AwareofAware

Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

New Era For Parnia?

Thanks to Z for picking up on the new website for the “Parnia Lab”. The old link to his research projects had become a very bland summary of the medical aspects of his research, and I couldn’t find the new one…Z to the rescue again! Dr Parnia obviously has a lot of clout at NYU to have a lab named after himself before he retires, gets a chair or dies! Fair play to him, he deserves it. He is a true pioneer. It may also be something to do with the research grants his work attracts (that’s how it usually works).

Link to Parnia Lab website

The site is very slick, and well worth a visit. The site’s primary focus is on the important research that his group are conducting in resuscitation medicine, and it is clear that he is establishing himself as world leader in this area due to his focus on prolonging the viability of brain cells during CA so that when patients achieve ROSC, they won’t be impaired.

His discussions of NDEs are little more scientific and somewhat less philosophical in their tone, but nonetheless he does say this:

However, in a true cardiac arrest, when there is no heartbeat, even with CPR there is insufficient blood flow to the brain (around 20 percent) to meet the needs of brain cells. Consequently, seconds after cardiac arrest, brain function ceases as evidenced by brain stem reflexes and electrical activity in the brain. People also immediately lose any visible signs of consciousness and are deemed unconscious by all available clinical assessments.

However, cognitive activity and conscious awareness have been reported by 10 to 20 percent of people from the period of true cardiac arrest. Studies of cardiac arrest survivors’ experiences of awareness during a time when the brain is not functioning support the idea that—as with many other conditions that biologically mimic death, such as deep hypothermic circulatory arrest—even when people lose conscious awareness of the outside world and do not feel pain or discomfort, the entity of the human consciousness and mind may not become immediately annihilated once the heartbeat ceases.

The first paragraph does somewhat contradict the findings that he presented in his own poster presented at AHA last Fall in which it was suggested that they had recorded sufficient brain activity during CPR to potentially support conscious activity. This has been disputed by others here due to the type of brain waves, but the poster is quite explicit in stating this possibility.

He also mentions on the homepage how their new discoveries are providing insights into understanding the nature of consciousness that bridges the gap between science and philosophy (thanks for pointing this out Clay). The tone of this site is definitely more focused on the medical science than consciousness side of things. This can only help further establish his credentials as a serious scientist.

Anyway, it is good that he has own website now, and hopefully we will see more in the way of frequent updates. No doubt Z or someone else will get there first!

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85 thoughts on “New Era For Parnia?

  1. Eduardo Jorge Fulco on said:

    Sam Parnia points out that “even when performed under ‘optimal’ conditions, conventional CPR rarely circulates enough oxygen to the brain.

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  2. Haha. No bother. It was all on his Twitter feed haha

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  3. Interesting, I’m glad that Parnia is still open minded.

    Anyway as this might be interesting for your blog as well. There is a consciousness researcher: https://www.quora.com/profile/B-A-Rehl – he claims that he has solved consciousness (via. an AGI theory). I’m sceptical but his claims seem to impact an ‘afterlife’ and NDEs too: https://www.quora.com/Is-it-so-obvious-that-there-is-no-life-after-death – Life-after-death can be disproven using knowledge theory. So, I would say that it is pretty obvious that it doesn’t exist.

    He will publish his results early next year. (If he is not a con artist) – maybe one of the awareofaware guys (if interested) could discuss with him what his study (IF true) would imply for NDE.

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  4. Samwise on said:

    I have do not comment as much as I used to because I do not want to be negative. I hope that I am wrong but it seems that he starting to suggest that NDEs depend on and occur because of a higher amount of oxygen in the brain.

    “Furthermore, we are also testing the hypothesis that awareness during CPR reflects the quality of brain resuscitation”

    “our data led us to hypothesize that higher-quality resuscitation is associated with a higher level of conscious awareness during cardiac arrest and resuscitation”

    “evidence now suggests that if left alone, the cells of the brain die slowly over a period of many hours, even days after the heart stops and a person dies.”

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  5. Quote from Parnia “our data led us to hypothesize that higher-quality resuscitation is associated with a higher level of conscious awareness during cardiac arrest and resuscitation”

    He has to approach this study from a neutral position, Samwise. The possibility that higher quality resuscitation produces NDE’s must be eliminated. Simply because sceptics will INSIST it is eliminated.

    Could higher quality resuscitation truly explain veridical out of body experiences where the patient clearly observes what is going on around them, from a position out and above their physical body ?

    Think about that practically. Wouldn’t the patient have to effectively wake up during resuscitation, open their eyes and look around ?

    But then, wouldn’t they feel the excruciating pain from their ribs being broken etc ?Wouldn’t that be a terrible ordeal for them, just the opposite of what is commonly reported, calmness/peace?

    Also Parnia reiterated (in that second video) that during resuscitation, they can (still) only get 20% of the normal blood supply into the brain. And that is not enough to restore the brain reflexes (apparently).

    He also clarified the difference between true cardiac arrest (complete heart stoppage) and rare cases where the heart is still (apparently) partially functioning and consciousness seemed to be restored (by CPR), when in fact the heart never stopped in the first place.

    Second quote > “evidence now suggests that if left alone, the cells of the brain die slowly over a period of many hours, even days after the heart stops and a person dies.”

    As I understand it, this is nothing to do with conscious awareness during resuscitation and near death experiences. He’s talking about the potential viability of the cells in the brain and how long they can survive without permanent damage.

    The longer cells remain intact, the longer the resuscitation team (may) have to try to bring them back with all their faculties intact.

    To sum it up, from what Parnia has said in the second video, I can’t see how anyone could reasonably draw the conclusion that he now believes better oxygen supply to the brain is responsible for NDE’s.

    On the contrary, I still get the feeling (might be wrong of course) he strongly suspects that mind is a separate entity. Others may disagree, of course.

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    • David on said:

      Agree totally Tim. Same with complexity of hearing. People are demanding more than is possible from him. The same thing is going on with the UFO phenomenon . DOD admits real Phenomenon and it gets nitpicked because some want to deny and others want detail there is no evidence of . Check out Christopher Mellons Twitter .

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      • The research into NDE’s is accelerating David, and will go on for decades. I think what we can say is that for the majority of people who’ve had the experience, the question is already answered. Of course, that’s not going to settle it from science’s point of view, though.

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    • Samwise on said:

      I do not have enough information regarding the study or Sam Parnias thoughts to reasonably believe that I KNOW what the results or his thoughts are. So I do not draw any conclusions that I believe are true at this moment. I am merely presenting my FEELING.

      A higher quality brain resuscitation could mean more oxygen in the brain. Because he said that their data led them to hypothesize that higher-quality resuscitation is associated with a higher level of conscious awareness and that awareness during CPR reflects the quality of brain resuscitation, one could argue that he believes more oxygen in the brain is the reason for NDEs.

      If the cells are alive longer than people have previously believed then one could argue that NDEs and awareness could occur in the brain longer after death than previously believed. That would dismiss many NDE cases, like people drowning for more than 10 minutes. Those cases were seen as reliable because we believed that the person and cells had been dead for a long time.
      So less permanent damage could be seen as the reason for having NDEs.

      So my point is that because he did not use to focus on these things as much, my feeling is that he is getting more sceptical towards a non materialistic view but we can not draw a reasonable conclusion at this moment.

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      • @Samwise

        Samwise said >”If the cells are alive longer than people have previously believed then one could argue that NDEs and awareness could occur in the brain longer after death than previously believed.”

        Sorry, Samwise but that’s not correct. Parnia is not suggesting that brain cells after cardiac arrest (heart stoppage) may be able to produce consciousness or some kind of experience in the brain without blood flow.

        Samwise said >” That would dismiss many NDE cases, like people drowning for more than 10 minutes. Those cases were seen as reliable because we believed that the person and cells had been dead for a long time.
        So less permanent damage could be seen as the reason for having NDEs.

        No, that’s not right either. You appear to have misunderstood the basics of what Parnia is saying. The viability of the brain cells is a separate (additional) question relating to how long doctors may attempt to bring their patients back after cardiac arrest.

        Brain cells without blood flow (oxygen and glucose) cannot produce conscious experience. The cells may still be alive of course, but the nutrients necessary to enable them to work, are not there. This is basic science, nothing to do with what I believe BTW.

        When doctors pronounce someone dead, they don’t have to pronounce them dead on the basis that all the brain cells have died. The individual brain cells of someone who has been fatally injured in an accident, may still be viable but the components of the brain as a whole will never work again.

        I don’t want to get into an argument this, Samwise as if I know everything. I certainly don’t but what I’m telling you is factual and correct.

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      • Samwise on said:

        @Tim

        Tim said >”Sorry, Samwise but that’s not correct. Parnia is not suggesting that brain cells after cardiac arrest (heart stoppage) may be able to produce consciousness or some kind of experience in the brain without blood flow.”

        But I did not say that. I do not believe that he is suggesting anything at the moment. He has always presented several options and now he is more frequently talking about options that sceptics can use to argue in favour of a materialistic view point. If the cells are alive longer than people have previously believed then sceptics can argue that NDEs and awareness could occur in the brain longer after death than previously believed. That in itself does not mean that Parnia is suggesting anything or tell us anything about his thoughts but it does mean that the options for what he may suggest in the future have increased and that is why I have a bad feeling.

        Tim said >”No, that’s not right either. You appear to have misunderstood the basics of what Parnia is saying. The viability of the brain cells is a separate (additional) question relating to how long doctors may attempt to bring their patients back after cardiac arrest.”

        I hope that you are right. I must have missed the information you are regarding to. Do you have a source where it is made clear that the viability of the brain cells is a separate (additional) question?

        Tim said >”Brain cells without blood flow (oxygen and glucose) cannot produce conscious experience. The cells may still be alive of course, but the nutrients necessary to enable them to work, are not there. This is basic science, nothing to do with what I believe BTW.”

        This science is not well understood, there are many disagreements and the definition of death is not even clear. It is not clear that brain cells without blood flow can not produce conscious experience and that is one of the things that Parnia is trying to shed some light on. Before more light is shed, it is not only what you believe but also what I and all scientist believe.

        I don’t want to get into argument either so I will stop commenting here and I hope that you feel we it had a friendly conversation. Best of luck to you.

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  6. Eduardo Jorge Fulco on said:

    I agree with you, Tim. I use internet translators. I don’t understand English, I only speak Spanish, but I think maybe Parnia means that the better the quality of CPR, the better the chance of recovering the memory of the CVD, since there would be less damage or injury to the brain cells.

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    • Thanks, Eduardo ! I’m not sure if that’s right but don’t worry. Also please could you tell me what CVD is ?

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      • Eduardo Jorge Fulco on said:

        Tim, ECM en español=NDE in english…..CVD tradujo mal o escribí mal. Quise escribir ECM=NDE.

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      • Okay Eduardo, understood. Experiencia Cercana a la Muerte =Near death Experience.

        Eduardo said > “but I think maybe Parnia means that the better the quality of CPR, the better the chance of recovering the memory of the ECM, since there would be less damage or injury to the brain cells.”

        It may be the case, Eduardo but I’m not certain if Parnia has established such a correlation ? I think the only correlation so far concerning memory and the effect on memory of going through a cardiac arrest, is that the drugs the patients are given to sedate them may cause them to lose their memory of an NDE (they may or may not have had).

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    • @Samwise

      Samwise said >”If the cells are alive longer than people have previously believed then sceptics can argue that NDEs and awareness could occur in the brain longer after death than previously believed.

      Thanks for the reply, Samwise! Again I have to point out that this is not correct.
      After cardiac arrest, consciousness (according to accepted medical science) is lost immediately and within about 10-20 seconds, electrical activity in the brain disappears.

      Sceptics (as far as I know) don’t try to suggest that brain cells without blood flow can produce NDE’s. Who is saying that ? Our friend Max B has a theory about that of course but Max’s theory is not based on orthodox medicine, just as the notion of a separate mind is not based on orthodox medicine, either.

      Sceptics mainly propose that NDE’s are formed either just before cardiac arrest or just/sometime after, when the brain is coming back on line. And they postulate that the cause of this is either physiological or psychological or both combined together.

      Samwise said > ” This science is not well understood, there are many disagreements and the definition of death is not even clear. It is not clear that brain cells without blood flow can not produce conscious experience and that is one of the things that Parnia is trying to shed some light on.

      As far as I understand it, Samwise, the science of the physiology of the brain is well understood, if of course not completely. The science of consciousness (how it is produced) is still a complete mystery.

      To say that brain cells WITHOUT blood flow may be able to produce consciousness, is just as unscientific as suggesting that there may be a teapot orbiting Jupiter. It’s unfalsifiable.

      As regards the definition of death, Samwise, what people are really talking about here, is trying to ascertain at what precise point it is absolutely impossible to bring someone back after cardiac arrest.

      But it doesn’t mean they weren’t actually dead, just because doctors may be able to revive them with the latest techniques, whatever they may be.

      Before the 1960’s, everyone with a cardiac arrest stayed dead. There was no way to bring them back from death. Cardiac arrest = death. They may not stay dead if doctors are successful but nonetheless they are dead, albeit in what Parnia refers to as the first stage. And there should be no awareness of anything at this point.

      Samwise said >” I don’t want to get into argument either so I will stop commenting here and I hope that you feel we it had a friendly conversation. Best of luck to you.

      Thank you, Samwise. And there’s no need to stop commenting. Please don’t stop for me, this is Ben’s blog, not mine. Even if it was mine, I’d still welcome your comments but I’d still try to point out the facts to you as well.

      Lastly, I’m not an expert either, all I’ve done is study what the experts say.

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      • Max_B on said:

        Samwise! Again I have to point out that this is not correct.
        After cardiac arrest, consciousness (according to accepted medical science) is lost immediately and within about 10-20 seconds, electrical activity in the brain disappears.

        You called my name @Tim ! Lol…

        Also worthwhile pointing out that your medical description of what happens to the brain when energy starved… is what is supposed to happen when we don’t bother to resuscitate. Obviously AWARE is specifically concerned with AWAreness during REsuscitation. Let’s not forget the resuscitation part…

        And as regards my own ideas, I’m pretty disinterested in blood flow… I’m interested in the ENERGY still available to neurons…

        …is there enough energy available to a neuron to allow it to fire… I think we still need some degree of neuronal firing to be able to form a veridical Out of Body experience of our everyday world. The veridical OBE occasionally being produced by patterns of network firing that are entrained by intersecting electromagnetic fields in an energy starved brain… And not too much neuronal firing, otherwise the networks will not be vulnerable enough to become entrained by intersecting EM fields.

        Call it an energy sweet spot…

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  7. Eduardo Jorge Fulco on said:

    Tim remembers that Parnia towards 2014 at the end of Aware phase I stated that a higher proportion of people can have living experiences of death, referring to Ndes, but do not remember them due to brain damage or injury, or the effects of sedative drugs on memory circuits.

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  8. Eduardo Jorge Fulco on said:

    Tim, returning to the above, checking the statement given at the time, in October 2014, by the University of Southampton on the occasion of the completion of the first part of the study. It literally reads like this: A higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.

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    • Eduardo said >” A higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.”

      Yes, it may well be the case, Eduardo. The drugs that are given to patients (apparently) during and after cardiac arrest are known to wipe out memories.

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      • MsMi321 on said:

        hello I am very new here but have followed the blog for about a year now. I really enjoy your guys’s discourse.

        I would like to add a little something (I am currently studying medicine) and we just had anesthesiology. What we are taught is that the medication can effectively supres memories, causing some form of amnesia. However Patients under hypnosis or other methods did recall some things to a suprising degree. Teh race in anesthesiology is to make sure this is not the case. It may be possible, and its worth a try, to regress patients into their memory hypnotically, unless it has been tried of course.

        Alternatively the brain may simply be damaged and recall will become more difficult, or warped. I wouldnt be suprised at all if NDE experiences were simply universal for everyone, But only a few remember it due to extrenous factors.

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      • Apologies for the delay in approving you. Very interesting insight you shared there. What kind of memories did they recall under hypnosis?

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  9. Okay this may be an odd question for some but what reasons do we have to “believe” that there is something like an afterlife? I mean why should there be anything at all? Just because we don’t understand (yet) how and if the brain creates consciousness doesn’t mean that it isn’t. I just don’t see any reason thinking otherwise. But maybe I am just so skeptical that I am not a skeptic anymore and I’ve become a permanent doubter.. Anyways I would love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂

    P.S.: Sorry If I have made a lot of mistakes. My english is not the best.

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    • Krzysztof on said:

      Well for me,the question for after life is important, because if not then all my memories, skills, everything “i am” will be lost,and i can’t just image how this could be,is something beyond my thinking. You could live 5 year,20,or 1000, and in the end there will be nothing. In moral view, so any way you will die and this will be end, morality is void. You just to function like machine and nothing more. But remember this is my point of view.

      P.s:Like friend from above, sorry for my english;-)

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    • bippy123 on said:

      Max there is lots of evidence .
      How do you account for the peak in Darien NDE of Eddie cuomo who him and his parents thought was alive ???

      He said he saw her in heaven and she said it wasn’t his time to stay , that he had to go back , only for his parents to find out that his sister died in a car accident that happened at the time Eddie was unconscious and having his NDE ???

      I mean if you desperately want it to be not true then I guess you can doubt anything but is it reasonable to keep doubting ndes?

      I personally don’t believe so

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    • Max_B on said:

      You could just as well ask why people “believe” there is not something like an afterlife? I doubt anyone can say…

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  10. Great discussion, but everyone is missing what the AHA poster specifically stated…the EEG and oximetry data collected from a small number of patients during and as a result of CPR were sufficient to potentially support conscious activity. This was truly ground breaking. None of this was correlated (or not) with reports of consciousness discussed in the other poster, and they could have been data from people who died…in fact this is most likely given the majority died before being interviewed. They may forever remain curious artefacts, or they may be the foundations of measurable scientific evidence discounting the validity of NDEs if they correlate with reported, time stamped, conscious activity.

    The current state of the science is as follows:

    1. The brain can remain viable for longer than previously thought, especially if best practise CPR is deployed immediately and provides sufficient artificial circulation to provide nutrients to the cells so they do not begin the process of dying. This is (rightly) the primary focus of Parnia’s research. As Tim pointed out, the difference between remaining viable and being active are two completely different things. During CPR most patients do not have sufficient flow of oxygenated blood to support conscious activity, whether or not they remain viable for an extended period. Remaining viable just means that when ROSC occurs, the brain will function properly without damage.

    2. NDEs sometimes occur during CPR, and the new data potentially provides sceptics with some crumbs of hope since it suggests that in theory CPR may produce sufficient oxygenated blood to support conscious activity. However, the overwhelming majority of NDEs that have been reported would have been in circumstances outside of these rare instances, or even before CPR commenced…however, these reports are just “anecdotal” and ack scientific evidence.

    3. There may or may not be a smoking gun present in the auditory OBEs. The Parnia lab is being very coy about the details of these auditory reports for reasons which remain unknown.

    I suspect we will hear more later in the year. I would not be surprised to see a publication in a major journal before long, especially given the findings presented in the second poster.

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    • Oleg on said:

      No it was not (“sufficient to support conscious activity”) . Don’t mean to be just criticizing but here I see assumptions over assumptions.

      You don’t really know electrical activity preceding conscious activity of following, I mean no one really knows mind-brain relation. Period.

      So basically even given the fact they have seen in some percentage electrical activity in brain with ceased heart function means absolutely nothing unless you can explain mechanism of conscious appearance in a first place. Biological or physical or chemical etc.

      Previously someone hypothesized that the same percentage should correlate with NDE which is another very mistaken assumption.

      Bottom line of it is simple actually – if you get enough blood to “lighten up” the brain (or whatever that substance is) your lower lying reflexes (gouge, breathing, pupils etc) are already up. Patient can breath, reflexes are up and then he is conscious on one or another level. Could move or open eyes or just see “normal” dreams if he is medicated. Does it make sense?

      NDE is by so far not “normal” dreaming that happening in the state of total brain shut down that they are not even speculating (as you do) about conscious activity they are registering and NDE. We don’t see Parnia making this connection between two things exactly due to fact that conscious activity (at any even faintest level first would means reflexes are normalized), it is not happening, returning reflexes won’t go unnoticeably.

      Didn’t mean to be rude! 🙂 Just pointing out apparent disconnect – whatever activity of brain it is, patient is either conscious and they will see it one way or another or it is completely out. True NDE happening when they are out – dead, and this is why it is so puzzling. Again if you fully believe in materialistic basis of consciousness. When I said “true” I meant unmixed core features, not compiled version where some people are mixing memories, dreams from medications, just dreams and actually NDE.

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  11. This study really excites me though. Controlled conditions, with people possibly being told too look out for images etc beforehand when they are consented into the study. It will also be interesting to see if they have all the core elements of NDEs. Very very interesting, and hopefully data will emerge quite quickly due to the controlled nature of the study…except it will probably have been put on ice (forgive the pun) during COVID.

    https://med.nyu.edu/research/parnia-lab/research-studies/consciousness-awareness-cognitive-experiences-during-cardiac-arrest/conscious-awareness-during-deep-hypothermic-circulatory-arrest

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    • Very well explained, Ben ! Just to add, Parnia didn’t mention the (alpha) brainwaves detected during CPR in that second lecture which is still very recent. I do wonder why.

      As to hypothermic cardiac arrest and the potential to answer this “question” once and for all, I agree, it’s an excellent opportunity/possibility now he’s got the funding and the approval to do it.

      And once the equipment is set up in the operating room, you obviously won’t need anyone to come rushing in to attend the cardiac arrest (freeing up time). It’s a controlled “death” of course. Here is a the experience of a Frenchman who underwent a similar type of operation in 1981 but without the hypothermia (it wasn’t in use then)

      Mr. R. R, was 57 at the time of his experience (in 1981), and a director of a small sausage casing manufacturing company. He was, in professional terms a “boyaudier” (processor of the intestines of animals) and was supplying himself from the slaughterhouses of Lyon. He says he now has the sword of Damocles hanging over his head and wonders how this illustrious predecessor will end his life. Fortunately, he has not lost his sense of humour or his quick wit. Mr R.R., in 1981, had to undergo open heart surgery with extra-corporal circulation. He specifically states: “I had never seen an operating theatre before, and I came in and out oblivious to the theatre I was operated on.” This is a very important point.

      So I waited a long time, in the rotunda (type of hospital chair) and in the cold, seeing the horrible spectacle of the surgeries (other patients going by), waiting to be given the pre-operative stings (anesthetic). When I woke up (after the operation) in resuscitation, for two days I was unable to lift my eyelids, I could hardly see anything. It was after a few days that the memory (of the experience)came back to me:

      (During the operation) I made an instant exit from my body and found myself in a kind of anteroom of death. I see no other word for this space. I myself was an immaterial cloud, a pure spirit, a “thought” (form). I was happy and well, without the need to breathe in weightlessness, wanting nothing. And I was waiting for a decision.

      I then wondered where my body was and immediately found myself on the ceiling, seeing a dozen necks (of the surgeons and medics). There was my body, covered by sheets, hidden by “the necks”.

      My attention was drawn to an individual, sitting in a chair, looking bored. He was in front of a horizontal machine, watching the dials. I could see an arm with a wheel at the end, spinning. From the body, on the operating table, came a pipe that was going towards this machine.

      Another one (pipe) came out (from somewhere). I thought (to myself) “It looks like a parmentière!” The parmentière is an industrial machine used to peel potatoes. What bothers me is to think that there, even gone up in smoke (joke =become a spirit), evaporated (so to speak), I continued to think as a boyaudier! I hope we don’t have to keep working on the other side!

      Then I went back to my tunnel-antechamber. No wall, nothing material, just a passage into another dimension. There were two exits from this tunnel; one to the material world below, the other to another dimension, something else, from which no one ever came back.

      This belongs to the (realms of) unimaginable for those who have not experienced it. I was thrown into an incredible situation, finally experienced in a totally passive way. Nothing depended on me and nothing worried me. The decision was being made (for me).

      It was a matter of unyielding will, no point in haggling! Who made the decision? I’ll know when I’m dead. Was my file not (full) up to date? I feel like I’ve been told to wait a little more! I had to go back and I wasn’t happy at all that I had to start breathing again!

      I had a total of 17 operations and only one experience like that during the open heart intervention. I think that happened at the time of unplugging and reconnecting the machine.

      What is terrible is to want to talk about it with doctors, anaesthetists. I bonded with one of them, but he shut me down: (you were) drugged (he said), even the air you breathed is not natural! That is crazy ! I didn’t insist (on pursuing it) because I thought, one of those mornings, they’re going to send me to see the psychiatrist!

      I had (also) talked about what I had seen to a nurse who had some sympathy. But she denied everything, telling me that all these machines are vertical, like computers. On a television show on Antenne 2, that I watched: (I saw ) the machine was indeed vertical.

      But then, two or three years ago, Lyon’s regional television broadcast a programme showing their first heart-lung machine. And what did I see? The same machine as mine, the “parmentière”, the horizontal! I have inquired; at the time there was only one block equipped with this one. The nurse might not have known this.

      That day was very important to me. I was finally holding a bone (of evidence). I had proof that I had not dreamed it. Now, the doctor who still pats my cheek condescendingly, telling me it was the drugs….well I won’t let him do it. I feel like I’m going to get angry.

      There is an evolution. Today the same people say, “Oh yes, we’re talking about it!” They are interested, but reluctant. They admit something’s going on, but don’t look for the details. They don’t thoroughly investigate the subject and something is escaping them. I think it will take them a long time

      My values have changed, the values I would have fought for no longer matter. Before, I was too involved in business. Earning a crust is not life. However, it is a necessity, and it prevents you from thinking too much. True values are trying to get to know each other. If we understood (each other better), we could help more and more troubled people.

      I was raised in the Catholic religion, but there was nothing religious in the NDE. I am no longer afraid of death. We continue in another form, totally inconceivable (from a human point of view). As for what happens next, I don’t think it’s permitted for anyone or for any “church” to know.

      You have to make the trip to the other side to know. And I don’t see why on the other side we would come to gesticulate, to draw attention to what is happening there! It has nothing to do with this.

      It would be like a fish living at the bottom of the sea talking about what’s going on at the top of the Himalayas! And again, there, it’s material on both sides!

      While the difference is incredible. There, all of a sudden, time no longer counts, it is no longer a measure. Gravity no longer exists. “Thought ” is an engine that moves you. That’s crazy!

      After that, that’s all we can think about. It is an experience after which one can no longer escape this certainty: death is not a total end. The soul is something that is in us and does not die. Like the ray of light that continues its way into space, even if its source is extinguished…

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  12. I sometimes think we look at these things from a limited number of philosophical stances, namely materialism, idealism or dualism, where there could be a large number of overlap and grey areas between them all.

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  13. https://thetimeshub.in/scientists-have-found-what-senses-are-failing-in-humans-after-cardiac-arrest/19747/

    Of possible interest which could be in relation to the Abstracts, Dr. Parnia published last year

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    • Hi Tom. They are referring to that study and drawing inferences that suit their own perspective since we do not know all about the circumstances around the patients who heard things…were the headphones in both ears and playing sounds, for instance. Until we know that it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the reports of hearing things…either way.

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      • Yeah, I was skeptical reading it especially considering what we don’t

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      • Ben said >”That is a great read, and interesting that the experience was similar to NDEs.

        Yes, thanks Ben. In this case (Mr R. R) would have been under general anaesthesia. There’s been a lot of misunderstandings about the effectiveness of General anaesthesia to do it’s job. Many sceptics (incorrectly) seem to think it’s not much different from being in a deep sleep.

        In fact it is (apparently) nothing less than being in a drug induced coma, where brainwaves are ultimately flattened.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3162622/

        “General anaesthesia is, in fact, a reversible drug-induced coma. Nevertheless, anaesthesiologists refer to it as “sleep” to avoid disquieting patients.”

        “As this state of general anaesthesia deepens, the time between the periods of alpha activity lengthens, and the amplitudes of the alpha and beta activity decrease. Surgery is usually performed during phases 2 and 3.

        In phase 4, the most profound state of general anaesthesia, the EEG is isoelectric (completely flat). An isoelectric EEG may be purposely induced by the administration of a barbiturate or propofol to protect the brain during neurosurgery24 or to stop generalized seizures”

        During hypothermic standstill, the brain is without any activity whatsoever, not even one burst in nine parts of suppression. Nothing (Apparently) So there cannot even be any suggestion of anaesthesia awareness, which should close off once and for all, sceptical shenanigans.

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    • Hi, Tom. I looked at that link. The text is mostly incomprehensible, as well as being nonsensical. No disrespect to yourself, though.

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      • None taken, only thought it might be good food for thought that’s all. And I do agree that’s it’s biased and isn’t the best.

        Like

  14. Anton Efimov on said:

    Regarding what Tim and Samwise discussed, I would like to add that on the main page of Parnia Lab it says the following “…but we have made great strides toward a new understanding of consciousness—one that bridges medicine and philosophy and stands to profoundly impact our standard of care.”
    If we speculate that Parnia now inclines towards NDEs being solely the product of the brain and are simply correlated with higher oxygen levels, than it contradicts that the statement “new understanding of consciousness”. Consciousness resulting from a functioning brain supplied by oxygen is not new…
    Taking into account such minor details in his speech (like this one, or the one Ben mentioned in his post where “human entity of consciousness is not annihilated right when you die”, I wouldn’t say Parnia changed his opinion. I can’t say if he got anything of significant scientific value that has not been shown in previous studies, but I seriously doubt that Parnia believes that NDEs result from better oxygen levels. He also mentioned that he doesn’t like this theory in November 2019 during the infamous conference where he neglected mentioning all the abstracts that we keep discussing, which wasn’t that long ago.

    Like

  15. Anton Efimov on said:

    And expanding on my previous comment, if you go to the “In the media” tab on the website, there are articles where Parnia continues to state the same thing: consciousness persists at least for a short while. Would he continue referencing his old statements if he regarded them as now false?

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    • Anton said >”Would he continue referencing his old statements if he regarded them as now false?”

      No, I don’t believe he would. And with regard to shortage of O2 being significant,
      he’s already said that lower oxygen levels in themselves don’t produce NDE’s because patients with low O2 come into his emergency room all the time and don’t report seeing tunnels and lights etc.

      Like

      • oleg on said:

        I agree with both of ya. Anton and and Tim. Generally all this conversation about “some waives” in cardiac arrest, conscious experience (NDE) and “possible” correlation between those is mixing 3 separate topics – one – studying of register-able activity of brain after heart function is ceased (which could mean no blood supply OR little supply due to resuscitation and may result in better brain outcome after and they need to monitor it), second – actually NDE which is (to my opinion completely stand alone item) and statistical analysis (correlate or not between above), but without mechanism and understanding of nature of consciousness it is all rubbish speculations – it is like calculating probability of life in all galaxies without knowing how it is originating at all, makes no sense.

        I also think based on all Sam Parnia videos and publications he is clear about above. The fact that many people “want” him to prove or falsify (visual targets, sound, oxygen and etc) is little funny. Just assume for a second, ok, you have correlation low oxygen / true NDE then what? how do you know one causes another? why not both caused by third factor? it is going to be impossible to prove it one way or another unless you explain how oxygen is involved in producing consciousness by the brain in a first place. No mechanism – no conclusion. People comes with low oxygen – no NDE, people like Reynolds or other hypothermal cases – no oxygen, no brain activity, no waves – fully spectrum of NDE. Deal with it. lol.

        Or better one – after life… how can he prove it or disprove it?

        He is clearly stated in many public occasions and that is clearly continue to be true regardless of AWARE II or anything else… human consciousness is not annihilating after death (at least in those 10-20% – haha very lucky – cases), there is some ground to suspect this number is 100% while “lucky cases” just got lucky recalling. What happens long term (days) and how it is connected with not fully necrotic brain cells is staying irrelevant to the fact of consciousness survive immediate death.

        Not sure lol if it helps anyone, cause if brain is the radio what is the source of original waves? and what is the substance they are propagating within? and what does it mean “life after death”?

        On a personal note – yea, I think it survives at least initially, I cannot be convinced 100% but refusing this possibility with quite solid ground of evidences coupled by little to none knowledge what is consciousness and generally very little (as it turns out last couple decades) knowledge of what life is (chemically), so refusing this possibility would be sort of not very clever. So then this is not a question, the question is what the heck does it mean?

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      • bippy123 on said:

        Oleg , you said that consciousness survives physical death initially and you have no way to know if it survives after that .

        Have you ever looked at peak in Darien ndes ???
        If so then what do you think of someone seeing a loved one thought to be alive in their NDE but that had actually died ?

        If so then what do you think when the nder sees his other loved ones who had been dead for 10-20 years with their loved one that just died recently ?

        Don’t you think that these ndes add weight to the belief that consciousness is immortal or at least survives many years more then Parnia said ?

        Here is a list of peak in Darien ndes
        Tell me what you think ?

        Click to access Greyson2010.pdf

        Like

  16. So I agree with the above.
    He stands by this idea and the further he goes into his findings his statements of “new idea of conciousness” or “consciousness continues” remain consistent with his previous statements
    now he says that consciousness exists at least for a short while because he can not speculate beyond that…he does know that it lasts longer than death
    and he previously shot down the skeptical arguments in the conference.
    I’ve actually worked on my own theory of why I believe that consciousness continues
    I think it has to do with the waveforms of the universe.
    https://www.academia.edu/43020672/The_Waveform_of_Consciousness

    Like

  17. David on said:

    Just want to say. I almost always agree with Tim so not much to add .But there is an interview with Leslie Kean who has also done a book on Parnia and broke the UF O story inn the NYT.
    Should Scientists Take UFOs and Ghosts More Seriously ?
    Scientific American Blogs.
    She really does well.
    If you look up People Get Ready @hollywoodufos on Twitter he has a link.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. there’s more to reality than we realize

    Like

  19. Oleg on said:

    To Bippy123

    Look, I don’t mean to be smartest person on planet Earth, I just highlighted – lots and lots of fellas are totally focused on proving/disproving NDE or expecting to have life after life and so on… this (to my understanding) is simplification, a naive – if you like – approach to explain phenomena that is not explainable by modern science. You see, you are saying “many years more” but what does it mean many years in terms of science? People that report NDE report also timeless, there is not proper analog of it in human language… so basically what I am trying to say that using our ordinary day to day language (and what is more important – understanding) about things is not sufficient. What is that immortal soul that you are talking about? What is it made of? And why… all that causing more and more questions and I am not a philosopher. I don’t know.

    What I do know though that a) there is phenomena that we cannot explain b) it assumes and suggest ability for conscious being like ourselves to continue thinking after biological death threshold c) we cannot really measure time in this state or beyond our universe d) origin of life, evolution and subsequently consciousness appearance staying a total mystery. D – seems to me the most underestimated topic in conversation of NDE, unless you understand consciousness there will not be any understanding of NDE, those two things comes together. And all the medicine and science around it is unresolvable until then.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Paul Battista on said:

    What about veridical perception ?

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  21. Oleg on said:

    Not sure who this question was addressed to but as we all know “perception is a reality” which is in it turns – false in phycology.

    The most amazing fact is that vast majority of modern science – neuroscience, biology (less chemistry), physics and many more is acting and theorizing based on Darwin’s theory and natural selection as mechanism to create all features of life and biology, but this perception is apparently handicapped to explain complexity we see (chemists and particular biochemists are less involved in this bs exactly due to the matter – they see it is impossible to shape our organelles just by using random mutation couple by natural selection). It simply doesn’t work and there is no molecular mechanism that explain where information (that is coded in DNA) is coming from, how extremely complex structures like our eyes are forming… where the heck those patches of “special skin” appeared from and then have been selected and slowly mutated (randomly – lol) and finally let you and me to precept the reality. Which is false (again) according to physiology and some neuroscientists.

    People in NDE states observe actual events, which directly contradict any hallucinations theories, then they also mixed with something that we are not able to percept normally with our biological eyes (light that doesn’t hurt eyes – lol you don’t have eyes in that state, nothing to hurt 🙂 – and then feelings and emotions that are existing with no biology functions: love, pleasure, happiness, hope…

    So basically veridical perception is the feature of NDE that clearly stunning for everyone… which again kind of indicative toward illusory of reality. No one understand it, but we don’t have any even remote theory allowing to learn anything without biological functions…

    I have listen numerous speculations on how it is might be happening – from half opened eyes to getting information from nurses – all that is bs, again if look into the core of biology (see above) we may find that generally we have no clue where information is coming from. Just no clue. Clueless. All of us 🙂

    Like

    • Well said Oleg!

      Like

    • Nice comment Olga..you may like my book, DNA: the elephant in the lab. (hint, Ben is not my real name). I am Ph.D. chemist by training and worked on the molecules of DNA and proteins, and there is no way that the DNA code appeared through a natural process…that is a ludicrous fanatsy!

      Like

    • Max_B on said:

      True Oleg… in general I look towards Physics, for better stories, which I can use to join together my observations. Hopefully science achieves some new generalizations of our old stories, which can give us better stories to string together our observations, better at least than we have today. And perhaps these new stories will have a wider impact… affecting biology, memory, and even some currently anomalous human experiences. Unfortunately, until we find some better stories, we are stuck with the old stories 😦

      Like

  22. By the way; Has anyone from you an idea what happend to Chad? I miss his comments on several posts here.

    Like

  23. David on said:

    😢 Chad asked serious questions. I was upset by some here but it was not from him. There is a US news story today. Actor Gary Busey reported an ADE or NDE .
    Not in the controlled situation of Dr. Parnia but he did say it was transformative.

    Like

  24. If anyone is interested I found some new input on NDEs from Neuroscientist Christof Koch and counter arguments in a couple of articles if anyone’s looking for something new…
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/05/neuroscience-cant-dismiss-near-death-experiences/

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-near-death-experiences-reveal-about-the-brain/

    Like

    • Thanks Tom. I’m not sure they say anything new though. Feel free to share what your thoughts on these articles are. The scientific American one is just overlaying a non-believing worldview onto the observations, it does not provide genuine scientific explanation.

      Like

      • I didn’t find anything new to the ongoing discussion but found it interesting nonetheless.

        Like

  25. Matt on said:

    Hi there,
    I’m not sure if this has any implications or if it’s even useful to the discussions being had here, but I was forwarded this link recently about what anesthetics do specifically to wipe conscious perception:
    https://neurosciencenews.com/anesthesia-consciousness-16471/

    I didn’t do any research past reading the article so I have to apologize if it’s complete bunk, but I figured any information that’s related is useful.

    Thanks again and looking forward to hearing anyone’s thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had an operation last year. It is a very peculiar experience. Unlike dreams when you have memories from sleeping, you have zero recollection of anything. You go from point A to point B in time with nothing at all between. From a philosophical perspective your conscious ceases to exist. This therefore provides evidence that the brain is producing consciousness. I struggle to interpret this particular fact any differently.

      Like

      • Well just because you cant remember any concsious experience doesn’t mean that you didn’t had any 🙂

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      • True, but playing devils advocate why is it that some people have recollections in NDEs but no one has them during anaesthetic?

        Like

      • damior on said:

        I had an intriguing experience many years ago, providing me some personal evidence, that it is at least possible to have consciousness without memory / beeing conscious during anesthesia without any memory left.

        There was a party and I had one over the eight. In the middle of the night and in the middle of a discussion with a friend, I suddenly thought “wait..what happened the last few hours?” I came to realize that I had absolutely no memory and “lost” about 2-3 hours. As things turned out, I have had some vivid discussions, made some notes and fotos on my mobile and so on. In short, I have been conscious..propably.

        Sure, that is no proof for any hypothesis. But I am really open to the idea that I can be conscious without memory. Anyone knows “the Silence” in Dr. WHO? 🙂

        Like

      • Someone may well have spiked your drink with Rohipnol or something like that.

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      • damior on said:

        I don’t think so. That was just the effect of too much alcohol.

        Like

      • Ben said >”True, but playing devils advocate why is it that some people have recollections in NDEs but no one has them during anaesthetic?”

        There’s hundreds of cases of OBE/NDE during general anaesthetic, Ben.

        Like

  26. I believe some people do report NDEs during or around general anesthesia

    Like

    • The new work on anesthesia could, and I say could, help with the relationship of the mind and brain. By showing changes in the lipid structers, it’s shown that patients have a hard time remembering for the time they’re under. This could be further evidence of a filter/ mediatior relationship between the brain and mind since messing with the Brain has an effect on consciousness and other neurological processes. This would be consistent with existing evidence and the possibility of the mind being an independent ‘entity’.

      Like

      • Max_B on said:

        In that paper, they are still only talking about disrupting classical brain structures… the brain is good for storing access to classical information, and associations/weighting… just like an everyday notebook is used for recording written notes. We need a classical channel, I know of no other way to move access to information forwards in time, so that it can be usefully re-accessed in the future, unless the access is stored as spatial and temporal patterns (the classical channel).

        But the experience itself is not stored in the notebook. The notebook only stores a classical spacetime pattern which allows access to an experience. I would say, that the patterns recorded in the notebook are a classical channel. The classical channel appears to be necessary to access a non-classical channel that does the heavy processing of experience.

        At least that seems to be the requirements for recent experiments using quantum information (encryption, teleportation etc) which uses quantum entanglement to send information, which is only accessible by using a classical channel. It’s also related to work from Maldacena showing that entanglement of particles, is mathematically equivalent to a wormhole connecting these particles. We know from quantum mechanics, that no particle interaction is ever forgotten, no matter how far away it is in space-time.

        So classical brain structures seem to be little more than an advanced notebook. I would say that some other as yet undiscovered mechanism within the brain seems to to operate non-classically… allowing humongous non-classical processing to take place, and it is this which generates our experiences.

        Two general processes, not one… a classical channel, and a non-classical channel.

        Like

  27. David on said:

    They are sloppy on terms because it really doesn’t explain consciousness. It explains what anesthesia does. It might be useful for the binding problem.

    Like

    • If by the “binding” problem, you mean the binding of the conscious to the host’s physical brain, then that is my explanation for why NDEs are rarely reported with anaesthesia and would be my argument against The lack of conscious memory being relevant evidence at all. In general NDEs only occur when the body is in the throws of death…real death like a CA, or simulated death as with cooling for surgery. During anaesthesia the conscious remains in the brain As the body is very much alive, and since the brain is generally incapable of receiving signals from nerves, it records nothing. In fact, I am sure there examples, but the specifics evade me now, but I seem to recall there being a number of NDEs where the patient was having an operation under anaesthesia and their hot stopped during the process and they had an NDE.

      Like

      • Max_B on said:

        That can’t be right, it’s common for NDE/OBE’s to be experienced on the operating table…

        “In our collection at the University of Virginia, 22% of our NDE cases occurred under anesthesia, and they include the same features as other NDEs, such as out-of-body experiences that involved watching medical personnel working on their body, an unusually bright or vivid light, meeting deceased persons, and, significantly, thoughts, memories, and sensations that were as clear or clearer than usual.”

        Greyson (2010) Implications of Near-Death Experiences for a Post materialist Psychology https://doi.apa.org/doi/10.1037/a0018548

        Like

      • bippy123 on said:

        Ben , doesn’t the orch OR hypothesis by penrose and hameroff help explain a possible binding process for consciousness to the brain ???

        Of consciousness is basically quantum info that is held in the microtubules and binded to the brain through quantum entanglement wouldn’t that explain it ??

        Hopefully science will start to take this possible connection more seriously in the coming years

        Like

  28. David on said:

    Yep Yep and yep.Stay safe. The global idiocracy has decided let’s open up in a pandemic.I am in one of the lower regions downstate Illinois but it’s everywhere.

    Like

    • Having looked at the demographic data for the UK, I have done a complete 180 on this. The virus is harmless to all but the old and frail. I am over 50 and male, but according to the data in the UK if I got COVID my chances of dying from it are less than 0.2%. Under 40 the risk is virtually non-existent. I’ve been wearing a mask and gloves whenever I get my groceries until now, but having seen the UK government data, I won’t be anymore.

      Like

      • Max_B on said:

        I’d wear a mask, just to protect everyone who is vulnerable. Indeed just to reduce the viruses ability to spread, whilst keeping a countries economy fully operational.

        On average people are asymptomatic for 5 days following exposure. A German study shows that people can be infectious in just 2-3 hours after exposure, as the virus likes to reproduce in the upper airways. That’s 5 days of spreading the damn thing, without any symptoms, and with the virus theoretically able to infect a new host every 2-3 hours. This is one of the reasons the Germans suggest that it spreads so quickly.

        It’s quite different from SARS, which needed to get into the lower lungs to start shedding lots of virus, hence it took a lot longer for people to become infectious with SARS, by which time they were already showing symptoms.

        Why would any country trash their economy, for the sake of wearing a 3p mask as ‘source control’, to catch ones respiratory fluids. The amount of money that has been created to boost countries money supply, and keep a countries economy functional is pretty mad, considering how small a proportion of this money would have been required to massively ramp up domestic mask production. The UK is estimated to have already spent over 100 billion.

        The west has dealt with this thing soooo badly… the economic fall out has barely begun.

        Like

      • Here is a recent (short) documentary on the current state and aftermath of the situation in Parnia’s hospital in New York. Some very sobering commentary from several doctors and nurse on the front line including Parnia.

        Apologies if it’s already been posted.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just find Parnia so awesome when he talks. So human and so professional!

        Like

  29. David on said:

    I am wearing masks too Max. It seems hard to catch from surfaces.
    Here is a weird on for you . I talked to an old friend. He had a serious fall a subdural hematoma. He know speaks fluent Romanian having never studied the language.

    Like

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