- Reaction score
You're arguing for the acceptance of a phenomenology resulting from an 'altered state of consciousness (ASC)'.Too many Thomas.
I think most of us here actually accept that as a hypothesis. What we might not accept is what you assert in regard to your own reading of the data, and that is for you to present your case for, and here you rely on too many generalisations and too many assumptions on what both scripture and science actually says.
I think you'd be better served by putting forward your beliefs in your own words.
For me – I believe in ASCs. I have no problem with that. I do, perhaps, hold a greater reserve with regard to NDEs – Why? Because if the mind is as fallible as we known it to be, and if the vast majority of us are living an illusion as you assert we are, then an NDE will be a projection of those illusions, there is no good reason to suppose an NDE shatters a mirror or penetrates a veil. The fallible cortex is under significant stress, both physically and psychologically, and in stress situations we resort to the same-old, same-old... To expect it to act in any other way is, life experience tells us, a dubious gamble.
– A sense of peace, a bright light at the end of a tunnel (as opposed to deeper darkness), encountering deceased loved ones or religious figures, feelings of positivity, even the transcendence of space and time, a sense of bliss, a sense of empathy, a sense of immanence, a sense of everything understood, of a reality beyond the norm –
These can be explained as a wish response to a perceived threat. As the result of disassociation and depersonalisation that occurs in cases of profound trauma – like a NDE – if we wanted to be really skeptical, we could see them as soporific and saccharine. The experiences are always comforting, like someone saying 'it's going to be alright' into the ear of a dying man.
But I happen to believe there's more to it than that.
Spiritual and religious experience is a phenomena that occurs always and everywhere across the ages. Their transcultural features appear to be an archetypal expression of the human mind. But the mind can only interpret experience in the light of what it knows ...
To me, there is a link between such phenomenologies, be they NDEs, mystic experiences, oracles and prophets, saints and sages, poetry, art, music, meditation ... But here's the thing – It could all be part of life's Grand Illusion. I hope not, I believe not, but that's me.