Top Ten NDE Myths

#41
And here I thought that paranormal research wasn't allowed to prove anything with nothing but a single study with not-very-many-people in it. Apparently a single underpowered study is allowed to start a "top ten myths" though :eek:
I'd love it if the detailed information was available for the other prospective cohort studies. You don't discover some of this stuff until you can look at the primary information.

Linda
 
#42
Myth:

NDEs are transformative.

Sartori found that only 2 of the 16 NDEers seemed to attach any significance to the events. Only 6 people completed the life changes questionnaire, 4 NDEers and 2 non-NDEers. There were substantial changes in 2 of the NDEers and one of the non-NDEers on the questionnaire. This seems comparable to the Pim van Lommel study where he found both NDEers and non-NDEers underwent similar life changes after their cardiac arrest. Of the NDEers, it is those rare few who undergo core experiences who seem to find transformation above and beyond the changes associated with a medical crisis.

Linda
 
#44
Whether they be called myths, or exaggerations, or cherry-pickings, there is little doubt that forms of publicity and publication in the early days of this phenomenon have led to a skewed version of what is perceived during them, in the round. The books have all tended to emphasize those “star cases” which appear to argue up such items as apparent veridical perception and meeting with supposedly unknown but deceased relatives. Meetings with people who were well and truly alive at the time, or the transformation of operating room staff into symbolic beings, are much less *popular* because they do not fit easily within the narrative that these books and authors were trying to convey. But such cases have always been there, from the early days. Jung “met” his doctor, who told him he had been sent as a representative of earth to fetch him back. I already spoke a while ago of the NDEr who “floated above” her body and witnessed the surgical team lined up in two colors either side of her bed. Who “are” these people in such encounters? The question is perhaps even more pressing for those glimpsed supposedly in the medical environment, and again raises the suspicion that all of this perception is a form of “magical realism.”
Interesting you cite magical realism in support of your pet super psi hypothesis. I'd claim such realism as the most authentic interpretation of the near death experience.
 
#45
Interesting you cite magical realism in support of your pet super psi hypothesis. I'd claim such realism as the most authentic interpretation of the near death experience.
But realism *can't* be what's happening if medical staff are "perceived" as symbolic entities, paired up into teams representing life and death (as in the case I mentioned) or if they are represented as people from the NDErs past (as in the case Linda mentioned) or if the person "floating above his body" fails to notice the blown-to-bits remains of the soldier next to him while "OBE" etc.
 
#46
But realism *can't* be what's happening if medical staff are "perceived" as symbolic entities, paired up into teams representing life and death (as in the case I mentioned) or if they are represented as people from the NDErs past (as in the case Linda mentioned) or if the person "floating above his body" fails to notice the blown-to-bits remains of the soldier next to him while "OBE" etc.
You're cherry picking to make a point. How about health care professional Mary Neal's NDE which is far more typical.
 
#47
You're cherry picking to make a point. How about health care professional Mary Neal's NDE which is far more typical.
Typical by what criteria, Gabriel?

I can only repeat my question...how can the types of perceptions I indicated be "realism" in these experiences. If you read enough of these experiences, especially on places like NDERF where there isn't so much preselection, you'll see that such perceptions happen often enough to be a feature of the experience.
 
#48
The books have all tended to emphasize those “star cases” which appear to argue up such items as apparent veridical perception and meeting with supposedly unknown but deceased relatives.
Because if obvious answers were available for those cases, they would not be "star cases" and they would be considered easily explained phenomenon. People also are not interested in researching easily explained phenomenon; its the ones that appear as though they are extraordinary that brings curiosity.

Meetings with people who were well and truly alive at the time, or the transformation of operating room staff into symbolic beings, are much less *popular* because they do not fit easily within the narrative that these books and authors were trying to convey.
Knowledge about those cases does exist; NDE researchers are not completely blind to them. It is simply not interesting to report on unexpected behavior, and spend large periods of the report talking about what didn't work. Having read computer science whitepapers, they don't do it there either. There might be better (or similar) algorithms, and they spend the paper discussing *theirs* and why it should be considered.

We have enough skeptics documenting the negative cases (e.g. Keith Augustine's pages have many references), the proponents are naturally focused on analyzing the positive evidence. It works this way in seemingly every non-controvertial field as well.
 
#49
Myth: NDEs are transformative.
Sartori found that only 2 of the 16 NDEers seemed to attach any significance to the events. Only 6 people completed the life changes questionnaire, 4 NDEers and 2 non-NDEers.
Again I think it's worth providing readers who do not have access to the study with an alternative perspective on your claim. Of the 16 patients in Penny's study who are reported to have had an NDE, only Patients 1, 2, 3 & 4 and Patients 6, 7 & 8 had an NDE which was associated with cardiac arrest.

Of these 7 patients, only 1 patient completed the 'change-in-lifestyle' questionaire (Patient 6), where he reported some increases in feelings of vulnerability; self acceptance; insight into problems of others; understanding of himself; and desire to express love openly.

I've tried to give readers a very brief flavor of these 7 patients experiences (from my perspective), so you might judge for yourself whether their experience may have held any significance for them... and also whether or not Penny was able to get any data from them before they died.

It's also worth pointing out that there were other cardiac arrest patients who reported an experience, but they died before Penny could enrole them in the study, and so are not included.

Patient 1 : Patient felt thrilled when she woke up, and thrilled to have seen dead stepson. [Enrolled in study. Patient died before any interviews could be completed].

Patient 2 : Patient describes falling but being caught by Angels, sense of peace and harmony, and being united with the world. [Enrolled in study. Patient died before any interviews could be completed].

Patient 3 : Saw 4 y/o dead aunty dressed "in white like a proper little angel", was comforted by seeing her. Patient felt content and safe, comfortable as if "my mam had me in her arms". [Enrolled in study. 3 interviews completed].

Patient 4 : Distressing experience, felt like hell, saw unknown woman wearing a straw hat, who was in a rowing boat on a stream. Didn't want to go near her, very frightened of her. Distressed by talking about the experience. [Enrolled in study. Only 1 interview completed. Refused 2nd interview. Patient died before any further interviews could be completed].

Patient 6 : Tunnel, entered the light to expectant faces, where he saw lots of people who he knew, and whom he also knew to be dead, and 2/3 people he did not know, but could not later recall any faces or remember who they were. Describes the tunnel part of his experience as much more important, when compared with his hallucinatory trips to France & Italy. Transcript indicates that he has some strong religious issues. [Enrolled in study. 2 interviews completed, and Lifestyle Questionnaire completed].

Patient 7 : Dead father simply standing amongst the nurses in the A&E department (it's not very clear if this was during his NDE, appeared to be more like a DBV to me, and indeed he passed away shortly afterwards). [Enrolled in study. Unable to complete 1st interview. Patient died before any further interviews could be completed].

Patient 8 : Patient doesn't recall much, saw her dead mother who shouted at her to get back down there to look after them kids, playing hell with her for being there. Mother never used to shout at her (patient starts crying...). States that she's afraid of death "...I'm afraid of it, I don't want to die". [Enrolled in study. 2 short interviews completed].
 
Last edited:
#50
Whether they be called myths, or exaggerations, or cherry-pickings, there is little doubt that forms of publicity and publication in the early days of this phenomenon have led to a skewed version of what is perceived during them, in the round.
That are not myths or exaggerations or cherry-picking. The study of Penny Sartori is ridiculously small with 16 patients. Read Evidence of the Afterlife by Jeffrey Long.

Who “are” these people in such encounters?
Paqart could be competent to answer: meeting with loved ones still alive in some NDEs may be the encounter with their unconscious, so the living person do not consciously remember the meeting with NDErs.

http://forum.mind-energy.net/scientific-debates/1264-reasons-ndes-real-discussion-debate-4.html
 
#51
Whether they be called myths, or exaggerations, or cherry-pickings, there is little doubt that forms of publicity and publication in the early days of this phenomenon have led to a skewed version of what is perceived during them, in the round. The books have all tended to emphasize those “star cases” which appear to argue up such items as apparent veridical perception and meeting with supposedly unknown but deceased relatives. Meetings with people who were well and truly alive at the time, or the transformation of operating room staff into symbolic beings, are much less *popular* because they do not fit easily within the narrative that these books and authors were trying to convey. But such cases have always been there, from the early days. Jung “met” his doctor, who told him he had been sent as a representative of earth to fetch him back. I already spoke a while ago of the NDEr who “floated above” her body and witnessed the surgical team lined up in two colors either side of her bed. Who “are” these people in such encounters? The question is perhaps even more pressing for those glimpsed supposedly in the medical environment, and again raises the suspicion that all of this perception is a form of “magical realism.”
It was actually a NDE skeptic that raised this point to me, but does the presence of inaccurate reports automatically discount accurate ones as confabulation? I think that might be something to think about here.
 
#52
It's important to separate delirium and intoxication, in which dream-like state symbols occur frequently, with protracted NDEs which are notable for their clarity and realism.
 
#53
Whether they be called myths, or exaggerations, or cherry-pickings, there is little doubt that forms of publicity and publication in the early days of this phenomenon have led to a skewed version of what is perceived during them... [ ] ...glimpsed supposedly in the medical environment, and again raises the suspicion that all of this perception is a form of “magical realism.”
Bear in mind we're discussing the raw data of Penny's 500+ page published academic study on this thread... and not the personal interpretations put on this phenomena by other book authors or the media industry in general.

Where we have any sort of documented clue as to the brain state of the patient, the raw data in Penny's study actually looks pretty supportive of claims that experient's very often meet dead family and friends, frankly it was not something I was expecting to find when I consolidated these patients experiences (above).

The recalled visual and auditory NDE OBE perceptions of these patients are 'flaky', I don't have any problem with that. I generally accept that I probably perceive the world 'indirectly', and experience incorrect recall, as well as negative and positive hallucinations during my everyday wakeful state. Who knows what I might perceive when my brain has become seriously dysfunctional. The issue for me is why these patients recall anything apparently objective, and also why - very occasionally - their recall includes objective information which they apparently could not have gained through their known senses.

I'd be interested in reading the details of the "...NDEr who “floated above” her body and witnessed the surgical team lined up in two colors either side of her bed...".
 
Last edited:
#54
It was actually a NDE skeptic that raised this point to me, but does the presence of inaccurate reports automatically discount accurate ones as confabulation?
Yes, you are quite right, it doesn't. Neither does it discount other parts of an individuals NDE OBE that were accurate; or indeed why patients are able to recall anything apparently objective; or why patients sometimes recall objective information which they apparently could not have gained through their known senses.

This phenomena raises really interesting questions surrounding consciousness, perception, brain function, and the anomalous transfer of information that require a great deal more research and investigation.
 
#55
NDE researchers have noted the difficulty in separating cardiac arrest in hospitals, which are associated with advanced degrees of medication and hallucinogenic potential, from non-medicated NDEs. Except in a few cases, both medically and non-medically supervised varieties have consistently life-like characteristics. As Parnia noted, injecting a cardiac arrest case with LSD will not promote a hallucination, nor will the opiates often applied. That isn't to suggest NDE cases entering or leaving the critical period will not have had drugs with the potential for sensory impairment, but NDErs are able to overcome such blurring and note the different visionary aspects.

It's mischievous of critics to introduce inconsistent testimonies in the hope of sullying the consistency of the majority.
 
#56
meeting with loved ones still alive in some NDEs may be the encounter with their unconscious, so the living person do not consciously remember the meeting with NDErs.
I think we have to avoid the "excuse for every problem" syndrome, and embrace the fact that this is the way things are in these experiences. If some beings are symbolic, then the likelihood is greatly increased that all beings are symbolic (just as, if, some people at work were symbolic or imaginary, we would now have just cause for a concern that they all were). We see from the experiences noted already in this thread that "people" (even supposed physical people) can be seen as present who aren't there at all, and people who are right there can be "perceived" as missing. This goes beyond "dream overlay" - it shows that the entire process is a similar kind of construction to dreams as I argued in the other thread.

When an NDEr reports "I was looking down on the surgical team" people assume this cannot be symbolic because she was under surgery at the time. But imagery can emulate reality without *being* reality, so that in itself is not a problem. Most of these accounts are actually quite nonspecific. It is just as dishonest to disregard these kinds of episode as it is to disregard episodes in which a rumor of ESP is present. Can't have cake and eat it, imo. And these kinds of cases were DEFINITELY cherry picked out in 70s and 80s era NDE books.
 
#57
Bearing in mind that claims of ESP in NDEs are unproven, I am nonetheless interested in the claim and do not dismiss it. Nevertheless, as a once-upon-a-time biologist, some things interest me. Chief among them is why, if this ability exists, it has not been selected for by evolution. It suggests to me quite strongly, that if the ability is there, it is a kind of primitive pre-sensory mode of "acquiring knowledge" that is extremely inefficient in its general application, and in all practical applications is trumped by sensory information. It is not inconceivable that this primitive is unmasked during some NDEs.
 
#58
Nevertheless, as a once-upon-a-time biologist, some things interest me. Chief among them is why, if this ability exists, it has not been selected for by evolution. It suggests to me quite strongly, that if the ability is there, it is a kind of primitive pre-sensory mode of "acquiring knowledge" that is extremely inefficient in its general application, and in all practical applications is trumped by sensory information. It is not inconceivable that this primitive is unmasked during some NDEs.
Well you'll know a lot more than me about biology... but that isn't too far away from my own suspicions. I know there is still a dispute about where to fit the Placozoan's (centrioles but no nerves), but if the Functional-morphology or Epitheliozoa hypothesis turns out to be correct as I'm suggesting, this type of idea might be a fit.

A mobile multcellular organism which is sensorily tied to it's 'group', seems to me like it could be a recipe for disaster - they all go over the edge of the cliff together like lemmings. If you become mobile, seems to me you'd need independence from the 'group', otherwise you can't act in you own best interest, and consequently the best interest of the 'group'. Specialised senses, nerves and neurons achieving this end together. When the system fails in part or all, oddities creep in...
 
Last edited:
#59
A 'dead relative' who tells you "you must go back" or a voice in your own psyche, knowing the end is near, which says "for God's sake try to wake up!" Are these really two different things? One would need a pretty good reason to suppose so, since they both achieve precisely the same end in pragmatic terms.
 
#60
A 'dead relative' who tells you "you must go back...
Yes, but sometimes, only after they have been doing the complete opposite by encouraging you to to come to them... then they change their minds and send you away again. Sometimes there is conflict in the welcoming group, some are apparently encouraging you, whilst others are waving you away. Then most puzzling, sometimes you get to stay for a while and get a guided tour, and then sometimes apparently forceably ejected. Just on these points alone, something far more complex is going on in my view.
 
Top