If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

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manas
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If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by manas »

Regarding the video below, I have a few ideas, as to why the Near Death Experiences related in the video I've posted, seem to be overwhelmingly positive for those who went through them - which would imply, one does not have to be a Buddhist (or have right view?) to have a good, peaceful death - and yet i've been under the impression, that dying is actually a difficult experience for most folks? What's going on here? Anyway, here are a few ideas:

1. No-one who came back from an NDE, has actually died 'properly' - so, we cannot know what would have happened, had their physical bodies gone cold and revival was impossible.

2. Seeing dead relatives and conversing with them - relatives in the ghost realm, perhaps? However, how can that be, since the experiences related are happy ones, and the ghost realm is supposed to be a realm of misery?

3. Perhaps some of these stories are the result of endorphins being released by the brain?

4. Perhaps the only people willing to report their NDE's were virtuous folks who were due for a good rebirth, while folks who had a negative experience simply didn't report to him?

5. Lastly - perhaps all his research, is a bit dodgy or dubious? (Is he seeing what he wants to see - ie, 'confirmation bias'?)

I'm asking because this video would appear to contradict what I've learned, listening to certain talks by a highly respected monk, who said that most people, having lived out their human birth, end up in the ghost realm (or lower)...what do the suttas say, regarding this issue?

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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by SteRo »

I don't watch videos. I would not worry about NDE descriptions. Our present experience is relative and so is NDE experience. We don't understand our present existence and we don't understand rebirth, how should we be able to understand NDE? Worldly science certainly can explain but worldly science does contradict Dhamma generally. So why believe what worldly science has to say about NDE?
I'd put it aside.
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by chownah »

There is a saying: Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.
There is another saying: Close....but no cigar.

You can google them if you don't know what they mean.

A near death experience is close to death....but.....being close to death doesn't count as being dead....being close to death is about being alive and not about being dead....I guess....at least that's my opinion.
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

I have pondered this question for a while and an still unsure exactly what I think about it. Regardless, I don’t think any of the NDE experiences you mentioned preclude rebirth in the apaya lokā. In fact, there are several accounts of negative NDEs that start off benignly but proceed to get progressively darker. Read the book Dancing Past the Dark to find some of these accounts.

Alternately, I have read that our understanding of how rebirth takes places in the manussa lokā is incorrect and we are generally reborn as humans for a few times until we eventually submerged into the lower realms for myriad lifetimes. I will try to find the source but I believe it was on the site Pure Dhamma. Anyway, great topic and take care. Mettacittena!
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manas
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by manas »

Khalil Bodhi wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:28 pm I have pondered this question for a while and an still unsure exactly what I think about it. Regardless, I don’t think any of the NDE experiences you mentioned preclude rebirth in the apaya lokā. In fact, there are several accounts of negative NDEs that start off benignly but proceed to get progressively darker. Read the book Dancing Past the Dark to find some of these accounts.

Alternately, I have read that our understanding of how rebirth takes places in the manussa lokā is incorrect and we are generally reborn as humans for a few times until we eventually submerged into the lower realms for myriad lifetimes. I will try to find the source but I believe it was on the site Pure Dhamma. Anyway, great topic and take care. Mettacittena!
My faith in rebirth according to kamma has been a spur to 'clean up' elements of sila that weren't quite right, etc - I've worried about it somewhat, it's pushed me to keep improving my mental, verbal & bodily actions - then I see this video which seems to suggest, that virtually everyone gets a free pass to a happy state! lol. (EDIT i'm not begrudging everyone a happy state in the next life, without having to make any special effort during this one; If it were true, then great!; but I sense it's a false version of reality and perhaps a fool's perception...) I think the Dhamma is correct, however that means I have to accept that someone (the man in this video) is, I would hope with the best of intentions, giving folks a fluffy perception of the dying process - the impression being, there's nothing to worry about, and everything's gonna be lovely for, the video seems to suggest, virtually everyone: no mention of having to live a moral life, no particular distinction made in that area, as I recall. In the video "How to get a good rebirth", Ven. Dhammavuddho stressed the importance of moral conduct throughout one's life, in order to ensure one has a good death & next life. This NDE video, however, seems to suggest you don't really need to worry about anything, other than realizing 'there's nothing to be afraid of'. Anyway, I will take your suggestions, I've got suttas to study, and I probably shouldn't be wasting my time with this NDE video.

Another reason it stirred me up a little, is because most folks I know in real life (apart from the materialists who believe in total annihilation after death), would broadly agree with the import of the NDE video. Once again it emphasizes, how different I've grown from everyone I've known, apart from fellow Buddhists. Which is just fine, i guess :) it's just that, i've had an often lonely life, and that's not been easy; still, as this final stage begins, I feel more at peace than ever before, because of the Dhamma - the most precious knowledge I've encountered along this seemingly long, but in reality, fleeting, journey of life.

Thank you all for replying, though. 🙏
Last edited by manas on Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by Aloka »

Hi Manas,

I don't understand why you watch this type of video, there are probably a lot of them on the internet but I never watch them myself. Death will happen to us all eventually - and in the meantime one is dealing with life in the here and now.

Also, "kamma" isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system as some people seem to infer, it just means we reap whatever we sow.

Anyway... hopefully when I'm dying myself, I'll remember to just relax completely and let go!


:anjali:
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by manas »

Aloka wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:16 pm Hi Manas,

I don't understand why you watch this type of video, there are probably a lot of them on the internet but I never watch them myself. Death will happen to us all eventually - and in the meantime one is dealing with life in the here and now.

Also, "kamma" isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system as some people seem to infer, it just means we reap whatever we sow.

Anyway... hopefully when I'm dying myself, I'll remember to just relax completely and let go!


:anjali:
It came up as a 'suggested video' after I watched an excellent one by Ven. Analayo, about preparing for dying. I'm not going to bother with any more NDE videos, and I will try to simply ignore 'videos suggested for you' by youtube, from now on... I should have known better than to let it distract me from more important tasks.

thank you for your reply 🙏
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by manas »

SteRo wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:32 am I don't watch videos. I would not worry about NDE descriptions. Our present experience is relative and so is NDE experience. We don't understand our present existence and we don't understand rebirth, how should we be able to understand NDE? Worldly science certainly can explain but worldly science does contradict Dhamma generally. So why believe what worldly science has to say about NDE?
I'd put it aside.
you are right, I'm letting it go now...should really be reading & studying suttas instead!
🙏
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by manas »

chownah wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:55 am There is a saying: Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.
There is another saying: Close....but no cigar.

You can google them if you don't know what they mean.

A near death experience is close to death....but.....being close to death doesn't count as being dead....being close to death is about being alive and not about being dead....I guess....at least that's my opinion.
chownah
"close but no cigar" hehe...yeah I know what you mean. If you can still come back, you're not really gone, and haven't really 'crossed over'...I suspect there's a lot of wishful thinking out there regarding all this.
🙏
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by dharmacorps »

What is called a near death experience may not be the same "experience" as rebirth. If you saw what was on "the other end" (i.e. your next birth), you'd actually be dead and reborn. Near death experiences may not tell us what we think they do.
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

For whatever reason, I find NDEs helpful in strengthening my faith in the reality of kamma. Here’s a video that may be of use if you haven’t completely abandoned YouTube: https://youtu.be/U_AI2UMABJ0
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by bazzaman »

manas wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:46 am
I'm asking because this video would appear to contradict what I've learned, listening to certain talks by a highly respected monk, who said that most people, having lived out their human birth, end up in the ghost realm (or lower)...what do the suttas say, regarding this issue?
I don't feel like searching for sutta references right now; but I think you will find many references in the latter part of the Samyutta Nikaya. If memory serves, the tendency is for most to go to a lower birth.
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by Nicolas »

bazzaman wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:21 am
manas wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:46 am
I'm asking because this video would appear to contradict what I've learned, listening to certain talks by a highly respected monk, who said that most people, having lived out their human birth, end up in the ghost realm (or lower)...what do the suttas say, regarding this issue?
I don't feel like searching for sutta references right now; but I think you will find many references in the latter part of the Samyutta Nikaya. If memory serves, the tendency is for most to go to a lower birth.
AN 1.348-353. (See here for Sujato translation.)
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by cappuccino »

most humans were not studied


they studied fortunate people!


the study is… misleading
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Re: If most human beings go to a lower birth, why are NDE's "98% happy" experiences? (according to this guy)

Post by cookiemonster »

manas wrote: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:46 am Regarding the video below, I have a few ideas, as to why the Near Death Experiences related in the video I've posted, seem to be overwhelmingly positive for those who went through them - which would imply, one does not have to be a Buddhist (or have right view?) to have a good, peaceful death - and yet i've been under the impression, that dying is actually a difficult experience for most folks? What's going on here? Anyway, here are a few ideas:

1. No-one who came back from an NDE, has actually died 'properly' - so, we cannot know what would have happened, had their physical bodies gone cold and revival was impossible.

2. Seeing dead relatives and conversing with them - relatives in the ghost realm, perhaps? However, how can that be, since the experiences related are happy ones, and the ghost realm is supposed to be a realm of misery?

3. Perhaps some of these stories are the result of endorphins being released by the brain?

4. Perhaps the only people willing to report their NDE's were virtuous folks who were due for a good rebirth, while folks who had a negative experience simply didn't report to him?

5. Lastly - perhaps all his research, is a bit dodgy or dubious? (Is he seeing what he wants to see - ie, 'confirmation bias'?)

I'm asking because this video would appear to contradict what I've learned, listening to certain talks by a highly respected monk, who said that most people, having lived out their human birth, end up in the ghost realm (or lower)...what do the suttas say, regarding this issue?

My theory is that near-death experiences are not death experiences. IMO - NDE's can be compared to jhana in a sense, both seem to involve suppression of the bodily functions or detachment from them, and the luminous mind naturally gravitates towards the higher planes. The kamma which leads to actual death would be that which often results in lower rebirth - that kamma is not involved in NDE's.
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