What do I think of J. Steve Miller’s book published by Wisdom Creek Press on Near-Death Experiences? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out!
Near-Death experiences are one of those interesting things to talk about. There really is something going on. There are people really convinced that they are having an experience and it would be hard to deny that the experiences are often life-changing. Some people have had their entire worldview altered by having a near-death experience. (NDE from here on) Some people have also claimed to see things going on that they would have no way of knowing about and when compared to people who did not have NDEs but just went by whatever they saw from TV shows and things of that sort, the people with NDEs were far more accurate.
In this book, Miller has gathered testimonies from many researchers of NDEs, including those who started out originally skeptical and decides to also go all over the world for them rather than stick to NDEs in a Western Christian context. Miller’s main point that he wishes to highlight is how the experience is different from what people who went in would expect and how there are so many similarities to the experience. In doing so, he also looks at naturalistic explanations of what goes on, including looking at Blackmore, and decides that ultimately these fall short to explain the data.
The emphasis on subjective experiences is interesting, but I would have liked to have seen more accounts of people who see items and events that can be verified when we have all reason to believe that they were “dead” at the time. The case of Pam Reynolds is one such case. There are also cases of people who come back and report seeing people on the other side who had died before they entered a state where they were subjected to an NDE and that they would have had no way of knowing. Many of these have too many perfectly timed events to just chalk up every time to coincidence.
Also included are looks at studies of people who are deaf, color-blind, and blind, and how they are able to see and hear and experience things that they had no place for prior to that in their life. If people want more, the authors suggests trying to talk to people in your area to see if any of them have had NDEs or if they know someone who has had an NDE. Miller tells us that here in America, about 1 in 25 could be expected to have an NDE and many people are hesitant to talk about an NDE to a doctor lest they be identified as crazy. Hopefully such a stigma is starting to be removed from our culture.
Miller’s book is interesting and also I think he would agree that it is a starting place. That’s why he gives further references at the end for people to do further research and that includes both sides. If you are interested in NDEs, this is something worth checking out.