Is There Life After Death?

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Top cardiologist to talk at London conference about Near Death Experiences (NDEs). He claims to have proven the existence of life after death in scientific trial.

A leading cardiologist — who has become convinced of the existence of life after death after hearing his patients’ experiences — is talking about his research and beliefs at a major conference in London in March.

Dr Pim van Lommel was so inspired by the stories related by his patients of their Near Death Experiences (NDEs) that he became the first medical practitioner to risk his reputation with a full, systematic trial into the phenomenon.

He interviewed 344 heart patients at his hospital in Arnhem, Netherlands who had all clinically died, some for five minutes or longer, before being resuscitated. Of these, 62 — or 18 per cent — reported some ongoing experience after the medical monitors had pronounced them to be dead. Half were aware they were ‘dead,’ and 15 had out-of-body experiences where they were aware of the actions of the hospital staff around the body. One patient was able to tell staff who were looking for his dentures that a blond nurse had removed them, and had put them on a tray on the other side of the room.

Since that initial study, which was published in the prestigious Lancet medical journal in 2001, Dr van Lommel has resigned his post as a practicing cardiologist to devote his time to further research and lecturing on Near Death Experiences.

He will be talking about his latest discoveries at the Icons of the Field conference, which is being held in central London on March 18 and 19. Other speakers who have also explored consciousness will join him on the podium, including Dr Gary Schwartz, the psychologist who led afterlife experiments on mediums, Dr William Tiller from Stanford University, who pioneered experiments into thought as energy, and Hal Puthoff, whose work on remote viewing attracted the interest of NASA.

The conference expands the thinking found in the cult best-selling book The Field (HarperCollins), by Lynne McTaggart, who will also be speaking at the conference. Her investigations led her to the Zero Point Field, a unified energy field that links all things. The book also inspired the film ‘What The Bleep Do We Know?’, which was the surprise success in North America last year, both at the box office and as a best-selling DVD.

The Zero Point Field could be an explanation for the Near Death Experience. As Dr van Lommel has observed, consciousness must sit outside the brain for people to be conscious when their brains are ‘dead’ according to the EEG monitor. Instead, the brain may merely be a transmitter and receiver for information, a conclusion that was reached independently by computer scientist Simon Berkovich and brain researcher Herms Romijn.

“Our waking consciousness, the consciousness we have during our daily activities, reduces all the information there is to a single truth that we experience as ‘reality.’ During Near Death Experiences, however, people are not limited to their bodies or their waking consciousness, which means they experience many more realities,” he says.

The cliché that people see their lives flash before them at the time of death seemed to be true for many of van Lommel’s participants, but some also saw future events. One man who van Lommel studied saw himself in a family that, years later, actually came to pass.

But the other cliché that we are judged on all our past actions is not true, says van Lommel. Instead, it appears to be more of an experience where the person can gain insight. What matters more at the moment of the ‘life review’ is the importance of the intention behind our actions and thoughts, and the way they have affected others. One woman who had a Near Death Experience apologized to a person she had upset 20 years before.

“I understand now that consciousness is the basis of life, and that life is principally about compassion, empathy and love,” he says.

Icons of the Field, Friends’ Meeting House, Euston Road, London NW1. Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19. Two-day ticket: £230 (include VAT and refreshments). One-day ticket: £130 (include VAT and refreshments). Telephone 0870 444 9886 within the UJK, or 44 870 444 9886 outside the UK for more information and reservations.

CONTACT:

Andrew Miller, 020 8971 1652 (44-208 971 1652 if outside the UK)

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