Does Consciousness Depend on the Brain?
By Chris Carter
Books by Chris Carter
Science and the Near Death Experience
US - UK - CA
We are very pleased to welcome as December 2010 Author of the Month researcher and author Chris Carter. His new book Science and the Near Death Experience explains why near-death experiences (NDEs) offer evidence of an afterlife and discredits the psychological and physiological explanations for them.
Chris Carter received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Oxford. The author of Science and Psychic Phenomena: the Fall of the House of Skeptics, Carter is originally from Canada and currently teaches internationally.
In this materialistic age, dualists are often accused of smuggling outmoded religious beliefs back into science, of introducing superfluous spiritual forces into biology, and of venerating an invisible "ghost in the machine." However, our utter ignorance concerning the real origins of human consciousness marks such criticism more a matter of taste than of logical thinking. At this stage of mind science, dualism is not irrational, merely somewhat unfashionable. - Physicist Nick Herbert, Elemental Mind.
In March 1987 Dawn Gillott was admitted to Northampton General Hospital, seriously ill with pneumonia. After being placed in intensive care, the physicians decided to perform a tracheotomy because she could not breathe.
The next thing I was above myself near the ceiling looking down. One of the nurses was saying in what seemed a frantic voice, ‘Breathe, Dawn, breathe.’ A doctor was pressing my chest, drips were being disconnected, everyone was rushing round. I couldn’t understand the panic, I wasn’t in pain. Then they pushed my body out of the room to the theatre. I followed my body out of the ITU and then left on what I can only describe as a journey of a lifetime.
I went down what seemed like a cylindrical tunnel with a bright warm inviting light at the end. I seemed to be traveling at quite a speed, but I was happy, no pain, just peace. At the end was a beautiful open field, a wonderful summery smell of flowers. There was a bench seat on the right where my Grandfather sat (he had been dead seven years). I sat next to him. He asked me how I was and the family. I said I was happy and content and all my family were fine.
He said he was worried about my son; my son needed his mother, he was too young to be left. I told Grampi I didn’t want to go back, I wanted to stay with him. But Grampi insisted I go back for my children’s sake. I then asked him if he would come for me when my time came. He started to answer, ‘Yes, I will be back in four –’ then my whole body seemed to jump. I looked round and saw that I was back in the ITU.
I honestly believe in what happened, that there is life after death. After my experience I am not afraid of death as I was before my illness.1