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Titus Rivas, MA, MSc, is co-author along with Rudolf H Smit and Anny Dirven of the IANDS Publication: The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences.
The English version of this book (the one discussed in this episode) consists of more than 100 cases of Near Death Experiences which include strict standards of third party verification. In other words, all the accounts within this book include veridical perception (people seeing/hearing things that can be verified as accurate) whilst in an out of body state during a Near Death Experience.
When we think of the NDE, our mind often jumps to cases such as Pam Reynolds, Eben Alexander, Maria’s Shoe and the Dentures Man, however despite popular opinion there are, as shown by this publication, many many more examples which can be considered just as fascinating. Third party verification of out of body perception is critical to the credibility of any case as this provides us with strong evidence that indeed perception of the objective world is available from a point of view external to the physical body, more so when these perceptions are of events and objects which are outside the range of possible physical identification (ie, outside the immediate location, or at an angle at which the eyes would not be able to see). The third parties included in The Self Does Not Die include friends and relatives of experiencers, and the medical professionals who dealt with them during the accident or procedure that triggered the NDE.
Some of the most interesting cases include those which take place during cardiac arrest (when the heart is not pumping), as during these times it is greatly understood what the brain is doing. Within 2 – 20 seconds of the heart stopping, the brain Flatlines on the EEG (Electroencephalogram, which measures cortical brain activity), and yet during this time it appears that conscious experience is being recorded. This should not be possible according to our current understanding of Neuroscience and can only be explained by assuming that the experience takes place as the brain shuts down or as it reboots and not, as it seems, while it is offline altogether. However many cases within this book include third party verified out of body perception of events that took place while the EEG remained flat (ie during a time in which conscious perception should not take place). Many “natural” (physical) theories have been presented by researchers to explain how neural processes can account for such cases, and we look at some of these during this interview. The Self Does Not Die provides an overview of some of these explanations and why they do not fully fit the data in Chapter 10 of the book.