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Metaphysics & Psychology

Near-death experiences: four possible theories

By T.K. Randall
April 5, 2022 · Comment icon 201 comments

Does the human mind exist in the quantum realm ? Image Credit: Pixabay / geralt
There is no denying that people can and do have near-death experiences, but are these really evidence of life after death ?
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 what do such experiences actually mean and how can science explain them ?

In a fascinating new article published in Psychology Today, psychiatrist and author Thomas R. Verny explored four intriguing theories that have been put forward to explain the phenomenon.

The first - and the one that perhaps the most people reading this will subscribe to - is that the mind is entirely separate from the body and exists in the universe independently of the physical world.

Verny admits to being skeptical of this idea, however, as it cannot be scientifically verified.
The second, more grounded, possibility is that the mind is simply a by-product of the complex neuronal activities of the physical brain and does not exist independently of the body.

Verny rejects this theory also, citing cases of multi-personality disorder and other medical anomalies as inexplicable if we were to simply consider the mind a physical quantity produced by the brain.

The third, less known possibility he lists is what is known as the Hameroff-Penrose Hypothesis.

This theory suggests that "quantum vibrational computations" within the cell cytoskeleton of the brain are what give rise to human consciousness and that the mind obeys physical laws acting on the neurons of the cerebral cortex that we currently do not understand.

Finally, the fourth possibility listed - the Kauffman Hypothesis - suggests that the mind, consciousness, and free will are all connected to a new, unknown state of matter known as the "Poised Realm".

As things stand, however, we have no way of confirming if any of these possibilities are true.

Source: Psychology Today | Comments (201)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #192 Posted by openozy 2 years ago
17% is a big number though. The rest may have not crossed far enough to experience this. I don't think you could call it consciousness if you are clinically dead.
Comment icon #193 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
Hey bro good to see you. Been wondering where you have been.
Comment icon #194 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
83% is much bigger.  Isn't it more interesting that the majority of those 17% are reporting regular REM activity? Which are the same waves seen in death? That's what afterlife proponents are proposing though. Like simply stepping or floating out of your body. Just a transition. It's more likely that senses are recording sounds. I was thinking this during my own investigations when learning hearing was the last sense to go.    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200708105935.htm   Date: July 8, 2020 Source: University of British Columbia Summary: Hearing is widely thought to be th... [More]
Comment icon #195 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I been busy with life, I don’t know how much longer I will be back though. Hope you and your family are doing well my friend!
Comment icon #196 Posted by openozy 2 years ago
It is interesting and I know two people brought back from being clinically dead, they both said there was nothing but blackness. I still don't think they were dead long enough to experience what came after though.
Comment icon #197 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
Everybody I know has said that. My brother passed away a couple Xmases ago and he had a heart attack about 12 months prior to his passing. He was actually rather scared to find there was nothing at all. He was religious to an extent, not a crazy but definitely a believer.  A poster here Dany also reported nothing. I think it's more people who are likely to survive a nasty brush with death that tend to have these experiences. I personally theorise that it's like being woken in am intense dream during REM activity. An interruption of the death process. 
Comment icon #198 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
Good the hear all is well. All the best bro. 
Comment icon #199 Posted by joc 2 years ago
Two things come to mind.  First, my conversation with my daughter Sunday about the experience of 'your entire life flashing all at once right before your eyes'...when something dramatically life changing happens...my experience was back in the 80s when I drove off a road into the field several feet below.  My Ford LTD actually went airborne for about 1/2 a second.  But in that half a second, my entire life did actually flash before my eyes...it is a really strange experience. Secondly, a thread I visited the other day where memory editing was being discussed.   Losing consciousness to the... [More]
Comment icon #200 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
That makes a whole lot of sense to me. Subconsciously the body knows it is in trouble. It would be a huge elated response from every part of your body to resolve such a critical crisis. Especially the brain. Massive relief that death isn't going to happen. Grateful the episode passed. I think that could be a significant observation there Joc. I wouldn't be surprised at all that it would initiate an altruistic outlook, explaining life changes after an NDE. 
Comment icon #201 Posted by openozy 2 years ago
That's a good theory and sounds right. If I get to that point I wouldn't want to be revived, it's rudeness in the extreme in a way.

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