Do Blind People Have Near Death Experiences
Near death experiences or NDE’s have been a subject of controversy for many years. It’s often been debated whether or not an NDE is true evidence that the consciousness survives even after death.
Some skeptics believe that the experience could be a hallucination resulting from the dying brain. One interesting aspect of the phenomenon is that many blind people claim to have experienced it.
More than 80% of blind individuals who’ve been near death have reported to “see” during their experience---even those who’ve been blind from birth. There are many accounts of such experiences, yet not many in the medical or science community take them seriously. Dr. Kenneth Ring, co-founder of the International Association for NDE Studies, is one doctor that has done studies on blind near death experiences.
So, what are blind NDE’s like? They’re the same as any other near death experiences. When the blind have one, they report experiencing and “seeing “the same exact things as everyone else. Astonishingly, those who’ve been blind since birth reported having trouble understanding some of the things they were seeing during their experiences. However, those who were born with sight but became blind later in life had no problems with recognizing what they or understanding the fact that they were seeing.
Dr. Kenneth Ring and researcher Sharon Cooper interviewed 31 blind people. Many of them claimed to have sight during their near death experiences. Twenty-one of these individuals had an all-out NDE while the remaining ten had an out of body experience. About half of those who had near death experiences in an astral-type realm had been blind from birth. Fifteen of the 21 claim to have had vision during their experience, and nine out of the ten who had OBE’s claim to have had vision. The remaining seven of the 31 people claim that they either weren’t sure if they had vision or didn’t believe that they did.
The ones that did claim to see during their NDE’s reported that they saw the same exact things that most other people see during the experience---relatives who’ve always passed on, religious figures, bright lights, angels, etc. The individuals who had OBE’s reported looking down and seeing the doctors standing over their bodies---just like what most other OBE’ers report. Those who either didn’t see anything or were unsure about whether or not they saw anything had been blind from birth.
Despite all these studies, there are still skeptics who claim that this type of experience is meaningless without any scientific evidence to back it up. They do have a point, however: there really isn’t any way to prove blind NDE’s scientifically with our limited knowledge and resources. Perhaps someday we may have the knowledge and resources needed for truly studying NDE’s, but not at this point in time. For many, though, the experiences are real, and no more proof is needed.