When they read accounts of western near-death experience to the Dalai Lama all he had to say was that he didn't believe them because the people who experienced them reported being greeted by dead relatives and dead relatives "would have to have taken rebirth in some realm long before." He went on to say that this was "only barely possible." He didn't claim to have any firsthand knowledge of this whatsoever, and in fact when once asked if he could point to anyone he actually knew who had attained enlightenment all he could say was: "There MAY be someone in caves somewhere."
He also didn't buy that the light people see in near death experiences was the same as the "clear light of the void." He politely only said they could be considered "analagous" or something of that sort. And when asked in this book to point to even just very advanced meditators who could go into the "clear light" at will, he only said it would be very difficult because "they are all so scattered" and also that such people are uncooperative because they are "stubborn."
So, honestly, at this point one might as well be talking with the Pope or a methodist minister in the sense that here is someone with a belief system who never seriously questions it. In other words, his belief system is "gospel" which is of course a way of saying it's beyond question. Ok, everyone get angry at me, because I'm asking if we in the west haven't overrated the tibetans because of their huge reputation for esoteric knowledge bestowed on them by such questionable people as Madam Blavatsky and Gurdjieff. Thankyou and I apologize to those of you who are now angry because I have questioned the unquestionable.
Several moderm day researchers spend a week with the Dalia Lama and discuss the topics of the books title. The material delivered from the Dalai Lama himself is the best part of this book.