Metaphysics & Psychology
Are near-death experiences merely illusions ?
August 19, 2019 | 383 comments
Does the soul live on after the body has died ? Image Credit: Louis Janmot
Some patients who 'died' for a short period have reported things that they couldn't possibly have known about.
Seeing events flashing before your eyes, observing a bright light at the end of a tunnel or feeling as though you are floating above your own body are just some of the things commonly described by patients who have had a near-death experience.
But do such experiences represent genuine evidence that there is something more after we die or are they simply illusions produced by the chemistry of the dying brain in our final moments ?
To answer this question, it is worth considering those rare cases where near-death experiences have revealed details about the physical world that the patient couldn't have otherwise known about.
One well known case, which was reported by hospice physician John Lerma, concerned an 80-year-old man who recalled floating above his body in the hospital trauma room.
From this elevated position, he spotted a quarter dating back to 1985 sitting on the top of an eight-foot-high cardiac monitor where nobody could have seen it without looking down from above.
After he was resuscitated, he asked Lerma to go and check that it was actually there. Skeptical of the claim, Lerma took out a ladder and climbed up to take a look. Sure enough - the coin was there.
Another similar case was recorded by Kenneth Ring and Madelaine Lawrence in 1993 when a patient described a near-death experience in which she was pulled upwards through the floors of the hospital until she emerged above the roof of the building where she saw a red shoe.
A doctor later investigated the claim and sure enough - there really was a shoe on the roof.
Could such stories be evidence that the human 'soul' is capable of living on outside of the body ?
The search for answers continues.
Source: Psychology Today
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