The world's leading expert on near-death experiences reveals his journey toward rethinking the nature of death, life, and the continuity of consciousness.
What happens when we die? 10% of people whose hearts stop report near-death experiences (NDEs). Stories of lights, tunnels and loved ones have been relayed — and dismissed — since ancient times. But when Dr Bruce Greyson’s patients started describing events that he could not just dismiss, he began to investigate.
As a physician without a religious belief system, he approached NDEs from a scientific perspective. In After, he shares the transformative lessons he has learned over four decades of research. Our culture has tended to view dying as the end of our consciousness, the end of our existence — a dreaded prospect that for many people evokes fear and anxiety.
But Dr Greyson shows how scientific revelations about the dying process can support an alternative theory. Dying could be the threshold between one form of consciousness and another, not an ending but a transition. This new perspective on the nature of death can transform the fear of dying that pervades our culture into a healthy view of it as one more milestone in the course of our lives. After challenges us to reconsider these experiences and what they can teach us about the relationship between our brain and our mind, expanding our understanding of consciousness, and of what it means to be human.