Pim van Lommel's Essentia Foundation statement on NDEs & cardiac arrest

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Near-Death Experiences during cardiac arrest

dr. Pim van Lommel | 2021-04-20


Quote:....Based on prospective studies on NDE and recent findings in neurophysiological research, and in analogy with concepts from quantum physics, our consciousness cannot be localized in a certain time or space. This is called nonlocal consciousness, because almost all reported aspects of consciousness during cardiac arrest seem to be quantum-like phenomena, such as non-local interconnectedness, beyond time and space (van Lommel, 2013). In this concept our endless or nonlocal consciousness with declarative memories finds its origin, and is stored, in a nonlocal realm as wave-fields of information, and the brain only serves as a relay station for parts of these wave-fields of consciousness to be received into, or as, our waking consciousness. The function of the brain should so be compared with a transceiver, a transmitter/receiver, or interface, exactly like the function of a computer. Different neuronal networks function as interface for different aspects of our consciousness, and the function of neuronal networks should be regarded as receivers and conveyors, not as retainers of consciousness and memories. In this concept, nonlocal consciousness is not rooted in the measurable domain of physics, our manifest world. With this concept of nonlocal consciousness all reported elements of an NDE during cardiac arrest could be explained.

Since the publication of the aforementioned four prospective studies, which have strikingly similar results and conclusions, the phenomenon of the NDE can no longer be scientifically ignored. According to these empirical studies, as well as neurophysiological studies in cardiac arrest, the current materialist view of the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers and psychologists seems too restricted. By making a scientific case for consciousness as a nonlocal and thus ubiquitous phenomenon, we can contribute to new ideas about the relationship between consciousness and the brain. There are now good reasons to assume that our consciousness does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain: enhanced consciousness can apparently be experienced with the possibility of perception out and above the lifeless body. Studies on NDEs seem to suggest that our consciousness does not resides in our brain and is not limited to our brain, because our consciousness has nonlocal properties. According to this hypothesis, our brain seems to have a facilitating function and not a producing function when it comes to consciousness. It seems inevitable that we need new ways of thinking to study consciousness and to reconsider the relationship between consciousness and the brain. We need a so-called postmaterialist science to include all subjective and transpersonal aspects that may occur in our consciousness, and to reconsider our currently widely accepted ideas about the mind-brain relationship.
'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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I mean most of this we already know. To me it seems like a bit of grand decleration or preaching to the choir. The people who see this will either agree or will rebut it with whatever points they think explain NDEs, I don't know how many middle men or scientists this will sway. Even then, any kind of nonlocal consciousness is only a foot in the door, we still don't know how so much goes on.
(2021-04-23, 06:50 AM)Smaw Wrote: I mean most of this we already know. To me it seems like a bit of grand decleration or preaching to the choir. The people who see this will either agree or will rebut it with whatever points they think explain NDEs, I don't know how many middle men or scientists this will sway. Even then, any kind of nonlocal consciousness is only a foot in the door, we still don't know how so much goes on.

The whole point of it being on Essentia Foundation is to present this stuff to laypeople [and academics who aren't indoctrinated in the Phyiscalist Faith]?
'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


(This post was last modified: 2021-04-23, 01:25 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
(2021-04-23, 01:24 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: The whole point of it being on Essentia Foundation is to present this stuff to laypeople [and academics who aren't indoctrinated in the Phyiscalist Faith]?

The article submitted by Van Lommel (or appears to be submitted by him recently?) is out of date. There's no mention of Parnia's Aware study, unless I'm mistaken. He wouldn't leave that out and quote Parnia's small 2001, one year study, surely.

More interestingly than this (with no disrespect to Van Lommel), Parnia Greyson and Fenwick are producing a pamphlet (apparently) in order to differentiate between near death experience and actual death experience (cardiac arrest). This is tricky because the term near death experience has become enshrined in the literature to represent all the reported experiences. 

It looks to me like an attempt to move the debate on and shut down the inevitable sceptical objections/shenanigans (once and for all?) that they weren't really dead, so the brain was still working etc.
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(2021-04-23, 05:28 PM)tim Wrote: The article submitted by Van Lommel (or appears to be submitted by him recently?) is out of date. There's no mention of Parnia's Aware study, unless I'm mistaken. He wouldn't leave that out and quote Parnia's small 2001, one year study, surely.
You're right, that article does have a great similarity to this, date March-April 2014.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179502/



Quote:More interestingly than this (with no disrespect to Van Lommel), Parnia Greyson and Fenwick are producing a pamphlet (apparently) in order to differentiate between near death experience and actual death experience (cardiac arrest). This is tricky because the term near death experience has become enshrined in the literature to represent all the reported experiences. 

It looks to me like an attempt to move the debate on and shut down the inevitable sceptical objections/shenanigans (once and for all?) that they weren't really dead, so the brain was still working etc.

Parnia has for a while been promoting the term "Actual Death Experience", and gives good reasons for doing so. But it does have the side-effect of selecting only a very small sub-set of NDE cases. From the point of view of the patient or experiencer, the distinction may be irrelevant. The ambiguity of brain-state at the time is not something which concerns the average person when describing their own experience.
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(2021-04-23, 05:28 PM)tim Wrote: The article submitted by Van Lommel (or appears to be submitted by him recently?) is out of date. There's no mention of Parnia's Aware study, unless I'm mistaken. He wouldn't leave that out and quote Parnia's small 2001, one year study, surely.

More interestingly than this (with no disrespect to Van Lommel), Parnia Greyson and Fenwick are producing a pamphlet (apparently) in order to differentiate between near death experience and actual death experience (cardiac arrest). This is tricky because the term near death experience has become enshrined in the literature to represent all the reported experiences. 

It looks to me like an attempt to move the debate on and shut down the inevitable sceptical objections/shenanigans (once and for all?) that they weren't really dead, so the brain was still working etc.

Ah that's interesting. I figure Essentia is looking at a variety of arguments both scientific and philosophical. They've got a few videos and a bunch of essays at this point.

What I'd love to see is a "Cosmos" type show for the public, talking about the scientific position. That I think would turn heads. Admittedly we do have more UFO stuff out there in the public, ideally that's something of a foot-in-the-door.
'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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(2021-04-23, 06:32 PM)Typoz Wrote: Parnia has for a while been promoting the term "Actual Death Experience", and gives good reasons for doing so. But it does have the side-effect of selecting only a very small sub-set of NDE cases. From the point of view of the patient or experiencer, the distinction may be irrelevant. The ambiguity of brain-state at the time is not something which concerns the average person when describing their own experience.

I might add, while giving full credit and respect to Dr Parnia, whose work I do consider highly valuable, a different perspective. My argument goes like this. Yes, we need Parnia's work and perspective. We also very much need to keep hold of the fact that a full NDE can take place in a healthy and normal-functioning brain. It is by recognising this that we see the brain does not cause NDE's, since they take place without any abnormality as well as in complete shutdown. For example anoxia can be discarded as well as a long list of supposed causes. Here perhaps I'm closer to Van Lommel's perspective.

edit: There is also a very important and practical significance of this for all of us as we go about our daily lives. Perhaps we hope for some transformative or spiritual or meaningful experience. It means there is no need for self-harm or other physical means to bring about such events. There are possibilities in every moment.
(This post was last modified: 2021-04-24, 07:34 AM by Typoz.)
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NDEs seem to be like, baby's first parapsychological weirdness, since them occuring during cardiac arrest makes them inherently remarkable and very hard to explain. The fact that they occur normally as well tends to be an afterthought it seems.
(2021-04-24, 08:03 AM)Smaw Wrote: NDEs seem to be like, baby's first parapsychological weirdness, since them occuring during cardiac arrest makes them inherently remarkable and very hard to explain. The fact that they occur normally as well tends to be an afterthought it seems.

An afterthought? I don't understand your reasoning process, how you reached that point of view.
(2021-04-23, 06:32 PM)Typoz Wrote: Parnia has for a while been promoting the term "Actual Death Experience", and gives good reasons for doing so. But it does have the side-effect of selecting only a very small sub-set of NDE cases. From the point of view of the patient or experiencer, the distinction may be irrelevant. The ambiguity of brain-state at the time is not something which concerns the average person when describing their own experience.


Agreed ! It's not something that concerns them initially. But it leaves their experience open to an interpretation which often does concern them, namely that their experience was all brain based and therefore an ultimately (anyway) ordinary experience that couldn't possibly have the significance that they believe and know it has.

With those experiences that occurred during (during is correct--no matter what the sceptics say--veridical evidence) cardiac arrest, an ordinary brain based explanation is out of the question.
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