To infinity and beyond: A discussion of existence after death
Last week, I attended Promega’s Bioethics Conference, two packed days of lectures. The topic was the ancient (yet unexplored) frontier that exists in another dimension where “time” and “space” do not apply. The topic was death and dying. Promega founder Bill Linton assembled the most respected researchers and scientists from the world over, including Dr. Raymond Moody, who originally coined the term “near death experience,” for a discussion of NDEs and the scientific study of this phenomenon. Real? Or defensive reaction to the terror of death by an advanced human brain?
The phenomenon appears to be real. Much work has focused on the clear, concise, and orderly thinking patterns that continue after brain stem activity stops. But to understand and accept the notion of Life of the “Soul” After Death of the Body and Brain, we have to abandon the notion that the brain creates thought or identity. Heretofore, we’ve lacked the ability to mentally form the language or the understanding of how that could be, but that is changing – not only in scientific circles, as new languages and reasoning platforms beyond Euclidean logic, but also in our own circles, as we become more personally familiar with cyberspace and the realities of technology today.
I’ll share two examples of the kind of NDE thinking that rocks my world, and then, if you are interested, you can learn more by checking out The BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute’s site.
Cloud computing: Is your soul “downloaded” and synchronized in your brain?
Imagine, as today’s scientists are willing to do, that your “soul” does not reside in your brain. Your brain is like the world’s fastest and most sophisticated computer (on steroids), but it is not the source of your soul. Your “soul” is downloaded into the desktop computer (brain) and you work on it, adding personality and “identity” in this life experience.
This is not an anti-Christian or an anti-Godhead view of the world. In fact, the belief these scientists had in a divine creator who is all and knows all was discussed at length, along with the notion that part of creation resides in each of us (“Holy Spirit,” as some religions refer to it), which connects us directly to the source. That’s the Ethernet, in my way of explaining this today. The more they study the phenomenon of life after death, the more “connected” researchers become to the belief that LOVE is the energy that fuels our existence and connection to the source and, while some remain agnostic with regard to adopting a religious viewpoint, I didn’t find any outright atheists in the foxholes during private discussions with the presenters.
Life review: Every thought and action, every reaction
NDE survivors tell us that we have to abandon (MUST abandon) our present reasoning tools and language of science to understand the scientific truths of the near death experience. There is no sense of “time” or “space,” and so it is hard for these resurrected among us to say what happened during their “clinically dead” experience.
But one presenter framed the discussion in this manner: It might take seconds in our reality, or eternity, but the life review process is recorded sort of like this:
Imagine a tabletop, with figures standing on the tabletop and points of light connecting all of them to a central figure, like lasers. These “rays” are rays of comprehension and understanding. You are the central figure, let’s say. And every thought or deed that you have done in your conscious physical life is laid out before you. As you look at it from your perspective – one deed, let’s say – you immediately grasp WHY you behaved as you did toward another figure on the tabletop. All of your “baggage” is explained to you and accepted. Then, mentally turn the table and assume the position of the person to whom the deed was done – the human receiver of the good, bad, or neutral deed. You will fully comprehend the complete ramifications, as experienced by that person, of the deed as well.
Thanks for the courage to host the discussions, Bill Linton
And thank you, too, for the brilliance of selecting the best and the brightest presenters: Eben Alexander III, M.D. (neurosurgeon, near-death experiencer, research director for The Monroe Institute, Faber, Va.); Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D. (professor of psychology, Department of Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, Calif.); Jeffrey Guss, M.D. (clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.); Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D. (author, scholar/researcher, lecturer, instructor, and private counselor, Anniston, Ala.); Steve Paulson (executive producer, To the Best of Our Knowledge, Wisconsin Public Radio and Public Radio International, Madison, Wis.) (panel moderator); William A. Richards, Ph.D. (psychologist, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Md.); Peter Russell, (fellow, Institute of Noetic Sciences, The World Business Academy and The Findhorn Foundation); Penny Sartori, Ph.D. (nurse and medical researcher, The Intensive Therapy Unit, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK); Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. (president and CEO, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, Calif.); Pim van Lommel, M.D. (cardiologist, Department of Cardiology, Rijnstate Hospital; NDE researcher and author, Arnhem, The Netherlands); Eric Weiss, Ph.D. (psychotherapist; adjunct professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, Calif., and Sophia Center of Holy Names College, Oakland, Calif.; distinguished scholar, Esalen Center for Theory and Research, Big Sur, Calif.).
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