Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience Hot

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Number Of Pages, Discs, Etc.
464
Publisher
Date Published
June 01, 2010
ISBN-10
0061777250
ISBN-13
9780061777257

As a cardiologist, Pim van Lommel was struck by the number of his patients who claimed to have near-death experiences as a result of their heart attacks. As a scientist, this was difficult for him to accept: Wouldn't it be scientifically irresponsible of him to ignore the evidence of these stories? Faced with this dilemma, van Lommel decided to design a research study to investigate the phenomenon under the controlled environment of a cluster of hospitals with a medically trained staff.

For more than twenty years van Lommel systematically studied such near-death experiences in a wide variety of hospital patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In 2001, he and his fellow researchers published his study on near-death experiences in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. The article caused an international sensation as it was the first scientifically rigorous study of this phenomenon. Now available for the first time in English, van Lommel offers an in-depth presentation of his results and theories in this book that has already sold over 125,000 copies in Europe.

Van Lommel provides scientific evidence that the near-death phenomenon is an authentic experience that cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis, or oxygen deprivation. He further reveals that after such a profound experience, most patients' personalities undergo a permanent change. In van Lommel's opinion, the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. In Consciousness Beyond Life, van Lommel shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that, remarkably and significantly, consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body.

 
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Authors

  • Pim Van Lommel

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Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience by Pim van Lommel, M.D., is a book that takes human consciousness and its role in our reality seriously. The author, a medical doctor trained to look at the world in a scientific and rational manner, takes on the subject of near-death experiences (NDEs). He realizes that even though our current scientific understanding cannot explain the NDE, it does not mean that they are not a real, valid experience for the people who have them. “I am of the opinion that people who have had a near-death experience and who are capable of putting their experience into words can teach us a great deal about the relationship between human consciousness and the brain. Finding an explanation for the cause and content of the near-death experience is a major scientific challenge.”

The author does a thorough job of covering the possible scientific explanations for an NDE, from the physiological to the psychological. Some theories are possible explanations for certain elements of the NDE, but there are no theories that can comprehensively account for all of the elements (twelve, as measured by Raymond Moody). In addition, despite a serious inclination to attribute consciousness entirely to the function of the human brain, science has yet to prove this. The author believes that it is increasingly unlikely that consciousness is merely a product of the brain. He cites the inability to measure thoughts and feelings, the mounting evidence that the mind [the author uses mind and consciousness interchangeably] is capable of changing the brain, as well as the findings that consciousness can be experienced despite a complete lack of brain function, as in an NDE.

The book then delves into the cutting-edge of scientific discoveries as the author discusses quantum physics, electromagnetic fields, probability waves, nonlocal space, and the origin of consciousness. It is dense reading at times, but the author does a good job of attempting to explain very technical terms and ideas in a manner that is easy for the casual reader to digest. And through his research on NDEs, as well as data from neurophysiological research and concepts from quantum theory, the author concludes that consciousness can only come from nonlocal space. This nonlocal space can be likened to the vacuum, the Source Field, the Zero Point Field, the Ether. And he believes that consciousness cannot be measured in the physical world, though it does inform it and interact with it. He also goes on to demonstrate why he believes there is a continuity of consciousness, independent of the body. Whether intended or not, this book is an excellent bridge between spirituality and science.

A very thorough and engaging read, Consciousness Beyond Life leaves the reader with a sense of awe and wonder at not only human consciousness but the consciousness that seems to pervade the very fabric of space itself, informing everything with an intrinsic intelligence. NDEs not only change the lives of those who have them, but the lives of those around them. There is no doubt that this author was profoundly changed by his research into NDEs, and as a consequence, his consciousness. If you read this book with an open mind, your consciousness too will be changed.
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Consciousness 
 
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Kandy Williams Reviewed by Kandy Williams April 13, 2014
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience by Pim van Lommel, M.D., is a book that takes human consciousness and its role in our reality seriously. The author, a medical doctor trained to look at the world in a scientific and rational manner, takes on the subject of near-death experiences (NDEs). He realizes that even though our current scientific understanding cannot explain the NDE, it does not mean that they are not a real, valid experience for the people who have them. “I am of the opinion that people who have had a near-death experience and who are capable of putting their experience into words can teach us a great deal about the relationship between human consciousness and the brain. Finding an explanation for the cause and content of the near-death experience is a major scientific challenge.”

The author does a thorough job of covering the possible scientific explanations for an NDE, from the physiological to the psychological. Some theories are possible explanations for certain elements of the NDE, but there are no theories that can comprehensively account for all of the elements (twelve, as measured by Raymond Moody). In addition, despite a serious inclination to attribute consciousness entirely to the function of the human brain, science has yet to prove this. The author believes that it is increasingly unlikely that consciousness is merely a product of the brain. He cites the inability to measure thoughts and feelings, the mounting evidence that the mind [the author uses mind and consciousness interchangeably] is capable of changing the brain, as well as the findings that consciousness can be experienced despite a complete lack of brain function, as in an NDE.

The book then delves into the cutting-edge of scientific discoveries as the author discusses quantum physics, electromagnetic fields, probability waves, nonlocal space, and the origin of consciousness. It is dense reading at times, but the author does a good job of attempting to explain very technical terms and ideas in a manner that is easy for the casual reader to digest. And through his research on NDEs, as well as data from neurophysiological research and concepts from quantum theory, the author concludes that consciousness can only come from nonlocal space. This nonlocal space can be likened to the vacuum, the Source Field, the Zero Point Field, the Ether. And he believes that consciousness cannot be measured in the physical world, though it does inform it and interact with it. He also goes on to demonstrate why he believes there is a continuity of consciousness, independent of the body. Whether intended or not, this book is an excellent bridge between spirituality and science.

A very thorough and engaging read, Consciousness Beyond Life leaves the reader with a sense of awe and wonder at not only human consciousness but the consciousness that seems to pervade the very fabric of space itself, informing everything with an intrinsic intelligence. NDEs not only change the lives of those who have them, but the lives of those around them. There is no doubt that this author was profoundly changed by his research into NDEs, and as a consequence, his consciousness. If you read this book with an open mind, your consciousness too will be changed.

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“Dr. Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life is an exciting, informative, and thorough overview of near-death experiences. As one of the foremost experts in the field, his work moves us closer to rational comprehension of human kind’s deepest mystery— life after death.” (Raymond A. Moody MD,PhD, author of Life After Life )

“In Consciousness Beyond Life, cardiologist Pim van Lommel constructs a model of consciousness that courageously builds on all we know. The resulting view is… bright and hopeful… and has the redeeming feature of being consistent with scientific data, which in our era makes all the difference.” (Dr. Larry Dossey )

“Pim van Lommel shows that the symphony of human consciousness does continue… [even] at the portals of death. His evidence is robust, and can no longer be ignored either by the science community, or by society at large.” (Dr. Ervin Laszlo )

“Most books on NDEs only touch on some of the ideas that are presented, but the distinctive contribution of this book is that it presents and defends a complete theory of consciousness.... What a brilliant, erudite and magisterial book. A magnificent achievement, clearly a landmark book. ” (Dr. Kenneth Ring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Connecticut )

“Consciousness Beyond Life confronts the apparent enigma of clear thinking, accurate perception, and enhanced memory in people who are clinically dead. This rigorous and provocative book may change our ideas about the mind and how we practice medicine.” (Bruce Greyson, M.D., Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine )

“I highly recommend Consciousness Beyond Life. Van Lommel is convinced that NDEs are real experiences, not just some sort of brain malfunction. He... has studied NDEs for more than 20 years and this is an authoritative look, with solid medical background. ” (Dr. Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. )

“There have been several books published which explore consciousness, the near-deathexperience, or the brain, but van Lommel’s book is the most comprehensive.... Human beings are something more than physical bodies. There is life after death. Read Consciousness Beyond Life and expand your mind with hope.” (Basil & Spice )

“The most significant contribution to the field to appear in many years, containing as it does [van Lommel’s] mature philosophical reflections on the implications of the findings of his study on near-death experiences in survivors of cardiac arrest.” (David Lorimer, editor of the Network Review )
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Consciousness 
 
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Testimonials Reviewed by Testimonials June 10, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (37)

“Dr. Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life is an exciting, informative, and thorough overview of near-death experiences. As one of the foremost experts in the field, his work moves us closer to rational comprehension of human kind’s deepest mystery— life after death.” (Raymond A. Moody MD,PhD, author of Life After Life )

“In Consciousness Beyond Life, cardiologist Pim van Lommel constructs a model of consciousness that courageously builds on all we know. The resulting view is… bright and hopeful… and has the redeeming feature of being consistent with scientific data, which in our era makes all the difference.” (Dr. Larry Dossey )

“Pim van Lommel shows that the symphony of human consciousness does continue… [even] at the portals of death. His evidence is robust, and can no longer be ignored either by the science community, or by society at large.” (Dr. Ervin Laszlo )

“Most books on NDEs only touch on some of the ideas that are presented, but the distinctive contribution of this book is that it presents and defends a complete theory of consciousness.... What a brilliant, erudite and magisterial book. A magnificent achievement, clearly a landmark book. ” (Dr. Kenneth Ring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Connecticut )

“Consciousness Beyond Life confronts the apparent enigma of clear thinking, accurate perception, and enhanced memory in people who are clinically dead. This rigorous and provocative book may change our ideas about the mind and how we practice medicine.” (Bruce Greyson, M.D., Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine )

“I highly recommend Consciousness Beyond Life. Van Lommel is convinced that NDEs are real experiences, not just some sort of brain malfunction. He... has studied NDEs for more than 20 years and this is an authoritative look, with solid medical background. ” (Dr. Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. )

“There have been several books published which explore consciousness, the near-deathexperience, or the brain, but van Lommel’s book is the most comprehensive.... Human beings are something more than physical bodies. There is life after death. Read Consciousness Beyond Life and expand your mind with hope.” (Basil & Spice )

“The most significant contribution to the field to appear in many years, containing as it does [van Lommel’s] mature philosophical reflections on the implications of the findings of his study on near-death experiences in survivors of cardiac arrest.” (David Lorimer, editor of the Network Review )

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