Yet this book is not just packed with people commuting to and from the light, it is also Greyson’s journey towards faith. As Greyson is retired from his full-time academic and medical career, I wonder if this has given him confidence to express riskier opinions. He writes that he finds premonitions of death “perfectly plausible”; he subscribes to the idea that “minds can function quite well without brains to filter them”, and that “continued consciousness after death” seems to him to be the most plausible explanation for out-of-body visions, citing the cases of people witnessing all kinds of goings-on while their bodies lie flatlining on the operating table.
This hardback, told in the sort of layman's language that made Oliver Sacks a bestseller, includes dozens of similar accounts — such as the fireman who was blown off his feet in an explosion, and found himself trying to help his comrades carry his own unconscious body to safety.
The author is adamant nothing he has discovered is proof of a spiritual dimension and a life beyond this world. All of the stories might arise from some hallucinatory faculty in the brain, which kicks in during the last moments of life.
But the simplest explanation, he suggests, is that these experiences feel so convincing because they are objectively real, not hallucinations.