Near-Death Experiences

Via the Frontal Cortex (my favorite recently and accidentally discovered blog1), on the cultural relativity of near-death experiences:

Many Africans interpret near-death experiences as somewhat evil, a bad omen or a sign that they were somehow “bewitched.”

Among 400 Japanese NDErs that participated in a study, many reported seeing long, dark rivers and beautiful flowers, two common symbols that frequently appear as images in Japanese art.

East Indians sometimes see Heaven as a giant bureaucracy, and frequently report being sent back because of clerical errors.

Americans and Brits often say they are sent back for love or in order to perform a job or task.

Natives of Micronesia often visualize Heaven as a large, brightly lit American city with loud, noisy cars and tall buildings.

I’m not sure what’s worse — returning from death to rectify the inadvertent omission of a certificate of service on a motion for leave to file a reply brief in excess of the ten-page limit (maybe I should have picked a different profession) or getting additional time on Earth because the powers-that-be failed to complete a 27B/6. I really prefer the beautiful flowers, but it’s probably too late for that.

1Is there a term of art for such blogs? E.g., a blog discovered from an unrelated Google search that turns out to be worth adding to the blogroll.


  1. Jaldhar Jan 28

    In Hinduism at least, Hell doesn’t have lawyers but it does have an accountant.

  2. Jeff Bailey Jan 28

    I’m currently reading a book by Connie Willis called ‘passage'[0] that is about NDEs. I’m only about a third of the way through, but if you’re interested in the topic, she’s a good writer and I’m enjoying the book so far.


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