Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

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Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby simonwheeler » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:43 am

Near-death experiences are simply "manifestations of normal brain functions gone awry", researchers say.


Writing in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science,
and reported on the BBC
the researchers say: "Taken together, the scientific experience suggests that all aspects of near-death experience have a neuro-physiological or psychological basis."
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Ian Pegler » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:53 am

More on Caroline Watt here and a short CV here.

It seems that most of her papers etc. are co-authored with skeptics and some noted ones such as Richard Wiseman and Chris French.

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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Lyndon Ronstadt » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:39 am

Dr Watt, of the University of Edinburgh, said: "Some of the studies we examined show that many of the people experiencing a near-death experience were not actually in danger of dying, although most thought they were.


So that's it then? Because such states can be 'artificially' induced, and because people misinterpret their physiological condition, the experience known as NDE has no validity as a psychic phenomenon? Maybe this isn't scepticism. Maybe it's a deliberate attempt to downgrade the phenomenon in the minds of the public and thereby limit personal investigation of a wider phenomenon nominally induced by the near death state. Are we the victims of skewed interpretation from science or from journalism?
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Ian Pegler » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:13 am

It's the same kind of thinking that you always find amongst (pseudo) skeptics, namely that:

"more palettable" = "more plausible" = "more probable" = "the reality"

For example the fact that stage magicians can use slight-of-hand to fake parnormal phenomena is taken to imply that this is how it always happens.

Or "he could have cheated therefore he did cheat".

Or "an unknown experimental flaw could explain away the result - therefore we'll dismiss it"

Very often just having a plausible explanation is seen as a desirable end result and they don't even bother to take the next step and back it up with evidence.

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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby simonwheeler » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:48 pm

Also worth emphasising that their paper:
reviewed existing research.
.
They did no new research themselves.
A cynic- or skeptic (?!!)- about them might even suggest that they were under pressure to produce research papers....
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby ledgehammer » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:42 pm

I hate to sound like a conspiracist but what would the implications of understanding the true nature of ourselves and things like N.D.E's have on our race, Im not sure a division between those "in charge" and the rest of us could be maintained easily, the morals and motivations of our race would need to be revamped and some may have to sacrifice for the greater good?

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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby mike » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:40 am

People who have experienced N D Es can relate to what happened in the room, and what doctors said after they had passed over, and showed full brain dead on electrical equipment, even to the point of when they rose up over their own body they could read things written on the equipment high up in the room, as they watched the scene below. Knowing this has happened in the past some doctors have placed written cards where they cannot be seen in normal conditions, so people who report N D Es, and float above the recovery bed/area may report what was written by them as proof they floated high up. Nothing reported yet of people seeing these cards, BUT to be honest what doctor would report in any medical paper someone had, as they would I imagine be re-trained or given a desk job till they reformed and walked the accepted line.
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Lyndon Ronstadt » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:22 pm

BUT to be honest what doctor would report in any medical paper someone had, as they would I imagine be re-trained or given a desk job till they reformed and walked the accepted line.

We must think outside the box - but only to read the instructions. :lol:
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby mike » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Lyndon Ronstadt wrote:We must think outside the box - but only to read the instructions. :lol:


I allow logic in after I finish dowsing, to sort out what just happened,not that I take much notice, someone up there knows much more than all of us put together :lol:


Edited by I.P. 3.11.11 - put quote in mark-up
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:37 pm

Here's an interesting Skeptiko podcast which talks in a positive and surprising way about NDEs and their after-effects:

Near-Death Experience After Effects Key to Understanding NDEs, Say Researcher P.M.H. Atwater

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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Grahame Gardner » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:07 pm

I would recommend listening to all the Skeptiko podcasts that deal with NDEs - and there have been quite a few! It seems to be a bit of an obsession with Alex at the moment.
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Thevic » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:51 pm

Back in the day and regular as clockwork every term time Wednesday afternoon for an entire academic year I was part of a group that experienced a collective NDE.
Mind you at Bolton Institute they called it a 'Lecture series on the Philosophies of Education'
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby Rory » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:56 pm

These so called scientists who say that these things do not have any scientific foundations to say anything with any certainty. Their physics is in chaos. Every time anyone comes across these sort of statements, this is what has to be really thrown back at them. It is the only thing that will undermine their position.

As for the expression it is all in the mind- well it could be - it just depends if you think our individual mind is part of a collective universal mind that has just been segregated into a form of consciousness whilst we are on this world. Could be many other things too, its too early to tell, let alone being ready for anyone to say what it is not.
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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby ledgehammer » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:39 pm

How about these scientists:

http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html

Cardiologist Michael Sabom described a near-death experience that occurred while its experiencer - a woman who was having an unusual surgical procedure for the safe excision and repair of a large basilar artery aneurysm - met all of the accepted criteria for brain death. The unusual medical procedure involved the induction of hypothermic cardiac arrest, in order to insure that the aneurysm at the base of the brain would not rupture during the operation. The patient's body temperature was lowered to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, her heartbeat and breathing ceased, her brain waves flattened, and the blood was completely drained from her head. Her electroencephalogram was totally flat (indicating no cerebral electrical activity) and auditory evoked potentials (normally elicited by clicks presented through molded earplugs that had been inserted into her ears) ceased (indicating cessation of brainstem functioning). Ordinarily - at regular body temperature - the brain cannot function without its oxygen supply for more than a few minutes. Lowering the body and brain temperature to 60 degrees F. - by chilling the blood in a bypass machine before returning it to the body and brain - however, can reduce cellular metabolism so that the brain can tolerate complete cerebral blood flow for the 45 minutes or so required for the brain operation. The patient later reported that, apparently while under these “brain death” conditions, she had a near-death experience (NDE) in which she was able to observe and hear details of objects and happenings in the operating room with accuracy. She also experienced classic components of the NDE, including a tunnel vortex, a bright light, and different figures in the light (many deceased family members, including a distant cousin of whose death she had been unaware)


Addressing the frequent rejoinder that such events can be accounted for as hallucinations, Dr. Greyson notes that if NDEs are hallucinations, then how is it that such incredibly accurate and verifiable information is resulting from the NDEs? People on drugs who have NDEs see fewer deceased relatives when they travel out of body. This suggests that people who do see relatives are clear-minded, not hallucinating. In some cases of children, they see dead relatives whom they had never met or seen pictures of. This begs the following question: How could they hallucinate accurately the visual images of someone they have never met? When assessing the surmounting data as a whole, Greyson said that the survival hypothesis is the most parsimonious explanation for the growing database of NDEs.


Dr. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper completed a two-year study into the NDEs of the blind. They published their findings in a book entitled "Mindsight" in which they documented the solid evidence of 31 cases in which blind people report visually accurate information obtained during an NDE. Perhaps the best example in his study is that of a forty-five year old blind woman by the name of Vicki Umipeg. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons.


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Re: Near-death experience 'all in the mind'

Postby simonwheeler » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:03 pm

Thanks for this, Tom. I "googled" the name of the blind woman in the last quote you posted- Vicki Umipeg. I'll not list the links here...but some very interesting stuff. Poor woman- her experience has been seized on by many to prove.....almost whatever they want to prove!
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