Archive for the NDE Category

NDE After Effects Explored

Posted in NDE on February 10, 2010 by jackpot12

This is one of the most graphic displays of the beautiful after effects of the NDE. These videos I offer in tribute to the enormous contribution of the NDE to society.

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Ode to a Fledgeling Bubba

Posted in NDE on February 5, 2010 by jackpot12

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Stewart, Tsakaris, Long

BUBBA- (Definition)- One who retires into a state of permanent lecturing and book writing with no significant work obligations or time constraints who are passionate about  informing people how to,

-Decrease stress

-Improve relationships

-Find meaning in life

-Find the time to do important things in life

– Generate Happiness

– Improve financial wellbeing

The paradox of the Bubba is the complete disconnect from the struggles of their audience. The professional Bubba exudes inner serenity, power, and spiritual authority while lecturing to an audience of overworked frantic people who lead miserable and stressful workaday 9 to 5 lives constantly wondering why they aren’t happy and prosperous stuck in a cage of trading hours for dollars while desperately searching for inner peace between binges of antidepressent medication. They look upwards for guidance towards the Bubba on how to navigate the shit-hole of their own existence. The Bubba meanwhile makes vast sums of money doing very little, with few pressing obligations other than their book deadlines, living a life of vacationing and hobbying  and storytelling.

Many strive for Bubbahood, most fail. To acheive Bubbahood is to have arrived. When people go to seminars on how to meld their personal aspirations with their work life they are really just scheming on how to be a professional Bubba. How to stop everything and tell others how they did it. How to simply collect money in their slippers tapping on a laptop- blessed by God.

Jeff Long is a fledgeling Bubba. His book reached the NY times best sellers list. In this interview on Skeptico, Jeff Long takes a stand for survival. He believes and makes no hesitations about it. Long is certain that we survive death. He is certain that NDEs are precisely what they seem to be. This separates him from the minions of pussies and cowards among his colleagues who dare not take a stand. Long has put it all on the line and offers to debate any reasonable challenger on the NDE. I respect him for it. I think his NDERF research is greatly over-rated and tragically flawed, but his bravery in stepping up to the plate will draw fire and hopefully create new lines of thought and argumnt so we can get to a better understanding of the NDE and whether our lives have some element of cosmic meaning, or are precisely what they seem- Darwinian tragicomic idiot’s tales.

EEG, NDE and Parnia

Posted in NDE on January 6, 2010 by jackpot12

Interesting Skeptico interview along the lines we have been arguing here. An EEG expert says that it is unlikely clear experiences could happen in that state. Penny Sartori is a little more clear in saying that perhaps there is some level of brain functioning going on we don’t yet understand. So either we exist beyond the brain or there is some extraordinary ability of the brain to generate these experiences in states thought not to be conducive to such experiences. Either way the NDE is amazing.

Also of note, Penny Sartori says that Sam Parnia is set to bpublish something concerning the AWARE study in the next few months. What it is I don’t think she knows. A result? I doubt it.

90. EEG Expert Can’t Explain Near Death Experience Data… and, Dr. Penny Sartori Finds More Than Hallucinations in NDE Accounts

Damning NDE Refutations

Posted in NDE on November 27, 2009 by jackpot12

Lord Parnia

Whenever I read parts of this article by Keith Augustine, I feel my hopes for survival after death being smashed smithereens. And for good reason. In my opinion, this article is a better argued and more comprehensive defense of the annihilation hypothesis than exists anything published in defense of the survival hypothesis. Take this simple fact I learned for instance just now- Greyson and colleagues have discovered a statistical correlation between the time passed since an NDEr has had their experience, and the depth of the experience. This indicates that the experiencer tends to embellish the story as time goes on.

Augustine writes, “The AWARE study is designed to find out whether or not any of these NDErs will be able to accurately report the complex images that appear as hidden visual targets visible only from the ceiling. Parnia explicitly states that the purpose of the study is to “settle this debate once and for all” (Taylor 24), adding that “if no one sees the pictures, it shows these experiences are illusions or false memories” (Dreaper). The study has been encouraged by both skeptics of and believers in a survivalist interpretation of NDEs.”

My only question is whether Sam Parnia will become the official spokesperson for atheistic materialism after observing the null findings of his study.

In trying to find more information about cardiac arrest and the NDE, I found an argument more powerful than that I had read by Augustine. This comes from Gerald Woerlee and it severely undermines the idea the cardiac arrest survivors in Pim Von Lommel’s study were certain to have flat EEGs. This is because, as Woerlee describes, nobody stands around observing people in a hospital having a cardiac arrest. They are doing chest compressions and moving a couple of liters of blood through the body. I can understand how Woerlee is so emotionally outraged at the lack of attention paid to what is actually happening during these cardiac arrests. Read what he has to say about cardiac arrests and the NDE, and I don’t think it is possible to think the same way about it ever again.

Accordingly, statements claiming that all people are unconscious, and all people have a “flat EEG” while undergoing active cardiac resuscitation are pure speculation, and likely to be quite incorrect.”- Gerald Woerlee

 

Update: I have found the article, and it was published in 2008 by Jason J. Braithwaite, not Augustine. There is a whole section on EEG and NDE. I don’t know what to make of the claims or what scientific consensus would be on the speculations. In part he says:

“However, the emerging evidence is somewhat unhelpful for the survivalist. Tao, Ray, Hawes-Ebersole, and Ebersole (2005) compared EEG activity from surgically implanted electrodes placed in or around deep sub-cortical regions of epileptic patients, with cortical EEG electrodes placed on the scalp of the same patients. The results were quite surprising. Tao et al. showed that for 90% of cases, large amplitude paroxysmal firing needed to recruit 10 cm2 of brain tissue in order to show up against background cortical EEG traces. In other words, large seizure-based activity was being recorded by the surgically implanted electrodes (indexing clear and widespread brain-seizure activity) which was completely absent from scalp-based EEG traces until it propagated through and excited 10 cm2 of brain volume. This is a considerable amount of brain tissue.”

“Furthermore, a recent study that employed both EEG and brain-imaging (fMRI) techniques to explore seizure processes found significant increases in localised cortical neural activity (indicative of a seizure) in the fMRI BOLD (blood-oxygen-level dependant) response, which was completely absent from the EEG data (Kobayashi, Hawco, Grova, Dubeau, & Gotman, 2006). This is particularly striking in that this occurred despite the fact that the intense seizure activity occurred in a region where EEG electrodes were closely spaced. Kobayashi et al. note that this is striking as the EEG completely missed the most intensely discharging region despite the fact that this region was also located at the cortical level.”

The Greyson Approach of Radical Diplomacy

Posted in NDE, Science & Spirituality on November 26, 2009 by jackpot12

Bruce Greyson, one of the open minded skeptics regarding the near death experience has said that there is not enough evidence proving or disproving the afterlife. He says he would not be surprised either way. I agree. Part of me feels as if the NDE must be caused by endogenous brain activity. I suspect that Karl Jansen’s idea that the brain in trauma or perceiving trauma or under other circumstances will release neurotransmitters which cause some sort of blockade effect which leads to an experience more profound than any externally introduced hallucinogen such as LSD, is a very reasonable hypothesis.  The other half of me thinks that psi is probably true, consciousness is real and probably has some sort of property independent of space-time and thus is easily imagined (or by nature must) go beyond the degree that materialists confine it. But with comments Chopra provides like, “when there was no measurable activity in the brain, when they were in fact brain dead” despite such measurements not even being part of the Dutch study and not being fully understood, the biased perception comes through- Chopra begins the whole thing insisting that the brain does not create consciousness.

Always with the professional believers like Chopra there is some element of their beliefs that betrays good sense. Someone may have rational views towards psi experimentation and then make some statement about how the evidence for RAMTHA is incontrovertible. I get exactly the same feel from Peter Fenwich who seems very reasonable for a while and then jumps to some pretty wild rationalizations about the elements of the NDE that seem to me extremely unlikely and not supported by the bulk of the accounts.

Michael Shermer is so sold on the idea that the brain does everything that he states that neurons create consciousness as a solid fact. Maybe he’s right, but how can such a conversations have any meaning when both contestants write conjectures as if they are facts, and are so blinded by their own bias that they don’t even notice when they say it? Neither is open to the others conclusions. In the end, we just don’t have enough evidence either way. I would not be surprised by either of these “astonishing hypotheses”. But upon learning which one is true, I would be stunned.

In a Nutshell

Posted in NDE, OBE, Science & Spirituality on November 24, 2009 by jackpot12

The following videos are priceless, encapsulating the very essence of the debate over the NDE. A greater concentration of veridical claims in one room never have I witnessed before and a drama by an NDEr who clearly doesn’t want to be alive. My favorite parts are when the NDEr laughs to herself when the camera happens to be on her as someone suggests the experience was not on the up and up. And the part where the audience cheers at the idea that the whole experience is a product of nothing but the dying brain. A show like this can occur in the UK but not here in America. In the UK people tend not to favor religion, though they are very much into new agey things. In America the audience of a show like this would never reveal overt skepticism or negativity towards religious claims and they would tend to use the experiences to support their Christian fundamentalism. Put down whatever you are doing and watch. Pay very close attention to the first video at the 6:55 mark.

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Why have we been lied to

Posted in NDE, OBE, Science & Spirituality on November 18, 2009 by jackpot12

The case of “Pam Reynolds” is a scam and a lie. She was demonstrably nowhere near standstill when her OBE began. The propagation of the mythology of the Pam Reynolds case by the those like Michael Sabom is simply negligent. It has been known all along that the OBE/NDE did not happen anywhere near the standstill procedure. Surprisingly, we have been lied to all this time. Outright. Knowingly.

The Pam Reynolds case was but a simple case of a woman having an OBE during anesthesia nowhere near standstill. This is not unprecedented. People become aware during anesthesia by the thousands each year. There remain some extremely interesting facts surrounding her ability to correctly identify some elements of the procedure, but it is not at all justified to say that it is impossible to have happened without an actual out of body perception.

Including this, Keith Augustine with his 2008 update goes into detail about cases of NDE OBE which describes things inaccurately in the environment just as sleep OBEs do. They seem to be the same experience. I strongly doubt that Parnia will find a single person who even sees that there is a sign above the OR, leave alone seeing what it actually is.