Recently we published the post What really happens when we die?; where we shared Dr Peter Fenwick’s research on Consciousness.
On this occasion, we are glad to introduce you to Dr Pim van Lommel’s research on Near Death Experiences (NDE) and Non-local Consciousness.
After reading a book about the phenomenon of near-death experiences, Van Lommel wondered why he had never heard of it. In 1986 he began to ask his patients about it. And in two years, out of a total of 50 patients, 12 told him about their near-death experiences.
As a cardiologist, he was struck. But, as a scientist, it was difficult for him to accept it. It would have been scientifically irresponsible to ignore the evidence of those stories.
According to materialistic science, it is impossible to experience consciousness when the heart and brain function has stopped. Then, how was this possible to happen?
Faced with this dilemma, he decided to design the first prospective study of NDE research. Why? Because so far, all the studies made until that time were retrospective. Based on those studies, the widespread belief was that NDEs could be because of a lack of oxygen in the brain, fear of death, hallucinations, or the side effects of drugs.
It was in 1988 when he began his research in 10 Dutch hospitals. They studied the course and content of NDEs in 44 consecutive patients who survived cardiac arrest and were clinically dead; that is, they presented no vital signs. The findings were that of the 44 patients 18% had experienced the permanence of consciousness.
The patients explain the paradoxical appearance of a greater awareness that they experienced in a dimension without our conventional concept of time and space. But, keeping their cognitive functions, emotions, and identity. Also, with memories of early childhood and sometimes with perception (extrasensory) out of their lifeless body.
In 2001 Pim Van Lommel and his fellow researchers published their study medical journal The Lancet. The article had a major impact at an international level since it was the first rigorous scientific study on this phenomenon.
However, the current materialistic view of the relationship between brain-mind-consciousness maintained by most doctors, philosophers and psychologists is too limited for a proper understanding of this phenomenon. Van Lommel says that at times, consciousness can be experienced separately from the body, concluding that it is most likely that the brain should have a facilitating and non-producing function of consciousness. He says that death, like birth, is only a changing state of consciousness. There is a continuity of Consciousness that is not dependent on the body anymore.
Pim van Lommel’s scientific approach to consciousness as a non-local phenomenon but omnipresent shakes up the purely materialistic paradigm of science. It also implies new ethical questions regarding healthcare.
So, it is urgent to thoroughly review how we look after people at the end of life, people in a deep coma, euthanasia, abortion and the therapeutic effort and treatment outcome in situations where the only thing that keeps really going is suffering.
If you like to know Dr Pim van Lommel’s work in depth, there is a lot published. Numerous interviews, lectures and his book Consciousness beyond life: The science of the near-death experience.
The interview we share here offers a brief journey through the main points of van Lommel’s research. Such as the phases experienced by his patients during the NDE, the subsequent impact on their lives and Pim van Lommel’s conclusions.
We suggest you visit his website and read Declaration for Integrative, Evidence-Based, End-of-Life Care that incorporates Nonlocal Consciousness, and the Manifesto for a postmaterialist science.
My aim with this post series is to generate curiosity and reflection. A small contribution to connect this knowledge beyond the scientific field. Because bringing it closer to healthcare professionals is one of the best ways to make it available to everyone.
Death and dying will happen to all of us. Therefore, softening resistance to new ideas and change is in your hands too.
And above all, I hope it will support people during three inevitable life situations:
– May we learn to better accompany our loved ones in their final stage of life. And, at the moment of death, we are there for them with generosity, serenity, and hope.
– May this knowledge illuminate the grieving process for those who currently go through it. Despite your sadness and pain, you may live this process calmly, with an open heart.
– And when your time comes, may you face your own process of dying wisely and with self-compassion. With no fear. With confidence and love.
In the meantime, it may help us to live our lives better…
Elena Lorente Guerrero
30th October 2022
Dying and afterlife: what a cardiologist has researched | At home with Pim van Lommel. Thanatos tv
Pim van Lommel. Available at: https://pimvanlommel.nl/en/
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