Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


Scientists have long rolled their eyes at near-death experiences, chalking them up to the effects of anesthesia, or low oxygen, or religious and spiritual hallucinations. But it's hard to square that, some argue, with a new 4.5-year study involving 2,060 patients that found what researchers claim may be awareness after the body and brain has shut down. One particularly striking case describes a 57-year-old man whose heart stopped beating for three minutes. After resuscitation, he was able to recount sights and sounds that corresponded to the period when his heart was not beating. . . .


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
Death isn't an event, but a process. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it can drag on. His heart may have stopped beating, but as long as the other cells in his body still had what they needed to operate, he could hear and see and create memories. Reportedly, even after being decapitated on the guillotine, some convict's (or noblemen's) faces could be seen to have facial expressions for a few moments afterwards, including one woman whose face blushed after it was slapped.

Naturally, it was impossible to ask them about it afterward.
Oct. 12th, 2014 01:34 am (UTC)
There's something that bothers me abour some scientists' attitudes about this matter. They seem to want with all their hearts to become nonexistent after death, to be taken by absolute oblivion, and when anyone talks about the possibility of an afterlife, they become utterly hysterical and ready to pop the guy if he doesn't shut up. I think this is one of those questions we can never settle absolutely, for the same reason that there is no way you can prove objectively that everything you think you perceive outside your skull isn't just an ongoing hallucination, that there really is a universe out there that won't cease to exist when you die or otherwise stop being aware of it. Of course you can't prove that one way or the other, because the only evidence anyone has of such things is subjective, and everything else can be discounted as an "hallucination." All you can do is have faith in the existence of a universe beyond yourself, though once you assume that that is indeed the case, you can go from there to think up scientific experiments and attempts at observation that are truly objective and can answer many questions about reality.

As a kid, around the age of 10, I used to lie awake at night tormenting myself with such questions as, "Am I dead? How would I know if I were dead?" and so on. I finally realized that there was no way to get a dependable answer to that, and I decided the hell with pestering myself with such questions, because they were unanswerable. But tell that to those scientists who are dedicated believers in oblivion after death and they'll have hysterics. They protest that anything can be found out if experiments are set up properly, convinced that all reality is objective and only objective, and damn anyone who says differently.

B. F. Skinner founded behavioral psychology on the assumption that because you cannot weigh or measure the mind, psychology should deal only with behavior, which can be observed and measured in an objective fashion. Fair enough. But then the Neo-Skinnerians decided that the fact that you can't weigh and measure the mind meant that it didn't exist. I asked the man who told me that, a boyfriend who was taking a course consisting of a survey of psychological schools, how the hell they arrived at that conclusion. "Introspection?" he said, shrugging -- and working hard to stifle a grin. I think a lot of scientists are terrified of the subjective, of mind and emotions and everything that goes with them, and out of that they have come to cling to an unprovable proposition, that there is not and can never be an afterlife of any kind for anyone, not as based on real evidence, but as a fearful reaction to anything having to do with subjective experience of any kind and what it means.
Oct. 12th, 2014 01:57 am (UTC)
What I'm saying doesn't contradict the notion of a soul or an afterlife, but on the other hand, anyone who has been revived clearly hasn't really died or passed on into an afterlife - at least not yet. We measure things that we think closely approximate the time of death (like the example man's heart not beating) but they weren't measuring his brainwaves, and after all, the Brain can function for some time without oxygen before it begins to die (longer if you've been at the bottom of a frozen lake, as we've seen.) so it only stands to reason that the brain can perceive as long as it is functioning.

They didn't bring him back from death, dead is dead, but they interrupted and reversed the PROCESS of dying.

Recognizing the majesty of our biology is nothing to do with their creation or what happens when they finally fail, but I think it's a mistake to conflate the sensations of a failing body with heaven (or hell).
Oct. 13th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
That's true. But in India, there are any number of well-documented cases carefully researched that seem to show that reincarnation really does happen. The fact that Hindus and Buddhists believe in it has made it easier for scientists to carry out analysis of the data in such cases -- easier socially, and so on -- but the protocols were satisfactorily scientific. Dead is dead, but if someone comes back from the dead -- their old bodies mouldering in the grave or cremated, their new bodies located far from the people with whom he or she lived in that previous life, that's different. I've had some experiences of my own that seem to support the idea of reincarnation, but that's just me. But that research in India was done very carefully, to eliminate such things as the possibility of children being coached as to "old identities" by adults for whatever reason, and it seems to be on the up and up. I agree that if someone seems to die, say, from a heart attack, but is then revived successfully, death as such has not occurred. It's happened to be, BTW, back in 2009, thanks to my swallowing a barium preparation for an X-ray the wrong way, causing me to cease breathing, which in turn caused by heart to stop. I don't remember any tunnels of light or anything else of the sort, just a fading dream when I finally became conscious six days later. Anyway, that isn't death, not as such. But reincarnation? That's abitger stirt altigether.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Let's Roll
Yael Dragwyla

Latest Month

March 2018


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner