Why all this is so important
Apologies for not taking part in the discussions of late but the reasons will become apparent as you read on.
As regulars of this blog will know, my father had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for a number of years, and that in itself poses questions that we have discussed on here regarding what happens to the conscious person during the slow decaying of the brain. What happens to the memories…are they lost forever or stored in some “central repository” outside of this dimension? Of course we have absolutely no idea other than some of the insights that have been gleaned from various subjective NDE reports over the years. Which brings me on to a very personal NDE report, very close to home.
Usually we focus on the science of NDEs and what evidence we have either way, but today I am going to tell you about the NDE that first got me interested in this subject when I was 13 years old. My father was an honest man. He hated lying, and other than Santa, as far as I know he never lied to me about anything, which makes his NDE account the one that holds the most validity to me. He told me that when he was about 9 years old he got knocked off his bike by a car. Suddenly he was above the scene watching people running towards the boy sprawled on the ground in front of the car. The next thing he remembered was being in a beautiful field. It was warm, and the colors were magically vibrant, and there were flowers like he had never seen. At the end of the field was a brilliant figure in white with his arms open. He was drawn towards the figure, but before he reached him (or her), he was suddenly back in his body and awake.
Last week my father passed on…to a better place. I can say that with absolute confidence, not just because of my personal faith but because of his and countless other NDE reports that have so much consistency in terms of fundamental content, that I do not need the results of AWARE II to believe that they are real. I am certain that our inner beings survive death and enter an eternal place of incomparable beauty, and into fellowship with others that is beyond any relationship we ever experience in this physical world.
Finally, the other reason that I have been “off the grid” is that in the little spare time I’ve had, I have been sorting out the internal design and cover of my book on the Origins of DNA and Life. It should be available next week, and of course I will let my friends on this forum know. You will also learn my real name as well (although I think some have already connected another blog with this, which I am just putting together, so may already know).
Ben, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Alzheimer’s is heartbreaking, but I too believe he is in a better place. Thank you also for sharing the story of his NDE.
Thank you, very much appreciated. I know people might find it a bit self-indulgent posting it, but it was his NDE that inspired my interest in the subject in the first place.
Sorry to gear about your dad too
Not at all its your blog.
Indeed, but I hope other regulars like yourself feel it is their space too.
So sorry to hear about your Dad and thank you for sharing with us the story of his NDE. I read this site in part because I want to know my own Dad (who also has passed away) is okay and that there is a happy ending for all of us. Take care and thank you for all your work maintaining this site.
Thank you lurker number 2!
I am sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace.
I can see how your fathers NDE has the most validity for you. My uncle was also a very reliable person, who would not lie and I feel the same way about his NDE experience. It is the most believable NDE expeience for me and it made me interested in NDE´s, after my father passed away.
Thank you for the kind words. I do think if you know someone credible who has had an NDE it really helps reinforce your belief in the validity of them. The science sort of melts away, and you are left with the sense of something much bigger than us and completely awesome. That’s not to downplay the importance of scientific scrutiny of the subject, but it just creates a perspective.
Sorry to hear about your loss. I used to be on your e-mail list, I believe, but I’m not sure if I fell off it or what. Anyway, I did a search for the Aware study and I found your blog again. Thank you for keeping this up. I look forward to seeing more updates about Dr. Parnia’s work in the future.
I’m sorry to read that, Ben.
Thank you. It was a mercy to be honest. The circumstances “spook” me a bit. My mother and I walked out of the care home together and had a coffee, and for the first time she conceded that he might be suffering and that he might be better off passing on. The following night he died. They were very close for 56 years.
Feel condolences for your father, I (as well as having a personal site where I also occasionally publish articles on NDE) are the administrator of a Facebook page focused on NDEs, with more than 2000 members on the page:
many people have told us their experience and then now I absolutely do not doubt that these experiences are real, my interest in this topic stems from my curiosity to understand who I am and what will remain of my essence, I have always been fascinated by the NDE, but only after a personal problem of my health I found the strength and determination to deepen the subject, before I was too scared of death and then I preferred to live my life without deepening, continually postponing the deepening …. when you think of being closer to the exit door then you find the courage to go out. I read a lot on the subject, I listened to many experiences, but among all I placed more confidence on the work of a “little” great woman, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, who both for preparation, for culture, for field experience transmitted (without even having met her in person) a trust like no one else has managed to give me. It has given me confidence and strength both in life and in later life.
I have therefore sentenced this trust to others, through my website and my facebook page, which I administer with another person. I think everyone should know that our life does not end and that it continues for other important adventures and that what we do here will reverberate for eternity.
Thanks for the realization of this useful blog, I hope you will continue to keep us informed about the developments of Aware II and / or those that will come.
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Condolences . And what a great reveal for your passion in this subject. It’s innate in our species to feel there must be something outside our physical senses as we understand them, and myself I believe there’s no smoke without fire…. Not having the personal evidential pressure you have revealed, I will always try to remain objective and hope for proven scientific pointers. Your work and future publication plans sound very interesting. I think biogenesis is a very relevant topic. All the best to you.
Thank you. Yes, just fussing over some final details, and then I will publish. That book will be totally science based.
I am sure looking forward. My Aunt was the opposite to your dad but something weird with her. She was mottling . I later found out that almost no one is consciouss in that stage but she was and she ate the Christmas candy I brought. .She was very popular at the nursing home she waved us to all leave .All left her orders were always followed. Later she was gone. That was her.
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I did not know where to post this but thought that it would be interesting. I got an answer to your post about meditation induced near death experiences, from of one of the researchers that conducted the study. His answers are not very convincing but here they are:
1. You are reading the graph incorrectly because as stated in the paper, the scores have undergone a rank transformation. Contrary to what you have written, they do equate to the average scores on the Greyson NDE scale.
2. At no point in the paper does it state that I selected the participants “from a group of people that I know”. Only three of the 12 participants were known to the research team. The remainder were recruited through an extended global network of Buddhist monastic and lay (including males and females) meditation practitioners. The rationale underlying this methodological approach is clearly articulated in the paper. Furthermore, to our knowledge, none of the participants knew each other or had knowledge of other individuals who had enrolled in the study.
3. The qualitative analysis seeks to identify themes that run across all participants’ experiences. The fact that all participants – from fundamentally different cultural, geographical and Buddhist practice backgrounds – independently report very similar experiences, helps to add objectivity to their subjective accounts.
4. Various established methodological procedures were undertaken to mitigate against any biases arising due to the authors’ own prior assumptions and/or epistemological stance. These are clearly detailed in the paper under the section on data analysis (study 2). The data analysis for study 1 was independently performed by the study statistician.
5. The control conditions (study 1) were a methodological step introduced to help distinguish the MI-NDE from other forms of advanced meditation, including those that could be mistaken as constituting an NDE due to involving contemplation on death.
6. Contrary to what you have written, all of the study participants reported an out-of-body experience (OBE). This is one of the items on the Greyson NDE scale and participant responses to specific items are addressed in the Discussion section of the paper. OBEs are also alluded to in study 2. Many thanks William
Hi Samwise. I will have to go back to that post and look at it again. It’s good that he responded, and if I remember, I don’t necessarily dispute that it may be possible to induce some aspects of NDEs through meditation or any other process, like drugs. Statistical methodology aside, for me though, none of these studies challenges the belief or “theory” that NDEs are evidence that the conscious is a separate entity from the physical body and able to exist once the body has died.
Just putting the finishing touches to the Amazon storefront of my new book, which should be live by this evening. Maybe I can get back to writing about NDEs again!