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The Day I died (Documentary)



This conversation reminds me of one I had with number of Veterans from different conflict during the last Century.

All those who spoke to me a number being family members and opened up were confounded by the change in many non religious folks sharing there trench when it became to hot. Everyone started to pray and those who were near death of due to their wounds which I will not go into detail spoke of calming light. Furthermore, having faced death on number occasions one being on a army base have felt this same feeling which very powerful and I don't discard some of the scientific viewpoints when it does not come with a ridicule factor but going on the data not just some electronic machine which can be manipulated the same as a human experience . On personnel level my own brother who had near death experience saw the so called light in a tunnel.
Like everything in life until you experience it you never know.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
OK I think we've nailed down the relevant part of the video ...
To add ... The experience of consciousness in my view must be something that is separate from the material of the brain/body system, yet inextricably linked to it. This is why I say that consciousness is something that a normally functioning brain/body system gives rise to, and why I tend to use the rather simplistic, but nonetheless appropriate light bulb analogy.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Like everything life until you experience it you never know ...
Thanks for sharing. While I agree that firsthand experience is much more powerful evidence than the skeptics would care to admit, it's still true that it can be wrongly interpreted. So while I don't doubt that these experiences happen, until we have more definitive evidence, it's still reasonable to question ( and explore ) the beliefs offered to explain them.
 

Para

Paranormal Maven
Could consciousness exist outside of the brain. Could it be what we refer to as the mind?

Many people have experienced NDE's from all walks of life, it is hard to dismiss all as illusion. I find the subject a very interesting one, but I agree, one must always approach any topic like this with a level head and look at all sides of the fence.

We are never going to really know until each one of dies. Maybe, there is nothing, or maybe we will be suprised by what's beyond.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Could consciousness exist outside of the brain. Could it be what we refer to as the mind?
Many people have experienced NDE's from all walks of life, it is hard to dismiss all as illusion. I find the subject a very interesting one, but I agree, one must always approach any topic like this with a level head and look at all sides of the fence.
We are never going to really know until each one of dies. Maybe, there is nothing, or maybe we will be suprised by what's beyond.

I think consciousness does exist outside of what we consider the material that makes up the brain itself. It has to. But at the same time, the overwhelming evidence is that it also comes into existence as a direct result of a normally functioning brain/body system, and isn't some free floating "ghost in the machine" type thing as is theorized ( or believed ) to be the case by some. So it's not that consciousness is entirely one or the other, as is usually argued, but a working interdependent combination of both. Also, the definitive experiments I mentioned earlier could conceivably prove that consciousness is able to detach a significant distance from the brain, enabling us to learn at least that much without having to experience death ourselves.
 
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Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
We are never going to really know until each one of dies. Maybe, there is nothing, or maybe we will be suprised by what's beyond.

Well, maybe we won't know for sure, but actually lots of good scientists are working on it and we probably will have some insight in what my or may not await us in a few years' time. Concerning NDEs, the AWARE study is going to release preliminary results in autumn this year and it looks like they have found at least good reason to carry on with the research (if you know Dr Sam Parnia, he's actually mostly on the skeptical side).

As the recent Skeptiko guest Steve Miller says, the NDE field isn't just people telling their subjective stories, it's extensive objective research over many years on hundreds of people by very good scientists (not kooky ones as the debunkers would like people to think). It's just that these studies hardly get any media coverage whereas short-term studies on a couple of dozen people, that seem to indicate that hypoxia or medication might be responsible or that NDEs might be hallucinations occuring in the split seconds when the patient regains consciousness and so on, get at least a few headlines.

Now add to this the fact that the phenomenon of memories of deceased people turning up in young childrens' minds, which has been studied for around 50 years now, is undobtedly real (see my discussion with Ufology here).

Furthermore, add the fact that the psychic medium research by people like Gary Schwartz and Julie Beischel shows quite clearly that at least some so-called psychic mediums sometimes do know things about deceased persons they have absolutely no way of knowing.

Of course, none of the above research fields can offer any proof of an afterlife, but together they provide (IMO) quite a good argument for the notion that the brain might not be generating consciousness at all but rather receiving or translating it and that some "consciousness core" survives the death of the body. What that means exactly, I don't know. Maybe the universe is one giant holographic memory. Maybe there's a singularity of consciousness that brought it about in the first place, to which we will eventually return. But that part is indeed nothing but speculation.

But to still say "it's probably all just wishful thinking", "hallucinations of the oxygen-starved brain" or, as it has been said of psychic and paranormal research in general "a hundred years of nothing" (= without any results), that's missing the point entirely, like saying "UFOs? Nothing but swamp gas, weather ballons, hoaxes and people who desperately want to believe".
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
But to still say "it's probably all just wishful thinking", "hallucinations of the oxygen-starved brain" or, as it has been said of psychic and paranormal research in general "a hundred years of nothing" (= without any results), that's missing the point entirely, like saying "UFOs? Nothing but swamp gas, weather ballons, hoaxes and people who desperately want to believe".
We need to be more discerning when comparing NDE research to ufology. NDE research is more akin to abduction research than ufology in general. When it comes to the reality of UFOs (alien craft ), there's plenty of evidence that makes it reasonable to believe they exist. However alien abductions involve issues of consciousness and memory that are much more similar to NDEs. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find that some experiences that were believed to have been alien abductions, might have been unconscious processes similar to NDEs ... perhaps even NDEs that the person wasn't aware of. For example I ran across an article someplace ( I forget where ) that said one study showed that many people may have had heart attacks and weren't aware of them. They only showed up on scans at some later date. The other important difference is that if all these claims are true, it shouldn't be that hard to confirm them via the types of experiments mentioned earlier. With NDEs we're not dependent the appearance of some third-party alien intervention. We have everything we need in order to do the experiments, yet we have found zero substantial corroborating evidence, and often worse, the usual excuses as to why astral travelers won't participate in controlled experiments, or that the experiments aren't valid for them.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Actually I wasn't comparing UFO and NDE research, just the reactions of the skeptics to them. But still, I think the comparison isn't that far off as you make it out to be. There is plenty of evidence that NDEs are more than just fantasies, IMO more than there is for alien abduction (of course I am no expert). The Pamela Reynolds case being maybe the most prominent evidence, recently the Eben Alexander case, and hundreds of others (as Para said, all walks of life), including reports from blind people and children. All of them different in detail but similar in the whole. People reporting to have perceived things and visited places while they were seemingly unconscious which can later be verified. And then there are these deep changes in people's lives and characters which can't be duplicated by any "god helmet" etc.

What do "astral travelers" (an esoteric term I guess) have to do with solid NDE research? Are you trying to bring NDE research into some esoteric corner here? If you meant OBEs, those are indeed hardly researched, not only because alleged OBEers often do have some esoteric agenda and don't want to be tested, but also because there aren't many scientists who would want to be associated with these esoteric sounding things. It has been done, though. Charles Tart did some experiments and had one or two "hits" in that numbers were read correctly during an OBE. I don't know of any others.

In her OBE, Pamela Reynolds claims to have "heard" the nurse complaining about not getting enough blood out of one vein and "seen" her proceeding to another on the other leg, which was verified, same with the "electric toothbrush" bonesaw and the "toolbox" in which the saws were kept. All of which she ostensibly couldn't have seen or heard before or after the surgery.

These cases stand and fall with the content of these OBEs, of course, because we can't say anything about the veracity of the rest of the NDE. That's why Dr Sam Parnia is doing these target experiments with hidden symbols, numbers etc. I guess we are going to hear about that in the AWARE study results. The problem is, if I imagine being in such a state, even if I objectively could percieve my surroundings, I would probably not care about any symbols or numbers. I would probably want to do a little cloud-diving on Jupiter.

I guess we've discussed this already. Instinctively, I want to think there is at least as much evidence in NDE research as there is in the UFO field and I don't want NDEs to be compared with alien abduction scenarios, which I'm afraid might be related to sleep paralysis, night terrors etc. But maybe we are both doing the abductees wrong here. Maybe their experiences and NDEs - and why not include lucid dreams - are not just some hallucinations of a befuddled brain but veridical experiences of a greater reality which is maybe not very objective (in that although things are real in that "consciousness space", everyone percieves them in his own way), and can only be explored within consciousness itself.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Actually I wasn't comparing UFO and NDE research, just the reactions of the skeptics to them.
You were making a point using a comparison between UFOs and NDEs as seen by skeptics. I was addressing that particular point.
But still, I think the comparison isn't that far off as you make it out to be. There is plenty of evidence that NDEs are more than just fantasies, IMO more than there is for alien abduction (of course I am no expert). The Pamela Reynolds case being maybe the most prominent evidence, recently the Eben Alexander case, and hundreds of others (as Para said, all walks of life), including reports from blind people and children. All of them different in detail but similar in the whole. People reporting to have perceived things and visited places while they were seemingly unconscious which can later be verified. And then there are these deep changes in people's lives and characters which can't be duplicated by any "god helmet" etc.

What do "astral travelers" (an esoteric term I guess) have to do with solid NDE research? Are you trying to bring NDE research into some esoteric corner here? If you meant OBEs, those are indeed hardly researched, not only because alleged OBEers often do have some esoteric agenda and don't want to be tested, but also because there aren't many scientists who would want to be associated with these esoteric sounding things. It has been done, though. Charles Tart did some experiments and had one or two "hits" in that numbers were read correctly during an OBE. I don't know of any others.

In her OBE, Pamela Reynolds claims to have heard the nurse complaining about not getting enough blood out of one vein and seen her proceeding to another on the other leg, which was verified, same with the "electric toothbrush" bonesaw and the "toolbox" in which the saws were kept. All of which she ostensibly couldn't have seen or heard before or after the surgery.

These cases stand and fall with the content of these OBEs, of course, because we can't say anything about the veracity of the rest of the NDE. That's why Dr Sam Parnia is doing these target experiments with hidden symbols, numbers etc. I guess we are going to hear about that in the AWARE study results. The problem is, if I imagine being in such a state, even if I objectively could percieve my surroundings, I would probably not care about any symbols or numbers. I would probably want to do a little cloud-diving on Jupiter.

I guess we've discussed this already. Instinctively, I want to think there is at least as much evidence in NDE research as there is in the UFO field and I don't want NDEs to be compared with alien abduction scenarios, which I'm afraid might be related to sleep paralysis, night terrors etc. But maybe we are both doing the abductees wrong here. Maybe their experiences and NDEs - and why not include lucid dreams - are not just some hallucinations of a befuddled brain but veridical experiences of a greater reality which is maybe not very objective (in that although things are real in that "consciousness space", everyone percieves them in his own way), and can only be explored within consciousness itself.

During the NDE, people experience an OOBE so there's no practical difference when what we're talking about is disembodied consciousness. There is some difference if you take into account the religious aspects, which makes NDEs and tunnels of light and alternate realms more like astral travel, which is supposedly a kind of OOBE whereby our consciousness can not only travel to remote locations here on Earth, but to other planes of existence as well. It differs from remote viewing in that rather than getting a vague sense of something at some remote location, the astral traveler believes they are actually consciously present at the remote location.

Regarding the Eben Alexander case: I watched him on the Dr. Oz show, and assuming any of it is true in the first place, there's still nothing in his ( or any other person's experience ) I've come across so far, that cannot be applied to the possible explanations I've already mentioned in other posts. Oz himself offers still more possibilities to consider: The Markers of a Near-Death Experience | The Dr. Oz Show
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
The 'tunnel' description reminds me of this - first half of video - or rather, when I saw this video I flashed on the 'tunnel' description - not sure it's relevant to the discussion but it's fun -

Optical Effects of Special Relativity
LINK:
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
During the NDE, people experience an OOBE so there's no practical difference when what we're talking about is disembodied consciousness. There is some difference if you take into account the religious aspects, which makes NDEs and tunnels of light and alternate realms more like astral travel,

...which is why serious NDE researchers concentrate on the OBE part which seems to take place in the here and now. Unless there is information given in the later part of the NDE, which can be verified and hasn't been known to the experiencer before (such as the alleged "lost sister" in Dr Eben Alexander's account who he didn't know had died already), no one can say if there might be any truth to "the rest of the story", as PMH Atwater called it (she being an example of the more speculative kind of NDE researcher). So scientists can't say anything about that. It's what you reminded me of in our "born again" discussion: stick to the demonstrable facts.

My gut feeling is that religious experiences in NDEs are merely personal interpretations based on a deeper reality that can only be experienced in the mind and therefore is bound to be highly subjective. Dr Alexander's primeval forests and butterfly wings are very unlikely to have any objective existence and I think the same applies to religious figures or events described in NDEs.

Up to now we only have anecdotal evidence for the veracity of the alleged NDE-OBEs which include perception of events that can later be verified. I hope the AWARE study can shed some more light on that.

Independent research on OBEs alone (without bringing people near to death) might be insightful. There's enough people who claim to have these things on a regular basis, so why not put them to the test. I'll have to look up Charles Tart's experiments and if there has been done more scientific research (as opposed to individual experiments) on OBEs. I'm afraid there might be the same problem as Dr Rssell Targ reports with remote viewing, though, in that people get distracted quickly and tend not to get drawn to hidden numbers or coloured symbols at all, but to more exciting things. If I remember right, Charles Tart's successful number-reading OBE experiment was nothing more than a one-off.

That's what they did with medium research: putting the claims to the test. And, lo and behold, their "certified research mediums" had a much higher rate of "success" (in describing persons and events in their life that seemed to match real deceased people, who they absolutely had no way of knowing about) than expected. Which brings me back to the original point I wanted to make in this thread.

1. facts in NDE research: roughly a third of people from alll over the world and all walks of life who came near death and are resuscitated (in some instances it's "only" a perceived life threatening situation) report an episode of heightened awareness that seems to take place while their brain should hardly register any coherent thought at all. The details differ, but the overall experience is that of going to a place of light and emotional warmth which they don't ever want to leave. Afterwards they are mostly deeply changed.

2. facts in reincarnation research: children, 3 to about 6 or 7 years old, sometimes speak of memories that seem to belong to a deceased person. Often, these remarks (which can include names and places) can be verified.

3. facts in mediumship research: people who claim to be able to contact discarnate consciousness (or ratber be contacted by them) obviously sometimes really do know things about deceased persons they have no way of knowing. This can include facts that are not known even by the sitters and are not verified until after the sitting.

Furthermore I could include things like remote viewing which in some cases has undoubtedly had quite remarkable results (I'm not including any doomsday prohesies, ancient Mars dwellers or the description of Jovian landscapes here). Or dream telepathy, twin telepathy etc., Dr Sheldrake's telephone telepathy, sense-of-being-stared-at and animal telepathy experiments which all seem to indicate that consciousness is not limited to the brain.

So, all I'm saying, I guess, is, yes, I think there is quite a lot of evidence for "survivial of consciusness", at least approaching the amount of evidence for actual unexplainable UFOs. Which is kind of a lengthy way to be saying that, but I hope that I didn't bore anyone to near death. Or something. :rolleyes:
 
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boomerang

Paranormal Adept
I'm equally interested in what might account for profound personality changes undergone by the men who landed on the moon.

Edgar Mitchell speculates on the non-locality of consciousness in "The Way Of The Explorer". He focuses on preservation of information in the zero point field of the universe (If I understand this guy with a
Doctor of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology correctly). He seems to draw a distinction between preserved information, larger consciousness and consciousness that is aware of itself as an individual. In other words, the kind of self-awareness we experience as incarnate beings is not simply floated out of our bodies intact. I suppose this would still leave the door open for reincarnation. Which could be as much a matter of preservation of information as of transference of discrete identity.

We will all eventually know, or not know, as the case may be. :eek:
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
The 'tunnel' description reminds me of this - first half of video - or rather, when I saw this video I flashed on the 'tunnel' description - not sure it's relevant to the discussion but it's fun -
*sigh* doesn't play in my country due to copyright issues. I hate GEMA (german association for the observance of copyrights and money making)...

We will all eventually know, or not know, as the case may be. :eek:

In which latter case we won't be able to feel disappointment. So why even care. ;)
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I'm equally interested in what might account for profound personality changes undergone by the men who landed on the moon.

Truly? Didn't hear about that - could you elaborate a bit? Or is there a source that talks about this - video on YouTube perhaps?

Anyway, short answer: they messed up their astrology! :)
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
A really good post, but I think it would be wise to hedge your bets on the following:
... facts in mediumship research: people who claim to be able to contact discarnate consciousness (or ratber be contacted by them) obviously sometimes really do know things about deceased persons they have no way of knowing. This can include facts that are not known even by the sitters and are not verified until after the sitting.
I've seen no verifiable repeatable examples of these kinds of claims. They seem to be more in the realm of urban myth, not to mention that there is always the possibility that some research may have been done by the medium prior to the appointment. So the only thing that seems "obvious" if the information turns out to be true, is that it could be found someplace and verified, and if the client didn't know about that information, that would make the whole act seem even more amazing. Then there is also the chance of sheer coincidence combined with expert reading of known facts and related probabilities based on historical knowledge. After many readings, a few seemingly incredible readings are going to be nothing more than well calculated bits of information combined with luck.
Furthermore I could include things like remote viewing which in some cases has undoubtedly had quite remarkable results (I'm not including any doomsday prohesies, ancient Mars dwellers or the description of Jovian landscapes here). Or dream telepathy, twin telepathy etc., Dr Sheldrake's telephone telepathy, sense-of-being-stared-at and animal telepathy experiments which all seem to indicate that consciousness is not limited to the brain.
Again, all of the information I've seen on remote viewing indicates that it's nothing nearly as remarkable as is promoted, let alone sufficient to qualify as a form of detached consciousness. Even if there seems to be something more to the phenomenon than intelligence and intuition alone can't explain, there are still other paranormal possibilities that are less "far-out" such as some form of telepathic ability, which could give the same results without invoking detachment of consciousness. In fact remote viewing seems less like a detachment of consciousness, and more like something done by a local consciousness with an enhanced sensory capacity.
So, all I'm saying, I guess, is, yes, I think there is quite a lot of evidence for "survivial of consciusness", at least approaching the amount of evidence for actual unexplainable UFOs. Which is kind of a lengthy way to be saying that, but I hope that I didn't bore anyone to near death. Or something.
Not really. As mentioned before. The closer comparison to anything in ufology would be to alien abductions because those claims involve similar issues of consciousness and memory, whereas reports of alien craft have been of material objects in close enough proximity to the observer to be detected by normal fully conscious highly tuned senses ( e.g. those of military pilots ) and are sometimes corroborated by more than one witness and/or detection equipment. This is a far cry from what's going on in a dying brain, or someone in a trance or a partial trance-like state as is typically required for psychics and/or remote viewers.

Despite the reservations above, it's my opinion that the kinds of experiments, such as using visual targets in operating rooms to test NDEs, and highly controlled experiments to test claims of out of body capability should continue. I also personally believe that ethereal connections between minds takes place over distances and that we don't fully understand how that works. I state that belief knowing full well that it isn't scientifically proven. So now's your chance to pounce if you want to. My response would be that these connections are experienced by too many people on a daily basis to dismiss, specifically the kinds of connections I'm talking about are those that parents have with their children or other close family members and spouses. It's as if there is some common frequency we're able to pick up that relays information on an intuitive level.
 
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boomerang

Paranormal Adept
Truly? Didn't hear about that - could you elaborate a bit? Or is there a source that talks about this - video on YouTube perhaps?

Anyway, short answer: they messed up their astrology! :)

I think it's more obvious if one is old enough to have actually remembered the era of Apollo. Some appear to have had psychological problems. Recall that Neil Armstrong became somewhat of a recluse, and Aldrin admits to having suffered post Apollo depression. But (generally) these guys took on a more philosophical or even mystical bent. Edgar Mitchell is the most outspoken example.

The lasting feeling of "oneness" with the universe (long known to mystics as samhadhi) has been been termed The Overview Effect and has also been attributed to those who have spent time even in earth orbit. But it seems most pronounced in individuals who traveled to the moon and back.

Overview effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
I've seen no verifiable repeatable examples of these kinds of claims. They seem to be more in the realm of urban myth, not to mention that there is always the possibility that some research may have been done by the medium prior to the appointment. .

Unfortunately I don't have the time right now (or maybe luckily consdering it isn't the subject of this particular thread), but mediumship research is far from being an urban myth. Repeatability is always a problem, of course, with all experiments concerning the mind, because there are so many factors of mood, state of alertness, boredom, mental and bodily health etc., but that applies to experiments in the psychological field as well as to the psychic/parapsychologic.

Still, I can think of a lot of IMO good scientists, beginning with the american and british societies for psychic research, that would heartily disagree with the "urban myth" notion, based not on their own gut feelings but on many hours of research in which questions of fraud and other, non-psychic ways of getting information always have been adressed.

I highly recommend to read the booklet "Among mediums" by Julie Beischel. It's a quick read and cheap on Kindle, and it sums up a study done at the Windbridge Institute, in which self-acclaimed psychics were put to the test. It also goes a little into her prior work with Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona.

In her experiments, the mediums are only given the first name of a sitter, who is actually never present him- or herself but represented by an unrelated third person and even that only via telephone. So there is no way the "psychic" can research the sitter beforehand. The results of the sitting are later coupled with those of another sitting (where the deceased person matches in gender and approx. age, but otherwise is as dissimilar as possible) and the sitters are asked to chose the one they think describes their loved one best and rate the individual statements of the psychic.

There is absolutely no doubt of the sincerity and skeptical, scientific mindset of Mrs Beischel and the thoroughness with which the possibility of fraud and even more parapsychological ways of explanation (like telepathy) are adressed and taken out of the equation.

76% of the sitters selected "their" sitting. About 50% would have been expected, given the choice among two sets of sitting results. So I think that speaks quite clearly against an urban myth.

As for a demonstration, I suggest you look at the very end of the film duscussed here. If you haven't seen that already. Beginning at about 1:21:00, "the" medium Allison Dubois, under the eyes of researchers Gary Schwartz and Julie Beischel, reports her impressions about someone she never met, and of whom she only knows the first name of his widow. The clip is a little hard to watch, because it shows the last moments in the life of the deceased, but IMO, even if it's not undisputable proof positive, it's at least a very impressive piece of evidence.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
76% of the sitters selected "their" sitting. About 50% would have been expected, given the choice among two sets of sitting results. So I think that speaks quite clearly against an urban myth.
When I talk about urban myths, I'm talking about specific individual cases that supposedly qualify as sufficient proof; not statistical reports. Statistics can be useful, but there are problems with drawing specific conclusions based on them alone.
 
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Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
...which is why I'm not drawing specific conclusions on statistics alone, but also include other scientific research and, foremost, my own experiences and those of people I trust not to lie about or exaggerate them.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
...which is why I'm not drawing specific conclusions on statistics alone, but also include other scientific research and, foremost, my own experiences and those of people I trust not to lie about or exaggerate them.

So what conclusions have you drawn then? Can you be more specific?
 
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