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
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.