Guardian article on Greyson's new book

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Not as slanted toward the Physicalist faith as I'd have thought....

What do near-death experiences mean, and why do they fascinate us?

Alex Moshakis


Quote:Greyson knows that events in near-death experiences are impossible to corroborate. “We can’t do research on a deity,” he says, drily. But still, he finds it tough to dismiss wackier theories, even if the data isn’t there. When I ask him what his current logical understanding is, he looks resigned. “It seems most likely to me that the mind is somehow separate to the brain,” he says, “and, if that’s true, maybe it can function when the brain dies.” Then he adds, “But if the mind is not there in the brain, where is it? And what is it?”

Quote:“I’ve spoken to people who were policemen,” he says, “or career military officers, who couldn’t go back to their jobs, couldn’t stand the idea of violence.” I ask why. He says, “The idea of hurting someone becomes abhorrent to them.” He shrugs. “They end up going into helping professions. They become teachers, or healthcare workers, or social workers.”



Quote:“I grew up without any kind of a spiritual background,” he continues. “And I’m still not sure I understand what spiritual means. I am convinced now, after doing this for 40, 50 years, that there is more to life than just our physical bodies. I recognise that there is a non-physical part of us. Is that spiritual? I’m not sure. Spirituality usually involves a search for something greater than yourself, for meaning and purpose in the universe. Well, I certainly have that.”


They should have to Raymond Tallis, given he's a neuroscientist who is an atheist but also doesn't think mere matter - of which the brain is supposedly made - can hold memories. But then you often can't get even something slightly positive about the paranormal into print in many of these publications without making sure you have enough pseudo-skeptical talking points inserted.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Quote:Greyson knows that events in near-death experiences are impossible to corroborate.
That seems a little bit feeble to me, as though he's trying to keep the scope of the topic constrained within certain boundaries, rather than expressing the state of NDE research.
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(2021-03-10, 05:53 PM)Typoz Wrote: That seems a little bit feeble to me, as though he's trying to keep the scope of the topic constrained within certain boundaries, rather than expressing the state of NDE research.

Yeah it seems Grayson was being rather guarded, or at least was speaking specifically about replication in some kind of lab.

OTOH there are quite a few third party corroborations out there of OOBEs including some from NDEs.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2021-03-10, 05:53 PM)Typoz Wrote: That seems a little bit feeble to me, as though he's trying to keep the scope of the topic constrained within certain boundaries, rather than expressing the state of NDE research.

Not much choice if he wants to retain any credibility in academic/scientific/medical circles. Look what happens to those who go where others fear to tread ... Rupert Sheldrake, for example. 

I get the same feeling with Sam Parnia - far too cautious for fear of crossing that line.

Maybe someone attending the Zoom call can ask him about that?
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-11, 03:03 AM by Kamarling.)
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Subtle bit of comedy here but, I do like how there's a quote from Greyson talking about all these explanations for NDEs that haven't stuck, then immediately after there's Nelson talking about these potential explanations.
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(2021-03-11, 06:09 AM)Smaw Wrote: Subtle bit of comedy here but, I do like how there's a quote from Greyson talking about all these explanations for NDEs that haven't stuck, then immediately after there's Nelson talking about these potential explanations.

That's ok I think, it's like a lot of panel or group discussions on these things, it's up to the audience to consider and make up their mind. It is after all Greyson's book, if people do read it then they get (I presume) those other arguments placed in a more detailed context.
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What I found interesting in that Guardian article was the extent to which the NDE has extended into popular culture and everyday life.
Quote:The accounts are mystical, like those we know from TV and books, but there are common themes.

Quote:Last year, my four-year-old son and I watched Soul, the Disney film, which introduces the near-death experience to a new audience, very young people, and examines consciousness, the afterlife, and the imperceptible stuff that makes us us.

While I don't expect Disney to do a good job of presenting these things accurately, I do think cinema can be valuable in raising awareness of this subject. After all, a popular and long-lasting film, It's a Wonderful Life with James Stewart has affected public consciousness in a powerful way. I remember seeing that film when I was very young and fragments of it haunted me for years, I forgot the title, the actors and much of the detail, but the plot theme, how the world would be if we'd never been born, stayed with me.

That same theme is often explored in NDE accounts. For example a person may be overjoyed to at last be free of the body and Earthly encumbrances, and overwhelmed by the new yet oddly familiar circumstances, refusing to return to their old body. Sometimes at this point they see played out the future lives of their growing children or other people, and how they would suffer and decline without their presence. It seems to me that in its own way, that 1946 movie portrays a type of NDE, just translated into a slightly different form.
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-11, 08:27 AM by Typoz.)
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(2021-03-11, 08:25 AM)Typoz Wrote: It seems to me that in its own way, that 1946 movie portrays a type of NDE,


There’s little doubt in my mind that the writer of ‘It’s a wonderful life’ either had an NDE themselves or had some type of spiritual insight, the same with A Christmas Carol by Dickens. Both are beautifully uplifting works. 

I too have noticed a general theme surrounding death in mainstream series’ where I very much suspect that the writer has known/read about NDEs. ‘The Terror’, by Ridley Scott, which I recently watched had definite spiritual themes running. People welcome having this ‘spiritual stuff’ underlying much of their content on tv/cinema, I think successful directors such as Scott or Spielberg are well aware of this connection.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-11, 09:30 AM by Stan Woolley.)
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