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Non-local Consciousness A Concept Based on Scientific Research on Near-Death Experiences During Cardiac Arrest

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In this article a concept of non-local consciousness will be described, based on recent scientific research on near-death experiences (NDEs). Since the publication of several prospective studies on NDEs in survivors of cardiac arrest, with strikingly similar results and conclusions, the phenomenon of the NDE can no longer be scientifically ignored. In the last thirty years several theories have been proposed to explain an NDE. The challenge to find a common explanation for the cause and content of an NDE is complicated by the fact that an NDE can be experienced during various circumstances, such as severe injury of the brain as in cardiac arrest to conditions when the brain seems to function normally. The NDE is an authentic experience which cannot be simply reduced to imagination, fear of death, hallucination, psychosis, the use of drugs, or oxygen deficiency. Patients appear to be permanently changed by an NDE during a cardiac arrest of only some minutes duration. According to these aforementioned studies, the current materialistic view of the relationship between consciousness and the brain as held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists is too restricted for a proper understanding of this phenomenon. There are good reasons to assume that our consciousness does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain: enhanced or non-local consciousness can sometimes be experienced separately from the body.

Keywords: Near-death experience; brain function; cardiac arrest; consciousness; non-locality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Cardiology, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, The Netherlands, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2013


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