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Great post, as ever. I find this stuff fascinating.

A puzzle is why this experience should be limited to 18% or so. The Tibetan Book Of The Dead tells us that ordinarily upon death one goes unconscious and then immediately to reincarnation, and that only the more able yogis and meditators are able to navigate the bardos. But from what I've heard (and it's not all that much) there seems to be no correlation between the incidence of these experiences and belief or spiritual practise.

I struggle with integrating this stuff with cognitive science, which I must admit I find persuasive. So much of the mind obviously seems chemical to me, so it must be asked what exactly is it that is surviving? I have real problems with the notion that we survive exactly as we are, but the evidence is obviously persuasive in this direction. I've settled on a throw-up-my-hands-and-profess-ignorance-to-the-vast-mystery position.

Michael writes:

"Could NDEs and OBEs have a purely physiological/psychological basis? If they do, then not just some but all of the veridical reports are wrong (and these include veridical perception of things happening well outside the operating room and out of the patient's earshot)."

If we grant the existence of psi, what reason is there for thinking veridical NDEs and OBEs aren't hallucinatory?

>If we grant the existence of psi, what reason is there for thinking veridical NDEs and OBEs aren't hallucinatory?

A quibble: If the perception is veridical, it's not a hallucination, since a hallucination, by definition, is a false perception.

But I think you mean: If psi is possible, why couldn't these people just be observing the operating room clairvoyantly, rather than leaving their bodies?

The trouble is that in many cases the patient is clinically dead with no brain function. So if psi is operating, it is operating independently of the brain. Thus, it could not be psi as the term is conventionally understood - meaning a power that is connected somehow with the central nervous system. It would have to be a form of perception (and self-awareness) that is unconnected with the brain.

Darryn, you may find this and this and this of interest.

"A quibble: If the perception is veridical, it's not a hallucination, since a hallucination, by definition, is a false perception."

A veridical component doesn't make the basic experience non-illusory. That's like saying a leprechaun someone sees under a rainbow, isn't a hallucination, since the rainbow is really there.

"But I think you mean: If psi is possible, why couldn't these people just be observing the operating room clairvoyantly, rather than leaving their bodies?"

We don't know enough to say the percipients are actually observing their operating rooms. The rooms could just as plausibly be hallucinations, with the veridical information incorporated through unconscious psi. You seem to think that psi works much as ordinary perception does, but some parapsychological experiments indicate otherwise. Braude (2001) writes:

"...compare ESP of card faces in a sealed deck to visual perception of those cards. Visual perception of, say, the tenth card down is physically impossible as long as the deck is sealed. When the deck is sealed, there simply is no location from which a person can view any card in the deck. But apparently that hasn't prevented subjects from correctly identifying cards in ESP tests. Moreover, if ESP of the card depended on some sort of emanation from the card (as visual perception requires the reflection of light rays from the object perceived), it seems impossible to explain the selectivity of ESP - for example, the ability to identify specific cards in the deck. As C. D. Broad recognized, the clairvoyant emanations from the face of the card would be part of a much larger package of emanations. In visual perception we perceive only the facing surface of an object. And because not every object is transparent to light rays, visual perception can be blocked by intervening objects. But in clairvoyance we needn't physically face the object in question, and apparently every object is transparent to clairvoyance. So if clairvoyance (like sight and hearing) is mediated by some kind of emanation, those emanations would be arriving from the identifying front of the card, but also from the back of the card, from all the other cards in the deck, from every object in the room, and (presumably) from everything in the universe. Similar problems arise in the case of subjects who can correctly identify target pictures in sealed envelopes (see Broad 1953)."

You continue:

"The trouble is that in many cases the patient is clinically dead with no brain function. So if psi is operating, it is operating independently of the brain. Thus, it could not be psi as the term is conventionally understood - meaning a power that is connected somehow with the central nervous system. It would have to be a form of perception (and self-awareness) that is unconnected with the brain."

In response to van Lommel's (2001) paper, Chris French writes:

"But the truth is that nobody knows when the NDEs reported by these patients actually occurred. Was it really during the period of flat EEG or might they have occurred as the patients rapidly entered or gradually recovered from that state?"

Why do you think you know the answer?

Thanks for that Matthew. I only learned of your blog recently but check it out every couple of days now.

I wonder if part of the reason neurophysiological approaches have been so inadequate in terms of explaining consciousness is that most of them utterly disregard parapsychological evidence. No model is obviously going to be complete if it is true, which it surely is, that individuals can sense being stared at, or have telepathic experiences, and so on.

I suppose something like Goswami's "monistic idealism" is the most plausible alternative to orthodox neuroscientific models. I always considered the fact that brain damage usually cause significant mental change, or that pharmacological agents can drastically alter your moods & world-views fairly impenetrable problems when approached by any non-orthodox worldview. But perhaps not; the brain is obviously essential, and if it's acting as a receiver, naturally any adjustment to that receiver, whether physical damage or pharmacological manipulation, is going to adjust the experience. Like tuning into another station, or adjusting the colour contrast on a TV.

Hard to fit phenomena like memory & learning into this model, IMO, but I'm a mere 22 and have an immense amount yet to learn and experience. I suspect the older I get the more I'll mellow and the more at peace I'll feel with my existential concerns, which at times can admittedly be quite dizzying and depressing.

>In response to van Lommel's (2001) paper, Chris French writes: "But the truth is that nobody knows when the NDEs reported by these patients actually occurred. Was it really during the period of flat EEG or might they have occurred as the patients rapidly entered or gradually recovered from that state?"

>Why do you think you know the answer?

Because the patients report things that were being done to them while they were flatlining.

If van Lommel's data are correct, then brain activity stops within seconds of cardiac arrest. And, he goes on to say, brain activity is slow to resume even after the patient has been revived. Yet many NDErs report what doctors, nurses, paramedics, bystanders, etc. were saying or doing (or even thinking) during an extended period of time after their cardiac arrest and before their resuscitation - in other words, during the time when brain activity must have been effectively nil.

I suppose one might argue that the patients precognitively or retrocognitively sensed what was happening, rather than perceiving it as it occurred. But after a while these "super-psi" arguments (which Braude is so fond of) become rather like a Rube Goldberg machine, with one psi capability added to another and another, until psi becomes indistingushable from omniscience.

I can't rule out super-psi; the hypothesis is so all-encompassing as to be unfalsifiable. But unless super-psi can be demonstrated empirically, it will remain an unlikely possibility to me.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your always-interesting blog. You might enjoy some comments I made a while back about http://www.dailygrail.com/node/225>Woerlee's hypothesis on 'the light' seen during death-bed accounts.

Kind regards,
Greg

Thanks, Greg. I just read your essay, and found it excellent - sensible, well-reasoned, calm, and persuasive. I was also interested to read Dr. Woerlee's response, especially this part:

"I remain by what I said in my article - for her and her family the totality of her experience was a beautiful and satisfying affirmation of their deeply rooted socio-cultural beliefs - an experience transforming her death from a mere biological failure of her mechanisms to a glorious transferral of her spirit from this world to the next."

Two comments on this. First, what a bleak view of human nature - to see death as "a mere biological failure of her mechanisms," as if the woman were an alarm clock that stopped running, or a rusted-out car in a scrapyard. Second, like many skeptics, he seems oblivious to the fact that his own views are colored (to put it mildly) by "deeply rooted socio-cultural beliefs." In this case, of course, a belief in materialistic reductionism, best summarized by the old quip, "There is no ghost in the machine."

By the way, I want to thank you for often linking The Daily Grail to this blog. You bring a lot of traffic my way. If I ever figure out how to put a blog roll on this site, I will definitely include your URL!

NDEs IN RELATION TO EVOLUTION

Before I go to my main point, concerning the relevance of Evolution to these issues, I'd like to point out the bogusness of the almost childishly silly manoeuvre of dismissing a whole variety of phenomena as 'self-evidently' impossible because they're 'Supernatural': if it eventually turned out there really were such things as ghoulies and ghosties (and the likes), some of them maybe even proving to have completely bodily-independent consciousnesses, all that'd mean is we'd finally attained levels of technology accurate and sensitive enough to conclusively prove this, hence 'Supernatural' as a term'd become redundant and the current scientific model'd be revised to accomodate the new data.

My main point however is this: the idea 'Supernatural' type phenomena such as NDEs are only NATURALLY explicable as neurologically induced hallucinations doesn't make the least bit of Evolutionary sense: imagine the scenario: there we are, at the Dawn of Time, a proto-ape type critter of some kind, the lot of us sitting amidst the branches of our communal tree, listening to the imaginary voices in our heads, seeing all those 'Supernatural' typethings that aren't really there: how would we ever be sure if that bunch of 'bananas' we're seeing growing off in the distance is really there? For that matter, which of the 'lions' we're seeing prowling around between us and the hypothetical 'bananas' aren't actually only starvation-induced hallucinations? Indeed, given the permanent collective hysterical paranoia resulting from our perpetual inability to distinguish the real from the unreal, when'd we ever leave our tree long enough to eat (or be eaten), never mind actually evolve into human beings?

In short, given how our innate tendency to such 'insanity' has genetically survived to the present day, doesn't the explanation that 'Supernatural' experiences are merely the result of neurological quirkery make far less Evolutionary sense than the other possibility that it was precisely the development of such capacities as the OBE, telepathy and precognition, etc., which gave our species the edge over those of our anthropoid rivals (many of whom were bigger and stronger and maybe even cleverer than us) who ultimately became extinct?

"I suppose one might argue that the patients precognitively or retrocognitively sensed what was happening, rather than perceiving it as it occurred. But after a while these "super-psi" arguments (which Braude is so fond of) become rather like a Rube Goldberg machine, with one psi capability added to another and another, until psi becomes indistingushable from omniscience."

Why do you think basic precognition and retrocognition are "super-psi" phenomena? Psychical transcendence of time is as experimentally proven as telepathy (see e.g., Radin's books).

As I recall, the experiments Radin cites show precognition (presentiment, really) of events only 1 or 2 seconds in the future. However, I certainly don't rule out precognition of more distant events. In fact, I once had a very specific precognitive dream that came true (quite unexpectedly) two days later. So I do think it can happen.

Basically, when I look at the NDE as a total experience, I see it as something that can't be explained by ordinary psi. The veridical observations ... and such commonly reported elements as the tunnel, the bright light, the life review, the decision about going back ... and the encounters with deceased loved ones, occasionally including someone not previously known to be dead ... as well as the clear impression of being "pulled back" into the body in a physically painful way - all suggest to me that this is not a hallucination, whether psi-enhanced or otherwise, but a real experience.

Of course, I can't prove it. I doubt this kind of thing is susceptible of proof in the rigorous, beyond-any-doubt sense of the term.

I will also add, though I know it is "unscientific," that when I first read about NDEs in Moody's Life After Life, I went from a skeptic to a partial believer almost immediately, because it just felt right. It felt like something I already knew, but had forgotten. Like something I just needed to be reminded of - a word that had been on the tip of my tongue. Naturally, this feeling of "rightness" didn't last long; doubts kicked in; I had to read many other books before I could "rationally" be persuaded. But my initial, unfiltered, off-the-cuff reaction was: Of course that's how it is.

For what it's worth to you. (Probably nothing, I realize.)

A very interesting summary of where current thinking is at wrt the NDE/OBE experience. I have been reading accounts / explanations / sceptical views on this for a number of years, and find myself constantly returning to the same conundrum. If an NDE is experienced while there is no brain activity (and there is plenty of evidence that this has taken place), and you discount the PSI or survival-after-death theories, how exactly is the memory of the NDE created in a brain that has no activity? Enough research has been done on brain activity under many circumstances to demonstrate that whatever happens, recordable activity (measured objectively)is always present (i.e. we cannot 'turn it off'). So how does an experience of the event become a stored memory that can be accessed when brain activity re-starts? Either the experience is stored in a medium we are not aware of (i.e. not in the brain) or the experience is imagined at the point of restarted brain activity. If we discount the imagination angle (evidence suggests this) then how do NDE experiences get stored and later recalled?

Thank you Mr Prescott.

I did enjoy the anti near death experience article but have to say I am a little disappointed by Keith Augustine’s determination to view the concept thru the eyes of 20th century physics.

If indeed there is a dimension of existence that follows this, one that we all return to after life; surely issues such as linear time and being limited to one location are no longer relevant.

So it could indeed be the case that friends that we know in this world could also exist at future points in the next.

I also feel that as the person having the NDE has not died yet, the biological aspect of their mind could also be doing its best to rationalise a very spiritual experience as it unfolds.

As for the argument that not all life reviews are significant, surely it is possible that random memories may feature as the biological mind bows out and the self becomes supported by a purely spiritual mechanism.
I guess what I mean here is there is no reason why you couldn't go thru a series of random moments as the brain dies and then encounter a life review once you pass a certain point.

Some people go that little bit further and so the experience becomes a little bit more profound. Points on scales in order to determine the intensity of the NDE is something that most researchers refer to.

There are many people that believe that the next life is heavily influenced by your own mind and belief system, so this could indeed account for the cultural fluctuations; or at least to begin with - while the self learns to cope with the new surroundings.

A glimpse of the judging or review process that people experience could in fact be a higher part of the self constructing a metaphor that the biological brain can interpret.

I’m not talking about a heaven and hell scenario but if someone has lead a negative existence this may affect the reality that they create for themselves in the next dimension.

I personally think it’s important to remember that during a near death experience what is of paramount importance is the welfare and emotional security of the individual involved. That is why children may be reunited with cuddly toys and comic book characters, while some adults are shown familiar faces; this could be the mind simply defending itself.

Just because the mind defends itself during the preliminary stages of death, or transition of the soul does not mean that the whole process is purely biological and that the experience is any less real.

Surely we must look beyond the logic of this time and dare to be a little philosophical at times.

On the issue of psychics, I believe that many of these people have demonstrated super natural talent at some point; it’s not simply a case of them constructing lies or being deluded.

My humble opinion is that the mistake many of them make is to assume that this ability can be controlled at will and on a regular basis like our other senses.

That’s not to say that there is certainly an afterlife, but I hope with all my heart that it will soon no longer be considered foolish or naive with in intelligent circles to properly explore such notions.

Thanks for considering my points!

If we knew absolutely for sure that there was some kind of life after death we wouldn't mourn the loss of loved ones near as much, and death would lose a lot of it's power as a lesson in separation. If we knew that one day we were going to be reunited with our loved ones death would lose it's sting. We are here to experience separation, and death is the ultimate lesson in separation. Everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences. This earth life is a school, and we are here to learn a few simple lessons. We are here to experience duality and separation which teaches our soul what it means and how it feels to be unique separate individuals, experience time and space, and encode memory engrams of what "out there" feels like, or what it feels like to have physical body. Why? Because heaven (for lack of a better term) is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality, where time and space do not exist and where the way we think creates the reality we experience. I have a high degree of confidenced that one day we will be reunited with out loved ones, and that something of who we are survives the death of our "physical" body. The game is rigged and everyone wins in the end. "God" (for lack of a better term) is so smart that he has created a world where everyone learns what it is they are supposed to learn whether they want to or not. Everyone experiences separation --- time and space -- and memories. One day we will use those memories to create our own reality on the other side. The best NDE that I've read that gave me a glimpse of what "life after death" may be like is Mark Horton's NDE; http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/nde/markh.html that along with Michael Talbot's holographic universe lead me to believe I'm on the right track. http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

Thanks for all your comments.

I agree with Art that if we knew for certain that death is not the end, we might fail to learn the lessons we need to learn. This is why I suspect we will never have absolute proof of an afterlife.

I also agree with Rob that linear, temporal thinking is probably inappropriate when considering an NDE. But Keith Augustine's intent was merely to debunk NDEs by casting as much doubt on them as possible.

As for the question Peter raises, I suspect that all memories, not just memories of NDEs, are stored outside the brain in some way that we cannot fathom. The brain seems to act as a receiver and filter, but the signal seems to be extracerebral. An analogy would be a TV set, which picks up a TV signal and decodes it into pictures and sound. The signal still exists even when the TV is turned off.

Experiments on lab animals have shown that memory is not stored in any particular part of the brain; this is discussed in Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe. Either memory is somehow stored holographically across the whole brain, or it is stored outside the brain. In the latter case, consciousness is not "in" the brain but is simply mediated by the brain. One speculative idea is that consciousness is a quantum phenomenon, and that it interfaces with the brain at the neural synapses where quantum effects may occur. But of course no one really knows.

If I had to sum up the theme of life in one word I would say "separation." It's the theme of the lyrics to most songs, movies, books, plays, etc. We experience separation when our loved ones die, when people get divorced, friends move away, when we are born, when we grow up and leave home, and when we die. To be a bit more graphic even the act of using the restroom is another way we experience separation. We experience separation when we pick a grape or a tomato and when we cut up the food on our plates. Why is it so important that we experience separation? Because "heaven" is a place where the feelings of connectedness and oneness are infinite and overwhelming, probably due to it's holographic nature, and "becoming an individual" may be the one thing that can not be accomplished in heaven and has to be accomplished here in this universe where separation seems to be an inherent property of the universe. Height, weight, color, race, politics, religion, etc. all teach our souls what it means to be separate, unique, individuals. - Art

Thanks, Art. And thanks also for the link to Mark Horton's NDE - a fascinating account!

I have to say Art that I agree with a lot of what you say; and I personally do believe in life after death.

Like you say there has to be a certain amount of faith in all of this and yes I think it could be argued that it’s all set up perfectly.

I just hope a little more evidence will seep thru soon so that it can start radiating in to the mainstream.

Then people who can’t currently explore such issues, because science forbids it; will at least feel comfortable contemplating and debating such notions from time to time.

As for the brain acting like a receiver rather than a sole generator of consciousness, I really could not agree more!

I am not skilled in the ways of science so I will keep my argument to the point.

Firstly if we look at how the brain operates we see examples of it receiving and converting all the time. Sound and light waves are picked up and processed in order to give us the experience of sight and sound, maybe the foundation of the soul is also received and converted.

Some unfortunate people that have been in serious accidents talk about loosing vast amounts of memory, sometimes years of their life disappear.

However, in some cases all of these memories return with in a few years.

If memories were stored physically, surely once they were destroyed they would be no more.

Hypnosis, a fascinating yet taboo subject, has also demonstrated how memories, no matter how old and insignificant, can be accessed and re-experienced.

So if the brain becomes a receiving devise, it could in fact be configured differently in every case to give the temporary illusion of one person being intelligent, another talented musically and the other slow and docile
This would allow people to exist on earth as individuals, these character traits could then be incorporated in to the soul for future reference.

Evidence has also been uncovered and presented in the form of papers and television documentaries to suggest that people that are donated organs sometimes start picking up on the memories of the people that originally owned them.
http://pmhatwater.blogspot.com/2006/06/is-personality-stored-in-celluar-dna.html

So it could be that the whole body is in tune with a conscious field of some sort and so when you put someone’s heart into a new body - it automatically try’s to tune in to the energy patterns or soul of the original being.

The joys of philosophy, science and the courage to believe!

Take good care

"Some people go that little bit further and so the experience becomes a little bit more profound. Points on scales in order to determine the intensity of the NDE is something that most researchers refer to.

There are many people that believe that the next life is heavily influenced by your own mind and belief system, so this could indeed account for the cultural fluctuations; or at least to begin with - while the self learns to cope with the new surroundings." - Rob Dentith
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I believe that everyone becomes enlightened after they die, and the life review is just another tool that helps us in that process of enlightenment. Even the worst of human beings, Hitler, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Stalin, etc., upon dying and realizing the true nature of existence, sheds those aspects of the self that are considered negative. - Art

"So it could be that the whole body is in tune with a conscious field of some sort and so when you put someone’s heart into a new body - it automatically try’s to tune in to the energy patterns or soul of the original being." - Rob Dentith
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I used to believe in reincarnation, but now I sort of believe that something else entirely is going on. Perhaps children who haven't yet developed a strong sense of "self" are somehow tuning into memories that are not their own, and like a radio that is tuned between stations, they may be recieving information from a life that someone else lived. Oftentimes as these children mature, and by age 7, they begin to "forget" those memories (information) that they onced believed were their own. By the same token, hypnotized adults (aka Brian Weiss) may have their sense of self turned off by hypnosis, so they may be tuning into information from some other souls past life. As far as physical manifestations of reincarnation, that may be simply examples of "thoughts being things, and consciousness creating reality" as per Dr. Fred Alan Wolf's book The Spiritual Universe or Amit Goswami's books. Another words, what I'm trying to say is that I believe we may be misinterpreting the evidence we have for reincarnation. I don't doubt that the evidence is real enough, only that we may not fully understand the full nature of the Universe and how it stores information, nor am I positive that we know what it means to be an individual. If I'm right that the purpose of life is to become or learn what it means to be a separate, unique, individual -- it seems to me that reincarnation would be counterproductive towards that goal. - Art


Studying the realm of the paranormal since before world war II I have learned volumes of
information. As a result of research I have
conducted, without fafare, publicity or publication, I Have experienced Astral Projection and on the second experience I saw my silver cord (mentioned in the Christian Bible in one place). Astral Projection is called, "out of body" experience here in America.
I have also had a profound proof of mental telephathy! These and other phenomen such as
clairvoyance, pre-cognitive dreams, visions,
etc. I have experienced.
THE BRAIN IS NOT THE MIND! The brain is an interface between the physical BODY and the non-physical MIND.
End....

In a previous post I turned on the bold type and must have forgotten to turn it off. Somehow it must be affecting other people's posts besides my own. Sorry! I hope this works to turn it off. - Art

Ken, your research sounds really interesting. I have had many out of body experiences, most of them against my will. When I first encountered the intense ringing in my head, or vibrations as they are known - I was terrified.
I thought I was having an epileptic fit (I do not suffer from the condition), or maybe this was a brain tumour?

I would sometimes sleep with the light on, I actually found that if I generated an electrical field by leaving the TV or radio on the intensity of the experience would be reduced dramatically.

For the last 12 years I have read a great deal of literature, frequented a spiritualist church in the name of research and come to the conclusion that consciousness can be supported by a mechanism other than the brain.

I was extremely sceptical to begin with and had trouble believing anything about the supernatural. But there's only so many times you can see transparent legs rise out of your physical legs, or exist as a thinking ball of energy in the corner of the room - before you have no choice but to do so.

I could be talked out of my beliefs if only O.B.E phenomena was being reported. However when you consider N.D.E's, ghost sightings, tested mediums, induced after death communication (breath taking research – induced-adc.com) E.V.P, Quantum Mechanics, reincarnation evidence, death bed visions and research undertaken in a scientific manor by the parapsychology movement along with my own subjective psychic experiences; I am happy to believe!

The personal change in me has been extraordinary, I’ve gone from being a rather selfish, anxious individual to seriously considering becoming a Christian simply so I can be among like minded souls that exercise forgiveness , talk about God and help those that are less fortunate.

But of course you don't have to belong to a religion to have such an out-look.

Dr Melvin Morse talks about the brain having a God Spot, he believes this is a link to a higher plane. My theory is that by having this part of my brain stimulated at night I’ve undergone an amazing transformation that could have physical and meta-physical origins. My eyesight has even improved from me being only just able to drive a car with spectacles (border line case) to having vision, that when corrected now supersedes 20 20.

Of course all of this can be put down to the books I read, a bit of good fortune and some crazy dreams. Although I guarantee that anyone who had undergone the same experiences would find it hard to disregard them.

The experiences happen rarely now, but I hope to start educing them myself when I’m a little older and have more time on my hands.

I am fascinated with this subject (you may have already worked this bit out) and if anyone would like to chat with me further please feel free to email my hotmail account. Robdentith@hotmail.com

I hope to hear from you.

All the very best for now

Rob,your comments strike a chord with me.There have benn som e"paranormal"experiences within my family, although I, myself have not experienced any. Over the years I have read extensively about things such as NDE.,OBE.,Deathbed visions ect and like you they feel like something that I knew but had forgotten. In terms of separateness, could this be the separateness from GOD as described in GENESIS? I tend to think that it is. What do you think?


Hi Wyn

Thanks for the positive feedback - that made my day!

I’m glad that you, like the majority can relate to experience’s that contradict the notion of this reality being all that there is.

We only have to look at nature to see examples of how some creatures can hear and see sounds that others can not. So why should humans think they have all the answers?

Are we seriously too believe that these eyes see all life that can be seen? That these ears hear all that can be heard? And that today’s technology (made by humans) will fill in all of the gaps.

Dogs and bats can hear a range of frequencies that we can not, small animals interpret time differently and yet we believe we are qualified to say, at this stage in our history, that God should be ruled out and that other dimensions of existence are simply not there- how can we?

My own experiences are drawing me closer to biblical texts; and I must say this surprises me. I have yet to study them properly and personally I believe many of the stories to be metaphors that were crafted around supernatural concepts; these of course only seem paranormal with in the parameters of this dimension.

I also believe the human mind is the key to learning more about the origins of existence, why can’t we be creative with concepts? Let’s not forget the rules of mathematics’ only make sense at this point in the Universe- they soon start contradicting themselves.

The idea that we would sooner believe that every animal slowly turned in to every other animal rather than acknowledge that there could have been a degree of intelligent engineering at some level leaves me feeling astonished.

Some of the philosophical thoughts I’ve been left with after my out of body experiences are as follows, although please bare in mind I can’t prove any of them scientifically.

Funny how during a time when we were encouraged not to conceive ideas that could not be tested by contemporary science and faith became a dirty word, family’s broke down, anti depressant’s started being prescribed in their millions and the corporate sector took over the world.

Meanwhile mankind continues to slowly evolve in a metta-physical sense and as we slowly CHOOSE to govern ourselves thru rules that are based around goodness, justice and compassion, with out fear of eternal damnation, we’re making good progress.


The West has united over the course of the last 60 years and more information about the next dimension is starting to seep thru.

But we’ve got a long way to go yet! Let me make this point again, we’ve got a long way to go yet!

The CIA’s research in to O.B.E’s and remote viewing is a prime example of my point. Evidence was indeed obtained that suggested E.S.P phenomena is a reality and how did we intend to use some of this knowledge? As a cold war spying tool, that’s how!

Is it any wonder that the evidence was sporadic and unpredictable?


Maybe science and creativity could together solve the mystery, or maybe we aren’t ready to solve it just yet.

Best wishes

Rob



I fail to see why so many people spend so much time on this. There either is or there isn't life after death. If there is why worry about it? If there isn't that it's and once again why worry about it?

As a good friend of Rob Dentith for the last 18 years I write to inform readers of this forum that Rob passed away on 5th October 2006.

I have read this forum with great interest, and feel compelled to contribute after having one of the most incredible weeks of my life.
I knew Rob well, and spent a lot of time with him between 1998 and 2000.
I remember at the time rob used to have some fairly “out there” ideas, many of which I could not and did not want to understand.
I heard of robs death through a very close friend, and have spent a lot of time thinking about him for the past 3 weeks – mainly due to the fact that this is the first friend I had lost, I had not seen him at all from 2000 – 2006 but had kept an ear to how he was doing, and he seemed to have progressed so far from when I hung around with him years back.

Now I have never had an interest in the area of life after death and alternative existences, as my opinion was that once we died, we were absorbed by the earth to pass on our energy to other living organisms. I have never been religious, nor had any beliefs apart from that expressed in the previous sentence.

Last Sunday I went to see a Spiritual Medium – as recommended to me by a friend.
Now I am one of the biggest sceptics in the world and like ideas that I can firstly comprehend and secondly understand through reason and valid evidence based argument.
Thus I attended with a very tight lipped manner.

I wont go into the details of the information I was provided with, but I will say that the things I was told were too accurate, and too numerous, and too personal to ever be pure coincidence. Since the reading, more and more things discussed during the reading have come to light and have given me some serious food for thought about my belief systems and my future direction in life. The term enlightenment is often batted around when discussed in the circle of faith – but this is the only term I can use to best describe my feelings over the last few days.

If someone had of told me last year that this is how I would begin to think, I would have laughed in their faces – but I truly believe that the events I have experienced have been a certain someones way of saying, hey matt, you know what I was right all along!

Now for those that don’t know me, you may well think that my previous few paragraphs are the ranting of a mad man – however, for those who do know me well, that read this article, you will understand entirely why I felt the need to retort my experiences to the readers of this topic.
Thank you for reading.

I'd like to debunk Keith's Augustine's article on NDE's but it is really hard. You mentioned the fact that Pam Reynolds described a saw used in her operation yet as Augustine says dental drills have interchangable blades and are similar in design to the drill in question.It could very well have come from her imagination.

Although some of Keith's arguments are ridiculous - such as the one related to the blind people not seing colour - I find that his debunkment of the Pam Reynolds case has very few weak points, if any.

I'd like you to please share your thoughts on this.

There is also another difficulty with the hypothesis that the mind is seperate from the brain, specifically that mental diseases such as Alsheimer's severy affect a person's mental processes. Since consciousness is clearly affected by biological factors how can one support the hypothesis mentioned above since on death all biological processes stop?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this issue as well which is also one of Keith Augustine's key points (as well as most of the materialists)

Savvas,

I address these issues on my blog in these posts. Hope they answer your questions.

Best,

Matthew

Matt S,

Thank you for sharing your story. And not to worry: I really doubt that anyone who reads this blog would consider your remarks "the rantings of a madman"! We have discussed even stranger things.

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, but happy that you are having these meaningful experiences.

Savvas wrote,

>as Augustine says dental drills have interchangable blades and are similar in design to the drill in question. It could very well have come from her imagination.

It's possible, but I've undergone my share of dental work, and I have no idea what a dental drill looks like. And why would she imagine a saw that opened her skull looking anythinglike a dental drill? (Well, maybe because the sound was similar. Maybe ...)

I think Matthew's posts on the transmission theory of consciousness (linked in his comment above) give a good answer to the issue of Alzheimer's, etc. As a simple analogy, the shows that appear on your TV do not originate inside the TV set. They originate as a signal broadcast through space. The TV picks up this signal and decodes it, translating it into pictures and sound. Now, if the TV is damaged, it may no longer produce a sharp picture or clear sound - but the signal will remain undamaged.

Yes, but in the case of consciousness one can say that the signal originates from the brain(starting at birth).This changes the analogy somewhat does it not?

No, the signal does not originate in the brain. It is received by the brain. It originates, presumably, on the spiritual plane.

(Sorry I didn't respond sooner. Didn't know this thread was still active.)

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