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Switch to Forum Live View Near Death Experiences
10 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 1:16PM #1
Posts: 452
Is this a new thought.

How can you explain near-death experiences?

The evidence so far suggests that when the heart stops beating, there’s no blood flowing in the body, everything goes still. The brain shuts down in about 10 seconds. The interesting thing is – when we as doctors intervene and do vigorous chest compressions, and give drugs and shock the heart – despite all our best efforts, studies have shown we cannot get enough blood flow into the brain to get it started. This may go on for tens of minutes or an hour.

Well, what happens to the mind at that time? In my case, what happened to that patient? Is his mind there or not there? We expect the mind to stop working in a few seconds, and interestingly, though – in 5 independent studies, one of which was mine, 10 to 20 percent of people who have gone through clinical death will report some activity of their mind. It appears that some people have some form of consciousness present when there’s no brain activity.

What they describe is a near-death experience. It’s subjective and a dream-like state. They say, “I saw a tunnel, I saw a light,” the usual stuff. We can’t validate that. I can’t say whether your dream is not real or is real. A proportion of them come back and describe watching doctors and nurses doing specific things. The question is – does that really happen? Is it real? Doctors and nurses have confirmed what patients have said. People recall seeing things. Did they really see it? How did they see them? Or were they really at the ceiling?

The key point is that no one really in their right mind can deny this experience occurs. The easiest answer is that it must just be a trick of the mind, an illusion. The problem with that is when people come back and tell us exactly what happened [in the hospital room]. It’s not so easy to say it’s an illusion. It could be that it’s happening just as the brain shuts down or as the brain is recovering. For example, you might have a dream that you’ve been somewhere for a year, but it could be a microsecond in real time. It could be that as the brain was shutting down you had a quick experience. You felt like you were there the whole time. Putting aside the tunnels or lights, they come back and tell us specific details, “At 9:15 a.m., this may have happened.” And that was 10 or 20 minutes into the event.

The alternative explanation is that they do see things. People have their eye closed, maybe they happen to open their eyes, and they’re just gathering information and their brain collects that information. The point is that they did see things.

The mind is a mystery. We don’t understand, and it may be possible that the mind is non-local to the brain. If you ask quantum physicists, this is possible because we know at that level things can be non-local. They behave in a weird way.

What do you hope to achieve through this research? Medical advancement? A better understanding of death?

What we do in medicine benefits in society. If you suddenly discovered a cure for cancer, it’s a medical advancement but ultimately a social advancement. This is a medically-driven study that will benefit all of society. It’s important because we know very little about the mind and brain. In most circumstances, we can’t separate them. Only in clinical death and cardiac arrest, the mind and brain may be separated from each other. If they can be separated, then there are further implications in neuroscience.

A lot of what we do is to study what happens to the brain and the way we can improve resuscitation during cardiac arrest and improve the way we manage patients whose heart has stopped. If we do manage to get patients back to life, there could be less incidents of neurological deficits, cognitive impairments, abnormalities.

It’s really a spectrum. One is pure cardiac and the other is neuroscience. Over all it should benefit everyone.

Next: Verifying Near-Death Experiences
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 12:26AM #2
Posts: 6,833
Moved from Welcome: New Thought. Not sure where this might best be placed :confused: but does not belong on the Welcome New Thought board. Thanks.
Churchianity, by substituting creed for Christ and dogma instead of the divine facts of being, has stripped Love of her royal robes and has left her standing an unheeded beggar in the universe of God. - Rev. W. John Murray
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