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Summary of Sam Parnia’s NYAS “What happens when we die” event:

Both the afternoon presentations and the evening panel discussion were livestreamed. Only one talk was excluded and that was a presentation by the “Pig Brain Team” from Yale, presumably because there may have been some proprietary technology discussed. They are available to view at the NYAS site now.

Recording of Livestream 1:

Recording of livestream 2: 

Recording of livestream 3 (evening panel discussion):

There was a lot of very interesting content in the afternoon session which can be bucketed into the following themes:

  1. History of resuscitation medicine
  2. Advances in resuscitation medicine and preserving the brain
  3. The ability to revive consciousness, and to what extent depending on damage to the brain
  4. The transformative nature of NDEs

I am not going to go over much of it since most of what was relevant to this blog has been discussed many times before. However, it is what was absent that was notable to me. There was no mention of the data from AWARE II that was presented over the weekend at the American Heart Association meeting and the subject of previous posts. I understand that the focus of the day was resuscitation medicine, but NDEs were discussed and I found it a bit odd there was no mention of the 2 abstracts at AHA considering this was the first data to come out of Dr Parnia’s landmark study. There was the opportunity to pose questions in the comments section on the livestream, and I did ask about the abstracts but there was insufficient time to answer the questions in the room, let alone on line.

The only tidbit that came up was regarding the sounds generated in the Bluetooth headsets. He described it as “timed sounds” that were delivered through these headsets. Does that mean that sounds were administered intermittently and for a timed but limited number of periods, or that there was a continuous stream of sound with the different kinds of sounds timed, and the time at which they changed recorded? This is very important with respect to the direction of the discussion initiated by Tim we had regarding abstract 287 at the AHA meeting. If the sounds weren’t continuous then the fact that one or more of the 4 “NDErs” heard voices from the room would potentially be less relevant, given the findings from abstract 387 depending on whether there was corresponding EEG and rSO2 data that showed sufficient levels of oxygen to support consciousness. I suspect we aren’t going to learn more at this stage and will have to wait till the data is published, which may be many years from now!

Dr Parnia did refer to a number of new studies that will be starting in the next months and years:

future studies

The one that is of most interest to me is the study looking into consciousness during deep hypothermic arrest. This is effectively COOL II. At this stage they are just performing a pilot study to help inform them on design for a larger landmark study. It looks unlikely we will hear anything from this for a number of years, but this has the potential to produce data more efficiently than AWARE II due to the controlled conditions. Also the prospective study into children’s NDEs will provide interesting insights into the differences that have been previously discussed. This will take a long long time as thankfully children are much less likely to be near death, or actually dead, than adults.

He also presented some data that had been collected from going back over historical interviews from numerous NDEs. This has been done before in various publications in IANDS, but I suspect that his team will apply greater systematic and academic rigor. I wasn’t quite sure where these NDEs were sourced from, but they included a whole host of parameters beyond the simple core elements previously described.

Finally, Dr Parnia did get a bit agitated when describing the impatience of the likes of us! He did look at the camera, and actually said that he was speaking “to the camera”…i.e. some of us. Busted! He was insistent that this research takes a long time, that there are not always enough staff to attend CA events etc. This does not explain why he didn’t refer to the abstracts from the weekend, but we must give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that there are protocols etc that he must follow. He did say that there was more data now, but not that much.

I doubt he does come to this site, but if he does, I hope very much that our enthusiasm/impatience doesn’t in anyway hinder his work, or damage what he is trying to do. If it does in any way, then he must tell me. I would rather dial back on the number of my posts than risk his work. If not, as I suspect is the case given how he is disposed to going on TV and talking about NDEs, then he must recognize that it is only natural for people like ourselves who have a keen interest in his work to be eager to learn as much as we can, and express our frustration at not having all the answers now. As always we wish him the very best in his quest to shed light on the nature of consciousness before and after death.

The evening session was just a panel discussion on what had been presented and what they thought about the various different issues. This was very much focused on the resuscitation medicine side of things and potential ethical implications.

Overall it was enjoyable, but for regulars of this blog, nothing new unfortunately. Now I’m going to bed!

Edited to add the morning after:

While there may have been nothing “new” from the perspective of insights into the recent findings from AWARE II, there were a couple of things that happened in the meetings that have refreshed my perspective.

Firstly there was the testimony of the woman who had received CPR for an hour and the doctors were ready to give up, except one, who took over and carried on. That was 10 years ago and now she is well and living a full productive life due to that doctor and modern techniques. Really rammed home to me what an amazing job the likes of Parnia and his team do.

Secondly was the NDE account described by the ER physician Dr. Tom Aufderheide in the panel session in the evening. That was mind blowing and it reminded me of why I first became hooked on the subject of NDEs. We really don’t NEED the results of AWARE II, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of reliable human testimonies, many of them from health care professionals themselves, that one hundred percent corroborate the validity of the OBE. But more than that they attest to the spiritual nature of humans and our ultimate destiny.

On here, we, I, have become so obsessed with the hit, the smoking gun, and I realised last night that I may have lost my focus on the true wonder of these incredible accounts…they are mind blowing. I don’t need AWARE II. I know from my own experience that there is another reality beyond this life. I have experienced it myself, and through the accounts of others. I know I have a soul inside of me…my brain just sometimes forgets!

Anyway, we will continue to follow developments, but Dr Parnia said to the camera, to us, that we must follow the NYU website for any updates. As much as I respect and admire him, I think I will continue to rely on the great contributors here like Tim, David, Eduardo, Z, Samwise, Chad and others who keep finding things on the web now that might just make it to the NYU website in a years time!


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214 thoughts on “Summary of Sam Parnia’s NYAS “What happens when we die” event:

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  1. I wrote to Dr. Fenwick about this. Here is what I wrote:

    “Dear Dr. Fenwick, what do you make of the findings that Dr. Sam Parnia mentioned in his latest speech at the NYU from the AWARE II study? That there, contrary to what has been claimed by NDE-proponents so far, in some patients after a CA during CPR there indeed is “maybe not quite normal, but closer to normal” (to quote Parnia here) cortical activity, including alpha waves? Does this not undermine many findings from studies like Van Lommels study, or AWARE I?”

    Here is his reply:

    “Yes it certainly would if that activity is enough to maintain consciousness. Did Sam say if all the brainsstem reflexes had returned. If they have then the patient is conciouss, if not then the situation remains un changed. I know Sam and will write to ask him. Thanks for the comment.”

    So, I guess we will see. I hope I didnt bother Parnia too much by that. But this is an issue that, as far as I see it, needs answering


    • Good job, Jonas ! It will be interesting to see what Parnia responds to Fenwick with, regarding the brainwaves during prolonged CPR (in one or two) persons out of 19 (I think it was)

      Whatever he says, it will not be definitive because one or two cases are simply not enough to come to a conclusion. It could just be an artifact, we don’t know yet for certain.

      And it doesn’t change the fact that there are numerous cases where patients were not receiving CPR but were certainly in cardiac arrest and still reported being aware of their surroundings.

      We can’t now “back peddle” and say that their brains must have been working and write them off. Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. All the collected data has to explained.

      Lastly, people report seeing and moving through walls and ceilings. Coming back to consciousness on the table during prolonged CPR doesn’t explain that phenomenon and never will.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wow your so smart for thinking to go through Fenwick. Surely Parnia will not put him on read… why didn’t i think of this!? Please post Fenwick’s reply asap.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jonas, did Fenwick ever get back to you?


    • Jonas…have you heard back from Dr Penwick? I am trying to contact some of the other invesitgators on the posters for questions around the details of the recollections of noises/voices and corresponding EEG/sRO2 data.


      • No, I havent got an answer from him yet, sorry.

        I also contacted Dr. Van Lommel, who said that he would ask Parnia about it in the near future


  2. “Computers do what they are programmed to do brains on the other hand can decide what to do”

    well that’s the big free will debate. Most neuroscientists think there’s nothing to “decide”, it’s all just a grand illusion.

    “because a computer without that algorithm to learn would not develop a sense to learn on its own.”

    that’s exactly what can be argued for how brains learn, using algorithms determined by the synaptic structures. Computer haven’t advanced enough to learn like human (read about deep learning), but they are trying to make computers closer and closer to humans.

    About the Epstein comment, that is not the mainstream view. Current view is that unconscious information processing can explain the entirety of human mind, the brain does these computations behind the scenes but it is never consciously experienced, only a tiny portion of the output is experienced as thought/emotions etc. We are certainly not born with the ability to consciously control neurons to run algorithms, we are born not even knowing neurons exist, the mainstream view is these algorithms are run backstage. Not saying i endorse any of this ofc, you know how much i hate staunch materialists who deny free will/consciousness.

    I believe eventually there will be computer behaviorally indistinguishable from general humans, most neuroscientists and computer scientists think so too. The problem is consciousness and free will, free will might cause some minor difference in behavior between a real person and a computer with exactly the same synaptic connections and inputs.


    • “Also if we were computers we would understand the brain a lot better now because we created computers and we would not be surprised with many things we learn more and more about it every day.”

      That is a completely unfounded statement, and a bit immature way to think about this.

      ” The brain is a very mysterious organ and we are just on the surface of it.”

      Certainly, even the simplest cells are more complex than the best cpu on the market. But that’s just a problem with figuring exactly how brains compute things. It’s like how when doctors discovered germs not “miasma” cause diseases, and they wondered how exactly cholera killed a person, they knew the tiny bugs were doing “something bad” but exactly what bad thing took a lot more time.


  3. First thanks for the kind reply Chad. I know the mainstream theory but I do not completely agree with it personally. The reason is the complexity of the brain and therefore that it works as a computer is stretched and too simplistic in my view and has led to errors in the past.

    Just like the ideas of the cosmos. Just take a look on the Clockwork universe idea.


    • I don’t agree with it either, but in a different way from you. I think there’s definitely more to the brain than simply computation, but certainly the main job of brains is to process sight/sound/conversation/reading words like a computer and generating behavioral dispositions in response to these inputs, and the current trend in neuroscience will illuminate much on its workings. For me its consciousness and free will, this conscious experience of unified self from a collection of different cells, evolved from different bacteria forming colonies, that makes me strongly disagree with the mainstream view that everything is nothing more than the constant grinding of neuro machinery.

      About the clockwork universe, yes QM has shown it to be false, but there are still people looking for a deterministic interpretation of QM (google superdeterminism, de broglie bohm, cellular automaton universe), they want to revive the clockwork universe. The most popular one is many worlds which is “half” deterministic but i think its nonsense, which universe is our consciousness in? As usual they just ignore consciousness as an afterthought. A lot of people will always try to find mechanical deterministic billiard ball type of explanation for everything, it’s in their soul (but according to them they don’t have a soul).


      • You are entirely correct, there is so much that has gone on to simply state that one thing would undermind everything. Beyond all of that, there’s that part about no objective reality. Reality is far beyond explanation and they have just discovered the existence of dark matter/dark energy. Two elements that tie the universe together but they still do not know what they are. Our consciousness may be more connected to that then we realized.


  4. Sorry for going AWOL, I had a convention in Birmingham, followed straight after by a company meeting in Lisbon, so been rushed off my feet. This is a great discussion, I have written to Dr Parnia and some of the other authors on the posters, but not heard anything back yet. It would just be really useful to know more of the details.


    • I have read all the abstracts. They were posted sessions. We can get Circulation but they don’t have more than you have. Reading the EEG during CA. A careful read shows the brain waves are present maybe due to the CPR OR a short return to regular circulation.
      So it’s a hit from A1 as Tim went through the details.
      If the audio in 2 is not when circulation is restored it sounds like another. Sounds


      • I don’t know how great it’s been a lot of it devolved to trolling.


      • I weary of explaining the neurobiology of hearing over and over.


      • The auditory system involves complex muscle contractions that would not occur in CA.Also if it kicked in the sounds would be overwhelming much like reaction to a gunshot because there is a known delay. The ears are not just an opening that allow sounds to float in and have it soak into the brain.Even if there was some activity in the brain I don’t see how we get a muscle contractions to allow hearing.


  5. JP Rand on said:

    Going by what I’m reading Aware 2 seems to have been a bust. Any potential evidence it yielded to an afterlife was more of the same from Aware 1 that’s what I’m getting anyway off of this.


  6. From a medical point of view it was far from a bust

    The EEG readings, combined with an audio hit during CPR, are very important. They give us and idea that a state close to consciousness is possible during CPR, and that in this state one could be able to receive and process external inputs.

    What sounds a lot like this to my eyes? NDEs. A quasi-conscious state merging dream like activity and external stimuli.

    We can also speculate from here a lot. The dentures man was getting CPR, was that a case like this one? And what about Pam Reynolds? Most NDEs happen during CPR, either in hospital or ambulance, but not all of them. What about the rest?

    I suppose, after this, that since fenwick, Lommel and Co. Were wrong on the subject of “there can’t be consciousness during CPR” that Parnia may be wrong on the fact that Cardiac Arrest equals a death state. Honestly, if CPR can get you EEG readings we can’t automatically rule out the brainstem from being active during CA, although undetected.

    I’d say AWARE II is far from a bust, but it won’t make proponents happy.


    • Ika Musume on said:

      Where exactly did you find that the denture man was receiving CPR during his experience? According to Titus Rivas, he wasn’t. And Pam Reynolds was under burst suppression, meaning no brain activity whatsoever. There are cases of NDEs occurring without CPR being performed. In an interview on Psience Quest, Titus Rivas has stated,

      “I mean, in cases of NDEs, in which the events perceived really took place during cardiac arrest and before any CPR was undertaken, such as the cases of the Man with the Dentures, and of the patients of Tom Aufderheide, Richard Mansfield, Lloyd W. Rudy and Maurice Rawlings (all included in Chapter 3), it is much more straightforward to assume that the perception occurred in real time, rather than before or after cardiac arrest (through pre- or retrocognition respectively).”

      As for NDEs being a “quasi-conscious state merging dream like activity and external stimuli”, how does this explain NDEs were people were able to perceive things they could not have even while awake? It seems like after finding a little blip of EEG activity for a few subjects during CPR, everyone is jumping ship and claiming all NDEs debunked. I don’t think the boat has moved at all. We are still in the dark as to what NDEs truly are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dentures man received plenty of CPR in his way to the hospital.

        People describing things they couldn’t see really doesn’t interest me as long as there is no confirmation from a hit like AWARE was searching, but nobody ever managed to do it. Not sartori, not parnia, not others.

        I believ es these really are memories consctructed by the brain from external stimuli


      • You are correct


      • I must admit, the blog needs a good cleansing of trolls. There’s a fair bit of garbage being posted. I will have a soft though when I get the chance. Any suggestions message me

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry Ben, was I a troll?

        I didn’t troll anybody, it’s just my idea now. If skeptical ideas aren’t welcome fine, I’ll leave.

        Liked by 1 person

    • All the evidence we have today, suggests that a brain is necessary to perceive the everyday world – in the way that we do when wakeful. Classic out of body experiences, like those looking down onto medical staff almost certainly require the patients energy starved brain to still have sufficient neuronal firing available, to be able to synchronize their networks.

      But… I’m very open minded about how ‘experience’ generally is actually formed, and in the case of these Classic OBE’s, also very open minded as to *where* the pattern of sensory information to mold these everyday experiences, is coming from. I suspect that this pattern may not only be coming from the patients own senses.

      We have several very good studies showing hyper-weak oscillating magnetic fields affect the behavior of some animals, these fields have been shown to be as weak as 1 nanoTesla, that’s very very weak, approximately 40,000 times weaker than the earths own local geomagnetic field.

      We also have Borjigin’s excellent iEEG lab study of dying rodents in cardiac arrest, where she found bizarrely, that the rodents EEG spontaneously resynchronized after a few seconds, to *strongly resemble* the EEG we see in humans and primates undertaking visual tasks. The rodents were in Faraday cages which can be quite good at blocking the electrical field component, so once again, it’s the magnetic field component which looks like it may be of interest.

      Finally, we have a few experiments from Frank Prato, where he shows very robust behavioral effects in rodents exposed to zero magnetic fields (due to them being placed inside light tight, mu-metal boxes). You can’t get much weaker than zero… lol… suggesting a continuing role for magnetic fields which are many orders of magnitude weaker than 1 nanoTesla.

      As for not seeing a target during the classic OBE… if you hide the target, what else would you expect? Hidden, secret, real-time targets will never be seen.

      But crucially, not seeing targets doesn’t mean the pattern of sensory data is only coming from the patients own senses.


    • @ Raf

      We don’t know yet how to interpret the audio hit. (The person’s disembodied consciousness might have heard it as Dave says). It’s possible, anyway.

      We need to see exactly what that patient reports. There’s two ways of looking at it and we need to wait for the authors to tell us specifically how.

      Did the audio hit correspond with the alpha brainwaves ? If it did, did that patient report an NDE ? Did he report an OBE with accurate details ?

      Why do alpha brainwaves automatically give you an NDE ? People have alpha brainwaves all the time. They don’t have NDE’s ! It doesn’t make any sense.

      As regards Pam Reynolds….I’m afraid I don’t see how CPR comes into it, Raf. That’s just plain ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ika Musume on said:

    Raf stated,
    “Dentures man received plenty of CPR in his way to the hospital.”
    On his way to the hospital and the time during which his experience took place are vastly different. As I said above, according to Titus Rivas, his experience occurred prior to CPR. Not during and not after.

    Your second paragraph is just a basic cop out. There are loads of cases where people have described things they could not have normally known, such as those found in “The Self Does Not Die”. If you wish to sweep them under the rug, have at it. The rug is getting a little bit full though, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get it that people described weird things, but until somebody has a certified OBE in controlled conditions how can I trust them?

      Also, I’m really pretty sure denture’s man received some CPR on his way to the hospital, but anyway this isn’t relevant. What is important is that some brai activity, even decently structured, can happen during CPR. This was usually considered impossible by proponents

      I’m pretty sure that the some activity is also present in the brainstem during CA and without CPR, yet there are no easy means to see it as a common EEG will not detect it.

      Parnia himself changed the word of reference to Actual Death Experiences to Transormative Death Experinces, in my opinion negating the idea that CA is equal to a true death state.


      • Raf,
        Fixed and dilated pupils and no gag reflex equals no brainstem activity. Even if there is some minuscule residual brain function during CPR, it’s not sufficient to support the experiences both internal and external described by people having NDEs. We’ll know more once the details of Aware 2 come out. In the meantime, both sides are grasping at whatever straws supports their viewpoint (myself included!).

        Liked by 1 person

      • RAF, look, you don’t have to trust anyone except your own common sense (if you got one 🙂 – under situation of cardiac arrest normal conciseness is impossible (according to physiology), so regardless which brainwaves are registered those are not normal wakeful conciseness that allows you to perceive reality. Any dream-like state (let’s think for a second those NDE are dreams) should explain why the heck everyone dreaming tunnel, light beings, life reviews, deceased relatives… on the other hand, why if not above they are seeing/hearing what is going on around, why it is a pleasure and so on.

        Someone was asking Peter Fenwick to check with Parnia if any of those with any activity had stem reflex. I don’t know full CPR process in details, but you need to check reflexes every few minutes/seconds to actually correlate any brainwaves with returning of conciseness, hesitate this is easily tracked, but then if reflexes are back those people are conscious. In almost normal (if not fully normal) way like you and I are now. At least I am. lol. Cannot speak for you.

        Now let’s step back to see the whole picture. If they are conscious, they can hear and view if their eyes are open (which commonly not – CA do not characterized by patients opening eyes and calmly observing around, checking upon what each doctor does, who says what and so on 🙂 they are on a brink of death, with vast majority being actually dead for few minutes, some – for tens of minutes, tons of literature is out there describing those detailed NDEs with that dramatic dying scenario. Those residual activity or even not residual if sufficient amount of blood deliveries to brain to start restarting do not even close may explain the phenomena in its totality.

        If that would be some crazy cases like one for 10000 people, yes ok, you can write it off. But what you see is 10-20% of people who died due to CA will have full blown NDE, with very similar experience and/or 1-2% with OBEs that are verifiable. So yes, you may hesitate in that case of dentures , in another something else, but is really difficult to think it is all being just manufactured by absolutely disconnected patients and moreover doctors – usually honest and solid individuals, one of humans elite – or just completely misunderstood.

        Does it make sense?

        So Sam Parnia is not carrying this research to proof or disprove NDE, this is pretty clear, there are way larger scale of targets he is after (better resuscitation, research in human conciseness, insides of dying process).

        Hope it helps 🙂 but also, I cannot believe NDE will be ever explained until there is some understanding of what is actually conciseness, brainwaves are not conciseness, and not your or move experience, those are just brainwaves, some chemical/electrical activity inside that organ. We don’t even know if it appears because you are conscious or you are conscious because you have brainwaves…

        Liked by 1 person

    • @Ika Musume

      You are spot on ! And that’s amusing about the rug ! It is rather full underneath it.

      I see the denture case has apparently now been amended 😉 CPR allowed the patient to be aware of his denture being removed….

      Except it doesn’t do anything of the sort. When the patient was brought into the small room where he was worked on (out of the lift on the third floor), he was dead.

      TG the male nurse SAW that the patient was dead. He had no heartbeat, pulse or circulation, he was ice cold to the touch and had blue green skin colour (cyanotic). No brainstem reflexes whatsoever. Dead as a doornail.

      If he had not been a relatively young person, they would not have even attempted to try and resuscitate him (apparently). When TG opened the man’s mouth to insert the mayo tube (to keep his airways open) he saw an upper denture hanging there and removed it before placing it upon the already pulled out wooden shelf of the makeshift crash cart.

      At that time, the patient was dead and could not possibly have seen/heard or felt anything. The patient never regained consciousness in the room and was transferred to the ICU comatose. Researchers Smit and Rivas published several articles on this. These are the facts.

      Click to access jndsdentureman.pdf

      Whilst we await the replies from the experts concerning one or two cases of alpha waves appearing during prolonged CPR, we need to bear in mind that..THAT in itself, cannot explain veridical OBE’s. Anyone who wants to say that it does is just making an unwarranted giant leap.

      Secondly, those brainwaves may (we don’t know) have been an artefact. It occurred to me the other day that if the headphones (emitting the sounds) had been placed slightly incorrectly on the patient’s ears (maybe overlapping on to the skull) that might affect the EEG. Just speculation of course, we don’t know. Let’s wait and see what Parnia says.

      Judging by his comments in the recent conference, it hardly seems that it could be of much importance.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are not grasping at straws Sean. You are correct.


    • Thanks David. Parnia doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would publicly embarrass himself by making the kind of statements he’s made recently in the media about NDEs and consciousness. My gut tells me that these audio hits from aware 2 are legitimate. I think that a more controlled environment is going to be needed to elucidate the kind of data that will satisfy both sides of the debate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I entirely agree with Sean
        honestly, this is becoming a bit of a circular argument on the behalf of these materialists who have been lurking in the forums
        for one yes I agree that if this as easily dismissable as everyone claims, then Parnia would not have made an effort of discussing what he did in the way which he did or his panel discussion in which he adamantly debunked the claims of illusionary, or drug-induced. He maintained a confident, professional tone that that consciousness continues. If his findings were inconclusive he wouldn’t have had the event early in November, or he wouldn’t have such a confident position. he would have revealed that these events have turned out to be created in the brain and that would have been that. He wouldn’t be continuing any of this research if that was the case. I feel like he gave us what he could at this point while studies are still underway. I feel that we may possibly be misinterpreting his data a bit since we only have a small part of an incomplete study. And to go behind Sam’s back and ask others (Fenwick) about the data is completely unprofessional and I don’t blame sam for being extremely livid on this. It’s like some are never happy or some want every opportunity to discredit sam and NDEs. I would recommend that if they want that information so badly, go and do the research yourself. Otherwise, we will trust the process.
        Meanwhile, Jeffery Long did a similar presentation about his findings.
        Dear sweet materialists, I know you want to reduce us to nothing, but this is not the place to do that. Eventually, more data will prove that existence will be far more than originally expected. This isn’t pseudoscience, this is reality.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep to you Sean and myk

        Liked by 1 person

      • myk media, I think if they actually take the time to come on to this forum, they aren’t a real staunch materialist moron. Those type will just say “i don’t need to look at the literature because i already know its all trash”, they congregate on their own echo chamber forums. Though i am sick of seeing that “deep brain activity” crap.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. If I can add one final thing
    it’s good to be skeptical but it’s bad to be ignorant of facts
    and one fact is that science keeps trying to debunk NDEs but has yet to do so
    while on the other hand, there are numerous accounts that are similar, beyond explanation, or simply verified (
    and honestly, skepticism doesn’t mean to be closed-minded to the so-called truth
    it means to question dogmatic thought processes
    and to me a dogmatic belief is that we all emerged from nothing, for no reason
    and with no consciousness,
    the definition of skepticism is to question the possibility of real knowledge
    I admit that I don’t have all the answers but you materialists think you do
    and I’m skeptical of your closed-minded dogmatic views of the universe and how you think it works

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JP Rand on said:

    I don’t follow…I mean from us who are looking for evidence of hits related to an afterlife…in that regard it seems like a bust. I’m going to eat my laptop now. Well not really…time for all of us to start investing in SENS.


  11. The elephant in the room problem with NDEs being hallucination during CPR is no one ever reported feeling dizzy/confused, a necessary attribute of lack of oxygen. Ofc a skeptical argument is that the part of their brain that “detects” dizziness is off, like how in dreams u do extremely embarrassing things but you don’t get a “warning feeling” that ur doing something wrong.

    [quote]”I’m pretty sure that the some activity is also present in the brainstem during CA and without CPR, yet there are no easy means to see it as a common EEG will not detect it.”[/quote]

    Whether there is activity or not, provide the heart is actually stopped and not in v fib, there’s no consciousness period. I just dont understand why people are still talking about this “deep brain activity” crap, it’s pure nonsense. No blood for 1 minute = no consciousness, period.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is entrirly what I was getting at, Chad.
    If this deep brain activity was something that could easily dismiss the entire concept of NDEs then sam wouldn’t be wasting his own time and reputation by publicly saying that consciousness continues

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Anton Efimov on said:

    What I also find interesting, that there are no “random” dreams during CA. I mean if the person is dreaming/tripping on hormones and somehow implementing what he is semi-hearing in the operation room, why is he actually creating a veridical perception in his head. What stops him from imagining himself being a doctor and resuscitating someone (the sounds, the conversations would still be the same).
    We’ve never heard of a drastic misinterpretation of events.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anton Efimov on said:

      To expand in my previous comment, I would like to add that even when we are dreaming our dreams are often nonsense – and at that point the oxygen in our brains is at a normal level. If a person is either under anaesthesia or is having a CA, how come he has a more structured and lucid experience than a person who is sleeping. “Near- normal rSO2 levels” from Parnia’s abstract or a few alpha-waves don’t sound like they can explain that.
      In my opinion, this can further explain why Parnia sitll instists that consciousness survives death… at least for a short while.. or maybe a lot longer

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anton, in essence this is why NDE so puzzling, none of observed or known brain function can explain what is going on. Although I didn’t see Parnia “insists” on surviving consciousness, he mostly says following – evidence we see is indicative toward that – and sure it does. But again it is unproven the rest 90 or 80% of people have it too, it is suggestive too, but not proven. No one knows.

        Generally topic of surviving for after death is really interesting and separate discussion. Everyone is looking for proofs of surviving and NDE a sign of it, no one asking “what for”? and what will you do out there lol…

        Liked by 1 person

    • What about the 40% awareness in AWARE 1? Those sound like random dreams to me, which made me think some people are indeed hallucinating during CPR because they have enough blood flow, or heart is in v fib, or both. Maybe the audio hit is one of these.


      • Anton Efimov on said:

        I am talking abot a bit of a different thing.
        These 40% weren’t lucid, clear – as I understand not remotely close to Pam Reynolds, Al sullivan or Aware 1 experiences.
        Possibly, these 40% are in fact hallucinations caused by the so much discussed rSO2 levels.
        But what I am talking about is that not one single person ever described a clear, lucid, very real, more real than life like some like to say in these states, but plain wrong experiences. What I mean is the following: Pam Reynolds and other reporting lucid experiences “imagined” exactly what was happening in the room with no mistakes – she “imagined” working on the leg the doctors was actually working on (she got 2 legs, but somehow she imagined the correct leg and the correct action at the same time), the guy in Aware 1 described a “chunky bald fella” – well we could say that he got lucky, but the fact that there was no never a single person who said was plain wrong in these expereiences is the most interesting part. Nobody, as far as I understand, said that, for example, there were 2 men and 1 woman operating on him, while in fact there were 4 men.
        I’d like to repeat my point once again, there were never wrong lucid “dreams”. The 40% were not lucid and were just “some kind of feelings of being still alive”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anton Efimov on said:

        Oleg, the reason I use the word “insist” is, first, the way he behaves in the media – there are several video below. And also, a person who is not really sure, who only “suggests”, wouldn’t say things, like he said in NY this time, about “liking the theory that consciousness is a separate type of matter – like at some point electromagnetic fields were”.
        And right now he is even more sure rejecting classic oxygen deprivation theories, drup tripping etc. – he never did that on science conferences and would not list possible causes there and not try to disprove them.
        I hope I am not actually biased and not trying to persuade myself into believing something I like. And I do hope that Parnia’s actually has got something of importance, correlated data etc. that he is not showing as. Otherwise I would be very surprised why he behaved liked that.


  14. As for sam saying it,
    he has done so in numerous occasions

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, absolutely. It is quite bizarre how coy he appears in clinical research yet on the TV he is 100% “NDEs are real”. What he has presented and published does not really support such a confident position. Somewhere in the data presented at AHA is a potential answer, but they have scrambled the results by publishing the two posters side by side without correlating the findings, thus obfuscating anything that might have been taken from abstract 387. I think this is deliberate, and I have my thoughts on why, but ultimately Dr Parnia can be a bit of an enigma at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Of the audio hit occurred at the same time as the one in Aware 1 then he has every reason to be confident. But like Orson said ….he just did not correlate it.

    I really think it’s the audience. But he really did swat some sceptics down at the NY academy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t know if any of you saw the panel during the November event, in which he spoke with others about consciousness etc during that panel he still maintained that consciousness continues he just doesn’t understand how, why, and where consciousness goes.
    I think his clinical findings show that consciousness is still very elusive and not quite understood by science. I still think he’s confident in the continuing of consciousness that he expresses in media but I don’t think he can properly articulate why it does or where it goes and I think that frustrates him greatly. He’s experienced unexplainable events but he said himself that science isn’t at the place to have the tools to measure or detect consciousness, I give him praise for trying though.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Werner Bartl on said:

    unfortunately my english is too bad, im.Livestream did not understand everything david, do you think the parnia is still confident, although the AHA protocol does not look so positive?


  18. It might be positive Warner but Parnia did not specify when the hit occured.
    The live stream was pretty much what he always said but less forcefully than he does when he is with his friends like Dr. Oz.


  19. Werner Bartl on said:

    Thank you David


  20. Werner Bartl on said:

    I really do not understand, in the interviews Dr. Parnia is almost convinced, consciousness goes beyond the brain, only in the livestream of NYU, it was rather cool


  21. Stefan on said:

    Found this article, which states that NDE’s are probably the result of DMT and ketamine releases in the brain. Any thoughts on this??


    • This concept has been addressed numerously throughout this blog
      in case you missed it, sam addressed it as well
      it’s at the 1:25 point, someone asks Sam if these occurrences can be simply reduced to hallucinations at which Sam responds that due to the low level of brain activity this is explanation is false
      sam puts it by saying while there are some similar elements these elements are not the same
      sam debunks hallucinations also the standard lack of oxygen skeptic responses

      Liked by 1 person

    • @Stefan

      That article is typical of how mainstream reductionist science tries to accommodate near death experiences. DMT has been doing the rounds for years as an explanation.

      Apart from the fact that there is no evidence that there IS actually any available DMT, especially in sufficient quantities (in the human body), there is no ‘experimental’ evidence to show how or why it would suddenly just kick in before “death” to produce this incredible “hallucination” that somehow convinces people that death is not the end.

      There is no evolutionary advantage at all for the brain to do this. I don’t have the time to post the various references and links to back this up but if you search thoroughly, you’ll see for yourself.

      As for Charlotte Martial, she is a young researcher at Liege university in Belgium working under neurologist Steven Laureys. There is absolutely no way that she can suggest or entertain any notions of consciousness outside the brain. It is simply out of the question, she would lose her job, instantly.

      Secondly, Belgium has some of the most militant sceptic organisations in the world. They are strongly focussed on materialist/reductionist science and vehemently opposed to the notion that there could be a separate mind, consciousness or “soul” that survives death and consider it to be the most contemptible nonsense on a par with believing in elves, gnomes and fairies.

      Do people who take DMT have veridical out of body experiences where they see things they couldn’t possibly have seen ? Do they have in depth life changing life reviews guided by a loving being of light ? Do they meet up with dead relatives who appear much younger than when they died who give them information that they could not possibly have known about ?

      These articles are going to keep on coming; the authors producing them have to do “something” to justify their salaries.

      But they’ll never explain NDE’s physically, because there isn’t a physical explanation for the data. And they’re not allowed to look elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If I had a dollar for every time I read an article with the exact same shotgun argumentation using the exact same neurochemical/psychological “models”…

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Once again myk and Tim. Interesting about Belgium.


  23. You should see how unhinged the sceptics are about the Navy Confirming UFOs. It’s down to personal smears. But in this case these guys are retired military and Intel. People do they don’t really seem to care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @David

      Thanks, David. Yes it is interesting in that the professionals that actually witness these events (not the sceptics) are much more open minded about them.

      I translated this piece form part of an on line interview with Dr Carlos Cipolla, head of an Italian cardiology department. He was very impressed with the following events he witnessed.


      Hello, we are here with Dr Carlo Cipolla who is the head of the cardiology division and also an oncologist in the European cancer centre in Milan. Sometimes we hear of a very profound story that doesn’t have an explanation and this one greatly impressed you ?

      Dr Cipolla :​

      Sure, it’s a story that touched me deeply. When I worked in one of the coronary care units in the centre, on the night shift at two ‘o’ clock in the morning, a well to do woman arrived with a heart attack on the right wall (of the heart) which often causes complications in rhythm such as a slowing down.

      In fact it slows down to 15-20 beats a minute and therefore the patient is completely unconscious. We immediately took her to the operating room which is next to the coronary care unit and fitted her with a pacemaker which raises the heart beat up to seventy beats a minute. We finished the intervention and after about an hour of complete unconsciousness she woke up.

      At abut three ‘o’ clock in the same morning, another lady arrived, totally different, from a lower class area, the mother of two convicts and of a lower social level. Two more different women you couldn’t find and the first a believer, whilst the second, totally secular. This (second) patient was in cardiac arrest and we fought to revive her for about twenty minutes.

      She managed to pull through and was hospitalised. The story that occurred that night has a symmetrical aspect to it, they were both kept for about twenty days attached to me and I saw them at three, six, nine-twelve month intervals and they always came at the same time because their arrest occurred on the same day.

      We got to one year (onwards) and I go down to the clinic to see them (again), thankfully (they were) usually cheerful. But this time I see the first one putting her head down on the table (forlornly) saying…

      “What happened doctor, I do not understand!”

      “You are doing so well,” I said….

      “No, I did not tell you before but I had an experience during my resuscitation. I came out of my body and saw you busy with me from a point high up in the corner of the room.

      I saw myself, my body and at a certain point I was sucked into a tunnel of light with a feeling of great peace and at the end of this tunnel of light, I met loved ones who gave me feeling of great peace in a light of indescribable intensity and beauty. I found myself in total peace and serenity but suddenly I was sucked back into my body.”

      Dr Cipolla :

      As has been reported, you’ve heard of these classic cases (as reported) by (psychiatrist) Raymond Moody. Now the second patient also told me the same story, how she had seen her own resuscitation and saw things that she couldn’t have seen from her position.

      She saw exactly who worked on her, me with the mask, my wife who was head nurse, she told the same story seeing her body from outside herself, recounting being in a tunnel of light and having seen her loved ones and then being pulled to an intense light that gave her knowledge.

      The amazing thing was, these women never spoke to each other. One was a believer, the other secular but they both had the same experience and told the same story in relation to this event (cardiac arrest) and there are now thousands and thousands of these stories all over the world, in all religious denominations, all social classes, a truly plural phenomenon in which neurology is particularly interested. Scientists are questioning the nature of this.

      As a cardiologist, there doesn’t exist a more practical, pragmatic medic than myself. I’m not a psychologist or philosopher, I’m also an atheist and have no predisposition to believe any of these stories but certainly it has changed my perception as to the cause of these events in which they are generally reluctant to speak of but which are much more frequent than you would think…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Great translation Tim. I wonder if the audio is all most people have as they are pulled away. The OBEs just don’t happen often . Interesting here. Just speculation of course. I can here the sceptics choir now saying the one still had a heartbeat.
    Of course it wasnt.
    We will never satisfy them . But if Parnis second it was in full CA. We have had 2 hits under control.
    One should be enough . But at this point Parnia is wise to move on to COOL because those will be like the woman with the slow beat.


    • Thanks, David.

      It would appear (according to the Cipolla) when the heart slows down to that number of beats, they automatically become unconscious. That doesn’t really help sceptics. They have to make a case for the patient gaining a level of consciousness
      sufficient to gather information and form memories.

      As I understand it, the cool study protocol is total heart stoppage and no brain wave activity at around 18 degrees C. Hypothermic cardiac standstill. The patient is to all intents and purposes dead.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. It doesn’t help the sceptics so they become trolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chad, I strongly disagree.

      Let me elaborate. Most of high end medical professionals are well recognized, well-paid (wealthy) people, just that “stigma to be afraid to get fired” is not something I can easily extrapolate on those high level medical doctors or scientists who I happen to know in person. Many of them are openly admitting lots of things do not have ultimate explanations. You see, they can be reductionistic materialists but neither you or them have complete explanation of phenomena of NDE.

      This is exactly the problem how I see it, yea sure some of neurologists and scientists are very dismissive not to say arrogant, but on the other hand nobody from the other side can supply satisfactory reproducible experiment that will move the borderline of explanation to one way or another. It doesn’t fit anywhere, even spiritually this is not clear what it is, and there are more questions than answers.

      Materialism is a perfect concept with great explanatory power which led humans to modern level of medicine, science, technology. So there is a lot to that. I would not disregard it.

      And Yup, NDE is not fitting to this easily but if you seen Martin Fisher – it doesn’t mean one will never be able to find naturalistic explanation.

      I am not atheistic or religious, not even agnostic if you wish, I do see though clearly, that is not an easy equation that can simply fit into one paradigm.


      • Correct me if im wrong, I read Pim van Lommel got fired for supporting NDEs? If their status prevents them from getting fired, then they would still fear for damage in reputation, and that’s what any rich famous person fears the most. Maybe the medical community is not as fanatic, but the neuroscience community is. Arrogance doesn’t even describe them, you clearly haven’t seen their responses to any non materialist views. Maybe if i talked to real down to earth neuroscientists who don’t blog and don’t publish reviews, I might see most of them are cool people, my impression is developed from the most vocal ones as they are the ones publishing articles and responding to NDEs (I can give names if you want, plenty at top of my head). They are exactly like the inquisition, you should ask the guys at DOPS the hostility they face on a daily basis.

        **You see, they can be reductionistic materialists but neither you or them have complete explanation of phenomena of NDE.**

        I never said I have an explanation, I’m always playing the devil advocate on this forum. It’s the pseudoskeptics who claim they have everything about NDEs already explained.

        **Materialism is a perfect concept with great explanatory power which led humans to modern level of medicine, science, technology.**

        I never said to disregard materialism. If you’ve read my posts on this thread you’ll know I don’t agree with most of the non materialists views others have shared, and always try to find a rational materialist explanation first. But I also know the limitations of materialism very well.

        Also the regulars here knows im a skeptic of NDEs, I don’t understand why you directed “it doesn’t mean one will never be able to find naturalistic explanation” at me.


      • Chad, may be I overdid 🙂 I didn’t mean to offend in any way…

        So I strongly disagree with below

        “how far one gets in the field is highly dependent on how committed they are to reductionist materialism. Like i said before much of modern science is exactly the same as the inquisition, only difference is these guys don’t control the law”

        I personally know few medical doctors of outstanding scale yet quite with strong faith. No problem of getting on top ladder yet not to be materialistic reductionist…

        Why Pim got fired, no clue but there are other million reasons toward this, also I am sure he is doing fine. I don’t see for example Jeff Long or Sam Parnia or Bruce Greyson are in any trouble… all are acting medical individuals.

        In fundamental physics faith and religious or none materialistic view of world is rarer case, I agree, yet even there you have few outstanding names who still may keep up with non-materialism.

        What I am saying that I cannot believe people just get fired due to their views on NDE or that sort of thing. It is way too primitive and simplistic approach and scientists usually careful people, and analytical. It is not like that is impossible but not probable.

        For educational institutes and anything related to funding or administration, I would actually expect people to try to stay away from visible faith or none-materialism and it kind of make sense, but in real science field – hesitate.

        There is famous video where Dr Rudy describes one of outstanding case of NDE, sort of one of those mind-blowing and unexplained, and he is clearly stating few times during his interview that it all makes him believe there is something (on the other side), check it if you didn’t see it before, he even goes quite beyond NDE and talking about “presence” that he felt. So that guys was (he died few years ago) one of leading cardiologists in the states, inventor and many more… who the hell would fire him because of his interview or just views…

        That is what I disagree!


      • “I personally know few medical doctors of outstanding scale yet quite with strong faith. No problem of getting on top ladder yet not to be materialistic reductionist”

        My phrase was about neuroscientists, not medicine. I read it on another blog, there was a debate over this (friendly one), and the guy seemed sincere. I admit I do not have any evidence of doctors getting fired for supporting NDEs, it was because of the general hostility against NDEs by all disciplines (like the phrase you quoted me), and Parnia’s/Greyson’s study getting rejected at some hospitals, i thought it would be the case at least for some doctors.

        Personally i have no idea how hostile most neuroscientists are to non materialist views, i dont know any in person and all my impression are from blogs/articles so a huge bias here. E.g. Steven Pinker, Daniel Dannett, Sam Harris (though they aren’t professional working neuroscientists), Oliver Sacks, some famous ones (a lot more less well known ones). But from all my reading and videos i do know any neuroscientist who endorses non materialist views will have a severely damaged reputation, and will likely have a hard time advancing their career. Modern science has an “entrenched materialist world view”

        And yes I know about Lloyd Rudy, i guess i was very wrong to think doctors get fired for this, maybe some do but not most. I think it’s just a desire to preserve reputation, some doctors like Spetzler was very careful about how he commented on Pam’s case.

        Liked by 1 person

      • blijruud on said:

        No scientist are not afraid to get fired. The major problem is they don’t get enough funding. Peter Fenwick and Sam Parnia have discussed this problem in the past.

        Yes there where scientist in the past who didn’t want anything to do with NDE. But things have changed, Sam Parnia have said more than half of the people in he’s working field don’t think NDE OBE’s are hallucinations.

        Of course there are scientist who will keep deniying the evidence even with reproduced verified hits. But the first who get a verified hit will win The Noble Prize.

        Oh and one more thing. Sam Parnia first AWARE study had scientist from multiple disciplines. Including Neurology, psychiatry and neuroscience. All agree that the OBE’s in the research where no hallucinations.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. In Stefan’s link,

    However, he says that “as a scientist, I do believe there is a neurochemical explanation for an NDE.”

    and in here 12:12

    It’s amazing the stigma against NDEs, professional deny it a priori because they don’t want to risk getting fired. Read in another blog, someone who has talked to many neuroscientists said how far one gets in the field is highly dependent on how committed they are to reductionist materialism. Like i said before much of modern science is exactly the same as the inquisition, only difference is these guys don’t control the law and can’t burn this forum and other non materialists at the stake.


    • Just to clear up that Pim Van Lommel didn’t get fired. He retired so that he could spend more time lecturing about his ten year NDE study and it’s findings.

      As I understand it, there is no problem with medics revealing that they have religious “faith” as long as they don’t try to “force it” onto anyone else, especially their patients, at least in the west, that is.

      We would never have heard about Lloyd Rudy’s patient, if Mike Milligan hadn’t persuaded him to talk about it on camera. But these things are happening all the time in hospitals all over the world. See this report from a Mexican cardiologist who I won’t name for privacy reasons :

      QUOTE “That’s a real scientist (referring to Pim Van Lommel). Open minded and willing to change his mind in front​ of evidence. I’m a Mexican cardiologist. The first time I heard of that experience I was in my twenties, doing my rotating internship at a big hospital. An old lady was brought to the emergency room where I was.

      She had a cardiac arrest. It was the first time I saw a defibrillator being used. I didn’t take part in the reanimation process because I was a student, but I watched it all. The patient was intubated to oxygenate her body and she was submitted to the electric shock of the defibrillator. I was very impressed and stressed, but at the same time, very interested. The efforts succeeded and the old lady regained consciousness.

      The next day, she told me: I want to tell you something because you’re young and more open minded than the old ones. I saw everything the doctors were doing to reanimate me. I was flying over my body, and I saw your preoccupation. Then, I entered a tunnel of light, and all of my life passed before my eyes in a jiffy. Then I saw my deceased parents, aunts, uncles, friends, who received me and told me: you have to go back, it’s not still your time.

      I didn’t want to, because I felt (that) the greatest love was receiving me; I felt loved, I felt joyful and peaceful. Then, suddenly, I felt a terrible pain in my chest and opened my eyes. I was very impressed, but the physiological explanation was that her brain was receiving oxygen from the ventilator, and there was some circulation due to the cardiac compression she was given between the defibrillator shocks.

      Later I heard very similar stories many times Now I’m convinced there’s some kind of afterlife, that our consciousness doesn’t die. Only our bodies do. ”

      So that’s another cardiologist who’s had first hand experience of this phenomenon and recognises it for what it suggests.

      But if you work in an academic institution not a hospital (in the west for the most part anyway) a university for instance and you carry out research of some sort, you are forbidden to invoke anything which could be defined as supernatural or deviating from the accepted doctrine of scientific materialist reductionism.

      If you were to say (for instance) that NDE’s indicate that mind is separate from the brain, you will be ostracised and when you apply for your next grant
      (to carry on your research), you won’t get it. That’s the way it is currently, certainly in the UK (in the US it’s changing slowly)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes thanks for elaborating, that’s what i was getting at. I guess if they get fired for supporting non materialist views, they can sue the institution. But getting denied for funding, there’s no law to protect them against that. And ofc the fundies happily grant any money to behead rats just to debunk NDEs. I’m sure if those most vocal materialists controlled the law, they would be hunting down the non materialists and do other unspeakable things. I know what they’re like, if anyone think otherwise you really should delve into the literature more, they are not nice people.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. So something pretty surreal is that back in 1988 a medical dr wrote a book on many of these concepts called vibrational medicine
    it’s really forward-thinking in a lot of ways talking about how we humans have a vibrational body that transcends the human body
    he mentions NDEs and OBEs while using scientific explanations (how they are real)
    his hope was that this new mentality could usher in a new paradigm of medicine and science that would include spiritual concepts
    well if you noticed these concepts have all but vanished in mainstream science
    not saying it’s gone but it’s more of the underdog rebellious mindset
    it’s strange how these concepts were thought of way back in 1988 then they were
    hidden and now they are being rediscovered
    I think this new paradigm of nonmaterialistic thinking may never happen
    here’s an interview with Richard Gerber

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Werner Bartl on said:

    I read Dr.Sam Parnia’s book, which was available in German in 2015, and is now pretty much the same opinion as a few years ago that consciousness does not only depend on the brain, although the first data from Aware 2 is now available stand


  29. Does anyone have access to this new article by Parnia?

    Parnia, Sam1,,2; Keshavarz, Tara2; Mc Mullin, Meghan2Author Information
    Critical Care Medicine: January 2020 – Volume 48 – Issue 1 – p 187
    doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000619992.59938.42


  30. Bartl Werner on said:

    tried to buy the item but didn’t work


  31. Bartl Werner on said:

    the article would be very interesting, but I can’t buy it, it doesn’t work


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