Near-death experiences have long inspired afterlife beliefs

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Near-death experiences have long inspired afterlife beliefs

G. Shushan

Quote:... NDEs have been popularly recognised in the West since the mid-1970s, but people from the largest empires to the smallest hunter-gatherer societies have been having them throughout history. Accounts are found in ancient sacred texts, historical documents, the journals of explorers and missionaries, and the ethnographic reports of anthropologists. Among the hundreds I’ve collected are those of a 7th-century BCE Chinese provincial ruler, a 4th-century BCE Greek soldier, a 12th-century Belgian saint, a 15th-century Mexica princess, an 18th-century British admiral, a 19th-century Ghanaian victim of human sacrifice, and a Soviet man who’d apparently killed himself but was revived during resuscitation experiments. NDEs can happen to followers of any religion, and to those of none.

Quote:We must also be careful not to overstate the crosscultural similarities with regard to NDEs. Although they share similar themes wherever they occur, no two NDEs are exactly alike. As with any other experience, they are filtered through our complex layers of culture, language and individuality. Given that he was a converted Christian, Squ-sacht-un’s NDE featured Christian imagery and instructions to preach the religion on his return to life. In Eastern examples, people who’d had NDEs are often sent back to the body due to a mistaken identity: the otherworld entities got the wrong person. In Western accounts, however, it is more often in order to complete some Earthly task, such as taking care of a child. One thing the various NDEs have in common, however, is that they’re virtually always understood as revealing ‘what happens when we die’.

Quote:Whatever the true source of NDEs – biological, psychological or metaphysical – there’s no question that they’re part of human experience, that they can influence our beliefs about an afterlife, and that they can even contribute to the formation of new religious movements. The phenomenon of NDEs reinforces what humans already seem predisposed to believe: that, in fact, we do not die.
'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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  • Ninshub, stephenw, Raimo
(2024-07-04, 02:50 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Near-death experiences have long inspired afterlife beliefs

G. Shushan

This seems to do little more than point out the obvious regarding NDEs, that they promote afterlife beliefs, with a number of cross-cultural features being shared but with some differences also. This is a safe and trivial observation - obviously behaviorly true based on the actual experiences of the NDErs. What this write-up fails to do is go further to delve into by far the most important and crucial question NDEs raise, whether or not they are real indicators of an afterlife, whether NDEs are really somehow merely hallucinatory. Of course this has been hashed out endlessly, with I think the great preponderance of evidence being in favor of an afterlife.
(This post was last modified: 2024-07-06, 07:33 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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  • Ninshub
(2024-07-06, 07:29 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: This seems to do little more than point out the obvious regarding NDEs, that they promote afterlife beliefs, with a number of cross-cultural features being shared but with some differences also. This is a safe and trivial observation - obviously behaviorly true based on the actual experiences of the NDErs. What this write-up fails to do is go further to delve into by far the most important and crucial question NDEs raise, whether or not they are real indicators of an afterlife, whether NDEs are really somehow merely hallucinatory. Of course this has been hashed out endlessly, with I think the great preponderance of evidence being in favor of an afterlife.

Well Shushan is a historical scholar, so he is recording instances of things like religious revelation and even some paranormal events.

He isn't a doctor, and it's unlikely Psyche would let him go in depth into modern paranormal claims. His books more clearly reveal his belief in Survival though.
'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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