First hint of 'life after death'

Hip

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A good life after death is possible only if there's a God, I mean a God of love.
Buddhists don't include any God in their worldview, but do believe in an immortal soul, and a heaven which this soul goes to after death.
 
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Gijs

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@Gijs, even if you write your statement in bold letters, that still does not change the fact that you have very little evidence to back up that statement.

It is always important to ensure sure that any factual-type statements made are actually based on fact. I asked you earlier for evidence to back up your statement about the EEG, but you did not respond to my request. When making a scientific statement, is courteous to provide the supporting evidence when asked for it.

Since you did not provide me with this courtesy, I had a look myself for evidence of there being no EEG during a reported NDE. What I discovered is that the evidence of this is in fact very slim. The only evidence I could find comes just from one single patient, the case of Pam Reynolds's NDE (the Wikipedia article about her case is found here).

However, if you read that Wikipedia article, you see that there is some dispute as to whether Pam's NDE took place during the EEG flatline period. Obviously it is very difficult to determine exactly when an NDE occurs. It might occur during the period when the heart has just stopped, when the the brain does show an EEG; and/or during the period when the heart has just been restarted.

So given that the evidence is so slim, I suggest, that you refrain from making the statement that "EEG does not record brain activity during NDEs", because this statement amounts to misinformation.



These discussions I find enjoyable, and I am not at all against the possibility that some transcendental experiences may occur during cardiac arrest.

However, let's not present something as fact when in actuality the evidence for it is very slim (I am talking about the flatline EEG).
Read the reference i posted earlier and contact Pim van Lommel he can back up this statement and study in The Lancet 2001. It is certainly not misinformation. That said, it is well known that electric activity of the brain falls out very soon after cardiac arrest (premisse). I agree that measure the moment of a NDE is difficult maybe impossible. But it is very unlikely that a NDE begin within in the timeframe of 20- 30 seconds after cardiac arrest and no bloodflow. A clear consciousness is unlikely to be expected. But like i said before hard evidence is almost impossible. But i don't want to convince anybody that after life exist, i dont' know and for me it is oke if there is nothing. Maybe that would be better. but what i know is that consciousness is not produced by the brain, show me your evidence, lets turn it around. nobody can prove that this statement is right. This is philosophically not science! Still people believes this without evidence.... :)
 

Hip

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Some time ago when I was watching some YouTube video accounts of near-death phenomena, I came across a fascinating account by a young woman who had a NDE.

She had the typical near death experience that is often reported: she communicated with deceased relatives, and saw the intense white light frequently reported in NDEs. Being a curious soul, she asked her deceased relatives whether the white light was God. A relative replied, and said to her: “No, that white light is not God; the light is the breath of God; God lives by breathing in our memories, and breathing out nothing”.

I cannot remember this statement verbatim, because I watched this video several years ago; but this is the essence of what was said.

This young woman just reported this rather odd statement about the white light being the breath of God in her YouTube video, but said nothing much more about it.

However, as someone who studied physics (albeit 30 years ago), I was immediately struck by this breath of God statement: it occurred to me that what this young woman has described was a God who is living creature, and one whose own life is dependent on a source of energy, thermodynamically derived from from a low entropy source, just in the way humans and other living creatures on Earth derive their own energy for life from a low entropy source (the Sun in our case).

Physicists know that energy will only flow if there is an entropy gradient: that is to say, a difference in entropy between one point and another. So for example, energy will flow in the form of heat when a hot object is placed next to a cold object. This energy only flows because there is a temperature difference. But once the two objects reach the same temperature, the flow of heat then ceases. Temperature is a measure of entropy, and this example thus illustrates that energy only flows when there is a difference in entropy. In order to obtain energy, your input needs to be lower in entropy than your output.

So going back to God's respiratory process: on hearing this statement about God breathing in human memories, I realized that human memories (or any memories for that matter) are specific pieces of information; a memory is a definite arrangement of digital bits, in information theory terms. Information theory says that a specific piece of information has lower entropy than a state of no information, randomness or nothing (randomness has high entropy).

So although his young woman appeared to have not much scientific knowledge, the way she described God’s respiration was perfectly consistent with what thermodynamics tells us about energy flow: God obtains his energy to live by "breathing in" low entropy information (human memories), and "breathing out" high entropy information (randomness or nothing). The intense white light seen in NDEs is generated by God breathing in human memories, according to what this young woman said she heard from her deceased relative.


So here is a fantastic picture of God as a creature who lives symbiotically with human life: as we humans live, we generate memories, and when we die, God breathes in all our memories from our souls, and uses these memories as a source of energy.

If you consider the idea of reincarnation of souls, one might imagine that after emptying our souls of their memories, and thus kind of purifying the soul back to an innocent state, the soul is returned to the physical world in order to live a new life, and gather new memories. This process is symbiotic because few humans would want to begin a new life with all the emotional baggage from their previous life. You would presumably want to start afresh. So by consuming the memories of the previous life, God clears out and purifies the soul in preparation for the soul's next life. God benefits from the energy; we benefit by getting our soul purified.


Needless to say, this is an entirely hypothetical idea that occurred to me while viewing the video of that young woman talking about her NDE; but this picture consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.
 
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MeSci

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A good life after death is possible only if there's a God, I mean a God of love.
I don't see why that has to be the case. Physics posits a range of extraordinary possibilities with regard to the universe (or multiverse!) and I see no reason why one of these, or one not yet hypothesised, could not relate to life after death.

We just don't know (yet...?).
 

natasa778

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Cardiologist Pim van Lommel (publication in The Lancet) has spent years researching NDE and claimed that there is almost immediately no brain activity after cardiac arrest. With all due respect. Your response is one of emotion instead of taking seriously descriptions of patients. This is a typical example of how biased professors react. Anyway rock hard objective science does not exist in the medical profession. You may ask yourself or someone declared dead in fact is really dead. After how long is anyone really dead? How do we measure this? That said, it seems irrational to think that creating the brains without (good) blood flow a clear consciousness. Even CPR does not happen right away. In many cases there is often a time between CPR and cardiac arrest. There are cases described in the study by Pim van Lommel in which patients with NDE describes concrete things that can be. seen only from a certain position above. There are cases in which the brain activity was -for example, at the time of cardiac arrest during an operating- accidentally measured. These patients said to have later had an NDE. How can you explain that someone who lies on his back with closed eyes slightly from above can see? Or someone who is blind during an NDE could see clearly? I think the study from Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist and scientist can not put away based on your arguments. I agree with you that there is no hard evidence. There is also no hard evidence that consciousness is a product of the brains. That is also speculation. I have an open mind. Maybe you can read the book by Pim van Lommel before you judged things as nonsense.
Amen to that.

Esp to 'I agree with you that there is no hard evidence. There is also no hard evidence that consciousness is a product of the brains.'

That is the crux of it all. Just because a 'majority of scientists laugh something off, doesn't mean 'they' are right. Esp in the absence of any hard evidence... History is littered with cases where all experts in the field agreed on something being hillarious, only to be proven hillariously wrong later on. As a matter of fact it is rule, not an exception, to have paradigm changing things laughed off by 'majority of experts' before the paradigm change actually happens :)

I have no horse in the game - I am in the 'we'll know when the time comes for us to know' camp, but the fact that 'majority of scientists' are stronly biased against NDE/OBEs being real (or it could be just that the reactionary ones speak loudest, while the rest is sitting quietly on the 'wait and see' fance?) - this ridiculing of something without evidence to the contrary makes me think the mystics might well be on to something ;) History as the best teacher and all
 

xrunner

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Buddhist don't include any God in their worldview, but do believe in an immortal soul, and a heaven which this soul goes to after death.
Hi @Hip, I can't speak for buddhists or their beliefs (although I followed that path myself for sometime). I was not referring to other people's beliefs or any particular religion or philosophy. I was more simply referring to a direct and personal experience of God which is available to anybody.
My point was that if you or @MeSci or any other person for that matter, really want to know whether there's God or not, you can find out for sure. And once you found out whether there's a God or not, you'll also know whether there's life after death or not.
What I am trying to say is that it's possible for everybody to move from a "we just don't know yet" conclusion to a "we can know" experience, that is if we really want to. That's all I was trying to say.
 

barbc56

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I really think life after death, out of body or near death experiences are not directly relevant to this study. People are extrapolating this point of view from a study that is researching how long consciousness lasts after the heart stops beating.. But I can see how this can easily happen with all the media hype. Life after after death will draw more readers vs. a study filled with flaws that turns out not to prove anything.

I am not saying people should believe this or that about supernatural events or god. Nor am I saying not to discuss these issues as it's personal opinion.

To me the big question is if all this talk of the supernatural really relevant to this particular study? In my opinion it's not.

I do find the neurological aspects of the supernatural fascinating.

I would highly recommend Oliver Sacks or Linda Blackmore for the above.

I think I am burned out with this thread, but it's been interesting. For me, it feels like the same things are being repeated in posts and I include myself. Maybe I just need a good night's sleep.

Barb
 

barbc56

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My point was that if you or @MeSci or any other person for that matter, really want to know whether there's God or not, you can find out for sure. A
Actuality, to be honest these questions are not relevant to my life. I know it's important to some and that's fine.

Barb
ETA
I switched the order of my two posts as I copy and paste my posts from Word.:rolleyes:
 

Hip

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I was more simply referring to a direct and personal experience of God which is available to anybody.
It's not available to me these days, unfortunately.

My natural disposition used to be quite strongly spiritual and mystical; but since developing ME/CFS, this spiritual part of my mind all but vanished, and it now feels like I have almost entirely lost my connection to the divine spark within.

I am so annoyed at this loss, that I frequently make sneering remarks directed at God, telling Him that he is only fair weather friend, who disappears when you need him most. So far, in spite of my criticism of God and my protest to Him about His lack of fidelity, has has not yet responded to my complaints, and has not yet once more graced me with his presence.

Then again, as a more mystical type, I guess I never had that much focus on God in the first place. The great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart used to pray to God, asking God to leave his mind, so that he could commune with the Godhead. The Godhead is what Eckhart called the Absolute of the mystics. Eckhart felt that God could get in the way of one's connection to the Godhead.

Eckhart also was a pains to point out the differences between God and the Godhead. I think my relationship has always been more with the Godhead rather than God. And it is the Godhead that vanished from my mind, actually, as ME/CFS ravaged my brain.

In fact I don't really know what it means to have a relationship with God. Judging by people who do follow God, it seems that obedience to a set of rules, doctrines or commandments is the main feature of this relationship. But I've never found that I naturally have such an obedience. But a connection to the Godhead is a different thing: this communication is ineffable; it is beyond words, rules or doctrines; yet this connection, I have found, powerfully refines and elevates the mind.
 
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MeSci

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Anyone interested in physics-based info and theory that might relate to life after death and associated issues might find food for thought in dark energy and dark matter. There is a NASA page about them here. Could they be 'God', or 'souls', or some kind of life force?

Quote from that page:
It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn't be called "normal" matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe.
 

MeSci

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I have never seen a ghost, but when I hear what appears to be a genuine ghost experience, there never seems to be any interaction between the ghost and the person viewing it. The ghost just seems to walk through the environment on its own trajectory, quite oblivious to the viewer, as if the ghost is just a a kind of holographic video recording being played back, and not really alive or consciousness aware. Nobody ever reports having a tete a tete with the ghost that appeared in front of them.
I too came to think that ghosts might just be natural videos that are triggered to play by certain things. As there are
More things in heaven and earth
than we know about, I see no reason why a natural video could not also cause phenomena such as temperature drops and other things that are experienced when ghosts are seen.
 

Hip

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@MeSci
With the idea that God is eternal, that would mean he resides outside of space and time, and so outside of the normal observable astronomical universe. Some theories in physics, quantum gravity I think, do start with a timeless substrate, out of which space and time emerges.
 

MeSci

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@MeSci
With the idea that God is eternal, that would mean he resides outside of space and time, and so outside of the normal observable astronomical universe. Some theories in physics, quantum gravity I think, do start with a timeless substrate, out of which space and time emerges.
What do you mean by observable though? If, for example, there are parallel universes, they could perhaps be inside the one we can observe, but not be observable themselves. And what is meant by 'normal'? (See my post #170). Maybe dark matter and/or dark energy could be said to be beyond the observable universe - because we can't observe them? Or because they are in another dimension that we don't know about?

I'm making my own brain hurt now!:lol:
 

Lou

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It's not available to me these days, unfortunately.

My natural disposition used to be quite strongly spiritual and mystical; but since developing ME/CFS, this spiritual part of my mind all but vanished, and it now feels like I have almost entirely lost my connection to the divine spark within.

I am so annoyed at this loss, that I frequently make sneering remarks directed at God, telling Him that he is only fair weather friend, who disappears when you need him most. So far, in spite of my criticism of God and my protest to Him about His lack of fidelity, has has not yet responded to my complaints, and has not yet once more graced me with his presence.

Then again, as a more mystical type, I guess I never had that much focus on God in the first place. The great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart used to pray to God, asking God to leave his mind, so that he could commune with the Godhead. The Godhead is what Eckhart called the Absolute of the mystics. Eckhart felt that God could get in the way of one's connection to the Godhead.

Eckhart also was a pains to point out the differences between God and the Godhead. I think my relationship has always been more with the Godhead rather than God. And it is the Godhead that vanished from my mind, actually, as ME/CFS ravaged my brain.

In fact I don't really know what it means to have a relationship with God. Judging by people who do follow God, it seems that obedience to a set of rules, doctrines or commandments is the main feature of this relationship. But I've never found that I naturally have such an obedience. But a connection to the Godhead is a different thing: this communication is ineffable; it is beyond words, rules or doctrines; yet this connection, I have found, powerfully refines and elevates the mind.


Hi Hip,

I can certainly relate to the frustration we have for the things lost to this illness. Have some time on my hands today and thought a couple of things (addressed in separate posts) that helped me could possibly benefit you, too.
Maybe others, @Sherpa as well.

It was years into this mess, at one of many low points, that I came across a couple of paragraphs in CG Jung's book, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, that became the roots for me of a different way of looking at all this. He was reflecting on a recent illness of his own. Here goes:

"I might formulate it as an affirmation of things as they are: an unconditional "yes" to that which is, without subjective protests --acceptance of the conditions of existence as I see them and understand them, acceptance of my own nature, as I happen to be. At the beginning of the illness I had the feeling that there was something wrong with my attitude, and that I was to some extent responsible for my illness. But when one follows the path of individuation, when one lives one's own life, one must take mistakes into the bargain; life would not be complete without them. There is no guarantee --not for a single moment-- that we will not fall into error or stumble into deadly peril. We may think there is a sure road. But that would be the road of death. Then nothing happens any longer --at any rate, not the right things. Anyone who takes the sure road is as good as dead.

"It was only after the illness that I understood how important it is to affirm one's own destiny. In this way we forge an ego that does not break down when incomprehensible things happen; an ego that endures, that endures the truth, and that is capable of coping with the world and with fate. Then, to experience defeat is also to experience victory. Nothing is disturbed --neither inwardly or outwardly, for one's own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time. But that can come to pass only when one does not meddle inquisitively with the workings of fate."


Maybe Jung was just having a bad day, and uncharacteristically got into a bit of babbling. But I got something special out of it. Maybe the sure road was that great life and career I had before the illness and spent practically all my days grieving its loss. But, unknown to me that wasn't my destiny, and if you take his words literally then having someway avoided this illness would have placed me on a continuing path where I was as good as dead.

And, hey, it's doubtful I'd have come to know some of the great folks here at PR, either.
 

Lou

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Here's the other idea to possibly revive a bit of that spiritual spark, perhaps off the wall a tad: try hanging out with some NDE'ers.

If they're like the ones I know it's hard not to feel alive around them. You can absolutely be exactly who you are (not that you aren't already) because they're certainly going to be that way; an open book, without hidden agendas or judgments on what you say or don't say or someway you act or don't act.

Which brings to mind you can say or ask them the damnest things. And I think you'd be constantly surprised by their answers. They're the meaning of cool. But, it's weird, you have to get used to them searching around in their mind to say exactly what they intend. They give serious thought before they speak. Being as honest as possible seems paramount to their nature. Though not scientific, it's one of the reasons you might find yourself leaning more toward the validity of what they say about death than you may have previously.

And they're just fun to be around; they've been places, done some serious travel, experienced something profound that most of us haven't. Often unlike before their experience they put a lot into life and they seem to wish to suck until dry just as much out of life as possible, now that it's been seen from a new perspective.

I think IANDS/NDE groups are located in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane if you ever want to check them out. I'm sure they'd be happy to meet someone like yourself.
 

Hip

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@MeSci
Yes physics and brain fog are not the best of bedfellows. I loved reading popular science books on physics and mathematics, but I haven't read anything since getting ME/CFS, since the concepts involved seem to exhaust the mind quickly.

What do you mean by observable though?
I was just referring to the universe of space, time and matter, all three of which are closely interconnected in general relativity to make the space-time fabric.

Dark matter is considered part of the space-time fabric. (The difference with dark matter it that it does not interact with electromagnetic fields such as light; light passes straight through it; so we cannot see dark matter. Though you can observe the effects of dark matter in the universe, because its mass can affect the motion of stars and galaxies.)

If you view as God as eternal, existing in a realm where there is no time, that perhaps would have to be somehow outside of the space-time fabric.
 

Hip

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@Lou
That piece from Jung reminds me of the phrase amor fati (= being in love with one's own fate), which Nietzsche used to talk about. And I guess there are revelations I had as a result of ME/CFS that I would never obtained otherwise. One is the astounding knowledge of how an exogenous agent like a virus could cause in such a profound alteration and dysfunction of mental state. I now have a very good appreciation of how microbes may be undermining the health of much of humanity.

But my complaints are not about having ME/CFS, but rather about the loss of my spiritual state, which would have been nice to have maintained, since an internal spiritual spark is good company.
 

Hip

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Here's the other idea to possibly revive a bit of that spiritual spark, perhaps off the wall a tad: try hanging out with some NDE'ers.

If they're like the ones I know it's hard not to feel alive around them. You can absolutely be exactly who you are (not that you aren't already) because they're certainly going to be that way; an open book, without hidden agendas or judgments on what you say or don't say or someway you act or don't act.
How did you find yourself in the company of those who have had a near-death experience? Is there a UK group? (I am in the UK). My interest in NDE stories was a lot to do with what you have described: the fact that those who have had an NDE afterwards seem to develop a spiritually elevated perspective, and become more purposeful and motivated to apply themselves well and fully in their life (although I have read that this slowly wears off a few years down the line).
 

Lou

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How did you find yourself in the company of those who have had a near-death experience? Is there a UK group? (I am in the UK). My interest in NDE stories was a lot to do with what you have described: the fact that those who have had an NDE afterwards seem to develop a spiritually elevated perspective, and become more purposeful and motivated to apply themselves well and fully in their life (although I have read that this slowly wears off a few years down the line).

I attended the first IANDS conference in Washington D.C. nearly twenty-five years ago. Met one experiencer who became a close friend since then and others who I reconnected with at following conferences held around the country. I also became a member (you can simply be interested in NDE's to join) in a regional group but drifted away from it because the travel involved.

I guess you can read anything but my personal experience of these people is just the opposite of what you read about the event slowly wearing off down the line. Anything, but. Unlike many other transformations, this one is for good, many people now well on in years report childhood experiences of death as just as real now as when it first happened. It is one of the key characteristics of the NDE.

Oops, sorry, thought you were an Aussie. No, I don't think there's a group in the UK, there was one, perhaps still, in the Netherlands. You could contact IANDS and get info on how to set up the first UK group. You might be surprised by the interest.
 

Hip

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@Lou
How would you say these NDE individuals compare in mindset to those who practice a lot of mindfulness meditation (like Zen meditation), assuming you have experience of such meditators? Those well developed in mindfulness have a lot to offer others; for example, psychotherapists who practice mindfulness meditation tend to get better results for their clients. Would you say those who have been through an NDE are generally more mindful, or is it some other quality of mind that these NDE people project, like the thoughtfulness of their answers, as you mentioned?
 
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