Thursday October 30 | Near Death Experiences

October 29, 2008 at 12:49 am | Posted in Coming Up | 5 Comments

This is a time of year when we think of otherworldly things and today we meet an expert who studies near-death and out-of-body experiences. Do people really see a gateway to an afterlife or is there a scientific explanation for the experience?
Dr. Diane Corcoran
– R.N. and President, International Association for Near Death Studies

Listen to Show



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  1. I think I had a near-life experience, so to speak, back in the 70s, which was characterized by a sort of river or flow which I felt I could enter and perhaps “die”, and which was connected to the source of creation, which I came to equate with “the Tao”.

    Another time I had the feeling of spiraling out of my body, and hovering above…which I felt was a so-called O.B.E.

    Does this sound at all familiar to Dr. Corcoran?

  2. Mike,
    I wonder if your guest can tell us of the percentage of persons who are clinically near death and yet have no memory of any of the conscious experiences. Have they actually studied systematically groups of persons whose heart has stopped or only a subset of that group who claim to have a had a near death experience? If there is survival of an essence or a soul after heart stoppage, there ought to be some evidence of this survival in every incidence. What your guest is describing may or may not be real, one would have to believe in non-material beings. If such beings exists, then angels, fallen and non fallen, could exist as well. If demonic beings are real then they might also like to deceive persons into believing in natural immortality. If science has access to such non-material reality, then God might be discovered apart from special revelation. (As a Christian, I am skeptical of humans being able to access such information apart from special revelation.) The special revelation found in scripture offers hope for eternal life not through the survival of an immortal soul after physical death, but rather through the grace of God in resurrecting the body. I do hope some day you would devote equal time in another show to this Biblical view of human nature as body-persons.

  3. Cornelius,

    I also received your email on this topic and have given it to Mike. Hopefully he’ll have time to read it on the air. Thanks!

  4. The Dalai Lama talks of things you see as you are dying, and mentions smoke. What is this smoke? Why a sequence of visions?

  5. Mike,
    Thanks for reading my question on air; however, Dr. Corcoran failed to answer it. Perhaps she misunderstood, so let me rephrase: Does every cognizant, adult person who has experienced clinical death also have some type of awareness of an out-of-body experience?
    I think that this is a legitimate subject to treat on your show; however, to declare that this science is a bit of a stretch. The truth she is dealing with is not an empirical, falsifiable one but rather a truth of non-material reality, a reality which science can neither affirm nor deny. The evidences she points to are largely subjective and anecdotal. Some of this evidence might be accounted for by neurological or other physiological causes. However, whether or not science is able to explain NDEs empirically, the validity of these experiences depends mostly on one’s religious presuppositions.
    I would suggest, in the interest fairness, that you invite a Christian theologian such as N. T. Wright to speak to this issue. As a United Methodist pastor, I teach the Christian doctrine of “the resurrection of the body” rather than the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Such a distinction may sound trivial but the theological, anthropological, ethical and political implications of this difference are profound. I realize you probably do not want to open your show to religious proselytizing; however, your guest today has done, in thankfully a respectful way, just that. There is an opposing view and it lies at the heart of Christian faith. I hope you will not rule out allowing the other side to speak with equal time.

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