Threshold: Terminal Lucidity and the Border of Life and Death by Alexander Batthyány

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I have been reading this book over the last few days and must conclude that it has been a positive surprise. While I only learned a modest amount of new things related to terminal lucidity (the basics can, after all, easily be Googled), reading about terminal lucidity was not the main motivation for buying this book (I got the paperback version).

What I really wanted to know more about was the quality and standard of the research and, not least, the mindset of the author, Alexander. As I have often expressed on the forums, one can't be too careful when dealing with especially self-reported subjective accounts of phenomena. It was with great delight when I in the book read the following:

Quote:..the unsettling tendency in some corners of the popular NDE movement to give certain narratives disproportionately more attention than others, while most other NDErs are never brought to the attention of a broader public. Within the NDE movement, this has repeatedly led to individual NDErs claiming an almost prophet-like status for themselves..."

Quote:It's the same problem all over: when it comes to individual case reports, memory errors of both the patient and the corroborating informant have to be accounted for - especially when interviewees (mostly family members of the NDEr) communicated with each other long before the interview took place and a considerable amount of time has passed between the NDE and the interviews.

The book overall left me with a very positive perception of Alexander as a serious researcher. In the book, he spends considerable space to stress and explain that so far, there has only been one prospective study investigating terminal lucidity, with all other data points coming from retrospective studies, which likely causes an overreporting bias. Clearly, more data is needed if we are to get wiser on this phenomenon, and just recently, there has also been funding available for this subject (all explained in the book).

I'm in no way trying to frame Alexander as a materialist thinking that NDEs and terminal lucidity have biological explanations. Overall, the data is presented as suggestive of a dualist reality without the author being ignorant about the strong evidence for the mind = brain relationship. Ideas about how the apparent mind = brain relationship breaks down at death's doorstep are also discussed, with comparisons to how Newtonian physics works for everything but extreme speed and mass.

It’s easy to recommend this book.
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-12, 07:46 PM by sbu. Edited 3 times in total.)
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There's strong evidence for a mind=brain relationship?

I think first one would have to have some clear understanding of what a brain is for that...
'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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(2024-05-13, 02:07 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: There's strong evidence for a mind=brain relationship?

I think first one would have to have some clear understanding of what a brain is for that...

I used the '=' symbol to allude to the correlation between brain states and mind states, not to imply they are strictly equal.
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Terminal Lucidity: An Interview with Alexander Batthyany
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Sam Parnia is setting up a prospective study in terminal lucidity, unfortunately it seems like they haven’t come very far with the study. Scientific methodology is not easily applied to the study of dying.
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