Mario Beauregard, a research scientist at the University of Montreal, writes an interesting article on near death experiences in Salon Magazine.
NDE= near death experience
OBE = out-of-body experience
Although the details differ, NDEs are characterized by a number of core features. Perhaps the most vivid is the OBE: the sense of having left one’s body and of watching events going on around one’s body or, occasionally, at some distant physical location. During OBEs, near-death experiencers (NDErs) are often astonished to discover that they have retained consciousness, perception, lucid thinking, memory, emotions, and their sense of personal identity. If anything, these processes are heightened: Thinking is vivid; hearing is sharp; and vision can extend to 360 degrees. NDErs claim that without physical bodies, they are able to penetrate through walls and doors and project themselves wherever they want. They frequently report the ability to read people’s thoughts.
The effects of NDEs on the experience are intense, overwhelming, and real. A number of studies conducted in United States, Western European countries, and Australia have shown that most NDErs are profoundly and positively transformed by the experience. One woman says, “I was completely altered after the accident. I was another person, according to those who lived near me. I was happy, laughing, appreciated little things, joked, smiled a lot, became friends with everyone … so completely different than I was before!”
Of course, nothing will persuade the materialist that all mental events derive from the brain and no mental event happens outside the brain, and all mental events are brain events. It reminds me of Mussolini’s dictum: ” all within the state, nothing outside the sate, nothing against the state”
Hmmn…materialism as a form of brain fascism.
Materialism – the doctrine that everything in the universe is of one substance: matter and its motions, and nothing else – is the dominant world view of this century and the last. It has precisely zero chance of lasting another fifty years, except as a relic, like fascism or communism. It is so twentieth century.
Anyway, for the interested, here are a few books worth your attention on the subject of mind, awareness, and consciousness, and why consciousness is primary:
Out of our Heads, by Alva Noë (2010) The author is a philosopher.
The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, by Tor Nørretranders (1999) The author is a science writer.
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes 1976. The author was a classicist [Jaynes was almost certainly wrong in part but absolutely brilliant]
The Purpose-Guided Universe, by Bernard Haisch (2010) The author is a physicist
Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, by Stephen M, Barr
(2003) The author is a physicist.
The Master and His Emissary, The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, by Iain McGillchrist (2011) The author is a psychiatrist.
Biocentrism, by Robert Lanza (2009) Lanza is a medical doctor, whose book is a more popular rendition of the ideas and arguments found in Bernard Haisch and Stephen Barr.
Brain Wars, by Mario Beauregard (2012). Beauregard is a brain researcher at the UdeM. Also by him:
The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul