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Most interesting!

Another point is that the experiencer 'knew his children were going to be OK'.

It may be that the sense of non-attachment to this world during an NDE is less a feeling of indifference to an inconsequential dream, and more a conviction that everything will work out fine for everyone in our world.

This has been echoed over many centuries by another group of 'altered-consciousness experiencers' - the mystics.

Examples include the revelation of Dr Richard Bucke in the late 19th century:

"... the soul of man is as immortal as God is; the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain."

And, perhaps most succinctly and movingly of all, the experience of 14th century mystic Julian of Norwich:

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”

If indeed 'the foundation principle of the universe is what we call love', one would expect that the ultimate trajectory of each individuated mind is toward eventual joy, happiness and fulfilment. Both NDErs and mystics state this with complete conviction.

'began writing his own compositions, which he says are simply "downloaded" into his brain.'

Michael "downloaded"'s a good term so long as others readin' this blog 'realise DR Cicoria's almost certainly referrin' t'somethin' more akin t'an instantly downloaded zipper file which even as y'hearin/seein'/*perceivin'*/graspin' the entire thing in one global go turns out t'contain still more sub-zipper files which not only perform similiar routines pertainin' t'more an' more *distantly* related *knowledge* but reveal still more sub-SUB-zipper files doin' pretty much the same thing creatin' this sort o' ever expandin' spherical tidal wave o' *knowledge* effect [some versions bein' gentler on the nervous system than others].

'There was never a microsecond where I wasn’t thinking and conscious of everything I was doing.'

I suspect here Dr Cicoria's usin' the term 'thinking' loosely 'cause the one thing y'don't do is *think* ie give y'self a runnin' inner verbal narration/travelogue o' what it is y'think's happ'nin' at any given moment.

It's very much I suggest a direct perception [where *you* are *it* an' *it* is *you*] thing an' all the labellin'/describin'/conceptualizin' only comes after things've calmed down [a bit like bein' able t'keep y'attention on the screen durin' your favourite film Fight Club an' not havin' t'keep lookin' at y'mate who insists on givin' y'his take on what he thinks's goin' on].

Dr Cicoria tho' might disagree.

extreme reluctance to go back to his physical, earthly life, because his experience after passing was purely positive. ("... how wonderful this was and there isn’t any negative thought, everything is positive thought and love and warmth and a great feeling.") No wonder he was screaming, “Please don’t make me go back, I don’t want to be here,” as he was revived.

So clearly some controlling entity forced him back. Mind-control is going on -only positive thoughts allowed of the afterlife –don’t look at me as I really am, sucking on your negative earth loosh. Embarrassing Bodies.

Barbara, with all respect, I think your comments say more about your state of mind than about the afterlife.

Interesting NDE. His comment about "downloading" music reflect what I commented about before, how many artists, and even just ordinary people, have said how inspiration "just comes" to them.

I don't know if the effect could possibly be explained by the effects of being hit by lightning - that somehow, certain un-used parts of his brain were somehow activated. I would think the opposite would occur, and his brain would be damaged if anything. Sounds interesting though, but it's not something I'd be willing to try out on myself!

Dr. Cicoria's NDE story is inspiring to me, but after listening to him play on a couple of YouTube video's, I find his music sounds kinda okey-dokey, but not all that impressive. I didn't detect any elaborate trills or complicated movements.
It's probably my tin ear toward classical music (Keith Emerson, now that's a pianist!), but the fact that he can play the piano at all, and so quickly under the circumstances is the "magic" here.

Since I doubt I'll be writing reviews for International Piano Magazine anytime soon, I was wondering if Dr. Cicoria has been critically reviewed by any serious music critics outside of the NDE community.
Just wondering...

PS: I should have added that Gallenberger and his group were sometimes able to get the casino to reserve a table just for them (or even to set it up in a private hotel room), to reduce negative vibes from others.

Oops--that "PS" post of mine should have gone into the Chris Carter thread. (I've just re-posted it there.)

"Second, his lack of any sense of attachment to this life – even to his own children. ("Okay, that was that.") This reminds me of a point that our commenter Art has made – namely, that upon making the transition to the other side, we will see this life as little more than a brief, almost inconsequential dream.....etc."

True, this sense of peace and detachment is a common theme in NDEs. However, in after death communications there is often much concern for loved ones and unfinished earthly affairs.

How do we make sense of this contradiction?

IMO, NDEs are extremely interesting and definitely provide evidence of a mind beyond the brain, but are poor sources for gaining an understanding of what life after death is like, what life means, etc.

If you had never been to Paris and wanted to know what it is like, who would you pay attention to; the guy who spent one night there getting a whirl tour in a limo - or the guy who has lived, worked and played there for the past ten years?

Any how interesting post. I listened to some of Dr. Cicoria's music here:

Sure the technique isn't too good and the composition is a little simple. OTOH I like it! And it's cool that the man has such feelings, such musically expressed passions, coming through to him where, apparently, he did not before the NDE.

Really interesting post thank you. I liked Rupert's comments particularly.

Thanks for the YouTube link. It sounds as though he's trying to rewrite Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

I looked up the same piece No One linked and enjoyed it very much as well, lots of soul!!!(and his technique is actually pretty good for someone who began as an adult)

Ha Ha indeed Matt....I might call it, invoking the feeling that the Bach piece capture' you ;D


Tis a bit unfair to compare him to prodigious virtuosos ;)

I teach children & adults guitar, and if Mr. Cicoria started as an adult(no prior significant exposure before the age of 9) he has made stupendous progress.

Thanks 'no one' for the YouTube link. I listened to the 'performance' by Dr. Cicoria and was not impressed at all. He does what a lot of amateur pianists do which is to keep his foot on the sustaining pedal. That is definitely an annoying habit. I realize his 'gift' is not performance but writing down what he hears. Improvisation is easy for good piano players; it's the writing it down that is, if not difficult---time consuming. I didn't read that Dr. Cicoria played the piano before he was hit by lightning? If he had some training or experience playing the piano, then this 'totally new' ability to write music may not be anything out of the ordinary. In my many years of studying and playing the piano, improvisation came easy for me and I suppose if I had a lot of time on my hands I wouldn't have to get hit by lightning to write it down. - AOD

On Coat to Coast radio Thursday night:

Tonight's show
1am - 5am ET
10pm - 2am PT
Contact from the Afterlife
Thu 02-13
Therapist Carla Wills-Brandon will discuss her work documenting evidence of contact with the afterlife through deathbed visions. She'll give specific examples of the dying making contact with loved ones who have already departed, suggesting that physical death is not the end of one's existence.

Agreed, Talcott.

Looking for "dazzle" in spirituality is one of the traps that we, or at least I can all-too lazily fall into.
It's so easy to lose sight of the dazzle within the abundance of life, right in front of our face.

Downloaded is a holographic universe thing. In the online essay "The Universe as a Hologram" the author talks about it. In a holographic piece of film all the information is connected together so that when it is accessed it happens as a bolus of information, all at one time.

"it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage--simply by changing the angle at which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information. Our uncanny ability to quickly retrieve whatever information we need from the enormous store of our memories becomes more understandable if the brain functions according to holographic principles. If a friend asks you to tell him what comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa" all pop into your head instantly. Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is that every piece of information seems instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram. Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with every other portion, it is perhaps nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system."

"And I had really no concern other than the fact that when I saw them, I just had the feeling that they’re going to be fine."

The reason they are going to be fine is because everything here is preplanned. The education of the soul is too important to leave up to chance. A good teacher has a detailed lesson plan with the objectives clearly stated at the top. The teacher knows what the students are supposed to learn before the students ever step foot in the classroom.

Excerpt from James E's NDE: "I knew why there was bad in the world, I knew why there was good, I knew that every little thing that will ever occur here, is exactly planned out, in order to bring about something else. Everything we have ever done or known or will know, is perfectly planned out and perfectly in tune."

Excerpt from Carl Turner's NDE: "I knew that everything is perfect and happening according to some divine plan, regardless of all the things we see as wrong with the world."

Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram: "At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously."

"A good teacher has a detailed lesson plan with the objectives clearly stated at the top. The teacher knows what the students are supposed to learn before the students ever step foot in the classroom."

"everything here is preplanned."

Yes, a good teacher plans. But he also allows, and indeed, relishes and encourages, spontaneity.

And he never doubts that he himself is a student!

Just thinking here, Art, but I don't get the "I knew why there was bad in the world, I knew why there was good..." A lot of NDErs seem to say this, but they never say WHY they understand this, there's never an explanation. The only logical explanation I've ever heard was not from an NDEr, and that explanation was that here in the physical world, we experience the bad as part of our spirit's mission to define itself. For instance, if you're a spirit in "heaven" and you know you're courageous, you can't prove that until you come to a place where you face evil and fear, and that can only be here. (As a non-physical entity, you're never going to be threatened by a grizzly bear, or risk death in order to stand up for what you believe is right.) But it's just my pet peeve that NDErs never fully explain themselves. In the "little" NDE that I experienced, none of this was shown to me. It was intense, but the only knowledge I seemed to have brought back is that there is "an other side" and those we love are waiting for us there, it was quite obvious and apparent. I call it a "little NDE" just for this reason, that nothing was revealed to me about good and evil.

"Just thinking here, Art, but I don't get the "I knew why there was bad in the world, I knew why there was good..." A lot of NDErs seem to say this, but they never say WHY they understand this, there's never an explanation." - Kathleen

Soul stuff is pure consciousness. It is like a new born baby. Or like an empty DVD disc. Nothing has been written on it yet. A newborn baby comes into this world not knowing about how to control its body or what anything looks or sounds or tastes like so it spends the rest of it's life exploring the physical universe around it.

If a soul had never been born it wouldn't know anything. Living in this world gives it the knowledge to create, to use the information it has learned, to go to wherever or whenever in the history of the Universe it wants to. On the other side the only thing that exists is that which has been thought of. That is why we are here, to gather information about what it's like to be alive, to be inside a body, what the physical universe feels like, what it means and how it feels to be separate, taste, touch, sight, flavor, smells, sounds, feelings, etc.

Suffering exists to teach the soul about the physical universe. Separation to develop a sense of self, and physical pain to imprint or encode memories of the parameters of the physical body. I think suffering has more to do with quantum physics and the holographic nature of the Universe than any ephemeral feelings. 

The more emotional the experience the more powerful and longer lasting the memory it creates. Cutters, self flagellators, those guys in Malaysia who stick swords and pieces of metal through their cheeks, the Filipinos who have themselves nailed up on crosses, and the American Indians who have the flesh of their chests and backs pierced and then hung on hooks up in the air are all being controlled by the soul in order to gather information on the nature of the 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

Like computer code. The soul comes from a place where absolutely nothing exists without it first being thought of, and before it can be thought of it has to be learned or imprinted on the soul so that one day it will be able to use this information to create it's own reality. Who wants to exist in nothingness for eternity?

Physical suffering imprints the parameters of the body on the soul. It teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be inside or inhabit a body. 

Those guys in the middle ages who self flagelllated themselves were being directed by the soul to hurt themselves so that they could be imprinted with the parameters of the body. Like computer code. Cutters, people who hang themselves from hooks, tattoos, body piercing, those guys in Malaysia who stick metal through their gums and skin, are all being used by the soul to learn abuot the body. 

The more emotional and painful the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. The soul uses the body to learn about the physical universe and then when it's finished it casts it off like an old suit of clothes. 

Sometimes life doesn't offer us a choice. No one chooses to be burnt, or get a paper cut, or to be bitten by a mosquito and have to scratch, or poison Ivy, or any of a myriad of other unpleasant experiences, but suffering and pain seem to be inherent and inescapable experiences of the physical Universe. 

It doesn't matter to the soul whether the experience is positive or negative. All that matters is that it experiences the physical universe, and lots and lots of it. And as far as it being hot or just warm, or freezing cold or just pleasantly cool, it's just a matter of degree. The soul just has to store up enough information to last for eternity. 

Life's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul learns holistically whether we want it to or not. We don't have to do jack squat for the soul to learn what it needs to learn. Yes, God is that smart.

There is knowing something and then there is knowing something. Like driving a car. How can you learn to drive a car unless you get in one and drive it? Watching a video or watching someone else do it isn't enough. Or riding a bike? The only way to learn how to ride a bike is to get on it and ride it. Or for instance, sex. I knew about sex when I was in the fifth grade. I knew a lot about it since I had read the book The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck when I was in the fourth grade. But, knowing what sex is, is way different than having actually made love to another person and actually doing it. The feeling, the emotion, the smell, the sounds, the touch, etc. Those are things you can't capture in a book or even on a DVD. Even just watching somebody else experience it is not the same. You have to participate in it to truly understand it. 

There are a myriad of experiences in life that are like that. Tastes, smells, feelings, emotions, touch, sight, sounds, etc. What it feels like to jump into a wave and ride it into shore, what it feels like to ride a bike real fast over a small hump in the road, that feeling in the pit of your stomach, etc.

How do you capture what a green olive tastes like on paper? You can see someone on TV eat an olive but you in no way shape or form know what an olive tastes like until you actually put one in your mouth and bite into it. 
 How do you describe the color red? What a flower smells like? What it feels like to have the Sun warm you? When you say we KNOW something, that is way different than actually experiencing it for yourself.

I used to read the encyclopedia when I was a kid, and I learned a lot from it, but reading about something and actually experiencing it for yourself are two entirely different things and the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

There is a strong connection between emotion and memory. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. What we experience here has to evoke enough emotion so that we will remember the lessons we learned.

It has to be powerful enough to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven otherwise after we cross back over we will lose our sense of individuality and just merge back into the oneness that surrounds us. It's a holographic universe thing. In a holographic piece of film everything is connected, each piece contains the whole. Time and space don't exist. So we come here to learn what time and space feel and look like and what it means and how it feels to be separate, what it feels like to have a body, and control that body.

Thanks Art, for your answers. What you write makes a lot of sense. Logically, I can see that if we don't die, that our spiritual self needs some sort of context - so that as you say, we don't exist as a blob of nothingness. The physical world gives us contrast, context, and separateness. I've read a fair amount of NDErs experiences, but maybe not enough, and yet they don't express it as this - just along general lines. Maybe they don't have the ability to express it. One thing that's interesting is how many people object to the conventional idea of heaven - of living "up in the clouds" with not much going on, and how boring that would be. It would be like living forever, which if you really think about it, would be awful.

"One thing that's interesting is how many people object to the conventional idea of heaven - of living "up in the clouds" with not much going on, and how boring that would be. It would be like living forever, which if you really think about it, would be awful." - kathleen

Or how about existing as pure consciousness, like a gas filling a cylinder, surrounded by absolutely nothing, knowing nothing, feeling nothing, seeing nothing, tasting nothing, hearing nothing, smelling nothing? Not knowing or even understanding what separateness is, what time and space look or feel like, what it feels like to have a body, or control that body?

The interesting thing about heaven is that it is described as a place where "thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality." A place where matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness, where consciousness is primary and matter is secondary.

Now how could you "create" anything with your thoughts if you had never experienced anything? Like asking someone to write a book - but the writer had never been anywhere or done anything exciting - or experienced anything, and their whole world had consisted of living in a sterile world where nothing ever happened? They say writers are supposed to write what they know; but the only way you can have anything interesting to say is if you had gone out and done something interesting.

In Mark H's NDE description (who is not the same person as Mark Horton by the way) he says, "Suddenly I thought of a mountain, I had seen as a child. When I looked up from the road there it was; The Mountain! Not just the mountain! But the most breathtaking mountain I had ever seen! Details the likes of which no one could imagine. Colors shades of color, shadows for which there are no words in the human language to describe it."

A.J. Ayer's, a famous atheist said, of his NDE description "It was most extraordinary. My thoughts became persons.”

We come here simply to gain information and knowledge that can only be learned or gained by actually doing it. Just like driving a car or riding a bicycle. We learn the things here that can't be learned in heaven, and after we gain that understanding we can go back to the place we call heaven and create whatever we think of. Like Jesus said to the pharisees, "did I not tell you are gods?" (John 10:34)

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