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Extended Abstract: Exploring Resistance to Spiritual Emergence
Brief paper discussing research regarding people who resist spiritual emergence and transformation.
Paranormal Aspects of Pre-Existence Memories in Young Children
Abstract: The authors present both unconfirmed and externally confirmed cases of children's pre-existence memories with paranormal aspects that apparently cannot be explained by childish fantasy. The anomalous phenomena mostly comprise extrasensory perception with one case involving psychokinesis. Such aspects are similar to and convergent with paranormal aspects of near-death experiences and point to a common, non-physical origin of both types of experiences.
From Trauma to Transcendence: Clinical Perspectives on an Evolutionary Process
Abstract: Trauma and dissociation play a decisive role in initiating spiritual experience. This article explores transformational crises and spiritually transformative experiences (STEs) that occur within the context of trauma, physical illness, and mental disorders. Such growth or transformation may be a natural evolutionary process, in which the defense mechanism of dissociation plays a part. Consciousness is challenged to transform when one's ego identity and defenses are threatened. Ultimately, one may arrive at a radically re-ordered conceptual framework and higher-order functioning. Acknowledgement of this evolutionary dynamic may serve as a bridge between two fields: clinical psychology, with its expertise regarding the effects of trauma, notably dissociative states, and transpersonal psychology, with its expertise regarding transformational processes. Research from both fields is explored, as well as case examples from the author's biography, her clinical practice, and the collective. The concept of functional dissociation is introduced, and clinical considerations are addressed.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Dreams from Another Dimension?
Abstract: In 2015, I began communicating with an events planner for the U.S. Army who shared with me a series of anomalous dreams -- anomalous in the sense that the dreams usually contained specific names of deceased servicement previously unknown to her but known to an assistant chaplain with whom she worked. The goal of my ensuing case study research into this apparent episode of spontaneous mediumship was to collect these dreams, search for commonalities, and propose explanations for their anomalous aspects. Alternative explanations included fraud, faulty memory, coincidence, and telepathy or some other form of remote perception. None of these alternatives explained these anomalies as well as what the experiencer herself proposed: that the deceased themselves had successfully communicated with her during her nighttime dreams.
Explaining Near-Death Experiences: Physical or Non-Physical Causation?
Article discussing current research and possible causes of near-death experiences, comparing the hypotheses regarding physiological causes (e.g., neural circuitry) and non-physical causes (e.g., a separation of consciousness).
Differentiating Spiritual and Psychotic Experiences: Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar
This article discusses spiritually transformative experiences and how they differ from psychotic experiences, including the context, content, how the experience is remembered, and effect on the individual.
The Healing Power of Extraordinary Spiritual Experiences
Abstract: Extraordinary spiritual experiences (ESEs) events that appear to be direct perception of spiritual facts, have a history in Western societies of being stigmatized and pathologized except within very limited religious contexts. That negative view has caused real harm to many "visionaries." But in the latter 20th century, social science research began to show that ESEs are actually common in the general population and that they are normal. Near-death experiences are a well-known example. The growing body of research literature suggests that many conventional theories about spirituality are empirically mistaken and that ESEs may have the potential to be powerfully health promoting. This emerging evidence creates both a great ethical obligation and a research opportunity.
Extended Abstract: Assisted After-Death Communication: A Self-Prescribed Treatment for Grief
Brief paper discussing the use of induced after-death communication to help resolve grief.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Extended Abstract: After-Death Communication: Parents' and Their Children's Understanding and Meaning-Making
Brief paper discussing after-death communication with children and how it affects their relationships with their parents.
Extended Abstract: The Healing Power of an Alternative Supportive Community for Spiritual Seekers
Brief paper discussing the Holistic Options for People Everywhere (HOPE) organization and its goals to assist people who have spiritually transformative experiences and to educate the broader community about assiting expereiencers.
Shedding Light on the Tunnel and Light in Near-Death Experiences: A Case Study
Partial abstract: In this article, we present a case study of an adult male who experienced both gravity induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC) as a Korean War aviation cadet, including narrowing of his visual field to a point of light and also two subsequent transpersonal experiences -- a near-death experience (NDE) and an after-death communication (ADC) -- that both included a tunnel-and-light feature. His Near-Death Experience Scale scores for each experience and his comparison of the qualia of these experiences provide unique evidence in the debate about the nature and likely origins of such experiences. These data place more weight on the argument that the tunnel and light in transpersonal experiences cannot reasonably be attributed to loss of oxygen in the brain.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Of Love and Light: A Case Report of End-of-Life Experiences
Abstract: Unusual occurrences at the end-of-life have been reported anecdotally over centuries yet have only recently attracted increased academic attention. Recent studies suggest commonality to end-of-life experiences (ELEs), which can be broadly categorized into six types. ELEs are relatively common, frequently occurring in terminally ill and palliative patients. They also reportedly have positive effects on the dying, facilitating more peaceful deaths. We present a case report of the death of a woman of Cook Island Maori and New Zealand Maori descent who died from cancer, as retrospectively reported by her husband. The case is interesting due to the number of ELEs occurring for the dying as well as significant others during the period leading up to, at the moment of, and after her death. The case is discussed in relation to previous findings on ELEs and resulting implications for enhancing understandings of the dying process and consciousness.
Integrating Spiritual Experiences: Peaks to Plateaus
Abstract: This article provides a distilled sketch of my observations of three general phases in a process of integrating spiritually transformative experiences (STEs). The process may be thought of as both marking development over time as well as being microgenetic, spiraling through phases in brief moments. In addition, three forces activated in an STE -- transcendence, communion, and destruction -- as well as challenges frequently associated with these types of experiences are described with brief case examples as they manifest across the three phases. Awareness of these phases, along with their overriding questions and challenges, provides an open-ended framework for helpers to use in assisting the spiritual experiencer toward integration.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Electromagnetic Phenomena Reported by Near-Death Experiencers
Abstract: Electromagnetic (EM) aftereffects have been reported following near-death experiences (NDEs). These effects include both (a) EM actions, apparent actions by the individual on the surrounding EM environment, and (b) EM reactions, apparent reactions of the individual to the EM environment. This study investigated EM aftereffects among 216 NDErs, 54 persons who had been close to death without NDEs, and 150 persons who had never been close to death. NDErs reported both greater EM actions and greater EM reactions than did either comparison group. Among NDErs, those with higher scores on the NDE Scale reported more EM aftereffects. Thse findings corroborate and extend prior studies and suggest the need for controlled experiments to measure the kinds and strengths of EM fields generated or channeled by NDErs, the kinds of EM fields and devices that are affected by NDErs, and the kinds and strengths of EM fields to which NDErs react.
Extended Abstract: Dying, Death, and Near-Death Phenomena: Validations from the Quantum World
Brief paper discussing correlations between near-death phenomena and quantum theory in relation to consciousness.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Complex Visual Imagery and Cognition During Near-Death Experiences
Abstract: Near-death experiences (NDEs) entail complex and structured conscious experience during conditions known to coincide with rapid loss of consciousness often associated with decline or disruption of the neurological correlates currently held to be causative factors of visual imagery and cognition. In this study , 653 NDE reports of cardiac and/or respiratory arrest patients were analyzed for unprompted, spontaneous references to quality of conscious visual imagery and mentation during an NDE. Results indicat that in a majority of NDEs, both figurative and abstract mentation are either preserved or markedly improved during unconsciousness and unresponsiveness in the context of respiratory and cardiac arrests. These findings underscore the call to further study the mechanisms behind the 'outliving' of a conscious sense of selfhood and complex, structured visual imagery and cognition during severely deteriorating physiological function -- and perhaps especially during clinical death.
Spontaneous Mediumship Experiences: A Neglected Aftereffect of Near-Death Experiences
Article describing the methods and results of research to explore spontaneous mediumship experiences (SMEs) that occurred during and after near-death experiences (NDEs).
Near-Death Experiences: Quantitative Findings from an Aotearoa New Zealand Sample
Abstract: Most of what is currently known about near-death experiences (NDEs) has come from published case studies and larger scale research projects conducted in Western Anglo-European cultures. This article presents findings from the first large-scale retrospective, quantitative study of NDEs conducted in Aotearoa New Zealand over a two-year period, between August 2010 and December 2012. We investigated the occurrence and phenomenology of NDEs in 220 participants. Results revealed the characteristics and occurrence of NDEs in this sample were similar to those reported in other Western samples. Results of a multivariate regression analysis showed belief in the survival of a soul after physical death and being of Māori ethnicity contributed a significant amount of unique variance to NDE Scale scores in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our study represents an important contribution to understanding NDEs in Aotearoa New Zealand, although more research is required to futher elucidate and advance the findings.
Two Cases of Spontaneous Mediumship Experiences of Near-Death Experiencers
Abstract: Spontaneous mediumship experiences (SMEs), in which living people are visited uninvited by discarnates -- deceased humans -- who ask the living person to convey a message to another living person, are considered a subtype of after-death communication and a potential aftereffect of near-death experiences. In this article, we describe two case studies based on semi-structured interviews in which two near-death experiencers described features and descriptions of their SMEs, positive and negative aspects associated with their SMEs, and related experiences including help-seeking behaviors. Implications for characterizing SMEs include differences in degree of spontaneity and types of discarnates and similarities in experiences of distress and number of SMEs.
Extended Abstract: Compassionate Care and Feedings of Spritually Transformative Experiences in Brazil: A 130-Year-Old Tradition
Brief paper discussing the origin and workings of Spritist Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals in Brazil.
Iranian Shiite Muslim Near-Death Experiences: Features and Aftereffects Including Dispositional Gratitude
Article describing research to explore the near-death experiences (NDEs) of Iranian Shiite Muslim experiencers. It outlines the methods and results of the study and explains how the experiences compare to those of Western experiencers.
Guest Editorial: When Does Request for Evidence About NDEs Become Harassment?
Editorial commentary discussing the author's personal accounts and the accounts of others who have had near-death experiences and how their lives have been affected afterward by others who insist on having proof or deny their experiences due to lack of verification.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Electromagnetic and Other Environmental Effects Following Near-Death Experiences: A Primer
Article describing the results of informal and formal research regarding electromagnetic (EM) effects of near-death experiences (NDEs); it reviews cases in which a person acts on his environment and those in which a person reacts to the environment. The paper also proposes more precise terminology regarding EM phenomena based on the research and literature review.
Near-Death Experiences and A Course in Miracles
Article comparing near-death experiences (NDEs) to the philosophy described in the spiritual text A Course in Miracles (1976). It provides an overview of the text's philosophy, previous literature comparing the text to NDEs, and an analysis of how the philosophies are similar and different, with references to specific cases.
Extended Abstract: Spiritual Emergency in Christian Women: An Integral Study
Brief paper discussing the results of a phenomenological study to evaluate spiritual crisis and emergency among Christian women.
A Comparative Analysis of Japanese and Western NDEs
Abstract: Decades of studies on near-death experiences (NDEs) have reveals both cross-cultural and culture-specific features (Kellehear, 2009) and that it is important to determine which aspects are attributed to the physiological, biological, or psychological mechanisms shared by all humans and which aspects are of cultural origin. In this article, we examine Japanese NDEs and compare their features with generalizations based on observations of Western NDEs. The main differences between Japanese and Western NDEs are the interpretation of the light and the concomitant lack of interaction with it, the image of heaven, and the absence of the life review. We suggest that these characteristics are accounted for in terms of cultural differences.
An Ethnographic Study of Near-Death Experience Impact and Aftereffects and Their Cultural Implications
Abstract: In this paper, I describe the research method and key near-death experience (NDE) aftereffects- and integration-related findings of my dissertation research study (Gordon, 2007), the first published near-death studies research project to use the ethnographic method. I compare my findings with those of a comparable sociological study (Sutherland, 1995), with emphasis on NDE aftereffects and integration issues related to what I identified as a previously unrecognized pattern of unmet, NDE-integration-related health-education and counseling needs. Finally, I explore the cultural implications of near-death and similarly transformative experiences and posit that actualizing the potential social-wellness value of these experiences to those who have had them and to their societies requires research and practice that adequately addresses experiencers' health-education and counseling needs.
Rejoinder to "Response to 'Critique of "A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing"'"
Michael J. Rush discusses Penny Sartori's response to his critiques of her article "A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing."
Response to "Critique of 'A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing'"
Abstract: In this article, I respond to a critique by Michael Rush of a 2006 article from this Journal in which I and my co-authors described a case of a near-death experience with veridical components and an inexplicable healing. I address each point from the critique in the order in which it was raised. Overall, I found most of the criticism to have been points I had already addressed in previous publications, and the critique also provided my an opportunity to clarify a few points I had not previously detailed. For me, this professional exchange has served to underscore the difficulty of conducting methodologically sound prospective research on near-death experiences.
Critique of "A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing"
Abstract: An article titled "A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing" by Penny Sartori, Paul Badham, and Peter Fenwick was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in 2006. The authors concluded that the reported case strengthened "the cumulative experience derived from many other individual cases that suggest that our current models of consciousness must expand in order to provide and adequate explanation of NDEs" (p. 83). However, a closer examination of Sartori et al.'s paper raises significant questions about their methodology and interpretation of their findings. In particular, certain methodological weaknesses and possible interpretation biases undermine the paper's conclusions. This critique addresses both Sartori et al.'s original paper and relevant parts of Sartori's (2008) Ph.D. thesis published subsequently.
Resurrection Appearances of Jesus as After-Death Communication: Rejoinder to Gary Habermas
Abstract: Gary Habermas has chosen to respond to my paper on the resurrection of Jesus as an after-death communication using theological arguments that try to prove the resurrection of Jesus was somehow a religious event unique in all human history. I counter his assertions with data from religious/spiritual experience research and, to a lesser extent, liberal Christian scholars. I restate my conclusion that Paul's first-hand and verified second-hand accounts of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15 are comparable with modern after-death communications; the difference between Jesus and others is not one of kind but of degree. Over the past 150 years, religious experience researchers have successfully applied the tools of science and begun to unlock the mysteries of how humans experience God and afterlife.
Resurrection Appearances of Jesus as After-Death Communication: Response to Ken Vincent
Abstract: Jesus' resurrection appearances would in some sense comprise after-death messages. But this designation does not necessarily identify them as the sort of after-death communications (ADCs) that are well-known to readers of the Journal. More generally, to hold that the resurrection appearances were ADCs, at least as Ken Vincent has argued, seems to commit a logical fallacy, so that the form of the argument itself cannot sustain the weight of the conclusion. The most that the argument can indicate is that there are some similarities, not that they are necessarily the same class of events. More specifically, there are at least six crucial considerations that dispute Jesus' resurrection appearances being ADCs in the usual sense of these events.
Resurrection Appearances of Jesus as After-Death Communication
Abstract: Scientific research into after-death communication began at the end of the 19th century. During this early period, psychical researcher James Hyslop and theologian Rudolph Otto wrote about the resurrection of Jesus as a visionary / spiritual experience -- as opposed to a physical, "bodily" resurrection. More recently, liberal theologians and religious experience researchers have also favored this view. The purpose of this article is to: (a) underscore the fact that the resurrection of Jesus as an after-death communication is solidly based in the only first-hand account of Paul and the verified secondary accounts of Peter and James (I Cor 15:5-8) in the New Testament, and (b) demonstrate that, although a physical resurrection is implied by the Gospel writers because of the empty tomb, the appearance stories of Jesus are more in accord with the phenomenology of modern after-death communications by Jesus, other divine figures, and ordinary people.
Editor's Foreword
Guest editorial statement introducing the contents of the special journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.
Brief Report: A Near-Death Experience with Veridical Perception Described by a Famous Heart Surgeon and Confirmed by his Assistant Surgeon
Abstract: The professional near-death literature contains cases in which near-death experiencers reported that during their experiences (NDEs), they perceived phenomena in the material world that, based on the condition and position of their physical bodies, they should not have been able to perceive, and yet these perceptions were subsequently verified as accurate. Only a few of these cases of apparently non-physical veridical perception during NDEs have been carefully researched. In this article, we report a case described originally by cardiac surgeon Lloyd Rudy in a YouTube Internet video. We describe pour process of following up exhaustively on all avenues of investigation available to us and our conclusion that this case is among the most evidential in which perceptions during an NDE were confirmed as completely accurate by objective observers.
Brief Report: Phenomenology of Near-Death Experiences: An Analysis of a Maori Case Study
Abstract: Near-death experiences (NDEs) have been recorded in the oral and written histories of virtually every culture since antiquity. Based on some of theses accounts, attempts have been made to investigate whether the phenomenology of the NDE is cross-culturally variable or similar. The present article contributes to this literature by analyzing the only known historical account of an NDE reported by a Maori individual. Although this account has been previously analyzed for its association with features typically reported in Western NDE accounts, it has been analyzed for its conformity to prevailing Maori beliefs about the afterlife. The analysis of this single case study suggests the NDE was influenced by cultural beliefs, which supports two converging viewpoint: that NDE phenomenology is universal but expressed in culturally-relative ways and that NDE phenomenology is culture-bound.
Editor's Foreword
Editorial statement introducing the contents of the journal issue and providing other relevant notes.