Arikel door Lynn Mctaggert
POSTED ONNov 14, 2014POSTED BYLynne Mctaggart
Last month I read Eban Alexander’s Proof of Heaven. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s the story of a neuroscientist who experienced a week-long near death experience while in a death’s door coma after he’d developed bacterial meningitis. While his relatives watched his lifeless body, he was fully conscious, traveling through different dimensions, ultimately to an extraordinary paradise.
It wasn’t his time yet. He survived, and his experience turned every thought he had about death and the brain and consciousness on its head. The only reasonable explanation is that consciousness never dies but after death, goes to another ‘place’. The most remarkable aspect of Alexander’s story is that before his experience, he was firmly of the mind = brain and brain-is-responsible-for-consciousness camp.
After his experience, he realized that this just cannot be true. His experience could not have resulted from the ravings of a dying brain (the standard medical explanation of near death experiences) because his neocortex was filled with pus and completely non-functioning. Nevertheless, he was hyperaware of every aspect of his other worldly journey.
And now new evidence backs up Alexander’s experience. The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences demonstrates, just as Alexander experienced, that some form of conscious awareness continues even when the brain has shut down completely.
Scientists at the University of Southampton spent four years examining 2000 heart attack victims who’d attended some 15 hospitals in the UK, the US and Austria.
Nearly 40 per cent of the survivors reported some kind of ‘awareness’ and out-of-body experience during the time they’d been considered clinically ‘dead’ and before their hearts were restarted.
For instance one 57-year-old Southampton social worker could describe in great detail all the action of the nursing staff and the sounds of machines during the three minutes he’d been unconscious and, to all intents and purposes, ‘dead’.
Study leader Dr. Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University, and presently at the State University of New York, acknowledged that the standard medical view is that ‘the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,’ and ‘the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. ‘
Nevertheless, in this case, says Parnia, ‘conscious awareness appears to have continued to up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating. The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he head two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three-minute intervals. So we could time how long the experience lasted for. Everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened. ‘
As Parnia concluded, ‘Many people have assumed that these were hallucinations or illusions, but they do seem to correspond to actual events.’
Of the 300 survivors of cardiac arrest, 140 had experienced some form of consciousness and many described broadly similar experiences. Just as Alexander had recounted in his detailed description of his NDE, a number recounted being dragged through deep water (he had called it the ‘Worm’s- eye View of the World’), seeing some sort of bright light or shining sun, and experiencing a super-real heightening of their senses. Nevertheless, only a tiny minority had full awareness like an out-of-body experience, and a number had experiences that were fearful, even persecutory.
This work is being bolstered by the research of David Wilde, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, who is putting together information about out-of-body experiences, which remain a thorn in the side of materialist scientists attempting to explain away NDEs as the kick-back of a dying brain.
With this large sample size, he says, and some ‘very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died’ at last the medical community is beginning to take seriously the idea that consciousness is the one constant that remains long after the body, and probably forever