Bruce Greyson, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, has been studying near-death experiences (NDEs) for almost a half-century. In this presentation, he shares some of his most important findings on the nature of life and death, illustrating his research data with captivating examples.
Greyson will discuss with us issues such as challenges in researching NDEs; establishing the reality of NDEs; the most common features of the experience, including enhanced thinking and perception, the life review and out-of-body experiences, highlighting features that are independent of cultural or religious beliefs; and various models that have been proposed to explain NDEs, including the relationship of NDEs to mental illness, to various alterations in brain biology, and to psychological factors.
As startling as some of these findings are, however, Greyson’s primary interest as a psychiatrist is in how NDEs dramatically transform experiencers. In this presentation, he will discuss changes in attitudes toward life and death, changes in spirituality, and changes in behavior – both positive and challenging aftereffects.
Finally, he will discuss the implications of NDEs for our understanding of mind and brain, including how consciousness can persist after brain activity has stopped; for our understanding of the possibility of postmortem survival, including what NDEs say about God and about heaven and hell; and for our understanding of the relationship between biological and spiritual events and what that implies for what it means to be human. He will conclude the presentation with practical takeaways for what near-death experiences mean for all of us and for how we can craft a more meaningful and fulfilling life.