Light at the end of the tunnel for scientists studying near-death experiences

Introduction — August 13, 2013

Scientists at the University of Michigan claim to have found neural patterns in dying rats that may explain the phenomenon of Near Death Experience (N.D.E.).
Aided and abetted with publicity from the corporate media, who let’s not forget, once tried to convince us that Saddam Hussein was close to possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction, researchers from the University of Michigan seem to be trying to lead us to the conclusion that nothing exists that cannot be physically quantified.
In this world view: unless it can be measured, weighed or physically observed then it does not exist.
Publicising these findings as if it were some kind of breakthrough, The Independent reports that scientists at the University of Michigan observed heightened brain activity in dying rats. The cerebral impulse patterns associated with “hyper-alerted” states were observed in the rats during induced cardiac arrest, leading researchers to conclude that this may account for NDEs.
That being so, it would render accounts of a “light at the end of a tunnel” and reunions with deceased loved ones, reported by those who have undergone NDE’s as little more than illusions; produced by the terminal cerebral impulses in a dying brain. Or so the high priests of modern scientific materialism and their minions in the corporate media would have us believe.
However, this rests on the assumption that there is nothing beyond the subatomic particle. Now admittedly I’m not a scientist and nor have I studied the University of Michigan’s report in detail but failure to take this into consideration leaves many questions unanswered.
For example some scientists have openly acknowledged that 96% of the universe is so-called Dark Matter; that is it cannot be physically detected, measured or quantified. That being the case, if so much of the material universe is beyond the scope of our most advanced instruments, how do we know with any certainty that life is confined to what we know as the physical realm?
Did the scientists at the University of Michigan take this into account in their study? Or did they limit their observations solely to cerebral impulses of dying rats? If so then their research probably didn’t take into consideration the theory of the Ethereal, as outlined by esoteric researcher Rudolf Steiner.
What’s more, the University of Michigan’s research also fails to consider the fact that human beings are not laboratory rats. Not only are we a different species but human consciousness cannot be equated with that of lab rats.
Although some scientific materialists would no doubt disagree with that.
Nor does this research explain the Out of Body Experiences that some have undergone while they are nowhere near death and still very much alive, like this writer.
In its own way, the worldview of modern science is becoming as limited and as intellectually confining as that of medieval theologians. Although instead of debating the exact details of the immaculate conception, as medieval theologians once did, modern scientists are now investigating the cerebral activity of dying rats.
Almost literally, a dead end.
In essence, modern science appears to be veering toward the same sort of intellectual cul-de-sac as medieval theologians; with much the same dogmatic certainty and blinkered conviction. Making belief in life after death or indeed anything beyond the physical realm an anathema to the dogma of scientific materialism.

Light at the end of the tunnel for scientists studying near-death experiences

Charlie Cooper — The Independent August 13, 2013

Stories of out of body experiences and seeing lights at the end of a tunnel have been told by people brought back from the brink since the days of Plato.

Now, for the first time, scientists say they have observed brain activity in dying rats that may shed light on the mystery of human near death experiences.

Researchers at the University of Michigan analysed the electrical signals in the brains of nine anaesthetised rats undergoing an induced cardiac arrest and saw activity patterns they said were associated with “a hyper-alerted state” shortly after clinical death.

Near death experiences (NDEs), which the study’s authors said were reported by 20 per cent of cardiac arrest survivors, are commonly cited as evidence of an afterlife or the separation of the body and the soul – but scientists have increasingly been able to attribute people’s experiences to physiological processes and now believe they result from unusual brain activity caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.

Patients commonly report seeing a tunnel and a light, or a sensation of being outside one’s own body, often with a sense of calm and inner peace.

“This study, performed in animals, is the first dealing with what happens to the neurophysiological state of the dying brain,” said the study’s lead author Dr Jimo Borjigin. “We reasoned that if near-death experience stems from brain activity, neural correlates of consciousness should be identifiable in humans or animals even after the cessation of cerebral blood flow.”

However, the scientists were surprised by the high level of gamma frequency brain activity they observed, noting that “at near death, many known electrical signatures of consciousness exceeded levels found in the waking state, suggesting the brain is capable of well-organised electrical activity during the early stage of clinical death.”

Experts in the UK said that, while the results were intriguing, there was no way of knowing whether the activity observed in the rats was the same that produced the near death experience phenomenon in humans.

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