Near-Death & Out of Body Experiences

hokum6

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To believe it was angels you'd have to believe in God. Fair enough, but I'm inclined to think NDEs are our subconscious minds way of dealing with traumatic events and getting us through them.
 
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jandzmom said:
....But we still don't get his being at a "big lake" part....
I've known several people who had NDE's and found themselves at a big river or lake... in the ancient days it was called the river Styx: "This river Styx served as a crossroads where the world of the living met the world of the dead".

From about.com: The Styx is one of the five rivers of the Underworld, in Greek mythology.

It's odd that people seem to have a river or lake in their NDE, even though it's not a part of our modern culture, and even when they never heard of greek mythology.
 

akaWiintermoon

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hokum6 Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:10 pm Post subject:

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To believe it was angels you'd have to believe in God. Fair enough, but I'm inclined to think NDEs are our subconscious minds way of dealing with traumatic events and getting us through them.
Not necessarily so. I know a reasearcher at Southampton Uni was running a study on NDEs, I saw him talk about it once on a tv programe. I will do some research and try and find a link. Anyways, I've read a lot on NDEs and it seams aithists are privvy to them too are are more likely to become religous/spiritual after their experiance.
Also, by whatever name your give them, angel, spirit guide, ect, a lot of people and religons belive in them with out beliving in God, or the God portrayed in the bible.
Kind of a mixed response there so I hope you get the gyst of what I was aiming for! :D
 

hokum6

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Not necessarily so. I know a reasearcher at Southampton Uni was running a study on NDEs, I saw him talk about it once on a tv programe. I will do some research and try and find a link. Anyways, I've read a lot on NDEs and it seams aithists are privvy to them too are are more likely to become religous/spiritual after their experiance.
Not surprising, people change when they go through a traumatic experience and need a way to deal with what they've seen.

Also, by whatever name your give them, angel, spirit guide, ect, a lot of people and religons belive in them with out beliving in God, or the God portrayed in the bible.
Kind of a mixed response there so I hope you get the gyst of what I was aiming for! :D
Yeah I know what you mean, every culture has a different name for the same thing. I still think the most likely explanation is that people are seeing what makes them comfortable. Whether that happens to be angels, spirits or flying spaghetti monsters what they see is going to change depending on social background, upbringing and their culture.
 

escargot

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I've read though that some people's NDEs involve visions of Hell rather than Heaven, so the idea of them seeing a comforting vision doesn't really apply to them.
 

Redhead666

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hokum6 said:
To believe it was angels you'd have to believe in God. Fair enough, but I'm inclined to think NDEs are our subconscious minds way of dealing with traumatic events and getting us through them.
This could be a great explanation for NDE's, except for one flaw: There are many, many reports of people having an NDE and they leave their body, float upwards and can see things not visible from the ground. When they are revived, they correctly relate what they saw. I don't think our subconcious can do that.

This same response applies to all those who claim that NDE's occur when we don't receive enough oxygen and our brain begins to die. Skeptics will say during this process we "think" we see heaven, and God and bright lights and tunnels and dead loved ones, when in reality we do not, and it is just misfirings in the brain.
I would believe that except for the "floating away from the body and seeing real things that may only be visible from a high vantage point" theory. This occurence has been well documented many times over.
 

hokum6

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Links?

I've read though that some people's NDEs involve visions of Hell rather than Heaven, so the idea of them seeing a comforting vision doesn't really apply to them.
Fair point. What about then, if people see what they expect to see when they die. One of my theories about a heaven, afterlife, whatever you want to call it, is that you end up where ever you expect to end up. Your subconcious is judge, jury and executioner. If you're guilty about something and genuinely worried about going to hell, then boyo, it's time to pack the asbestos underpants. I have no evidence of this at all, natch, I just love the idea that there's a hell full of god-fearing fundamentalists (of any religion, I'm not attacking Christianity) while all the atheists and hippies are chillin' in their own personal Shangri-La.
 

escargot

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Raymond Moody's 'Life After Life' in 1975 described people's experiences of having apparently visited a Paradise-like place while they were being revived after being believed dead.

Dr. Maurice Rawlings of Tennessee however found that many patients had a hell-like vision instead of the peaceful ones documented by Moody.
His book is called Beyond Death's Door.

Dr. Charles Garfield of San Francisco found that of 72 patients he interviewed, 14 had 'Paradise' NDEs and 8 had 'lucid visions of a demonic or nighmarish nature.'

Garfield, unlike Moody and Rawlings, believed that the NDE is a physiological process and did not indicate proof of life after death.

All this comes from D. Scott Rogo's 'Life After Death: the case for survival of bodily death', Thorsons, 1986.

I agree that it seems likely that we have our own idea of the afterlife - heaven, hell, nirvana, chillin' wit' da crew, whatever - and perhaps we see what we expect to.

NDEs deserve to be taken seriously. I know whereof I speak.

Edit - found a reference on the 'net. Quite scary.
http://www.grmi.org/renewal/Richard_Riss/evidences2/27nde.html
 

hokum6

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Yeah, interesting stories.
I'm not inclined to believe anything from a site called 'Proof God Exists' that lists one of its sources as the Bible. :)
 

hokum6

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Yeah, I've seen that already.
I could accept that NDEs are some genuine paranormal experience, but it's not like we'll ever get definitive proof unless someone can deliberately induce them (a la Flatliners) and then set-up an experiment.
 

Redhead666

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I think the name of a website is quite irrelevant. You wanted links to stories where people claimed to have risen up out of their bodies during an NDE and saw things not visible from below...and that is what I presented.

The site could have been called "Hokumishard toconvince.com", but it wouldn't make it any less credible.
 

hokum6

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That would be a kick-ass name.

I wasn't being serious, btw. :)
 
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I've read excepts from a book about NDE's in blind people. They sound amazing. I tried to get the book but its only available in America so I'm waiting for a second hand copy to come up on a book site.

One woman blind from birth didn't know what things were by the sight of them and it was only as she described what she'd seen when able to see herself on the table that others recognised what she was talking about. she was even able to describe the nurses and doctors who'd worked on her. I mean how could she have described these people so well down to the freckles and square spectacles and colour of eyes etc unless she's seen it from the soul? The book includes NDE's from blind children also. It's made me look forward to death.

I also read a book about bad NDE's and I was so disturbed that I made my agnostic brother swear on my life that if he ever found himself dying he would pray to Jesus/God to save him and protect him...JUST IN CASE :shock: He thinks I'm a lunatic, of course, but I pointed out that since he had nothing to lose he should do it for my own peace of mind so he solemnly swore to remember to do it.

I'd encourage you all to do the very same :shock:
 

l1zz13

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I had a NDE just after I gave birth to my second son. I was losing a lot of blood, and they didn't know where from (the thought it was from my uterus as is usually the case in post-partum haemorrages, but I had actually burst an artery) so they couldn't stop the bleeding.

I didn't rise from my body or see a tunnel. I didn't feel as though I was in my body, but wasn't aware of being out of it either (sounds strange, I know). I just felt such a strong sense of peace and happiness. Imagine the most relaxed state you've ever been in and multiply it by a million and it wouldn't come close - it was beyond beautiful. I turned to my (now ex) husband and said "I'm going to die now. Look after the boys". I wasn't scared at all. A nurse shouted that they were "losing" me, and the doctor who was trying to stop the bleeding shouted "Where's the baby? Bring me the baby!". The next thing he was holding my son in front of my face shouting "Look at the baby! Look at him!!" I didn't want to look because somehow I just knew if I looked at him I'd live, and I wanted to die because it felt so nice. After a few seconds I did look at him, and instantly I became properly concious again, and knew I was going to be okay.

My experience doesn't prove anything about life after death, but it has given me so much respect for the power of the mind, and the will to live. If that doctor hadn't have done what he did I wouldn't be sat here typing this. Plus, I'm no longer scared of death.
 

bluekasha

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Ronson8 said:
I think when the end comes thats it, I dont think we get reborn, there has never been any definitive evidence of life after death and why do people worry about it, just human nature I guess.
But has there ever been any evidence of there not being life after death??
We cant dismiss things out of hand because there is no evidence for their existence,who knows what will be proved in the future ;)
 

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World's Largest-Ever Study Of Near-Death Experiences

Full text at link.

The University of Southampton is launching the world's largest-ever study of near-death experiences this week.

The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is to be launched by the Human Consciousness Project of the University of Southampton - an international collaboration of scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the human brain, consciousness and clinical death.

The study is led by Dr Sam Parnia, an expert in the field of consciousness during clinical death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler of the University of Southampton. Following a successful 18-month pilot phase at selected hospitals in the UK, the study is now being expanded to include other centres within the UK, mainland Europe and North America.

"Contrary to popular perception," Dr Parnia explains, "death is not a specific moment. It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning - a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.

"During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process."

A number of recent scientific studies carried out by independent researchers have demonstrated that 10-20 per cent of people who go through cardiac arrest and clinical death report lucid, well structured thought processes, reasoning, memories and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/121028.php
 

maximus otter

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Scientists study 'out of body experiences'

Doctors in hospitals in Britain and the US will study 1,500 heart attack patients to see if people with no heartbeat or brain activity can have "out of body" experiences.

Some people report being able to soar out of their bodies and look down on themselves and medical staff.

The study at 25 UK and US hospitals will include doctors placing images on shelves that are only visible from the ceiling to test the theory.

Dr Sam Parnia, an intensive care doctor who is heading the study, said: "If you can demonstrate that consciousness continues after the brain switches off, it allows for the possibility that the consciousness is a separate entity.

"It is unlikely that we will find many cases where this happens, but we have to be open-minded.

"And if no one sees the pictures, it shows these experiences are illusions or false memories.

"This is a mystery that we can now subject to scientific study."

Dr Parnia said that after a cardiac arrest, where the body is technically dead, doctors restart the heart and reverse the dying process.

He said: "What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process."

Hospitals involved include Addenbrookes in Cambridge, University Hospital in Birmingham and the Morriston in Swansea, as well as nine hospitals in the US.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2980578/Scientists-study-out-of-body-experiences.html

maximus otter
 

rjmrjmrjm

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Couldn't find a pre-existant thread on this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7621608.stm

Study into near-death experiences
By Jane Dreaper
Health correspondent, BBC News

Near death experience
Many people report seeing a bright light

A large study is to examine near-death experiences in cardiac arrest patients.

Doctors at 25 UK and US hospitals will study 1,500 survivors to see if people with no heartbeat or brain activity can have "out of body" experiences.

Some people report seeing a tunnel or bright light, others recall looking down from the ceiling at medical staff.

The study, due to take three years and co-ordinated by Southampton University, will include placing on shelves images that could only be seen from above.

This is a mystery that we can now subject to scientific study
Dr Sam Parnia
University of Southampton

To test this, the researchers have set up special shelving in resuscitation areas. The shelves hold pictures - but they're visible only from the ceiling.

Dr Sam Parnia, who is heading the study, said: "If you can demonstrate that consciousness continues after the brain switches off, it allows for the possibility that the consciousness is a separate entity.

"It is unlikely that we will find many cases where this happens, but we have to be open-minded.

"And if no one sees the pictures, it shows these experiences are illusions or false memories.

"This is a mystery that we can now subject to scientific study."

Dr Parnia works as an intensive care doctor, and felt from his daily duties that science had not properly explored the issue of near-death experiences.

Process of death

He said: "Contrary to popular perception, death is not a specific moment.

"It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning - a medical condition termed cardiac arrest.

"During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process.

"What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process."

Dr Parnia and medical colleagues will analyse the brain activity of 1,500 cardiac arrest survivors, and see whether they can recall the images in the pictures.

Hospitals involved include Addenbrookes in Cambridge, University Hospital in Birmingham and the Morriston in Swansea, as well as nine hospitals in the US.
I'm a little weary of this comment;

It is unlikely that we will find many cases where this happens, but we have to be open-minded.
He sounds a little bit hesitant about being open-minded. Surely the words open-minded shouldn't even be in a scientists vocabulary, I thought the default position of science is open-mindedness until proven by empirical evidence.
 

Xanatico

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This sounds really good. Should be interesting to hear the results.
 

tilly50

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If no one sees the pictures it could just mean that they were a little too preoccupied with looking at what is going on than looking at a meaningless picture and then remembering it and recalling it later on.

While the experiment sounds interesting there are flaws in its design, will they rule out reflections off light fittings for instance? What if something has been put on top of the pictures obscuring them? If some one can recall a picture how can they rule out telepathy?
 

escargot

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I heard Dr Parnia discussing this on R4's Today programme this morning - very interesting indeed. He sounds like a sport. :D
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Several ´Near Death and Out of Body Experience' Threads brought together and merged.

P_M. :)
 

rynner2

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Another article on the new study...

Is it possible to have an 'out-of-body'experience?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 35423.html
....

Mainstream scientific thinking generally describes out-of-body experiences as a "false memory" dreamt up by the brain during resuscitation. But survivors' testimonies and a number of recent studies have shown that 10 to 20 per cent of people who go through cardiac arrest and clinical death report lucid thought processes, reasoning, memories and even detailed recall of events.

The research may help explain how patients have given accurate testimonies of what was happening to them while they were technically brain dead.

"The study aims to settle this debate once and for all," says Dr Parnia. "It may be that out-of-body experiences are false memories but until that has been scientifically tested we can't say for sure."

For Heather Sloan, a former nurse from Southampton, the research may help her understand her sensation of leaving her body and entering a white tunnel as she lay in intensive care. "I've met so many people who had similar experiences," she says. "I have no doubt we are more than flesh and blood. If science could prove that, it would be marvellous."

Heather Sloan from Southampton suffered an internal bleed and says she had an out-of-body experience.

"The last thing I remembered was being rushed to the hospital. Then I passed out. When I came to I was standing next to my bed and, being a nurse, I started checking temperature and blood pressure. It was only after a while that I noticed I was looking at myself. Then I felt myself leaving my body and heading towards this light where hundreds of people were waiting for me. I started to get a bit distressed as I had an 18-month-old daughter at home. I asked these voices why I was there and they told me I had lost my baby. I didn't even realise I was pregnant.

Eventually I felt like I was allowed to return and began making my way back to my body. The next thing I remembered was being conscious and surrounded by nurses. They told me that I'd lost a baby but of course I already knew."
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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"once and for all" might be going it, some.

Going on past experience of these sort of tests and experiments, I expect just enough of an ambiguous statistical positive, just above, or below, chance, to keep the controversy raging, for many years yet.

For one thing, the medics won't be able to forewarn the patients of what to look for and most people's experiences will be so emotionally subjective, they probably wouldn't be able to focus on much in any sort of focussed way, anyway. They might see doctor J. drop a scalpel, in the next room and still completely miss the lovely picture of fluffy kittens, on the shelf near the ceiling.

Those few survivors who already know of the experiment, might well be more likely to give false positives, too. And therefore could quickly be discarded by the more sceptical researchers.

Finally, based on some of the results that the Koestler parapsychology mob have been getting, results may well depend on whether the researchers running the tests believe in 'Out of Body Experiences,' or not, as well.
 

rynner2

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Back from the grave
Research on near-death experiences is unlikely to find evidence that human consciousness can survive without a brain
Sue Blackmore
guardian.co.uk, Friday September 19 2008 16:42 BST

I was surprised to hear on the news that Sam Parnia has been awarded a big grant to find out whether the human spirit leaves the body at death – whether consciousness can survive when the brain is no longer working. He, and colleagues around the world, will place an image on a platform suspended from the ceiling of hospital wards and resuscitation areas, so that the image cannot be seen from below but could be seen if – during a near-death experience – the patient's consciousness left his body.

I was surprised, not that he has been awarded the grant, but that this made the news. But I assumed that this topic is of sufficient popular interest that, of all the thousands of research grants awarded, this one was worth reporting. Then I heard people saying it was a total waste of time and money. Surely we should be spending scarce research resources on improving patient care or developing new drugs shouldn't we? Well should we? Is this a good use of research money?

I long ago became fascinated with near-death experiences (NDE). In 1970, before the term was even invented, I had an extraordinary drug-induced experience (this was the time of hippy enthusiasm for old-fashioned mild cannabis). This life-changing experience included the tunnels, lights, out-of-body experience and meeting other beings that occur in the classic NDE. I was convinced that my spirit had left my body, and that is why I went on to become a parapsychologist, trying to prove this was true. I found it was not.

If there is any survival, I now think it's more likely to be through technological advances – you can hear me discussing this with musician Peter Gabriel, who is building the first "social networking site for the dead"!

I learned a lot about the experience though. In 1975, physician Raymond Moody coined the term NDE in his book Life After Life. Since then, research has shown that something like 10% of people who come close to death and survive report some kind of memory.

Most seem to rush down dark tunnels towards a bright light, many seem to fly out of their body to watch events as though from above, some go on into "other worlds" where they meet dead loved ones or angels or gods, and a very few reach a barrier from which they decide to return to life. Many are changed by their experiences, often becoming less fearful of death and less materialistic. All of this is well explained by what we know about how brain function changes as it approaches death, or even when in shock or severe stress. This "dying brain hypothesis" tells us a lot about what we can expect of our own deaths.

What could not be explained – if indeed it were true – is people actually seeing things that were happening at the time when they could not possibly have seen them with their physical eyes (or heard them described, or inferred them from what they already knew).

There are many claims of this kind, but in my long decades of research into out-of-body and near-death experiences I never met any convincing evidence that this is true. There is the famous case of the woman in Seattle who apparently saw a shoe on a high ledge and her social worker later found it there. This story, like so many others, relies on the testimony of just one person, in this case the social worker. The woman herself never told anyone else and is now dead, and there is no one else who reported seeing it. The testimony of one person, however sincere, is not sufficient to overturn much of science. And this is what would be entailed.

If human consciousness can really leave the body and operate without a brain then everything we know in neuroscience has to be questioned. If people could really gain paranormal knowledge then much of physics needs to be rewritten. This is what is at stake. Add to that the fact that most people in the population believe in some kind of life after death, and many desperately want it to be true, then you have a strong case for this research – even if the chances of success are vanishingly small.

If Parnia does the experiments properly, and his patients really can see those images, then I will change my mind about the paranormal. I don't think it's going to happen but I do think it's worth him making the attempt.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... ntalhealth
 

rynner2

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escargot1 said:
Wassat about then, I wonder? :D
Seems a bit off topic:

Remember, Remember
Listen (Duration: 45 mins)
6 days left to listen Last on:
21 Sep 2008 21:30 BBC Radio 3

Psychologist Susan Blackmore investigates how we are outsourcing the memory of our lives to digital devices and asks whether that is changing the nature of human memory. She hears from a 'lifelogger' who is recording every detail of his daily life - and from an academic who has taped 220,000 hours of audio and video of his infant son. She asks whether we will all end up doing the same and how this will affect the way we remember our own lives.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00dkvqw
 
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