Using semi-structured interviews, the article assesses the nature of after-death communication (ADC) experience, how participants felt about it, and how it impacted their bereavement. Results revealed that participants were unanimous in believing ADC to be beneficial, and participants experienced three themes: comfort, personal and relational continuation, and personal development.
Date: Spring 2016
Creator: McCormick, B. M. E. & Tassell-Matamua, Natasha A.
In this study, after-death communication (ADC) is defined as spontaneously occurring encounters with the deceased. Reported occurrences of ADC phenomena range widely among published ADC research studies, so a systematic review of 35 studies was conducted. A rubric was developed to evaluate the methodological quality; final inter-rater reliability among three raters was r = .90. Results were used to rank the studies; the methodologically strongest studies were used to arrive at best estimate answers to four research questions/subquestions: (1) How common are experiences of ADC? How does occurrence vary by gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, religious practice, religious affiliation, financial status, physical health, educational level, and grief status? (2) To what extent do ADCrs report ADC experiences to be beneficial and/or detrimental? What are the leading benefits and/or detriments? (3) What is the incidence of research studies in which the researchers mentioned that the research participants appeared mentally healthy? (4) What is the incidence of sensory modalities—for example, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—in which ADCs occur? Best estimate results were compiled into a one-page fact sheet that counselors and others can use to educate people who seek empirically-based information about ADC.
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.
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 servicemen 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.
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.
Date: Autumn 2015
Creator: Foster, Ryan D.; Lee, Deborah & Duvall, Ann Grau
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.
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