Mod+ Frameworks to compare the validity of different NDE accounts

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#1
I was posting something about the Todd Burpo evangelical Christian NDE account in the thread New Movie - Heaven Is For Real.

http://www.skeptiko.com/forum/threads/new-movie-heaven-is-for-real.198/#post-2926

This raises a larger question for me about comparing the validity of NDE accounts - their truth value if you will, and not based on the did-they-have-an-hallucination perspective, or were-they-really-clinical-dead-when-they-had-this-experience? perspective either, which may have no bearing on what the NDE account is like anyway, or its ontological status (a soul/consciousness may decided to upchuck the body, or partially separate from it, whether there's actual physical harm, damage or not).

When I hear NDE accounts like Burpo's, that I personally find implausible, it obviously doesn't mean my biases make the ontological truth beyond the NDE experience itself not valid. (Although in a case like the Burpo one, as you can read in that thread, there are many other reasons other for being skeptical of it.)

On the topic of OBEs, Tyler wrote this:
There are two initiations into the OBE, spontaneous and self-generated. The latter can be intimately controlled, the former is the typical OBE phase of the NDE. Neither are dreams.

Although there is a [astral] world of difference between the two, the reason that there are more 'demonic' or hellish or terrifying OBE's in the self-generated ones is that travel in the lowest of the astral planes, those nearest to our physical plane, assures you will meetup with belligerents. The NDE-OBE, if you go by the literature, has a very small % of "hellish" experiences which would by astral definition mean that the lowest realms are bypassed.

Why this is, pure conjecture, but the answer may lie in the purpose of the NDE and the purpose of the self-initiated OBE-astral. The former being a more intentional, entry-level, spiritual teaching tool, the realization or reaffirmation of the survival of consciousness; in the latter the experient most often is well versed in the survival evidence. The OBE-astral is more informative, higher education if you will, and spiritually progressive and allow the OBEr to control or at least participate in the selection of what he is to learn.
http://www.skeptiko.com/forum/threads/ndes-and-obes-dreams-are-the-key.147/page-7#post-2797

This seems to fit in in some way with the intuitive framework I've come to for the time being for "evaluating" NDE accounts. Some NDE accounts, like Nanci Danison's for example, where she experiences a sort of meta-NDE or "lucid NDE" (!), possibly because of previous soul growth (she learned she was a light being who had finished all her incarnations and had decided to incarnate once more because a volunteer was needed to do a mission), demonstrate that the out-of-body consciousness can "manifest" their reality: the tunnel, for example.

My intuition is therefore that many NDEs (and perhaps this varies at different stages within the same NDE) are a) indicative of an early body-separation process where the soul/consciousness is still in transition from separating (and expanding) from the host body (and perhaps there influenced by the human animal's fear to produce the hellish/frightening experiences) and prone to unconsciously "manifest" features or an emotional tone that has the high likelihood of re-creating psychodynamic or cultural realities [EDIT: so that this arena of consciousness perhaps would correspond to the "lower level astral planes" referred to by Tyler];

while other are b) indicative of a further-along process, where the soul/consciousness is encountering astral realms, thought-planes created by others (that they perhaps co-create), and may perhaps even go beyond those.

Are these cheap metaphysical speculation to explain away perplexing differences among NDE accounts? Possibly. Are they therefore wrong? I don't think so - it would need to be argued.

Do others have opinions about this, or about their own frameworks to compare and evaluate NDEs? And one of the questions that's implied here is: obviously they are all extremely (and potentially equally) meaningful to the experiencer, and (equal) spiritual experiences. The question is whether they are all ontologically "equal", or whether some point to a higher level of reality that explains or frames the lower ones.
 
Last edited:
#2
Reece (I think) asked about the Greyson scale which is a quantitative way to analyze the NDE.

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/cl...ons/cspp/dops/greyson-publications/NDE8-1.pdf

My own cluster analysis of reported NDE elements classified them into (a) cognitive features of time distortion, thought acceleration, a life review, and revelation; (b) affective features of peace, joy, cosmic unity, and an encounter with light; (c) paranormal features of vivid senses, apparent extrasensory perception and precognitive visions, and an out-of-body experience; and (d) transcendental features of otherworldly encounters with mystical beings, visible spirits, and an uncrossable border (Greyson, 1983).
If you are asking how to define their believability based on the experience (and the level of astral involvement e.g. the Wild Wild World Of Dannion Brinkley)...

http://www.dannion.com/dannion-brinkley-near-death-experience/

...best of luck with that. :D Truth is, the NDE is wrought full of {New Age} frauds and lacks the stiff requirements of, say, the verifiable survival evidence of the incarnate-discarnate communication that defines authentic physical and mental mediumship from the charlatans.

One way that might be helpful is to look at what a person who reports an NDE publicly has to gain/lose. Dannion Brinkley. Nothing. Dr. Eben Alexander and attorney-at-law Nanci whatshername. Significant.

Other than that, you're on your own (if I read the questions in your post accurately). :eek:
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#3
If you are asking how to define their believability based on the experience (and the level of astral involvement e.g. the Wild Wild World Of Dannion Brinkley)...
...best of luck with that. :D
Yes, I was more asking about the level of astral involvement or something along those lines ;), not the Greyson scale. Just sharing my reflections on the matter.

Truth is, the NDE is wrought full of {New Age} frauds and lacks the stiff requirements of, say, the verifiable survival evidence of the incarnate-discarnate communication that defines authentic physical and mental mediumship from the charlatans.

One way that might be helpful is to look at what a person who reports an NDE publicly has to gain/lose. Dannion Brinkley. Nothing. Dr. Eben Alexander and attorney-at-law Nanci whatshername. Significant.

Other than that, you're on your own (if I read the questions in your post accurately). :eek:
You might be right, although I think you probably overestimate the fraud and what's-to-gain factors. I'll use my own BS meter and take my chances. :D
 
#4
You might be right, although I think you probably overestimate the fraud and what's-to-gain factors. I'll use my own BS meter and take my chances. :D
Intuition! You have my full support but you knew that since, well, you are intuitive! :D:D

Intuition isn't majickal. It's learning to rely on yourself, your spiritual processes. If you're wrong, then so what? We are not pressed for time to get things right. "Right" will come as a factor of effort.
 
Top