2017 Conference Video on Demand Is Now Available!

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The 2017 Conference Video On Demand is Available! If you weren’t able to attend the 2017 Conference, you can access over 22 hours of presentations Video On Demand on your smartphone or computer for only $125.00. The presentations will remain available until October 15th. If you are interested only in the five Keynote and Special Presentations (over 7 hours of viewing), you can select them for only $100.00. Register for Video On Demand NOW!

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Veterans' NDE Video will be on sale very soon!

DianeCorcoran2IANDS President Emerita Diane Corcoran urges IANDS members and friends to support a video project for veterans called Understanding Veterans' Near-Death Experiences. Service members who have had an NDE should be assisted by medical personnel or chaplains trained to deal with those who have experienced NDEs. However, because of lack of training, that care is often not available, and the impact of this crucial gap of care can be great. It is traumatizing, exacerbating the effects of already devastating injuries, as well as PTSD, and magnifying feelings of confusion, fear, isolation and hopeless despair. Veterans may carry these feelings for a lifetime. donateThe Fund Raising Goal for this video project is $40,000. IANDS has contributed $14,000 toward the goal and we are still seeking donations of the final $15,000 to help promote the video to veterans and veteran care givers. See the video trailer on YouTube. The video DVD will be on sale shortly for $29.95.

Vet Video Title Page

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Dr. Jan Holden presenting on Drowning NDEs!

International Swimming Hall of Fame
One Day Conference on Drowning Near-Death Experiences
August 18, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

Near Death Experiences while Drowning Dying is not the end of Consciousness by Janice Miner Holden EdD and Stathis Avramidis PhD

The International Swimming Hall of Fame will host a fascinating and visionary “Conference on Near-Death Experiences While Drowning”, on Friday, August 18th, 2017. Since its inception in 1965, ISHOF has been the "Mecca of Aquatics," bringing together many fascinating people and acting as the facilitator for knowledge exchange. This conference aims to bring attention to near-death experiences during a drowning episode, a very important issue largely neglected by most aquatic safety professionals.

I could see, floating in the air, the lifeguards attempting to resuscitate a lifeless body; it was mine.” “I saw a bright light that asked me, in a life review, what I have done in my life for love and learning.” “I felt peace and no fear of death.” These are the words of people reporting what they experienced during the time they “died” temporarily during a drowning episode, as reported by Holden and Avramidis in their book Near-Death Experiences While Drowning. Such Reports are termed near-death experiences (NDEs). Contemporary advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation have enabled lifeguards and first responders to bring large numbers of victims back to life, heretofore unprecedented in human history. Of the millions of those who survive drowning each year, approximately 20% of survivors report NDEs. Read More!

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2017 IANDS Conference Video Contest Winner

ANNOUNCING the WINNER of the 2017 IANDS VIDEO CONTEST
for ONE FREE REGISTRATION!
 

ROBIN AISHA LANDSONG from Washington State is our winner and
we are excited to share her video with you!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Attend the 2017 IANDS Conference: In Person or Live Stream!

What's New in the Alliance for Global Consciousness?

Alliance for Global ConsciousnessThe International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is a member along with several other organizations in the Alliance for Global Consciousness (AGC). The Alliance is an affiliation of like-minded organizations whose objective is to elevate their service to humankind and advance the evolution of their work, both individually and collectively, while moving further toward a shared purpose, namely: The transformation of human consciousness across the globe.  Current and on-going events of the AGC member organizations.

The AGC initiated a strong collective effort to assist its member organizations to become more vigorous and effective in the mutual exploration, understanding, and positive applications of consciousness.

Members of AGC organizations explore topics like personal spirituality, subtle energies, near-death studies, health and healing, life after death, meditation and mindfulness, personal enlightenment, human connectivity, energy medicine, out-of-body experiences, ESP, and psychic phenomena, and every avenue of human consciousness.

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New Book on Distressing NDEs by Nancy Evans Bush

Buddha in Hell

Announcing The Buddha in Hell and Other Alarms

Just in time to curl up with a good thought-piece for winter reading, here is The Buddha in Hell and Other Alarms: Distressing Near-Death Experiences in Perspective, a second book from IANDS’ own Nancy Evans Bush.

Whereas her first book, Dancing Past the Dark, was a descriptive study of distressing NDEs, here she blends questions raised by readers into her ongoing investigation and considers our cultural notions about fear in spiritual life. Despite the topic, it is not a gloomy book and throws considerable light on the source and purpose of the extreme conditions present in distressing NDEs.

Much of the book’s material originated in the years since the publication of Dancing Past the Dark; new writing augments blog posts and conference presentations, which have been expanded and largely reworked for the more permanent format of this new book. The Buddha in Hell and Other Alarms is available as an ebook or in paperback and can be found on Amazon and virtually all other bookselling outlets.

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The Self Does Not Die is now available on Amazon

BookCoverThe long-awaited book The Self Does Not Die has now been published and is available on Amazon.com. The project involved translating and publishing the recent Dutch book by NDE researchers Titus Rivas, Anny Dirven and Rudolf Smit that detailed 78 cases of veridical perceptions and other verified paranormal aspects of NDEs. Veridical perceptions in NDEs provide the best evidence of the apparent separation of consciousness from the physical body and, by implication, survival of consciousness after death.

IANDS was able to raise more than $20,000 for the project and there are now 104 cases in the English edition! The book features each case with all of the references that readers can use to explore the case further. These references include many on-line references with the links given. There is a handy on-line version of the Reference List on the IANDS web site where the links can be followed simply by clicking on them.

Get your copy now at Amazon.com!   The Kindle version is also available!

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NBC Today Show Features Segment on NDEs

Do you believe? Near-death experiences may reveal glimpses of afterlife

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Includes an interview with Barbara Bartolomé, leader of the IANDS Group
in Santa Barbara, CA.  

Diane Corcoran on The Aware Show with Lisa Garr

diane corcoranOn Monday Nov. 14th, IANDS President Emerita, Diane Corcoran, RN, PhD, Retired Army Colonel was interviewed on Lisa Garr's EXPLORING THE BEYOND, The Aware Show with KPFK FM radio program discussing Universal Characteristics of Near-Death Experiences and Out-of-Body Experiences.  A Special Afterlife Summit commenced November 14 - 18 featuring Diane Corcoran and many different speakers which can be viewed here:

 Exploring the Beyond, The Aware Show

Does the soul continue on its journey after the body dies?

Afterlife Summit Banner

Find out by Exploring the Beyond.

 

 

Study finds NDE memories are not of imagined events

steven_laureys2Skeptics have long proposed that NDEs are dream-like memories of events that never happened or are altered memories of real events which are partly or fully imagined. A recently published study from the University of Liège in Belgium compared the memories of NDEs with memories of others who were in coma without an NDE. They found that memories of NDEs are significantly different from coma patients without an NDE. In particular they have significantly more characteristics, like visual details, memory clarity, self-referential information (being involved in the event) and emotional content.

The researchers propose that NDEs can't be considered as imagined events. which have significantly fewer characteristics. NDE events are really perceived but since the events did not occur in reality and likely result from physiological conditions (e.g., neurological dysfunction), the events are actually hallucinatory (see also ULg video). This conclusion is based on assumptions that are inconsistent with other evidence from NDEs. Other interpretations are possible.

Seven researchers from the University of Liège, led by Dr. Steven Laureys, published a report in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLoS ONE on the characteristics of memories from near-death experiences compared with the memories from others who were in coma but did not report an NDE. The study also compared NDE memories with memories of real events and imagined events (e.g., past dreams or fantasies).

Skeptics, such as Susan Blackmore and Chris French, have long proposed that NDEs are dream-like memories of events that never happened or are altered memories of real events which are partly or fully imagined.

The researchers included 21 patients who suffered from an acute brain insult and coma. The patients were divided into three groups: those reporting an NDE (≥ 7 on the Greyson scale, N=8), those reporting memories during coma but without an NDE (< 7 on the Greyson scale, N=6) and those reporting no memories of their coma (N=7). These three groups were all similar in etiology of the brain insult (traumatic, anoxic, hemorrhagic, metabolic and encephalopathic etiologies), as well as age and time since insult. The 21 coma patients were also compared with 18 healthy control subjects.

The researchers measured the memory characteristics of patients using the Memory Characteristics Questionnaire (MCQ), comparing the target memories (NDE or coma memories) versus memories of real events and imagined events (e.g., past dreams or fantasies). The memory characteristics included sensory details (visual, auditory, etc.), memory clarity (e.g., mentally reliving the events when remembering), self-referential information (memories of being involved in the event) and emotionality (e.g., feeling the emotions of the event when remembering).

The researchers found that memories of NDEs have significantly more characteristics than both memories of real events and imagined events (p<0.02), that is, in general the NDE memories had extremely high emotional content and were more vivid and "real" to the NDEr, even compared with memories of recent real events. Thus, "NDEs can't be considered as typical imagined event memories". The NDE memories "seem to be unique, unrivalled memories".

The memories of NDEs also have significantly more self-referential, emotional and memory clarity characteristics than memories from coma without an NDE (all p<0.02), that is, in general the NDEr remembered being more involved in the event than the non-NDE coma patient. The researchers suggest that "what makes the NDEs 'unique' is not being 'near-death' but rather the perception of the experience itself".

Furthermore, since it is possible that the core components of an NDE are neurophysiologically determined (e.g., temporo-parietal junction dysfunction or deficit), then "the subject really perceived these phenomena". However, since the perceived events did not occur in reality, the perceptions are hallucinatory. Indeed, memories of NDEs are likely 'flashbulb memories' of hallucinations.

CNN also published an in-depth news article on this study.

Commentary

The researchers' conclusions are based on two assumptions that are inconsistent with other evidence from NDEs: (1) that the perceived events do not occur in reality and (2) that NDE phenomena are determined neurophysiologically. Therefore, other interpretations are possible.

The first assumption, that perceived events in an NDE do not occur in reality, is not consistent with the veridical perceptions that are reported by NDErs. In fact, nearly all "apparently nonphysical veridical perceptions" (AVPs) are verified when checked. Janice Holden (2009) reported that of 93 veridical perception cases in the NDE literature, 92% were completely accurate, 6% were accurate with some errors and only one case was completely erroneous. The AVPs are frequently of objects or events outside the NDEr's physical line of sight or at a distant location from the NDEr's physical body.

Furthermore, previously unknown veridical information received during the "transcendent" part of the NDE (e.g. meeting deceased relatives) is frequently later verified. For example, a man saw and interacted with an apparently deceased person and later found out the man was his biological father who had died in the holocaust (van Lommel, 2010, pp. 32-33).

Since the perceived events in fact occurred or accurately conveyed previously unknown information, one cannot conclude that NDE perceptions are hallucinations. If some parts of the NDE events were perceived accurately, where do the NDE perceptions become unreal? If a patient accurately describes the details of operating room events while he had no heart beat or blood pressure, at what point did the other parts of his experience (the tunnel and light) become an hallucination?

Eben Alexander's experience included both veridical perceptions and an episode of "ICU psychosis". During his recovery, he experienced intense delusions and very vivid dreams but both were completely different from the "astonishing clarity and vibrant richness—the ultra-reality" of his NDE (Alexander, 2012, pp. 117-118). His NDE memories are consonant with the results of this study but point out the stark difference between true hallucinations and NDE memories. The finding that NDE memories contain both more emotional and self-referential information than other target memories is more likely due to the hyperreal and veridical qualities of the experience than vice versa.

The second assumption, that NDE phenomena are neurophysiologically determined, is not consistent with the full spectrum of NDE cases. A number of physiological factors are generally cited in explanations of NDEs (Greyson et al., 2009). None of these factors is adequate to explain NDE phenomena, because (1) the reported physiologically-caused experiences bear only a slight resemblance to NDEs, (2) many NDEs occur under conditions without the suggested physiological factor, and/or (3) in cases where the physiological factor is present, NDEs are not reported in even a large percent of cases.

Furthermore, many NDEs occur during cardiac arrest which results in complete cessation of blood flow to the brain. In these cases, heightened, lucid awareness and thought processes are reported, the same kind of experiences as are remembered by patients in this study (van Lommel, 2010, pp. 159–176). In these NDEs, neurophysiological causes of the core components of the NDE could not have occurred because the brain was not functioning. Veridical perceptions of the onset of resuscitation efforts also establish the time of the experience to be when the brain had no electrical activity.

Robert Mays, NDE researcher

References

  • Alexander, Eben (2012). Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Greyson, B., Kelly, E. W., & Kelly, E. F. (2009). Explanatory models for near-death experiences. In J. M. Holden, B. Greyson, & D. James (Eds.), The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty years of investigation (pp. 213–234). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers.
  • Holden, Janice M. (2009). Veridical perception in near-death experiences. In J. M. Holden, B. Greyson & D. James (Eds.), The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty years of investigation (pp. 185–211). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers.
  • Thonnard M, Charland-Verville V, Brédart S, Dehon H, Ledoux D, et al. (2013) Characteristics of Near-Death Experiences Memories as Compared to Real and Imagined Events Memories. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57620. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057620.
  • van Lommel, P. (2010). Consciousness beyond life: The science of the near-death experience. New York: HarperCollins.

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