« Every religious person is wrong, almost certainly | Main | Maybe it's time to give up on hope »

February 14, 2020


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Traveling to heaven in ones own mind wouldn't mean a whole lot, but I recall reading about a few NDE's which including detailed memory during the NDE of things happening in multiple places where the one having the NDE wasn't located.

If those experiences really happened, they still wouldn't necessarily prove the existence of anything supernatural per se, but it would be difficult to explain how almost dying gives some people the ability to hear things from miles away.

My grammar sucks and I'm too lazy to correct anything.

The author states
"The big question is: Do N.D.E.s provide a proof of heaven?"

But this isn't the big question at all. It's not even a scientific question. It's a rhetorical question. Heaven? That is a concept.

But this is proof of something. Something we know little about is going on.

The real question is, what else is there? Can this inner realm of experience be explored? Can it be mastered?

Assume it's all physiological. That really doesn't end the questions at all. It's only the beginning.

Hi Brian,

The 3 books, written by Robert.A.Monroe have changed my life, he is also the founder of The Monroe Institute where you can learn to leave your body:

When, unpredictably and against his will, Robert Monroe began to have out-of-body experiences, he was frightened and disbelieving. He found that he could leave his physical body to places far removed from the material and spiritual realities of life on earth. He came to inhabit a world unbounded by death or time. As Robert Monroe met many other people who have had similar experiences and read the literature of the East that documents the long history of this phenomenon his fears were alleviated. His journeys became more frequent and began to change his life. This classic, first-hand account of out-of-body experiences challenges us to revise our ideas about life and death. Robert Monroe's step-by-step instructions invite the reader to initiate their own out-of-body experiences.

In the end the problem will be to find out if stimulation of brain centers, involved in inner experiences, will result in the same experiences.

It is all about the content.

When we dream, certain brain centers are activated …. does activating these centers give the same content??

It is all about content.

The same holds for what we experience with the sensesIt is all about content

There is no reason to disbelieve Moses had an experience in which "god" promised a piece of earth to the hebrews. However, that same "god" never appeared to others, confirming the message to Moses so that they could heed his words. Which indigenous tribe was ever informed about that decision? Inuit, Kogi, aboriginal, Maori, and all other tribes of the world?

These experiences are like dreams, inner voices etc etc NDE's

The sub-title of this book regarding NDE's – “They cannot prove the existence of heaven or hell, but they give us hope” – gives a mighty clue about believing NDE's to be some sort of proof of an afterlife – as do many of the numerous questions tied up in our HOPES and beliefs.

Its a rather strange human phenomenon that questions of God, faith, belief, hopes of life after death and so on figure so prominently in our minds – and it cause us so much distress and confusion. No other creature on this planet has this problem. Why are we not satisfied with living and experiencing this life as it is (arguably experiencing from the quite limited position that our organism allows). Even when we are quite comfortably off, with more than enough food clothing and shelter we still frantically want for something more – why?

A clue may be linked to our confusion and muddiness about how we see the mind. It has almost become the norm to refer to the mind as though it is something special and separate from our brains and bodies whereas an honest look into this mind reveals it as being merely a store of information housed in the brain. Also, this 'store' of data contains the information from where 'I' or 'me', is constructed.

It is feasible that as the 'I' structure is so dominant and important to us 'it' fears annihilation, fears not-being – which is ridiculous as it is only a mental structure. It, this 'I' structure has become so important it clings to any belief to support its continuation. It's very structure and raison d'etre requires us to live (or to think) in terms of the past or the future, so we rarely feel happy or comfortable with life as it is now – we want and imagine more.

Lastly, regarding the reality of NED's, Kevin Nelson (neurologist) in his book 'The God Impulse' refers to NDE's and the suchlike as 'disappointedly . . . an illusion' – though he does stress in his epilogue that they have a profound value to many peoples well-being.

I like John Fischer. He is one of those rare materialist-sceptics about NDEs who can be disarmingly honest about their biases.

At a talk he was giving at California University, starting at the 1hr08m40s (1:08:40) mark, Fischer says, perhaps rather too honestly:


""He (Parnia) doesn't see how they can be explained naturalistically. And what I would say is...it's not obvious how they can be explained...but...I'm kind of a default naturalist in the sense that I come to these (experiences) with the presupposition or the prejudice...or the antecedent view that there must be some way to explain how these people got this information. That's my, as it were, starting assumption.

But, in intellectual honestly, I have to say that I don't know how to explain some of these."

Presupposition. Prejudice. Antecedent view. There must be some way to explain. Starting Assumption.

I don't know.

And there goes the way of all such discussions amongst ideologues, be they theist or atheist, spiritual or materialist.

I hope I can be forgiven the indulgence of a second post, but I just recalled that John Fischer sounds a bit like Joe Fisher......who took a different investigative approach to such questions as "is there life after death" and the like.....

Review from amazon:

"There are not many books that not only can I not put down, but also didn't want the book to end.

This is a fascinating story of a man researching spiritualism, mediums and spirit guides.

It is also a warning to anyone either involved or thinking of getting involved with channeling spirits or indeed going to see a medium.
The book shows how these 'beings' are very intelligent, manipulative and dangerous.

Early on in the book his mother hit the nail on the head when she said "Demons. You're talking to demons and I don't like the sound of it one bit."
He felt that was her Christian 'conditioning' making her say that.

For me Joe Fisher goes tantalisingly close to actually naming these beings on several occasions but just as I felt he was about to, his new age beliefs got in the way and he fell back onto his new age 'conditioning' and explained them away as Lower Astral Beings, whatever they are.

There were times in the book when he unknowingly described the nature of demons and their outlook but didn't realise this.

It is a very good book. Depending on your own beliefs it will depend whether you find this book confusing or whether it makes sense.
For me, the book made total sense even if I disagreed with some of the authors conclusions.
I know what he was dealing with even if he didn't.

In the end he was right to stay away but there was one question that never seemed to be asked in the book.
Given that he tried to validate each spirits claims and he found the personal details they gave to be false.
In the one example of Dr Lang, where his channeled spirits claims about his personal details turned out to be valid i.e. who his family where, where he worked, dates etc. It was assumed that because this information given by the spirit claiming to be Dr Lang was accurate and that this spirit could sound like Dr Lang when he was alive that they must indeed be talking to the discarnate spirit of Dr Lang.
That is not proof that it was Dr Lang.

If I gave information about someone else that turned out to be accurate and could impersonate them without them seeing me, that doesn't mean I am that person.
This was never challenged in the book.

Read this book and heed its warnings. Stay away from spiritualism even if you do not have religious beliefs. You cannot believe what you are being told.

Mr Fisher committed suicide in 2001. A very sad end."

Link to book here. Reader beware:


A Theory of Mind and Brain that Solves the ‘Hard Problem’ of Consciousness

June 20, 2011; revised December 5, 2011
5622 Brisbane Dr, Chapel Hill

Abstract—We propose that the “mind” is an energetic, spatially extended,
nonmaterial entity that is united with the brain and body. The mind is a separate entity having the character of a structured energy field, which can interact with physical processes including brain neurons.

The nonmaterial mind is also the seat of conscious experience. The mind interacts directly with cortical neurons, probably via electrical interaction, resulting in both subjective phenomenal experience and causal influence on neurological processes.

The Mind as an Autonomous, Energetic Field of Consciousness

In an earlier paper, we introduced the idea of the self-conscious mind or simply “mind” (Mays &
Mays, 2008a, pp. 22–31).

The human being consists of (1) an energetic, spatially extended,
nonmaterial mind that is united with (2) a material brain and body.
The mind is nonmaterial (does not consist of material atoms, etc.) but rather is a structured,
energetic region of space that can interact with physical processes, in particular with neurons, and
thus has physical attributes. The mind is united and co-extensive with the brain and body and
interacts directly with the brain, probably via electrical interactions with cortical and other dendritic
The mind is also the seat of phenomenal experience, that is, a “field of consciousness”.

All cognitive faculties (perception, thinking, feelings, volition, memory and self-awareness) reside in the
nonmaterial mind entity, not in the brain.


Peter Fenwick is a neuropsychiatrist and neurophysiologist who is known for his studies of epilepsy and end-of-life phenomena.

Dr. Fenwick believes that consciousness may be independent of the brain and so able to survive the death of the brain, a theory which has divided the scientific community

'The plain fact is that none of us understands these phenomena. As for the soul and life after death, they are still open questions, though I myself suspect that NDEs are part of the same continuum as mystical experiences.'

The main question left out, is there an separate entity, called the mind or soul. Or is the consciousness created by the brain, on the "materialistic" level.
If we could come nearer to a valid result, how the consciousness and the self-model is constructed in the brain, the hole metaphysics and supernatural storys become useless.
A very interesting book on this subject is "The Ego Tunnel" by Thomas Metzinger.


He describes there e.g. Out of body experiences, which can be induced by electromagnetic waves.
For me, even when it was partly not easy to read, a very profound book about the consciousness.


There’s just too much in the above link to a Ted Talk by an agnostic/atheist biophysicist who had an NDE. It gets into the science of it but also leaves open the door to profound wonder.

Haines what about expieriance if you have at rssb or have you heard about indian swami vivekanand or the comment of jesus that I DIE DAILY what does it means when you concentrate yourself at third eye whole body got sensless and in begning heart beat stops then breathing stops and at last blood pressure got zero and you totally got sensless andimedically you got dead but on other hand you have complete sense and memory of internal journey

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.