiences:
An Indepth Examination of Veridical Evidence and The Rebuttal of Common Skeptical Explanations.

Veridical Perception and Veridical Information gained during Near Death Experiences / Out Of Body Experiences, even during a flat EEG where brain and heart activity had ceased, and even in cases of persons born blind:

There are a number of well documented cases of people having near death experiences / out of body experiences, even during a flat EEG where brain and heart activity had ceased, returning with factual information which they had no prior knowledge of, and numerous cases in which the experiencers returned to life with information unavailable to them at the time of death.

These include being able to accurately tell the doctors what they were doing while they were clinically dead, what clothes they wore, what procedures and instruments they used, and any conversations being said, including accurate blow by blow accounts of their own resuscitation from a bird’s eye point of view, the whole of which can later be checked and verified to be true.

Often times they also describe what was happening out in the hallway, who was sitting in the waiting room, what was happening on the other side of the building, and conversations being said at these same locations, all while they were clinically dead elsewhere. The events witnessed, heard, and experienced, later being verified to be true. Even obscure objects on the roof have been seen and verified.

There are also accounts of experiencers meeting deceased relatives during an NDE that the person did not know was dead, such as a relative or a friend, and finding out that they were really deceased after the fact, and learning information from them that they could not have otherwise known.

There are many accounts of children and adult NDErs learning about relatives and siblings who had died before their own birth that they never met or were never told about, etc.

Also, people who have been blind since birth have been able to accurately perceive visual surroundings during their experience. Many people have also been informed of knowledge far beyond their personal capacity. Etc.

The most convincing aspect of these, is that many of them were recounted, recorded, and documented IMMEDIATELY or VERY SOON after the patient regained consciousness to the doctors, nurses, staff, and family members, not long after the fact.

Interestingly, there have in fact been Successful Experiments in actually testing Veridical NDEs…

–Many doctors, nurses, medical staff, paramedics, and family members have been interviewed by NDE Researchers to obtain cross-referenced verifiable information between the stories of the patients concerning their Veridical NDEs and the cross-referenced experiences of the medical staff involved with them.–Dr. Michael Sabom did a study on over 57 cardiac patients who had clinically died and were brought back, 32 of whom had experienced Veridical OBEs and had described in great detail their own resusitations during cardiac arrest, and 25 of whom had not experienced an OBE during their cardiac arrest. He had two groups, the experiencers who saw in their OBEs and the non-experiencers who did not, describe their resusitations. To his suprise, 80% of the non-experiencers made serious mistakes. On the other hand, all of the experiencers did not make a single mistake.

According to PMH Atwater in her book “The Complete Idiots Guide To Near-Death Experiences” regarding Dr. Michael Sabom’s Research Study…

“Experiencers even correctly detailed readings on medical machines that were not in their line of vision, and described other circumstances they should not otherwise have been able to know.”

–Dr. Pim Van Lommel did a more indepth study with 344 cardiac patients independently of Dr. Michael Sabom with similar results. They made sure that their subjects could be verified as flatlined during the experiences.–Dr. Kenneth Ring did a study on Veridical NDEs of 31 persons who were born blind and found that they could veridically “see” events while their OBE unfolded the same way sighted people’s do.

I’d like to add that Dr. Michael Sabom and Dr. Pim Van Lommel and Dr. Kenneth Ring’s Research were published in PEER REVIEWED Science Journals.

Here is an excellent list of arguments in favor of the phenomenon by IANDS…

–Once a person’s brainwaves have ceased, indicating that all mental activity has stopped — perceiving, thinking, and remembering — how do we explain their accurate perception of events going on around their “deceased” body (both sight and sound), and their accurate reporting of events taking place even at significant distances from their clinically-dead body?–If we regard experiencers’ perceptions of dead relatives as just imaginary “wishful thinking”, how can we explain their accurate description of relatives previously unknown to them, yet later verified by living relatives and by civil documents?

–If the spiritual component of the near-death experience could be explained away as just an extension of the person’s pre-existing belief system, why have confirmed atheists come back after their NDE convinced there is a God? And why have religious believers returned from their NDE with un-orthodox changes to their prior dogmas?

Excerpt from Wikipedia’s Article on NDEs…

“As An Afterlife Experience…Some see the NDE as an afterlife experience. They believe that the NDE cannot be completely explained by physiological or or psychological causes, and that consciousness can function independently of brain activity (Rivas, 2003).

Many NDE-accounts seem to include elements which, according to several theorists, can only be explained by an out-of-body consciousness.

A majority of individuals who experience an NDE see it as a verification of the existence of an afterlife (Kelly, 2001). This includes those with agnostic/atheist inclinations before the experience.

As Greyson notes: ‘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.’ (Greyson, 2001)

Research on NDEs occurring in the blind have also hinted that consciousness survives bodily death.

NDE’s can also lead to long-lasting spiritual effects (as evidenced by the many studies which confirm the experience as having taken place during clinical death).”

OBE Specific Research:

–The Monroe Institute’s OBE Experiments.–Charles Tart’s OBE Experiment of having an experienced OBEr accurately read a five-digit number from an unreachable/unseeable location. 100,000 to 1 chance accuracy.

–Robert Morris’ OBE Experiments with Keith Harary who reported accurately on sitters, letters, and positions, in a sealed laboratory 20 yards away.

–Clinical testing of OBEs – in which strain gauges were triggered at a distance, apparently by the test subject’s roving presence, and in which an animal reacted consistently as if the subject were in the room when he was reportedly having an OBE while asleep in the next room.

–The US Government’s 20 year long Program “Stargate” on Remote Viewing which had a number of amazing positive veridical results with Remote Viewers, as well as a number of misses.

What do the Skeptics on the otherhand have to say about NDEs? Let’s be fair now.

Skeptic Argument # 1: Dying Brain Theory

The Dying Brain Theory states that upon clinical death the brain is slowly starved of oxygen and creates a vivid hallucination that is later remembered as an NDE.

This theory in truth falls very short of the cold hard medical facts of what happens to the brain after cardiac arrest occurs and when clinical death sets in, and is likewise destroyed by the well documented Veridical Aspects of the NDE Phenomenon itself that are never adequately dealt with as a whole.

In total refutation of the “Dying Brain Theory” the cold hard medical facts are that when a person’s heart stops they lose total consciousness within seconds. The loss of consciousness is complete and there are no memories of the event. EEG and brain stem monitors show no brain activity while in this state. There is no gag reflex, no pupil response, no brain activity whatsoever. They are dead. The brain cannot produce images in this state, and even if it could, you wouldn’t remember them.

Multiple medical doctors including Peter Fenwick a respected neuropsychiatrist, Pim Van Lommel a cardiologist, Sam Parnia, Bruce Greyson, Ian Stevenson, Melvin Morse, Michael Sabom, and numerous others, will tell you the same thing.

“Simultaneous recording of heart rate and brain output show that within 11 seconds of the heart stopping, the brainwaves go flat. Now, if you read the literature on this, some skeptical people claim that in this state there is still brain activity, but, in fact, the data are against this in both animals and humans. The brain is not functioning, and you are not going to get your electrical activity back again until the heart restarts.” (Dr. Peter Fenwick)

Dr. Sam Parnia: “During cardiac arrest brainstem activity is rapidly lost. It should not be able to sustain such lucid processes or allow the formation of lasting memories.”

Pim Van Lommel’s well-known research study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, also notes that cerebral activity flatlines within 4 to 20 seconds of cardiac arrest.

“How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG? . . . Furthermore, blind people have described veridical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience. NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation. In our prospective study of patients that were clinically dead (flat EEG, showing no electrical activity in the cortex and loss of brain stem function evidenced by fixed dilated pupils and absence of the gag reflex) the patients report a clear consciousness, in which cognitive functioning, emotion, sense of identity, or memory from early childhood occurred, as well as perceptions from a position out and above their ‘dead’ body.” (Van Lommel, Van Wees, Meyers, Elfferich (2001). Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands. Lancet.)

The Dying Brain Theory also doesn’t explain why only 18% of those who are brought back from clinical death experience an NDE, while the remaining 82% do not. Even under the exact same conditions.

“Our most striking finding was that Near-Death Experiences do not have a physical or medical root. After all, 100 per cent of the patients suffered a shortage of oxygen, 100 per cent were given morphine-like medications, 100 per cent were victims of severe stress, so those are plainly not the reasons why 18 per cent had Near-Death Experiences and 82 percent didn’t. If they had been triggered by any one of those things, everyone would have had Near-Death Experiences.” (Van Lommel 1995)

I’d like to clarify that even though only 18% of those who are brought back from clinical death experience an NDE (all under the same medical conditions), the LONGER one is clinically dead, the higher the chance of being brought back with an NDE. Those who were clinically dead longer than several minutes have a far higher chance of coming back with an NDE than those who were clinically dead for only a minute or two.

Skeptic Argument # 2: DMT Chemicals Causing NDEs

DMT does not account for the Veridical Elements of the NDE, nor the amazing structure of many NDEs, according to the book “DMT: The Spiritual Molecule,” it may act as an initial NDE trigger, but cannot make up for the entire experience, Veridical Elements and all, in addition to the pesky little fact that within 4 to 20 seconds of cardiac arrest, the brain waves go flat, and even if they were sufficient (which they are not), the brain cannot produce images in this state, and even if it could, you wouldn’t remember them.

Skeptic Argument # 3: Ketamine

The Skeptic Sources refering to the Drug Ketamine causing NDEs are referencing an old paper by Ketamine Researcher Dr. Karl Jansen, who has since totally changed his stance on Ketamine actually causing the experiences, and is now far more open to the metaphysical component of NDEs. His current hypothesis is that Ketamine and other triggers of NDEs/OBEs simply act as a “door to a space” rather than actually producing that space. He states that his findings now are more in line with other researchers in his field such as John Lilly and Stanislav Grof.

“I am no longer as opposed to spiritual explanations of these phenomena as this article would appear to suggest. Over the past two years (it is quite some time since I wrote it) I have moved more towards the views put forward by John Lilly and Stan Grof. Namely, that drugs and psychological disciplines such as meditation and yoga may render certain ‘states’ more accessible. The complication then becomes in defining just what we mean by ‘states’ and where they are located, if indeed location is an appropriate term at all. But the apparent emphasis on matter over mind contained within this particular article no longer accurately represents my attitudes. My forthcoming book ‘Ketamine’ will consider mystical issues from quite a different perspective, and will give a much stronger voice to those who see drugs as just another door to a space, and not as actually producing that space’.” (Dr. Karl Jansen)

Melvin Morse M.D. wrote an insightful article titled “The Right Temporal Lobe And Associated Limbic Lobe Structures As The Biological Interface With An Interconnected Universe” that is along these lines of thought.

Skeptic Argument # 4: The Navy Airmen Stress Tests

These are studies where they used Navy Airmen in G-Force stress tests that caused the blood in the heads of the individuals to drain, inducing a state of simulated clinical death, in which NDEs were reported. These do not conflict with the NDE Phenomenon, as the persons were essentially put into a state of simulated clinical death when the blood drained from their heads, and they had an NDE.

Again, like Pim Van Lommel’s findings, it only occured in 18% of individuals who underwent and came back from this state of simulated clinical death.

Skeptic Argument # 5: Susan Blackmore’s Critique Of “The Tunnel”

Regarding the Tunnel that people see during their NDEs, Susan Blackmore has theorized that the optic nerve causes a “Tunnel Effect” due to random neuron firings in the back of the eye to explain away the “Tunnel” that people see.

But a woman named Vicki who was born blind had her optic nerve severed in her incubator at birth, and she still visually saw a Tunnel during her NDE and OBE. And it happened awhile into the actual experience.

The fact is, The Tunnel can appear in front of them, to the side of them, up above them, even through a wall, soon after or long after their clinical death set in. And sometimes even not at all.

The Tunnel is truely a moot point concerning the overall NDE experience.

Skeptic Argument # 6: The Assertion That People Only See And Experience What They Already Believed

This is completely untrue. Atheists and Agnostics come back believing in a God. Many Christians come back believing in Reincarnation, that Other Religions are Valid Spiritual Paths, and other Unorthodox Hetrodox ideas. There are a number of cases of Hindus meeting Muhammed, Muslims meeting Buddha, Christians meeting a Figure of God other than Mainstream Christianity. (I know one Southern Baptist Christian who saw Shamanic Imagery in his NDE, and became a Shaman. I met another one who met a Demiurge Figure in Addition to a God Figure, which reflects Gnosticism.) A seven year old girl who was raised Christian saw deceased spirits of people waiting to be reborn (reincarnation) that goes against her belief system, etc. I know an Atheist who had a very profound NDE when she was a child, and she had been raised non-religious, and she had experienced God in a Panentheistic Context, that she was informed “All is One”, and she said that she became and identified and connected with everything during her NDE. Very much in line with Eastern Spiritual Thought.

Skeptic Argument # 7: Keith Augustine’s Anti-NDE Article (The Skeptic’s Trump Card)

Sources such as Keith Augustine’s article will prey upon the perceived weakness of certain NDEs, out of their full context, while ignoring alternative explainations and far better and far stronger NDE examples, in an attempt to bring all NDEs down. The “weird” NDEs he presents are without context, and his sources are usually Christian Fundamentalist Anti-NDE Books (Not Kidding), and short excerpts from Books of NDE Researchers, taken out of their full context and presented without the full explanation of the NDE Researchers who are presenting them. His alternative explanations of Veridical NDEs ignore pesky facts and additional and alternative information that he conveniently ignored to come to his conclusions. The bulk of his arguments against specific veridical cases, revolve largely around presenting totally unprovable unverifiable highly speculative “coulda-woulda-shouldas” regarding how they “could have seen/heard those things naturally” while ignoring well presented alternative explanations, the full context of the specific cases, and ignoring all of the known facts and circumstances surrounding the matter at hand that conflict with his hasty conclusions. His arguments often revolve around presenting a totally one-sided view of things, ignoring what the other side has to fully say regarding it, and comes up with his own conclusion without the full data being presented there. There are times where he partially or very briefly and shortly presents what the other side has to say, but certainly not all of it, as much of what he does not present is very damning to his side of the argument.

FIN

I’m planning on making another indepth article on this subject eventually to tackle more indepth skeptical arguments that I didn’t have time to tackle in this particular article, although I feel that the whole of what I did tackle in this particular article covers all of the main skeptical objections.

EtepongeNekoKun

Sources:

Indepth NDE/OBE Evidence In Favor of Survival of Consciousness (53 Items of Evidence Presented, Full of Links, Sources, and References.)

A Critique of Susan Blackmore’s Dying Brain Hypothesis by Greg Stone

Michael Prescott’s indepth critique of Keith Augustine’s Anti-NDE Article.

The Right Temporal Lobe And Associated Limbic Lobe Structures As The Biological Interface With An Interconnected Universe

Van Lommel, Van Wees, Meyers, Elfferich (2001). Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands. Lancet.

“About the Continuity of Our Consciousness” by Pim Von Lommel

The Dutch Study (NDEs)

A great response by Pim Van Lommel against a Leading Skeptic regarding his research study.

“Psychophysiological Study of Out-of-the-Body Experiences in a Selected Subject”

Out-Of-Body Experiences (OBE or OOBE), Article by Mario Varvoglis, Ph.D.

Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) Research

“In July 1995 the CIA declassified, and approved for release, documents revealing its sponsorship in the 1970s of a program at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, to determine whether such phenomena as remote viewing ‘might have any utility for intelligence collection.’ Thus began disclosure to the public of a two-decade-plus involvement of the intelligence community in the investigation of so-called parapsychological or psi phenomena. Presented here by the program’s Founder and first Director (1972 – 1985) is the early history of the program, including discussion of some of the first, now declassified, results that drove early interest.”

NDERF Forum , where lively Debate and Discussion of NDEs/OBEs takes place on a daily basis.

The Day I Died (BBC Video Documentary on NDEs)

© 2007 – 2010, Lekatt. All rights reserved.

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