SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+, eight years young! For a low subscription fee, you can download the ad-free version of The Paracast and the exclusive, member-only, After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, the continuation of interviews that began on the main episode of The Paracast. We also offer lifetime memberships! Flash! Use the coupon code ufo20 to receive a 20% discount on five-year or lifetime subscriptions. And PayPal now accepts cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in payment. We also offer a second payment method for major credit or debit cards (which also includes Apple Pay and Google Pay), so act now! It's easier than ever to susbcribe! You can sign up right here!
One thing that we'll study is whether human beings would want to live forever
Wow! You guys wanna live for ever? Not me. One life will be fine for me thanks.
A billion billion billion billion billion billion years is but an infinitesimally small fraction of 'forever' which is way, way too long for me.
I've never understood the need for an eternal after-life. Unless the passage of 'time' is different and time has any meaning, I look forward to death being what I think it is - exactly the same as before you existed on Earth - a complete state of being unaware for eternity. I get quite scared thinking about being trapped in some horrible place which never, ever ends. Aaaaargh!
I don't know Goggs. What if we continue to grow and learn and evolve into someting unimaginable in our present state where time and space really have no meaning? What if this is just the beginning of a long and vast journey of becoming more than we are?
Yeah I know it's speculation, with a large dose of wishful thinking I guess, but it's something to consider.
And BTW, I can't beleive the universe brought us into existence just to suffer an eternity of pain and suffering.
Background Some people report a near-death experience (NDE) after a life-threatening crisis. We aimed to establish the cause of this experience and assess factors that affected its frequency, depth, and content.
Methods In a prospective study, we included 344 consecutive cardiac patients who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in ten Dutch hospitals. We compared demographic, medical, pharmacological, and psychological data between patients who reported NDE and patients who did not (controls) after resuscitation. In a longitudinal study of life changes after NDE, we compared the groups 2 and 8 years later.
Findings 62 patients (18%) reported NDE, of whom 41 (12%) described a core experience. Occurrence of the experience was not associated with duration of cardiac arrest or unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death before cardiac arrest. Frequency of NDE was affected by how we defined NDE, the prospective nature of the research in older cardiac patients, age, surviving cardiac arrest in first myocardial infarction, more than one cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during stay in hospital, previous NDE, and memory problems after prolonged CPR. Depth of the experience was affected by sex, surviving CPR outside hospital, and fear before cardiac arrest. Significantly more patients who had an NDE, especially a deep experience, died within 30 days of CPR (p<0·0001). The process of transformation after NDE took several years, and differed from those of patients who survived cardiac arrest without NDE.
Interpretation We do not know why so few cardiac patients report NDE after CPR, although age plays a part. With a purely physiological explanation such as cerebral anoxia for the experience, most patients who have been clinically dead should report one.
(snip)Several theories have been proposed to explain NDE. We did not show that psychological, neurophysiological, or physiological factors caused these experiences after cardiac arrest. Sabom22 mentions a young American woman who had complications during brain surgery for a cerebral aneurysm. The EEG of her cortex and brainstem had become totally flat. After the operation, which was eventually successful, this patient proved to have had a very deep NDE, including an out-of-body experience, with subsequently verified observations during the period of the flat EEG.
Thus, induced experiences are not identical to NDE, and so, besides age, an unknown mechanism causes NDE by stimulation of neurophysiological and neurohumoral processes at a subcellular level in the brain in only a few cases during a critical situation such as clinical death. These processes might also determine whether the experience reaches consciousness and can be recollected.
With lack of evidence for any other theories for NDE, the thus far assumed, but never proven, concept that consciousness and memories are localised in the brain should be discussed. How could a clear consciousness outside one's body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG?22 Also, in cardiac arrest the EEG usually becomes flat in most cases within about 10 s from onset of syncope.29,30 Furthermore, blind people have described veridical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience.31 NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation.
Another theory holds that NDE might be a changing state of consciousness (transcendence), in which identity, cognition, and emotion function independently from the unconscious body, but retain the possibility of non-sensory perception.7,8,22,28,31
You beat me to a point I was going to make and you did so very well.
I don't believe most of us want to spend an eternity exactly as we are but, assuming there is truth in the theory that energy never dies but can be changed, there may be more to us than a reality that is defined by our fleshly limitations. What if we continue to evolve beyond what we can currently imagine? What if we become part of a universal mind? For that matter, what if we reincarnate not only into different humans (in order to complete different tasks) but also into higher beings? Maybe energy recycles itself into new and ever-evolving entities?
It's possible we're not meant to have the answers, though I still like to wonder about this. I've always been especially fascinated by the accounts of those who had no (measurable) brain activity but still had out-of-body experiences and some form of consciousness. The one similarity I stress is that they did not define their experiences as religious experiences (unless they were already religious people) but still had remarkably the same experiences. If brainwave activity is not occurring yet they are still describing a life after death, it would mean that these near-death experiences are not simply the final actions of a dying brain.
If anyone is interested, I'd encourage Googling "Van Lommel Studies". Here is part of the report that appeared in The Lancet (underlined portions are mine,bold portions are their's.):