The Science and Spirit of Near-Death Experiences

I will summarize what scientists have learned in the past 40 years of near-death research, including the incidence of NDEs, their phenomenological components, the stability of NDE accounts over time, their independence of cultural beliefs, the characteristics of memories of NDEs, and the attitude and behavioral changes that follow NDEs. I will discuss the problems inherent in studying these phenomena and the strategies that have been invoked by researchers both in approaching this complex field of study and in pursuing this research within the constraints of mainstream science. I will conclude with aspects of NDEs that are more challenging for scientists, including their implications for the mind-body relationship, for survival of death, and for a spiritual realm of existence.