Where God Lives
by Melvin Morse, MD and Paul Perry
Book Review by Karin Schumacher Dyke
Morse, Melvin M.D. & Perry, Paul (2000). Where God Lives The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher.
SampleThe sample is identified as, “hundreds of children who have had near death experiences.” These children interviewed are sometimes well into adulthood by the time that the most recent interview takes place.
MethodologyDr. Morse used observation and interview to obtain his data.
AbstractDr. Morse had a young patient who asked him, “what are near death experiences good for anyway?” This was the catalyst for this book. He covers many topics related to the near death experience. He looks at the children that he has treated over the years and finds commonalities among those that have had near-death experiences. He looks at healing and the different avenues patients take in curing themselves of terminal diseases. He looks at spirituality and identifies belief in a master source of goodness in the universe. He looks at what the skeptics are saying about near-death experience and give his scientific views on how the skeptics are missing the boat. Brain research is presented in terms of what areas of the brain are involved in experiencing the near-death experience and how are they changed as a result of the experience.
Important Concepts and DefinitionsNear-Death Experience – experienced by patients who are clinically dead but then are resuscitated. These experiences are reported as occurring to the subject during the time that they are no longer clinically alive.
OperationalizationsThe reports contained in this book are qualitative in nature having been the actual reports of the patient’s and family’s experiences. There is also an element of self-report in that Dr. Morse describes his own experiences in the field and in his personal life regarding people’s deaths and leading him to the conclusion that there is a life after death.
Major FindingsDr. Morse took a look back at the patients that he had as children that had near-death experiences. These patients now were adults and he wanted to see if the near-death experience had had a lasting effect on their lives. He found that these people did indeed display different characteristics from the people that were in their same age group. He found that the, “NDE have given them a variety of unusual abilities, like telepathy or the power to perceive the future (p. 12).” He also found that this group of people was far more “steady” than their peers. None of the people in the group had ever had drug problems or even teenaged pregnancy issues. He found this to be a statistical anomaly for the size and composition of the group. One father described the transformation of his daughter after her near-death experience as her not being like any of the other teenagers he’d been exposed to. He said that, “she’s got drive and ambition, but it’s not mean-spirited (p. 19).” He said that the activities that she was involved in were things to help others in the community. This he found as a great change from the person that the child was previous to her near-death experience. It seems that the changes that the children have made in their lives since having their near-death experience are much more easily integrated into a family than the changes made by adults who have near-death experiences in adult life.