Research Focus: The Future of NDE and Consciousness Research – Robert & Suzanne Mays

Research Focus: The Future of NDE and Consciousness Research – Robert & Suzanne Mays

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The Future of NDE and Consciousness Research: Using the transcendent content of NDEs to fathom the mysteries of reality. NDE research can make progress by examining the “transcendent” content of NDEs. Four key anchor points in NDEs convey veridical information: (1) perceptions of the earthly realm, (2) communications from apparently deceased persons, (3) presentations during the life review, and (4) precognitive visions that are later proven correct. .

The veridical character of the information and the nearly universal experience of the hyper-reality of the NDE support the notion that the NDE is a veridical experience throughout. Thus a systematic investigation of the transcendent content of NDEs should be a fruitful research direction. The “hard problem of consciousness” is to explain how neural brain activity can produce subjective phenomenal experience, such as the experience of the quality of red. Evidence from the NDE suggests that the “mind” is an autonomous, non-material energetic entity that is ordinarily united with the brain but separates from it in the NDE. Because the “mind” is the seat of consciousness and works with the brain, the “hard problem” can be solved.

The biggest challenge for this research area is to explain how the non-material mind interacts with the brain. Progress is being made in this area. A related problem is more fundamental — what is the ultimate nature of reality? Again the NDE and NDErs can provide a direction for the “harder problem of reality”: Which is more fundamental, the physical or the transcendent? NDErs give a nearly unanimous response: the transcendent realm of the NDE is fundamental and more real than the physical realm. Three paranormal phenomena that occur as aftereffects in NDErs are worth studying to understand the nature of reality: psychokinesis, precognition and teleportation. The tentative model is: there are two realms of existence, with the physical supervenient (dependent) on the transcendent.

Robert and Suzanne Mays — web site
Slides with cited references are available at

Presented at the IANDS 2012 Conference, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, in Scottsdale, AZ
For more information on near-death experiences, visit

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  1. It seems to me that you have to precisely define thought, mind and conscousness and not use them interchangeably. The mind is more narrow than consciousness, they are not synonymous. Of course it would take a lot more than this little commentary box to go into it. But this line inquiry is needed and is embryonic…

  2. I do not why the pseudo-sceptics bother to try to debunk the NDE phenomena,it seems a waste of time.After all the  testimonial evidence and what have you it seems to be proof that we live on after this physical life. 

  3. Are any of these stories, aside from Sullivan and Reynolds verifiable? I keep hearing about the child whose sister was dead, but is it possible to identify that these people existed? Obviously, this presents a problem for NDE research. That said, it's hard to want to put people through clinical examination right after a tragedy, but it seems we keep hearing the same anecdotes all over again but little corroboration that these people  actually existed. I'd like to believe there is truth to all of this, and I think the veridical experiences may be the best evidence that consciousness not only exists, but is non-local. We'll see! I hope people keep searching!

  4. when i was around 7 or 8, i almost died from drowning.  i was sucked down into a whirlpool at the start of a river where we were tubing.  i didn't have enough strength to swim to the surface, so i eventually ran out of air and started "breathing" the water.  after several breaths of water, i saw that the scene above the water, the trees, sky, clouds, had all gotten brighter and brighter.  i had a life review of flashes of images, and everything got bright so much so that it was all encompassing…my brother dove in and pulled me up and as he carried me away, i said "i saw my whole life!"  everyone laughed.  lol  i am an intuitive and wonder at times if that experience caused it.

  5. I find it particularly convincing when it is the medical professionals who are reporting their experiences with patients who have had NDEs. It's one thing to hear a "supernatural" story from an NDE patient (which I also find compelling). But when patients come into the hospital comatose, and later tell the doctors and nurses things they shouldn't know – because they were comatose at the time – it's hard not to believe that consciousness is non-local (unless you're a materialist dogmatist).

  6. the nice lady asks, "when someone has an nde does that free up the mind to access other energies?" this is the kind of psycho babble that occurs when we havent done the basic science. this is why we havent accomplished much in 50 years. i believe in ndes and oobes but until we get real, we wont get anywhere. DO THE SCIENCE!

  7. i am really hoping that someone can scientifically document NDES and /or OOBES. However,until that is done the traditional scientific communtiy will not accept all the anecdotal,non scientific reports.Im disappointed that the scientific community involved in the study of NDES/OOBES still has not clearly documented their existence after decades of study.if the OOBE phenomena is real it should be relatively easy to scientifically document them with the many persons claiming this ability at will.

  8. documenting NDEs like dr sam parnia at the aware project is complicated, expensive, and more difficult than with OOBEs. many people claim to be able to have a OOBE almost at will. if this is true, it should be easy to set up a test room with the researcher and client, have the client in the OOBE go to the room next door and see/read a random test object, then return to the researcher to report. without this kind of repeatable scientific test we are going no where fast. lets get it done.

  9. To the woman's point at .58? Yes.. one now has access to ALL knowledge in ALL times…(instantly , and then some. : ) Time is not linear. Actually one need not die or even have an NDE but it is typically easier. Plus one's awareness can step in and out of Time/Space… so there are two kinds of ETERNAL. One within the flow of time and one which is Timeless. Time is a very kewl thing. : P We ARE Consciousness / Awareness itself and we become TIME/Space in order to play IN Time/Space.

  10. At some point one realizes that The basic concept of Matrix is not so far off. Ultimately.. there is no "OUT THERE" out there. All experience takes place 'within' the non-local / non-physical mind .. as a perception of DOing. Mind acts much like a VERY sophisticated Virtual Reality machine. There is actually no DOing going on .. we are literally Human in the word TO BE.
    In Indian philosophy there are not 5 senses but 11. One being the SENSE of locomotion but no REAL movement.

  11. There is a reluctance because the 'false' ego does NOT like to have its accepted reality messed with. Suddenly EVERYTHING that we THINK is "real" now MUST come into question. Basically it is the begining of the end for reality as our mind "knows" it.There is when we transcend the physical realm and move into the more subtle realms of Consciousness BUT THEN there is when the non-local /non-physical Mind itself is TRANSCENDED and THAT is a MUCH Bigger deal. IT's when we realize SOURCE/SELF