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Blinded by the light
on June 2, 2011
Kenneth Ring's and Sharon Cooper's book "Mindsight" is written in a very dry and almost boring style, yet their claims border the fantastic.
Ring and Cooper have investigated a number of near-death experiences (NDEs) and come to the conclusion that even people who have been blind since birth have such experiences. If true, this is sensational since NDEs are usually experienced visually. Also, people having NDEs supposedly "see" real events taking place in their immidiate surroundings, from a vantage point outside the physical body. If even blind people can *see* during NDEs, this could be the smoking gun evidence for the existence of a soul.
Of course, sceptics hate open-minded research of this kind (see the sceptical reviews at this product page). The authors are "true believers" and their research has been sponsored by crypto-New Age groups. Still, I find it fascinating. But then, I'm not a materialist! ;-)
Interestingly, Ring and Cooper eventually reach the conclusion that neither the blind nor the seeing "see" in the classical sense during NDEs. Rather, it's a kind of transcendental vision or consciousness. They also admit that some blind persons don't experience visual or quasi-visual NDEs at all, but rather a kind of tactile "visions" (which is equally strange).
Finally, the two authors criticize other researchers for not documenting cases of this kind properly. Interestingly, both Raymond Moody and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross are criticized in this way, and yet, they are the leading researchers in this field. Another researcher, whose name is withheld, even perpetrated a hoax, essentially making up a story about a person who could "see" during a NDE despite being blind!
The point of "Mindsight" is to set the record straight, and provide the proper documentation.
Are we to believe Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, even the blind can get "blinded by the light" during near-death experiences.