Kenneth Ring's research while affiliated with University of Connecticut and other places

Publications (13)

Article
After a short personal glance at the early days of the field of near-death studies, I offer an “open letter” to Michael Sabom in response to his book, Light & Death (Sabom, 1998). This letter is in effect both a reply to certain criticisms Sabom has made of my work and an attempt to make public certain significant changes in my own view of near-dea...
Article
Explores evidence that even those blind from birth can "see" during near-death (NDE) and out-of-body (OBE) experiences. The authors' evidence reveals a unique type of perception, which involved a deep awareness and profound ability to know that the authors have called "mindsight." The authors present their findings in detail, investigating case his...
Article
This article reports the results of an investigation into near-death and out-of-body experiences in 31 blind respondents. The study sought to address three main questions: (1) whether blind individuals have near-death experiences (NDEs) and, if so, whether they are the same as or different from those of sighted persons; (2) whether blind persons ev...
Article
Full-text available
We briefly survey research designed to validate alleged out-of-body perceptions during near-death experiences. Most accounts of this kind that have surfaced since Michael Sabom's work are unsubstantiated self-reports or, as in claims of visual perception of blind persons, completely undocumented or fictional, but there have been some reports that w...
Article
Review of the book "Whole in One: The Near-Death Experience and the Ethic of Interconnectedness" by David Lorimer discussing empathic identification with others and the "life review" aspect of many near-death experiences.
Article
This paper illustrates the apparently providential timing and the healing character of near-death experiences (NDEs) and NDE-like episodes, through four case histories of persons whose lives, prior to their experiences, were marked by deep anguish and a sense of hopelessness. Spiritually, such case histories suggest the intervention of a guiding in...
Article
ard is that of being overwhelmed by the experience and losing control of the outward life. Another is turning inward and living only for the experience with a lessening of interest in the outer life. Both of these may be overcome by bringing more light into the material world. Psychic abilities are a more sophisticated pitfall and their varieties h...
Article
Seventy-four near-death experiencers (NDErs) and 54 persons interested in near-death experiences (NDEs) participated in a mail questionnaire survey to assess the role of psychological factors in influencing susceptibility to NDEs and to measure aftereffects stemming from such events. NDErs, while not more fantasy-prone than control subjects, report...
Article
With the publication of Scott Rogo's miserably entitled but well written book, The Return from Silence, the field of near-death studies has finally gained a volume that competently introduces the general reader to the near-death experience (NDE). Though not strictly intended as or written in the style of a textbook, Rogo's work nevertheless beautif...
Article
This paper reviews the research into a specific aspect of neardeath experiences (NDEs): the prophetic vision (PV). PVs are subjectively compelling flashforwards of planetary-wide cataclysms and eventual regeneration that sometimes occur during or in the immediate aftermath of an NDE. Previous research has shown that the most frequently mentioned ye...

Citations

... By contrast, Sabom found the random sample of NDErs in his qualitative study (who were not IANDS members) were no more likely than other participants to believe in reincarnation. Ring (2000) counters, however, that Sabom's sample of NDErs were a group of carefully selected Conservative Christians-a religion that Sabom himself identified with, thus the universality of his findings is equally questionable. ...
... Such "mindsight" in the blind provides additional evidence suggesting these percepts were not obtained via physical senses. [40] A comparably recent field of study that holds potential to advance our understanding of NDEs lends even more weight to this notion: It concerns shared death experiences in which healthy bystanders at sickbeds seemingly share the NDE content of the patient, thus resulting in a collective or intersubjective experience. [41] To conclude this inventory of remarkable NDE features, I'd like to add an astonishing but related episode reported from the mainstream setting. ...
... How, though, should spiritual information presented by these dream fi gures be treated when there is no reference to waking reality? The danger of accepting dream content as valid without any method for checking the information is illustrated in a study by Ring (1988) wherein he describes 'prophetic revelations' that, according to his informants, were most likely to happen in 1988. Thirty years later, there is no indication that the events described in his D I J o R Spiritual dreams study can be reliably linked to any known world events. ...
... These profound experiences may also trigger a sense of transcendence of time and space, as well as an increase in physical and mental sensitivity to internal and external stimuli, including sensitivity to colour, light, touch, sounds, and smells (Hood, 1975;Taylor and Egeto-Szabo, 2017;Woollacott et al., 2020). In some cases, they may be accompanied by strong physical sensations, as appears to be more typical in what are usually referred to as kundalini awakenings, including but not limited to: sensations of heat or energy rising or "shooting up" in the body, typically in and around the spine; bursts of tingling, tickling, prickling in the body, particularly around the crown of the head, browpoint, and heart-space; electric sensations in the extremities of body; perceived light emanating from the body, particularly from the head and heart; orgasmic sensations; disruptions in the digestive system; and spontaneous involuntary movements, including trembling or shaking, asanas (yogic postures) and mudras (hand postures) (Ring and Rosing, 1990;Greyson, 1993;Greenwell, 2002;Taylor, 2013Taylor, , 2015Woollacott et al., 2020). Occasionally, these sensory sensitivities may extend to paranormal-like experiences, with people reporting increased synchronicities, visions of an archetypal or symbolic nature, telepathic experiences, feeling spiritual presences, hearing sounds or voices not produced externally, and seeing things that are not materially present (Greyson, 1993(Greyson, , 2000Thalbourne and Fox, 1999;Sovatsky, 2009;Taylor, 2015;Grof, 2019). ...
... Ring's (1980) NDE stages and Moody's (1975) characteristics of the experience of dying share common features, including feelings of peace, separation from one's body, the passage through a tunnel, and the presence of light. Additional evidence was published to support the out-of-body experience (OBE) mentioned by Moody (1975) as a characteristic of NDEs (Ring & Cooper, 1997;Ring & Lawrence, 1993). ...
... Similar insights can also be gleaned from work on so-called "near-death experiences" (NDEs) [128][129][130], in which people reportedly perceive themselves to be out-of-body and on the brink of "crossing over" to death. Although it must be noted that there are numerous problems with NDE definitions being biased to characterize primarily religious, positive, and/or growth-oriented experiences [131], and an underreporting of unpleasant near-death experiences [132], NDEs are often reported to produce a new appreciation for life, increased care for others, and a reduced interest in material and social status (e.g., [133][134][135][136]). Experimental research [137] has also explored how NDE-related goal orientations affect self-enhancing vs. prosocial behavior. ...
... Ring's (1980) NDE stages and Moody's (1975) characteristics of the experience of dying share common features, including feelings of peace, separation from one's body, the passage through a tunnel, and the presence of light. Additional evidence was published to support the out-of-body experience (OBE) mentioned by Moody (1975) as a characteristic of NDEs (Ring & Cooper, 1997;Ring & Lawrence, 1993). ...
... These commonalities lend support to Kenneth Ring's early speculation on the "universality" of transcendental experiences: "The authenticity of a transcendental experience is revealed by its transformative effects (…). My reading of the evidence suggests that whether the trigger be a spontaneous mystical experience, a psychedelic episode, or an NDE, once this core is activated, it begins to unfold and bring about transformation in much the same way, as if an archetype of transformation were engaged" (Ring, 1988). However, it must also be noted that both psychedelics and NDEs can be distressing experiences with negative sequelae. ...