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‘We’ve just scratched the surface’

Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research - Part 1


DURHAM, N.C.—Grandma was just resuscitated. She wakes up and tells

you a  bizarre story of coming out of her body and going to heaven.

Has she  developed psychosis? Was her brain damaged from

the lack of oxygen?
After over 30 years of research, scientists have concluded that this is 

not the case. Instead, they think that this phenomenon is something 

today’s science is yet to understand, and that it is an opportunity for 

the advancement of science.

The phenomenon was coined near-death experiences (NDEs) in the

1975 book  “Life After Life” by Raymond Moody, M.D. and Ph.D. in philosophy

 and  psychology. NDEs generally include cognitive, affective,

paranormal, and  transcendental experiences.

Examplesof NDEs include experiencing a change in one’s perception and 

way of thinking, feeling peace or calmness, gaining extrasensory  perception

(ESP), going through a review of one’s life and seeing the  effects of one’s

actions on others, a feeling of leaving the body,  seeing deceased people

and other beings such as angels, and feeling as  if one has entered

another dimension.


 NDEs are encountered by people of all backgrounds, and most studies

find the prevalence of NDEs to be 10–20 percent of people who have come

close to death.
Interest in studying NDEs was sparked after the publication of Moody’s book.

Then in 1981, the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS)

was founded “to promote responsible, multi-disciplinary exploration of

near-death and similar experiences, their effects on people’s lives, and their

 implications for beliefs about life, death, and human purpose,” according to

 the IANDS website.

On Sept. 2–4, IANDS organized a conference in Durham, N.C.,

for NDE researchers to present their findings.



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