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At the Hour of Death


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Foreword Introduction by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. Introduction to the Second Edition 1. The Mystery of Death: What We Believe versus What We Know 2. Is the Idea of Postmortem Survival Testable? 3. Research on Deathbed Visions: Past and Present 4. Th e Pilot Survey: A Most Encouraging Start 5. What the Dying See 6. To Be or Not to Be: A Model of Deathbed Visions and How We Tested It 7. Apparitions: Hallucinations of Persons as Seen by Terminal Patients 8. General Characteristics of Apparition Cases in Terminal Patients 9. Getting at the Roots of the Apparition Experience 10. Getting at the Roots of the Apparition Experience 11. From Depression and Pain to Peace and Serenity 12. They Came Back: Reports from Near-Death Patients 13. Visions of Another World: Afterlife as Seen Throughthe Eyes of the Dying 14. The Meaning of Death: What We Learned from This Study Epilogue About the Authors Appendixes .Questionnaire .Tables Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D., was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1931. After finishing his studies at the gymnasium (college), he studied philosophy in Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Freiburg for four years, worked for a few years as a journalist and writer, traveling extensively in western Asia and India. During that time, he wrote a book on the Kurdish uprising in Iraq, which was published in Iceland and Germany. He studied psychology at the German universities of Freiburg and Munich and received the diploma of psychology, a degree which is equivalent to the M.A. in the United States. From 1969 to 1970 he was a research fellow at Dr. J. B. Rhine's Institute of Parapsychology in Durham, North Carolina. Haraldsson underwent his internship in clinical psychology from 1970 to 1971 in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He spent some of that time at the university's Division of Perceptual Studies which was headed by Prof. Ian Stevenson with whom he later conducted studies of mediumship and of children who claim to remember past lives. Early in 1972, Haraldsson obtained his Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Freiburg. He was a research associate in 1972 and 1973 at the American Society for Psychical Research in New York working with Karlis Osis on the extensive cross-cultural study of deathbed visions. Since 1974, he has been professor of psychology at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. Haraldsson has published over seventy papers in peer-reviewed journals in America and Europe, has written many chapters for edited books, the latest being for Exploring the Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship. He is the author of six books. Among them are At the Hour of Death (with Karlis Osis), Modern Miracles, and The Departed Among the Living. Karlis Osis, Ph.D., was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1917, and is one of the few psychologists to have obtained a Ph.D. with a thesis dealing with extrasensory perception (University of Munich, 1950). As research associate of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University from 1951 to 1957, Osis was a colleague of Dr. J. B. Rhine. In his research there, Osis pioneered experiments on ESP in animals and worked with humans to study ESP over the dimensions of space and time. Then, widening the scope of his activities, he served as director of research at the Parapsychology Foundation in New York City, where he conducted novel experiments with mediums and a large-scale survey of deathbed observations by physicians and nurses (1957-62). Cases of apparitions seen by several persons, and cases of poltergeist phenomena were also studied. From 1962 to 1975, Osis was director of research at the American Society for Psychical Research in New York. He is presently a Chester F. Carlson Research Fellow of the ASPR. During this time, Osis conducted a number of pioneering efforts in parapsychology. He conducted his second survey on deathbed observations by physicians and nurses to collect data suggestive of life after death. In an interview with creative artists, Osis found altered states of consciousness to be related to states conducive to ESP. Altered states of consciousness induced by meditation were studied in a four-year project. Osis also work with small, carefully selected groups of experienced meditators. Basic dimensions of the meditation experience were worked out by means of factor analysis. Osis is well known for his long-distance ESP experiments - up to ten thousand miles - and for his research on the ESP channel - that is, an unknown energy which transmits ESP. In the 1970s, Osis conducted extensive laboratory experiments on out-of-body experiences. These involved perceptual physiological (EEG), and physical measurements. Together with Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, he conducted a large-scale survey of the experiences of dying patients in India, which provided data for cross-cultural comparison between India and the United States. They also studied psychic phenomena in selected Yogis, particularly Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in southern India. Osis is past president of the Parapsychological Association and a member of the American Psychological Association, Eastern Psychological Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Scientific Study of Religion, and various organizations concerned with the study of psychic phenomena and human personality. Karlis Osis passed away on December 26, 1997.


"Finally, a book that probes death and dying with modern research techniques. Osis and Haraldsson present compelling evidence that the deathbed is the gateway to another existence. The visions of the dying appear to be not hallucinations but glimpses through the windows of eternity." - Alan Vaughan, editor of New Realities Magazine "A major contribution to the scientific study of the question of post-mortem existence. - Raymond A. Moody, M.D., author of Life After Life

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