why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

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Jim Cross
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Jim Cross »

This paper might be interesting.

Does Paranormal Perception Occur in Near-Death Experiences?

https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67 ... o4-203.pdf
ABSTRACT: While most near-death researchers have disregarded reports of
near-death experiences (NDEs) with hallucinatory features, many have
sought cases of veridical paranormal perception during NDEs. But despite
more than a quarter century of near-death studies, no compelling evidence
that NDErs can obtain information from remote locations during their NDEs
has been forthcoming. This paper, Part I of a critique of survivalist
interpretations of NDEs, reviews the quality of the evidence for veridical
observations during NDEs, and finds the case for veridical paranormal
perception during NDEs wanting.
The paper gets into all sorts of purported evidence including evidence by Greyson and Parnia.

Here are some selected quotes:

Following Zaleski, Fox also wondered to what extent people other
than the NDEr play a part in composing an NDE report. Both noted,
for example, Moody's concession that he sometimes used leading
questions when interviewing respondents for his 1975 Life After Life
(Fox, 2003; Zaleski, 1987). Zaleski also pointed out that after urging
his respondents to speak freely, Kenneth Ring would ask specific
questions about whether his subjects encountered features of Moody's
model of the NDE, such as: "[W]ere you ever aware of seeing your
physical body?" or "Did you at any time experience a light, glow, or
illumination?" (Zaleski, 1987, pp. 105-106). After Sabom allowed his
patients to speak freely, he would also "delve for the elements
described in Life After Life" (Zaleski, 1987, p. 109). One wonders how
much similarity would have been found between individual NDE
accounts in the West had these early researchers simply asked their
respondents to speak freely about their experiences without steering
them in a particular direction by probing for Moody's elements.
Rodabough explained how unintentional interviewer feedback can
contaminate NDE reports:

If the resuscitated person gives a partially accurate account of some
event taking place while he was "out," the questioner may un
intentionally give information which the resuscitated person un
knowingly fits into his story. To some degree, we can visualize what
we are told and not be sure which occurred first. ... This is likely to
occur if the questioner wants to hear things a particular way and
nonverbally reinforces the respondent when he hears what he wants.
The high enthusiasm of the interviewer may unwittingly entice the
respondents to embellish their experiences, and low enthusiasm may
influence respondents to remain silent about puzzling or unusual
experiences. (Rodabough, 1985, pp. 109-110)


And the conclusion:

If past experience is any guide at all, NDE
veridicality research is no more likely to overthrow our current scientific
understanding of humanity's place in the universe. In the meantime, at any
rate, existing veridicality research presents no challenge to the current
scientific understanding of near-death experiences as hallucinations.
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Eugene I
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Eugene I »

Jim Cross wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:28 pm But there is nothing in the current evidence that shakes the foundations of materialistic science or requires a counter-materialist premise.
Correct, but neither there is any current evidence that shakes the foundations of idealistic science (yes, such thing actually exists) or requires counter-idealistic premise.

So, as expected, we are still in an inconclusive situation that I described here
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Jim Cross wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:53 pmIf past experience is any guide at all, NDE
veridicality research is no more likely to overthrow our current scientific
understanding of humanity's place in the universe. In the meantime, at any
rate, existing veridicality research presents no challenge to the current
scientific understanding of near-death experiences as hallucinations.
I can certainly understand how someone very much invested in the physicalist premise, in the absence of any scientific explanation, might see these alternate explanations as being plausible. Greyson has acknowledged that he also considered such alternate explanations, and that perhaps he had somehow contributed to the patient's concocting a fantasy about having seen him talking to her roommate, and that he was being gullible in falling for this fantasy, but ultimately concluded that if he was being completely honest with himself, he had to concede that those explanations were not really plausible, and he felt he was grasping at straws rather than considering that his starting premise may be wrong. Anyway, the implied suggestion here that the authors of the abstract you've cited above are being completely unbiased in their own wonderings/speculations about alternate explanations is really no more credible than the reasons Greyson gives for doubting those explanations.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Jim Cross wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:53 pm
Rodabough explained how unintentional interviewer feedback can
contaminate NDE reports:

If the resuscitated person gives a partially accurate account of some
event taking place while he was "out," the questioner may un
intentionally give information which the resuscitated person un
knowingly fits into his story. To some degree, we can visualize what
we are told and not be sure which occurred first. ... This is likely to
occur if the questioner wants to hear things a particular way and
nonverbally reinforces the respondent when he hears what he wants.
The high enthusiasm of the interviewer may unwittingly entice the
respondents to embellish their experiences, and low enthusiasm may
influence respondents to remain silent about puzzling or unusual
experiences. (Rodabough, 1985, pp. 109-110)

Another question, how does the above speculation in any way apply to Greyson's encounter with the patient saying she saw him talking to her roommate, given that not only was he not interviewing her about NDE's, or asking leading questions, he had barely introduced himself before she spontaneously started describing the scenario in the waiting room, including the detail about the stain on his tie?
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
Jim Cross
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Jim Cross »

For starters, how about that event which started him on his investigation, for which he has found no scientific explanation?
If you're talking about his Holly/tomato sauce story, at least we would need to go back and interview Holly and her friend to make sure their recollections match Greyson's. Can that be done? Probably not since it was about fifty years ago. Even if it could be done, their memories might not even be reliable after fifty years. Did Greyson try to do that?

This points out the problem with retrospective studies. I'm not even sure I could reliably recall even a significant event from fifty years ago.

The most logical explanation is that Greyson or Holly's friend mentioned something about the tie and Holly who was in the next room overheard it and incorporated it into own narrative of her experience. We also don't know if the friend said something to Holly before Greyson went back to see her the next day.

Friend to Holly: "Oh, yeah,. There was a young doctor with tomato sauce on his tie that was asking what you had taken."

She might very well have had the experience of floating outside her body.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Jim Cross wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:06 pmThe most logical explanation is that Greyson or Holly's friend mentioned something about the tie and Holly who was in the next room overheard it and incorporated it into own narrative of her experience. We also don't know if the friend said something to Holly before Greyson went back to see her the next day.

Friend to Holly: "Oh, yeah,. There was a young doctor with tomato sauce on his tie that was asking what you had taken."
Why is this logical or plausible at all, since, as stated, the comatose patient had been admitted to the ICU, where visitors were not allowed?
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
MaartenV
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by MaartenV »

@Jim Cross: the more the brain is damaged a certain way (f.e. oxygen deprivation) the more we experience these mystical experiences. Bernardo Kastrup wrote an article where he showed that self transcendence correlated with brain impairment. Oxygen deprivation and "pilots undergoing G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness (G-LOC)—whereby
blood is forced out of the brain, causing hypoxia—report “memorable dreams”
phenomenologically similar to near-death experiences (Whinnery & Whinnery 1990),
which are notoriously self-transcending in character."
https://philpapers.org/archive/KASSCW.pdf

Kastrup says that this is the damage of the dissociation. The dissociation ends if certain parts of the brain are damaged.



So, damage of specific parts of the brain and oxigen deprivation brings us closer to transcendental experiences or Mind at Large according to Kastrup.
Sophie268
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Sophie268 »

A bit of an aside here, but...

What about keeping the experience of an NDE numinous? Could it be that certain experiences are meant to be shrouded in mystery (and therefore resistant to rigorous scientific study) so that one does not necessarily expect a certain thing upon encountering them? This could serve a purpose to dramatically impact the life of the person experiencing them in a very personal, and therefore perhaps more profound to that person, way. As death is a huge mystery in which every individual must be initiated, couldn’t there be something to the idea of having to go through it for yourself and not having that experience spoiled by knowledge of what is to come? Were we all to know exactly what happens after death, doesn’t it seem like it would have a more run-of-the-mill feeling, and thus rob it of the impact which it was meant to impart? This seems of especially great importance to the life lived after an NDEr has their experience. They have been changed by their experience, and how they live their life afterwards would be influenced by the nature of the NDE they have had. Maybe in order to impact a certain individual in the way they need to be impacted, they needed a more frightening experience. Others would have their lives changed by something more peaceful. But regardless, it would be personal. Differences in NDEs based on specific cultures would be for the very same reason, that in order to impact that individual within that culture in a personal way, symbol systems from that culture would be utilized.

The experiences which show knowledge of events or circumstances beyond what seems plausible would be utilized to not only impact the life of the NDEr, but also those who hear these reports. It would add validity to the NDEr’s experience as a whole, allowing them to trust their experience more, while giving those who hear of such events a numinous experience of their own.

To me it seems that doubt, through the current inability to fully explain these experiences and through the fact that not everyone experiences an NDE, serves a purpose to keep these things within the unknown, to add to the wonder and awe that a person can experience while actually going through them. That some experience NDEs, and report back their experiences, would allow insight, for those who need/appreciate that insight, into something being “out there” much greater than themselves. It would also serve to keep the idea alive, so to speak, that death is not the end, which may need some "evidence", anecdotal or not, in a period of time where so much has been explained through scientific study.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

MaartenV wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:17 pm @Jim Cross: the more the brain is damaged a certain way (f.e. oxygen deprivation) the more we experience these mystical experiences. Bernardo Kastrup wrote an article where he showed that self transcendence correlated with brain impairment. Oxygen deprivation and "pilots undergoing G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness (G-LOC)—whereby
blood is forced out of the brain, causing hypoxia—report “memorable dreams”
phenomenologically similar to near-death experiences (Whinnery & Whinnery 1990),
which are notoriously self-transcending in character."
https://philpapers.org/archive/KASSCW.pdf

Kastrup says that this is the damage of the dissociation. The dissociation ends if certain parts of the brain are damaged.



So, damage of specific parts of the brain and oxigen deprivation brings us closer to transcendental experiences or Mind at Large according to Kastrup.
Except, as mentioned, many have had this 'self-transcendent' experience with no brain impairment, hypoxia, drugs, etc, so while there can be such correlation in some cases, it is not the case in all cases, which would indicate that this state exists regardless of such correlation. However, why there is a correlation, and sometimes not, as of yet there is no good explanation.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Eugene I
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: why denying the existence of The Light and The Tunnel among academia?

Post by Eugene I »

Sophie, good points. The reality seems to consistently evade our efforts to exhaustively know and explain it rationally and scientifically, and there is perhaps a good spiritual reason for that.
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kanzas anymore" Dorothy
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