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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

MD - Raymond A. Moody
"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."
Doctor - Larry Dossey
"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."
Doctor - Ervin Laszlo
"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."
Doctor - Kenneth Ring
"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. "
Bruce Greyson
“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.”
Doctor - Charles T. Tart
"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. "
David Lorimer
“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.”
Raymond A. Moody MD
“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.”
Dr. Larry Dossey
“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. Ervin Laszlo
“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. Kenneth Ring
“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. Charles T. Tart
“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. ”
Basil & Spice
“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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061777257
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Pim van Lommel is a world-renowned cardiologist and medical expert on near-death experiences. For more than twenty-five years he worked as a cardiologist at an eight-hundred-bed teaching hospital in the Netherlands where he began studying near-death experiences in patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In addition to his sensational study published in the distinguished British medical journal The Lancet, van Lommel has authored chapters in several books about near-death experiences and also published many articles about the subject. Over the past several years, van Lommel has been lecturing all over the world on near-death experiences and the relationship between consciousness and brain function. In 2005, he was granted the Bruce Greyson Research Award on behalf of the International Association of Near-Death Studies. In 2006, the president of India awarded him the lifetime achievement award at the World Congress on Clinical and Preventive Cardiology in New Delhi.

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Table of Contents

Introduction v

1 A Near-Death Experience and Its Impact on Life 1

2 What Is a Near-Death Experience? 7

3 Changed by a Near-Death Experience 45

4 Near-Death Experiences in Childhood 71

5 There Is Nothing New Under the Sun 81

6 Research into Near-Death Experiences 105

7 The Dutch Study of Near-Death Experience 135

8 What Happens in the Brain When the Heart Suddenly Stops? 159

9 What Do We Know About Brain Function? 177

10 A Comprehensive NDE: Monique Hennequin 203

11 Quantum Physics and Consciousness 223

12 The Brain and Consciousness 257

13 The Continuity of the Changing Body 281

14 Endless Consciousness 301

15 Some Implications of NDE Studies 327

16 Epilogue 345

Appendix: The Practical Significance of NDE in Health Care 349

Acknowledgments 359

Art Credits 361

Notes 363

Glossary 397

Bibliography 411

Index 435

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    Comprehensive treatment on subject of NDE/Afterlife theory

    Most comprehensive treatment of Near-Death, Afterlife subject I've ever read. Logical, rational, with respect for science, skepticism and religious notions supportive of, or contradictory to propositions discussed in this book.

    Worth reading more than once, as a work of enlightenment, inspiration and hope.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Extremely well researched and explained.

    This book is very informative and explores all theories, but is very deep and can be difficult to follow if you are not familiar with quantum physics and such.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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