Life Flashing Before One's Eyes (Total Life Recall / Replay; Life Review)

EnolaGaia

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Yep ... I've spoken with people who suffered sudden / abrupt major physical injuries who've reported the detached / calm phase as an immediate effect. My hypothesis is that in these cases the (presumably) endorphin rush is triggered by the physical insult per se without any mediation by the brain / mind.

Phrased another way, in the TLR cases the body triggers the rush indirectly in response to the brain's runaway panic's culmination rather than directly in response to a physical insult. This is why the final detached calmness is perceived on a delayed basis.
 

feinman

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I experienced that form of detachment when I almost drowned in the Allagash canoeing in Maine once. I was just calmly watching my body going through all of the thrashing around trying to stay on the surface. It was neat but I wouldn't recommend it. Luckily things got shallower in the river and I was able to get out.
 

EnolaGaia

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In this ScienceAlert article (re-published from The Conversation) psychologist Steve Taylor examines the total life review phenomenon and some possible implications for the manner in which we perceive time.
My Life Flashed Before My Eyes': A Psychologist Tackles The Near-Death Mystery

At the age of 16, when Tony Kofi was an apprentice builder living in Nottingham, he fell from the third story of a building. Time seemed to slow down massively, and he saw a complex series of images flash before his eyes. ...

But what explains this phenomenon? Psychologists have proposed a number of explanations, but I'd argue the key to understanding Tony's experience lies in a different interpretation of time itself. ...

The experience of life flashing before one's eyes has been reported for well over a century. In 1892, a Swiss geologist named Albert Heim fell from a precipice while mountain climbing. In his account of the fall, he wrote is was "as if on a distant stage, my whole past life [was] playing itself out in numerous scenes".

More recently, in July 2005, a young woman called Gill Hicks was sitting near one of the bombs that exploded on the London Underground. In the minutes after the accident, she hovered on the brink of death where, as she describes it: "my life was flashing before my eyes, flickering through every scene, every happy and sad moment, everything I have ever done, said, experienced".

In some cases, people don't see a review of their whole lives, but a series of past experiences and events that have special significance to them. ...

Perhaps surprisingly, given how common it is, the "life review experience" has been studied very little. A handful of theories have been put forward, but they're understandably tentative and rather vague. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-psyc...ening-when-your-life-flashed-before-your-eyes
 

Ermintruder

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This phenomenon has always fascinated me (including the accounts of your own experiences of it @EnolaGaia). Thanks for posting this link to the excellent Science Alert article

I too have wondered previously whether the TLR 'cascade', with it's infinitely-comprehensive span of detail could, somehow, also include gnostic imagery from an individual's future. This might also give a hypothesis as to how the 'deja vu' effect occurs (although I do accept there are some credible current neuropsychological explanations for this, relating to the nature of how we perceive & process the present).
There are obviously some mundane interpretations of Tony's experience. Perhaps, for instance, he became a saxophone player simply because he saw himself playing it in his vision. But I don't think it's impossible that Tony did glimpse future events.

If time really does exist in a spatial sense – and if it's true that time is a construct of the human mind – then perhaps in some way future events may already be present, just as past events are still present.

I'm very interested that the writer Steve Taylor is giving this concept serious consideration. That alone means I will now buy his book, but these paragraphs clinch the deal:

Admittedly, this is very difficult to make sense of. But why should everything make sense to us? As I have suggested in a recent book, there must be some aspects of reality that are beyond our comprehension.

After all, we're just animals, with a limited awareness of reality. And perhaps more than any other phenomenon, this is especially true of time.
The Conversation
 
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XBergMann

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Surely this high speed video montage of one's life to date that replays during a near death experience is simply the brain looking through all your experiences to try and find a solution to the problem.
 

SimonBurchell

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In this ScienceAlert article (re-published from The Conversation) psychologist Steve Taylor examines the total life review phenomenon and some possible implications for the manner in which we perceive time.

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-psyc...ening-when-your-life-flashed-before-your-eyes
More recently, in July 2005, a young woman called Gill Hicks was sitting near one of the bombs that exploded on the London Underground. In the minutes after the accident, she hovered on the brink of death where, as she describes it: "my life was flashing before my eyes, flickering through every scene, every happy and sad moment, everything I have ever done, said, experienced".
That's a rather shoddy use of the word "accident"!
 

EnolaGaia

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Surely this high speed video montage of one's life to date that replays during a near death experience is simply the brain looking through all your experiences to try and find a solution to the problem.
This may be the case for some people in some situations, but it's definitely not been the case on those occasions when I've experienced the TLR phenomenon.

In every case the TLR was an automatic (autonomic?) process that initiated only once I'd stopped viewing and reacting to imminent danger and curled up awaiting the impact. For me it's consistently been triggered by surrendering to the circumstances - i.e., concluding there's nothing I can do to avert what I foresee. Once it is triggered, there is no conscious attention to anything other than the life review "images" unless interrupted by external events (e.g., getting thrown about by the foreseen impact).
 

SimonBurchell

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I couldn't find an NDE thread, so I'll have to dump it here. Stumbled upon this on the BBC, published a week and a half ago, so someone may already have posted it elsewhere. Well worth reading the whole article.

'The near-death experience that made me a top musician'

When Tony Kofi was 16 years old, he had an accident at work. As he fell from a great height, he had a vision of himself playing a musical instrument, despite never having learned to do so. The experience set him on a new path in life - and led to him becoming a highly-acclaimed saxophonist.
Three storeys high, Tony noticed what a beautiful day it was. The sky was clear and peaceful. "I was so happy," recalls Tony.
It was spring 1981 and 16-year-old Tony Kofi was working as a carpentry apprentice, helping to replace the old roof of a house.
...
Tony started to fall.
His first thought was that he could not possibly survive. And so, he says, he just completely relaxed, let go and closed his eyes.
"I don't know whether it's adrenaline or what - because I've read about this, that when you fall from a great height, everything slows down," he says. "I just started seeing flashes of images. It was unbelievable."
In his visions, Tony saw different places around the world and the faces of people he didn't recognise.
"I saw young children that I've never seen before - that were to become my children, I guess. And the one thing that really stuck in my mind was me standing up and playing an instrument. I just thought, 'This is the weirdest feeling in my entire life.'
 

EnolaGaia

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That is something different. He had a life flashing before him that hadn't happened yet.
It may not be precognitive, and it may not conflict with the notion he's describing a TLR event.

A TLR event involves a massive high-speed dump of memory. It's not a 'vision' of anything other than past experience. If what he visualized was something outside his personal experience, it wasn't a TLR. However ...

The BBC article states his mother was a big jazz fan, and she'd brought a number of albums with her from Ghana. If she was also prone to watching jazz performances on TV there's no problem in believing young Tony had seen saxophone players any number of times as a child.

Another thing to point out is that he fell off the roof of a house (rather than, e.g., a multi-story building). He couldn't have had enough time to complete the TLR cycle by the time he landed on his head. The obviously serious head trauma almost certainly helped to 'scramble' his memory of the fall experience.

I think he most probably 'saw' a sax player image from his childhood during a truncated TLR event and later (mis-?) interpreted it as a vision of his own future self rather than an image of somebody else he'd seen years earlier.
 
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