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I’m going to Hell, T. I crossed over to the other side: I saw a tunnel and a white light. I saw my father in Hell. The Sopranos s2e9: From Where to Eternity starring James Gandolfini & Lorriane Bracco & Edie Falco & Michael Imperioli & Dominic Chianese & Steven van Zandt & Tony Sirico & Robert Iler et al, Chris's NDE, HBO 2000
In the summer of 1999 ten-year-old Louise Mendenhall fell into a diabetic coma. The doctors predicted Louise would not survive the night. But they were wrong. Denise’s awakening appeared to be a miracle. It was just the beginning. After weeks of recovery she reported to her parents that during the three days she was unconscious she visited Heaven. Denise’s brush with death is not unusual. Every day hundreds of people in the United States survive a near-death experience. Denise specifically remembers being in a place called Heaven. And can describe it in vivid detail. Heaven: Beyond the Grave, 2006
In the last few decades the bullshit of contacting the other side has received a make-over. It’s been dressed up with a new coat of paint called New Age. Ladies and Gentlemen – the trendiest way to enter the spirit world called the Near Death Experience. Penn & Teller, Bullshit! s1e12: Ouiji Boards & Near Death Experiences, Showtime 2003
When blood flow is cut off, lack of oxygen sends the brain into a kind of final-curtain dementia. A mind-trip courtesy of Mother Nature. ibid.
There is medical evidence we can point to. ibid.
The centrifuge test ... 18%. ibid.
In discussions about the mind and its potential to exist apart from or even after the death of the brain, it is common to call upon near death experiences or out of body experiences as evidence for such. It is my belief that sensory experience is a function of the brain, and that a disembodied mind cannot experience these things. Nonetheless, some see the sensory information the mind has been reported to bring back to the body after so-called ‘near death’ experiences as evidence that the mind unfettered by the body retains its full capacity to experience the world. Dr Scott Mendelson, article Beyond Alzheimer’s
Near Death Experience is just another form of very vivid dreams ... I predict that over the next twenty years we will have more people who have these experiences because we’re getting better and better at pulling people back from the brink of death. Professor Christof Koch
When people have near-death experiences we may be looking at phenomena that has yet to be explained and actually may show us more about the potential of the human brain that we have not discovered yet. Professor Michael Persinger, Laurentian University
There’s nothing magical about near-death experience. The basic themes of the near-death experience are remarkably similar across cultures. Dr Michael Persinger
A growing number of people claim they have already glimpsed an after-life when they were revived after having being pronounced dead by doctors; they speak of floating peacefully down a dark tunnel towards a shining light. Sometimes they meet dead friends and members of their family. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World
Many scientific discoveries are made by accident. A possible explanation was stumbled upon by American aviation doctors testing pilots to find the limits of human endurance. At the Naval Air Base process the pilots take their turn on the largest and more powerful centrifuge ... and produce symptoms just like near death experiences. ibid.
I’m convinced that it isn’t because we all go to another world, but because of what’s happening in the brain ... It could be lack of oxygen which disturbs the balance of firing, or it could be the brain’s own morphine-like chemicals that is experienced as lights, tunnels, hallucinations, and feelings of presence ... They’re all the same because we have similar brains. Dr Susan Blackmore, West of England University
I wasn’t surprised that people have this sense of floating above their body. Because people will do whatever they can to protect themselves. Dr Catherine Classen, Stanford University
They seem to go through this tunnel and they come out on to the other side into an incredibly brilliant and warm and loving accepting light. Dr Raymond Moody, near death experience researcher
I’ve studied over four hundred cases. But at the moment I can’t see a satisfactory scientific explanation which really explains the data. Dr Peter Fenwick, neuro-psychologist, televised interview
You become very frightened. And then suddenly you’re transfused by calmness. And then you start to lose consciousness. The tunnel you usually float down is black with a speck of light at the end. You float towards this speck of light getting bigger, and as you enter it, you enter a universal feeling of love and compassion. Dr Peter Fenwick
You start getting failure of those parts of the brain and of the sensory organs that are most sensitive to oxygen. Dr Gerry Woerlee, anaesthetist Rijnland Hospital
You find you can explain each aspect of the experience. Dr Gerry Woerlee
Because contemporary metaphysical thought has so strongly emphasized the belief (or certainly the hope) that only the light is real and has value, it has by and large denied or ignored the ‘dark night’ aspects of spirituality. Nancy Bush, Dancing Past the Dark
This concept is part of a much larger conversation involving the growing evidence that consciousness is not strictly located in the brain but has a much greater field, perhaps universe-wide. That being true, it seems likely that the better prepared we are for these kinds of experience, the happier will be the outcome. ibid.
Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
The part of my brain that was responsible for creating the world I lived and moved in and for taking the raw data that came in through my senses and fashioning it into a meaningful universe: that part of my brain was down, and out. And yet despite all of this, I had been alive, and aware, truly aware, in a universe characterized above all by love, consciousness, and reality. There was, for me, simply no arguing this fact. I knew it so completely that I ached. Eben Alexander
If I lived a billion years more, in my body or yours, there’s not a single experience on Earth that could ever be as good as being dead. Nothing. Dr Dianne Morrissey, near-death experience
One of the near-death experience truths is that each person integrates their near-death experience into their own pre-existing belief system. Jody Long, near-death researcher
As each second passed there was more to learn, answers to questions, meanings and definitions, philosophies and reasons, histories, mysteries and so much more, all pouring into my mind. I remember thinking, I knew that, I know I did, where has it all been? Virginia Rivers
I knew that I was in a state of hell, but this was not the typical ‘fire and brimstone’ hell that I had learned about as a young child ... Men and women of all ages, but no children, were standing or squatting or wandering about ... Some were mumbling to themselves ... They were completely self-absorbed, every one of them too caught up in his or her own misery to engage in any mental or emotional exchange. Angie Fenimore
The hell that I experienced was the pain, anguish, hurt and anger that I had caused others, or that I suffered as a result of my actions/words to others. Hell was what I had created for myself and my own soul through turning my back on unconditional love, compassion and peace. Tina
That there should be some overlap in the recollections of the minority of revived CPA patients who recall anything from the interval tells us more about how the brain ordinarily creates our sense of self and the feeling that there is an external reality than it does about the possibility of an afterlife. Much can be learned from studying the orderly fashion in which these internally-constructed models shut down when the brain is traumatized but because those who have been revived did not reach the irreversible state of brain death, any experiences they recall cannot be said to have come from ‘the other side’ ...
Furthermore, the subjective contents of the NDE are anything but unique to the onset of death. The basic elements of the NDE are common to hallucinations of various sorts; i.e. they are also found in psychedelic drug states, psychoses and migraine and epileptic attacks ... Similar experiences have been reported in a surprisingly high proportion of those who panic during natural disasters, when they are psychologically traumatized but in no real physical danger. Hayden Ebbern & Sean Mulligan & Barry L Beverstein ‘Maria’s Near-Death Experience: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop’, cited Skeptical Inquirer 20:4 1996