When We Die – What Happens? Some have answers but are afraid to reveal for fear of repercussions
Hallowe’en is just around the corner and it is also known as the Celtic New Year or , when the wheel of Life turns and when spirits flit about more easily – does this truly happen in what most ppl deem as “Reality“? According to Time magazine, and Want To Know, we may not be as aware as we believe we are –
A fellow at New York City’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world’s leading experts on the scientific study of death.
Recently, Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind “out-of-body” experiences.
The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest.
TIME spoke with Parnia about the project’s origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain. What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people’s claims of “near-death” experience? “When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 seconds, brain activity ceases ? as you would imagine.
“Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion?
“In my book What Happens When We Die? … I wanted people to get both angles ? not just the patients’ side but also the doctors’ side ? and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on.
“There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn’t told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.”
Note: How interesting that when something amazing happened that this cardiologist could not explain, he chose not to think about it rather than consider that there might be some deeper explanation. For a detailed analysis of how this kind of thinking stops scientific progress, see Want To Know’s essay on fluid intelligence available here.