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Reference book indexes reviewed

Description: Article on a study of the frequency and nature of remarks about indexes found in reviews of reference books.
Date: March 2010
Creator: Sassen, Catherine

Guest Editorial: The Search for God and Afterlife in the Age of Science

Description: Abstract: Near-death experiences (NDEs) and other transpersonal experiences -- those that transcend the usual personal experiential limits of space and/or time -- point to the existence and nature of God and ongoing personal consciousness following physical death. In this article, I review the history of these experiences prior to 1850 and of their study during three periods of scientific research between 1850 and the present. I conclude that (1) a large percentage of the population has experienced NDEs and other transpersonal experiences, (2) the overwhelming majority of these experiencers are mentally healthy, and (3) these experiences change people's lives for the better. I contend that although NDEs and other transpersonal experiences cannot prove the existence of a personal God and afterlife, they definitely point to them.
Date: Spring 2010
Creator: Vincent, Ken R.

Online Resources for the History of Out-of-Body Experiences and Death-Related Phenomena

Description: Abstract: Google Books is a digital library covering out of print publications about a variety of topics, among them materials relevant for a history of discussions, observations, and collections of cases of out-of-body experiences and death-related phenomena such as near-death experiences, deathbed visions, and apparitions. In this article, I provide examples of copyright-free and cost-free sources from Google Books that investigators of near-death and related phenomena can download and change into plain text; in many cases, I include passages that give readers a sense of the richness of these sources for both a historical and a contemporary understanding of near-death and related phenomena. Examples of books include Johann Engelbrecht's "The Divine Visions of John Engelbrecht" (1780), Augustine Calmet's "The Phantom World" (1850), Henri Roger Gougenot de Mousseaux's "Les hauts phénomènes de la magie" (1864), Edward H. Clarke's "Visions" (1878), William H. Harrison's "Spirits Before Our Eyes" (1879), and Frederic W. H. Myers's "Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death" (1903). Examples of articles include those written by such authors as Ernesto Bozzano, Francis Power Cobbe, James H. Hyslop, Duncan MacDougall, Frank Podmore, and A. S. Wiltse.
Date: Spring 2010
Creator: Alvarado, Carlos S.

Rejoinder to "Response to 'Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience'"

Description: Abstract: In this article we rejoin Gerald Woerlee's response in this issue to Smit's (2008) article, "Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience." We show the untenability of his claim that the man whose dentures were lost before his resuscitation in the hospital was initiated had been conscious virtually all the way from the moment he was found in the meadow up to his transport to the hospital's cardiac care unit. Also, we question Woerlee's claim that the patient constructed an accurate mental picture of objects and persons in the resuscitation room simply by listening to the sounds caused by the actions around his body. In all, we question Woerlee's materialistic explanations of the out-of-body experience that occurred in this patient's near-death experience. Our conclusion is straightforward: We consider Woerlee's claims to be wrong.
Date: Summer 2010
Creator: Smit, Rudolf H. & Rivas, Titus

Response to "Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience"

Description: Abstract: In this article, I address some of what I consider the inaccuracies and false assumptions in a recent article in this Journal entitled "Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience" (Smit, 2008). I provide a medical explanation of how it was possible for the man reporting this remarkable NDE to have survived his period of cardiac arrest and how it was possible for him to have undergone an NDE. More importantly, I discuss how it was possible for this man to have undergone the truly unusual perceptions of feeling pain in his chest due to cardiac massage at the same time as his consciousness was displaced out of his body during an out-of-body experience.
Date: Summer 2010
Creator: Woerlee, Gerald M.

Brief Report: Near-Death Experiences among a Sample of Iranian Muslims

Description: Abstract: Muslim near-death experiences (NDEs) have been rarely reported by comparison to the incident of NDEs reported in other groups. Recently, after Kreps (2009) found no NDEs in a sample from Pakistan and Kashmir, he concluded Muslim NDEs may even be nonexistent. However, in Arak City, Iran, we easily identified 19 Iranian Muslims who reported having experienced an NDE. Thirty participants claiming to have memories from a period of unconsciousness associated with a close brush with death completed a Persian translation of Greyson's (1983) NDE Scale as well as background and semi-structured questions. Of these, 19 (63%) scored 7 or higher on the NDE Scale, Greyson's criterion for a valid NDE. The presumed NDErs were 10 female and 9 male; aged 16 to 65 years old with a mean age of 33; ranging in education from no high school diploma (5%), to high school diploma (37%), to bachelor's degree (58%); reporting NDE circumstances of accident (58%), attempted suicide (16%), illness (11%), natural disaster (11%), and emotional trauma (5%); and reporting time since NDE ranging from less than one to 20 years with a mean of 8 years. Although low reliability precluded further statistical analysis of the data or comparison of them to results of previous Western studies, our informal assessment was that both the contents and aftereffects of the Muslim NDEs were quite similar to those of Westerners. We concluded that NDEs are not particularly rare in Muslim groups and that their similarity to Western NDEs suggests they may be a cross-culturally universal and transpersonal phenomenon.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Fracasso, Cheryl; Aleyasin, Seyed Ali; Friedman, Harris & Young, M. Scott

Brief Report: Psychologists' Knowledge of and Attitudes about Near-Death Experiences: Changes over Time and Relationship to Transpersonl Self-Concept

Description: Abstract: We conducted a comparison and extension of Walker and Russell's (1989) study of psychologists' knowledge of and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs). We used their Near-Death Phenomena Knowledge and Attitudes Questionnaire (NDPKAQ), consisting of one knowledge scale and two attitude scales, to explore possible changes over time. We also used the Self-Expansiveness Level Form -- Transpersonal Scale (SELF-TS; Friedman, 1983) to explore the relationship of transpersonal self-concept with knowledge of and attitudes about NDEs. We randomly surveyed 84 psychologists listed in the Washington state National Register and obtained 18 completed responses (61% male, 39% female; mean age 60 years; ethnicity unknown). The comparison of our NDPKAQ data with Walker and Russell's Illinois psychologists' data suggests psychologists' knowledge and attitudes about NDEs have remained unchanged over the pas two decades (p > .05). Two of the three NDPKAQ scale scores correlated significantly with the SELF-TS scores (p = .03, .05), suggesting a positive relationship between transpersonal self-concept and knowledge of and attitudes towards NDEs. We discuss limitations of our results and implications of our findings for professional education and training on NDEs.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Fracasso, Cheryl; Friedman, Harris & Young, M. Scott

"The Dying Mother:" Historical Citations of Mary Goffe's Seventeenth-Century Near-Death Apparition

Description: Abstract: Traditionally, certain cases have been of particular importance to students of near-death phenomena. Such cases are more than mere examples or research data; they are resources that are generally used to defend particular theoretical ideas, such as the projection of the spirit or of some subtle body from the physical body around the time of death. One such case was that of Mary Goffe, a seventeenth-century apparition of a dying woman that Richard Baxter reported in his book "The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits" (1691). This paper includes a reprint of the original case report and a discussion of how later writers used the case to defend the idea that something may leave the body during near-death states.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Alvarado, Carlos S.

Essential Features of Eight Published Muslim Near-Death Experiences: An Addendum to Joel Ibrahim Krep's "The Search for Muslim Near-Death Experiences"

Description: Abstract: Among other authors, Joel Ibrahim Kreps (2009) has recently published accounts of Muslim near-death experiences (NDEs). With the present paper, we aim to contribute to the growing number of non-Western NDE reports by providing summaries of eight additional Muslim NDEs, seven translated from the original Italian source (Giovetta, 2007) and one from an English source (Lerma, 2009), and to provide references for further reading. In addition, we highlighted noteworthy features of these eight summarized NDE accounts. Although the documentation standard of the available cases is generally low, these accounts indicate that the structure and contents of NDEs from many non-Western Muslim communities are largely similar to those reported in the Western NDE literature. In his report, Kreps concluded that Muslim NDEs are rare and that Muslims have fewer NDEs than do non-Muslim Westerners and non-Muslim non-Westerners such as the Chinese. However, we found that the number of Muslim NDE accounts available today seem to indicate that Muslim NDEs are not as rare as Kreps concluded.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Nahm, Michael & Nicolay, Joachim

Interpreting MARC: Where's the Bibliographic Data?

Description: Article discussing the notion that viewing MARC from a modern technological perspective leads to interpretive problems such as a confusion of "bibliographic data" with "catalog records."
Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Thomale, Jason

Near-Death Experiences, Deathbed Visions, and Past-Life Memories: A Convergence in Support of van Lommel's 'Consciousness Beyond Life'

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.
Date: Winter 2010
Creator: Gibbs, John C.

Documenting Captured Records From Terrorist Organizations

Description: Article discussing documenting captured records from terrorist organizations. This article discusses documenting captured records from terrorist organizations. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American forces captured 43,000 boxes of government documents and thousands of hours of previously unknown audio recordings. This article traces the release of these records, archival considerations, political initiatives, effect of these records on protecting the public, and future developments.
Date: 2011
Creator: Gieringer, Morgan Davis

Near-Death Experiences and the Mind-Body Relationship: A Systems-Theoretical Perspective

Description: Abstract: In this paper I support the view that NDEs provide empirical support for mind-body substance dualism and argue that a systems-theoretical analysis of the evidence is required to obtain valid insights into the nature of the mind as a substantial object existing in addition to the body. Without such an approach, systems phenomena such as property emergence and property masking could lead to mischaracterization of both the nature of the mind itself and the ways in which the mind and body work together holistically. Applying a systems-theoretical perspective, I show that some psychic abilities are emergent capacities of the mind-body system, that ordinary faculties such as emotional perceptiveness can be understood within the same framework as extraordinary faculties such as telepathy, and that NDE evidence favors a naturalistic form of Substance Dualism.
Date: Spring 2011
Creator: Rousseau, David

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Its History and Controversial Aspects of its Contents

Description: Abstract: In recent decades, the Tibetan Book of the Dead (TBD) has attracted much attention from Westerners interested in Eastern spirituality and has been discussed in the literature on dying and near-death experiences. However, the history of the TBD has practically been ignored in that literature up to now. This history has been elaborated in detail by Tibetologist Bryan Cuevas (2003). To bring this history to the attention of scholars in the field of near-death studies, I present in this paper a summary of the TBD's development based primarily on the work of Cuevas (2003). The summary shows that the TBD was gradually elaborated within a specific Tibetan Buddhist context, the Dzokchen tradition. In comparing features of first-hand reports of the death and dying process as reported in the TBD with those reported in four other categories -- Tibetan délok, near-death experiencers, mediums, and children who remember previous lives -- I find that some features are consistent but that other key features are not. Because it seems likely that inconsistent features of the TBD reflect idiosyncratic dying and afterlife concepts of the Dzokchen tradition, scholars in the field of near-death studies and others should be careful about adopting the contents of the TBD without question.
Date: Spring 2011
Creator: Nahm, MIchael

Guest Editorial: NDE as a Threshold Experience

Description: Abstract: My investigation has shown me that near-death experiences (NDEs) are not some kind of anomaly but, rather, are part of the larger genre of transformations of consciousness. The clue I believe most researchers have missed is stress -- specifically, the intensity that comes from that stress (known in shamanism as "high stress"). I believe the entire pattern of aftereffects and the degree to which people change can be traced to that factor. It's the intensity that shifts experiencers into what I call a "threshold experience" -- one that straddles the boundary between this world and other worlds, between brain and that which lies beyond what the brain can access, between reality and miracles, mind and spirit, life and death, heaven and hell, sanity and insanity. Once we humans understand this shift, we can begin to unravel how the transformation process works. At the threshold of who we think we are and what lies beyond body and brain is the core of ancient mysteries. We are transformed by the Oneness we find there.
Date: Summer 2011
Creator: Atwater, P. M. H.

Could Pam Reynolds Hear? A New Investigation into the Possibility of Hearing During this Famous Near-Death Experience

Description: Abstract: The well-known Pam Reynolds near-death experience (NDE) occurred at the Barrow Neurological Institute during a medically well-documented period, which is why many people regard it as proof of the reality of a separable immaterial conscious mind. In this article, I use information from related publications from the Barrow to fill in lacunae in the published medical documentation of this apparently amazing NDE. Furthermore, I present the case that the four veridical auditory perceptions Reynolds reported can be explained by her ability to hear during periods of conscious awareness while under the influence of the combination of drugs employed to provide general anesthesia during the operation on her giant basilar artery aneurysm.
Date: Autumn 2011
Creator: Woerlee, Gerald M.