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Dr. Bruce Greyson, MD
Bruce Greyson discusses how cumulative research into Near Death Experiences challenges both a classical physical view of reality, and an exclusively neuroscience-based view of consciousness.
The idea that conscious awareness can exist after death, generally referred to as the ‘soul’, has been inherent in Eastern and Western religions for thousands of years. In addition to spiritual accounts, innumerable subjective reports of conscious awareness seemingly separated from the subject’s brain and physical body occur in conjunction with so-called near death experiences (NDEs) in patients resuscitated after cardiac arrest (1,2). Such patients describe remarkably consistent phenomenology including a white light, being in a tunnel, serenity, deceased loved ones, life review and, in some cases, floating out of the body (out-of-body experiences – OBEs). Comparable experiences have been reported in various types of meditative and altered states, traumatic psychological events, or seemingly without cause. A Gallup poll estimated some 10 million Americans have reported NDEs/OBEs…..