Activity 3: Near-Death Experiences

Activity time: 30 minutes

Share this quote from “The Science of Near-Death Experiences” by Gideon Lichfield:

As medical technology continues to improve, it’s bringing people back from ever closer to the brink of death. A small, lucky handful of people have made full or nearly full recoveries after spending hours with no breath or pulse, buried in snow or submerged in very cold water. Surgeons sometimes create these conditions intentionally, chilling patients’ bodies or stopping their hearts in order to perform complex, dangerous operations; recently they have begun trying out such techniques on severely injured trauma victims, keeping them between life and death until their wounds can be repaired.

All of this makes NDEs perhaps the only spiritual experience that we have a chance of investigating in a truly thorough, scientific way. It makes them a vehicle for exploring the ancient human belief that we are more than meat. And it makes them a lens through which to peer at the workings of consciousness—one of the great mysteries of human existence, even for the most resolute materialist.

Share the video with the group. Then ask for observations and comments. Lead a discussion, asking:

  • What can we learn from the reports of near-death experiences?
  • What do these reports and recent scientific findings tell us about the nature of humanity and the nature of life and death?