Presented at the IANDS 2012 Conference, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, in Scottsdale, AZ
Abstract: NDE research can make progress by examining the "transcendent" content of NDEs. Four key anchor points in NDEs convey veridical information: (1) perceptions of the earthly realm, (2) communications from apparently deceased persons, (3) presentations during the life review, and (4) precognitive visions that are later proven correct. The veridical character of the information and the nearly universal experience of the hyper-reality of the NDE support the notion that the NDE is a veridical experience throughout. Thus a systematic investigation of the transcendent content of NDEs should be a fruitful research direction. The "hard problem of consciousness" is to explain how neural brain activity can produce subjective phenomenal experience, such as the experience of the quality of red. Evidence from the NDE suggests that the "mind" is an autonomous, non-material energetic entity that is ordinarily united with the brain but separates from it in the NDE. Because the "mind" is the seat of consciousness and works with the brain, the "hard problem" can be solved. The biggest challenge for this research area is to explain how the non-material mind interacts with the brain. Progress is being made in this area. A related problem is more fundamental -- what is the ultimate nature of reality? Again the NDE and NDErs can provide a direction for the "harder problem of reality": Which is more fundamental, the physical or the transcendent? NDErs give a nearly unanimous response: the transcendent realm of the NDE is fundamental and more real than the physical realm. Three paranormal phenomena that occur as aftereffects in NDErs are worth studying to understand the nature of reality: psychokinesis, precognition and teleportation. The tentative model is: there are two realms of existence, with the physical supervenient (dependent) on the transcendent.