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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:21:50 AM(UTC)
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[img_r]http://l.yimg.com/a/i/ww/news/2008/09/24/outofbody_big.jpg[/img_r]A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project's origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain.

What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people's claims of "near-death" experience?
[ul]When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases - as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? So the only way to tell is to have pictures only visible from the ceiling and nowhere else, because they claim they can see everything from the ceiling. So if we then get a series of 200 or 300 people who all were clinically dead, and yet they're able to come back and tell us what we were doing and were able see those pictures, that confirms consciousness really was continuing even though the brain wasn't functioning.[/ul]

How does this project relate to society's perception of death?
[ul]People commonly perceive death as being a moment - you're either dead or you're alive. And that's a social definition we have. But the clinical definition we use is when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and as a consequence the brain itself stops working. When doctors shine a light into someone's pupil, it's to demonstrate that there is no reflex present. The eye reflex is mediated by the brain stem, and that's the area that keeps us alive; if that doesn't work, then that means that the brain itself isn't working. At that point, I'll call a nurse into the room so I can certify that this patient is dead. Fifty years ago, people couldn't survive after that.
[/ul]
How is technology challenging the perception that death is a moment?
[ul]Nowadays, we have technology that's improved so that we can bring people back to life. In fact, there are drugs being developed right now - who knows if they'll ever make it to the market - that may actually slow down the process of brain-cell injury and death. Imagine you fast-forward to 10 years down the line; and you've given a patient, whose heart has just stopped, this amazing drug; and actually what it does is, it slows everything down so that the things that would've happened over an hour, now happen over two days. As medicine progresses, we will end up with lots and lots of ethical questions.

But what is happening to the individual at that time? What's really going on? Because there is a lack of blood flow, the cells go into a kind of a frenzy to keep themselves alive. And within about 5 min. or so they start to damage or change. After an hour or so the damage is so great that even if we restart the heart again and pump blood, the person can no longer be viable, because the cells have just been changed too much. And then the cells continue to change so that within a couple of days the body actually decomposes. So it's not a moment; it's a process that actually begins when the heart stops and culminates in the complete loss of the body, the decompositions of all the cells. However, ultimately what matters is, What's going on to a person's mind? What happens to the human mind and consciousness during death? Does that cease immediately as soon as the heart stops? Does it cease activity within the first 2 sec., the first 2 min.? Because we know that cells are continuously changing at that time. Does it stop after 10 min., after half an hour, after an hour? And at this point we don't know.[/ul]

What was your first interview like with someone who had reported an out-of-body experience?
[ul]Eye-opening and very humbling. Because what you see is that, first of all, they are completely genuine people who are not looking for any kind of fame or attention. In many cases they haven't even told anybody else about it because they're afraid of what people will think of them. I have about 500 or so cases of people that I've interviewed since I first started out more than 10 years ago. It's the consistency of the experiences, the reality of what they were describing. I managed to speak to doctors and nurses who had been present who said these patients had told them exactly what had happened, and they couldn't explain it. I actually documented a few of those in my book What Happens When We Die because I wanted people to get both angles - not just the patients' side but also the doctors' side - and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on. There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn't told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.[/ul]

Why do you think there is such resistance to studies like yours?
[ul]Because we're pushing through the boundaries of science, working against assumptions and perceptions that have been fixed. A lot of people hold this idea that, well, when you die, you die; that's it. Death is a moment - you know you're either dead or alive. All these things are not scientifically valid, but they're social perceptions. If you look back at the end of the 19th century, physicists at that time had been working with Newtonian laws of motion, and they really felt they had all the answers to everything that was out there in the universe. When we look at the world around us, Newtonian physics is perfectly sufficient. It explains most things that we deal with. But then it was discovered that actually when you look at motion at really small levels - beyond the level of the atoms - Newton's laws no longer apply. A new physics was needed, hence, we eventually ended up with quantum physics. It caused a lot of controversy - even Einstein himself didn't believe in it.

Now, if you look at the mind, consciousness, and the brain, the assumption that the mind and brain are the same thing is fine for most circumstances, because in 99% of circumstances we can't separate the mind and brain; they work at the exactly the same time. But then there are certain extreme examples, like when the brain shuts down, that we see that this assumption may no longer seem to hold true. So a new science is needed in the same way that we had to have a new quantum physics. The CERN particle accelerator may take us back to our roots. It may take us back to the first moments after the Big Bang, the very beginning. With our study, for the first time, we have the technology and the means to be able to investigate this. To see what happens at the end for us. Does something continue?[/ul]





This interested me. Anyone got anything to add?

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Offline 4PackGirl  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:31:29 AM(UTC)
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not so much about near death experiences but i know people with terminal illnesses can decide when they will die. i saw it first hand with my own father. he started the death rattle at 2am, my mom finally called me at 6am to tell me. that in & of itself is amazing he lasted that long. then by the time i found someone to watch the twins, it was almost 7am before i got to their house. he was completely out of it but i know he heard every word we said & once we were all there with him, he relaxed. we told him it was ok for him to go, that his work on earth was done, & to be with his family who had passed on. he died within 15 minutes of my arrival. and i can tell you this, i feel honored to have been there for his last breath. it was an awe inspiring moment. god i miss him!
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Offline Pack93z  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:43:40 AM(UTC)
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Well as a person that was given "last rights" on a hospital operating table.. I can tell you from my experience that there was no bright light, no out of body experience or and I remember none of the experience for about a three week period of time.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline longtimefan  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:32:32 PM(UTC)
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I have heard of the pictures in a rooom that you can only see if your "floating" up. I actually heard of that YEARS ago on Tv at some hospital. Makes sense to me, they see it you know they are aware.

There have alos been studies I seen where they can recreate the things people see in near death experince..Something with the brian and what happens to it at that last second.

I personally believe it does happen for real, but it happens in a split second to us, but to the people it happens to it seems like a long time.
Offline TengoJuego  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:54:32 PM(UTC)
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The whole thing is very interesting and very hard to believe. I want to believe it. But I just haven't heard nor known someone to experience it.

I DO believe that even though your body is dying, your mind is still very much alive. And like Packgirl said, you CAN hear whats going on, and interpret/understand it. I strongly believe that. Whether or not you actually continue to do this after your body has shut down...I don't know.
Offline Cheesey  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 1:56:58 PM(UTC)
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I believe in God, and i believe in eternity, and that we all will spend it somewhere.
People want "proof" to back what they believe, but so much has to be on faith.

You can look out on a windy day, and see the trees move. Yet you don't actually SEE the wind.....you see what it does. You breathe air, yet you can't SEE it......you can't SEE how your body uses oxygen, how our hearts pump blood, and so on. Gravity holds us to this spinning ball........we can't SEE it, but it is there.

I have had people laugh at me for believeing in God, cause they can't SEE Him. Yet there is so much to see that He has done......if you just open your eyes. These same people believe in evolution, even though there is NO proof of it, it has to be believed by faith.....just like God does.
I have had things happen to me that defy explanation. I have had a "voice" warn me about things. What WAS this voice? WHO was the voice coming from?

One small instance i will share.......i was driving down the road one night. Speed limit was 55 on that road. A voice told me "Slow down......don't go over 45.......a deer is going to run across the road in front of your car." I said out loud, "Ok, now i'm hearing voices......but i'll humor you". I drove about 3 miles down that road, and was about 3 tenths of a mile from where we lived at the time.....i said out loud "Well, that's what i get for listening to voices".................of course you know what happened.....yup.....a deer ran right in front of my car. Had i been going faster, i would have hit it. I apologized out loud right then!
I believe in guardian angels. There are some things that arn't supposed to happen to us, and if we are open to them, they can and will warn us. Of course sometimes bad things are in our lives, that are supposed to happen, for a reason. So that doesn't mean everything will always be good.

A couple months before my Mom died, she saw things. She told me how she was on the telephone one night, and saw a man standing with his back to the door on our porch. She described him as 7 feet tall, a handlebar mustache, wearing armour, with his arms crossed. I said to her "The kitchen table is several feet from the door, maybe you imagined him". She said "No, i walked over to the door.....he was only a foot away from me". She said when she looked outside, she saw a figure, all black, out in the middle of the street, pacing back and forth. The man at the door was keeping the black figure away from the house. She had NO fear, felt complete peace.

Several months after my Mom died, i picked up a book about death......what it said in there sent shivers down my spine. It said that often when people are nearing death, they see "warring angels" that are sent to protect them. It then went on to describe them......."Around 7 feet tall, dressed in armour".............this book came out well AFTER my Mom died, so there was NO way she read it. The description was exactly what she described to me. Coincidence? I think not. I think God allowed me to hear from my Mother what she saw. Otherwise how would i be able to comprehend what she was telling me? He let me see by finding that other book that what she saw was real. I think there is ALOT more happening in this world that we might "see", if we allowed our selves to see it.
JMO of course.
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Offline TengoJuego  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 3:13:59 PM(UTC)
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WALL-O-TEXT! MAN Cheesey, you couldn't have broke that up a bit?


Hmm...very interesting Cheesey... sometimes you don't have to see things for them to be there. I've never really thought of those things. I really do hope there is an afterlife. I scare myself thinking that one day I would just no longer be a part of this wonderful world. That I could not continue to exist in another way or form.
Offline Formo  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:35:45 PM(UTC)
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lol

Remind me to hit this thread back and read Cheesey's novel, eh? Heh.. I just don't have time now.
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Offline Trippster  
#9 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 1:56:44 AM(UTC)
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What happens when you die?


your heart stops, ......................and you poop.




Right Cheesey?
"Let Your Light Shine!"
Offline Cheesey  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:06:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
What happens when you die?


your heart stops, ......................and you poop.




Right Cheesey?

OH MY GOD!!!! I JUST DIED!!!!

(Wait......my heart's still going........nevermind)
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Offline Cheesey  
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:09:02 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
lol

Remind me to hit this thread back and read Cheesey's novel, eh? Heh.. I just don't have time now.


I made the spaces bigger between paragraphs.

I even typed it slowly, so that Viking fans could understand it.
(J/K Formo!!!)LOLOLOL!!!
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Offline CDNRodgersfan  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:21:32 PM(UTC)
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I entered this thread knowing Cheesey would have a great post. The nice thing in having a strong faith is how much greater your quality of life is. I love living on this great earth but I'm actually even more excited for life after death.
Offline Cheesey  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:40:57 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
I entered this thread knowing Cheesey would have a great post. The nice thing in having a strong faith is how much greater your quality of life is. I love living on this great earth but I'm actually even more excited for life after death.

First......THANK YOU! I am truely humbled by your comment!

I also am SOOOO looking forward to whats waiting for me after my time here. People that don't believe in Heaven.....well........you can see WHY they then grab for everything they can here. Also why they don't have any concern for what they do to others.

I also look at it this way..........if i am wrong, and there is nothing after life here, what have i lost by my trying to live a life that would be pleasing to my Heavenly Father? Nothing, right? If i am wrong, i will die and not even KNOW i was wrong, cause i won't exist anymore.
But if i am right..........i have gained everything! I will get to see my loved ones again, and spend forever with them. Lets face it........either way.........you don't get to take what you have here with you, right?

And.....it's NOT that i want to shove my beliefs down anyone's throat. The only reason i state what i believe is because i really believe it, and i ONLY want the BEST for my Packer "family". I want all of YOU to spend forever with me! (I know.......scary thought for you.....right???) :thumbright:
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Offline vegOmatic  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 6:44:57 PM(UTC)
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All I know is when you die you still have to pay taxes. :p
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