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University professor to study life after death



mike

Paranormal Adept
One thing that we'll study is whether human beings would want to live forever

I'll tick the yes box.......i can always change my mind if it gets dull, but i love life, i love watching the future unfold.

I'm old, going grey, and frequently in pain, but i'll take that over the alternative any day :D

Its a great topic to research, and its sounds like he's doing a thorough job

Ive always thought , the contemplation of death is a marker for sentience, the conquering of it the proof of it.
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
Have to agree with you there Mike. It always boggles my mind when people talk about how they don't want there to be some kind of afterlife, or just wanting to die period. I don't necessarily believe that there is an afterlife, mind you, but if I somehow got to choose, I would choose to keep going. Life may be boring but nothing seems more boring to me than, well, nothing. There's too much that I want to learn, too much I want to see unfold to ever give up on life willingly. Unfortunately, as of yet, we don't get to make that choice, maybe someday though.
 

Para

Paranormal Maven
I hope you will enjoy this lecture by Peter Fenwick - Toward a Science of Consciousness - Stockholm 2011.

He talks about studies carried out of death bed visions and visitors who visit the dying before and at the point of death.

 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
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!
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
Well, maybe not forever, but I would like to live long enough to see us escape the bonds of Earth and spread out into the galaxy. Whether we figure out how to travel close to or at the speed of light or we're forced to become a space faring civilization because the Earth is eventually going to be engulfed by the sun, barring a giant asteroid strike, gamma ray burst or that collision between our galaxy and Andromeda that's coming. I want to see what becomes of us, where we're going, what's out there and I'd like to get some answers to certain questions that I have about life, the universe and everything. Eternal oblivion has very little appeal to me, even if that's where we're all likely headed.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
I agree in as much as I'd really like to find out the truth about UFOs before I die! For that I would wait!

I've often said that the reason I am interested in UFOs is nothing to do with religion, greys or ET's of any kind, anything political or territorial etc. My only reason is that hopefully UFOs will be proof that someday we might travel to other planets and exploit exotic physics. Having studied physics and it being my fav educational subject, I get a total boner for ideas about physics of the distant future.
 

exo_doc

Foolish Earthling
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.
 

RenaissanceLady

Paranormal Adept
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.

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.):
Summary
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.
(snip)

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
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
But forever is really long. It would be like being awake and never sleeping. Of course, if we change into some non-human state then yes, time might have no meaning.

I've often heard that people often happily accept they will die, if they live to a ripe old age and it's really the young that hanker after eternity?
 

exo_doc

Foolish Earthling
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.):

Yes, energy does have to go somewhere since it can never be destroyed, only changed. Which leads me to feel deep down our journey does not end here. And NDE studies only increases that the depth of that feeling.

It's also my thought that we aren't supposed to know the answers to the afterlife. Knowledge of the afterlife might somehow affect what we are supposed to be learning and doing in life. It might also cause some people to treat life as cheap or expendable (more than some already do),...and not concentrate on living in the now and cherishing each moment (if you are able too. I don't think many third world people living in poverty really have a chance to cherish anything but the next meal and not being tortured or shot at.).
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
First hint of 'life after death' in biggest ever scientific study

Here's the weak link:

"And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted." [emphasis mine]​

Clinical death and brain death are two different concepts and are treated differently depending on where you happen to be declared dead, which makes the opinion that the brain can't function when the heart has stopped different for each situation, and that is complicated further by what is exactly meant by "function".

Obviously the brain isn't functioning normally when the heart stops, but if nothing is going on, then memories of experiences could not be created. Therefore, if such memories are created, they are in and of themselves evidence that the brain is still forming connections. That means that the initial assumption that the brain isn't responsible must be wrong rather than that such memories are evidence that some form of "immortal spirit" continues on into some mythical afterlife.
 
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