[Replying to post 19 by JehovahsWitness
Since any genuine encounter with the spirit world is vastly outside the field of reference any human, they would need to seek a higher authority than themselves to make a decision.
Below is a video which I have also summarized in point. If one wishes to regard ancient cultural superstitions as more the 'authority' on the subject than personal testimony of experience and modern scientific enquiry, that is - of course - entirely one's own choice. It doesn't make for great argument in a debate setting. 'tis all, and certainly wouldn't be appreciated on my doorstep.
Dr. Bruce Greyson: Near-death Experiences-Jeff Olsen shares his personal NDE
[font=Serif]Dr. Bruce Greyson, a faculty member at the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, presents his research on near-death experiences in the second half of this video. Prior to Dr. Greyson's presentation, we hear author Jeff Olsen describing his own personal and profound near-death experience.
The UVA DOPS faculty gathered to offer public lectures at the Boston Museum of Science on September 17th, 2016, as part of a special one day event, "Do We Survive Death? A Look at the Evidence". This event was sponsored by Tracy Coen.
The Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is a research unit within the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia Health System. The research faculty of the Division are known internationally for their expertise and research integrity in the investigation of phenomena relevant to the nature of consciousness and its relationship to the physical world.
The Personal Testimony of Jeff Olsen Summery.
âœ¡ Background - American - raised on a farm
âœ¡ Worked in an ad agency as a creative director.
âœ¡ Was told by the voice within 'Share your experience and people will heal".
âœ¡ The experience happened from an automobile accident.
âœ¡ He believes he may have dozed off at the wheel
âœ¡ Wife and 2 sons were with him and his wife and one son died instantly
âœ¡ He felt that his wife and youngest son had 'gone' and heard only his older son
crying in the back, but he could not reach his son because he was pinned down and
couldn't move his legs or breath.
âœ¡ In the horror of the situation he suddenly felt calmness
âœ¡ He felt he was surrounded a tangible by light and that the light seemed alive and
âœ¡ He rose above the scene of carnage and was joined by his wife.
âœ¡ He was relieved. But his wife was telling him that he had to go back. He felt that
he had a choice to go back or to stay.
âœ¡ As soon as he made the conscious thought that he was going back, he found himself wandering around in a hospital.
âœ¡ Everyone he encountered in that state at the hospital, he felt he 'knew them all perfectly' as if he was connected to all of them on that intimate level. He felt like he was 'them' and there was a 'Oneness' - connection. (Panentheism).
âœ¡ Since he had been brought up a Christian and was familiar with biblical script, as he was having this experience a well known verse "in as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me" (Panentheism) which he had always thought of as a nice verse about being kind to people. His experience was showing him another way in which to understand the verse...'we are all each other'.
âœ¡ He realizes that our consciousness is affected by our upbringing but that this experience cut through that in how he could relate the biblical with the experience.
âœ¡ With the experience came waves of unconditional love. (a common aspect of this type of NDE)
âœ¡ He stood in front of his broken body on the hospital bed and understood that how he was experiencing his self in this heightened state of awareness outside of his body, allowed him to understand his body was his 'skin suit'.
âœ¡ He made the decision to go back into the body and immediately had the pain and feelings of guilt etc.
âœ¡ The experience positively changed him in fundamental ways
âœ¡ He understand that hope has turned to trust and that everything is unfolding perfectly, not matter how bad it might look.
âœ¡ Questions still remain:
1: How do we make sense of it?
2: How do we express it in a way that anyone can understand it?
3: If we have consciousness that is not our brain, if we are not necessarily our bodies and if there is something more?
He sees the importance of the research in that it could help shift human perspective to raise the consciousness of the planet humanity take a stronger stand for love, connection, oneness, brother/sisterhood to shift the world where there is more peace love and unity.
Dr. Bruce Greyson - studies of NDEs and ongoing results summary.
âœ¡ Reported profound experiences in which individuals seem to leave their physical bodies and move beyond the boundaries of time and space
âœ¡ Have been reported by many diverse ancient cultures and appear in the writings of Plato, the Bible, in Tibetan, Indian, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese writ, And in South Pacific and Native American folklore.
The interpretation of the experience may vary from one culture to another but the basic experience is the same over the centuries and around the globe.
âœ¡ The study of NDEs has been going on for the past 50 years
âœ¡ Not all experiences are like Jeffs and they are not all the same
âœ¡ There is a core which is similar in all NDEs
âœ¡ It is hard to study NDEs because when people are asked to share what happened to them they often start by saying 'well it can't be put into words - there are no words for this!'...and researchers say 'great! Tell me all about it!'
âœ¡ Thus the researchers know that but getting people to put their experiences into words that they are distorting the situation.
âœ¡They do not study the experience but what they are told about the experience.
âœ¡ Studies at the university of Virginia, United Kingdom and Holland have shown that among people who have documented brushes with death, between 10-20% will report having NDEs, remembering the experiences clearly, and are able to put that into words and choose to do so
âœ¡The generally guideline created through studying hundreds and hundreds of NDEs used in order to understand the NDEs are;
Group Features of NDEs
1: Changes in thinking and thought processes
Sense of time distorts or is missing entirely.
Thinking is faster and often clearer than ever before.
Life review with panoramic memory
Sudden understanding and revelation.
2: Changes in emotions feelings
Sense of peace and well-being
Feelings of Joy
A sense of cosmic unity and oneness with everything
Encounter with bright light being who is characterized as unconditional love
3: (so-called) paranormal feature of experiences.
Extraordinary sensory vividness
Frank extrasensory perception
Visions of the future
A sense of leaving the physical body
4: Otherworldly features
Finding oneself in a mystical unearthly realm of existence
Encountering mystic beings or presense
Seeing deceased spirits or religious spirits
Coming to a boarder which you cannot go past if you are to survive and have to return to your body.
Most NDEs have some of all of these features in them.
Research with NDEs is always retrospective. Sometimes the experience happened many years before and what happened has to be reconstructed.
NDEers will typically say that 'it was like it happened yesterday' as the vividness has not gone away.
We know that our memories are faulty, and we distort things over time. How can we know that the memories of NDEs are accurate?
Skeptics argue that the experiences retold, are embellishments.
Because the studies have been going on for 5 decades now, this gives opportunity for researches to address this question.
In 2002 Dr. Greyson began tracking down people he had interviewed about their NDEs in the early 1980s and he asked them to again describe their experiences to him. Something very interesting was found in this...in the retelling there were no noticeable embellishments, changes in thinking, feeling, etc...after 20 years. NDE memories are reliable over time. Thus retrospective research is also reliable.
âœ¡ The phenomena is the same re going through a long dark space to get to a light, although different cultures explain this in different ways using different metaphors.
âœ¡ The UVA has been collecting NDE reports since the early 1960s and the collected data.
They compared 24 of the best cases they had before 1975 with 24 cases from the last decade (2000s) matched in terms of age, race, gender, religiosity, how they came close to death and how close to death they came.
In those cases there were no significant differences when compared.
in both sets of samples, 100% on those who experienced NDEs reported dramatic attitude changes, less fear of death, having difficulty telling other people, increased belief in survival, and others corroborating what they experienced OOB in terms of saying (example) "yes that is what happened, but how could you have known that when you were in a coma (seen as being unconscious)?"
The test above was given to see if the NDEs were influenced by any wide public knowledge of Dr. Raymond Moody's Near-Death Experience Research
and best selling book which was published after
âœ¡ Interpretations of NDEs may be influenced by culture (such as JWs belief that these are caused by 'demons'.) but the basic experience is not determined by ones culture.
How are the experiences explained?
âœ¡ There are no variables known as of yet which can predict if someone is going to have an NDE or what kind of NDE one is going to have.
âœ¡ Age, gender, race, religion, history of mental illness, none of these things are associated with NDEs or specific types of NDEs.
Speculation re physiological causes which may be related to NDEs;
âœ¡ Lack of oxygen
âœ¡ Temporal lobe seizures
The bottom line with all these explanations is that one cannot reconcile the enhanced mental functioning and heightened perceptions - faster and clearer thinking, detailed memories, with the fact that the brain is not functioning.
Why care about NDEs?
1: That they lead to a consistent pattern of changes in attitudes, beliefs and values.
These have been confirmed through long term studies of NDEers over decades as well as with interviews with their significant others, and often the changes have increased over time.
Dramatic increases in;
âœ¡ Compassion and concern for others
âœ¡ Appreciation fro life
âœ¡ Sense of meaning and purpose
âœ¡ Confidence and flexibility in coping with the stressful.
âœ¡ Belief in survival after death
It is noted that some of these things happen to many who come close to death (but do not experience NDEs but others are unique to NDEers.
Decreases after NDE;
âœ¡ Decrease or absence of fear of death
âœ¡ Interest in material possessions
âœ¡ Interest in personal status
âœ¡ Competitiveness (more interest in cooperation and altruistic activities)
Sometimes the changes are so marked that they seem to be different people than they were before the experience.
2: What they tell us about the possibility of survival after death. NDEs provide some evidence bearing on this possibility.
Is death the end of ones existence or just a change of state?
Evidence of survival from NDEs
Enhanced mental function with impaired brains (Example of this 44:42 in video.)
We cannot explain, using the materialistic model, that 'the mind is what the brain does' when there is no brain function but there is enhanced mind function.
Accurate perception from OOB location (Example 46:23)
Visits with deceased persons, especially those in which accurate information is communicated and deceased persons not known by the NDEer to have died. (Examples 48:32 and 49:00)
The bottom line suggests that mind and brain are not the same thing. The NDEs show that the mind functions well - and even better - when the brain is not functioning.
NDEs allow one to question basic assumptions about our existence and purpose