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Leo MacDonald

You said why only 10 percent of ndes have the experience, my answer to that is it strongly appears that ndes are a under-reported phenomena this was found out by Dr. Penny Sartori's study. It obviously sorta ends the conversation, when you mention that the Skeptical Inquirer actually does research, I'm sorry to burst your bubble but they do zero research nada zilch. What science tried to prove the soul exists?. The only brave souls i know of that actually gathered a massive amount of evidence for the soul is Psychical research. You also have to go with probability theory when it comes to the fact that only a tiny percent of nde are hallucinatory where the majority are not. I also want to know what you think of the fact that their probably are parellel universes, where duplicate copies of myself live in and that consciousness transfers over to these other universes. The only universes you experience are the ones where you are still alive. Also the fact that these universes have different laws of physics and probably made of different type of matter. The evidence supporting this comes from the fact that atoms can be in multiple places at one time. As well as mathematic equations that fit this theory as well as cosmological observations.

Eclectic

Leo: How does the incidence of NDEs matter the tiniest little bit to an argument that they're not hallucinations?

If anything, a higher incidence suggests that they're a natural effect, just like chemical-induced hallucinations, optical illusions, or dizziness.

Your ramblings about parallel universes seem to have no evidentiary basis whatsoever, so I'm ignoring them...

Leo MacDonald

So your going to ignore what the majority of mainstream physicists think do exist?

Tim

I listened to your performance on Skeptiko. Brave of you to go on there but I was astonished by your sweeping statements and lack of Knowledge about NDE's.

Kindly cite the research that shows that everything (in the NDE ) is explicable by current neuroscience. Please don't quote Skeptics such as Keith Augustine and Gerry Woerlee etc. They are not researchers, merely closed mind sceptics.

Leo MacDonald

Another thing i like to point out is the fact that in a lot of nde cases when the brain is losing oxygen and brain activity in the cerebral cortex is nil. The cerebral cortex is considered to be very important for consciousness. And here we have cases of patients who undergo a nde/obe and have no cerebral activity but probably have deep brain activity in the lower functions of the brain. Lower functions cannot take over higher functions of the brain that is neuroscientifically impossible. So here we have even brain chemistry evidence pointing towards the fact that its not caused by the brain.

Makyui

John:

"I don't think Atheists are the most reviled group in America. It just doesn't make sense..."

Prejudice and bigotry rarely make sense.

Maybe instead of just assuming it based on a gut feeling you have, you should look at the evidence?

Richard


1) To get and to retrieve an experience - consciousness is needed. In an unconcious state we don´t have experiences: e.g. during sleep, we have a time where we dream and we have a time without any experiences. But we are not dead.
This means: people who had a NDE must have been in a state of consciousness.

2) In Moody´s book ´Life after Life´, the NDE of a lorry-driver is reported. He was able to observe the surrounding while he had a NDE. This means: he did not lose his consciousness and he was not dead.

But up to now NDEs are only seen as a process which occur while ´dieing´ - other alternatives were not examined. This is a big mistake - since 35 years.

Therefore NDEs don´t say anything about the existence of a soul, about God or a afterlife.

Leo MacDonald

Richard,

How do you explain well collaborated nde cases where the patient sees and hear things while being unconscious, as well as very little brain activity in the cerebral cortex. Are you saying nde's are somehow a complex hallucination?.

Richard

Leo
The possibility o measure brain activity is very limited. E.g. a EEG can measure only some effects until 2-3 mm deep at the surface of the brain. And there are only a few electrodes.

NDEs are no hallucination! During NDEs it is possible to observe the brain at work.

Death is not reversible, therefore all persons who reported a NDE must have been alive and conscious during this experience.

To hear/think the idea ´I am dead/I will die´ is a trigger-stimulus, a fixed action pattern, which will start a NDE. (People without this stimulus usually have no NDE - even in dangerous situations: e.g. When the heart-beat stops, after 15-20 seconds a person will lose consciousness. 80% have no NDE when/after the heartbeat has stopped. When you read the NDE-Literature thoroughly, most of the NDEs were started when a person has heared that he/she was declared dead - or when the person has thought by her-/himself to be in a state of dieing. This is a fixed stimulus!)

But the stimulus ´I am dead/I will die´ is an invalid paradox to an organism which is obviously alive (an ´invalid input´ as we know it from computers).
This is the reason, why the brain has to search especial thoroughly in his memory to find a comparable experience (Have I had this stimulus already - and what have I done in this situation).

But there is a problem! In awareness, our brain has only a limited ability to process sensual stimuli. To perform its job, the stimuli are weighted and unimportant impressions are more or less suppressed/ignored. This phenomenon is known as ´un-/inattentional blindness´ (you can find it in Wikipedia - to see the Gorilla-experiment is recommended).
Due to this suppression - of extern stimuli - it is possible to observe/watch the own brain performing its important job - a scan of the episodic memory (for the stimulus/information ´I am dead/I will die´)!
By its contents we can identify it as the episodic memory.

More information in my next article

Richard

Leo - here is part two:

Before I will continue to explain the secrets of NDEs, we have to talk about about ´state dependent retrieval´: This term describes HOW and WHAT we remember - when recollecting experiences from the memory.
The recollected memories are state dependent - because the result depends A) on the state (physical, mental, emotional) when we hade made an experience and when we had stored it in the memory - and it depends B) on the state (physical, mental, emotional) when we recollect an experience from the memory. Thus it can be, that we evaluate even foetal experiences with an adult mind - when we remember it. This is the trick (!!!) to whom we have to pay attention if we want to understand course and contents of the NDEs!

´Trigger-Stimulus´, ´un-/inattentional blindness´ and ´state dependent retrieval´ are well known by brain-/memory research.

Leo - this is the basic knowledge to understand NDEs
next information in part three

Richard

Leo - here is part three

Let´s have now a closer look at several experiences in the order of a persons life and evaluate(>) it with the mind of an adult person.
The life cycle of our memory will be started up when its neurons are able to receive and store sensual impressions - approximately to the end of the 5th month in foetal life.

1) Our first expressions occur when the foetal skin is touched in mothers belly (but we can not her nor see anything) > when we recollect this experience (as an adult person) it if felt as a state of quietness and peace.

2) During the 20-24th week of pregnancy, the acoustic sense(ear) begins to work. Noises of the surrounding are coming from maternal speaking, heartbeats, digestion, brathing and from outside (e.g. music) > when we (adult) remember it, these noises will sound to us very unpleasant, like a loud buzzing or ringing.

3) The next foetal sense to develop its activity is the optical sense.
The more optic sensors of the eye deliver activity to the optic nerves, the more light can be seen - even when some activity comes from neuronal flashes > When the developement of the optical sense is remembered (adult) very quick, it might be felt as an illusion like the movement through a dark tunnel towards a light.
(The visual perception of light which change from dim towards very bright is reported with NDEs. This represents the state of foetal and early baby light perception = prenatal/postnatal)

4) After birth, a baby is almost blind, it does not know that it was born, it does not know the meaning of spoken words and the phenomenons ´mother´ and ´light´.
Because of this inability for distinction, several sensual impressions are combined and stored as emotional experience in the memory > when we recollect (adult) these emotional experiences, the mother is felt as a communicative ´being of light´, with an own personality and source of love and affection. The emotional perception of a baby is translated into language-terms and emotional/mentalknowledge of an adult person. A thrilling experience.

5) From 2nd to 5th year on, children develop their own identity and they learn language to describe objects and emotions > When we recollect experiences, we are often able to recognize and ascribe situations and persons to a certain age

END: NDEs are sometimes stopped by a trigger stimulus (e.g. when a person is thinking ´I don´t want to die/My familiy needs me/...) by medical treatment, when the person fell asleep or lose consciousness

Leo - when you compare my explanation model with the NDEs then you can see, that NDEs are explainable. Look at the headlines of Dr.Moodys book ´Life after Life´, to see that this might have known already 1975.

OBEs are only a virtual simulation of the actual situation by the brain. They are often obviously wrong: e.g. in Moody´s book - when a man saw his body as the cadaver which had already the ash grey colour of a dead corpse.

Dear Leo
Up to now, NDEs where always seen only(!) as result of a dieing process. The explanation model, which I described here, was never discussed - this is a big mistake of scientists.
My text is only a short article - it is possible, to explain much more details.
And - this explanation model show also, that NDEs are no hallucination. I hope Leo, your question is answered.

Seeker of the truth

I agree with Leo, and Richard you have given us a lot of speculations which in no way tells us how many people that have had NDE's report having such clear experiences, meeting deceased loved ones that they didn't even know were dead, and come back with knowledge that they couldn't have known if it wasn't for a genuine mind brain separation.
Let's go through some findings of NDE's which have been validated by many other researchers:
Consciousness During Anesthesia. Many NDEs occur while under general anesthesia- at a time when any conscious experience should be impossible. While some skeptics claim that these NDEs may be the result of too little anesthesia, this ignores the fact that some NDEs result from anesthesia overdose. Additionally, the description of a NDE differs greatly from that of one who experiences “anesthetic awareness.” The content of NDEs that occur under general anesthesia is essentially indistinguishable from NDEs that did not occur under general anesthesia. This is further strong evidence that NDEs are occurring completely independently from the functioning of the physical brain.

Perfect Playback. Life reviews in near-death experiences include real events that previously took place in the lives of those having the experience, even if the events were forgotten or happened before they were old enough to remember.

Children’s Experiences. The near-death experiences of children, including very young children who are too young to have developed concepts of death, religion, or near-death experiences, are essentially identical to those of older children and adults. This refutes the possibility that the content of NDEs is produced by preexisting beliefs or cultural conditioning.

Crystal-Clear Consciousness. The level of consciousness and alertness during near-death experiences (NDEs) is usually even greater than that experienced in everyday life even though NDEs generally occur when a person is unconscious or clinically dead. This high level of consciousness while physically unconscious is medically inexplicable. Additionally, the elements in NDEs generally follow the same consistent and logical order in all age groups and around the world, which refutes the possibility that NDEs have any relation to dreams or hallucinations.

Seeker of the truth

Richard you said The visual perception of light which change from dim towards very bright is reported with NDEs. This represents the state of foetal and early baby light perception = prenatal/postnatal

It is important to remember that the tunnel is only experienced by less than 40% of people. Being born is a frightening experience, however people that have NDE's don't have fear they come back literally changed.
And the usual skeptical objections like Endorphins, lack of oxygen, excessive Carbon Dioxide, Rapid acceleration inducing NDE's, not one stand under Scientific Scrutiny.

Richard

Dear Seaker of the truth

Here some answers:

meeting deceased loved persons
Even when a person was dead, before we were born - we often have knowledge from/about them when family/friends tell us many informations about such a person.

anesthesia
1 of 700 to 1 of 400 persons who had medical treatment under anesthesia have conscious experiences of this situation. This is due to the fact, that anesthesia don´t have always the same effect at a certain concentration. Some persons are more or less sensible

Perfect playback
Kryptomnesia is the expression which you need. We can remember moch more and much better as we usually think

children´s experiences
They have to follow the same rules as those from adult persons. Because the course of life (from 5th month of pregnany up to the actual date) is the same with all people.

Crystal-Clear Consciousness
When the brain is concentrated on a topic, other impressions are supressed - thus crystal-clear consciousness is only an effect of un-/inattentional blindness.

Elements follow the same order
This is normal, because the developement is the same with all people (as already mentioned at: children´s experience)

Birth remembered as a change of light (dim > very bright)
NDEs follow the same order therefore we can distinguish: noise = acoustic sense is working, tunnel experience = optical sense is working, Change of light = birth, beeing of light = how mother and other sensual experiences are seen by the baby, ... .
You can see, that the change of light is part of a certain order - thus it can be identified as birth. Obviously birth is no frightening experience - so forget, wereever you have head such fairy tales. Additional a baby does not know what a birth is - at that age it has no knowledge about that.

Only 40% have a tunnel experience
Thats normal - usually people have not all the core experiences, but only some of them. (But in my model I have to explain them all!)
E.g. persons who had a near miss accident - often have only a life review from the actual age down to an age of 5-6 years. But no OBE, no prenatal, no birth and no erly child experience (e.g. landscapes in phantasmal colours).

Richard

Dear Seeker of the truth

I forgot this hint:

In NDEs we rember us usually only of family members and persons which we had met during our life or from whom we have been told (ancestors). Thus they are part of our own memory.

When we would have been in an afterworld, then we should have met there people from all continents, cultures and ages. Because if an afterworld exists, it has to be full of those people.

This is also a hint, that NDEs represent only contents of our own memory.

seeker of the truth

My dear friend Richard, there are also cases of NDEr's meeting deceased loved ones that were young and healthy but no one knew they were dead. I agree that some people have different reactions to anesthesia, however we have strong evidence from the Pam Renyolds case also many independent researchers have documented blind folks seeing in color for the first time and reporting extraordinarily accurate detail ( please read Kenneth Rings Mind Sight ). The birth order thing that you brought up, philosopher Carl Becker, who draws on research in the field of infant perception to show that newborns cannot see anything as they emerge from the womb. Even if they could, newborns don't have developed mental faculties and cannot be expected to have recollections of the birth process. In any case, the birth canal is not like a tunnel through which a child gracefully floats; it is a tight, compressed passage from which a newborn emerges, typically head first and sometimes chafed or bruised.

seeker of the truth

And Dear Richard, here is a beautiful article on NDE's by Dinesh D' Souza:

The best empirical evidence for life after death comes from people who have had "near death experiences" (NDEs). These are people who have gone to the edge and come back with a report. Certainly they haven't crossed over; in that sense, death remains, as Shakespeare put it, the undiscovered country. But so-called NDEs give us the best chance to make at least an initial map of that unknown territory.

NDEs were first publicized in 1975 by physician Raymond Moody in Life After Life. Moody described 150 cases of people very near death, or pronounced clinically dead, who reported experiences of moving through dark tunnels, seeing themselves from outside their bodies, encountering the spirits of dead relatives and friends, seeing celestial beings, being dazzled by a bright light, reviewing their whole life in an instant, and then reaching an impassable barrier before being returned to their earthly bodies.

Recognizing that his reports would sound fantastic to many, Moody cited numerous examples from history to show that NDEs were not uncommon. Plato reports one in the last pages of his Republic. The eighth-century monk Bede gives a similar account in his history of the English people. The Tibetan Book of the Dead instructs dying people to prepare to give an account of their lives as they go through the darkness into the radiant light of pure reality. Even the atheist philosopher A.J. Ayer wrote of a near death experience in which he found himself in a realm where "the laws of nature had ceased to function" and where he was "confronted by a red light, exceedingly bright."

Gallup surveys and studies around the world have subsequently shown that such experiences occur frequently. The stunning implication is that consciousness can survive the termination of bodily functions -- that death may not be "final exit."

Recognizing the implications of NDEs, atheists have labored hard to refute them. One explanation, favored by Carl Sagan in Broca's Brain, is that at the end of life we, in a sense, return to the womb and once again experience the original birth process. An ingenious idea: it would account for several features of NDEs, such as the tunnel, the sensation of floating, the movement from darkness to light.

But Sagan's hypothesis has been largely discredited by the work of philosopher Carl Becker, who draws on research in the field of infant perception to show that newborns cannot see anything as they emerge from the womb. Even if they could, newborns don't have developed mental faculties and cannot be expected to have recollections of the birth process. In any case, the birth canal is not like a tunnel through which a child gracefully floats; it is a tight, compressed passage from which a newborn emerges, typically head first and sometimes chafed or bruised.

A second explanation is that NDEs reflect distorted brain states. Psychologist Ron Siegel suggests they are dreamlike experiences of a kind that people have when they take hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs. Those who take recreational drugs do experience a range of perceptions from wild colors to soaring sensations to drowsiness to decreased vision. During this time however, most of them know they are on drugs. Also they don't have anything like the coherence of the near death experience. Finally people who have NDEs aren't typically on recreational drugs -- many aren't even on anesthetics, narcotics or painkillers.

Neuroscientist Michael Persinger claims he can simulate the NDE by placing a helmet on subjects and electrically stimulating parts of their brains. Persinger's helmet is a hit-or-miss device; atheist Richard Dawkins tried it, and it had no effect on him. Others have a spiritual feeling but not the particular features of the NDE. The bigger problem is that this is an artificially induced state. If I tell you that I am being blinded by the sun, you cannot prove this is a mental illusion by showing me that you can also blind me with a flashlight. NDEs not only occur with no external inducement; they also happen to people whose hearts and in some cases brains have stopped functioning altogether.

Perhaps the most plausible explanation for NDEs is given by psychologist Susan Blackmore, who seeks to account for them through her "dying brain hypothesis." Blackmore suggests that when the brain breaks down, its mechanisms of pattern recognition continue to generate images. In other words, the brain attempts to reconstruct a memory model of reality that seems perfectly real, even though it does not reflect anything outside the brain itself.

The strength of Blackmore's theory is that it explains important features of the NDE. The tunnel is the result of constriction in the visual pathways. The lights are a kind of special effect generated by a brain cortex that is deprived of oxygen. A breakdown in body image and the brain's model of reality can account for the feeling of being outside one's body. The life review is a consequence of the brain's memory systems trying to organize themselves as they fail and falter. The same memory systems conjure up images of deceased relatives and friends. Finally, the impression of timelessness is fostered by a self that is disintegrating and relinquishing all experiential notions of time and place.

The only problem is that Blackmore offers no empirical evidence that dying brains actually generate all these experiences. It seems obvious that they don't, because if they did, then virtually everyone who is dying would have an NDE! Moreover, as those who have watched a loved one die can easily testify, dying brains tend to produce faded recollections, incoherence and disorientation. These symptoms are radically different from the perceptual clarity and bliss of the typical NDE.

If NDEs are the result of a dying brain, then a breakdown of mental faculties has already taken place, but in fact most people who report NDEs are now living normal lives. So how have their brains reversed the dissolution and gotten all their normal perceptual faculties back? This reversal defies medical explanation and Blackmore provides none.

The bottom line is that near death experiences have so far withstood all efforts at refutation. The critics continue to speculate -- it may be this and it may be that -- but on balance NDEs suggest that consciousness can and sometimes does survive the cessation of heart and even brain functions. True, NDEs don't tell us much about what the afterlife is really like. Nor do they indicate how long this postmortem awareness continues: "survival" is not the same thing as "immortality." Near death experiences do seem to show, however, that death is not always the end; there may be something more.

seeker of the truth

Dearest Richard, please keep in mind that Pam Renyolds NDE happened when she was literally brain dead, they had stopped her bodily functions, even closed her eyes and ears and she reported event that took place in the operation theater with such clarity it shocked her neurosurgeons.

Richard

Dear Seeker of the truth

A recollection of the birth process is not possible - that´s right (and that is exactly, was I said. Only the light impression before and after birth is remembered dull>bright)

Baby are able to see strong contrasts - soon/imediately after birth - but only within a range of 25-30 cm. A famos experiment was, when a scientist made a grimace directly in front of babys. The faces he pulled were imitated by babys already 45 minutes after birth (I have forgotten the name of the scientist, but maybee you can find it with google). This mean the baby saw him and was able to react (it must have knowledge about the own face in the memory)

I wrote also, that the tunnel experience is the developement of the optical sense in fetal state. This is no(!) recollection of the birth tunnel.

The case Pam Reynold is very interesting - because her body was cooled down to a unusual cool temperature. No reliable informations were available how the anesthesia would work! Thus it might be possible that she has reached consciousness once or several times.

The article of Dinesh D´Souza describes all the nonsense and rubbish about NDEs, which we can read since 1975 when Moody published his book ´Life after Life´.
Read it thorougly! NDE are only seen as the result of a dieing process! No other alternatives were examined! This is not scientific - thats only rubbish.
Please read through my articles here - this/my view was nowere discussed up to now.
When you do scientific analysis you have to investigate all possiblities and then(!) it can be said, which theories has to be excluded (and why). But in the case of NDEs no scientific analyses were performed. Moody wrote, that NDEs could be the result of a dieing process - and since today this is the way NDEs are seen.
Except of some excellent christian theologians like Prof. Dr. Hans Küng: He said always that death is for us not reversible - therefore a person who reported NDEs was never dead nor in the otherworld.

Richard

Dear Seeker of the truth

No I have found the name of the man who made grimaces in front of a baby. The earliest imitation was 42 minutes after birth. The name is: Andrew N Meltzoff

Richard

Dear Seeker of the truth

Some informations to Pam Reynolds can be found with Google > [Pam Reynolds Keith Augustine]

You will find an article, which is very interesting. E.g. her operation was 1991 but Shoboms fist interview with her was 1994 - thus she had 3 years to discuss the operation and to get special knowledge.

In the same text of Keith Augustine is the article ´Maria´s Shoe´. Over several years, this NDE was described as example to give the proof for the possibility of a paranormal perception of a soul that could leave the body.

I would have been disappointed if we would have such a soul. Imagine: you are suffering the greatest danger in your life - and your soul leaves you and your body alone to go for a sightseeing tour after an ugly smelling shoe.

The NDE-idea of an unreliable sould that would leave the body as soon as possible when there is a problem - has to be discussed. I would expect from my soul that it would stay with me as long as possible.

Alexander1304

Hi all,
Just want your opinion about this.
I have no idea how to regard this cite,which tries to present some non-religious case for an afterlife,and this article in particular:
http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/rdp/katsman/ph-m-model.html

I thought that the concept of Ether was long abandoned in modern physics....What do you guys think?
Is this artice valid science at all,or it is strict pseudo-science?

Frank Incense

"I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true." -Bertrand Russell

Winston

Hi Greta,
Have you heard of Dr. Jeffrey Long's book "Evidence of the Afterlife"?

How do you explain the NDE's of people born blind? Or of those with a flat brainline, such as Pam Reynolds? Or of those with 360 degree vision during the NDE, which is impossible and inexplicable?

Also, have you seen the SCEPCOP treatise debunking all the skeptical fallacies, at http://www.DebunkingSkeptics.com

Greta Christina
How do you explain...

How do I explain phenomena that have never been rigorously documented by any reputable neurologist or neuropsychologist, as recounted by Some Guy On The Internet, with no citations to any serious, scientifically sound, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed research?

I don't. I dismiss it for the pointless trivia that it is.

A massive body of careful research into neurology and neuropsychology overwhelmingly points to the conclusion that consciousness, whatever it is, is a biological phenomenon produced by the brain. And this conclusion is being further buttressed by new research every day. If serious research is done countering this conclusion, I will consider it. But if you can't point to any serious research, please don't waste my time. Thank you.

Elegantrenegade

I know this is an old entry, so you may not be reading comments anymore, but I have an honest question (with no "Oh, you're so wrong!" intentions) - is it possible that the brain is merely a signal receiver, much like a TV receives cable? You can see consciousness working in the brain, you can damage the brain and have it affect consciousness, but that's just because the brain is the receiver. If you break your TV, it will still be receiving cable - but you won't be seeing it, because it's broken. It's something I've wondered about. I've had a lot of issues with losing my spirituality as well, so this isn't wishful thinking or an attempt to prove you wrong (I honestly don't know either way). Just a thought.

Davide Pintus

I'm an atheist as well, but while I don't believe NDEs to be anything supernatural your argument on how scientists cannot be biased against them because they are afraid of death doesn't hold water.
Let's face it, anything with vaguely "magical" feelings is ridiculed and attacked, either because deemed unworthy, for prejudice or at least in one case of my knowledge for fear of having another hope for an afterlife crushed.
There is spectacularly bad research in the field of NDE and I see nearly no serious effort from most researchers and writers to understand what causes them: the point seems to be disproving any dualistic fantasy.


Also, we are far, far away from understanding the inner workings of the brain,let lone consciousness. Sure, we are making giant leaps (expecially thanks to new scanning technologies), but ask for an explanation to twenty different experts and they'll give you twenty different answers, none of which very convincing.

Julia

Hi Greta,

This is an interesting subject!I too have often thought that the idea of the soul being "immortal" as daunting to say the least.

Would one really want to live forever? Moving from this physical incarnation back into our "Spiritual home" to relive all our mortal mistakes and then off we go again to incarnate yet again into the physical world to learn more lessons and heartache.

The " concept" of everlasting immortal life to me is quite frightening.. Almost more so than ultimate forever Death.

Can one really imagine how exhausting forever consciousness must be?

To always be awake? To always be with one's thoughts, to always return again and again and again.. Different bodies same old soul..

Oh My god what Torture?
So Greta, I do resonate with you that, Yes Death is final and that is perfectly OK.. We were all lucky to have existed here.. at all.

I too am a skeptic, free thinker and yet I have to wonder?

This world is made up of many things we do not understand:

The one-life theory is really based on a limited understanding of what matter is. The one-life theory walks hand in hand with the idea that only what can be seen and touched is real. This way of envisaging the world limits the scope of existence to that which is visible and palpable, and it is sometimes referred to as “the sticks and stones view” of the world. It excludes the possibility that invisible “stuff” can exist.

This view is clearly going to be short-lived, because nobody who lives in the western world today can be ignorant of the fact that “matter” exists in the shape of invisible rays and waves. We make use of these invisible rays and waves every day when we receive television and radio, when we speak in our mobile phones and receive wireless Internet, so claiming that invisible “matter” does not exist is simply an expression of ignorance.

It is an outdated view based on ignorance about electromagnetic radiation, and it is tantamount to claiming that the Earth is flat. It is totally out of touch with the reality we are all living in.

So what does the existence of electromagnetic radiation have to do with the one-life theory? What does it have to do with life after death and reincarnation? It has everything to do with it, because once we have realized that the world cannot be reduced to what we can see and touch, and once it becomes clear that “matter” can exist in forms that are both invisible and impalpable, then we have to expand our worldview.

There is much more to the world than meets the eye, and the rays and waves of the electromagnetic spectrum do not only comprise radio, television, X rays and micro waves but a whole range of rays and waves that we do not yet know about.

We are only using a fraction of the wavelengths and frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum for our transmission purposes, but the rays and waves exist in inexhaustible numbers and a very important characteristic of the waves and rays is that they can carry information. Information is whirling all around us in the shape of the electromagnetic radiation that entertains us and helps us communicate with each other.
We have only just landed on the shores of the enormous continent that consists of electromagnetic radiation, and even though we have harvested a beneficial crop from the shores, we have not yet ventured inland into this huge realm. There is so much more to explore and we are only just beginning.
One thing that the existence of invisible “matter” means is that we have to be open to the idea that our physical body is not the only body that we have. It is actually so that we have a body consisting of electromagnetic radiation in addition to our physical body. This means that we have a solid, physical body that we can see and touch plus a much more ethereal body that is not visible.

The ethereal body sits as an electromagnetic field around the physical body (all living beings have such an energy body), and as this electrical field is measurable, its existence cannot be refuted. We can simply measure that an electric field is in existence around our physical body. This field is sometimes referred to as our aura, and it is an electrical reality. Its existence is factual because we can measure that it is there.
It is this field that holds the key to an understanding of life after death. The field consists of electromagnetic radiation and it holds our consciousness. Our consciousness is not limited to the brain as has hitherto been believed, but it surrounds and penetrates the body as a field of energy. The energy field holds all the information about our “I”; it holds our thoughts and talents, our personality and mindset, our intelligence and morals, our whole self. All these aspects of who we are, are embedded in the electromagnetic rays and waves as information, and they are electrical in their nature. Our consciousness is an electrical reality and it holds both information and force. All types of electricity contain force. The force in our electrical field is identical to our life force. This means that the force of our consciousness is identical to our life force and it holds all the information about who we are. This information is not based in the genes, but it is a result of experiences that we have gathered over a whole number of lives. We cannot come to any conclusive understanding of who we are without taking our former lives into consideration, because everything that we are is a result of what we have done, learnt and experienced in former lives. All this information is accumulated in the field which holds an unlimited capacity for storage of information.
Our consciousness in the shape of our energy field or aura holds our life-force and “I”, and when the physical body is rendered useless through injury, illness or old age, the consciousness cum life-force pulls out of the now useless instrument – our physical body. But because the consciousness consists of a type of matter that is unaffected by all kinds of physical injury, it is just as intact as it was when it was still connected to a physical body. As the consciousness holds all information of the particular individual that I call me, I am still exactly the same as I was when I still had a physical body. There is no difference, and all those who have had a near-death experience confirm that they were exactly the same after they had left their physical body. This means that there is no death – what we see as death is just a change of focus on part of our consciousness. Our consciousness goes from being focused in our physical body to being focused in our energy field or spirit body. Death is an illusion and we are eternal being because the essential core of our being consists of something that is indestructible: energy.
We have to understand that we are so much more than mere physical bodies and when we realize that we have an energy body in addition to our physical body, and when we know that the world cannot be reduced to “the sticks and stones view”, then the sky is no longer the limit. There is much more to the world that what we can see and touch, and the exploration of the undiscovered continent of the rays and waves of the electromagnetic spectrum opens a whole new horizon that we are only just beginning to see.
The shortcomings of the one-life theory are many: it hasn’t been proved, it cannot explain the growing amount of evidence for post-mortem survival, it cannot explain where our talents and morals come from, it cannot explain our fates and why some people live happy lives whereas others live in misery, it cannot explain where we are coming from and where we are going, it cannot explain the mystery of life and it certainly cannot explain the meaning of it all.

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