An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Near Death Experiences: is brain the ONLY event recorder and memory device we have?

Came across this very interesting study on “Out of Body” experiences. This study will formally study subjects that experience Near Death Experiences.

The study is being led by Dr. Sam Parnia, who wrote What Happens When We Die. He says and correctly that death is NOT an off/on switch. All the cells do not die right away. The brain may have stopped functioning and maybe even the heart would have gone phut, but that does not mean that chemical interactions within individual cells have completely stopped.

Now, what has intrigued the docs is that those whose brain is medically dead.. are finally revived and have uncannily described what was happening IN THE ROOM while the brain was not working! Now, if the brain was working, one could argue that at the subconscious level at least the brain could monitor stuff through various senses.

But if brain was dead and the patient could still “absorb” the events around him/her, then WHAT was at work?? Is then, brain the ONLY “instrument” of recording memory/cognition? Or is there something that is different or over and above brain?

Even more importantly, in my view, is brain’s “software” able to function without the brain’s hardware? In fact, if the experiences are to be believed, then that “software”/instrument of record actually dissociates from the body and “plants” itself ABOVE it (watching from ceiling being the most common expression). So is this instrument of record within ones body actually localized BY The brain…. and virtually emprisoned within the confines of brain’s limits?

If the OBE are to be believed then the following may be true:

1. Brain is NOT the only intrument/system of record and memory
2. Whatever that OTHER part or piece of recording events and memory is.. is somehow able to “detach” itself AND still survive.. in fact keeps working fine!
3. This OTHER part or piece seems to have a non-localized (limited perhaps but yes nevertheless) way of working

Then what is this OTHER part or piece and how can it be studied?

This is exactly what Dr. Parnia intends to do.

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.

What do you think? Have you had any OBE or NDE? What was your understanding of them?

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8 Comments
  1. morris says

    Fascinating. Most hindus will have no trouble accepting that soul continues after death and indeed reincarnate over and over again. There has been no proof of that. Perhaps this study will provide partial proof for soul’s joureney.
    Morris

  2. morris says

    Fascinating. Most hindus will have no trouble accepting that soul continues after death and indeed reincarnate over and over again. There has been no proof of that. Perhaps this study will provide partial proof for soul’s joureney.
    Morris

  3. DD says

    This is one critical and exciting area which i am currently analyzing. My assumptions are based on the take that the total mass of living is a single form of awareness where we all contribute in parts but also gain from the whole. The awareness gets shaped by our contribution and in turn we get affected and this maybe relates or regulates an even higher system – the nature and universe which has a tendency to wipe out redundancy and always remain at a balance – either by creation or destruction. Will come up with my analysis once done!

    Cheers – DD

  4. DD says

    Reincarnation like resurrection is one of the basis of religion to leverage the basic insecurity and fear in us about death and trap people in their net. All of us live in perpetual fear and the fear of death is highest as the loss perceived is highest also. Loss from all comfort, possession, near and dear ones, everything – more the attachment – more the fear. Religion and this by-products have always survived on this insecurities.

    Love – DD

  5. DD says

    This is one critical and exciting area which i am currently analyzing. My assumptions are based on the take that the total mass of living is a single form of awareness where we all contribute in parts but also gain from the whole. The awareness gets shaped by our contribution and in turn we get affected and this maybe relates or regulates an even higher system – the nature and universe which has a tendency to wipe out redundancy and always remain at a balance – either by creation or destruction. Will come up with my analysis once done!

    Cheers – DD

  6. DD says

    Reincarnation like resurrection is one of the basis of religion to leverage the basic insecurity and fear in us about death and trap people in their net. All of us live in perpetual fear and the fear of death is highest as the loss perceived is highest also. Loss from all comfort, possession, near and dear ones, everything – more the attachment – more the fear. Religion and this by-products have always survived on this insecurities.

    Love – DD

  7. Garimaa says

    Very interesting read Desh. OBE and NDE are like SLEEP much of which scientists still are oblivious of and the research is on-going. They have explanations for almost all of these things but are half-baked in the absence of any direct evidence. I have always wondered, looking at the past life regression techniques and future life progression protocols. Having experienced at least one of these, I can say for sure that the software actually is of non-physical nature and it does carry all the information that can be tapped into from time to time in meditations. Now one similar description would be, why an organ is still felt after being cut off from the body years back. Is it all the chemical firing of neurons in the brain that save the memory in a software that is beyond this body and may be is like many virtual CPUs collected together in collective consciousness. Who knows? But it is really very interesting.

  8. Garimaa says

    Very interesting read Desh. OBE and NDE are like SLEEP much of which scientists still are oblivious of and the research is on-going. They have explanations for almost all of these things but are half-baked in the absence of any direct evidence. I have always wondered, looking at the past life regression techniques and future life progression protocols. Having experienced at least one of these, I can say for sure that the software actually is of non-physical nature and it does carry all the information that can be tapped into from time to time in meditations. Now one similar description would be, why an organ is still felt after being cut off from the body years back. Is it all the chemical firing of neurons in the brain that save the memory in a software that is beyond this body and may be is like many virtual CPUs collected together in collective consciousness. Who knows? But it is really very interesting.

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