Monday, March 23, 2009

Near death experiences in the news

In The Times Online (December 14, 2008), Bryan Appleyard offers a look at the current state of study of near-death experiences:
NDEs are so common, so vivid and so life-transforming — survivors frequently become more compassionate, religious and serene as a result of what they experience — that scientists, philosophers, priests, psychologists and cultists all want a piece of the action. Their problem is that the human mind is unreachable. We can’t see what’s going on in there. Even if we could rush cardiac-arrest patients into an MRI scanner, we’d only see lights in the brain. We wouldn’t know what they meant. But now NDEs are to be scientifically investigated in a US and UK study involving 25 hospitals. This is co-ordinated by Dr Sam Parnia at Southampton University and is designed to find 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrests — "clinical death" — who tell such stories.
While we are here: Hannity's America "Beyond Belief" (February 18, 2008) features Bill Wiese (November 23, 2008), who had a vivid dream of hell.

Hey, all I can say about hell is, if you know you are doing stuff that's, like, wrong, stop. Stop now. Why wait till you have this kind of a dream to see that you have a problem? Love yourself more, and you will love other people more. That's what "Love your neighbour as yourself" means, okay?

See also: Selected moments from the Beyond the Mind-Body Problem symposium - afternoon; and Mind-Body panel 2: Bruce Greyson - "Brain and mind don't seem to be the same thing;

"Near death experiences: Large project to study up to 1500 cases; Near death experiences: Interview with near death researcher in Time Magazine; Sci Phi show podcast features researcher on near death experiences; Near death experience gaining recognition in medical journals; Reader asks: By what mechanism are near death experiences transmitted?