Day: May 22, 2012

171. Anthony Peake on Near-Death Experiences Versus Actual Death Experiences

Interview with author Anthony Peake examines how our understanding of time may effect our understanding of the near-death experience. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Anthony Peake author of, The Labyrinth of Time. During the interview Peake discusses his understanding of the near-death experience: Alex Tsakiris: I’m totally with you that materialism just falls apart as soon as we start incorporating any of the most recent interesting work on consciousness. Materialism just doesn’t hold up. But your interpretation of the near-death experience is centered around this idea that we are then reliving our life in a real-death experience. I just want to tie that to a couple of observations I’ve made from some of the other guests I’ve had on, particularly Dr. Jeff Long and Dr. Pim van Lommel. What I couldn’t square with your explanation is the continuity of experience of the near-death experiencers, right? What these folks say over and over again is, “Hey, I remember I was in the helicopter being air-lifted out, and I was bleeding really bad and then boom! I was outside of the helicopter and I saw my body and I saw it land. Then I was in Heaven.  And then I was back.”  There is this continuity of experiences that seem very “this worldly.” Anthony Peake: I still argue that these people when they have near-death experiences, are having “near” death experiences, not actual death experiences in that they do come back. They do come back to this place and they do come back and exist in this place and survive in this place. They come back to be able to tell us of the experience that they had. Whereas I would argue in a real-death experience, when they don’t come back. And that’s the problem with my overall hypothesis because in order for it to happen, they don’t come back, in which case I could never ever prove it, I suppose. But when we ascribe the near-death experiences that are recorded within the annals of various books on near-death experience, there are individuals that come back. They have incredible experiences; they have obviously clearly no ethic experiences and experiences in many ways to me that parallels many of the experiences that people when they have dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and various other substances. So clearly it is sort of brain generated but not and that’s the danger of the trap we’re falling into of assuming that because these things are caused by brain chemicals therefore it is proof that it is just an epiphenomenon of the brain. I’d argue that the brain chemicals facilitate a wider experience of reality than you would get if you were embodied, as it were. Anthony Peake's Website Anthony's Cheating The Ferryman Blog/Forum Play It: Download MP3 (60 min.) Read It: Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Anthony Peake to Skeptiko. He’s the author of several compelling books including, Is There Life After Death? and The Daemon. He’s here to talk about his latest book, The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present, and Future. Welcome, Tony. Thanks for joining me today on Skeptiko. Anthony Peake: Great to be here, Alex. Really, really great.