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Near Death Experiences


GeneralJet
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I must admit that i did some reading yesterday that has me wondering if there may indeed be life after death and a God afterall. The book presented many case studdies of NDEs which all contained a Being of light, life review, the tunnel, you know, the stuff you have heard about. I had always dismissed this as oxygen deprivation, but the author contends that in that case, the brain becomes confused and disoriented, not in any condition to have such vivid memories, and even see things happening in the room that they are being given medical care. Things like the tops of the surgeons heads, etc. Accurate accounts which there(to my knowledge) is no explanation for. The Being is said to emit a sense of unearthly love and unconditionally at that. A theme, which the author notes, actually causes many Christians to dismiss these accounts. Many who have these experinces do report the Being of light as being Christ. However, this is not always the case.

i am not saying that i am going back to religion or Christianity. I am just glad that i chose being agnostic over atheist. For me, the jury is still out. I certainly do reject the vast majority of the ridiculous dogma and theology. But does anyone on here have an explanation for what is going on with these NDEs. Before you answer affirmatively, i would definitely read up on the matter, as that apparently there is lots of new evidence to ponder.

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Two comments: 1) Note that we are talking about NEAR death experiences. I don't believe we can assume that a NEAR death experience can tell you a thing about death. 2) Neuro-scientists have re-created the near death experience in some subjects with electrical probes in the brain, meaning, if you stimulate certain areas of the brain, you can get feelings of peace and love, and bright lights at the end of a tunnel, etc. Thus, such experiences need have nothing to do with death, other than sometimes these brain areas may be stimulated naturally when one is approaching death.

 

I am very skeptical that NDEs can tell us anything real about death. Michael Shermer has also written negatively about NDEs. There might be something on the internet by him.

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NDEs also do not happen to everyone who nearly dies. Lots of people come close to dying and are then brought back and they don't experience the sense of love and peace and whatnot.

 

And even when they do happen, they largely conform to cultural expectations of what the "afterlife" will be. I don't have any references on hand, but if you look into, say, the NDEs of Hindus they are very different from the NDEs of Christians, which are different from the NDEs of the Japanese, and so on.

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I understand and agree with all that you guys are saying. The ONE thing though, that really stuck with me was the following. These people, while if not, "dead", were unconscious. They were able to describe the physical events that were happening in the room to the letter. The instruments being used, the descripptions of the doctors and nurses, what they were doing, what they were wearing. Trust me, i am a skeptic if there ever was one, but stuff like this, there is just no explanation for that i can see. That i can see might indeed be the key phrase here, but it did get me thinking a bit.

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GeneralJet, there are several possible explanations for the "evidence" you have read about - I've read similar accounts. For example, we have all seen operations on TV, so we have an idea of what the doctors & nurses might be dressed like, what instruments they might use, etc., and the patient may simply have dreamed accurately enough to provide a description. Also, the patient may not have been fully unconscious when they were wheeled into the operating room, so when conscious again, they can recall information from when they thought they were unconscious. Also, it has been shown that sometimes a patient being operated on is not fully unconscious, in which case he/she can actually see & hear some of what goes on during their operation w/o knowing they are not fully unconscious. Such info gained when they were in a sort of twilight state can seem to them impossible because they think they were fully unconscious.

 

In the end, I think it is as you suggested yourself, "there is just no explanation for that i can see." That is, you may not know of a rational explanation, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. When reading about woo woo, paranormal stuff, I think it makes sense to assume there is a rational, nature-based explanation unless you are provided with truly extraordinary hard evidence to the contrary. Some people just love to believe this way out stuff, so they love to tell the stories, and stuff gets exaggerated, misinterpreted, etc., until it bears no resemblance to the original story. Stay skeptical. These NDE stories haven't yet proven anything unusual is going on.

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I guess NDE will never actually die.

 

The subject has been brought up, studied, reproduced in the lab, and debunked about once a decade since the psychedelic '60s.

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I understand and agree with all that you guys are saying. The ONE thing though, that really stuck with me was the following. These people, while if not, "dead", were unconscious. They were able to describe the physical events that were happening in the room to the letter. The instruments being used, the descripptions of the doctors and nurses, what they were doing, what they were wearing. Trust me, i am a skeptic if there ever was one, but stuff like this, there is just no explanation for that i can see. That i can see might indeed be the key phrase here, but it did get me thinking a bit.

Fine. Let's grant all this to be true for the moment.

 

Now ask yourself...To what end? Why is it that this all-loving being of light is doing this? Waiting until the very brink of death, revealing itself to some not-quite alive though quite dead unconscious person and leaving the memory of the operating room experience in-tact? Why?

 

Why not simply reveal itself it some cogent fashion? If it wishes to remain a mystery then why reveal itself to a living person, though on the bring, at all? Did it get confused and think the person was already dead or think the person was going to die and make a mis-calculation? If it can appear to the living then this whole NDE is a waste. If it has something to do with us not being "open" to it until that point then what a lack of ability that displays in respect to this "being" and I have no need to waste any time worrying about something like that. For all I know this thing "feeds" on dead souls and simply attracts them using this "feeling" of "love." Like moths to a flame they enter it's gaping maw to be digested.

 

mwc

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I guess NDE will never actually die.

 

The subject has been brought up, studied, reproduced in the lab, and debunked about once a decade since the psychedelic '60s.

 

I say you and I get strung out on meth, share a bottle of Jack and listen to some Judas Priest while cleaning our shotguns, put an end to all this conjecture once and for all old buddy, what do you say?

 

Of course we will need Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and one of them Baldwin boys within close proximity, but it could be quite educational.

 

:10:

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The subject has been brought up, studied, reproduced in the lab, and debunked about once a decade since the psychedelic '60s.

 

 

Where ? First I heard of it. I'd be interested in the results either way.

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The subject has been brought up, studied, reproduced in the lab, and debunked about once a decade since the psychedelic '60s.

 

 

Where ? First I heard of it. I'd be interested in the results either way.

 

I had some old books on the subject (lost/discarded in a move Susan Blackmore is one author) but basically the sensations of NDE have been done with drugs, electrical stimulation and oxygen deprivation. This is yet another, newer high tech method to induce NDEs or OBEs: LINK

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I say you and I get strung out on meth,

 

Sheesh, I haven't done any meth since Tuesday, but thanks anyway.

 

Welcome home, Piracy! Nice avatar.

 

E-mail me and bring me up to date on your situation.

 

- Scully

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drugs, electrical stimulation and oxygen deprivation.

 

All three combined, or each individually can replicate the effects ?

 

If it takes all three, I'm not impressed. Actually, I would only be interested in the results of Oxygen deprivation. The right drugs and electric stimulus can replicate almost any sensation, so neither of them can prove anything either way in regards to an NDE ( or any experience for that matter ).

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If it takes all three, I'm not impressed.

 

The point is that whether artificially induced or occurring naturally, the hallucinations are the result of chemistry and electrical activity taking place in the living tissue of a human brain. Dead brain = no activity or processing of sensory input.

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I guess NDE will never actually die.

 

The subject has been brought up, studied, reproduced in the lab, and debunked about once a decade since the psychedelic '60s.

 

I say you and I get strung out on meth, share a bottle of Jack and listen to some Judas Priest while cleaning our shotguns, put an end to all this conjecture once and for all old buddy, what do you say?

 

Of course we will need Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and one of them Baldwin boys within close proximity, but it could be quite educational.

 

:10:

 

 

Welcome back Nick.

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If it takes all three, I'm not impressed.

 

The point is that whether artificially induced or occurring naturally, the hallucinations are the result of chemistry and electrical activity taking place in the living tissue of a human brain. Dead brain = no activity or processing of sensory input.

 

And the point I was making is that that point is pointless. The claim NDE-spiritual is making is that these things can happen with a dead brain as a spirit outside the body, which as absurd as it sounds you need to take that into account when reasoning with it. In such a case, saying that since a situation can be hallucinated/replicated by certain drug stimuli then the NDE must also be a result of that stimuli is actually circular reasoning, since it asserts that what NDE is trying to prove is false as a part in the reasoning used to prove that it actually is false. You would be effectively saying "NDE is a hallucination because it can be one, and since it can be one NDE is a hallucination."

 

To get a better idea of why this reasoning does not work, here is an example: Say you ate a shroom and had a trip about some monkey dancing on top of a pig and eating a pineapple. What does this psychoactive trip of yours say about the existence of monkeys, pigs, or pineapples ? Nothing, zilch, nada. But what if people believed that they didn't exist ? What if monkeys were so rare they were thought to be of fairytales ? Would the fact that they could be hallucinated by a drug disprove their existence ?

 

That's why I'm saying only the Oxygen deprivation tests can provide something conclusive. Since oxygen deprivation is something that actually happens during death, if it can be shown that that alone causes such a hallucination as experienced by NDE'ers while their brain is still very much alive then I would say that it is pretty much a nail in the coffin for people who believe in them. That would definitely prove that NDEs are a delusion. The other two ( drugs, electrical stimuli ) prove nothing either way.

 

Don't get me wrong, I believe NDE's are the byproduct of the delusional dying brain myself...but not because the effects can be replicated by a drug. The fact that those people are still alive proves that their brain didn't really die. The biggest flaw with the whole NDE claim is that NDE is not death, just near death. Their brain didn't actually die...just registered zero activity for a while. Its far more reasonable to assume the hallucination was created by the mind in its confused state upon waking, or at least that's how I see it.

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I say you and I get strung out on meth,

 

Sheesh, I haven't done any meth since Tuesday, but thanks anyway.

 

Welcome home, Piracy! Nice avatar.

 

E-mail me and bring me up to date on your situation.

 

- Scully

 

Yeah, I will give you the short version in private message.

 

I almost hesitate to post my opinion on the NDEs, I havent debated a thing for probably 3 months....I found my easy-going side if you can believe that.

 

Having had what I believe to be a NDE as well as multiple OoBE experiences all I can do is offer my opinion and share my experience.

 

Which I might do, except this has been brought up here so many times, it would just be a regurgitation.

 

My advice to the OP would be to look into the best of both sides, alternating from reading or talking to those that believe and those that dis-believe, set up some criteria that must be met, some sort of a checklist of what you want to know and even try to speak with people that have gone through what they believe to be an NDE. I found that alternating allowed me to not get fixated on either pros or cons so much, as Scully can tell you, I have the "I want to believe" syndrome. And I found that most, on either side had the same syndrome or its antithesis, the "I refuse to believe no matter what" complex.

 

Then comes the hardest part, listening to your heart without becoming foolishly superstitious and overly emotion based. Not everything in life is going to be provable to the Nth degree.

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Would the fact that they could be hallucinated by a drug disprove their existence ?

 

I see what you're saying, but I think the monkey example is a poor fit because said simian is a physical object that exists (or could exist) independently of any human brains at all. The NDE is a feeling or dream scenario completely confined to the brain activity of an individual. The experience is created and perceived by the brain alone, but the monkey can either be perceived or not by the brain, however it can't be created by it.

 

Maybe we're just saying the same thing with different words?

 

 

Edit:

 

With all that considered, if I had my own NDE I would be highly tempted to think it genuine. The vivid imagery and feeling of peace coupled with wanting the implications to be true might make me a believer. If I returned from my "trip" having correct knowledge or information I could have gained in no other fashion, I would certainly believe the NDE or OBE was exactly what it appeared to be - my consciousness leaving my body. With evidence such as that, I would try my best to convince everybody of the validity of "astral travel." So, show me the money, I'm ready to believe!

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I think the Near-Death-Experience thing is a whole crock of shit -- we really don't know what happens UNTIL we REALLY die (and don't come back, yah know?).... Mainly I'm doubting it because I've experienced the total "Near Death Experience" several times... whether a real Near Death Experience or severe concussion (which has been more common)

 

And take it from me, if you or anyone else gets hit in the face with a baseball bat hard enough, the signature "Light, tunnel, and love" is experienced when the knockout is coming and during the knockout. But you're not dead! You'll just wake up whenever your brain decides to... um, survive concussion. And a bit dizzy with a headache

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I thought NDE's were the results of the lack of oxygen and a still somewhat functioning brain when a person happened to be near death.

 

Because I read somewhere that death is always caused by lack of oxygen, but there's different ways that oxygen gets cut off.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, it's midnight on a school night, I'm tired and should not be posting.

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... death is always caused by lack of oxygen, but there's different ways that oxygen gets cut off.

Not necessarily, especially if one gets shot in the head and the brains fly out of the back of the skull and the head is split open and.... yeah. I may be going against "hospital science" here, but "ghetto science" says that I don't think ones brain can survive that. I used to live in the really BAD part of town and I woke up one morning, heard gunshots, looked over my back fence to see that scene on the ground... Called for help, but guy was pronounced dead on scene. What can I say, his brains were all over the place?

 

EDIT: Wait, is oxygen really getting cut off? I mean, it happens really fast, being shot in the head... That's pretty fucked up though, he didn't even have a chance to get the whole Near Death Experience!! (And to think, he lived across the alleyway from me, I could have asked him....)

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... death is always caused by lack of oxygen, but there's different ways that oxygen gets cut off.

Not necessarily, especially if one gets shot in the head and the brains fly out of the back of the skull and the head is split open and.... yeah. I may be going against "hospital science" here, but "ghetto science" says that I don't think ones brain can survive that. I used to live in the really BAD part of town and I woke up one morning, heard gunshots, looked over my back fence to see that scene on the ground... Called for help, but guy was pronounced dead on scene. What can I say, his brains were all over the place?

 

EDIT: Wait, is oxygen really getting cut off? I mean, it happens really fast, being shot in the head... That's pretty fucked up though, he didn't even have a chance to get the whole Near Death Experience!! (And to think, he lived across the alleyway from me, I could have asked him....)

Well, considering NDEs would still require brain signals... I don't think it's possible in that situation to have an NDE.

 

Maybe it's not *always* lack of oxygen then...

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Death itself isn't always caused by a lack of oxygen, but a lack of oxygen is always the result when one stops breathing and pumping blood due to death. Oxygen deprivation does cause the hallucinations associated with so-called NDE.

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