Our Last Sundays Science & Buddhism discussion in October was on consciousness and Near-Death Experiences (NDE.) Gary Heit, Ph.D., M.D., Chief Scientist at Vorso Corporation, led our discussion.
The near-death experience is a reported phenomenon occurring in clinically "dead" conditions from which the patient recovers. They can have some stereotypic features, such as seeing "light" and "divine beings." Are NDEs real, or the echo of a nervous system shutting down?
We'll discussed the underlying physiology of NDEs and its implications for consciousness, and also explored how the Dharma relates to the topic.
The discussion considered the philosophical implications of NDEs for consciousness, and its relationship to Buddhist thought, focusing on a few points:
Do NDEs support the notion of Karmic rebirth and reincarnation?
The fallacy of looking at it all as contra-productive to the goal of Awakening in the Now, since a NDE is a future event until it isn't.
What might NDE's tell us about the structure of self and the process of Awakening?
Some articles of interest on the subject:
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “Reality” of near-death-experience memories: evidence from a psychodynamic and electrophysiological integrated study
Frontiers in Psychology, DMT Models the Near-Death Experience
Medium, Near Death Experiences, 5 short stories about NDE experiences
As always, the Science & Buddhism discussions are quite open and informal with all invited to participate.
All are welcome. No prior experience with science, Buddhism, or meditation is necessary. Hope to see you there!
Sunday Program: We also invite you to join us that Sunday morning for our 10 am Sunday Program, Dharma Talk, and social lunch, ahead of our 2 pm Science & Buddhism session.