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Are Near Death Experiences Evidence of a Soul?

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posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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A considerable body of anectodal evidence suggests that consciousness survives death. The most compelling come from Near Death Experiences. If there is a surviving consciousness, then there is an afterlife and all the experiences that religion tells us about...Oh, and there is God.

Science has become reductionist to the point where all that is believable is accessible to our senses. Therefore there is no other verifiable or falsfiable reality. Science puts on itself the cloak of objective Truth and religion is put down as worshipping the magical and superstitious God.

However, if Near Death Experiences can show evidence of a soul and an indirect evidence of God then Science has no choice but to accept it as another objective Truth.

For example:

Dr. Michael Sabom is a cardiologist whose latest book, Light and Death, includes a detailed medical and scientific analysis of an amazing near-death experience of a woman named Pam Reynolds. She underwent a rare operation to remove a giant basilar artery aneurysm in her brain that threatened her life. The size and location of the aneurysm, however, precluded its safe removal using the standard neuro-surgical techniques. She was referred to a doctor who had pioneered a daring surgical procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest. It allowed Pam's aneurysm to be excised with a reasonable chance of success. This operation, nicknamed "standstill" by the doctors who perform it, required that Pam's body temperature be lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head. In everyday terms, she was put to death. After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. During the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a NDE. Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be very accurate. This case is considered to be one of the strongest cases of veridical evidence in NDE research because of her ability to describe the unique surgical instruments and procedures used and her ability to describe in detail these events while she was clinically and brain dead.


Read more here




posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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I think simply having the capacity to know that you will eventually die and being conciously aware of the time in between is proof of the soul.

I don't need to almost die to be convinced that there I have a spirit many thousands of years old that is still learning and evolving within the human experience.

This place is a testing ground for souls I believe, a Gladiator Arena if you will. The understanding of the Soul is the prize.

Back to the OP, that woman's experience is one of thousands perhaps millions other similar stories that have been documented since the beginning of civilization.

We've been convinced there is just this, and nothing more, that what governs out our thoughts, emotions and ideals is simply a somewhat never ending electro-chemical reaction.

It would be like creating the greatest super computer ever and not giving it access to the internet. Simply a useless creation if it has nothing to learn or experience.

~Keeper



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by Heronumber0
 


Well, there is "proof" by normal standards, human judgment standards, and then there is "proof" by scientific standards.

I think stories like this (and experiences if you have had them) are sufficient proof for many of us. But scientifically, they are hard to quantify. (To put in perfectly controlled and repeatable experiments.) So I doubt science will consider this proof.

It would also be difficult risking many lives by regularly recreating this type of situation in controlled circumstances so that science could say "yes or no."

I think that this is going to remain a judgment call on behalf of individuals for a long time to come.

I personally think Consciousness survives death. But I could never prove it.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 02:34 PM
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Not neccessarily...

Stinky Linky


The study focuses on a processing center in the brain known as the angular gyrus, thought to play an important role in the way the brain analyzes sensory information to give us a perception of our own bodies. When it misfires, they speculate, the result can be visions of floating outside of ourselves.



I also remember watching a documentry showing a young man with the back of his head and skull open, with several 'electrodes' attached to specific areas of the brain...around 25 - can't remember.

The Dr.s would stimulate one area and get a result such as the mouth twitching, ect...


After running thru many of them, they stimulated an area that gave the young man the impression he was floating above his own body - he was awake for the entire procedure...he was astonished himself.


Maybe, maybe not...sucks to think this is it, huh..?







mmrraag idte!

[edit on 3/28/2009 by chapter29]



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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I think Strausman is right and the near death experience is certainly caused by the pineal gland dumping out its remaining '___' load all at once into the dying person's brain causing the NDE.

www.youtube.com...



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by chapter29
 


Maybe, but then how does science explain the ghost phenomena? I agree with the Pineal Gland being a doorway to these experiences but some of them last so long (like 2 hours or even a day) I doubt the '___' lasts that long. '___' I believe is more responsible for OBE's rather than NDE's, there is a difference. Not to mention everything is essentially dead and not working anymore so there is no blood flow to distribute the '___' further. That guy was still alive and having '___' distributed through blood flow.

Also NDE's are reported to be much more Vivid than OBE's (which is amazing because OBE's are pretty vivid themselves). With the new science of Quantum Physics and the like have found that peoples conscious intention have an slight effect on our environment. Things such as the String Theory have opened the thought to idea of other dimensions and what not.
I believe there is a lot more to the Universe than what we perceive here on Earth, science does not understand everything and is relatively young. There's a lot of miracles and mysteries science has not and cannot, to this day, solve.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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No but Sam Cooke/Otis Redding & Smokey Robinson are.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by UFOTECH
I think Strausman is right and the near death experience is certainly caused by the pineal gland dumping out its remaining '___' load all at once into the dying person's brain causing the NDE.


That could be the case in many instances, where just the experience of the tunnel was had, but it would not explain the patient mentioned in the OP being able to remember conversations that took place while she was flat lined, nor would it account for her being able to see the tools being used to open her skull, (unless '___' overload causes the hair follicles and scalp to become capable of seeing.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:18 PM
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The study mentioned in which certain NDE-type experiences, such as floating, falling, and seeing white light, only extends that far into NDE experiences. It never goes all the way to the tunnel of light, meeting loved ones, being told "It's not your time, you need to go back." Kenneth Ring talks a lot about the science of NDEs in some of his books.

*

Just the fact that our consciousness continues after death does not necessarily mean we have a soul, and especially does not prove existence of God. It could be many reasons but one is as follows:

The condition of being human could simply be a shield from true conscious reality. When we die, or have an NDE, we are simply becoming aware of the true nature of consciousness and reality.

NDE does not prove God or soul.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by notreallyalive

Just the fact that our consciousness continues after death does not necessarily mean we have a soul, and especially does not prove existence of God. It could be many reasons but one is as follows:


I tend to prefer the term "consciousness" also. I am not sure I believe in a "soul" as many people think of it. But I dont totally think it impossible either. Its one of those areas where my own feeling leans in one direction but I simply dont have enough objective evidence to feel comfortable making claims to "know for sure."

I like your concept of the "shield from objective reality" though. Very interesting.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

But I could never prove it.


It's funny you say that with the avatar you have.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by notreallyalive

Just the fact that our consciousness continues after death does not necessarily mean we have a soul, and especially does not prove existence of God. It could be many reasons but one is as follows:

The condition of being human could simply be a shield from true conscious reality. When we die, or have an NDE, we are simply becoming aware of the true nature of consciousness and reality.

NDE does not prove God or soul.


Even if you are right then there is another reality which is created or already present. . Who created that reality. Evolution?
I think that Science would consider another condition of consciousness unlikely because what our senses tell us is the whole of Scientific reality.

However, people who flatline or who are considered brain dead should not hear conversations or details of the tools that operate on them in astonishing detail.

If there is a consciousness that can leave the body, then it would indicate that what we consider as senses have a correlate that is not physical or "not in our world". Also it seems to process information and be a source of memory. To my humble senses that is good enough for me to suggest that the idea of a ghost in the machine is real.

If there is a soul, then the whole point of religion (but perhaps not (dis)-organised religion) is to improve the soul to achieve Heaven/Nirvana and avoid the Hell of emotional turmoil. I hope you are open to this idea.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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I understand why many people try to explain these experiences purely in physical terms. Particularly when their current frame of reference is that the material world is all there is.

There have been some vigorous, yet respectful discussions on this topic in recent months, which perhaps the OP and some others might find interesting.

NDEs are real, and we have proof say scientists

Ponderings / Questions about Life after Death

Hope they stimulate further debate. Some might be surprised at some of the evidence in those threads, such as posts and videos from doctors who have spent many years working in resuscitation.

I'll also be listening to this debate & following with interest.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


Thank you for your post. The sheer number of anecdotes from patients and doctors provide a worthy body of evidence which screams: "there is a soul!" I did not realise that scientists consider it proof. But if they do then scientists and lovers of science cannot deny the existence of an independent consciousness and then God re-enters the picture once again but with an indirect proof of existence.


The following is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Tart which was published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. In it, Dr. Tart documents the out-of-body experience of a young woman who was one of his research subjects. What makes this particular out-of-body experience remarkable is that she was able to leave her physical body and read a 5-digit number, which was at a significant distance, and correctly give it to him upon return.


Read more




[edit on 28/3/2009 by Heronumber0]



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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A lot of what we're talking about needs clarification on an etymological level. For example, "proven by science", God, and life mean different things to different people.

"Who created that reality. Evolution?"
I> tend to think that consciousness and life were in, or part of, the universe before earth was ever created. I also don't hold the Christian Bible as a pertinent source of information.
So another existence after our earthly life doesn't really mean much to me either way.

"I think that Science would consider another condition of consciousness unlikely because what our senses tell us is the whole of Scientific reality."
> I totally disagree with this statement. Science includes quantum physics, superstring theory, etc which we have shown beyond a reasonable doubt, and through replicability, to be true. These truths are beyond normal human perception.

"If there is a soul, then the whole point of religion (but perhaps not (dis)-organised religion) is to improve the soul to achieve Heaven/Nirvana and avoid the Hell of emotional turmoil. I hope you are open to this idea."
> I generally agree with some of this, but, if our goal is to better ourselves then having a Hell would make no sense and we are making a lot of assumptions. If there's a Hell then we must be aware why we are there or it wouldn't make sense to be punished, therefore we wouldn't learn anything, thereby not advancing our life purpose. This last section is pure speculation but answered in-kind to your quoted bit above.

Interesting topic =)



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by notreallyalive
A lot of what we're talking about needs clarification on an etymological level. For example, "proven by science", God, and life mean different things to different people.


Yes you are right. But there is no doubt about Science. I'll put forward a scientific method with hypothesis:

Hypothesis: There is no soul or independent consciousness
Experiment: Put a man or woman who claim to have Out of Body Experiences as safe alternatives to NDE in controlled conditions inside a hospital with the patient searched before and after entering the controlled hospital room. Ask the patient to recognise a number or figure on the top shelf of the room which can only be seen from above.
Verification: The patient recognises the number or figure or pattern in the requisite detail.
New Hypothesis: There is a soul or independent consciousness with its proto-senses and memory.

"Who created that reality. Evolution?"


I> tend to think that consciousness and life were in, or part of, the universe before earth was ever created. I also don't hold the Christian Bible as a pertinent source of information.
So another existence after our earthly life doesn't really mean much to me either way.


I respect your belief but I would also ask that you prove your hypothesis to Scientists because they would put you in the same category as believers.


"I think that Science would consider another condition of consciousness unlikely because what our senses tell us is the whole of Scientific reality."


> I totally disagree with this statement. Science includes quantum physics, superstring theory, etc which we have shown beyond a reasonable doubt, and through replicability, to be true. These truths are beyond normal human perception.


Which proof is there of Superstring Theory - none, it is all speculation. Quantum theory with its duality is a lot more appealing for students who believe in an 'other' existence. However, the idea of 10 or 11 dimensions is completely outside of a realistic scientific framework - it just happens to fit the numbers. How do you explain why the Cocmological Constant is the figure it is and why the Laws of the Universe have the value they have - no more and no less. Is that due to permanent existence or has it been designed with the correct values?

"If there is a soul, then the whole point of religion (but perhaps not (dis)-organised religion) is to improve the soul to achieve Heaven/Nirvana and avoid the Hell of emotional turmoil. I hope you are open to this idea."


> I generally agree with some of this, but, if our goal is to better ourselves then having a Hell would make no sense and we are making a lot of assumptions. If there's a Hell then we must be aware why we are there or it wouldn't make sense to be punished, therefore we wouldn't learn anything, thereby not advancing our life purpose. This last section is pure speculation but answered in-kind to your quoted bit above.

Interesting topic =)


I think this is the whole point of Divine Revelation to show you that the soul has a judgement made on it due to personal choice (or the appearance of a personal choice) because Man is a causative agent and his/her actions have an effect on other beings.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by Heronumber0
 


Your wrote...


then there is an afterlife


Rather a continuation of 'Consciousness" or "Awareness" merely experiencing the continuing story...
Not of the experience, perhaps what we/you knew, during the last few years but rather to do with the "Self Awareness" or "Conscious State"

There are a number of questions though, that need to be answered;

Where does Consciousness reside???

Within the Brain, or on the other side of the Wall, as to say, external of the brain yet interfaced with it....

There are two totally different Worlds involved....

These are linked, in order to experience what you refer to as, a Universe and another World, of "Mind/Consciousness".

Some believe that the Pineal Gland is somehow involved with the Linking process... (perhaps the Switching mechanism?)

There is I believe, Nothing at all, that is aware of "Mind" in this Universe but instead, The Mind or Consciousness is very much aware of the Universe Experience..... (in most cases a One way Link unless changed by some phenomena)

The Brain is a "Decoder/Encoder" between the Universe Experience and The World of Mind or Consciousness.

What is the Soul?

And what does it look like???

What is it constructed of/from and what is it's prime function???

Is there Technology that allows us to view the Soul???

What is Spirit as it is Not the Soul???

What is Life???

The words Soul, Spirit and other Components (Subjective in human nature) are very loose terms and undefined, which are often referred to, out of context, or incorrectly to some, while correct to others.

Is the Soul simply in the area of belief or imagination, or is/was there knowledge of another body that has been lost from us that is either human like or completely different???

To understand the Soul in its True Context, we must first discover the True make up of this Universe and what it really is....

Not what it is/as, based on belief, or the present understanding, or perhaps lack of understanding, by the human race...

What is Life???

Is it just the action of Biological structures, or is Life something that experiences Biological interaction, with an Environment???

I would suggest that the Biological function experiencing of this Universe, is that which is being experienced by "Life" or "Consciousness/Awareness".....

And that the Biological Form is totally Unaware of Consciousness, yet "Consciousness", is Aware of the Experience of the Biological form including its Environment through such a form....

We need to start exploring for the answers, regarding these subjects, but the question to most will be how???

One thing that is certain though, we will all find out at some point in our lives, and can Not escape this...

The Living will know, when so called clinical death occurs, but the Dead won't know anything.

The Biological form won't know anything, but the "Conscious State" will certainly know and express its self, via the Biological form at that time, until the flesh becomes Non Functional, no longer being able to be used to express anything...

Through my own Personal experience of so called clinical death, I now no longer know what Death is...

As for myself on being pronounced "Brain Dead" I was very much "alive" regarding my Self or Consciousness, but had no recollection of my experience of this Universe including Family, Friends or any history of activity on Earth.

So called Death can only be observed by humankind, but no one knows, what happens to the Conscious State, until they personally experience this moment in their lives...

I can only report having experienced this, that we do Not become "Unconscious" when your Biological body ceases to function.

Some who have experienced a NDE, recall nothing at all but this does Not say they did Not experience anything during the time of Non body function.

It only says, Nothing at all was recorded or held in memory!

Rather it is the intensity or alertness of Consciousness, that determines what you experience after the Biological body ceases to function...

Everyone of us has different levels of Consciousness or degrees of Awareness i.e. different degrees of Alertness ....

Some are very aware, while others are not aware of very much at all, even during their experience of this Universe or for that matter anything else
( Due to The Conscious State being asleep )....

But in rambling on about this subject, I strongly believe more research should and must be done in these fields...

I don't mean as in Philosophy or Theology, but rather to approach this in a Scientific way, in determining the existence or non existence whichever, of these unknown entities.

It is a matter of coming to know how to approach this research in a way that will allow us to have access to Scientific knowledge in these areas....


[edit on 31-3-2009 by The Matrix Traveller]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by The Matrix Traveller


Your wrote...


then there is an afterlife


Rather a continuation of 'Consciousness" or "Awareness" merely experiencing the continuing story...
Not of the experience, perhaps what we/you knew, during the last few years but rather to do with the "Self Awareness" or "Conscious State"


MT nice to hear from you again. Yes I think I know what you are getting at but I am keeping it simple at present so that I can appeal to the materialists amongst us who believe only in what their sensate experience tells them about their environment. They are very much in the concrete experiential state and even abstract thought is regarded as an epiphenomenon thrown up by the 'noise' of firing neurons.


There are a number of questions though, that need to be answered;

Where does Consciousness reside???

Within the Brain, or on the other side of the Wall, as to say, external of the brain yet interfaced with it....

There are two totally different Worlds involved....

These are linked, in order to experience what you refer to as, a Universe and another World, of "Mind/Consciousness".

Some believe that the Pineal Gland is somehow involved with the Linking process... (perhaps the Switching mechanism?)

There is I believe, Nothing at all, that is aware of "Mind" in this Universe but instead, The Mind or Consciousness is very much aware of the Universe Experience..... (in most cases a One way Link unless changed by some phenomena)

The Brain is a "Decoder/Encoder" between the Universe Experience and The World of Mind or Consciousness.


I am willing to believe that the brain is a mediator of 'influence' from another source. It would seem sensible to think of other dimensions perhaps acting through the brain. However, what if the brain is not really there at all but is also a piece of 'code'. I did not want to really get into the depth of knowledge which you obviously have. I wanted to keep it locked to a scientific framework. Most scientists would dismiss your experiences which is an unfair judgement to make.


What is the Soul?

And what does it look like???

What is it constructed of/from and what is it's prime function???

Is there Technology that allows us to view the Soul???

What is Spirit as it is Not the Soul???

What is Life???

The words Soul, Spirit and other Components (Subjective in human nature) are very loose terms and undefined, which are often referred to, out of context, or incorrectly to some, while correct to others.

Is the Soul simply in the area of belief or imagination, or is/was there knowledge of another body that has been lost from us that is either human like or completely different???

To understand the Soul in its True Context, we must first discover the True make up of this Universe and what it really is....

Not what it is/as, based on belief, or the present understanding, or perhaps lack of understanding, by the human race...


In the context of this thread I just wanted to limit it to a self-aware consciousness with memory and the ability to use senses but without the mediation of the brain. This would then link to the direct remembered experiences of people to identifying objects or even in hearing speech (and remembering speech)


What is Life???

Is it just the action of Biological structures, or is Life something that experiences Biological interaction, with an Environment???

I would suggest that the Biological function experiencing of this Universe, is that which is being experienced by "Life" or "Consciousness/Awareness".....

And that the Biological Form is totally Unaware of Consciousness, yet "Consciousness", is Aware of the Experience of the Biological form including its Environment through such a form....

We need to start exploring for the answers, regarding these subjects, but the question to most will be how???

One thing that is certain though, we will all find out at some point in our lives, and can Not escape this...

The Living will know, when so called clinical death occurs, but the Dead won't know anything.

The Biological form won't know anything, but the "Conscious State" will certainly know and express its self, via the Biological form at that time, until the flesh becomes Non Functional, no longer being able to be used to express anything...


Now you're talking. I would ask you what if the flesh is also illusion and that there probably are human beings who understand this?


Through my own Personal experience of so called clinical death, I now no longer know what Death is...

As for myself on being pronounced "Brain Dead" I was very much "alive" regarding my Self or Consciousness, but had no recollection of my experience of this Universe including Family, Friends or any history of activity on Earth.

So called Death can only be observed by humankind, but no one knows, what happens to the Conscious State, until they personally experience this moment in their lives...

I can only report having experienced this, that we do Not become "Unconscious" when your Biological body ceases to function.

Some who have experienced a NDE, recall nothing at all but this does Not say they did Not experience anything during the time of Non body function.

It only says, Nothing at all was recorded or held in memory!

Rather it is the intensity or alertness of Consciousness, that determines what you experience after the Biological body ceases to function...

Everyone of us has different levels of Consciousness or degrees of Awareness i.e. different degrees of Alertness ....

Some are very aware, while others are not aware of very much at all, even during their experience of this Universe or for that matter anything else
( Due to The Conscious State being asleep )....

But in rambling on about this subject, I strongly believe more research should and must be done in these fields...

I don't mean as in Philosophy or Theology, but rather to approach this in a Scientific way, in determining the existence or non existence whichever, of these unknown entities.

It is a matter of coming to know how to approach this research in a way that will allow us to have access to Scientific knowledge in these areas....


[edit on 31-3-2009 by The Matrix Traveller]


Agreed. I thought a non-harmful and fully ethical way of researching this would be to harness the abilities of people who claim to have consciousness of their surroundings after sleep - sleep being a correlate of death - IMHO. If you could ask these people to leave a locked room to another room containing a numbered code in their sleep then to recall the coded numbers you have a ready-made experiment. Does Science want to perform the experiment and discover another reality? I hope so, even if they do it to falsify the idea of a separate or 'other' consciousness.

Thanks for your post MT.



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