NDE article

OBE's, NDE's, lucid dreams, and the like...

NDE article

Postby Enlightened2B » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:16 am

If anyone's interested, I found this article tonight on a non-duality website which someone posted on facebook. This is a pretty in depth description of the author's interpretation of his research in NDE's. Seems pretty accurate from the accounts I've read about.

http://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/notes-from-the-other-side/
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Re: NDE article

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:15 pm

Loved the article E2B. Thanks for posting. Highly recommended.

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Re: NDE article

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:19 pm

Okay, so I've been deeper into all the content on, and referenced by, this article. I've had a bit of an insight I would like to share.

As many of us who recognize the value in the study of NDE/TDE/OBE accounts know, there is a common argument from those with a materialist mindset that goes: "how do you know that the experience is not just a by-product of an oxygen starved, dying brain?" It is a valid question (to an extent - until it becomes simply a defense mechanism to protect an ideology).

In this link which came from the the article:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgYHxrBn5Ao#t=1752

the TDE'r reports his experience from when he was 9 years old. He even suggests the question of 'how one knows' at the end of the second part in response to the interviewers suggestion of what question he would like to answer that has not been asked. While I felt that Raymond Kinman's answer to be rather unsatisfying, a more appropriate response to the how came to me.

'How can a nine year old brain, conditioned only with nine years of accumulated content to perceive life in a certain entrained way, perceive and experience a far greater world of life and being, in which it has had no physical life experience? Where would it get the content to create such imaginings and hallucinations, inclusive of Infinite Love and intelligence so far beyond its own limited life experience? How can a nine year old brain perceive so far out of the box of its own nine years of content?'

There is no cogent or compelling answer in brain science. There is however, overwhelming coherence in a non-physical origin of consciousness.

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Re: NDE article

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:54 pm

Glad you enjoyed it WW. I think you answered your question right there. Exactly as you put it. For me, I've noticed that it's the convincing nature of their stories and most of all and most importantly, how convinced they, themselves are, regardless of age, sex, religious orientation, etc, that what they experienced is so incredibly real. I'm open to being wrong though. But, the common theme is too strong between each case, that for me, it becomes more and more convincing.

If anyone else is interested, here's one more video from the same author's website, from a different article on his website about a NDE. It's 26 minutes, but I highly recommend it as it seems to follow much of the same themes. Enjoy to all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2NLEYHjG1g
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Re: NDE article

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:20 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:For me, I've noticed that it's the convincing nature of their stories and most of all and most importantly, how convinced they, themselves are,

Not trying to be argumentative here, but people can convince themselves of most anything with the right conditioning and motivation. The point is that a nine year old in the 1960's would have no way to have absorbed the type information into his/her brain to have hallucinated the experience that he had. It is clearly indicative that such experience could not be the result of an oxygen starved brain. The argument simply won't work.

If it cannot be some bizarre inexplicable brain function, then what is left? The best answer is that it most likely reflects a non-physical origin of being. I can think of no evidence to contradict it. That it is not a single event, and happens repeatedly, is yet more evidence of a genuine non-physical origin.

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Re: NDE article

Postby runstrails » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:15 pm

WW wrote: If it cannot be some bizarre inexplicable brain function,


Apologies since I've not read the link that E2B posted. But lately I've been thinking along these lines: I have a colleague who told me that by directly stimulating certain areas in the temporal lobe he was able to induce 'out of body' experiences quite reliably in patients. Our neurons are used to a certain kind of stimulation, when that stimulation changes (as in being in a coma or when the heart stops), the neurons depict a different kind of reality (what people report in NDE's). This makes sense as some of the NDE reports are so consistent (bright light, tunnel etc.). Anyway, what fascinates me about a brain based explanation is that (rather than focusing on the NDE part), it makes our current everyday 'reality' even more tenuous. What the heck is this everyday world that we take for granted (forgetting even NDE's)--it's just a certain way of our neurons firing. It could be so different, so easily, were our neurons to do things differently.
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Re: NDE article

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:44 pm

runstrails wrote: I have a colleague who told me that by directly stimulating certain areas in the temporal lobe he was able to induce 'out of body' experiences quite reliably in patients.

Yes, that is some of the science being done. It is also true that some, undergoing high performance pilot training in g-force machines, also experience OBE's. That does not 'prove' a brain based origin for consciousness. It could just as well 'prove' that these stimulations cause consciousness to lose its focus on, or connection through, brain chemistry perspective.

That said, the point was in the detail of NDE/TDE's that goes beyond anything that is in the brain's storehouse of memory. Where, in a brain based scenario could such enhanced consciousness perspectives come from?

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Re: NDE article

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:15 am

Webwanderer wrote:
Enlightened2B wrote:For me, I've noticed that it's the convincing nature of their stories and most of all and most importantly, how convinced they, themselves are,

Not trying to be argumentative here, but people can convince themselves of most anything with the right conditioning and motivation. The point is that a nine year old in the 1960's would have no way to have absorbed the type information into his/her brain to have hallucinated the experience that he had. It is clearly indicative that such experience could not be the result of an oxygen starved brain. The argument simply won't work.

If it cannot be some bizarre inexplicable brain function, then what is left? The best answer is that it most likely reflects a non-physical origin of being. I can think of no evidence to contradict it. That it is not a single event, and happens repeatedly, is yet more evidence of a genuine non-physical origin.

WW


I see what you're saying. Not argumentative at all. I agree completely. It's definitely a good case to throw up there in the debate over Consciousness and the brain.
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Re: NDE article

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:08 am

The whole neuron/brain/NDE thing in my opinion, is really missing the whole point of what these people are experiencing. It's not just a tunnel or light. The life review for example. How some of these people are not only experiencing every nano second of their own life, but every minor detail from the position of every other person and thing that they've ever encountered and the incredible realness of it to the most minor detail even from the perspective of every blade of grass to every follicle of hair to every emotion that any and every other person has ever experienced, is unexplained by the brain. It blows your mind when you really understand what these people have experienced and once again how real it is. Not to mention how many of these experiencers have been able to identify to a tee what was going on around them while under anesthesia. Here is Pam Reynolds NDE. Try to explain this because her own mainstream doctors could not:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k

It goes by the common misconception that tunnels and lights are the only main features of NDE and that's why science so easily believes these things can be explained by a physical organ like the brain because they take bits and pieces, but miss the major picture of what these people are bringing back from their experience, and fail to take into account the much deeper revelations that these people are experiencing. How every one of these people are coming back with the same message that our purpose is simply 'love'. There's no other purpose for our existence here in physicality other than love.
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Re: NDE article

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:16 am

my apologies too, I haven't read the links yet either.

Runstrails said: I have a colleague who told me that by directly stimulating certain areas in the temporal lobe he was able to induce 'out of body' experiences quite reliably in patients.

Our neurons are used to a certain kind of stimulation, when that stimulation changes (as in being in a coma or when the heart stops), the neurons depict a different kind of reality (what people report in NDE's).


I like the way you're thinking 'Trails.

Did your colleague say whether the 'different kind of reality' that he could induce had wider than 'normal' accurate cognition, verifiable, accurate, outside of time/place biological and cognitive experience / understanding / gains in knowledge / information?

I'm not saying that I think that the brain 'creates' consciousness, I still think of pathways - even neural pathways of accessing - tuning into consciousness in narrower (perspective) or wider (universal) streams. Maybe a different neural pathway allows tuning into ... whatever in narrower or wider awareness.

I find that I weigh up theories in consciousness / perception, not just in if it explains nde awareness, but also clairvoyant & empathic experiences.

Because explaining to me how my 'brain' knew about & processed & experienced things in the nde state that it could not geographically & biologically have access to in my even less than 'normal' physical state/reality, is in many ways the same as how one can experience the physical, emotional, intellectual experience of an 'other' in empathic experiences (my friend being shot 8 miles away blowing me physically off my chair, experiencing my bf's burst appendix symptoms without my appendix being burst, experiencing my Granny's heart attack simultaneously while 12000 miles away from her etc) and the incredible accuracy of even information / shared experience about total strangers' memories, experiences and sharing of information even after their death - their definite, dead, buried, cremated or whatever biologically no 'brain' activity happening here, and yet - here they are - not mirages, not delusions, not fantasies, as 'real' and communicating as effectively, if not more effectively, as we are right here.

And that this information, not just the information on its own - not just 'content' that 'this' did/is/will happen being accurate and often 'provable', but the added awareness that the information is being shared from one individual perspective / personality / separate entity to another. (as in a 'medium' with a separate identity to the one sharing the information)

And that, both in nde & in clair communication - sharing of information can be accurate about past present or future 'content' as if ...well, with no 'respect' for linear time as we 'live it' here. It's always 'now'.

Can you ask your colleague Trails - does the stimulating of those particular neurons create that capacity ability in conscious cognitive awareness to the degree that one can simultaneously 'test' it and experience it in a shared and simultaneously individual awareness?

As in your brain can accept and validate that what you are reading here has been written and shared from one 'individual' in perspective and physicality and transmitted via electronic mediums to be in front of your eyes and able to be received by receivers in your physically individual awareness. You likely interpret & 'filter' and 'test' what is absorbed into your awareness by a set of biological processes, but your brain did not generate me or my sharings - make sense? You are the receiver, the forum is the medium, I am the sender. Underneath / above / within / around those three things sender-medium-receiver are gazillions of things that contribute to our communicating.

WW said: That said, the point was in the detail of NDE/TDE's that goes beyond anything that is in the brain's storehouse of memory. Where, in a brain based scenario could such enhanced consciousness perspectives come from?

I like that webby :D Okay, for those who think consciousness is in the brain - then we are somehow also 'networked', to each other's hard drives and the network itself.

As in my little brain here has >>>>>>><<<<<<< much memory storage and cpu capacity intellectually, physically etc whereas in the nde awareness and in clair and seemingly empath awareness its like I'm connected to a far bigger network - not unlike even this forum and the internet allowing for different perspectives and experiences to be shared.

The new movie 'Transcendence' is mind blowing along these lines - please please see it - what they did in my interpretation of the movie was to realise and harness the network itself beyond physical death - which is how it feels, seems in nde awareness, I not only had my own little computer (brain & memories & awareness) I had everyone else's as well. In clair sharings it's like a 'connection' is established, knowingly and respectfully between individuals.

Why I wonder, did we evolve to creating systems here that allow us to connect across time and distance - telegraph, telephone, internet to connect and communicate in a more limited manner? For me it's like a more 'primitive' limited, dimensional system replicating some of the capacity of what is outside of body limitations. The same as our physical bodies are clunky, limited, more 'primitive' than our out of body essence. It's like on one level we know and on one level we are rebuilding something back to what it is (which I know will make no sense).

But that's what self awareness is - isn't it? --- unpacking & rebuilding our own awareness?
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Re: NDE article

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:40 am

E2B said: The whole neuron/brain/NDE thing in my opinion, is really missing the whole point of what these people are experiencing. It's not just a tunnel or light. The life review for example. How some of these people are not only experiencing every nano second of their own life, but every minor detail from the position of every other person and thing that they've ever encountered and the incredible realness of it to the most minor detail even from the perspective of every blade of grass to every follicle of hair to every emotion that any and every other person has ever experienced, is unexplained by the brain. It blows your mind when you really understand what these people have experienced and once again how real it is.

I agree E2B, but it's a little silly to expect folks to step outside their own awareness level to embrace such notions. For me it's been far easier to allow folks to understand these nuances in the clair abilities than nde awareness, because they can more be witness to, and at times party to, and evaluate the details and accuracy in their own minds. Yes the doctors and nurses that were there and saw/heard my unexplainable nde responses 'know' them self that 'something happened' even if they couldn't explain what, but to then expect others to believe that not only am I sincere, but that they were also sincere, it just gets too far removed for it to 'touch' people who are not open to the possibilities, or asking the right questions.

My above linking clair/empath awareness to nde sort of awareness might be served by an example of this where the impact of the information is personal - able to be personally evaluated and absorbed, widening awareness of someone other than the primary experiencer and the secondary experiencer.

This one was wonderful for me in that it highlighted to me that my perspective of interpreting things as a secondary experiencer was still limited, and open to misunderstanding of what a thing 'means'. If I read a paper or something I still interpret the 'content' within my own awareness, capacity & willingness around the topic or content.

There was a Mum of a young man who had been killed, who had questions about his death and said she was stuck on something and didn't know what it was, but it was hurting her - it helps to be asking the 'right' questions, and it's important to be asking them in an energy of discernment, rather than more intense judgement which only blocks the free flow of energy. That just 'is', it's just easier to make connections in love than in fear.

Often I've found that the 'loved one' will just pop up and instantly just answer musings, even unsaid musings, and I can quickly say xyz says 'this', or is 'showing me this' and the receiver will get it even if I have no idea of the content or the context or the characters or their relationship or anything, I truly just become like that radio through which each speak-hear, and feel as if it's got nothing at all to do with me and it doesn't even touch the sides of me, let alone permeate. Other times, especially if I've made a relational connection with either a 'sitter -receiver' or an 'entity - sender' then sometimes I do still feel my own perspective in there as part of the communication process, I'm 'involved'.

Anyway, we did have a connection and I cared deeply about her love and her loss and her confusion. Even so I knew no details about the circumstances of his death, none at all, only that she had a son and that he had died in his late 20s.
She was musing her questions about what did he feel.... and - I have to be honest I don't know how this stuff happens - I don't know whether the answers were buried somewhere in her own awareness and I linked in to that, or if indeed it was her son's awareness - because it was from his perspective that the 'situation' or as a third possibility, if the 'memories' the expressions of energy are somehow written into collective awareness - like coding in a computer outlives its creator, and can be 'read' by other computers etc

But - the content was accurate beyond even my own translating/interpreting capacity, which was what made it so wonderful for me -not that I had been 'right' about stuff, but that 'I' had been 'wrong' about 'stuff'. The information itself is always pure, it's only our interpretations that skew it. I 'felt' his connection establish through their shared love and our shared love connection which they both let me into,
(so RT this must somehow link into those particular neural pathways to get access ?)
and asked him to show me / tell me, share about the time of his death. His response was very open, light, loose, not intense or guarded etc kind of a shrug of the shoulders & 'sure, no worries, :D here it is.... it was kind of cool....' Some will just 'tell you', he opened right up and kind of replayed it with me as a secondary experiencer of his experience as he knew it.
(RT - I wonder what happens to my brain when I access these experiences?)

I was 'seeing' through his eyes and 'feeling' through his senses, 'experiencing' riding a motorbike through a lovely, not too wide, windy, country-ish road with a hill very close to the road on the left - like right next to it on the verge, and also small grassy hills a little further away to the right, more space to see the height of them, and the sun was shining on them, whereas the one on the left were 'right there' and we were in their shadow. My take, I like riding on roads like that, so 'nice ride', I could well understand his ease and enjoyment that I was feeling.

I had access to, and scanned through, the stimuli of the not too cold wind, the scents on the road and in the hills and of his clothes - leather is rather acute to the senses, so too is denim, so too again is 'maleness' (it is 'different') and that peace / thrill when you're in the moment doing something that you love & are totally enjoying - they're all 'discernible', tangibly discernible independently and in combination energies and elements. I also realised he was a very competent rider, steady, sure, graceful oneness with him, the bike and the road and the elements, his whole energy was confident, graceful, enjoying, present -- very pleasant experience to share. I would have rode pillion with this guy - a good rider. Nothing wrong with the way he was riding, or the road he was riding on, the bike, his emotions or thoughts, or the elements he was riding in. It was just balanced and quite lovely.

Anyway he / we, came around a bend, a car was there on the same side of the road. They collided and the bike slid under the car, but we didn't feel it - on impact he parted ways with the bike (I'm not sure if his body did, but his awareness did) He/we were instantly rising above the road at an angle to the right along the contours of a hill across the road, in the sunshine, as if he was flying up and beyond the hill. It was only a small hill, but immediately we had that acute both telescopic and microscopic awareness, he was thrilling and amazed that he could see all around the hill that he'd been riding around, and at the same time all the little animals, and plants and insects and blades of grass and paths that had been cut through the grass on the hill he was flying up over from people and animals walking through it.

All were acutely alive in our awareness and he was thrilling to it all, amazed by the beauty and harmony of it all. I love when I sense in another that sense of pure beautiful awareness, but on another level its a little bit now - ho-hum, yeah yeah, what else are you noticing/experiencing :lol: because I can't really explain that to anyone else.

- he saw and it can 'split' in him/me attention - as he got higher and his view widened he saw a dead bird on the road further around the bend and was laughing at how funny that was - here was this 'dead bird' splattered on the road, and here he was flying (even though his own body was likely 'splattered' and dead as well)!! These 'insights' are indeed funny when what we believe about things in 'solidity' are no longer accurate they lose their fear-intensity-attachment.

But I had split my attention - it was funny but I may not be able to make that make sense to anyone else either, so I'd split my attention to the facts - that the car for me, was on the 'wrong side of the road' and I expressed that to his Mum while he was just rising in kind of perspective - distance to his - whatever was left of his body he couldn't even see under the car and like me he had no attachment to it anyway etc he was more focussed on the bird-him flying awareness-funniness, freeness, and the beauty of it that I well understand, but struggle knowing that I cannot describe it well enough, especially to those struggling in pain and fear and grief - all which is just as understandable and acceptable, it just is, different.

Me however, I thought Agatha Christie had nothing on me! I thought I had solved the mystery and found the 'irk' that his mother was experiencing - the car driver was on the wrong side of the road.

But at the same time as his twinkly funny energy and my 'detective/interpreter' energy came his Mum's energy almost of a sigh, almost a sigh of resignation, of disappointment but acceptance at the same time, so now I'm 'split' in three awarenesses - his, hers, mine, simultaneously. But the one that was kind of 'off' kilter, not ringing right, was the her-me connection, the him-me I could totally understand, no inconsistencies at all, he was just having a ball and laughing at realising all that he'd thought about life & death that had been wrong, as I had in my light experience, in that 'just is' energy of aha moment realising.

So I repeated that the car was on the 'wrong' side of the road - even though she and I were on different sides of the world at the time, both there and here we drive on the left side of the road. She kind of braced herself and I had no idea what it was she was struggling with with that, surely finding someone at 'fault' would be a relief to a confused and grieving Mum? It was 'at odds' energetically, until she reached that level of full acceptance, full surrendering to the truth of a thing, of multiple things at once probably and 'let go'.

Only when she hit the kind of bottom of resistance, the fullness of acceptance, could she share with me that he'd been in a European country, where they drive on the right hand side of the road - and, accept simultaneously that his death even though his own 'fault', even though all the reports of what happened are gory and tragic and traumatic, unbearable etc, that's not how he experienced it, that is only in the imaginings of fear and dogma and loss.

So I was 'wrong', and he was 'wrong' and she was 'wrong' and in the light of love in the light of what is really real... it does and doesn't matter that any of us were 'wrong', once 'corrected' once realised as it really is, no truth is even painful, it just 'is'.

With that out of the way I could return to his perspective and share genuinely, lovingly, honestly, authentically to her that he came to no harm and give her examples of what it was he was seeing, thinking, feeling, experiencing. It was truly a beautiful ride, turning into another beautiful ride. Then at the end of his sharing his experience, his awareness turned to her experience and his love for her, his empathy and compassion for her journey in grief. These are the bits that break your heart, whether as a first or second experiencer.

I sensed his awareness of her acceptance and what it had cost her in a way to let go, to surrender to it, and his gratitude for my role in sharing it all with her, and the love between us all just exploded magnificently into the light. The truth will do that. It's funny that 'orgasm' means 'the little death', sometimes we can have an orgasm in our brains, in our perceptions, in our ego's hold on our awareness. I guess she had a little orgasm, I had a little orgasm, he had a little orgasm --- it probably is pretty irreverent to describe it so, but it's the best I can do, shared mind-spirit-body orgasms - little deaths.

Again I don't know if we're 'networked' or what, all I know is that this 'different' perceiving, awareness of events and 'reality' is within our capacity, well mine and others that I know of anyway. I know I am not delusional, not multiple personality disordered, not any of the things that some might prefer to believe than the truth - our awareness capacity is bigger than science gives credit to, and unlike religions propose, it is not limited to some super-human godlike beings.

Maybe the key is in our neural processing capacities, maybe once science accepts, like that mother did, the reality of that and that it does no harm to know the truth, to admit it, to surrender into it, to use it in authentic truth and honest love, maybe then the world will lighten up a little more and humans stop living in and reacting in fear and creating suffering where there need be none.

Or not, no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience.
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Re: NDE article

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:09 am

Sorry for 'hogging' the thread. I've now read the article, and have to say found no fault with any of it.

I love, and laughed heartily at this bit -

The wonderful writer Kurt Vonnegut put it succinctly when he said, “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”


Love it!!!
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Re: NDE article

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:20 pm

Another thing to consider here which I think has large implications. If we hypothetically proposed that NDE's/OBE's/channeling/etc are all indeed merely a product of the human brain and neurons and nothing more, such as what RT's colleague is proposing and many mainstream scientists are as well, doesn't that also kind of put a HUGE dagger into the 'consciousness is all' debate which kind of kills the Vedanta teachings as well (which I know RT and I both have found value in)? I mean, what evidence would we really have that consciousness IS all and that reality is indeed non-dual, outside of perhaps QM? If we threw away all of Robert Monroe's work and Tom Campbell just for hypothetical purposes, where would non-duality be? I don't know. For me, I performed self inquiry and meditated and found myself to be this Presence/Brahman/AWareness or whatever you want to call it that Eckhart and Vedanta talk about. I knew already that I was there and discovered my nature. It was so simple to me. Yet, the problem that I could not grasp is in the knowing that this presence/awareness/consciousness that I discovered myself to be was indeed....non-dual. I kept inquiring and trying to find out what I was missing until I finally realized that there is no human way to know this for sure without a direct experience. The only kind of experience that could actually confirm this 'consciousness is all' idea is likely a non-physical experience. This is Sam Harris's argument. He refuses to acknowledge the metaphysical component of Consciousness. However, this is where the study of the nonphysical including OBE/NDE and so on can really help us formulate a larger perspective on this subjective matter of non-duality. That's where Sam Harris (in my opinion) falls short.

So, I think if you are eliminating the study of the non-physical, then you are also eliminating non-duality with a consciousness centered focus. That's just my take on this. Of course Eckhart's teachings would still be highly useful as Ashley indicates in stopping the identification with thoughts, but the implications of 'who we really are' would not be nearly the same.
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Re: NDE article

Postby Filander » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:28 pm

runstrails wrote:what fascinates me about a brain based explanation is that (rather than focusing on the NDE part), it makes our current everyday 'reality' even more tenuous. What the heck is this everyday world that we take for granted (forgetting even NDE's)--it's just a certain way of our neurons firing. It could be so different, so easily, were our neurons to do things differently.

I watched this discussion a few days ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1J2t1xswdk

One brave philosopher versus three neuroscientists, recommend it to anyone with the time to spare.

So long as the "hard problem" of consciousness remains insoluble, the life-after-death question must also remain insoluble. Without any kind of explanatory framework, we are just guessing. Even the claim that X is more likely than Y is just a guess.

Most of the emerging, alternative models (often called "the new physics") strongly imply that our current understanding of life-before-death is largely based on unjustified assumptions. We may have to ditch many of them before we are able to frame further questions effectively.
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Re: NDE article

Postby runstrails » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:15 pm

E2B wrote:
Another thing to consider here which I think has large implications. If we hypothetically proposed that NDE's/OBE's/channeling/etc are all indeed merely a product of the human brain and neurons and nothing more, such as what RT's colleague is proposing and many mainstream scientists are as well, doesn't that also kind of put a HUGE dagger into the 'consciousness is all' debate which kind of kills the Vedanta teachings as well (which I know RT and I both have found value in)? I mean, what evidence would we really have that consciousness IS all and that reality is indeed non-dual, outside of perhaps QM? If we threw away all of Robert Monroe's work and Tom Campbell just for hypothetical purposes, where would non-duality be? I don't know. For me, I performed self inquiry and meditated and found myself to be this Presence/Brahman/AWareness or whatever you want to call it that Eckhart and Vedanta talk about. I knew already that I was there and discovered my nature. It was so simple to me. Yet, the problem that I could not grasp is in the knowing that this presence/awareness/consciousness that I discovered myself to be was indeed....non-dual. I kept inquiring and trying to find out what I was missing until I finally realized that there is no human way to know this for sure without a direct experience. The only kind of experience that could actually confirm this 'consciousness is all' idea is likely a non-physical experience. This is Sam Harris's argument. He refuses to acknowledge the metaphysical component of Consciousness. However, this is where the study of the nonphysical including OBE/NDE and so on can really help us formulate a larger perspective on this subjective matter of non-duality. That's where Sam Harris (in my opinion) falls short.

So, I think if you are eliminating the study of the non-physical, then you are also eliminating non-duality with a consciousness centered focus. That's just my take on this. Of course Eckhart's teachings would still be highly useful as Ashley indicates in stopping the identification with thoughts, but the implications of 'who we really are' would not be nearly the same.


Hi E2B,
I don't think that if we find that NDE's are brain based phenomena that it negates consciousness being prior or primary. I now think of NDE's as a particularly intense dream-type experience that occurs in exceptional circumstances. I don't disbelieve that NDE'ers have this experience. Have you ever had a dream that is so intense that when you woke up, you could not believe it was a dream? Perhaps, NDE's are along this continuum (and the NDE is far more intense--because the circumstances are exceptional).
Ultimately, the whole shebang is occuring within consciousness (dreams, waking-life, NDE's). Like Sam Harris I don't think you need metaphysical experiences to come to this conclusion. (perhaps I used to think that way, but not anymore). Anything is possible within consciousness--how could it not be? You don't need metaphysical experiences to come to this conclusion--just a different working model of reality.

Filander wrote: Most of the emerging, alternative models (often called "the new physics") strongly imply that our current understanding of life-before-death is largely based on unjustified assumptions. We may have to ditch many of them before we are able to frame further questions effectively.

I like Filander's take here. Exploring life-before-death can allow you to conclude that consciousness is primary. And you don't need metaphysical experiences for that. Sam Harris came to that conclusion, as did I. I've yet to read SAm's book though.

Jen wrote: Did your colleague say whether the 'different kind of reality' that he could induce had wider than 'normal' accurate cognition, verifiable, accurate, outside of time/place biological and cognitive experience / understanding / gains in knowledge / information?


Hi Jen, my colleague was not studying 'consciousness' per se--but using TMS for other purposes. So unfortunately, he probably did not ask these questions. But I've read that when the temporal lobe is stimulated, people can have religious/transcendental experiences (that they completely swear by--like NDE's).
runstrails
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