Near-Death Experiences, Deathbed Visions, and Past-Life Memories: A Convergence in Support of van Lommel's 'Consciousness Beyond Life' Page: 303
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Near-Death Experiences, Deathbed
Visions, and Past-Life Memories: A
Convergence in Support of van Lommel's
Consciousness Beyond Life
John C. Gibbs, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University
ABSTRACT: This review supports cardiologist Pim van Lommel's continuity
claim for human existence in his recently published book Consciousness Be-
yond 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 fun-
damental 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 re-
viewing 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.
KEYWORDS: Near-death experience; deathbed vision; past-life memory; con-
John C. Gibbs, Ph.D., is Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychology Depart-
ment, The Ohio State University, 1835 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210. He thanks
Jonathan Gibbs, editor Jan Holden, Melvin Morse, Denis Purcell, Lea Queener, Ken
Ring, Mike Sabom, Carol Stover, Carisa Taylor, and JohnAlexis Viereck for helpful
comments on a preliminary version of this article. Reprint requests should be ad-
dressed to Dr. Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journal of Near-Death Studies, 29(2), Winter 2010 2010 IANDS
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Gibbs, John C. Near-Death Experiences, Deathbed Visions, and Past-Life Memories: A Convergence in Support of van Lommel's 'Consciousness Beyond Life', article, Winter 2010; Durham, North Carolina. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461696/m1/1/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .