Date: Winter 2010
Creator: Gibbs, John C.
Description: Abstract: This review supports cardiologist Pim van Lommel's continuity claim for human existence in his recently published book 'Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience' (2010). Van Lommel and colleagues (van Lommel, van Wees, Meyers, & Elfferich, 2001) studied NDEs among 344 Dutch hospital patients who had been resuscitated following cardiac arrest. From their and others' NDE research findings (e.g., accurate perceptions during the arrest period), van Lommel and colleagues concluded that mental activity can take place even in the absence of cerebral function. Extrapolating from this conclusion, van Lommel claimed in 'Consciousness Beyond Life' a fundamental continuity for individual human existence: that death and birth mark not final limits but instead the transition from one state of consciousness to another. In the course of making his continuity claim, van Lommel referred to other topics such as deathbed visions and past-life memories. In addition to reviewing NDE research, this article reviews research and illustrative responses pertaining to these related phenomena. A convergence of corroborative evidence is consistent with van Lommel's continuity claim.
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