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OfflineMixomatosis
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Learning about death from near-death experiences
    #3600798 - 01/09/05 12:17 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I was reading a book by one of those guys who may or may not be somewhat enlightened but he's from tibet AND a bestselling author, which must mean something

ANYWAY he felt the need to support his beliefs about death and reincarnation (the widespread tibetan ones) with "evidence". He cited the near-death experience.

He's not the only one. I see this everywhere. My problem with it is that it doesn't give us any information on what happens when we die because it's not a DEATH experience, it's a NEAR-DEATH experience, that is, the people don't actually die, they ALMOST die. Even if you could verify that Billy floated outside of his body and could be aware of things in other rooms, or he communicated with angels and demons or whatever, these experiences are very interesting, but they are the experiences of a living person.

"But," you say "Billy ACTUALLY died for ten minutes, they couldn't detect his heartbeat!" Well, no, Billy DIDN'T die. Proof: he's alive. Just because a pulse sense-o-meter declares someone dead doesn't mean that the person actually is. misdiagnosis of death and its accompanying premature burial is a problem that's plagued the human race since we've been dying. I don't doubt these people's experiences. I'm sure that you must go through some pretty wild stuff if your body is so close to death that your vital functions can't be detected by medical equipment, but it's idiotic to think these people experienced death when they're not dead, but standing there telling the story.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3602517 - 01/09/05 09:57 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

when I get really strange on salvia, I see things and say to myself (though it seems another has spoken) that this vision, these sensations, this feeling is not going to be comprehensible when the strangeness passes.

afterwards I am frequently happy to try to explain those experiences, and I seem to understand what had been experienced - intellectually, biophysically even, yet a part of me remembers the very clear apprehension that it is as unknowable to my unstrange self as the 4th dimension to any 3-d being.

the next time I am strange again, I remember my unstrange explanations, and I think that they are quaint enough, smart enough, but merely close orientations to the direction of knowing rather than the knowing itself. I am happiest if the attempts to explain remain humble, as opposed to egotistical.

of course when I am not strange I am not strange, and when you are not dead you are not dead. This is just a parallel view, and not an explanation.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3603159 - 01/09/05 01:21 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

well the thing is MIX who gets to decide when a person is dead? the medical establishment has defined death for their own purposes, as a cessation of heart and brain activity. this is medical death. However weeks after medical death there are still living cells in your body. your hair and nails grow. Etc.

So there is no one black and white definition of when a person is dead. The best current defintion is the one the medical establishment has made, and according to that defintion, people who have NDE's DID die. so your argument that they didnt doest strike me as sound.

What this shows is that even when the brain is registerd as dead, without activity, nada, blackness, on a CAT scan or PET scan or whatever, the person is in fact experienceing vivid and meaningfull perceptual experiences. this is strong evidence against the idea that conciousness exists only in the physical brain, or to put it another way, strong evidence that conciousnesss can exist without the physical brain being active or alive.


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3603181 - 01/09/05 01:28 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Right, but you're claiming that the death state is entered by these people. I say they don't temporarily die, and I don't consider the medical establishment capable of deciding the precise moment of death. To believe that when someone came "back to life" from being "clinically dead" the person actually died is a leap of faith, it's not possible to prove that the person actually died. There are endless potential explanations for the experiences other than "they experienced the afterlife for 10 minutes."

On another note, I doubt life and death are analogs of black and white, which is part of the premise for considering those ten minutes of experience "death". "Well, it isn't life, so it MUST be death!"


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3603185 - 01/09/05 01:30 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

but besides all that the fact remains that during the time when they have these experiences, there BRAINS are functionally dead, without any activity. so even if you say 'they werent dead, they just werent alive!" you are still left with the fact that all of humanities ideas about the nature of conciousness being a function of the brain, have gone out the window, until another explanation is proposed.

As soon as a person can be shown to have concious experience independent of electrical activity in the brain, the brain-mind connection is null and void.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3603192 - 01/09/05 01:32 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

what if they actually did die?

what they return to discuss is likely very residual (a thousandth part fraction or less)

I truly doubt that the experience can be translated to be meaningful in our breathing-sinew-muscle-bone-beating heart-&-skin type lives.


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3603320 - 01/09/05 02:11 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

all of humanities ideas about the nature of conciousness being a function of the brain, have gone out the window, until another explanation is proposed.

Well, you're assuming that these machines can detect ALL material function of our bodies, which is false. They take a slim cross section of our whole being and measure it. Also, you assume these machines are calibrated to detect ANY activity, no matter the size.

But that aside, your main flaw.. this is a heartbeat: Bumbump

bumbump.....bumbump.....bumpump..............bumbump

If the absence of a heartbeat qualifies us as dead, then we're dead many times a day.. a ten minute break in between beats just means a slow heartbeat, not death. As long as the heart beats again, the person never died, just experienced a stretched-out expanded moment of the space between heartbeats.

Just because a wave gets extremely long and shallow to the point that the pattern of movement that lets a machine define it as a wave dissapears doesn't mean there is no wave. It's like this:

_.-._.-._.-._.----------............_______........----------....._.-._.-._.-._.-._.-._

and the same principle from the heartbeat example applies. Instead of experiencing wave after wave, it's stretched out and you experience each individual wave. Imagine a surfer riding a wave for 10 minutes instead of 20 seconds.

But as long as the heartbeat or the consistent wave pattern returns, the NDEer has not experienced actual "death" but some.. other.. state


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3603520 - 01/09/05 03:06 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

no no im not talking much about the heart beat, im talking about the electrical activity in the brain which we have long associated with all concious activity, despite your claim, a PET scan can detect even the most minuite such activity, and certainly Should be able to detect any activity suffiecient to create an immersive sensory experience. at the very least that electrical activity should be very similar to that which occurs during REM sleep. But absolutley no activity is registerd, even in the most animal/basic part of the brain.

Again, although you say that brain scans can only detect larger or more obvious electrical signals, i dont actually think thats true. they are very highly tuned and effective machines, and again any activity suffiecint to produce a dreamlike experience like those encounterd in NDE's would DEFINETLY register on a brain scan


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3603571 - 01/09/05 03:15 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

mix, you're out of arguments, but this was a nice discussion, thanx guys.


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: exclusive58]
    #3604818 - 01/09/05 08:06 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

mix, you're out of arguments,
Hey at least I had some to begin with (invitation to come out get molested). Oh and you're wrong


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3605100 - 01/09/05 09:11 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Ok, let's go over some things.

"So there is no one black and white definition of when a person is dead."

That's right.

"The best current defintion is the one the medical establishment has made, and according to that defintion, people who have NDE's DID die."

You're contradicting yourself. You're saying "Life and death are not black and white. Dying is more subtle than a coin flipping from "alive" to "dead". Nobody can really pin point the moment when someone has entered the "death" state. But the medical establishment overlooks this and thinks they can. Therefore, there are no gradients between the black and white states of life and death, because the doctors say so. Mix, you're wrong."

So which is it? You either believe that death and life are like black and white, separable states, or you believe that they're indistinguishable, or simply different colour tones on a continuous gradient of undying consciousness.

The question, if you choose the black and white medical version, is how does black become white? What's the point in between, that moment when they're switching? In Tibetan buddhism, and other paths I'm sure, this question is acknowledged. There are always gaps. We go from thought to thought, heartbeat to heartbeat, but there are always gaps in between. In some meditation methods the practitioner stills and slows the mind to let these gaps become tangible mind states they can "navigate". With every exploration of these gaps, a broader understanding of the mind's potential is gained.

This is what is happening in NDEs. The heartbeat stops. The brainwaves stop. The patient is suspended in some kind of state, a very different reality than waking life, and not quite death. This is a state we'll all visit as we die, but is it "death"? NO it's not! It's not death, because the person comes back. They've experienced a suspension in one of an infinite number of gaps, or bardos, but they're still in this meta-bardo of life.

|gap-gap-gap|GAP|gap-gap-gap|GAP

See what I mean? And you're speculations on whether or not we can have experience without an electrically functioning brain are for another discussion. And just to remind ourselves, what this thread is about is what we can learn from NDEs about death taking into consideration the fact that an NDEer does not actually die, which is a common misconception.

Another common misconception we happen to be tackling is that death can be defined. We all know life can't be, but we don't usually apply this to death.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3605310 - 01/09/05 10:16 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

There is no corelation between "near death" experiences and real death. "Near death" experiences are the product of a living mind.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3606007 - 01/10/05 01:23 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Moonshoe said:...a PET scan can detect even the most minuite such activity, and certainly Should be able to detect any activity suffiecient to create an immersive sensory experience ... any activity suffiecint to produce a dreamlike experience like those encounterd in NDE's would DEFINETLY register on a brain scan




(my italics)

even THE MOST minute activity... are you sure? who says? "The guy who invented the PET scan machine." well he would, wouldn't he? "Yeah but many other doctors agree." ahh yes, then it must be so.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3606957 - 01/10/05 08:40 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

"even THE MOST minute activity... are you sure? who says? "The guy who invented the PET scan machine." well he would, wouldn't he? "Yeah but many other doctors agree." ahh yes, then it must be so. "

i see. so we are to discredit doctors and the inventor of the technology in favour of ... mixamatosis and zekebomb?

but thats not the point. assuming for a moment that an incredibly subtle electrical signal could escape the notice of the brain scan, we know that when the human mind conjures up images or sensations such as during daydreaming or sleeping dreams, the brain is literally lit up with electrical signals.

Near death experiences as described by hundreds of people are immersive, dream like experiences. in order for the brain to generate such an experience (according to conventional wisdom) the brain would be showing a huge amount of activity. certainly enough to be registerd on any scan.

However, in terms of conciousness seperated from external reality, there is no time. that is time is relative, so if you take away the external reality for it to be relative to, there is no reason a second cannot be percieved as an eternity. so , it is possible that the entire dream experience could occur in the last microsecond of conciousness or life. In fact, there is no reason one could not live for an eternity in that lest microsecond.

:crazy2:


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3607209 - 01/10/05 11:16 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Ok so from what I understood, you say there is no clear limit between life and death, because death doesn't occur when vital biological activity ceases to function, since you can be conscious after this has occured to your body for up to ten minutes.

During these ten minutes, people have still experienced some form of consciousness. But they have not experienced DEATH since they came back.
The doctors are the ones that made the person come back to life after 10 minutes of hard efforts, right? That means that they 'reactivated' the body and the brain, which made it possible once again for the soul to come back to the body. ITs like if the body called out the soul to let it know that it could still live in this body. Don't Near death experiencers say after awhile of being dead, they suddenly feel a pull that forces them to reenter the body?

So all in all, a NDE is only but a peack at what death is, which is a feeling of being driven towards the light or whatever. No one has ever came back from a NDE saying, i reached the light. So maybe the fine limit between life and death is the limit between the material realm and the spiritual realm?


Quote:

mix, you're out of arguments
Hey at least I had some to begin with (invitation to come out get molested).




molestation? take it like a man mix :wink:


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3607523 - 01/10/05 01:54 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)


my previous posts stand on there own on this topic i think.



"And you're speculations on whether or not we can have experience without an electrically functioning brain are for another discussion"

i dont see why. i think this exactly the most important aspect of near death experiences, as it is the part that strongly suggest the possibility of conciousness enduring after death. Either way though i think ive quite clearly stated the case and implications there, so i have nothing else to say even if you did acnowledge the relevance.

I get the sense you not really looking for an answer...


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3610401 - 01/11/05 12:33 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

i dont see why.

I noticed! This discussion isn't about whether or not consciousness exists outside the brain, or without electrical impulses, or whatever. You're out to prove something totally different than what I'm asking.

I'm asking what we can learn about death from near-death experiences. You claim that we can learn that consciousness exists outside of electrical activity within the brain. The evidence for that may or may not be there, but that's not really relevant because that point's a given! If I didn't think it were true, do you think I'd bother having a discussion on "mind" states after "death"?

I'm saying that people seem to come back from near death experiences thinking that they've seen the afterlife. I speculate that they haven't. They have likely experienced one or more of a potentially infinite number of states that in some cases are transitions into death, but they haven't actually got their feet wet.

One implication of this theory is that all the "certainty" people come back with concerning death and the afterlife is.. maybe a little sketchy. Maybe someone who comes back doesn't have the whole story. I suspect it is so.

Be more relevant.


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: exclusive58]
    #3610425 - 01/11/05 12:37 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

So maybe the fine limit between life and death is the limit between the material realm and the spiritual realm?

Yeah, I think that's the gist of what I'm saying, though I don't use words like "soul". I don't think there's a see-through version of yourself that floats around, anyway. More, all this goes on "inside" the mind, which doesn't really mean the brain, but sorta does, because in my view neither one has a beginning or an end.


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #3613515 - 01/11/05 05:52 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Back to the brain-consciousness link.
Quote:

Mixomatosis said:
Even if you could verify that Billy floated outside of his body and could be aware of things in other rooms, ...


Apart from determining if people who report NDE's have actually been dead, I think it's interesting to reflect on this aspect.
Have instances like Billy's been verified beyond reasonable doubt (I mean perception in other rooms at the time of supposed death, etc.)? This is not a rhetorical question, I simply don't know. I know there are many stories, but I don't know what they're worth objectively.

If those instances CAN be verified, the question of dead or not dead doesn't matter at all, because it would prove the possibility of ESP and force us to reconsider the brain-consciousness link.

Any answers or thoughts?


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Learning about death from near-death experiences [Re: Aldous]
    #3613550 - 01/11/05 05:59 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Theo stories are not readily confirmable. I think we need volunteers to be put in an oxygen restricted space and then revive them after two minutes of clinical death and see if they could tell what objects were in the sealed room next door.

Who's up for the Swami NDE Challenge?


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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