Neuroscientist Mario Beauregard writes that more and more research indicates that something inexplicable by the standard materialist model of human consciousness is happening with Near Death Experiences. Here’s an excerpt focusing on a medically well-documented case that cannot be explained as the bizarre firing of neurons in the mind of a dying patient:
Her body temperature began to fall, and at 11:05 a.m. Pam’s heart stopped. Her EEG brain waves flattened into total silence. A few minutes later, her brain stem became totally unresponsive, and her body temperature fell to a sepulchral 60 degrees Fahrenheit. At 11:25 a.m., the team tilted up the head of the operating table, turned off the bypass machine, and drained the blood from her body. Pamela Reynolds was clinically dead.
At this point, Pam’s out-of-body adventure transformed into a near-death experience (NDE): She recalls floating out of the operating room and traveling down a tunnel with a light. She saw deceased relatives and friends, including her long-dead grandmother, waiting at the end of this tunnel. She entered the presence of a brilliant, wonderfully warm and loving light, and sensed that her soul was part of God and that everything in existence was created from the light (the breathing of God). But this extraordinary experience ended abruptly, as Reynolds’s deceased uncle led her back to her body—a feeling she described as “plunging into a pool of ice.”
Meanwhile, in the operating room, the surgery had come to an end. When all the blood had drained from Pam’s brain, the aneurysm simply collapsed and Spetzler clipped it off. Soon, the bypass machine was turned on and warm blood was pumped back into her body. As her body temperature started to increase, her brainsteam began to respond to the clicking speakers in her ears and the EEG recorded electrical activity in the cortex. The bypass machine was turned off at 12:32 p.m. Pam’s life had been restored, and she was taken to the recovery room in stable condition at 2:10 p.m.
Beauregard says the theory that NDEs are caused by a decrease of oxygen to the brain cannot be sustained. He points out too that people who have been born blind have the same NDE experiences as those with sight. Furthermore, he cites a stunning case of a woman who had an NDE in which she was floating outside of her body, and returned to life to describe a tennis shoe in a particular position on a window ledge of the hospital. Following her testimony, medical personnel went looking for the shoe, and found it exactly as she described it — right down to details that could only have been seen by someone floating very close to the shoe, and above it, as the woman said she had been.
(Thanks to reader JonF for the tip!)
UPDATE: Forgot to say that I somewhat knew a Texas guy who claimed this happened to him after a near-fatal car crash — except his was a pretty dark story. He had been living a pretty bad life, and went to hell, or an approximation thereof. He claimed that Jesus Christ came to him there, told him it wasn’t his time yet, but that he should change his life, and turn to the Light. He said Jesus also told him “your days are numbered” — meaning that he didn’t have much time left. He had a dramatic, instant turnaround in his life, and became a far more peaceful and even saintly man. Sure enough, not long after this happened, he learned that he had a terminal illness. He’s dead now, but he spent the rest of his days serving God and doing good for others. Interestingly, after this experience, he had an almost preternatural spiritual sensitivity. I did not know the man before his alleged NDE, so I have no way of knowing if this was true. He was an exceptionally humble and gentle man when I met him, by the way, and didn’t like to talk about all this (I only found out about it because he’d told a friend of mine at his church, who asked.) FWIW.