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Home > Lost Souls > Are near-death experiences real? Here’s what science has to say. | Dr. Bruce Greyson for Big Think

Are near-death experiences real? Here’s what science has to say. | Dr. Bruce Greyson for Big Think

Oct 2022 05



A psychiatrist studied 1,000 near- experiences. Here’s what he discovered.

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Near- experiences are not a new phenomenon. They have occurred for millennia across the world.

Studies of these experiences have revealed consistent patterns, namely a sense of overwhelming peace and well-being.

While there is still controversy in regard to the cause of near-death experiences, they are now known to be fairly common.

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About Dr. Bruce Greyson:
Dr. Bruce Greyson is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the UVA School of Medicine. He served on the medical school faculty at the Universities of Michigan, Connecticut, and Virginia. He was a co-founder and President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, and Editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. His award-winning research led him to become a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and to be invited by the Dalai Lama to participate in a dialogue between Western scientists and Buddhist monks in India.

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Read more of our stories on :
Are near-death experiences just psychedelic trips? ►
Activity of dying brain shines light on near-death experiences

Do near-death experiences prove that an exists?

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31 Comments

  1. #1

    Yes NDES are real.

  2. #2

    They are seeing the light above them in the operating room. If consciousness exists outside of the brain, then why does everything go blank when you get punched? This type of research should not be taken seriously.

  3. #3

    وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ (64)

  4. #4

    The current NDE Industrial Complex of books, videos, podcast, conferences, contradiction and plenty of absurdity is likely to produce a new generation of "Jim and Tammy Faye" distractors that will weaken any potential scientific and enduring understanding of this mystery. .

  5. #5

    Near-death experience means just that. Not dead.

  6. #6

    I think it’s amazing how these NDE people know information that they shouldn’t know, for example one NDE was lying on the operating table fighting for her life and the next thing she saw was her family way way down the hallway sitting in the waiting room. She was hovering above them and was able to tell them later on exactly what they were talking about. They were amazed. She shouldn’t have known that information.

  7. #7

    I’d like to discuss psychosis and second sight. Some people have supernatural experience that’s just tossed away as insane.

  8. #8

    There’s peace beneath all of the muck at our feet.

  9. #9

    This guy is selling a book so he will lean toward the people who will believe this nonsense and buy his book.

  10. #10

    I once swore that after my death, my soul would travel to another parallel universe to see if I could get the girl I liked in junior high school in another parallel world.

  11. #11

    After the death of a person, the soul of the person will go to the Wuwei space, and then in the five-dimensional space will travel to another parallel world. It is an evolution, because after a person dies, the human soul will travel between the universes. Therefore, only when people die can they get closer to the body of the universe. That is, our human soul can travel between parallel universes.

  12. #12

    I think any experience in life is real,
    So of course Ndes must be real, we know they happen, so whats the question?

  13. #13

    If you want to know about NDEs, the last person you should ask is a scientist. You see science has come a long way and it has made our life easier but science and scientists only deal with the material world. Science cant explain conciousness, it cant even explain thoughts. Yeah they say that thoughts are created in our brain which maybe true but that doesnt explain what are thoughts made of, or what is conciousness made of, where does our awareness come from.

  14. #14

    We haven't a clue what started time, matter, the universe. Science can take us so far. In 1985 I was playing a video game at a pizzeria. It was only the 3rd or 4th time I had played but something happened which to this day neither me nor anyone who was there can explain. I was able to essentially beat the machine with almost no experience. Time slowed down as far as the game went, and my hands knew how to move on their own. The pizzeria was packed with people and no one could believe what was happening because it should have been impossible. Eventually I grew uncomfortable by the crowed and I gave the game to someone who was the best player anyone knew. I heard him lose all lives in seconds. At the same time I could see myself in a mirror and my pupils were large pools, my ears were beet red and as I looked at the people around me I cannot explain how but I knew them, what they were feeling, what was hurting them, and I thought this is what Jesus and every other enlightened man could see in people. It was instant and total knowing. I spoke to complete strangers that day, about too many topics to recall, it was a spiritual experience for me. The following day it was gone, never to return. In my mind at least, anything is possible, we and our universe is proof of that. We are physical, but behind it all is something greater, something infinite.

  15. #15

    I was dead on operating table for 11 minutes. No recollection

  16. #16

    anthony chene goes deeper for those who are not afraid to know the reality of the truth of our existence. quite kool actually.

  17. #17
  18. #18

    These are definitely not common EXPERIENCES! COMMON BS!

  19. #19

    How many people here have lost their loved one. And feel some good by listening the NDE. I am one of them.

  20. #20

    My aunty passed away last year on may 1st 21 due to covid.I love and miss her so much. After that once my wife got headache and she had the experience that my aunty was sitting near her head and slowly touching her head with love. After that she was so scared and never stay alone at home. She is so sure that its not her imagination.

  21. #21

    I had sudden cardiac arrest and was essentially dead for an hour or more. I had no pain and zero memory of anything during this time. Therefore, I don't believe any of this is real.

  22. #22

    Dr. Bruce Greyson knows much more about those experiences than people like Sam Harris, Michael Shermer or Susan Blackmore.

  23. #23

    I had more than a dozen OBE between awake state and sleep. They were all very startling.

  24. #24

    The roommate mustve just talked to her that night about the stain and the conversation.

  25. #25

    I'm about to end my life so this is very interesting to hear

  26. #26

    ugh. with the story, you can tell it's confirmation bias with a little self-lying

  27. #27

    I've known a few people who had near death experiences. One of them said she saw a bright light that felt so welcoming. I'm assuming that was her brain shutting off or something, and she was supposedly dead for like a minute or something and then revived in the ambulance.

  28. #28

    "Near Death" = is not death. Ergo as long as the brain functions – even chaotically – you are not dead. Thus the individual may be capable of perceptions generated from within based upon that still functioning sensory awareness and active memory. Once the brain dies however it is game over = and there is no coming back from that. The brain rather than the circulatory system establishes if you are dead as it controls everything else – to include your awareness.

  29. #29

    But what about dreams then? I've dreamt some incredibly crazy dreams

  30. #30

    It didn't happen to me but to my dad he still talks about it to this day. My dad experienced OBE when he was in hospital back in 2014 . He fell nd injured his back of head area nd was hospitalized for almost a month .He was in a manic state , we had to tie him down to the bed cuz he was lashing at everyone . At one time in hospital he disappeared for almost an hour nd none of us cud find him , after searching for a while we found him in the bathroom, sleeping idk how . When he woke up he told us that he had gone outside of his room all the way to the hospital reception nd then came back on his own . It wasn't possible for him to go cuz 1st he was tied down 2nd he lost some of his memory nd can't possible remember the way to his room or any other place . He chngd so much after this accident, he is someone who cud live on instant ramen for months nd have no interest in cooking but now he became kinda like our home chef nd make these exotic dishes also he was nd atheist but now somehow became religious . I actually rlly like this chng .. 😅

  31. #31

    I'm terminally ill and really can't accept it.

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