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Metaphysics & Psychology

Are near-death experiences merely illusions ?

August 19, 2019 | Comment icon 383 comments



Does the soul live on after the body has died ? Image Credit: Louis Janmot
Some patients who 'died' for a short period have reported things that they couldn't possibly have known about.
Seeing events flashing before your eyes, observing a bright light at the end of a tunnel or feeling as though you are floating above your own body are just some of the things commonly described by patients who have had a near-death experience.

But do such experiences represent genuine evidence that there is something more after we die or are they simply illusions produced by the chemistry of the dying brain in our final moments ?

To answer this question, it is worth considering those rare cases where near-death experiences have revealed details about the physical world that the patient couldn't have otherwise known about.

One well known case, which was reported by hospice physician John Lerma, concerned an 80-year-old man who recalled floating above his body in the hospital trauma room.
From this elevated position, he spotted a quarter dating back to 1985 sitting on the top of an eight-foot-high cardiac monitor where nobody could have seen it without looking down from above.

After he was resuscitated, he asked Lerma to go and check that it was actually there. Skeptical of the claim, Lerma took out a ladder and climbed up to take a look. Sure enough - the coin was there.

Another similar case was recorded by Kenneth Ring and Madelaine Lawrence in 1993 when a patient described a near-death experience in which she was pulled upwards through the floors of the hospital until she emerged above the roof of the building where she saw a red shoe.

A doctor later investigated the claim and sure enough - there really was a shoe on the roof.

Could such stories be evidence that the human 'soul' is capable of living on outside of the body ?

The search for answers continues.

Source: Psychology Today | Comments (383)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #374 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago
Yes really. You didn't read the links. They rationalise every question you have produced. New research shows the brain has a shutdown period that may last up to several hours. The life changing part is an emotional reaction to a significant event.  You constantly overreach.
Comment icon #375 Posted by Freez1 4 months ago
It’s nothing we can prove or disapprove on. But I’ve got a strong idea the difference between conscious and unconscious may be well misunderstood by people. It’s all connected in a way that even envelopes time and space. We are more than anything all connected to each other and everything in the universe. Believe that or not it’s my honest opinion on the subject. NDE is the unconscious mind tapping into the next stage of it all briefly. The fact some remember it and some don’t is the most unexplained part to me. I guess it depends on you’re true purpose here and how you live this life that mak... [More]
Comment icon #376 Posted by XenoFish 4 months ago
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01424/full https://scitechdaily.com/dmt-creates-vivid-waking-dream-state-in-the-brain-its-like-dreaming-but-with-your-eyes-open/amp/ Good chance that NDE's are just a head trip.
Comment icon #377 Posted by Kazahel 4 months ago
There was a thread years ago about this with some scientific study/paper but I can't find it. I debated this with Seeker_79 (White Crane Feather I think his name changed to). From memory the argument was about how can these experiences form in the brain when there was no blood pressure during cardiac arrest(something like that). But in the end(as even the study said when you actually read it)you can't tell if the experience is created during the last moments of the brain shutting down or as it restarts. So being technically dead doesn't prove anything.
Comment icon #378 Posted by XenoFish 4 months ago
I think they found faint quantities of DMT in the brain. Which is suspected in dream formation. It is naturally occurring. Of course this kind of begs the question of how much of reality is real, what is real. Could it all be a hallucination (waking life) or just a very lucid dream.
Comment icon #379 Posted by lightly 4 months ago
It's an interesting thought.. But if this life is a dream...where are we, as we dream it?   Some sort of non-physical state or realm?   Or physically sleeping somewhere else?   ??   It's a mind blowing thought really... If ALL of ' this' is a dream...there might be only ONE dreamer.?      ME !?!?!?   It must be me, or I wouldn't be aware of the dream ! ?   .      Or, If there is more than one dreamer, is everyone reading this  having the same dream ???   Word for word?      I dunno, the real universe might be easier to understand than a dreamed one? 
Comment icon #380 Posted by LightAngel 4 months ago
  Here you hit the nail on the head!  It's a pleasure reading your thoughts.  
Comment icon #381 Posted by and then 4 months ago
Only the third article mentions flat lined brain activity as measured by EEG.  The other two have an unidentified threshold determining "death". "He explained that the thinking region of the brain or the cerebral cortex slows down and flat lines but the brain cells are still active. When CPR is given the heart is started again and so does the brain function. He said, “If you manage to restart the heart, which is what CPR attempts to do, you'll gradually start to get the brain functioning again."  I'm puzzled with how he can make this statement without explaining how he measured the "activity" ... [More]
Comment icon #382 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago
Of course they can. Senses can record without the brain processing them, which offered the feeling of weightlessness. The floating sensation. It would be like that if you put your brain on a hard drive too. That's because the brain isn't recording feeling for nerve endings. It's in internal shutdown mode. The brain may take several hours to completely shut down. That's what's being studied by the actual NDE professionals like Sam Parnia. Not a completely failed idea of duality, or the human idea of an afterlife. Commonality in NDEs should be expected. Religious indoctrination tells people all ... [More]
Comment icon #383 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago


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