Latest Near-Death Experience Research Hit Job |326|

I mean why are NDE's about death and the idea of separating from the body, as opposed to any of the other things people dream about?
Thank you! That's one of the most under-discussed aspects of the phenomenon. Don't dreams and hallucinations (including drug-induced hallucinations) cover a multitude of mundane and/or strange experiences, mostly unrelated to any idea of an afterlife? The near-death experience seems to be set apart from these others in terms of content, lucidity, life-changing profundity and long term retention in memory.
 
Last edited:
Thank you! That's one of the most under-discussed aspects of the phenomenon. Don't dreams and hallucinations (including drug-induced hallucinations) cover a multitude of mundane and/or strange experiences, mostly unrelated to any idea of an afterlife? The near-death experience seems to be set apart from these others in terms of content, lucidity, life-changing profundity and long term retention in memory.
I am coming into this mid discussion,but thought I would chime in. I am currently reading Wisdom Of Near Death Experiences by Penny Sartori. I am enjoying it a lot, and I agree with what you say above. What she says about hallucinations is that patients see them as just that after they are over, they are not transformative. They are also never structured the way NDE's are, they are erratic and usually distressing. I find it fascinating how solidified the effect of near death experiences are on people. Decades after they have occurred people are still changed by the experience.
 
I am coming into this mid discussion,but thought I would chime in.
Welcome, and feel free to chime in any time (especially when you agree with me ;) ). I'm also interested in the definition of hallucination: as I understand it, hallucinations happen, by definition, when the person is conscious. That can include hypnagogia - the state of consciousness bordering on sleep but not sleep itself. So it would seem to me that states of unconsciousness during anaesthesia can't produce - again by definition - hallucinations.

So then we have to ask whether a patient under anaesthesia is, in fact, conscious. This article seems to say that there are rare cases when this may be true:

The prospect of undergoing surgery while not fully "under" may sound like the stuff of horror movies. But one patient in a thousand remembers moments of awareness while under general anesthesia, physicians estimate. The memories are sometimes neutral images or sounds of the operating room, but occasionally patients report being fully aware of pain, terror, and immobility. Though surgeons scrupulously monitor vital signs such as pulse and blood pressure, anesthesiologists have no clear signal of whether the patient is conscious.
Now, if it is claimed that NDE patients are among those rare cases, then why do so few report pain or terror? Indeed, the opposite seems to be the case in most cases I've seen (although there are occasional "hellish" experiences reported but they seem to be terrifying due to the hellish afterlife they find themselves in, not the terror of being aware they are being operated upon).

I'm sure that Small Dog will respond to this as it is his area of expertise.
 
The prospect of undergoing surgery while not fully "under" may sound like the stuff of horror movies. But one patient in a thousand remembers moments of awareness while under general anesthesia, physicians estimate. The memories are sometimes neutral images or sounds of the operating room, but occasionally patients report being fully aware of pain, terror, and immobility. Though surgeons scrupulously monitor vital signs such as pulse and blood pressure, anesthesiologists have no clear signal of whether the patient is conscious.
Now, if it is claimed that NDE patients are among those rare cases, then why do so few report pain or terror? Indeed, the opposite seems to be the case in most cases I've seen (although there are occasional "hellish" experiences reported but they seem to be terrifying due to the hellish afterlife they find themselves in, not the terror of being aware they are being operated upon).
From the accounts I've read/listened to, a typical NDE experiencer reports a sense of bored curiosity about their own body. They ask themselves "what is all the fuss about, why are all those people so intent on that body there when I'm perfectly fine, and over here".
 
That sounds fine. The problem is that you seem to focus entirely on NDE's in a hospital setting, where resuscitation begins almost at once. This makes it fairly reasonable to discuss explanations based on the levels of oxygen maintained by CPR. However the idea that NDE's are explained that way, is blown out of the water by NDE's that happen in other circumstances - such as falling through ice into cold water. NDE's also seem to have happened down through history.

The danger then is that sceptics try to fit multiple explanations to the NDE data - confabulation after the heart has been restarted - residual conventional consciousness at the time the NDE was supposed to occur, psychological desire to deny death, etc etc. Each just about fits a subset of the cases (with lots of special pleading - I mean, is residual consciousness really an explanation for these vivid experiences) - and voila - what is there left to explain! None of the explanations fit the more extreme examples, so those have to be explained by fraud or distortion of the facts.

The most that medical science can explain, still leaves most of the NDE phenomenon unexplained - I mean why are NDE's about death and the idea of separating from the body, as opposed to any of the other things people dream about?

David
I'd argue that the NDE scales are only useful as a guide to the depth of an experience, and not whether peope had an NDE or not...

That is, how exposed they became, or, how their own brains EM field power dropped (either generally through out the brain, or in specific areas).

I had a transcendental experience as a child whilst asleep, very powerful and NDE-like, but nothing about death... just the feeling of returning home from the nut house, and a personal message that nothing that happens here (nut house) matters, all that matters is my return (home).

So are they about death... or are you pre selecting experiences and classifying them as NDE's because the person was close to death, and/or because they meet the NDE scales?

My other experience was of a break in at my dads other house. Hugely transformative and different, but nothing about death.
 
Like any other human interaction, one assesses their value and likelihood against background knowledge. I'm not a zombie, and don't require anyone else to validate truth for me, I can make a call on whether the data stacks up.
You've shifted away from my question. Yes, you can make your call. What I'm trying to get at is whether you believe someone else could reasonably take the testimonies of experiencers on board, assume their sincerity, accept their behavioural transformation and either:
  • Reasonably reach a different conclusion from you; or
  • Reasonably conclude that there is sufficient justification to continue to look for physiological causes.
Put another way: do you see the fact that I think there is reason to continue to investigate brain-related causes (in addition to non-brain related causes) necessarily implies that I do must not have taken their testimonies on board, assumed their sincerity and accepted their behavioural transformations.

For me conscious non-locality is far more likely than the alternatives, such as a nearly dead brain providing unprecedented knowledge and access to reality. Or all NDErs are lying or deluded. There's no middle ground that confronts the NDE phenomenon head on unless you can offer one?
First of all, I don't want to tie myself down to any position on the term "conscious non-locality". That's not the term I've been using. I've been using brain-based and non-brain based with regard in particular to human consciousness (with the brain being one platform for consciousness, many others may exist as well).

I can propose reasonable, investigation-worthy, alternative hypotheses to the proposition that NDEs are either non-brain based or they are lying or deluded. There is a common theme by some here which is that if you don't accept their interpretation of their experience, or think it worth exploring other options that you are somehow anti-experiencer, or wronging them in an unacceptable manner. This is not an appropriate argument vis-a-vis investigating what is going on with NDEs. It's effects are manipulative and it closes minds and pits people against one another with some being seen as immoral for what I think are legitimate questions. As I argued above: there may be an argument that we should cease all investiagtion into NDEs if such investigations are shown to do undue harm - but that means stopping all investigation and leaving the mystery - it doesn't mean crippling certain approaches. I don't think that can be justified scientifically.

In terms of alternative hypotheses I've discussed many over the years, but we can start with the one I posted above. See starting the third paragraph here for one example:
This is a point that is worth discussing. Accepting for the sake of the argument that the social prohibitions are dropped. What role do you think these reports should play in the scientific understanding of NDEs?

In science, I don't think we generally take the experiencer's interpretation of what is going on to be determinative. I don't mean from the psychological perspective, there, how they perceive the experience may be the most important thing. But in interpreting the experience or attempting to determine exactly what is going on, I'm not sure how to justify simply accepting the interpretation of the experiencer from an idealized science.

For example. Take a case when an experiencer recalls meeting someone who at first they did not recognize. Later, they see a picture of a person (dead relative, etc.) and then identify that person as the individual from the NDE. From a scientific point of view, should we accept that as the case without seriously considering if the person might have incorporated the image in the photograph into their recollections of the experience? Don't we have to consider that the person in the picture might have been visually similar to the person in the memory and a link is then made? We know this kind of thing happens in non-near-death contexts, so don't we have to consider it here? We know that people often experience seeing people they don't know in an NDE and never identify them. I don't think that can be justified to rule out this kind of possibility without investigation.

In such a case, rather than say we reject the report, we might justifiably say that based on the report we cannot form a reliable conclusion about it. That's not the same thing as rejecting the hypothesis, but rather that the evidence is not strong enough to accept the hypothesis.

Does anyone disagree with this assessment?
I'll give some other examples in my reply to David's post a bit later. But maybe you can comment specifically on this one: is what I propose something that you think is plausible enough that it is worth investigating?

That lack of viable alternatives is why I find these kind of books so weak on facts or philosophy. They pretend there's a physicalist interpretation waiting in the wings by ignoring the data, or cherry picking it to absurdity.
Well, the whole point of the book is to argue that there are viable alternatives that are worth investigating and they present their reasons (again, many of them versions of arguments that I've used myself in the past, though I can think of a few they left out).

One thing that I think is important to mention is that while there are hundreds of papers out there, the vast majority are not doing original research. There are relatively few original studies. What this means is that the investigation of NDEs is really in its infancy. In my mind, there is a LOT that has not been sufficiently investigated. I consider the non-brain based hypothesis to be in the running, but I also consider brain-based reasons (and I an argue reasons for both).

Alex, yourself, and others in this thread have declared that they don't accept the author's conclusions in this book, but haven't really explained why, even if they prefer the non-brain based approach, that the authors haven't at least made the case that there are brain-related avenues of investigation that are worth pursuing. I mean, I may lean to the brain-based cause (in an more IIT context) but I still consider the non-brain based approach to be a serious contender. Leaning to one side, even being strongly convinced of it, does not necessarily entail that one should not see some reason to justify following other approaches.
 
That sounds fine. The problem is that you seem to focus entirely on NDE's in a hospital setting, where resuscitation begins almost at once. This makes it fairly reasonable to discuss explanations based on the levels of oxygen maintained by CPR. However the idea that NDE's are explained that way, is blown out of the water by NDE's that happen in other circumstances - such as falling through ice into cold water. NDE's also seem to have happened down through history.

The danger then is that sceptics try to fit multiple explanations to the NDE data - confabuetc etc. Each just about fits a subset of the cases (with lots of special pleading - I mean, is residual consciousness really an explanation for these vivid experiences) - and voila - what is there left to explain! None of the explanations fit the more extreme examples, so those have to be explained by fraud or distortion of the factslation after the heart has been restarted - residual conventional consciousness at the time the NDE was supposed to occur, psychological desire to deny death.
David, you focus on these multiple proposals as just so explainations that by the end one can say "what is there left to explain?". But what if we don't consider them as explanation but rather as hypotheses that are worth exploring. That is, we accept that all of it is left to be explained but these proposals give us some good leads, and roads to pursue. Would you consider this a reasonable approach?

I'll deal with the rest of your post in a separate post as it is a topic on its own.
 
I'd argue that the NDE scales are only useful as a guide to the depth of an experience, and not whether peope had an NDE or not...

That is, how exposed they became, or, how their own brains EM field power dropped (either generally through out the brain, or in specific areas).

I had a transcendental experience as a child whilst asleep, very powerful and NDE-like, but nothing about death... just the feeling of returning home from the nut house, and a personal message that nothing that happens here (nut house) matters, all that matters is my return (home).

So are they about death... or are you pre selecting experiences and classifying them as NDE's because the person was close to death, and/or because they meet the NDE scales?

My other experience was of a break in at my dads other house. Hugely transformative and different, but nothing about death.
Well 'coming home from the nut house' seems to me to be about death in the context you are using it - i.e. leaving this life and returning to something else - or am I being too inclusive?

David
 
You've shifted away from my question. Yes, you can make your call. What I'm trying to get at is whether you believe someone else could reasonably take the testimonies of experiencers on board, assume their sincerity, accept their behavioural transformation and either:
  • Reasonably reach a different conclusion from you; or
  • Reasonably conclude that there is sufficient justification to continue to look for physiological causes.
Put another way: do you see the fact that I think there is reason to continue to investigate brain-related causes (in addition to non-brain related causes) necessarily implies that I do must not have taken their testimonies on board, assumed their sincerity and accepted their behavioural transformations..
Firstly, I haven't shifted away from anything, and of course people can come to any conclusion they please. I'm looking for a theory that matches the testimony. That means an NDE model that crosses time and culture, has distinct features including but not exclusive to: a remote view of the body and a detailed knowledge of its surroundings, a tunnel with light at the end, a spiritual figure in the light, communicating with deceased friends and relatives, a feeling of unprecedented joy in a place of incredible beauty, receiving anomalous information (including the future death of a child, or the existence of children unknown to the deceased), an overwhelming desire to stay "dead". If you can come up with a psychological cause that addresses those, I'm listening.

First of all, I don't want to tie myself down to any position on the term "conscious non-locality". That's not the term I've been using. I've been using brain-based and non-brain based with regard in particular to human consciousness (with the brain being one platform for consciousness, many others may exist as well) .
You'll have to make this clearer. What is a non-brain based platform for human consciousness consistent with a physical explanation. In particular one that matches veridical accounts and anomalous information. Do you mean super-psi? If so I've explained my position on the weakness of that theory in the past and have no intention of repeating myself. And please don't accuse me of not addressing your points for the simple reason I don't agree with them based on your lack of supporting evidence.
 
The most that medical science can explain, still leaves most of the NDE phenomenon unexplained - I mean why are NDE's about death and the idea of separating from the body, as opposed to any of the other things people dream about?

David
I think that is a valid question. Tell me if you think this is a valid consideration, that should be thought about when contemplating the answer:

NDEs are identified by getting a sufficiently high score on an NDE ratings scale, such as the Greyson scale. These scales have sepecific questions related to separation from the body, and death:
  • Did you feel separated from your body?
  • Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?
  • Did you see deceased or religious spirits?
  • Did you come to a border or point of no return?
So don't we have to ask if this is a selection effect?

Take AWARE. Here are the results in that study:

101 patients interviewed
46 no awareness
55 some awareness
46 memores incompatible with NDE, and no awareness of cardiac arrest events (median NDE scole 2)
9 compatible with NDE:
7 no auditory or vidual recall of CA events (median NDE score = 10)
2 had specific auditory/visual awareness

Here is the breakdown of those who scored on the NDE:
upload_2016-9-17_15-54-55.png

Unfortunately, the don't provide the breakdown further than that. As we can see here, the majority had experiences incompatible with the scale. Then you had a group that hit a low score with only 2 out of the whole hitting a high enough score to be classified as an NDE.

They include excerpts from some of the non-NDE reports (wish somewhere they included the complete data). There we see different contexts from the NDEs, but overlapping themes at times in terms of seeing light, seeing family members, being aware going to die. Some memory associated with medical procedure. Also events that did not overlap.

In the book they suggest terror-management theory to suggest why the theme of death might be there. I'm not sure they need to bring in that concept - you have people who have some awareness during their CA procedure. Information is being processed. Once one has some awareness that a serious medical crisis is going on it doesn't seem to me to be a big leap to thinking about death. Especially in those who perceive themselves in the room. But for others, who may be keying in to other experiences: you see a couple cases of feeling like dragged through water: the intubation may, if one became aware, give a sense of drowning.

Coming back to the main point: there is little question that the NDE scale applies a selection effect (That's its entire purpose after all). Given the nature of the scale, it is going to cluster people who have those kinds of experiences.

Even when you have just the NDEs summarized, you see that the 'core experience' as they call it, has a pretty wide distribution. It varies among studies but IIRC the most common ones are around 30% (I think a couple may have been around 50, depending on the study, I'd have to check).

What do you think? Even before we get to what we should conclude from it, do you agree that it is something that is important to discuss? I can't recall seeing any kind of detailed discussion of this in any NDE paper I've read. Maybe someone can say if it shows up in any of the books?
 
Having N hypotheses, each of which is used to explain a subset of NDE's (or anything else), is a very weak position to adopt.

David
That's a conclusion, but I'm not sure how you got there. let me give you my basic reasoning (this is my own, though they make a similar argument in the book).

Take a step back for a minute, forget about individual hypotheses which may have their own pros and cons, I'm more getting at the concept of multiple causes for NDEs, as well as causes that rely on a cocktail of processes to manifest.

Consider:
  • We know NDEs occur during a variety of situations.
  • We know that NDEs report a variety of experiences.
  • We know that certain aspects of these experiences can be replicated in a similar, if not exact manner by stimulating certain parts of the brain.
  • We know that certain aspects of these experiences show up in a similar, if not exact, manner in different situations such as injesting certain drugs, or otherwise
Putting aside the specific theories, does this not lead to the conclusion that we should be seriously considered multi-causes, including multi-cocktails? (I'm not talking about concluding that is the explanation, but rather investigating it).
 
Well 'coming home from the nut house' seems to me to be about death in the context you are using it - i.e. leaving this life and returning to something else - or am I being too inclusive?

David
I don't know if your over reaching or not... I'm just objecting to your idea that these experiences are just about death...

As far as I can tell, they appear to occur on a gradient, with the deeper experiences (higher score on the NDE scale) tending to lie further down the gradient, and thus they are necessarily closer to death at that end... but they are more correlated to EM field power reduction than anything else as far as I can see (and there are lots of ways to achieve that reduction).

The depth of the experience being affected by the period of time of the reduction, the degree of power reduction, and the areas and extent of brain affected by the reduction. [As well as the presence of third parties, strangers or friends/relatives makes a difference too.]

All I can tell you is that death didn't directly feature anywhere in my experience, and as far as I am aware I was in no danger...

I was asleep, and apparently dreaming (although the quality was wildly different)... I woke up from the experience sobbing, and face soaked in tears...

It's possible I could have been choking in my sleep. I've also considered that my estranged grandfather could have died on this night a few streets away from me, but there is no way of confirming that, as I didn't record the date of my experience.

Nether the less, death didn't *directly* feature anywhere at all in the experience. But it left me with a personal and powerful take home message, just like NDE's do... and that message appears to be relevant to the 'living'.
 
Thank you! That's one of the most under-discussed aspects of the phenomenon. Don't dreams and hallucinations (including drug-induced hallucinations) cover a multitude of mundane and/or strange experiences, mostly unrelated to any idea of an afterlife? The near-death experience seems to be set apart from these others in terms of content, lucidity, life-changing profundity and long term retention in memory.
So think about this in the context of my last post: if these other experiences (being dragged through water, seeing lions and tigers, seeing men being burned, executed, etc.) are occurring in the same conditions as the experiences that score on the NDE scale. why should they not be considered alongside them?

This is not metaphysic dependant by the way - it doesn't eliminate the issue of how they had those experiences during conditions where we might not expect the brain to be capable of producing them. But I think it suggests that the answer to your question might be: they are not set apart from the NDE. NDE's are a subset of all the experiences that occur in those conditions and they should all be considered together.

I didn't key into this before, but I just noticed that in the AWARE study Parnia seems to offer advice along these lines:

Our results provide further understanding of the broad mental
experience that likely accompanies death after circulatory standstill.
As most patients’ experiences were incompatible with a NDE,
the term NDE while commonly used may be insufficient to describe
the experience that is associated with the biological processes of
death after circulatory standstill. Future research should focus on
the mental state of CA and its impact on the lives of survivors as
well as its relationship with cognitive deficits including PTSD.
Our
data also suggest, the experience of CA may be distinguished from
the term NDE, which has many scientific limitations including a
lack of a universally accepted physiological definition of being ‘near
death’.34–36 This imprecision may contribute to ongoing conflicting
views within the scientific community regarding the subject.36–39
He seems to be recommending treating all CA experiences together, if I'm correctly understanding this. And for the same reason I've suggested.
 
...
  • We know that certain aspects of these experiences can be replicated in a similar, if not exact manner by stimulating certain parts of the brain.
  • We know that certain aspects of these experiences show up in a similar, if not exact, manner in different situations such as injesting certain drugs, or otherwise
Putting aside the specific theories, does this not lead to the conclusion that we should be seriously considered multi-causes, including multi-cocktails? (I'm not talking about concluding that is the explanation, but rather investigating it).
So think about this in the context of my last post: if these other experiences (being dragged through water, seeing lions and tigers, seeing men being burned, executed, etc.) are occurring in the same conditions as the experiences that score on the NDE scale. why should they not be considered alongside them?
To be quite frank, I'm struggling to understand what you are saying in these two posts. Are you saying that there is little or no difference between the NDE and a given selection of hallucinatory experiences? Or that for every "common" NDE feature there is an equivalent hallucinatory experience, so that you can offer a patchwork of causes such as DMT or oxygen deprivation and, when stitched together, you have explained the NDE? If so, I disagree and I do so from the various reports I have read of the conclusions of the researchers AND the experiencers themselves. Parnia clearly believes there is something special about the NDE although the terms he sometimes uses cause people to think otherwise. I remember Alex giving Parnia a hard time because of Parnia's use of the word "hallucination". I hope I am not expected to post a string of links and videos which have all been posted here many times (I don't have the time at the moment because I'm busy preparing to move home).

Also, I would not agree with your choice of the words I have bolded in the first quote above. "Replicated" is far too strong, even with the qualifier "similar, if not exact". What you seem to be saying is that these are damn near equivalents and I don't see a justification for that assumption. Finally, does any part of that patchwork explain the veridical observations?
 
OK, I'll just post one video which is relevant to the discussion above. I treid to copy the clip so that it starts at the right part of the debate but failed so please note that it begins at around 51m 50s. Here, Parnia and the others discuss whether these NDEs are hallucinations or not and also there is a discussion on the qualitative differences.

 
Also, I would not agree with your choice of the words I have bolded in the first quote above. "Replicated" is far too strong, even with the qualifier "similar, if not exact". What you seem to be saying is that these are damn near equivalents and I don't see a justification for that assumption. Finally, does any part of that patchwork explain the veridical observations?
I think it is great that there is now a simple way in which anyone can obtain veridical information of what is happening at a distance, meet with spiritual beings and deceased relatives, and which will permanently shift people's outlook away from the material and towards greater compassion.

Please, where can I find out more about this great breakthrough which was alluded to in the post you replied to?
 
To be quite frank, I'm struggling to understand what you are saying in these two posts. Are you saying that there is little or no difference between the NDE and a given selection of hallucinatory experiences? Or that for every "common" NDE feature there is an equivalent hallucinatory experience, so that you can offer a patchwork of causes such as DMT or oxygen deprivation and, when stitched together, you have explained the NDE? If so, I disagree and I do so from the various reports I have read of the conclusions of the researchers AND the experiencers themselves.

Also, I would not agree with your choice of the words I have bolded in the first quote above. "Replicated" is far too strong, even with the qualifier "similar, if not exact". What you seem to be saying is that these are damn near equivalents and I don't see a justification for that assumption. Finally, does any part of that patchwork explain the veridical observations?
That's not quite what I'm saying, I'll try and clarify. (Note: I switched around your last two paragraphs to keep the theme together).

I agree that replicate was the wrong word. I'm not trying to equate the experiences or argue that they are near equivalent, or little to no difference - there are differences, from the reports I've seen (I can dig up examples if that will help). But that's not where I was going. I'm not, here, making the argument that stitching these together "explains" NDE. In this line of discussion I'm pre-explanation. I'm strictly at the hypothesis/investigation phase here.

I'm arguing that these reports tell us something about what the brain may be capable of. They raise the reasonable question of whether similar processes may be involved during the NDE., though triggered by different means, and in a different combination producing experiences that are similar in some ways, different in others. Studies like the LCD and DMT papers we were discussing in detail a few weeks ago, among others. They also have the advantage of being capable of being studied in much more controlled environments.

I want to be clear: I'm not suggesting that anyone should be convinced at this point that this is what is going on. That would not be reasonable since this research has only just begun. I also suggesting that it would be unreasonable to dismiss this hypothesis out of hand. I think there is good reason to consider it as a worthy avenue of research, given the studies that have been done to now that we've discussed on this forum. I'm not proposing this as an assumption, but as a reasonable line of research that there is good reason at this time to pursue.

Parnia clearly believes there is something special about the NDE although the terms he sometimes uses cause people to think otherwise. I remember Alex giving Parnia a hard time because of Parnia's use of the word "hallucination". I hope I am not expected to post a string of links and videos which have all been posted here many times (I don't have the time at the moment because I'm busy preparing to move home).
Yes, he does think there is something special going on, my point was getting at that he isn't limiting his scope to the criteria of the NDE scale. As he states in the quote above, he advocates for a broader view. He makes this point even more clear in this letter: Reply letter to: Letter to the editor Parnia, Sam et al. AWARE – Awareness during resuscitation – A prospective study:
The aims and objectives of the study have been outlined in the manuscript.1 These do not include the study of “philosophical discourses” or “heaven” etc. – but rather the state of the human mind and consciousness (including awareness) during cardiac arrest as well as the human experience of death.1 Furthermore, we did not aim to specifically study so called near-death experiences (NDE's). .1, 2 While Dr Engmann has suggested that a measure of a core NDE does not exist, however, the Greyson Near-Death Experience scale has traditionally been used toThe NDE term, as explained in the manuscript and elsewhere, while often used historically in relation to experiences recalled under a variety of circumstances (including some completely unrelated to clinical illness or death) may no longer be applicable for use in relation to cardiac arrest describe the core features of a NDE.3 For this reason it was also used in our study and has also been used in numerous other studies.
We are intrigued by Dr Engmann's suggestion that our study has been conducted in a non-objective manner based on the fact that we did not limit our study solely to NDE's. In fact, rather than focusing solely on so called NDE's we examined the broad experience of death, and concluded that the experiences recalled in relation to death are more broad than that described in the past as a NDE. As explained in the methodology and results section of the manuscript the experiences were not classified as real NDE's and non-real NDE's.​
To me this seems pretty non-ambiguous. How do you read it? Does it contradict what you've seen from him elsewhere? (Edit: note, I haven't yet watched the video you posted but will do so)

Assume a case identical in every way to the Pam Reynolds case, or the denture case, but replace their experiences with one where the person saw the sun shining and lions and tigers. Assume everything else is the same with regard to the medical procedure, the timing of the experience, etc. Does it change the fundamental issue of how could the person have an experience at that time? With regard to all those non-NDE experiences that Parnia reports, do you assume that none of them occurred when the patient had a flat EEG? That each of them actually had their experience before or after that time?

Note: treating the complete set of experiences rather than a selected subset does not answer the question of whether mind=brain. It provides a more complete picture of the phenomenology and greatly reduces the risk of bias that comes with selected samples. Does anyone think this is incorrect?
 
Welcome, and feel free to chime in any time (especially when you agree with me ;) ). I'm also interested in the definition of hallucination: as I understand it, hallucinations happen, by definition, when the person is conscious. That can include hypnagogia - the state of consciousness bordering on sleep but not sleep itself. So it would seem to me that states of unconsciousness during anaesthesia can't produce - again by definition - hallucinations.

So then we have to ask whether a patient under anaesthesia is, in fact, conscious. This article seems to say that there are rare cases when this may be true:



Now, if it is claimed that NDE patients are among those rare cases, then why do so few report pain or terror? Indeed, the opposite seems to be the case in most cases I've seen (although there are occasional "hellish" experiences reported but they seem to be terrifying due to the hellish afterlife they find themselves in, not the terror of being aware they are being operated upon).

I'm sure that Small Dog will respond to this as it is his area of expertise.
The term awareness under anaesthesia covers the range of possible experiences. It can be explicit or implicit. The former - the patient wakes up and says: "I woke up during the operation and heard what you said etc., etc.", the latter - recalling intra-operative events under persistent questioning or hypnosis. I don't remember the stats, but from the memory in most cases of awareness there is no pain or distress, just some recall. It is more common in cardiac anaesthesia where patients are given large doses of opioids - the drugs that don't interfere with consciousness as much as anaesthetic gases. In lay terms the patient is high on drugs and doesn't get distressed in this instance.
 
Top