There is an interesting article in today’s Daily Mail.
The article describes how researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge reviewed studies into changes in the brain which are associated with near-death experiences. Researcher Dr Caroline Watt reported:
‘If you put on a virtual reality headset showing an image of yourself three feet in front, you can trick your brain into thinking that is you over there, and get the sense you are outside your body,’
Yes, this is possible but it is not the same experience as a veridical out of body perception that has been reported by patients who have been deeply unconscious and later reported accurate events that occurred while they were unconscious and when their brains were not functioning optimally. See Dr Pim Van Lommel et al’s report in The Lancet 2001 and the case of Patient 10 in my prospective research.
Dr Watt also suggests the involvement of the hormone noradrenaline which is released in the body at times of stress. Many patients in my prospective study had the drug noradrenaline administered but they did not report a NDE or OBE.
The conclusion of Dr Caroline Watt is that “The scientific evidence suggests that all aspects of near-death experiences have a biological basis”.
Undoubtedly, biological processes occur during NDEs but this does not explain all aspects of the NDE which is a highly complex phenomenon. Many NDErs are profoundly transformed, may gain information while unconscious in ways other than through the senses (see Patient 11 in my prospective study), may experience a huge ‘psychological boost’ which motivates them to push their physical body to extremes (see my forthcoming book for a great example of this) and in some cases there are inexplicable healings of physical ailments (see the case of Patient 10 in my prospective research) – none of which are adequately explained by mere physiological responses as the brain is shutting down.
As more interesting research is being published on the subject of the powerful influence the mind has over the body, scientists are realising that human experience consists of both the physical body and the non-physical mind. It is unfortunate that the predominant mode of thought only considers physical aspects when to be human we can’t deny that we must also have a mind as well as a body. To have a greater understanding of what it is to be human then we must embrace both the body and the mind. At this moment in time there are no known physiological processes that explain how consciousness or the mind arises from the brain.
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