Mod+ 276. DR. ALAN HUGENOT, IANDS AND THE FUTURE OF NDE RESEARCH

#2
276. DR. ALAN HUGENOT, IANDS AND THE FUTURE OF NDE RESEARCH
POSTED ON MAY 26 IN NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE






Interview with Dr. Alan Hugenot, nationally recognized expert in physics, about the future of near-death experience research.
Alex, about Alan Hugenot being a "nationally recognized expert in physics"... I can't find any physics papers by him via Google Scholar! In fact, I can't find any papers (co-)authored by him at all!

This is quite strange. Are you sure about his expert status? I would be very glad to be proven wrong in my suspicions... :eek:
 
#3
Alex, about Alan Hugenot being a "nationally recognized expert in physics"... I can't find any physics papers by him via Google Scholar! In fact, I can't find any papers (co-)authored by him at all!

This is quite strange. Are you sure about his expert status? I would be very glad to be proven wrong in my suspicions... :eek:
I found some info about him here. He is not a theoretical physicist as an occupation as it seems, but he studied physics and mechanical engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He holds a doctorate of science in mechanical engineering, and has had a successful career in marine engineering, serving on committees that write the ship-building standards for the United States, and has a pretty impressive CV in his field of engineering.
http://www.experts.com/Profile/ResumeClick?ResumeID=6075

As a "nationally recognized expert in physics"; I would say he is more of a nationally recognized expert in the physics of engineering than theoretical physics. But that's not to say that he isn't a expert in physics in general.
 
#4
Alex, since you acknowledge that the "observer effect" is a reality, do you think that your pessimism in regards to the imminence of the fall of materialism will set you up to experience a reality where this change occurs more slowly? Perhaps since you are intractably drawn to this controversy, you have set yourself up to experience more of it?
 
#6
Interesting interview. Thx for posting it Alex and thx to Dr. Alan Hugenot for sharing his time for the interview. I am curious, for those of us who will not be able to attend the IANDS conference, will there be any live streaming provided for some of the speakers - or some kind of recorded video stream available later to look at? Given how fairly simple this is to do these days, it might be another way to make the conference more visible and more accessible to those of us curious about the current state of Near-Death Studies but don't happen to have the resources to attend said conferences.

Regarding Alex's question whether NDE research will be co-opted etc. which is a good one. It's hard to make a guess. But then again, as was pointed out by Alan during the interview - quantum physics has now established many non-materialistic theories regarding the nature of our fundamental reality: including non-locality, determinism, and what appears (in my mind) to be a very strong indication of the role consciousness plays in the Observer problem (which Von Neuman, Schrodinger, Bohr, Heisenberg also concluded).

However, perhaps the Observer problem is a good analogy to what might happen regarding the future of NDE research. As we all know, the Observer problem currently has a number of interpretations attempting to resolve or explain the empirical data presenting itself such as what has been repeatedly been established with the famous two-slit experiment. And we see the Materialists have been busy here for the last 80 years as well, putting out and defending different interpretations (and explanations) of the Observer problem in quantum physics such as the "Multi-worlds ... Multiverse" interpretation (the one Stephen Hawkings and other Skeptics often subscribe to) as an alternative explanation to the consciousness collapsing the quantum wave function interpretation. Then you have all the other interpretations .... decoherence, hidden variables, pilot-waves, many-minds, etc.

Obviously the Observer problem controversy is still raging. Although my ears perked up when Alan or was it Alex? Mentioned Dean Radin had recently performed some new Double-slit experiments apparently supporting the "consciousness-collapse" interpretations which many of the original quantum physicists supported as well - most notably John Von Neumann, a scientist and thinker not to be taken lightly, along with Werner Heisenberg. I personally am with Von Neumann and the original thinkers on the Observer Problem, because 1) it makes the most rational sense 2) the other interpretations have a number of absurdly irrational holes in them that are simply ignored by their supporters or they hypothesize concepts that are even more absurd then the consciousness hypothesis put forward by Neumann and others 3) As Alan states in the interview somewhere, the overall context of NDE studies should also be taken into account with all the other empirical data that has been collected regarding consciousness especially by scientific institutions such as the SPR or Rhine institute or even the psychological data that has been collected by unconscious studies in psychology (also focused on the nature of human consciousness)

So getting back to Alex's question. More likely than not, there is going to be an ongoing controversy with Near-Death studies - who knows for how long. Likely lasting longer than our own lifetimes. And you will have scientists like Sam Parnia attempting to put their twist on their view of the phenomena. It's really hard to avoid. Materialism does indeed though have a pretty deathly grip on science right now - moreso than it ought. Most of us who follow Alex here and the forums realize this pretty clearly. And we all know science itself is not suppose to be some kind of ideology but rather an epistemological method of acquiring knowledge, which has served us pretty well in making new discoveries about reality, and certainly has assisted us in many areas of applied sciences and the technology science has produced including the transistor and the microchip.

It is also likely the Skeptics and a good amount of the mass media outlets they have access too will latch on to Sam Parnia's statements and wishy-washy results. And the study will not be taken in the context of the 65+ other NDE studies that have been published in the last 30 years. But there are other leading scientists still very much invested in NDE research and you simply cannot dismiss their opinions and scientific knowledge regarding NDEs based on one single recent study. Although many Skeptics will.

I am not however as optimistic as Alan appears to be in this interview that we are on the verge of observing a collapse of the grip materialism has on science right now. And I agree with Alex, Shermer has not budged an inch from his hardline atheistic materialism. Witness his and Rupert Sheldrake's most recent online discussion here: http://www.thebestschools.org/special/sheldrake-shermer-dialogue-nature-of-science/ So Alan is far more optimistic IMO than he ought to be in some kind of change in the Materialistic faith and their believers. And note: it's been 80+ years now since Heisenberg and others founded Quantum physics, and although many classical materialistic paradigms were obviously shown to be wrong - the materialists like Shermer or Dawkins or Wiseman have certainly not given up the ghost on their beliefs - instead they've changed their game a bit by now calling materialism: physicalism i.e. well they can say, the quantum physicists were right in their discoveries - but what they discovered we now can call part of the "Physical world" since whatever we can detect in science by definition is "physical". However - this would also mean guys like Wiseman & Shermer should also declare psi phenomena as "physical" as well, since psi phenomena has also been detected by science. But we all know this won't happen, because today's materialist Skeptics (er Physicalists Skeptics) now get to arbitrarily decide what science has detected and what science has not detected - and psi doesn't fall under that "detected" category, while non-local/invisible fundamental particles do. Remarkably convenient eh?

But you also now get to choose what Interpretation you want from the Observer Problem in quantum physics. Which has kept materialism alive and well now for over a century. How long the battle will go on - hard to tell. But Materialism is indeed an ideology a doctrine a metaphysical philosophical view of reality. Materialism is not science. Materialism has not been proven. And philosophy despite rumours to the contrary - is not dead. And there are plenty of unknowns still left in science. Perhaps the greatest unknown right now is consciousness.

My Best,
Bertha
 
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#7
Do you think that NDE research runs the risk of being co-opted by mainstream medical research?

What I think is that Dr. Hugenot is an optimist, and Alex, a pessimist.:)

All in all, this was a pretty frustrating interview, as much for Alex, I suspect, as for me.
 
#8
I found some info about him here. He is not a theoretical physicist as an occupation as it seems, but he studied physics and mechanical engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He holds a doctorate of science in mechanical engineering, and has had a successful career in marine engineering, serving on committees that write the ship-building standards for the United States, and has a pretty impressive CV in his field of engineering.
http://www.experts.com/Profile/ResumeClick?ResumeID=6075

As a "nationally recognized expert in physics"; I would say he is more of a nationally recognized expert in the physics of engineering than theoretical physics. But that's not to say that he isn't a expert in physics in general.
my bad. I will correct in the copy, but probably not in the audio as it's not really central to show.
 
#9
Frustrating is the word for it!
I don't really know where to start - from Sam Parnia's point of view, with friends like Alex, who needs enemies?
Parnia's quote about seeing Jesus was perfectly reasonable, as Hugenot explained, the evidence is that people see what they expect to see ...otherwise Buddhists would be seeing Jesus and Christians would be seeing Buddha.
Does Alex really think every god ever invented is waiting around to greet their faithful followers?
Forget paradigm change - I'm wondering if Alex is about to turn born again Christian.
Parnia is the closest NDE science has come to gaining any kind of respect in the mainstream world - why on earth do you think Alex that he worked so hard organising the AWARE study if he didn't ultimately believe that something is going on?
The quote about when pushed Parnia said something about it might turn out to be traditionally explainable, was in all probability something to persuade his critics that he hadn't made up his mind and was biased....maybe a way to persuade them to release funding.
I admired Hugenot for keeping calm faced with your constant mocking Alex.
Why is Parnia's idea of images above beds so ridiculous in your view? It might be a long shot but if it finally pays off with just one solid case, it could move NDE science forward in one leap - and where will you be then Alex? Still criticising Parnia for moving to the materialistic 'dark' side?
Of course mainstream science is clinging on desperately to its old ideas and it won't change overnight but for goodness sake, without people like Parnia and Hugenot, it will take another hundred years.
 
#10
Alex, about Alan Hugenot being a "nationally recognized expert in physics"... I can't find any physics papers by him via Google Scholar! In fact, I can't find any papers (co-)authored by him at all!

This is quite strange. Are you sure about his expert status? I would be very glad to be proven wrong in my suspicions... :eek:
thx for pointing out. my bad. I wasn't too focused on this because I knew his background didn't relate to his NDE, but I should have made that more clear.
 
#11
Alex's question at the end of the interview:

Do you think that NDE research runs the risk of being co-opted by mainstream medical research?
Yes, just like they reduced Mesmerism to hypnosis, nothing paranormal here (no explanation either) move along...
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/11/mesmerism-how-science-adapts-and-adopts.html
At first, mesmerism was considered complete hogwash by mainstream scientists. In the long run, the facts couldn't be ignored when patient after patient underwent painless surgery after being mesmerized in the days before anesthetics. However, mainstream scientists digested only what they could swallow and mesmerism evolved into modern hypnotism. Spiritual healing was jettisoned or replaced with suggestion. Psychic perceiving was relegated to a fringe anomaly and ignored by most scientists. Passes [and remote induction] were replaced with a verbal induction into a deeply relaxed state.

And Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is doing his part to limit the NDE phenomenon:
http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2014/03/was-buddha-just-nice-guy.html
Dean Radin said...
...But until we find evidence that memory is not brain-centric, and that it too can persist without a body, then the question about precisely *what* survives remains unresolved.
...
On alternative interpretations of NDEs ...

I was invited to write an article on this topic for Missouri Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Missouri State Medical Association. You can read the journal online here: http://www.omagdigital.com/publication?i=177483. See the Sept/Oct issue for the beginning of a series of articles on NDEs.

My article was published in a 2014 issue, so it isn't available online yet. The bottom line of my argument was that the primary anomalies associated with NDEs are reports of veridical perceptions that could not have been known or inferred from the perspective of the patient.

For someone who is not familiar with clairvoyance, this type of report could be taken as evidence that the mind has literally separated from the body (i.e., gone OBE). The literal interpretation is consistent with survival of consciousness. But veridical reports of distant events is virtually the same as what we know as clairvoyance-in-the-living. So the OBE aspects of NDEs do not necessarily imply an actual separation from the body, and hence NDEs can be interpreted as a particularly vivid form of clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally.
"... the primary anomalies associated with NDEs are reports of veridical perceptions that could not have been known or inferred from the perspective of the patient ... So the OBE aspects of NDEs do not necessarily imply an actual separation from the body, and hence NDEs can be interpreted as a particularly vivid form of clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally."
Anyone who thinks veridical perception is the primary anomaly of a phenomenon where a person with no brain activity has a conscious experience doesn't understand the phenomenon. Clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally cannot explain veridical NDEs because some NDEs occur when the brain is not in an abnormal state and the abnormal brain states associated with cardiac arrest, before, during, and after the event are not capable of producing coherent lucid experiences.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html
Greyson
However, unconsciousness produced by cardiac arrest characteristically leaves patients amnesic and confused for events immediately preceding and following these episodes (Aminoff et al., 1988; Parnia & Fenwick, 2002; van Lommel et al., 2001). Furthermore, a substantial number of NDEs contain apparent time "anchors" in the form of verifiable reports of events occurring during the period of insult itself. For example, a cardiac-arrest victim described by van Lommel et al. (2001) had been discovered lying in a meadow 30 minutes or more prior to his arrival at the emergency room, comatose and cyanotic, and yet days later, having recovered, he was able to describe accurately various circumstances occurring in conjunction with the ensuing resuscitation procedures in the hospital.

Also see the next section below: The experience occurred during CPR
The experience occurred during CPR:
Long
When you talk to the patients who have actually survived CPR, one thing that is very, very obvious is that the substantial majority of them are confused or amnesic, even when they're successfully recovered. They may be amnesic for the period of time following their successful resuscitation or even for events prior to the time of their cardiac arrest.

...

If you read even a few near-death experiences, you immediately realize that there’s essentially none of them that talk about episodes of confusion or altered mental status when they just don’t understand what’s going on. You really don’t see that at all.

Again, for near-death experiences, they're highly lucid, organized events. In fact, in the survey we did, we found 76% of people having a near-death experience said their level of consciousness and alertness during the NDE was actually greater than their earthly, everyday life. So again, getting back to statistics, that’s 3/4 and a substantial majority of the remaining 24% still had at least a level of consciousness and alertness equal to their earthly, everyday life.

So for that to be the statistics that you consistently see during near-death experiences and balance that with a substantial majority of people being confused around the time of their successful resuscitation from CPR, you really have to come away with the conclusion that even if there’s blood flow to the brain induced by CPR, it's a life-saving maneuver. By no means is that correlated with clear consciousness and certainly nowhere near the level of consciousness and alertness with near-death experiences. You just don’t see that.

But also, in addition to that, note that the substantial majority of people that have a near-death experience and have an out-of-body experience associated with cardiac arrest, are actually seeing their physical body well prior to the time that CPR is initiated. Once CPR is initiated, you don’t see any alteration in the flow of the near-death experience, suggesting that whatever blood flow might be going back to the brain is affecting the content, modifying it at all, in any way.

...

When there’s a cardiac arrest, the out-of-body observations that are often described during these near-death experiences certainly correlates to a time prior to CPR being initiated, and prior to a time there should be no possibility of a conscious, lucid, organized experience. And yet that’s exactly what happens.

I'll tell you another thing, too, is if you were doing CPR and that were accounting for memory, I would tell you that you would hear a lot more from near-death experiencers. They would talk about their remembrance of the pain of the chest compressions.

Alex, that’s a fairly painful procedure. It often breaks ribs and hurts. And yet, even when you have a patient who had a cardiac arrest and had a near-death experience, essentially never do you hear them describing as part of their near-death experience the pain of chest compressions.

...

And if their consciousness was really returning during CPR, wouldn't near-death experiencers not have out-of-body perceptions but describe their perceptions from within their physical body? And yet you don’t see that with near-death experiences.

So in other words, if you started CPR and they had a near-death experience and suddenly they started to have some consciousness, you’d expect that instead of having the out-of-body experience where their consciousness is apart from their body, their consciousness would be within their body. You just don’t see that.
Anomalous Characteristics of Near-death Experiences
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html
Anomalous Characteristics of Near-death Experiences

Enhanced consciousness such as realer-than-real detail, 360 degree vision, and colors not seen before.

Blind people see during NDEs. (Hogan)

Memories of NDEs are more detailed than normal memories.

Visions of deceased people, sometimes deceased people the experiencer had never met or seen pictures of. (Hogan)

A life review where the experiencer feels how he affected other people from their point of view.

Veridical (verifiable) perceptions where the experiencer perceived something when their brain was not functioning, and or perceived something that they could not have perceived with their normal senses even if they were conscious.

NDEs have been experienced by people not close to death.

"Lucid consciousness, well-structured thought processes, and clear reasoning" (Beauregard), calmness and tranquility (near-death.com), when their medical condition should cause confusion and amnesia, disorientation and fear.

Spiritual transformation.

NDEs involve a subjectively conscious experience while the experiencer is objectively unconscious. Hallucinations almost always occur when the subject is awake and conscious. (near-death.com)

NDEs occur more often during flat EEGs and not during abnormal EEGs. (Hogan)

"NDEs are remarkably consistent across virtually all experiencers regardless of age, nationality, religious background, and all other demographics", including atheists. (Hogan)

"Many parts of the brain must be coherent for lucid experiences to occur yet NDEs occur when there is no EEG activity." (Hogan)

NDErs experience "heightened awareness, attention, and memory at a time when consciousness and memory formation are not expected to be functioning" and "only confusional and paranoid thinking... should occur" (Hogan)

"In some cases, a third party has observed visionary figures seen by the experiencers" (Tymn)

Healthy people attending the dying sometimes share in the NDE. (Facco and Christian)

Because of the way the brain is wired, it cannot produce an NDE. (Alexander)

Many NDEs occur during anesthesia when the patient should be unconscious. (Long)

"The most important objection to the adequacy of all ... reductionistic hypotheses is that mental clarity, vivid sensory imagery, a clear memory of the experience, and a conviction that the experience seemed more real than ordinary consciousness are the norm for NDEs. They occur even in conditions of drastically altered cerebral physiology under which the production theory would deem consciousness impossible. (Greyson)
From the transcript: "when I bring through somebody’s departed grandmother from 1894, and I have her name and I know what she looked like; and then they’ll bring me the picture and I [know] her nickname and everything else…And I bring that through because I’ve learned how to do this, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars traveling the world to learn how to do this for ten years. When I bring that through and the Noetic Society’s testing me and everything else to see how it’s done, they’ll turn around and say, well you’re just reading their minds with ESP."

Scientists are entitled to say what the limits of the scientific evidence are. However science is not the only means to ascertaining the truth. When scientists ignore other sources of information and imply the limited scientific view is the only reliable view, that is a misuse of science it is Scientism.

Superpsi cannot explain the evidence for the afterlife:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html
Evidence For Survival that cannot be Explained by Super Psi:

Drop-in Communicators: A medium might be said to be fulfilling an unconscious psychological need when using super-psi to obtain information about deceased relatives of the sitters. However when the medium brings through spirits who are unrelated to the sitters and who communicate for purposes of their own, there is no psychological motivation. Super-psi cannot explain these cases.

Cross Correspondences: When more than one medium spontaneously, without being prodded by an investigator, brings through parts of a message, and the message only makes sense when the parts are put together, this indicates that spirits are independent of any medium. This also shows that spirits have initiative and the ability to organize complex tasks. Super-psi cannot explain this.

Spirits have to learn to communicate through certain forms of mediumship and some spirits are better learners than others. Super-psi is not a good explanation for this phenomenon.

Other characteristics of spirit communication vary with the spirit not the medium or the sitters.

Some haunting phenomena are not dependent on the presence of any single person, some of which are ended through spirit communication. Guy Lyon Playfair, William Roll, and Ian Stevenson all thought some poltergeist phenomenon were caused by spirits.

Birthmarks: When a child remembers a past life, and has a birthmark at a location of an injury in the past life, it suggests the spirit body may carry information from one life to the next. It would be absurd to believe the fetus was psychic and was fulfilling a psychological need by unconsciously creating the birth mark.

Shared Death Bed Visions, Shared Near-Death Experiences, and Multiple Witness Crisis Apparitions are not well explained by super-psi. You'd have to be a super-duper-psychic not just a super-psychic to induce hallucinations in other people.

Near Death Experiences: Cases of NDEs where the experiencer has vivid realer-than-real experiences when there is no brain activity and no veridical information, cannot be explained as psi from a living person because there is no evidence of psi and no live person during the experience. These experiences cannot be explained as ESP during an abnormal brain state shortly before or after the experience. Near-death experiencers neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung, and military remote viewer Joe McMoneagle, who have special qualifications to judge the phenomenon, all believed their near-death experiences represented evidence for survival after death.

ESP is not Produced by the Brain: ESP is not limited by time or distance. It cannot be explained by the known laws of physics including quantum entanglement. Since human consciousness is capable of ESP, consciousness cannot be the result of any physical process in the brain. Anyone who acknowledges the reality of ESP has already admitted that consciousness is non-physical so they have no grounds upon which to deny survival of consciousness.
Mrs Piper's mediumship cannot be explained by ESP
Hodgson gave these five main reasons why he favored survival after death over telepathy as an explanation for Mrs. Pipers mediumship:
Skill in communicating varied with the spirit not the sitters. If Mrs. Piper obtained information from the sitters by telepathy, the quality of the information should vary with the sitter not the spirit.

Some spirits were never good at communicating.

Some spirits were better than others at communicating names.

During otherwise successful sitting where some spirits were able to communicate clearly, sometimes certain spirits well known to the sitters were not able to communicate clearly. This often occurred with spirits who had suffered from a long illness or a mental disturbance at the time of death. This confusion in a communicator was sometimes unexpected by the sitters particularly when the person was noted for clear thinking in life.

All spirits had trouble communicating at first but improved with practice.

This occurred even when the sitters were experienced and had had other spirits come through.

Difficulty in communicating could be overcome with the assistance of other spirits. Telepathy does not explain this.

Spirits seemed to be confused for a few days just after death.

This confusion was not due to changing the sitters. It occurred when the sitters remained the same.

Stray thoughts from the spirits (not the medium or sitter) seemed to leak through into the communications if the spirit was having difficulty communicating.

These thoughts reflected subjects that would be of particular concern to the spirit such as situations involving living relatives but which were unknown to the sitters.

These stray thoughts were thought to explain some of the seeming failures of spirits to correctly answer questions aimed and proving their identity. This is not explained by telepathy.

When spirits communicated by writing and controlled the medium themselves, confusion was apparent. When spirits communicated indirectly through speech by the spirit control Phinuit, confusion on the part of the spirit was obscured because Phinuit was acting as an intermediate. This explains some of the failures of spirits to correctly answer questions aimed at proving their identity, and explains some instances when Phinuit was inaccurate. This is also not explained by telepathy.

Characteristics of children communicators

The spirits of young children recently deceased had clearer memories of early childhood than spirits who had died many years before. This was not explainable by telepathy because the the sitters often had clear memories of the spirit's early childhood.

Spirits of young children recently deceased tended to communicate more clearly than adults recently deceased. This is not explained by telepathy.

Spirits of individuals who died in childhood express themselves as though they had grown during the intervening time. This occurred even when they were still thought of as young children by the sitters.
Other Evidence Not Consistent With Telepathy...
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html
Dr. Alvarado said:

For many workers in the field, survival research is not a main interest. To some extent this is academics as usual. People specialize in some areas and develop interests due to personality traits, life experiences, training, and employment opportunities, and parapsychology is no exception. Then there are concerns such as getting tenure and the belief that the area has many methodological difficulties. However, I believe that in some cases there is more than this. In some circles it is more “respectable” to conduct ESP experiments than working with survival-related phenomena such as apparitions or mediumship. I still remember how the director of a parapsychology unit within an university, wanting to keep a conservative image, discouraged students from pursuing topics such as apparitions for dissertation research.
When deciding the best explanation for a phenomenon, the beliefs of experiencers must be considered. They are there on the spot. There is no one more qualified to asses their experiences than they are. NDErs consistently say their experiences are real and that is a strong argument in favor of the reality of their experiences. As shown above, none of the known causes of hallucinations or ESP can explain NDEs.

The opinions of non-scientist experts should also be given due weight. The expertise of mediums is shown above in the links to different forms of mediumship. Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day. They know all the fine details that do not get published in books and parapsychological studies. Many mediums also experience other forms of ESP and they can tell the difference between spirit communication and ESP. Mediums say they perceive and communicate with spirits. They are the foremost experts in spirit communication and there are no better qualified experts on ESP and survival of consciousness.
"Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day. They know all the fine details that do not get published in books and parapsychological studies. Many mediums also experience other forms of ESP and they can tell the difference between spirit communication and ESP. Mediums say they perceive and communicate with spirits. They are the foremost experts in spirit communication and there are no better qualified experts on ESP and survival of consciousness."

From my own experiences taking classes as in mediumship:
Once I was in a mediumship class when I felt the presence of a spirit who I knew from previous readings and who now wanted me to give a message to someone in the room. I said to the spirit mentally, "I don't want to give the message now" and I explained my reasons, I was a new student and didn't want to speak out of turn. I didn't say anything about this aloud. A few seconds later a more advanced student said that he sensed the same spirit and gave the message. Mediums routinely experience spirits as people with initiative and purpose capable of solving problems.
Mediums routinely experience spirits not as flat files of information but as people with initiative and purpose capable of solving problems.
Once I attended a trance workshop given by a visiting medium at my Spiritualist church. We didn't have any trance mediums at our church so none of us did this regularly. During the workshop many people I knew from my church and from mediumship class participated. I was a new student at the time so I was only allowed to observe. These people, who I knew well, each took a turn, and after about twenty or thirty seconds of meditation, (we didn't have to dim the lights) would go into a light trance. They were conscious but a spirit would speak through them at the same time. The spirits told us about who they were in life and what they were doing in the spirit world. Some of the spirits were just as amazed that they could speak through a living person as I was to hear them. It seemed to me that there was a personality there and not just information being accessed. Since I knew the people in the workshop I could tell they not making it up consciously or unconsciously and they were not hypnotized.
 
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#12
I assume this is the Parnia quote:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150303-what-its-really-like-to-die
“If the father of a child from the Midwest says, ‘When you die, you’ll see Jesus and he’ll be full of love and compassion,’ then of course he’ll see that,” Parnia says. “He’ll come back and say, ‘Oh dad, you’re right, I definitely saw Jesus!’ But would any of us actually recognise Jesus or God? You don’t know what God is. I don’t know what God is. Besides a man with a white beard, which is just a picture.

“All of these things – what’s the soul, what is heaven and hell – I have no idea what they mean, and there’s probably thousands and thousands of interpretations based on where you’re born and what your background is,” he continues. “It’s important to move this out of the realm of religious teaching and into objectivity.”

People don't always see what they expect to see.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research22.html
Dr. PMH Atwater, researched the identity of the initial greeters met in near-death states. She discovered that religious figures usually conform to the predominant religion the experiencer was exposed to, but not always. Jesus has appeared in near-death scenarios of Jewish people, for instance; a Muslim man once told her he was met by Buddha. (P.M.H. Atwater)
http://pmhatwater.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-there-ndes-in-which-buddhist.html
Q & A with PMH Atwater
...
Refer to "Beyond the Light" and the case of Jeanie Dicus. She was a Jew yet she was visited by Jesus. This so surprised her and confounded her that she promptly challenged Jesus, and continued to do so throughout her entire near-death episode, saying: "I don't believe in you. Why are you here?" Of note, atheists report the same type of visitations as do religious folk. In other words, you don't have to believe in anything to be surprised at what you find when you die or nearly die.

NDEs cannot be explained by religious or cultural expectations:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion
Religious Expectations:
Hogan
The phenomenon is not a result of some religious expectations. If it were fulfilling the experiencer's expectations of what dying is like, we would expect that only people who believed in and expected a near-death experience would have one, not suicides who anticipate annihilation, fundamentalists who expect only to see God, or agnostics and atheists who would not believe in an NDE phenomenon at all. In fact, that is not the case. Carol Zaleski wrote in her book, Otherworld Journeys, describing NDEs, "Suicide victims seeking annihilation, fundamentalists who expect to see God on the operating table, atheists, agnostics and carpe diem advocates find equal representation in the ranks of the near-death experiencers."214
Tymn Summary of Hogan.

Long
A really interesting part of the study that I did was looking at children age 5 and under. In fact, their average age was 3-1/2 years old. These are children so young that to them, death is an abstraction. They don’t understand it. They can't conceptualize it. They’ve almost never heard about near-death experiences; have no preconceived notions about that. They certainly have far less cultural influence, both in terms of religion or anything else that could even potentially modify the near-death experience at that tender young age.

And yet looking at these same 33 elements of near-death experience that I did in other parts of this study, I found absolutely no statistical difference in their percentage of occurrence in very young children as compared to older children and adults. So no question about that.

That almost single-handedly shoots down the skeptical argument that near-death experiences are due to pre-existing beliefs or cultural influences. We’re not seeing a shred of evidence that corroborates that at all. In fact, that finding is actually corroborated with another major scholarly researcher who actually reviewed over 30 years of near-death experience research and came up with the same conclusion.
Cultural Expectations:
Hogan
Margot Grey's study of NDEs in England215; Paola Giovetti's study in Italy216; Dorothy Counts' study in Melanesia217; Satwant Pasricha and Ian Stevenson's study in India218. More studies are coming out from different countries on a regular basis, and historical examples show that the experience has been remarkably consistent over time (see Plato's example of Er's NDE in The Republic).219
Tymn: "Hogan cites research demonstrating that different cultures have produced remarkably similar findings, thus showing that they're not dependent on expectations in any culture."
NDErs meet God
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/09/evidence-that-god-exists-people-who.html
Jessica haynes

In this video from an IANDS conference, Jessica Haynes discusses her near-death experience. She says that she had died and after reviewing her life she wanted to come back and live her life better. Unfortunately, she was dead and she was told, "You can't get back you don't have a body to get back to". But she insisted, repeatedly. So they took her to talk to God who enabled her to come back. She describes her experience of God as, "Pure love.", and "The most loving light you could imagine." He tells her "I am all, I created everything." The part where she describes this is from 10:30 to 15:00.



George Rodonaia
Many people have asked me what I believe in, how my NDE changed my life. All I can say is that I now believe in the God of the universe. Unlike many other people, however, I have never called God the light, because God is beyond our comprehension. God, I believe, is even more than the light, because God is also darkness. God is everything that exists, everything - and that is beyond our ability to comprehend at all. So I don't believe in the God of the Jews, or the Christians, or the Hindus, or in any one religion's idea of what God is or is not. It is all the same God, and that God showed me that the universe in which we live is a beautiful and marvelous mystery that is connected together forever and for always.

Anyone who has had such an experience of God, who has felt such a profound sense of connection with reality, knows that there is only one truly significant work to do in life, and that is love; to love nature, to love people, to love animals, to love creation itself, just because it is. To serve God's creation with a warm and loving hand of generosity and compassion - that is the only meaningful existence.

Linda Stewart
I was home and I wanted nothing more than to remain in the light of God. Christ had delivered me into the light and I stood in the presence of God. I was filled with complete knowing: The light was love and love was God. Waves of consummate love which emanated from the light obliterated every burden I carried and every thought that kept me from knowing God.

Mellen-Thomas Benedict
Then, like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Great Light spoke, saying, "Remember this and never forget; you save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have. You always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world."

In that instant I realized even more. I realized that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SAVED, and we saved ourselves because we were designed to self-correct like the rest of God's universe. This is what the second coming is about.

I thanked the light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was these simple words of totally appreciation:

Arthur Yensen
If you saw heaven, why didn't you mention God and salvation?

I didn't omit them intentionally. It's only that I didn't see God, Christ, or hear anything about salvation. However, I do consider the Master-Vibration as part of God because it controls the universe and seems to regulate everything except the evil minds of people on Earth.

To understand God, I believe one would have to be almost as great as God is. Or at least be like Christ who was in harmony with God. On the other hand, salvation is simple. All one has to do is to love so unselfishly that his soul-vibrations will rise high enough to fit him into heaven.

Jan Price
The Wise One continued speaking. "Throughout the vast unlimitedness of All That Is, the creative energy - that which is called the Spirit of God - is expressing itself as you, me, and everything else. Wherever we are, the God-source is, and we are always somewhere."

"Sometimes I am in places where God doesn't seem to be, as in the middle of a heart attack," I responded. "Surely God is not there."

"Yes. Wherever we are, the Source, God, is. A heart attack isn't bad. It is just an experience accepted on a certain level of being. We are so unlimited that we can limit, restrict, contract. Such power is awesome, for it is our very nature to create. We are constantly expressing in some way.

...

In the center of the universe I stand encircled by divine being. In this I live and move and have my being. I am in this world, and of it. The world of natural order, ease, and joy. Eternal goodness flowing, doing, being all. There is only joy; waves of love support, sustain. I am in God, not outside.

I am in love, consciously at peace with all there is. In God, I love and move and have my being. In love, I live and move and have my being. In peace, I live and move and have my being. There is nothing else. There is no outer. All is in the circle of God, Love, God Love. GOD LOVE.

The Kingdom of God is within me. Yes. But more important, I am in the Kingdom of God. The Spirit of God is within me, but more important, I am in the Spirit of God. The love of God is within me, but more important, I am in the love of God. All there is is God. I can be nowhere else. I cannot be separate from God.

Laura's NDE (age three and a half)
God in the manifestation of infinite light appeared off to my left, and I was engulfed in a form of all-powerful, all-nourishing love. That divine being appeared as a massive column of golden light, with the suggestion of a human shape inside. I both saw and felt his light, feeling as if I were in a warm bath that completely healed and protected me. I never wanted to leave. No conversation passed between us, but in those infinite moments I acquired the knowledge that allowed me to go back to Earth to complete my life.

Cecil's NDE (age eleven)
Behind me and to the left was a strong light source, very brilliant and filled with love. I knew it was a person. I called it God for lack of a better term. I could not see it; I felt what seemed like a male presence. He communicated to me, not so much in words but telepathically,

Clara's NDE (age ten)
I was taken to a huge iridescent white room and told to sit down on some steps that led up to a large white chair, and wait there for someone who was to talk to me. He came out a door at the other end of the steps, walked to the chair above me, and sat down. He was dressed in a white, long-sleeved, floor-length robe with a wide gold band around the mid-section. He wore sandals. His dark brown hair was shoulder length; he had a long face, broad chin, dark eyes with black around both eyelids, like eyeliner pencil, but it wasn't. His skin was olive colored and his eyes were as liquid love. He communicated by looking at me. No words had to be spoken, as we could hear each other's thoughts. He told me what I had to do in life and had me go to the other side of the room and look down into something like a TV set so I could see my future. What I saw made me very happy. This man, who I believe is Jesus Christ, said that once I woke up in the hospital I would forget what I was supposed to do in life.

"Nothing can happen before its time," he cautioned.

As I was leaving the room he said I must obey his commandments if I wanted to come back.

When I revived, a nurse was sitting beside my bed and she said, "Thank God you finally woke up." I told the doctor that I had watched him work on me and the color of the machine brought into the surgery room. He didn't know what to say.
 
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#13
Frustrating is the word for it!
I don't really know where to start - from Sam Parnia's point of view, with friends like Alex, who needs enemies?
Parnia's quote about seeing Jesus was perfectly reasonable, as Hugenot explained, the evidence is that people see what they expect to see ...otherwise Buddhists would be seeing Jesus and Christians would be seeing Buddha.
Does Alex really think every god ever invented is waiting around to greet their faithful followers?
Forget paradigm change - I'm wondering if Alex is about to turn born again Christian.
Parnia is the closest NDE science has come to gaining any kind of respect in the mainstream world - why on earth do you think Alex that he worked so hard organising the AWARE study if he didn't ultimately believe that something is going on?
The quote about when pushed Parnia said something about it might turn out to be traditionally explainable, was in all probability something to persuade his critics that he hadn't made up his mind and was biased....maybe a way to persuade them to release funding.
I admired Hugenot for keeping calm faced with your constant mocking Alex.
Why is Parnia's idea of images above beds so ridiculous in your view? It might be a long shot but if it finally pays off with just one solid case, it could move NDE science forward in one leap - and where will you be then Alex? Still criticising Parnia for moving to the materialistic 'dark' side?
Of course mainstream science is clinging on desperately to its old ideas and it won't change overnight but for goodness sake, without people like Parnia and Hugenot, it will take another hundred years.
Well, I found it frustrating for a different reason. Alex had what he wanted to talk about, and Dr. Hugenot, what he wanted to talk about. They rarely engaged. Just one of those things!
 
#14
Jim Smith - thanks for tracing the Parnia Jesus quote which I still think is quite reasonable.
And thanks for your relevant links.
In short Atwater "discovered that religious figures usually conform to the predominant religion the experiencer was exposed to, but not always".
I would expect exceptions because it would be rare for members of all religions not to be touched by others - and how would we know who would have an unconcious memory or belief slightly below the surface?
In Long's study of children, he found the same 33 elements, but these are surely general patterns...tunnels, light etc....not specific religious figures.
Jessica Haynes describes God - yes but not an old man with a beard but 'pure love' or 'light'.
George Rodenaia saw a non-religious God of everything; Yenson didn't see God or Christ.
Clara aged ten, did see the archetypal Christ, but at that age and presumably American, she would certainly have been exposed to pictures of a sandal wearing Jesus.
So I'm still of the opinion that transcendental experiences can only be interpreted in terms of what we know or have been exposed to. So it's no surprise that when we try to describe the indescribable we dig around in our religious memory and come up with suitable imagery.
 
#15
People might not be creating or interpreting what they see, the other side might try to come to them with the beings that will help them feel most at ease in a foreign situation. Maybe a Jew will be met by Jesus only if Moses is busy that day. Jesus was Jewish.

The human idea of identity does not really match what exists at the higher levels in the afterlife.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/realizing-ultimate.html
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/short_topics#short_topics_reincarnation

When Parnia says "of course he'll see that" I don't know what he means. If he means the person will create his vision I don't agree that is reasonable. If he means "all people expecting to be met by Jesus and only those people will be met by Jesus" that is not true either.

I think we need to get past the personality issue and look at other factors of expectation to see if the person is creating his vision. I think my quotes from Hogan and Long above show that people do not create what they expect.


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion
Religious Expectations:
Hogan
The phenomenon is not a result of some religious expectations. If it were fulfilling the experiencer's expectations of what dying is like, we would expect that only people who believed in and expected a near-death experience would have one, not suicides who anticipate annihilation, fundamentalists who expect only to see God, or agnostics and atheists who would not believe in an NDE phenomenon at all. In fact, that is not the case. Carol Zaleski wrote in her book, Otherworld Journeys, describing NDEs, "Suicide victims seeking annihilation, fundamentalists who expect to see God on the operating table, atheists, agnostics and carpe diem advocates find equal representation in the ranks of the near-death experiencers."214
Tymn Summary of Hogan.

Long
A really interesting part of the study that I did was looking at children age 5 and under. In fact, their average age was 3-1/2 years old. These are children so young that to them, death is an abstraction. They don’t understand it. They can't conceptualize it. They’ve almost never heard about near-death experiences; have no preconceived notions about that. They certainly have far less cultural influence, both in terms of religion or anything else that could even potentially modify the near-death experience at that tender young age.

And yet looking at these same 33 elements of near-death experience that I did in other parts of this study, I found absolutely no statistical difference in their percentage of occurrence in very young children as compared to older children and adults. So no question about that.

That almost single-handedly shoots down the skeptical argument that near-death experiences are due to pre-existing beliefs or cultural influences. We’re not seeing a shred of evidence that corroborates that at all. In fact, that finding is actually corroborated with another major scholarly researcher who actually reviewed over 30 years of near-death experience research and came up with the same conclusion.
Cultural Expectations:
Hogan
Margot Grey's study of NDEs in England215; Paola Giovetti's study in Italy216; Dorothy Counts' study in Melanesia217; Satwant Pasricha and Ian Stevenson's study in India218. More studies are coming out from different countries on a regular basis, and historical examples show that the experience has been remarkably consistent over time (see Plato's example of Er's NDE in The Republic).219
Tymn: "Hogan cites research demonstrating that different cultures have produced remarkably similar findings, thus showing that they're not dependent on expectations in any culture."
 
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#16
Sam Parnia is kind of frustrating but one thing seems kind of apparent to me, towing the mainstream line is much more likely to get funding than making it obvious that your thinking is outside the mainstream. The question I would like answered is how come results from Aware are not more definite, it seems to be a teasing state of affairs ? People often come back from NDE's and after some years making what sense they can of the experience try to communicate any core messages, these are often common. If 'they' want to get these messages across - why don't they make it easier by making Aware a runaway success ? It is yet another of the many contradictions we see. It is more like nudges and hints in a game, rather than disappointingly giving away the answer outright ?

I would love to know what Sam Parnia truly thinks, his co-workers probably have some idea - but maybe not ?

I found the interview frustrating, Alex has definite opinions and Dr Hugenot frustrated him I think by returning to things about NDE's and consciousness that Alex has long since moved past here on Skeptiko. Even I squirmed a little when Dr Hugenot quoted Shermer and Susan Blackmore as evidence that 'we' we're making progress. Although fair does to Dr Hugenot, he only let Alex push so far without pushing back. You know that he's basically given up when Alex goes quiet. :)
 
#17
@Jim Smith (because I haven't mastered the quote system)
No reason to believe those on the other side can't create as well as those just visiting! Or was that not tongue in cheek when you suggested Jesus might be busy?

In one of your links I loved the comb analogy for oneness with the teeth all joined to the whole.

But getting back to creating the welcoming figure which suits us.....I'm sure with all your research in this area you will accept that many accounts of life on the other side suggest self creation of circumstances? We hear of other siders creating neat little cottages to live in with cars to suit - even beer and cigarettes.

So why should NDErs not also be able to create a guide-type figure?

In fact the whole creation thing confuses me a little - if I go over and create a house, can I also create a person whether or not that person really lived on earth? So when I meet my mother, how do I know it is she or a mother I've created?
 
#18
In fact the whole creation thing confuses me a little - if I go over and create a house, can I also create a person whether or not that person really lived on earth? So when I meet my mother, how do I know it is she or a mother I've created?
Yeah, that is the question. Or could it be that The Power That Be tap into our desires, expectations, and memories, to create an environment that is comforting to us.

Either way, it wouldn't be "real"

I've read some claims from mediums who say that many people who cross over cant handle the transition, and goes into shock - and that they have to recover and convalescence for a while, before they can get a grip of the situation. If we hypothesize from that claim; it make sense that the initial contact would be with a person and environment that are known and familiar to the person crossing over, not to shock them.
 
#19
I have a very busy schedule this week but I read the intro to this interview and hope to make time to listen to it this evening.

One thing I will mention is the difference of perception by people who mention beings of light or Krsna or Jesus.ect ect

Is it possible that God is an infinite being, and can incarnate or even manifest into any shape or form by His plenary portions, An infinite being can cater for an infinite amount of conceptions,
 
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#20
I don't think the experiencers are creating the experience because they don't do it intentionally which is the usual way of creating things on the other side and the experiencers usually do not expect to be dead so it doesn't make sense that they would be creating it unconsciously. If it was unconscious why would so many see a tunnel, a being of light, have the life review, and all the other commonalities that were observed before the phenomenon became widely known?

It seems to me that the other side is receiving them. Some NDEs are very brief just an OBE, a trip through the tunnel and a glimpse of Grandma, and "It's not your time yet". But other NDE's involve being greeted by an advanced guide and being shown different planets, the lower spheres, and being told important spiritual truths. Often people learn things that are not what they previously believed. They return to life with a mission - to tell the rest of us what they were taught during their experience.

It seems unlikely that Howard Storm created his NDE. He was an atheist but in his NDE he was greeted by someone from the lower realms who led him into a hellish place where the other people there started eating him alive. Then he prays and Jesus pulls him out. Clearly not the expectations of an atheist. If he was experiencing his unconscious fears he would see Satan and be burning in hellfire not being led on a long walk for "days or weeks" into darkness among people who suddenly turn on him and start eating him. Dreams and nightmares, expressions of the unconscious, have frequent changes of plot and inconsistencies, and do not have the continuity, coherence, or duration that NDE's do.

http://www.near-death.com/storm.html
A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one.

By this time it was almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren't in any hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long a possible. At no time did I ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked me were anything other than human beings. The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse to do good. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense. They didn't appear to be controlled or directed by anyone. Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty and passions.
I think it's possible there could be some exceptions but my opinion from reading many reports by experiencers is that for the most part they are not creating the experience.
 
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