What are some irregularities you have noticed from regular NDEs?

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This is something I was kinda thinking of after Typoz posted an NDE featuring young children, and how we shouldn't make sweeping statements regarding NDEs and their nature. It seems to me, at least in some regard, the traditional idea we have of NDEs here in the west isn't even entirely consistent, even more so compared to the rest of the world. Something researchers have kind of been discovering as time has gone on. I wanted to see what kind of breaks from the traditional NDE narratives you guys have seen?

To list off some I've seen:
- With some more recent research, it seems that NDEs can be more negative than previously thought. The study done correlating NDEs to REM sleep again seemed to note that a large percentage were negative. Though, I haven't seen a lot of situation discussion about these. Might getting flung off a motorcycle and waking up in some weird dimension be more distressing than laying in a hospital bed and having a heart attack?
- Weird imagery, which has been known about for a while but I read something, I think by Keith Frankish, that someone met a lion with a man's head during his NDE, something quite bizzare. And those seem to pop up every so often.
- Different cultural artifacts, again talked about before but very interesting compared to traditional western NDE takes. The most interesting ones I read were from a Japanese researcher. People who had NDEs in his study didn't generally encounter beings, but frequently had their paths blocked by giant stone walls or great rivers they were unable to cross. I believe it was also a more serene experience for them, rather than blissful.
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(2021-08-09, 09:32 AM)Smaw Wrote: This is something I was kinda thinking of after Typoz posted an NDE featuring young children, and how we shouldn't make sweeping statements regarding NDEs and their nature. It seems to me, at least in some regard, the traditional idea we have of NDEs here in the west isn't even entirely consistent, even more so compared to the rest of the world. Something researchers have kind of been discovering as time has gone on. I wanted to see what kind of breaks from the traditional NDE narratives you guys have seen?

To list off some I've seen:
- With some more recent research, it seems that NDEs can be more negative than previously thought. The study done correlating NDEs to REM sleep again seemed to note that a large percentage were negative. Though, I haven't seen a lot of situation discussion about these. Might getting flung off a motorcycle and waking up in some weird dimension be more distressing than laying in a hospital bed and having a heart attack?
- Weird imagery, which has been known about for a while but I read something, I think by Keith Frankish, that someone met a lion with a man's head during his NDE, something quite bizzare. And those seem to pop up every so often.
- Different cultural artifacts, again talked about before but very interesting compared to traditional western NDE takes. The most interesting ones I read were from a Japanese researcher. People who had NDEs in his study didn't generally encounter beings, but frequently had their paths blocked by giant stone walls or great rivers they were unable to cross. I believe it was also a more serene experience for them, rather than blissful.

This is one reason I tend to focus on the veridical aspects of NDEs - they are undeniable empirical evidence of the reality of the basic nature of the experiences, that they must generally be a real glimpse of spiritual existence out of the body mostly during periods when the physical brain is dysfunctional . Rather than the phantasmagorical outliers. The anomalies you list and others probably have several disparate explanations, especially ones related to the complexity of the neurological status of the NDEer at the time (whether the brain was really dysfunctional). At this point we have to resort to what appear to be ad hoc hypotheses, like for the encounters with living children, where these beings could be the dissociated souls of these children, who sensed that the NDEer needed their presence for reassurance. Of course the explanation in this case could simply be wish-fulfilling subconsciously generated hallucinations. But this sort of "explanation" is untenable for the veridical cases, and would be untenable if the NDE was during coma or other brain function stoppage.
(This post was last modified: 2021-08-09, 03:26 PM by nbtruthman.)
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For me, the most important aspect is the potential transformational impact of the NDE. That's why I appreciate and spend time watching NDE videos. Just ordinary people telling their own story of a part of their life, often a painful and distressing one it is true, there is something kind of honest about that - from my perspective.

Regarding one of the things which triggered the starting of this thread, a video I posted recently, I didn't see it as anomalous, it fits into a routine pattern for me. So many NDE accounts have the person in distressing physical or medical circumstances, suddenly being shifted into a place of serenity and love, and their ordinary everyday life falls away. The person wants, asks, demands to stay in this place - and why wouldn't they? Well, commonly the person is reminded that they must go back. The person refuses, demanding to stay. Then they are gently reminded of their children or family or partner, who needs their support. When this reminder comes from the children themselves, rather than as a reminder from a grandparent or other being, it is very much part of that same pattern. The need to return to this life. That is the consistent part. So for me there is no anomaly.

I guess what I meant was it was something I already was aware of, but is sometimes over-simplified. Overall though, I try not to be fixed  in my expectations, I'm always interested in these experiences. One reason is that people are all different, each has their own perspective and way of interpreting and describing things, so that reading or listening to personal accounts has a freshness for me, there is always something new, one way or another. I'm pretty sure that these things have affected me, in the way I (try to) live my life. I don't consider it to be abstract or theoretical, but down-to-earth daily life.
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Quote:It is unsurprising to find that Egyptian Osiris does not judge the Vedic dead, or that Sumerian Inana does not descend to the Chinese Yellow Springs to play football with the decapitated head of Maya underworld hero-twin Xblanque. Uniqueness is not denied, but taken for granted. It is normative ‘difference’ which reveals the similarities, while the concept of ‘different’ is only comprehensible by reference to the concept of ‘similar’. Each defines the other, providing us with categories which enable us to organize and interpret our data (Segal 2001: 373).

It is, in fact, the vastness of the differences that makes the similarities so significant, and inherently demanding of an explanation. Precisely for this reason, differences can be ‘a useful base from which to proceed to ask questions about’ similarities.

Quote:Despite temporal and geographical separation, lack of significant cultural contact, and contextual differences between the genres of texts in which afterlife descriptions appear, a consistent set of thematic elements has been found to be similar across the traditions. The correspondence of this set to the core elements of cross-cultural historical and modern NDEs demonstrates a connection between the NDE and the conceptions as described in the ancient texts. This suggests that NDEs (and/or shamanic experiences) influenced afterlife conceptions cross-culturally;1 and that such conceptions are thus, in part, culture/individual-specific symbolic interpretations of universal experiential phenomena. Because the NDE itself is culturally embedded, it not only contributes to afterlife conceptions, but also reflects them. In other words, the culture-specific beliefs and universal experiential phenomena are symbiotic, mutually influencing one another, and playing equally vital roles in the formation of afterlife conceptions.


Shushan, Gregory. Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations (Continuum Advances in Religious Studies) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
'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: 2021-08-09, 09:35 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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The post from @Sciborg_S_Patel is interesting. It also reminds me of something else, to do with reincarnation. Commonly it seems people tend to reincarnate in a similar area or culture to their previous life. But Jim Matlock has reported that sometimes when a person, for one reason or another, has a life which ends far from their homeland, they may sometimes be reborn in the place where they died. The impact of the latter is quite disconcerting, customs and lifestyles which everyone around takes for granted as normal, can feel strange and there may be a longing for some place with which the person has no obvious connection. But there aren't fixed rules about such things, just bits of evidence from which we try to piece together some sort of understanding.

My impression is that life can be hard enough at times, so that battling against cultural unfamiliarity would be a distraction from some of the more basic things of life. Though cultural unfamiliarity can be the lot of those displaced from a place of birth during a lifetime, something separate from that caused by rebirth in a strange place. I guess we all just have to try to make the best we can of our lot, however it comes about.
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(2021-08-10, 10:54 AM)Typoz Wrote: The post from @Sciborg_S_Patel is interesting. It also reminds me of something else, to do with reincarnation. Commonly it seems people tend to reincarnate in a similar area or culture to their previous life. But Jim Matlock has reported that sometimes when a person, for one reason or another, has a life which ends far from their homeland, they may sometimes be reborn in the place where they died. The impact of the latter is quite disconcerting, customs and lifestyles which everyone around takes for granted as normal, can feel strange and there may be a longing for some place with which the person has no obvious connection. But there aren't fixed rules about such things, just bits of evidence from which we try to piece together some sort of understanding.

My impression is that life can be hard enough at times, so that battling against cultural unfamiliarity would be a distraction from some of the more basic things of life. Though cultural unfamiliarity can be the lot of those displaced from a place of birth during a lifetime, something separate from that caused by rebirth in a strange place. I guess we all just have to try to make the best we can of our lot, however it comes about.

I think there is a space between "mental" and "physical", between this world and the next. Corbin referred to it as the Imaginal, and recently Becca Tarnas has searched out commonalities in the spiritual/authorial journeys of Tolkien and Jung in that "place". Some things seem to go from our imagination to There, and from There into our imagination.

Where I think we can find comfort is the commonalities between NDEs, OOBEs, Apparitions, In Between Reincarnation. Combine that thread with the study of the Imaginal and reports of Shamanic Journeys and a picture - if not a map - begins to emerge.

edit: Recalling the Origins of Fiction thread on Skeptiko.
'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: 2021-08-14, 11:03 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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(2021-08-10, 10:54 AM)Typoz Wrote: Commonly it seems people tend to reincarnate in a similar area or culture to their previous life.


I've thought about this a bit lately. 

Perhaps it is not so much that people tend to reincarnate into similar cultures and locales, but, rather, that they tend to remember their past lives when they reincarnate into similar cultures and locales.

Kinda like if someone were to visit their childhood home as an adult, they might be more likely to recall memories that would otherwise have remained forgotten.
Formerly dpdownsouth. Let me dream if I want to.
(This post was last modified: 2021-08-26, 08:49 AM by woethekitty.)
(2021-08-26, 08:48 AM)woethekitty Wrote: I've thought about this a bit lately. 

Perhaps it is not so much that people tend to reincarnate into similar cultures and locales, but, rather, that they tend to remember their past lives when they reincarnate into similar cultures and locales.

Kinda like if someone were to visit their childhood home as an adult, they might be more likely to recall memories that would otherwise have remained forgotten.

Well, you may be right.

Though there's another point of view. If reincarnated into a similar culture, so that things seem familiar, there is often no need to start asking the deeper questions about life, so that past life memory may not even be of interest. On the other hand, being in a foreign land, where the food, music, rituals and ordinary conventions of daily life are strange and puzzling, that may provoke some thoughts, especially if one has even a slight, faint recall of some far-away place.

But really, one needs to look at the data first, before trying to come up with possible explanations. I've mentioned Jim Matlock before. He may not yet be as well-known as Ian Stevenson or Jim Tucker (for example), but Matlock has studied and correlated the topic to include the first-hand studies across many different researchers. Some of his academic books may be dauntingly lengthy, thorough and expensive. But fortunately he has also written several articles over at the psi encyclopedia.

There are also a series of 12 videos which he did on 'New Thinking Allowed' which are all of interest - though I'm not sure which is most relevant to this particular discussion.

Apologies for too much promoting of a particular person, I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but mostly he is close to the research and the data, which helps.
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