Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Great Claims and Great Evidence

The setting: The Ruth, Alabama  EF-4 tornado.
The date: April 27, 2011
The actors: Ari (6 years old), Shane and Jennifer (Ari's parents), Maw Maw and Paw Paw (Ari's  grandparents, Philip and Ann) and her two young cousins.
The event: Tornado strikes. Cows flying through the air, trucks hitting the house, glass breaking all around her. Then she is knocked out and follows her family up a staircase with "her angel".
Rescuers found her unconscious with severe injuries in a field. 
Ari's Near-Death-Experience can be read here: To Heaven after the Storm

The honest and crystal clear accounts of those who have experienced authentic near-death-experiences are personal evidence of the highest integrity and goodwill.  A near-death-experience (NDE) is an experience reported by individuals who have come very close to dying or have died but have revived. In the US alone, documented cases number in the millions says the Gallup Poll. The majority of these experiences point to the existence of an extrasensory world and active supersensible beings both benevolent and malevolent.  From the “etched in my memory” meaningful narratives of such events, it is clear that the NDE accounts are referencing and bringing forth nuggets of knowing, pedagogical guidance and corrections applicable to not just the one undergoing it  but to all humanity, from a source which is the foundation of our individual and collective, all encompassing reality. It is said that great claims require great evidence . . . and this evidence exists. It comes from  the millions of veracious heads, hearts and hands of those who have rendezvoused with death.

Can millions of people be wrong in asserting that their NDE experiences are real? Or is their experience merely the result of a hyperactive imagination, a result of the brain’s chemistry going awry and squeezing out colorful phantasmagoria for the dying person’s entertainment? Can the mineral, physical brain by itself create consciousness? Can matter that is purely mineral, say a stone, make up a near-death-experience? Can minerals think? The affirmative is an obvious absurdity, yet this is what the skeptics want believed and they want it believed at any cost, even if this means misrepresentation, omissions, overlooking important facts, ignoring truth and deliberate falsification.

A paper titled “There is Nothing Paranormal About Near-Death Experiences” illustrates the lengths that skeptics, even if they are from prestigious universities, will go to in order to discredit the phenomenon of Near-Death-Experiences. In this paper, Dr. Watts and Mobbs completely ignored the well documented and substantial body of empirical research on NDEs, including the  facts of lucid consciousness and veridical perceptions during Near-Death-Experiences, especially those occurring with cardiac arrest and deep anesthesia (See: Kelly et al., 2007, Greyson et al., 2009; Greyson, 2000; Fenwick, 2012, Holden, 2009) in order to flagrantly dismiss the events as nothing but messed up functions of a brain gone wrong.  Dr. Bruce Greyson, professor of Psychiatry and an extremely well respected and veteran NDE researcher explains a critical error in this spurious paper, “If you ignore everything paranormal about NDEs then it’s easy to conclude that there is nothing paranormal about them.”

Pim Van Lommel, a cardiologist, a scientist and a veteran of studies in cardiac arrest specific Near-Death-Experiences, in a prospective study with fellow researchers published a paper in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. He says that "the NDE is an authentic experience which cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis or oxygen deprivation".  He further states that the ideas held by most physicians, psychologists and philosophers are too narrow and not sufficient for a proper understanding of the NDE phenomenon. He evidences through real examples that the consciousness is not always synonymous with brain functions and that consciousness can exist separate from the body, that the brain serves as a facilitator of consciousness and not its producer. He posits scientifically that consciousness is not confined to our brains but is pervasive. He too, like many of us questions a purely materialist paradigm in science.

There is much more to the human being than people like Mobbs and Watts are willing to acknowledge.  But like it or not, dying experiences happen at death and sooner or later will apply to everyone, therefore is it not wiser to explore this amazing, profoundly meaningful mystery with a science that is comprehensive, pure and unbiased rather than with  its brain-bound, contorted and stratified caricature?

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