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Old 10-10-2012, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
4,925 posts, read 6,817,352 times
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Anecdotal experience - even by supposed well-informed people - is still not proof. It only suggests that he had an experience he interprets this way, but unless it can be reproduced or measured in some way that shows it is NOT just another explainable NDE, then it is still just his opinion.

One of my friends is a Harvard/MIT educated neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, and he dismisses these anecdotal experiences as wishful thinking with no proof.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:24 PM
 
32,984 posts, read 20,721,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoistDude View Post
Anecdotal experience - even by supposed well-informed people - is still not proof. It only suggests that he had an experience he interprets this way, but unless it can be reproduced or measured in some way that shows it is NOT just another explainable NDE, then it is still just his opinion.

One of my friends is a Harvard/MIT educated neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, and he dismisses these anecdotal experiences as wishful thinking with no proof.
I have already addressed this elsewhere I think. But this doctor's experience over 7 days mirrors my experiences in deep meditation over 40+ years but for much shorter durations. His experiences were far more visual than mine. I cannot therefore confirm his visual descriptions of anything. The multiple personalities/entities (what I experience as a multitude or crowd) all unified in a oneness does capture my sense of it as well. It has always been very difficult for me to verbalize or characterize the experiences . . . because as he eloquently describes it . . . it is not through language or thought as we know it . . . but through "knowing" in a much more direct and intimate way. His description of the communication process (equivalent to questions and answers) is again direct . . . not involving the normal processes we are familiar with. But everything . . . including the questions/answers . . . are unequivocal and unmistakable with a "knowing" and certainty unobtainable in our daily life here. I do not know him nor do I have any way to confirm his story or credentials. But his descriptions track closely to my experiences, I am inclined to believe that he genuinely experienced them. The issue of whether or not they are the result of a "dream state" existing within a coma state with the cortical higher functions shut down by disease . . . or they are glimpses of another level of reality . . . is and will remain debatable to those who have not experienced it themselves.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,295 posts, read 10,933,920 times
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Richard Dawkins on Religious hallucinations. - YouTube
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:04 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 21,947,873 times
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From the article in the OPs link.
Quote:
Dr. Eben Alexander says he saw heaven and knows the afterlife exists. Now he's telling the world in his new book, "Proof of Heaven."

He is selling a book
, and like any good theist, no lie, no matter how outrageous is beyond the lows they will seek to prove a lie, or fairy tale. And what a formula for success, with a target audience that is already primed for make believe, and feeding them just the validation they want.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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NDEs that are reported in English (i.e., the only ones we hear about) have a remarkable similarity, only because when alive and healthy, they were all exposed to the same descriptions of NDEs, so when near death, they experience the same "dream" that they have heard about so many times.

People of non-western cultures do not have "western" NDEs, because the are not already furnished with expectations about what western NDEs are described as. This is pretty convincing evidence that the NDE is a figment of the mind of the patient, and not some universal constant that visits all humans.

Nearly everyone has heard about NDEs, and most people are mainly familiar with accounts in their own culture, which are consistent with the prevailing faith's concept of Heaven. Not surprisngly, they have NDEs that reflect that pre-disposition. They are simply a form of dreaming, and everyone dreams mainly about their own personal interpretation of their own culture.

Here is some interesting reading about Hindu NDEs:

Hindu near-death experiences

And Buddhists in Thailand:

http://www.shaktitechnology.com/bkknde.htm

When young children have NDE's, most of the details described by adults are absent, becuase the children have not yet heard the accounts of adult NDEs to prompt them in their dream state. Often they have not yet been indoctrinated with a Heaven scenario featuring white-robed angels and light sources:

http://iands.org/about-ndes/childrens-ndes.html

The title of this thread ought to be "Neurosurgeon has dream similar to the NDEs he has heard about."

Last edited by jtur88; 10-10-2012 at 11:52 PM..
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:21 AM
 
7,837 posts, read 8,126,820 times
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I'll quote myself from a response I gave on this same topic in the christianity subforum:

Quote:
Ah, NDE's, that some people take as proof of an afterlife. Well here's the thing. What supposedly entered the heavenly realm upon their 'near death?' Their soul, correct? But their brain, ie their memory, did no such thing. So tell me, how would a person, upon coming back from the brink, remember what their soul experienced? Their body's memory is a purely physical phenomenon. We all agree that is it a function of our brain, right? I no way whatsoever did their brain accompany their soul on this journey, nor see what their soul supposedly saw, but somehow is able to recall what their soul saw? Huh? This to me is just more evidence that all these NDE's are purely a result of the process of the brain dying, thus why their brain is able to remember these visions, as it actually experienced the chemical processes that caused them.
Also, what he described (and what many others do as well) is eerily similar to a DMT trip.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:04 AM
 
5,463 posts, read 5,219,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoistDude View Post
Anecdotal experience - even by supposed well-informed people - is still not proof. It only suggests that he had an experience he interprets this way, but unless it can be reproduced or measured in some way that shows it is NOT just another explainable NDE, then it is still just his opinion.

One of my friends is a Harvard/MIT educated neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, and he dismisses these anecdotal experiences as wishful thinking with no proof.
Yep, it is interesting how this guy is pretending a subjective experience of a wounded brain is proof. I wonder if he'd be willing to be consistent about this - for example would he use or undergo a treatment where the only proof was "some guy had a vision while in a coma so it's sure to be true". I kind of doubt it. Performing a medical procedure based on nothing but that would be malpractice, and I'm sure the guy is smart enough not to want someone who confuses dreams and reality operating on him.

Likewise, even thought the stakes are lower, we can reject his vision. It's not a question of life or death - he just loses money because we won't buy his book, seminar or whatever - but that doesn't mean we have to throw away any sort of critical thinking skills just because he went to a well-respected university.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
4,881 posts, read 4,624,511 times
Reputation: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I have already addressed this elsewhere I think. But this doctor's experience over 7 days mirrors my experiences in deep meditation over 40+ years but for much shorter durations. His experiences were far more visual than mine. I cannot therefore confirm his visual descriptions of anything. The multiple personalities/entities (what I experience as a multitude or crowd) all unified in a oneness does capture my sense of it as well. It has always been very difficult for me to verbalize or characterize the experiences . . . because as he eloquently describes it . . . it is not through language or thought as we know it . . . but through "knowing" in a much more direct and intimate way. His description of the communication process (equivalent to questions and answers) is again direct . . . not involving the normal processes we are familiar with. But everything . . . including the questions/answers . . . are unequivocal and unmistakable with a "knowing" and certainty unobtainable in our daily life here. I do not know him nor do I have any way to confirm his story or credentials. But his descriptions track closely to my experiences, I am inclined to believe that he genuinely experienced them. The issue of whether or not they are the result of a "dream state" existing within a coma state with the cortical higher functions shut down by disease . . . or they are glimpses of another level of reality . . . is and will remain debatable to those who have not experienced it themselves.
Very nicely stated! It's always easiest for us to dismiss others when they have these experiences because we cannot fathom nor can we truly comprehend them...unless and until we can experience it for ourselves. I think it is awesome that he can share his story and people can take comfort from it or not...but judging and condemning him for sharing his experience is just not nice people.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: San Diego
993 posts, read 668,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nezlie View Post
It's always heaven with these out-of-body experiences. Hard to believe that no one's made a quick trip to hell and back. I don't expect to find geographical coordinates for heaven in his book though. Heaven and hell are not geographical places..... it's all in the mind....... just like my vivid dream last night with a co-worker that passed away years ago.

You need to correct the thread title:
Christian Neurosurgeon imagines that he saw heaven while he was on medication.

Like every other "I saw heaven" story, it is based in images beaten into everyone's heads since birth (people living above the clouds) and there's absolutely no evidence to show that it was anything but a drug-induced hallucination. Just because the guy is an accomplished doctor does not mean he can't fall prey to the idiocy known as religion.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
6,260 posts, read 6,582,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nezlie View Post
It's always heaven with these out-of-body experiences. Hard to believe that no one's made a quick trip to hell and back. I don't expect to find geographical coordinates for heaven in his book though. Heaven and hell are not geographical places..... it's all in the mind....... just like my vivid dream last night with a co-worker that passed away years ago.
Start with these three:

Near Death Experiences Of Hell | Testimonies Of Heaven And Hell-Life After Death, Near Death Experience

Patients near death see visions of hell

Atheist professor
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