Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(88) The evidence for the NDE

On October 9th 1992, I was in a London restaurant with Candice Temple

(pictured here at La Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal) and Nick de Peyer.
Candice asked me what I considered the best evidence for anomalous phenomena.

I mentioned the near death experience and the out of body experience, pointing out that when scientists dismissed them as hallucinations and/or deceptive impressions from the dying brain, they overlooked observations that some experiencers had made of things that would have been impossible for them to see from where their bodies were. Dr Michael Sabom had done some important work in this area ( see The Narrative, ).

I particularly mentioned a case where a patient observed a tennis shoe on a window ledge of a hospital which she could not possibly have viewed by ordinary means, and I made much of attempts to collate further material of this type and referred to an address I had heard Professor Ian Stephenson give at the 1988 Society for Psychical Research conference speaking of moves to set up signs in operating theatres which were only visible from the ceiling.

At 2.20 p.m. the next day I switched on the TV and caught part of a programme which was the second in a series of three called Searching For The Dead.
I had seen neither of the first two programmes.

It focused on the NDE and towards the end there was a refutation of science’s attempts at dismissal by reconstructing the very example that I had been referring to some fifteen hours earlier, the case of the tennis shoe.

The tone was sympathetic to the dualist interpretation of events, i.e. that man is comprised of a spiritual and a material component.

Indeed, in conclusion a doctor commented that in science we seek the simplest interpretation ("Occam’s razor") and that, to him, the simplest explanation here was that the consciousness of these people really was leaving their bodies.

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