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15 April 2010, JellyBean @ 9:01 am

I just finished Jeffrey Long’s Evidence of the Afterlife, a new book that looks at a large database of NDEs compiled by the Web site NDERF, which Long founded. It’s an interesting read and has proved extremely popular, becoming a New York Times bestseller. I enjoyed it and learned a few things, though Long’s treatment of the subject does not contain much information that will be new to long-time NDE aficionados.

He does break some new ground in his analysis of non-Western NDEs, saying that earlier studies used too small a database, and that with the benefit of NDERF’s somewhat larger collection of non-Western accounts, the worldwide similarities of NDEs become more apparent. But the number of accounts remains fairly small. Long relies on 26 accounts written in English by people from non-English-speaking countries, and another 79 accounts written in other languages and translated into English by NDERF’s translators. This compares with 583 Western accounts. Given the disparity in the sizes of the databases, I would say it remains an open question whether the non-Western, non-English accounts dovetail closely with Western NDEs. More research is needed.

Anyway, that’s not really what I want to talk about.

Instead, what interests me is a curious omission from nearly all NDEs with which I’m familiar, including the many accounts excerpted in Long’s book. Namely: pets.

I’m not saying there are no NDEs in which people encounter deceased pets. I know of at least one, where a person was reunited with “all the dogs of [his] life,” who came running to greet him. This NDE has stuck in my mind for two reasons: first, because it is rare, and second, because it’s the way I personally would like to be greeted!

While NDEs involving pets are not unknown, they do seem to be extremely uncommon. And when you think about it, this is rather interesting. Many people are very attached to their pets and grieve for them when the pets pass on. There are pet cemeteries, and there are people who keep the ashes of their pets. It’s not going too far to say that some people are more fond of their pets than they are of their relatives!

Read the whole article:

Michael Prescott’s Blog

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