NDE and the race problem: a retrospective, and some new thoughts

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by Kai, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Kai

    Kai New

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,546
    Although I count myself more sympathetic to NDEs today than I was, say, a year ago, I must admit that this issue still troubles me quite a lot. It’s some years since I noticed it now, and introduced the idea on forums of the day. The first problem I encountered was getting people to see that there was a problem, and indeed that was one of the first reactions that I encountered: what are you talking about…black people MUST have NDEs…because, well, this just IS a universal human phenomenon…it, umm, HAS TO BE, and so this must be mistaken.

    And I understood. And (now anyway) I do sympathize. Believe me.

    Then some people assumed that I was some kind of closet racist. That I had some underlying gene or tendency for white supremacy or something because I dared to suggest that NDE incidence may not be racially equal. But the fact is, all kinds of things are not racially equal, both on the plus and the minus side of any given race, so this is no argument.

    I’ve learned that a picture is worth a thousand words in this area, so here is a screenshot of a popular NDE channel. See if you can spot a problem. I just took this yesterday, so this is not old.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the single black face you can see there is not even an NDE, it’s an “angel experience” at a gas station…which frankly, just sounds like another regular human being generous.

    Here’s another channel. Perhaps two pictures are worth two thousand words.

    [​IMG]

    But don’t take my word for it at this point. Check any popular NDE channel for yourselves and you will see the same pattern. White faces. I mean row after row after row of them. The hair on the back of your neck starts to go up. Or it should.

    So anyway, that was all several years ago (that I first noticed this), and as I said at the opening (and I am SINCERE about this!) I am now more open to spiritual possibility than I was even a year ago on this very website. So Kai 2 like Web 2 has a different (or perhaps additional) problems to face with this conundrum.

    So what IS the solution to this worrying thing?

    At the time, even those who acknowledged (largely because they had checked for themselves) that I had a real point, were a little too quick to explanations they hoped for, but for which there was (and is, really) no *substantive* evidence.

    Probably the most popular explanation was the idea that African American (AA) communities were having just as many NDEs as Eurasians, but they just weren’t sharing them. Now I can consider, to a degree at least, that this might be a factor. I emphasize; MIGHT be. It is NOT a “given” that it is, let alone that it is the major explanation of the problem. This idea would really need to be formally proved with a socio-anthropic study. It can’t just be assumed to be correct. IF it is correct, the reluctance of AAs to share NDEs must be culturally pervasive and deep. Even now, in 2015, the number of AA NDEs visible on social media can be counted easily on one person’s hands. Ponder that for a moment. The entire contiguous United States. What the hell?

    Another popular explanation, and one that for a while I (sort of) favored myself…and to a degree may do so still…is that there is something about the cultural expression of spirituality, and particularly its gregarious, participatory, social element, that makes this *different enough* from the psycho-social baseline of caucasians with respect to spiritual behavior and ideation, that NDEs just aren’t “necessary” in the AA psycho-spiritual framework.

    But even if true, that remains kind of “disturbing” does it not? A genuine other dimension or spiritual reality just “doesn’t bother” in the case of a whole race, simply because, well “they’re already kind of spiritual in other ways.” It sounds unnervingly psychological. Kind of akin to folks who are into porn not being interested in the bedroom anymore. That sort of thing.

    So this problem, like its partner (which I also tried to get people to see as a real problem at the time…NDEs are “prime-of-life centric” and very rare in persons of advanced age) is a real problem.

    But when it really comes down to it I can’t shake the nagging suspicion that there are less NDEs in AAs because…there simply ARE LESS in AAs. I’ve been through all the possible arguments, and while they are interesting, at present at least, I remain just not convinced that reporting and/or spiritual behaviors is enough to tackle the elephant of the problem. I mean the discrepancy is HUGE…there are tens of thousands of Eurasian NDEs and…a Handful of AA ones.

    And of course this harms our instinct about NDEs. What would it mean that this is NOT in fact a “universal human” experience…but primarily a “Caucasian-European and Asian human experience”? I think it is because people assume from their own first principles that the experience just MUST be universal that they respond to the fact of the absence of AA cases with a kind of steep cognitive dissonance.

    Of course (and now here I am adding some NEW thoughts, which reflect some further thinking on the issue, since I originally brought this up), nn another sense, this problem can simply be considered a subset of the problem of why most people experiencing a close-to-fatal trauma don’t have an NDE anyway. And underlying that problem is a key assumption that easily escapes attention…the notion that a spiritual reality or genuinely existing frame of reference beyond the mundane world is entirely “free” and “enabled” in terms of who it makes contact with, and who it is capable of making contact with.

    But that strikes me as a precarious assumption. If there are individual differences in the degree to which each of us is “accessible” to a spiritual reality, why can there not be racial differences…or gender differences, or age differences, or differences wrought by upbringing and traumatic life experience?

    What if the races are simply different with respect to their susceptibility to *trigger factors*? There is no need, and it is not helpful, to express this as inherently “positive” for one race and inherently negative for the other. That language is best avoided, I feel. Thus, we could either say that whites are triggered more easily, or else their systems are simply more unstable or fragile. But in some way, this point of access (be it opportunity or flaw) enables spiritual reality to “break through” into the minds and lives of certain people (and certain groups of people, even very large ethnic groups) more easily than others.

    I’m sorry, but that’s the way it seems to me. And if there were not a “breaking through” component necessary, why on earth would so many people almost need to die of a heart attack or cancer in the first place, or a hellish accident with long months or years of rehabilitation…before they even have one of these uplifting experiences?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  2. Bill33

    Bill33 New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    44
    During an episode of NDE radio, I cannot remember which one, the guest mentioned a book, which i ended up buying the kindle version. It is called good, clean dark. It is a book about African American NDE's. I recommend you check it out.
     
    Roberta and Ian Gordon like this.
  3. Kai

    Kai New

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,546
    I've seen that. It looks self published to me, and on the edge of deceitful. "Lloyd Rudy" was a well known cardiac surgeon who discussed two veridical style NDEs. The author of this book is not that Lloyd Rudy. There are no research details or source information. Etc...

    Here is the original Dr. Lloyd Rudy discussing NDEs for reference.

     
  4. Bill33

    Bill33 New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    44
    Wow I didn't realize it was two different people. I think I heard about it on the episode with Robert mays and his wife . He presented the same info, that doctor and the two verdical NDE's but apparently thought the author of that book was the same guy. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  5. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    I am a Chinese, and I think I'm a very typical Chinese, for example, was born in China mainland, grown up in one of the top 20 biggest cities in China with 8 millions of population. What would I say about this? I am thinking ...
    China has more than 13 0000 0000 = 1.3 000 000 000 = 1.3 billion people, 1/5 of the global population. I dread I made a mistake in the numbers, but anyway just around that "large" concept.

    Yes, publicly, Chinese hospital has official records about nde. Chinese science research organizations and universities fully acknowledge the existence of this phenomenon, and we have formally documented accounts, though nde accounts have never been taken into serious consideration, they are just there, archived.

    And personally, I once listened face to face to a doctor talking about one nde or nde-like account he encountered (with verified obe observation but not very impressive level of information quantity, the patient said correctly about the exact seats his family members were on while waiting during his surgery).

    But nde is not, and has never been a somehow "hot" phenomenon both among folks and academies. NDE phenomenon has the least, the very very little prevalence in China.
    Let me share my opinions about the reason behind this:

    1, Chinese people are relatively poor according to the western standards. Our social assurance can't guarantee everyone of us on receiving the proper medical care (require us to spend tons of money to receive proper treatment otherwise no one would help us so severe illness would be a disaster to any family), the decent education for our children (money money without money the society doesn't care about you being an illiterate), etc. I don't extend on this. Our government is one of the greatest government ever in the human history and also among today internation, because it's a great challenge for any organization to unite and administer such large population. But that to which not a reasonable target to be blamed, is the fact that various social drawbacks and problems are just inevitable. This induces several social problems which are absent in western countries:

    1.1, Most of Chinese people are very PRACTICAL, PRAGMATIC, (I don't know which word is more proper), we have scarcely time or money to care about something unrelated to basic living. Trans-european journey belongs to westerners, activities of cuddling lovely pets belong to westerners, religious faiths belong to westerners, paranormal interests belong to westerners, we just work harder and harder to earn the basic living or assurance to our future livings. Someone would tell me, oh, he knows some of Chinese people do believe in Buddha, Christian, etc, yes, that's right but we do not spend money on this kind of "believe" unless some of us are too rich.

    1.2, The eagerness to live and live better, impales someone on hobby of juggling as a charlatan, western charlatans are wiser, but Chinese charlatans' quantity is larger. And funny enough, with an environment ubiquitous of charlatans, we are more immune to deceit. Since Chinese people are relatively poor, yesterday I was credulous and lost 100 dollars, today I'm credulous again and lost 200 dollars, tomorrow I won't be credulous again otherwise I would starve. So we generally don't believe paranormal, superstitious things, etc unless someone would provide really tangible evidences.

    2, In China mainland we can't access youtube, unless using proxy but those are not stable. For the reason, oh, various, but I can't enumerate them. However, I respect our government's foreign websites blocking policies, no matter for any reasons.

    3, Most of Chinese people do not bother learning foreign languages, yes, not even as bad as mine.

    4, 5, many other I can't think of ...

    To be short, there won't be many trustworthy nde accounts in China to expect, we can easily categorize any reported nde accounts into biological explanation, delirious, brain damage, self-deceive or deceive (I don't mean with malicious purpose of course). If I never heard about western nde accounts, I would probably ignore this thingy and consider it as unscientific as batman legends. Just my personal opinion, though I know my ethnics better and closer. The people surrounding me, all, I mean an absolute all, except me, never heard about the term - nde and never would take interests in it.
     
  6. DasMurmeltier

    DasMurmeltier New

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    501
    So, basically most chinese people are more concerned with their lifes that they live right now because they cant afford to act otherwise, huh?
     
  7. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    Bottom line is that the NDE should be occurring across race, culture and economic strata. There may be any number of reasons why any particular group doesn't express the experience. My suspicion is that lack of reports doesn't mean that the experience isn't occurring. I don't know what the experience is, but my guess it is related to being human.
     
  8. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    Yes I meant so, at least close to so. Sorry if my sentences are difficult to read. I know some major grammar rules but I'm bad on proper semantic usage, idest sometimes I don't know which words or phrases to use to exactly convey my meaning.

    But I don't take my opinions absolute or ascertained. Just a tilted inclination on the Libra(balance). And for the disinclination of accepting fairy-tales like explanation, for the lack of romance, I mean relative to most westerners.

    A large portion (percentage) of nde narratives are fairy-tales like, in the sense of "God loves us all", "there is definitely an afterlife which is wonderful", "ineffable joy", etc.

    Most Chinese people are very vigilant before such things, for that our livings are relatively more cruel than that of westerners, and we have seen too many charlatans and measures of deceit, we have no other choice but to learn to always be super practical and pragmatic.

    But with such large population, the diversity is wide, almost every kind of person can be seen in China. So I mean "mostly", we only put weights on heavy evidences, only pursuit tangible benefit, and disincline to make or accept fairy-tales.
     
  9. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    The possible existence of a continence of consciousness following the death of the physical body is a very complex issue. Boiling it down to "fairy tales" shows ignorance on your part of many different paths of experience that may point in that direction. I would advise you to read more widely across different but related subjects to gain a wider perspective. Mediumship, the OBE, NDEs and many generally occult topics can provide some scope that opens the mind a bit.
     
    tarantulanebula likes this.
  10. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    To be frank, some Chinese people also believe that they are correct and that Western culture is somehow more naive than Chinese culture, where they know the truth. We hosted a Chinese student last year and he made this abundantly clear.
     
    tarantulanebula likes this.
  11. Vault313

    Vault313 New

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,254
    I think Tarantulanebula brings up a few good points. I think it's important to keep in mind that for a long time, the west has held the majority of the wealth. Wealthier societies have more time for leisure and pursuing interest that do not merely pertain to survival. However, there are still those who are impoverished within these societies for whom it would seem foolish to persue such things as NDE research, seeing as this does nothing to help put food on the table, in other words, further survival. It's a sad fact that minorities make up a large portion of the impoverished in the west, especially the United States.

    And it's not just a survival issue. It's an access issue as well. Limited access to the Internet and other forms of media could mean that they aren't aware of the concept of an NDE. So it's possible someone in this situation could have experienced an NDE, but didn't really understand what it was or why it happened to them. They may not be aware that there even is a community interested in these experiences.

    Another thing that is pertinent IMO, is the religion issue.
    It's already pretty well known among those in the NDE research field, or spectators like us, that many NDEs contain images, messages, themes, etc that either do not at all pertain to religious beliefs, or in some instances outright refute or counter traditional Christian religions. There would be a pretty strong impetus to either keep it to themselves or share it with a very select number of people, likely only those they feel they can trust the most. You also cannot rule out the possibility that some may struggle with the messages or concepts they were presented with during the NDE, and as such do not want to share, because they don't understand it themselves, or they choose to ignore it, act like it didn't happen because to do otherwise could bring about a change in their life or circumstances they find undesirable.

    Christianity itself is also quite unkind to the concept of the NDE. Some come right out and say they believe it to be the work of the devil. Remember the "Heaven Is For Real" kid and the hullabaloo made recently over him recanting his entire testimony, many saying it was due to pressure put on him and his family by their Christian church.

    Also do not underestimate how truly materialistic the society we live in is. So-called "rationalism"- the kind that does not allow for such silly things as psi or NDEs. There is a very, very strong pressure within our society to conform to this "rationalism".

    I'm sure it's already been done, but I damn near guarantee that an anonymous survey asking about ones belief in all things "paranormal" is going to give you very different results from one that does not provide such anonymity.
     
  12. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    This is also frankly bullshit. A large percentage of the western hemisphere live hardscrabble lives that I'm sure contend with anything in China.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.
  13. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    Thanks for your recommendations, ok, now I recede and shrink (make it less intensified and less specific) the use of the word "fairy-tales" to "generally positive perspective". I substitute "generally positive perspective" for "fairy-tales".

    sb substitute A for B, I forget whether this usage is correct ;)

    So the meaning I wanted to convey, is that relative to most westerners, in the front of "happy, joyful, naive, loving, trusting, or any positive view and expectation to the ahead unknown", most of Chinese tend to be very vigilant and disincline to believe. I don't mean we are pessimistic, but if anyone has seen too many tragedies caused of credulity and positive-prone, he would generate a similar shield to protect himself and the people surrounding him.

    I don't mean it should be a pessimistic shield, it's not about good or evil, instead, about simple or complex, the cruelty of Chinese society and heavy pressure on living decently, have cultivated the relative complex rules, there are "latent, underground, implicit, and not so simple rules" underlying almost everything, which need to be heeded.
     
  14. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    I think you are on solid ground when you are speaking about China. But I think your comparisons with the West show an ignorance of the huge variety of life in the west. Maybe when you say "westerners" you mean white people who live in Europe and America in comparative wealth. Your use of the term Westerner is misplaced.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.
  15. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    By the way. I am in no way trying to discourage you from posting here and sharing your ideas, which are very valuable. Your use of the English language is excellent also. I just think you are making some generalizations and assumptions that perhaps you should think over. I admire your determination to seek out alternative information. I wish you the best of luck.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.
  16. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    Yes I double reassure this statement. Indeed, "naive" is the view of most Chinese people towards western culture. And importantly, we use "naive" not by any bit sense of contempt, but by a great sense of praise and admire. Because we believe it is the "loving, gentle(like knight spirit to women), courtesy(to the old and weak), caring, sympathetic, compassionate, honest, etc" traits of western society, which have caused and have been maintaining this kind of "naive" atmosphere abrim western society, which is to be envied by us.

    Also, I don't mean Chinese people are lack of "loving, gentle, courtesy, caring, sympathetic, compassionate, honest, etc" traits. It is because of the cruelty and danger ubiquitous in our society, that enforce us to learn how to ignore something sounds sweet, especially when considering whether and how to trust and help a troubled stranger. It is similar to westerners' vigilance to hitchhiker, especially when driving on an unfamiliar road.

    There are "latent, underground, implicit, and not so simple rules" underlying almost everything, for the people who don't carve this recognition in their hearts, we have seen many of them tragic enough. We don't think our culture is where one can know the truth, by no means so, instead its cruelty, complex and deceitful are facts caused by uncontrolled objective forces.
     
  17. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    Yes, I agree with you, I'm not familiar to what you say and I overlooked them. I should reconsider the nde reported by westerners who are not "white people who live in Europe and America in comparative wealth"
    Sure.
     
  18. tarantulanebula

    tarantulanebula New

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    195
    Thank you.

    For my opinions I mean mostly, also mean I present my opinions without sticking to them.

    The same to you, best wishes for you to be lucky and happy :)
     
  19. Far.From.Here

    Far.From.Here New

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    932
    This is a fairy tale.

    My heart goes out for anyone having to live in such explicit oppression.
     
  20. Kai

    Kai New

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,546
    Yes, the larger worldwide problem of variances in the presence or content of NDEs is definitely there, and TN points out some very valid reasons in his first post. However, when one translates the problem into a whole other geographical land,with its social and political history, one adds on numerous other complicating variables that make investigating the picture hard.

    This is one advantage of asking the question relative to the AA component on the North American continent (or at least doing so FIRST before it is extended beyond). It can’t simply be a matter of spiritual behavior styles, as there is no shortage of AAs in inter-racial marriages, yet if there is an NDE in those marriages, it is always the white spouse having it. It can’t be a matter simply of socio-economic success. There are plenty of wealthy and successful AAs (fewer than whites, but still, it is by no means a phantom population). It can’t be a lack of exposure (simply) to American cultural values. And so on.

    It *is* a concern that we hear nary a tale of NDEs from medical teams operating in famine- blighted areas of Africa, where, during a crisis, hundreds of thousands of people die. That does raise the spectre, again, of “white people’s problems.”

    Anyway, whatever the solution is, it is worth bearing in mind that these questions are important, and that one can’t really be talking of a “near death experience” without being aware of them on some level. Even here on the North American continent, the deep discrepancy between Caucasian and black NDE numbers is distracting, and can’t be swept under the carpet. Like I said in the OP, this needs a proper study. We have an empirical absence. The reason(s) at this point are not formally known.
     

Share This Page