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The Day I Died: The Mind, The Brain, And Near-Death Experiences

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The Day I Died: The Mind, The Brain, And Near-Death Experiences
Recent studies of cardiac arrest survivors suggest that near-death experiences may occur at times when the brain has actually stopped functioning. Drawing conclusions from that research, The Day I Died dares to suggest that the mind is not dependent on the brain—and that NDEs may confirm it. “That the mind is located in the brain is just a hypothesis. It’s never been proven,” says cardiologist Pim van Lommel. Accounts of NDEs, shared by the people who experienced them, are analyzed by researchers and skeptics alike, providing a balanced look at a theory of mind that, at least in scientific circles, has previously been all but unthinkable.

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Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience - Pim von Lommel pdf

As a cardiologist, Pim van Lommel was struck by the number of his patients who claimed to have near-death experiences as a result of their heart attacks. As a scientist, this was difficult for him to accept: Wouldn't it be scientifically irresponsible of him to ignore the evidence of these stories? Faced with this dilemma, van Lommel decided to design a research study to investigate the phenomenon under the controlled environment of a cluster of hospitals with a medically trained staff.

For more than twenty years van Lommel systematically studied such near-death experiences in a wide variety of hospital patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In 2001, he and his fellow researchers published his study on near-death experiences in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. The article caused an international sensation as it was the first scientifically rigorous study of this phenomenon. Now available for the first time in English, van Lommel offers an in-depth presentation of his results and theories in this book that has already sold over 125,000 copies in Europe.

Van Lommel provides scientific evidence that the near-death phenomenon is an authentic experience that cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis, or oxygen deprivation. He further reveals that after such a profound experience, most patients' personalities undergo a permanent change. In van Lommel's opinion, the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. In Consciousness Beyond Life, van Lommel shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that, remarkably and significantly, consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body.

Coast to Coast AM - 08-08-10 - Near Death Experiences

Host:
Ian Punnett

Guests:
Pim van Lommel

Ian Punnett welcomed cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel, who talked about how his research into near-death experiences concludes that these are authentic events that cannot be attributed to imagination. Van Lommel explained that cardiac arrest survivors are ideal candidates for NDE studies because it is thought to be medically impossible for them to experience consciousness when their circulation and breathing have ceased. Additionally, unlike previous NDE studies which relied on testimony submitted by those who had near-death experiences, his research actively sought out potential candidates from cardiac arrest survivors. This prospective method was surprisingly simple, in that he merely asked the out-treatment patients if they "had memories of the period of unconsciousness. That was the only question."

One particularly strong piece of evidence that Van Lommel discussed was NDEs where the experiencers received previously unknown information. To that end, he shared the tale of a man who had a cardiac arrest and then an NDE. During his near-death experience, the man saw an older gentleman who "looked at him lovingly, but whom he did not know." Over ten years later, as his mother was dying, she revealed to him that he was conceived via an extramarital affair. The mother then showed her son the picture of his biological father and it was the man he saw in the afterlife. Similarly, Van Lommel told the story of a little girl who had an NDE via drowning and, upon her recovery, said that "my brother was with me." However, the girl's brother died before she was born and her parents had been waiting until she was older to tell her about him.

Van Lommel also broke down some of the trends and statistics gleaned from his study of NDEs and their aftermath. For instance, he reported that 15% of those who had near-death experiences first went to a "frightening, dark space," but then saw the classic "tunnel of light." Chillingly, Van Lommel said that one to two percent of the experiencers stay in that dark place or travel "down, really down" to a Hell-like environment which is frightening and marked by feelings of guilt. He noted that experiencers of these 'dark NDEs' have a very difficult time sharing their story and are haunted by it for a longtime afterward. Nonetheless, regardless of the content of the NDE, Van Lommel said that ultimately the outcome is seen as positive and transformative for the patients. He observed that "an experience of two minutes changes the whole life."

Website pimvanlommel.nl

Book Consciousness Beyond Life

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