Dr. Jeffrey Long has a scientifically solid database of near-death experiences.Click here for the NDERF.org Website
Audio Clip: [00:00:00] That’s everybody, think of one incident where Katniss Everdeen genuinely moved you. When she volunteered for her sister at the reaping. Excellent example, good, what else? Oh, when she sang that song for little Rue. Oh yeah, we didn’t get choked up at that. You know what, I like you better actually without all that makeup. I like you better sober.
Alex Tsakiris :[00:00:26] That’s of course Woody Harrelson from the Hunger Games, a clip that would seem to be because it is a long way around the barn from an interview with one of the world’s leading near death experience researchers, Dr. Jeff long, who’s compiled the largest searchable database of near death experiences, and who joined me primarily because I wanted to verify because I’ve referenced it so many times, the quality of the data in the database. Here’s a short clip.
Audio Clip: [00:00:52] Are you in any way scrubbing the database? Are you in any way taking out any references that might be offensive to someone? You know If they’re satanic you know, or this and that, I don’t think so because I even do N D E R F aliens, I do N D E R F E T, there are a few entries that come up, It doesn’t seem to me like you’re in there scrubbing the database in this kind of cancel culture shadow banning you know, we don’t know what’s really out there. Great question Alex, the only change that we make to the entirety of what is shared with us, is we remove references, I mean they may just like their doctor that they believe was involved in their life threatening event. So we removed names just to preserve confidentiality, overriding concern is the confidentiality of who shares. We post everything that they share with us, it would be an abomination to us to pull out anything that we didn’t like, or we disagreed with. If they share it with us it goes up.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:01:58] Now I realize that this point which seems so important to me is really not that important to most people who are interested in near death experience. What they want to hear about is all the goodies that come from the experience as well they should because there’s a lot of goodies to hear, as Dr. Jeffrey long will tell you from the data he’s compiled like, fear of death. Here’s a clip on that.
Audio Clip: [00:02:21] I pulled up the response to the question, fear of death. I asked them directly, what about your fear of death? Before the experience, before they’re in N D E, 32.3% greatly feared death. At the current time when they share their near death experience year, typically years later, the percentage that said they greatly feared death down to 3.1%. Remarkably, you go right to that key question that the options to response for their level of fear of death is like greatly feared death and moderately feared death, I slightly feared death, I did not fear death or unknown. So look right directly at that response to that question of I did not fear death. At the time prior to their near death experience, 13% did not fear death. After their near death experience, 76.7% said they did not fear death. Alex, this is dramatic evidence of the power of near death experiences to change lives. Yeah, it is and I wonder you know, I’ve had a couple of social scientists on the show who’ve done related work in terms of how people change from going through a six week meditation course and something like that. And the only thing I just add is that if you ever looked into the social science part of this, a social scientist would just throw up their arms and go, that is crazy. I mean, fundamental belief systems like that switching from 30% to 3%. There is no precedent for that in the social sciences of how that kind of change can happen.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:54] On the other hand, and the reason I keep coming back to the data is for certain kinds of people like me, like a lot of you and apparently like Dr. Jeff long. The data is important because the data can actually be part of the spiritual growth, if you will. Here’s how he explains it.
Audio Clip: [00:04:12] I think people that have done near death experience like me, have sort of had that time when they really get it, it sinks in you go wow, this is what some NDEers, I think, very aptly say, the boot camp of our spiritual existence. That after life you know, where you don’t have that pain, misery and the stuff that we have here in our earthly life is our real home, as they say over and over by the hundreds. And so, I think there comes a time in many near death experience researchers, we just go wow, I’m not you. You sought to learn about them, but look what you learn. We’re not really home, that there’s a vastly better existence realm of being than our everyday earthly life. Where these miseries and stuff that we have to put up with every day don’t exist. Our life on earth is not an accident. You know, we’re here to learn, we’re here to live our life to the best way that we can, and there’s meaning and purpose to it, meaning and purpose more than I would have ever guessed before I started my near death experience research. So I think all of that broad understanding of near death experience, plus the motivation that the near death experiencers state over and over, this is literally an act of love to go through your life and reach out to others as lovingly as possible. As I just said, number two word used in describing near death experiences is love. So it sort of gives you that, that motivation, that understanding that even though this is the boot camp of our spiritual existence, it’s important and in some ways a gift, and we just do the best we can with it and reach out in love.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:54] Okay, but back to the clip, back to Woody Harrelson back to the Hunger Games. What they’re actually doing in that scene is they’re devising a campaign to counter the social engineering that’s going on inside of their society and this is kind of a reoccurring theme that you’ve heard on Skeptiko and you know, I’ve brought this up over and over again with some of the top near death experience researchers and they’re very, very reluctant to go there. And I think as I keep repeating over and over again, it’s mistake to not go there. It’s a mistake to not realize the extent to which culture is playing a game with it. So, in this interview coming up with a very excellent Dr. Jeffrey long, I make a passing reference to the deliberate misinformation campaign against near death experience science. I know that sounds far fetched but, I came up with the classic example and it’s a wonderful example really because, this guy is really a pretty nice guy I guess, he’s reached out to me a couple times. He’s been on the show, I think in some way, in some strange way he kind of believes in what he’s doing, but it’s just kind of a great example of what I’m talking about. It’s a University of California Riverside professor named Dr. John Martin Fisher and he’s written about his new interpretation of near death experiences. The reason I always bring up John is because, John got this relatively huge grant from The Templeton Foundation, which is very, very sus in that it was a foundation that was started by this really rich investor guy, Templeton, who was super interested in spirituality and religion, and was very religious himself and very spiritual, and wanted to understand the interface between science and religion. Then these guys somehow, like they always do, they managed to co-opt it. Now you have somebody like John Fisher, who is an atheist, who somehow gains access to this foundation and is able to get funding to do research that does kind of the exact opposite, which would kind of turn John Templeton over in his grave. He’s essentially out there trying to debunk near death experience and you can go listen to the interview, it’s been on the show. It’s just almost embarrassing in how lame his arguments are, but especially when your’e compared to somebody like Dr. Jeff long who can pull up so much data and report data. Again, you know John Fisher has never talked to a near death experience researcher, it isn’t part of his research to actually study the people have had the experience. It’s bizarre, but here’s what I want to draw your attention to. You can go to YouTube right now and type in near death experience, a new interpretation or near death experience, John Fisher or skeptic. I don’t know you could probably get to a number different ways because YouTube is unbelievably hyping this interview. This interview, this YouTube video, if you were to believe it has 1.4 million views on YouTube. That’s fake, It’s just fake. Go there and scroll down and read the comments. I scrolled through, I’m not exaggerating, I flipped through 10 pages of comments. I could not find one positive comment. I’ll read right from the top, I like how he mumbles as he reads what is outside his bias while raising his voice within his bias. Here’s another one. He sounds like a barber pontificating about neurosurgery, he says sincere flatlander. Next, he hasn’t had an NDE he is like a food critic who has read the menu without tasting any of the dishes. Can you imagine listening to this guy while Driving? Finally and then I’ll let it go. It’s like someone who’s never visited Paris trying to convince us that he knows more about Paris than others who’ve been there. Folks, I’m not cherry picking, go read the comments. There is no way on Earth. 1.4 million people listen to this or watch this video, go compare it with all the interviews that have been done with Dr. Jeff Long. He’s very successful, he gets a lot of plays, he doesn’t get anywhere near this. I don’t know how it’s faked, I don’t know exactly why it’s faked, but it’s fake, It’s just not real and it’s in some way I don’t totally understand part of the culture war, part of the mission to discredit and distract you from this science. But you know when I put all this to DR. Long , he had what I think is a very wise response and that is that you know, the truth kind of wins out. In the end, people see through this, people figure it out. Let’s hope that’s the case. Here’s my interview with Dr. Jeffrey long.
Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris and today I am so excited to welcome back Jeff Long too Skeptiko. You know, we’re just chatting a minute ago before I hit record and I’m already fired up to talk to this guy. Jeff is one of the most respected and I would say and I’m going to tell you why in a minute. I think one of the most important near death experience researchers we have, he’s a medical doctor, as well as a medical scientist and we’re going to get into the difference there. But he is truly both, he’s the author of The New York Times bestselling book, Evidence of the Afterlife from a few years ago and author of another very popular book from a few years ago, God and The Afterlife, which no doubt would have been a New York Times bestseller. But the title always threw people, I think a little bit. You know, Jeff is not a preachy kind of sermon guy, he just kind of reports the data. But when your report the data and the data has the word God in it, sometimes that throws people. And here’s what I already tipped my hand to Jeff, what I really am hoping we can focus on is that Jeff, along with his wife Jody, who is you know, an accomplished attorney, author you know, very smart person, are the creators and maintainers of a fabulous website @nderf.org. A website of near death experiences. How many are there at this point, Jeff?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:10:47] Right, we have over 3500 near death experiences posted on the NDERF website. And literally in our family of websites, 1000s of more experiences. So this is by far the largest publicly accessible collection of near death experiences in the world.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:12:29] And you know what I always tell people because, I mean you are a medical physician, and you have reviewed I mean, you’re I want to, right from the beginning, I want to kind of back up and we’re having this conversation, you’re not here to sell a book, your books have been out for a couple years hope people go if they’re at all interested in this and reacquaint themselves with those books, they’re available on Amazon Heck for $7.50, you can get God in The Afterlife and evidence of the afterlife is up there too. But like I say, Jeff isn’t here necessarily to promote books or to sell books. If you go to the NDERF website, there’s no big Donate button staring me in the face. If you want to donate you can, but that’s not what this thing is about. This is a guy who is a scientist who is a serious researcher in addition to a medical doctor, who has done some incredibly important work in compiling a database. Why is it that people can rely on this database of near death experiences?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:13:40] Good question Alex. In recent years, many studies have been published in scholarly journals that compare the so called traditional pencil and paper surveys that you do in person with internet based surveys and they found to be equally reliable. So we have that confidence but above and beyond that, for our database and the experience shared with it. We asked like at this time over 80 different questions, it takes a huge amount of time for people to fill all that out and people just essentially never do that just on a whim or as a joke. Moreover, they’re always essentially always posted anonymously unless we have very specific permission. So it’s not like they’re going to gain any recognition by having their experience posted on the NDERF website. And then finally, we have over this time, over 50,000 unique visitors every month Alex, to the website. And so if there’s anything that’s fraudulent copied from somewhere else, we pretty much expect to hear it. Medically, I can tell the plausibility about descriptions of medical life threatening events that lead to the near death experience. So we go through and then on top of that, the survey over 80 questions, there’s a number of questions asked in a redundant fashion slightly worded differently in different parts of the survey. So we can compare that and see how serious people were doing it. So that and there’s even more vetting steps but at the end of the day, we’re quite confident that it may not be 100%. But it’s dang sure way over 99% are not fraudulent in any way. So we’re very, very careful about that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:15:12] And I think I read on the website that you know, you have encountered that right? I mean, that does come up. It’s rare, but it does happen if it never happened, I’d almost be suspicious of that.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:15:25] Right, okay. Well, you ask I’ll tell you. We had two separate NDE’s in a row from the reportedly shared by Pamela Anderson, we quickly realized that there was a couple like the adolescence of boys that decided that that was what they would do that evening. So that’s memorable because it’s so rare to have people sending fraudulent NDE’s.
Alex Tsakiris: [00: 15:46] So Jeff, I know you are you know, very media savvy for people who don’t know, I mean you’ve done Good Morning America, you’ve done Fox News, you can do all these things. And here I went to the website NDERF and you’re part of a new documentary Hidden Beyond The Veil, looks like Jodi got a little airtime too, I really liked the clip on there and one of the things I thought was really cool about it, is I heard this story which I hadn’t heard before, about one of the first times you encountered a near death experience as a medical professional.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:16:21] Alex, that was, I’d read very little about near death experience and knew of the concept. I was actually in my residency training in radiation oncology, that’s what I do all day professionally. But I had a college friend over and his wife and we were having a nice meal and we were all sitting there yakking and his wife, or my friend mentioned that she had so many allergies that were so severe that at one time she was having an operation under general anesthesia and she quoted, but every instinct I had and the way she said that it didn’t sound fearful, it sounded like there was an air of mystery.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:16:59] When you say she quoted, that she died, is that?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:17:03] Her heart stopped? Yes clinically, that’s death. Obviously as you know Alex, under general anesthesia, they very carefully monitor vital signs and especially heartbeat. So if you have a severe allergic reaction and your heart stops, you know it immediately. The EKG measure of electrical activity of the heart immediately goes into a huge racket, there’s alarms everywhere, so you know immediately. So here, but getting back to my wife’s friend, so she said that was kind of a mysterious tone in her voice and there was literally about 20/32 pause for literally, very possibly my whole future research in NDE hung in the balance because I considered it the stupidest question I could ask as a doctor, well did something happen while you’re under general anesthesia and your heart stopped? And I had to sort of get up the courage, if you will, before I could ask what should have been the dumbest question in my life and as soon as I said that, she popped up and went, why yes and describe a dramatic near death experience consciousness above the body, that EKG measurement racket, the panic in the operating room, I mean you can just imagine going through a tunnel life review of very detailed near death experience, but she didn’t know what happened she wasn’t aware of a near death experience. So I said, geez, I read about this a couple years ago briefly, I think you had one of those near death experience things. And I mean, it was so dramatic, the concept of her heart stopping obviously, and coding literally and being under general anesthesia. That immediately got me to thinking If this happens and this is real, then this changes my whole view of the universe. This is beyond anything medically possible. There’s nothing I’ve ever had in my medical training that can possibly explain that. And that was the impetuous Alex, that got me started several years later, to go to the original source of data, that being those that had near death experiences, share it on the NDERF website, so that I could make up my own mind with that burning question I had, are near death experiences real? And wow, did I ever get an answer?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:19:12] That’s such a great story, Jeff. And I, it made me wonder, and I’ve never asked you this or heard you talk about it. So you have the experience in med school and you kind of play it close to the vest as you have to because like you just said it goes against, you know you’re going off reservation even by asking the question, and then you have the internal drive to pursue it. But what about earlier in life? Was there ever anything early in your life that kind of hinted for you or gave you some sense of direction that these kind of questions would be something you would pursue or not, maybe not.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:19:52] I, you know, I would have to say no, I never had a near death experience. I hadn’t really personally had what I would call a significant mystical experience up until that time. But I was curious. I’m one of those folks that says, let the evidence do the talking, show me. And that, I guess I’ve always had that and certainly that guides my medical decisions and my radiation oncology decisions every day, as I work with my patients to fight cancer so I guess I’ve always had that mentality. I’ve always been interested in research and in the best methodology, I mean shoot my father nearly won the Nobel Prize in his area of pharmacology many, many years ago when he discovered a drug that characterized the parasympathetic nervous system. So I guess I’ve always been focused on research and the questions and the search, even from childhood from that source. So that was probably if anything the most informative thing I had, just that burning curiosity, the desire to know the truth in the best way possible.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:52] You know in a lot of ways, I think that that is what really suited you for this in a way because I was, also in this video for this upcoming film which isn’t out now, Hidden Beyond The Veil looks pretty interesting we might talk some more about that. But the other interesting thing that I heard you say, is that your study of the near death experience research and science that you’ve been a big part of, has completely removed your fear of death? And I think we have to kind of put that in the context of how significant that is. I mean for many, many people this is like a major barrier in their life and it’s interferes with their life and then the grief of when someone, they lose someone, all these things around that. So when you combine that with the fact that you never had any huge, significant spiritual, never had a near death experience, but had this drive to know, it’s great to know that someone can just study this stuff like you have, and through just the study of it intellectually, can come to such a life changing kind of belief change like that, don’t you think?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:22:05] No question about that and Alex, a major point here is that I’ve had some great teachers in my life from some of the outstanding physicians that taught me in medical school. But at this point, some of my life’s greatest teachers are those that have near death experiences and had the courage to share with me in the world. From them, I’ve seen beyond any shadow of a doubt, in my opinion, evidence that we really don’t have to fear death, that we’re all going to survive death, that there’s an afterlife, a wonderful afterlife and it’s for all of us. Near death experiencers, dramatically as a group reduce their fear of death, after near death experience, I’ve gotten data just several days old, from crunching some numbers, analyzing the responses to my most recent database, for my excel spreadsheet, and there is once again dramatic association of reduction of fear of death, from the belief, the fear of death they had a time there in NDE for the fear of death, at the time they shared their near death experience around 15 average years later. So I can’t think Alex, of any other single event that you could encounter in life that would be so correlated with the reduction of fear of death as a near death experience.
Alex Tsakiris: [00: 23:17] Let’s take a minute and pull up that stat. Because I think it’ll kind of shoehorn us into this discussion that I want to have about the data. Because one of the questions I had is, can we still rely on the data? Is the data being, is the integrity of the database intact? Because I think it’s very, very important what we can do with that database in terms of the searchability of it, in terms of the research potential of it, which I think is largely untapped? Do you have that at your fingertips? What is the reduction in fear of death for people?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:23:56] Yeah I should, and Alex, I want to point out the transparency this kind of research, I mean shoot, anybody on the planet can pull up the experiences and go read for themselves what their responses to the questions are. So this is a summary of what 840, 834 people shared on the most recent version of the survey. I pulled up the response to the question fear of death, I asked them directly what about your fear of death? Before the experience, before the NDE, 32.3% greatly feared death, at the current time when they share their near death experience, typically years later, the percentage that said they greatly feared death down to 3.1%. Remarkably, you go right to that key question that the options to response for their level of fear of death as I greatly feared death and moderately feared death, I slightly fear of death, I did not fear death or unknown. So look right directly at that response to that question of I did not fear death. At the time prior to their near death experience 13% did not fear death, after their near death experience 76.7% said they did not fear death. Alex, this is dramatic evidence of the power of near death experiences to change lives. These are called the after effects. We have equally remarkable data about an increased belief in an afterlife, increased belief in God increased belief in the importance of compassion and living their daily lives. But once again, you throw all those, that remarkable shift in values and beliefs. As I’ve said, I can’t think of anything else any other life event or combination of events that would give you that kind of, of data that I just presented with you. It is amazing the power of how near death experiences can change lives.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:25:47] Yeah, it is and I wonder you know, I’ve had a couple of social scientists on the show who’ve done related work in terms of how people change from going through a six week meditation course and something like that. And the only thing I just add is that if you ever looked into the social science part of this, a social scientist would just throw up their arms and go, that is crazy. I mean, fundamental belief systems like that switching from 30% to 3% we, there was no precedent for that in the social sciences of how that kind of change can happen, which is what you’re saying, I’m just putting it from a different perspective.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:26:28] Yeah, I like the way you said that Alex, and I think that’s absolutely true. I mean, we’re not talking a slight change after a near death experiences or even a moderate change. That’s radically different people and people know that that are with near death experiences, they often feel that that person is a completely different person, they’re more loving, more compassionate, they’re more interested in spiritual matters. You know, obviously they have an increased belief in an afterlife because well shoot, they know from personal experience, what happens beyond death’s door and it’s wonderful. So this is you know, as dramatic as this evidence is you know, I think it speaks volumes, in addition to all that, it shows how grippingly they accept reality of their near death experience personally, for those ahead. You just don’t make huge life changes on dreams, hallucinations or maybe this is real, you only make profound changes when you know something is absolutely important, that real and you have time to change your life in response to it. So that’s that’s exactly what we see in mass in near death experiencers.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:33] You know, one of the stats that always blew me away and then I want to get back to some of the more kind of edgy next level stuff is something like and tell me if this is still true. Something like 96%? which again I don’t know you get 96% of people across the globe, across languages, how you could get them to agree on anything. But something like 96% are certain of the reality of that experience. Is it still, is that still hold?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:28:05] Yeah, that’s interesting I was just reviewing my original evidence, The Afterlife book and the percentage in the survey then was 96%. I’ve just got the data from 834 near death experiencers and let’s see here, it’s still right about 95%, I’ve got a huge amount of output a data because heck, we have over 80 questions. But it’s somewhere like…
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:31] Tell them the question again, the question that you asked.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [00:28:35] I asked, very directly, what do you believe about the reality of your experience, shortly two days or weeks after it happened? And then we asked the question again, well what do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time, that being when they shared their near death experience? So it dropped about a percent at the current time and again this is several days old data, the percentage saying experience was definitely real 93.8%. And like you said, what else, what other experience is conceive of the response significantly to the question, the two other components of the question experience was probably not real or experience was definitely not real at the time they share their experience combining those two, it’s 1.3%. So essentially, everybody that has a near death experience believes their experience was definitely real or at least probably real, even the probably reels only 4.9%. The real wow message from this data is the numbers picking at the time they’ve shared their experience that they’ve had. Often years to process experience 93.8% believe their experience was definitely real. And I would submit, Alex for skeptics who feel that near death experience is not real, out of people’s general ability to understand reality from life experiences that they have. If skeptics want to argue the near death experience are not real, the burden of proof is on the skeptics to provide strong evidence proving their point that near death experience is not real and they’re not even close. We’ve had over 20 different skeptical explanations come along over the years, skeptics themselves can’t agree on any one or several those explanations, that explains anything that’s observed a near death experience, let alone the totality.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:23] We’ll see if we have time to get into that a little bit.
kind of a forced equivalency, you know, kind of thing. I mean, it, it’s not even on the realm of scientific in terms of the, a lot of the objections. And I think they’re manufactured and engineered for a particular way to kind of target this research because I think it’s, it doesn’t conform to certain messages that, but I don’t want to get too far away from that.
What I want to do before we leave. This is because I bring this stuff up all the time. Jeff, with people who, you know, you wouldn’t expect, they’re not necessarily looking for near death experience data near death experience research. And I’m just saying, if you’re open-minded, why wouldn’t you consider doing the search that I did?
I always do. N D E R F space, Bible devil. Baphomet whatever you can pick your choice and it actually serves just through the database. So one thing I want people to know. Are you in any way, scrubbing the database. Are you in any way taking out any references that might be offensive to someone? You know, if it’s, if they’re satanic, you know, or this and that, or I don’t think so.
Cause I even do in D E R F aliens. I do in the E R F E T. There are a few entries that come up. I don’t know what to make of them any more than anyone else does, but it, to answering this question, it doesn’t seem to me like you’re in there scrubbing the database in this kind of cancel culture, shadow banning, you know, we don’t know what’s really out there.
Jeff Long: [00:32:05] Uh, great question, Alex. The only change that we make to the entirety of what is shared with us, Is we remove references. I mean, they may dislike their doctor that they believe was involved in their life threatening event. So we remove names to specific individuals that would be identifiable, uh, sometimes with a, they have the date look, geographic location and time so fine that anybody could look up and paper archives.
So we’ll take out the, you know, like May 22nd, we’ll take out May 22nd again, just to preserve confidentiality or overriding concern is the confidentiality of who shares. And then we do edit, uh, uh, the PA the accounts only for clarity. Sometimes they come in with punctuation, wrong misspellings are fairly common.
So we think we’re adding to clarity to do that minor edit. We archive in our database, both what was shared with us originally. And what was, uh, uh, what was posted on the web. Uh, but all that, that actually enhances your clarity and understanding, or wouldn’t be doing it. It’s a hell of a lot of work to go in.
And some of these just to be put up bluntly, some near death experiences are remarkably poorly, shared, are written and you win. And these are people sometimes suffer brain injury from their life-threatening event and they just simply can’t type well. So we very cautiously actually, Jody has that takes over that piece and very carefully transcribes it.
It’s done exactly what they were saying. Um, but, but, but cleaned up punctuation wise, for example, we post everything that they share with us. It would be an abomination to us to pull out anything that we didn’t like, or we disagreed with. If they share it with us, it goes up. Um, and so that’s, uh, um, that’s the integrity of what we have to do.
We have to do it that way. Uh, we’re not. Well, the censorship, and I don’t even know how you would set up boundaries, even if you want to do that. So everything that we get goes back up on the website, uh, as basically exactly what they have to say. And that is, and one of the things that’s important too, out of integrity, uh, sometimes there can be a little bit of subjectivity about was a life-threatening event severe enough, or was the experience associated with the life-threatening event and period of unconsciousness, if there’s any ambiguity about that, they’re not Indies, but probable Indies.
And we have a policy of posting every single probable NDE that gives us permission. And interestingly that’s about 99% allow us to post experience anonymously. So again, anybody on the planet can decide for themselves. Uh, you know, removing some of that subjectivity about, you know, what the exact classification of an NDE.
So, um, we, we try to be very, very careful to make sure that we are appropriately sharing the, uh, amazing message of near-death experience with the world as precisely and accurately as possible.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:11] You know, I can’t stress enough from my perspective, how important that one question is
with that you are embracing on one hand, the wonderful, wonderful message that you keep talking about, but you’re also embracing the strangeness, the non-reality reality of it.
That I think we have to come to grips with, I think is what’s the future of near-death experience research because as your data that you climb on top of is this social scientist hat that you put on and you start pulling together these statistics. If someone goes past the statistics, it does get messy.
Some people are talking about Jesus. Other people are saying there’s no religion is an important, some people are talking about loved ones. Some people are not, there are built in contradictions in the fact that you are not scrubbing those out, that you’re letting those live and breathe and touch people in whatever way they’re touching them.
And you’re still saying, but wait a minute, we do have a survey
that was scientifically developed. And we can look at some of the patterns that emerge from that I think is super. Important underutilized as a research tool, I wish more people were digging into your data and doing some real analysis from a social scientist perspective.
There’s an unlimited number of PhD dissertations. They’re waiting to happen. If someone monitor, cross correlate your data with all sorts of other social science data we have. So there’s that. And then there’s also the opportunity for this personal exploration to see how your beliefs conform to just a wide variety of beliefs.
So is there any part of that you want to pull apart in terms of the, the strangeness of these accounts?
Jeff Long: [00:37:11] Yeah. Well, I do want to address Alex. I totally agree that there’s a lot more work than either I can do or other people can do with the data that we have from our website. Interestingly enough, uh, just within the past week.
I got the most recent edition of the journal of near-death studies. And in that was an article from a person I’ve worked with and was able to share him the data from this was something over 500 sequential near-death experiences from the Inder website and the article had an amazing sort of analysis of it.
Uh, most common words, the word associations. And so this was a major article to use the actual data posted on website and, um, shared with them. I shared it with, from an Excel database format or a spreadsheet form, but interestingly, one of the, there was a lot of, you know, anybody that has a journal of near-death studies.
I encourage you to read that article, but just for interest sakes, the two most common words that kicked out as descriptors of near-death experience were in order light and love. And immediately, you can see how that, you know, you’re getting into a rail and, you know, and, and earthly realm in terms of when they described light and near death experiences is much more likely to be in an earthly light.
They in earthly light, much more likely to be an unhealthy level that they’re describing than an earthly love. So you can see how important these sort of deeper workings are to the near-death experiencers themselves when they use those words and they’re descriptors of their experience.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:43] And I do want to bring it back, cause I maybe didn’t phrase that question as well as I could.
These accounts taken from a rational perspective, do not make sense in a lot of ways in the same way. I always remember when I first interviewed Raymond Moody, the guy who was credited for coining the term near-death experience, Dr. Moody is really an interesting guy and he’s his own kind of bird. You know what I mean?
But. He always said that we need a new system of logic before we can even begin to understand that. And I think there’s so much there in that little kernel that he gives us, because if we’re going to stand in this here, now time-space reality and suggest that we can understand this other realm and reality that’s being revealed to us.
I think we’ve missed the point because the, one of the things that comes clear comes through clearly in this amazing database, is that they feel like that’s the greater reality, and this is the lesser reality. So I just think that we’re doing the best we can, but I just think sometimes don’t you think we have to kind of pause and say how sure are we of this Terra firma that we kind of stand on it?
Jeff Long: [00:40:09] you know what I mean? Absolutely. That’s a great point, Alex. I mean, for example, when people describe God over and over, I hear from them, that’s an earthly term. What I’ve met was totally beyond earthly words. God, the moment you say that word is limiting, it’s a concise thing. Would they say was infinite in something beyond human conception?
So we’re literally above and beyond logic. We need a whole seaming of language to help describe some of these things. I mean, you can, uh, you have whole many, many near death experiences describing things that are so unearthly that they’re literally hard to describe in English language very well over half of people that have a near-death experience.
And that’s a data from my most recent survey considered their experience to be ineffable. That means difficult to describe in words. So it, you know, again, it’s one of those things where we either need a new language, sort of a new logic, a conceptual framework, I think, to really start to. Branch out and grasp these, uh, remarkably unearthly experiences and they so consistently describe it.
Um, and they do a good job. I might add. I mean, for thinning, unfortunately, folks have had an, an average of 15 years from their Indy until they share it. So they’ve certainly had a chance to express it in words as best as possible. In fact, we had a quality assurance survey question in the great, great majority of people are comfortable that what they shared accurately and completely conveyed their experience, which was pretty awesome given its common ineffability.
But we, you know, we need to, we need to be aware that that some of the concepts, the, the experience they have is so, and sometimes they just literally can’t even express some of the deeper parts of their experience adequately at words. And it’s it’s, uh, uh, we just, we just need a whole new language, I guess, to really grow, to understand that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:42:07] And let me kind of. Take that a tiny step further. I’m just wondering on a kind of , personal, philosophical level. Cause you’re a very deep thinking guy. What about this idea of, you know, which reality does this ever kind of send you down that path of going, you know, I’ve got to get up tomorrow and I love, I’m sure you love your practice and you love your patients and you love helping people, but you’re also immersed in this other reality.
That’s telling you, Jeff, this is really the greater reality. . What about that? How do you process that?
Jeff Long: [00:42:44] That’s a great question. I think people that have done near death experience like me have sort of had that time when they really get it. It sinks in you go, wow, this is what some indie years, I think very aptly say the bootcamp of our spiritual existence, that afterlife, you know, where you don’t have that pain misery.
And, and the stuff that we have here in our earthly life is our real home, as they say over and over by the hundreds. And so there, I think there comes a time in, in, in many near-death experience, researchers for you just go, wow, I’m not, you sought to, to learn about them, but look what you learn. We’re not really home.
That there’s a vastly better existence realm of being than our everyday earthly life, where these miseries and stuff that we have to put up every day don’t exist. So that, that takes some, uh, an adjustment. I mean, you have to really sort of say, wow, I mean, the evidence is overwhelming. That that’s true. Uh, but I think sort of what, what helps me to get adjust through that and move on is you understand that.
Earthly life is finite and we’re infinite beings. This is literally Alex, the tiniest slice of our eternal existence. So I think with that understanding, you just have to say it’s important that we’re here and that we hear over and over from near-death experiencers. Our life on earth is not an accident.
Uh, you know, w we’re here to learn. We’re here to, to live our life, to the best way that we can and there’s meaning and purpose to it. The meaning and purpose more than I would have ever guessed before I started my near death experience research. So I think all of that broad understanding of near death experience, plus the motivation that the near-death experience there’s state over and over.
This is literally an act of love to go through your life and reach out to others as lovingly as possible. As I just said, number two, word used in describing near death experiences love. So it sort of gives you that, that motivation, that understanding that even though this is the bootcamp of our spiritual existence, Uh, it’s important and, and in some ways a gift and we just do the best we can with it and reach out and love.
And so with, with that too, uh, with that thought behind me, uh, that that certainly guides pretty much everything I do now in my current life.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:45:04] That’s awesome. I want to pick up on two words that you’d use to use a meaning and purpose. And you said that that comes through again through the data folks, not through a divine experience, it’s the data because one of my things has always been, and this is just what I stumbled on to is there’s some, there’s some misinformation about near-death experience in my opinion.
And I want to bounce some of these off you. And there’s also some disinformation, I mean, where people are intentionally saying something different than what is true, and I’ve encountered this over and over again. And one of my frustrations in talking to, uh, Dr. Bruce Grayson, who is fantastic by the way, he is the man he’s done so much.
And a lot of ways, I think the database is kind of more important than any one person’s research, but that shouldn’t even come into to play. He’s fantastic. And what he’s done, but I kind of pushed him on the fact that you guys have had to push against criticism, misinformation, nonsense research that gets paddock catapulted into the front of the line in terms of public perception, in terms of cover of magazines, in terms of YouTube views, it’s way out of proportion.
It doesn’t make sense it’s fake. And I think one of the reasons behind that is we do have to step back and understand that science is telling us it is their dogma. You are meaningless. Because there is no meaning in any of the universe. You know, if the universe is meaningless, how can there be any meaning in your life?
Because if there’s any meeting in your life, then the universe is meaningless and that’s not just a philosophical mind game. That is the truth in terms of their dogma, in terms of scientific materialism. And I always get kind of irked a little bit when people go, Oh yeah, but scientists don’t believe that it’s like, wait a minute.
If that’s the official dogma, if that’s what neuroscience has saying that you are an Epic phenomenon of your brain, then that’s the dogma. And ultimately , that is the song that everyone has to dance to. So I don’t know if you’ve encountered that. I can give you examples. I’m going to do in this introduction and example that I sent to you with a guy who’s really a pretty nice guy.
, Dr. John Fisher at university of California, Riverside, you know, and he got $4 million from the template and foundation, which in and of itself is a total sham, right? Templeton, a spiritual guy, you know, sets up a foundation to say science and religion and they get in there and they give it to a guy who’s good.
Quote, unquote debunked near death experience without ever having talked to anyone. Who’s had a near death experience…
Jeff, what do you think about the claim that. You’re kind of going against something here that isn’t exactly made clear articulated and that there is somewhat of a disinformation campaign against this kind of research.
Jeff Long: [00:48:37] Sure. Alex, of course, there’s going to be, you know, with the extreme visibility and to some extent, popularity of near death experiences, you’re going to have people try to ride that, to get, you know, clicks on YouTube or, or, you know, sell books or some such thing to contain misinformation and that’s out there.
The good news is I’m very confident. The truth will prevail. And the reason for that is disinformation. Mistruth is random in science. What’s real is consistently observed. You’re going to have a variety of mistruth. None of it really. Uh, being found by other researchers. And that’s more in the scientific method.
It’s not just for one person can identify the findings should be corroborated by other researchers, uh, by other investigations over a period of time. That’s how you can hone in on the truth. Through science, through misinformation should crap like that. I mean, they may have their 15 minutes of fame on a YouTube, but their misinformation isn’t corroborated by me or anybody else.
And as time goes on, people are just going to let go of whatever it was that they showed people. Really, Alex, I firmly believe are interested in the truth. What’s the reality. I mean, it’s not just you and I, that are seekers about that and are focused on that question. There’s a vast number of other people.
And I think people in general, in that search, um, are, are going to be focused on things that they are consistently observed from credible sources, uh, from scholarly sources. And I think that’s, what’s really going to inform people. More than disinformation in the future. Thank
Alex Tsakiris: [00:50:15] goodness. I think you’re right.
And I think the other thing that’s undeniable is the culture shift around near-death experience that you and Dr. Grayson, fortunately, and so many other researchers that we could name off, and I’ve been fortunate to talk to so many of them. And they’re also inspirational. You guys have turned the ship and it’s undeniable from a public kind of person on the street, you know?
Absolutely. The change is there. So I guess one related question to that, that I’d love to get your thought on is when I look, I mean, one of the ways I know that’s true is I look how near death experience is working its way into popular culture in terms of media. But I also look at the way it’s being kind of presented and distorted.
And it’s one thing to say, well, they’re just trying to entertain people and it’s scifi stuff like that. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people who say, Oh, check out, Oh, a on Netflix. And it kinda it’s this Netflix series super popular, critically acclaimed. And it had a, a near-death experience theme in it.
But Jeff, if you ever go watch that show it doesn’t conform at all to what near death experience science that you report it again. I can’t justice. I mean, just all about the data, man. Just ask him to pull up his Excel spreadsheet and he’ll tell you he hasn’t scrubbed the data. He says these accounts come in from all over the world.
95% say I’m definitely sure. This thing is real. When do you go to. Another account when it’s fictionalized and it’s like all over the board, the message is like, suck you in with, yeah, I did. I almost died. And then I had this experience and then from there, it’s all different. It just makes me wonder, I watch undone on Amazon prime, a great kind of series it’s it’s.
But again, it’s this near death experience person almost dies encounters their father in the, but again, then it goes into this twist of back to kind of what our media seems fascinated about murder, death, evil, you know, all this other stuff. It just seems to me so orchestrated, so scripted to try and take it and then, Ooh.
Oh, let’s, co-opt it. And pull it back in this direction. Do you have any feelings about how near-death experience science is portrayed in media as you see it pop up?
Jeff Long: [00:52:53] You know, that’s a good question, Alex. I think it’s a mixed bag. Interestingly a few months ago, I had a, it’s a national television show that will remain anonymous.
That was going to have a near death experience themed aspect to it in the next season. And they actually had a whole group of people sit down and talk with me and talk about what they understood about a near death experience or what they were trying to do. And it was a very good discussion. They asked very good questions and I, I sort of steered them right down the line of here’s what really happens in near death experiences.
And I, uh, I’m not, I haven’t followed up on that show. Uh, it’s not my time, but I think they were sincerely interested in presenting it as in some significant truthful manner. I mean, the trouble is in the entertainment industry. It is so fractured. There are so vast many entertainment outlets that I think they’re all at this point now more than ever scrambling over each other to get those clicks, get those views, uh, and, and have a narrow or a narrower audience.
So I think that may. Encourage lately more sensationalism than we had in the past with near death experience. Having said that it’s a mixed bag of, for Easter. I was interviewed by inside edition as part of two near death experiences. It’s on YouTube. If you want to look it up. Uh, last time I looked, there were way over 300,000 views and it was outstanding.
They had the near-death experiencers very vividly, uh, beautifully actually describing that, you know, what happened to them during the near-death experience. And they interviewed me without even knowing what they were going to say and the consistency of, of what, what I was saying when I talked them about my research with what they actually described was amazing.
So I would like to think over time, you know, especially people can be entertained and you can be entertained in a lot of ways, but I think those are really want to know the truth they’re seekers that want to understand, uh, they’ll they’ll find ways to get to the truth, uh, apart from the entertainment
Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:51] industry.
Excellent really like the way you put that. And I think you make a very convincing case, especially when you tie it to your earlier point about the truth and how that truth has a bit, has an ability to resonate with us at a deeper level. So we kind of have a tuning fork that allows us to kind of maybe sort through a lot of that crap and say, no, I get it.
That’s that was really the truth. Similarly, it very controversially. I run into a lot of frustration sometimes when I talk to Christian people, that to me seemed to be co-opting maybe sometimes inadvertently and misinterpreting what I understand to be. The data. So I am all for anyone’s spiritual experience and how they express it.
And I have the utmost respect for that because like you, I follow the data and I say, Oh, big news, the big news flash, there is this extended reality. Next newsflash, there does seem to be this wonderful moral imperative that is this light and love. That’s pulling me towards it. And when I go search in D E R F Baphomet or, you know, do what they’ll wilt, or, you know, a cult magic, I get zero results.
And when I go search for God, love forgiveness, compassion, I get pages and pages of pages. I find that very, very, uh, promising and compelling, but I don’t think. The research suggests that the primacy of Christianity, which is what Christianity is all about, it’s about, this is the way is supported in the data.
I don’t think any religiosity to me, my read of the data is increased spirituality, decreased religiosity with this kind of, and I can pull it up. I will pull it up, you know, right out of your book. , I think you can get my point by now that Jeff and Jody, but Jeff, in his book, he just spits the truth as it comes through. So he tells you what they say about God. He tells you what they say about their religious beliefs before and after and bows. If it’s 50, 50, 50% of people say, yeah, I just stay with my religion.
It’s fine. And what I learned said that everything I’m experiencing here about love and compassion is good and I’m on the right track, but a good even good number of those people say, but I don’t feel like it’s this. Most important. This is the most only way screw everybody else go protest in the street kind of thing.
And 50% of them, which is super important. When you think about again, the social cohesion and how hard it is to change these things, 50% say, you know, I really felt like the religious experience I had doesn’t really fit with this greater reality that I have. So I might have added too much of my own opinion on that, but tell us what you’ve found about religious experience in spiritual experience and religiosity in this work.
Jeff Long: [00:58:23] Yeah. Uh, you, yeah, that’s a good question, Alex. Um, I’ve got some recent data, but I haven’t quite crunched it as much as I’d liked you ahead of time, but we can make a couple points from what we know so far. First of all people, uh, can have essentially you name the religion. They can pretty much be there after the near death experience.
So people that have near death experiences, um, you know, like the data’s about half the time they’ll stay in their religious affiliation about half, not. Um, but we still have every possible denomination that you can conceive of, uh, have people that have had near death experiences in it. Uh, people near-death experiencers.
And so they do believe that that religion seems to be compatible. I just, I, I mentioned the recent issue of the journal of near-death studies. I co-authored an article. Of 17 Muslim near-death experiences and they all remain Muslim after their near death experience. And yet other people make radical changes and, and sort of leave a religion that they’ve been, or at least system they’ve had all their life and, and go somewhere else.
You see a predisposition for people after a near-death experience to be spiritual, but not religious. The one religion that changes significantly most significantly by far after a near death experience or the group that are atheist at the time of the near death experience, as you might imagine, the great, great majority put it mildly, uh, are no longer atheists after their near death experience.
So that group has by far the greatest shift in religious beliefs after an
Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:58] NDE. You know, related to that, one of the ways I really appreciate how you slice this data. And again, it gets back to this point of the enormous potential. That’s there to ask these next level questions is you have data for people who experienced God, for lack of a better term, what they identified as God and those who didn’t experience God.
And tell us what your findings are on that.
Jeff Long: [01:00:26] Yeah. I mean, these are all typical near-death experiences. Um, they have, they can have all the elements out of body experience, tunnel, light landscapes, you know, beautiful, um, life review. I mean, you name it, they’re all elements. It’s just part of it. They encounter God. Now the ones that encounter God tend to be the more detailed near death experiences because awareness or encounter of God typically occurs in the unearthly, if you will, heavenly realms.
And so you have to pretty much had a on average and a deeper near-death experience before you’re going to encounter those types of things. So, but that’s about it. It just seems to be, if you will, a sort of a progressive, a more detailed, deeper near-death experience starts to encounter God. And sometimes some of the other deeper spiritual insights that near-death experiencers have shared.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:01:18] Okay. You don’t want other related point on this. And this is always kind of a tricky one for me to parse out with people, what I’ll hear. A lot of people say is, Hey, if you’re Christian, you’re going to see Jesus. And I’m like, well, I blitz look at the data that seems to happen a lot, but it doesn’t happen all the time.
Don’t it doesn’t mean that there’s some mechanism in there. That works that way. You know, some of the research that I think is fascinating, and I know I’d love to hear your opinion is , Dr. Gregory, Shaun, who looks at near-death experiences across time and cross culture. And what he found is that in a lot of Shimano cultures, as soon as somebody came up with a verifiable really good near death experience, well, they said, Oh, well, we have to change our beliefs about the afterlife because this guy has done it.
And what I hear a lot of times Christians doing is the opposite. They’re saying, well, let’s see if we can take our beliefs and fight cherry, pick out some near death experiences that make it sound like we always, we always had the answer. It seems to me, we should be doing the other way around. We should be saying, what is the near death experience data telling us?
What does that tell us about our beliefs? About the afterlife?
Jeff Long: [01:02:29] Yeah. A couple of good points you made there. First of all, for regard to some people that say, you’ll see a religious figure based on your. Prior or interpret what you see during a near-death experience based on your prior religion belief. I think there’s that that’s a real important point about near death experiences.
I mean, obviously during, when you meet deceased relatives, it’s going to be deceased relatives. You know, when you encounter a religious being, it’s going to be a religious being, you know, and not one that you’ve never heard of in your life. So the, what occurs during the near-death experience, the elements are overwhelmingly consistently observed.
And yet there’s that personal aspect of what your prior life is, what you know, that manifest during a near-death experience with regard to people saying they see in a, more like an morphous being of light and interpreted as Jesus. Oh my gosh. Go to indore.org, go to that search box in the top, right? Put in Jesus and see for yourself how people described that.
You’re not going to hear you hear, talk about an individual height, hair, eye, color, beard, what they’re wearing color details. This isn’t any kind of a morphous being they’re describing very vividly and extremely well, a very discreet, specific individual that they’re calling Jesus most of the time. So, uh, I have a little concern about people that, that say that that’s totally subject to interpretation.
I mean that they’re, they’re seeing a, and describing often very accurately in a very physical, very specific physical appearance, not, not just in any morphous being of life. Um, so,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:04:07] So where are you on that? don’t match those two together. It may be in the way that you do.
I understand that that is their experience. And I’m totally down with that. There is, uh, I don’t, I don’t understand that realm. I don’t pretend to understand that realm. I don’t know how memories images are formed, how they’re maintained. And that’s why I pull back to the data level lens before I start doing that.
But when I look at the specific data points, they’re all over the map, they’re all over the map in so many different ways. And then L Lee still, you know, I mean, cause I’ve done a lot of research in that you want to tie that to the historical Jesus. You want to tie that to what we understand about history?
I don’t look for any, I don’t use near death experience accounts as. Uh, some kind of, uh, insight into interpreting Josephus or the gospels or anything like that. I don’t think there’s a, I don’t think there’s a match there because I think we’re in two completely different realms. I mean, maybe they are realm.
Maybe they are different realms, maybe they aren’t, but I don’t think we have that understanding of what is the difference between our truth here and the truth there, and which is superior and how we would even begin to understand that I kind of rambled on there. Do you get what I’m saying?
Jeff Long: [01:05:34] Yeah, I do. Um, the, you know, there, uh, first of all, I agree with you.
I don’t think that you can really, you look at Jesus in near death experiences. Jesus actually rarely talks about events in the Bible or of historical things. Uh, virtually every time he’s there for the near-death experience or they feel love or overwhelming compassion. I mean, words just seem to fall all over the near death experience.
You’re describing how amazing it is to encounter Jesus. But Jesus, essentially never that I can recall, uh, is an advocate for Christianity as opposed to other religions or certainly an opposition of the religion. So I think you’ve really got the Jesus’s parents near death experiences and the Jesus in the Bible.
And I think there’s, there’s a couple of different flavors. There’s a couple of different things that I never, I mean, in the Bible, for example, you’d say, you know, it’s replete with words like thou art or a third of the Bible, or a third of the time Jesus talks in the Bible is parables. And you essentially never hear that with near death experience accounts.
So, uh, that’s, that’s the data that I’ve seen. It’s it’s intriguing, but, uh, there seems to be, um, that that’s just not what Jesus and near death experiences spent a lot of time with dressings
Alex Tsakiris: [01:06:50] cause there’s a couple of things I always hammer on there. One is Christ consciousness and I don’t say it to try and be tricky.
I just say clearly what the data is telling us is that there is this other realm of consciousness. And again, juxtapose that with science that says there isn’t even any consciousness, consciousness is an illusion. What an absurd idea. So what the near-death experience along with a lot of other good science says is, Hey, there’s not only a conscious experience here, but there’s these extended realms where consciousness seems to operate under different principles.
So I just, when somebody says they encountered Jesus in their dear death experience, I go, I’m totally down with Christ consciousness. And sometimes people, Christians you’d have a, it’s not Christ consciousness. It’s Jesus. And it’s like, Uh, definitionally. I don’t know what you mean. You’re in this extended realm, which we don’t understand what that extended realm is, but we’re acknowledging that it seems to have this reality and you’re encountering this spirit being, which we don’t understand if we could try and connect it historically, but that has its problems.
Why are you uncomfortable with the term Christ consciousness is one of my first questions, but then my second question is how are you going to fit that with all these other kinds of, you know, the tulpa, Gregoria kind of, uh, co-creators of reality kind of stuff that we see pop up in other traditions, if you, it does seem that other wisdom traditions are telling us that if we collectively think about.
You know, Jesus then Jesus is real. Yeah. If we collectively think about Satan, then even if, you know, I had, uh, Richard Smoley on the other day, uh, you know, Oxford theologian and researcher, you know, he’ll tell you, if you go looking for Satan in the pre Torah, kind of it’s Satan isn’t there. Satan pops up after Zori asked her, you know, so, uh, but Satan is very real now because our collective conscious, I mean, one way to look at it is that we are collectively and I didn’t see, I don’t know if that’s true.
I just say. That would give me pause to start drawing connections between this Christ consciousness, which again, I think is the data says it’s extremely profound and extremely important and what someone would understand historically. So that’s one of the things that I struggle with trying to clear up.
And I don’t know if you have anything else to add about that or not,
Jeff Long: [01:09:27] or do, uh, I think your concept of Christ consciousness as describing what is occurring in near death experience is closer to truth than trying to connect that to what is hit the beliefs about historical Jesus. So, um, I, so I, I would say that’s going down the right way of thinking.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:09:48] , you’ve answered so many really, I think important questions about this database and what I hope people pull out of it is the potential for kind of having their own experience, their own, knowing this level in this realm of what this stuff is really all about, because that’s what you attest to. And that’s what I attest to this research has changed me and I am kind of spiritually dense. I’ve never had an MBE. I never know anyone who had an NDE, but you know, this book is I particularly.
Point people towards this book, God and the afterlife, the groundbreaking new evidence for God in near-death experience. And if you can, in a couple of minutes that we have left, just sum up what people are going to find there, particularly about this God thing, which can be kind of tricky for people,
Jeff Long: [01:10:46] right?
Uh, well, as I’ve said, uh, you know, the, we have way over 200 near death experiences in which they were aware of or encountered God. So this is a huge study, unlike anything that’s ever been published before. And I think the message is extremely important and positive for all of humanity. I mean, here’s God described overwhelmingly consistently as being a, being of great love, compassion, accepting people for who they all are, the all that they are, everything that they are.
Uh, essentially never judgmental than I can see. Um, which interestingly is a surprise to a lot of people that are counter aware of God, uh, and just that strong. And, and often people say they feel that connection even unity with God, uh, which interesting. It would be conceptually an overwhelming expression of God’s love.
I think the deepest expression of love that you can find is a unity and hear over and over. People feel that with God, which is remarkable. So I think that’s the message of God is I think dovetails very closely to an important point you were making earlier in one of the first survey questions I ever asked, I asked is the message of near death experience or the experience or only.
Or for us all, and the overwhelming response from them near-death experiencers was that the messages are for all of us. So in studying near death experiences, uh, it sounds like you’re, you’re going down the same line of thinking Alex. You’re only want to think about it. Not as somebody else’s experience.
What happened to them is history. You know, years to few decades ago, near death experiences speak to each one of us individually. Each one can read near death experiences, be informed, uh, is both informative and inspirational. And I think the very powerful measures of each, it really can be life-changing.
It really can, as an understanding of ourselves individually and result in those, uh, tremendously positive changes and growth, but the message of near-death experience, Alex, I think is perhaps the most profoundly positive message. That is conceivably, uh, available to earth and people in it
Alex Tsakiris: [01:12:56] today. Awesome.
I do want to pick up on one point that you made, because when we were talking earlier about things that resonate, I think the idea of compassion resonates, but what also resonates is judgment. People understand judgment. And I think the message from near-death experience research, when I share it with people that really kind of both frightens people, but also kind of propels them forward in a way that says, Hey, that sounds like truth.
That doesn’t sound like bullshit is about the judgment that does come with the near death experience, because it really just is a subtle twist that kind of flips it on its head. That makes us understand why, why we have felt judgment our whole life. Who’s the judge. Who’s the one judging.
Jeff Long: [01:13:50] Yeah. Yeah. Alex, as I’m sure, you know, judgment being judged externally in near-death experiences by other spiritual beings nearby is really rare.
Uh, and that’s an over and over common, extremely, uh, ingrained theme of near-death experiences is that they don’t feel judged. They’re not judged. And that’s often, again, very surprising to near-death experiencers who, well, I’ve done some things that they’re not proud of in their life. And so they find that enormously reassuring in a life review where they’re seeing their prior life.
There’s often other beings around there. Once again, they’re not being judged by that other being it’s that individual, seeing their life, understanding how they interact with other people. And at times, even feeling with the other person felt it’s the near death experience or the forms of judgment and nobody else not from any other external force.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:14:42] That can be quite significant. That feeling of now being in a position of judging your soul of you being the one who weighs your soul. Because my gut instinct is that we all have felt that throughout our life, you know, I always say when I was a kid and I walked down to the corner store and was wondering whether or not I could sneak that piece of candy that I couldn’t afford into my pocket, I felt like there was going to be some judgment.
And now. When I hear from the deer to the experiences you were right, there was judgment, but it’s okay. It’s just you doing the best you can. But then having to face and understand that all your thoughts, all your actions are important. They are meaningful and you will judge those, but you’ll be supported in doing so. That resonates as true. And it more than somebody saying, Oh, it’s just all perfect.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [01:15:35] Yeah no, and you’re absolutely right Alex, this lack of external judgment, especially negative judgment, is simply one of the very powerful manifestations of love and near death experience. Again that’s the over and over, you hear about that in love. We’ve actually asked survey questions about their awareness of love a near death experience and as I recall, it’s well over half of near death experiencers did come away with some concept like that. And it’s that you know, that love, I think it’s all that package of non judgement. Note, no judgment external, I think that probably helps near death experiencers let go of fear and living their earthly life, they’re less concerned about that external negative judgment that we’ve all been, had put up with during times in our life. So I think you made a good point there on that, Alex.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:16:27] Jeff, what’s going on, we’d said a little bit, you sit there with a bunch of new data? How will that work its way out into the world and what’s going on at NDERF?
Dr. Jeffry Long: [01:16:38] Yeah, glad you brought that up. I’m just now sort of looking at some of the latest data that we have in terms of evidence for the reality of near death experience, and it’s consistent message of an afterlife, and some of the deeper spiritual messages in near death experience. And it is, I’m not ready to say a lot about it yet but we are definitely, I think moving forward in a very positive way. And this again, just a hint of what lies ahead. Over and over I said to Jodi here, this seems to be perhaps the most powerfully positive message that we could possibly share with the earth what we’re seeing, so stay tuned on that, how’s that for a teaser, but then, above and beyond that, Jody is working on consolidating the data so that it’s more easily accessible and can be accessed by using keywords better than ever before, we have the NDERF.org website but we also have two other websites devoted to one two after death communication and the other too out of body experience and other related spiritual types of things. So we’re getting all that data together so that we can analyze it scientifically and to the greatest extent possible hopefully get to the point we’re working with volunteers to share it with the world so people can do just like what you did Alex look up those key words on NDERF you know, Jesus God and and be able to more fine tune it, you can cross God with light you can cross you know, how often do you cross love with pick up you know, with you know, with what life review or so. You’re going to be able to cross concepts in a near death experience and get right to the near death experiences describing that more accurately than ever possible before. That’s still a work in progress but I think we’re gonna have something good.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:18:29] I think Google is definitely helping you out with that and again the thing you know, I kind of maybe traveled in different circles. Go with the outside stuff, go ET, go bafflement, go NDERF bafflement, you think bafflement is abraxis? Great, go for it. Search, is it there? I mean, again, he’s not scrubbing the data, the data is coming in from all over the world, lots of different things. What are people saying about Satan? What are people saying about the devil? Are they saying, hey man, it’s just go take your take your own tour through it, walk through it in your own way and it makes, it gives you the sense, that’s what I like, it empowers the individual to feel like, wow I’m really walking in the shoes of these people and the answers may be all over the board but invariably, you find a way through it, that is the summation of what your work is.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [01:19:29] Absolutely Alex, there’s just such a wealth of different concepts and near death experiences, that people in one hour and one day are going to say, well I’m especially interested in how colors look different in these heavenly realms as compared to Earth. What about this unearthly music that I’ve heard about? How can we find some accounts and go to the original source? And we were basically exactly as you said, empowering people to take the journey I did over two decades ago, where you go to that original source of data and start to learn from those concepts, the questions that are important to each individual and that’s exciting.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:20:07] It is exciting Jeff, you’re exciting, you’re an exciting guy, you and Jody are doing such amazing work. And I so appreciate you coming back on and talk to people and hopefully we helped explore more about the science about this and where it might be headed. Thanks again so much for joining me.
Dr. Jeffry Long: [01:20:24]
Always a pleasure.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:20:27] Thanks again to Dr. Jeff long for joining me today on Skeptiko. The one question it from this interview is, what do you find most meaningful about the database, about the data that Dr. long has collected? I give you a couple thoughts during this interview, but I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know reach out to me in any way you can, Skeptiko forum is my preferred way. But find me however you do. Lots of stuff coming up. Stay with me for all of that. Until next time, take care and bye for now.
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