Lucid Dying Zoom Discussion – lots of talk…
Due to North America changing their clocks a couple of weeks ahead of the UK, I joined the Lucid Dying Zoom discussion an hour late. I had no excuse, I spent 7 years living in Canada, so knew this happened. Anyway, when I did join I felt that the discussion was lacking in new substance and very philosophical, with the occasional comment around science. I do think Sam Parnia was maybe catching up on emails by the looks of him during the segments I watched, but he did make a couple of very relevant contributions.
1. If you go by NDE accounts, then the soul is not some nebulous entity that gets absorbed back into a greater universal consciousness, but is an individual entity, that has a sense of self.
2. He will be publishing data soon that goes some way to confirming the findings of the recent case report of the patient who died while connected to EEG, and showed activity just before and just after death. As usual, he was somewhat enigmatic in his comments, and difficult to read. Also, his sound was not brilliant, so it will be good to listen to that again when the video is uploaded later this week.
Thankfully there were other members of this group who did turn up on time, and I thank Mery for his post which summarises the majority of the discussions in excellent detail below:
My first impression was disappointment mixed with “wow I am really enjoying this talk”. By disappointment I mean that the presenting text for the talk in the Dana foundation web (and Parnia Lab I believe) stated that they would be discussing new discoveries in this field important for society etc…thus I thought that they would be presenting some new data, or results from psychedelic studies…I was surprised when after more than 1h they were leaning towards consciousness being something else, not produced by the brain, etc and my impression was “ok, this has become a philosophy room against materialism”.
I thought that by including a researcher in the psychedelic field they had turned into materialism and that didn’t make sense since few months ago Parnia denied the drug-psychedelic states as something similar to NDEs (his Essay, the new classification of REDs…). Then it turned out that this researcher sounded more into dualism (or whatever) and he even said that the neurotransmitters involved didn’t matter (I was like what…?).
Since Donald Hoffman was invited I thought that he would be defending consciousness being fundamental, but then a neurologist was there…and she didn’t position herself, and was respectful on the view of dualism of others… somebody in the talk (I can’t remember who It was) even stated that the brain might be a transmitter, and what I perceived is that all of them agreed.
I was expecting a debate at least. Or a presentation of new findings and a dissertation over them…so a bit disappointed in that way, BUT I really enjoyed their insights and was a beautiful talk.
So, and I haven’t seen the part of the EEG comment on the straw man article, I agree with Charlie, one respected researcher doesn’t write an Essay defending survival, doesn’t spend 2 hours publicly defending the brain as a transmitter, and consciousness being fundamental/not produced by the brain whatever… And then rescinding everything he said with a very vague comment.
Parnia Lab has so far only spoke of the famous alpha rithms, and I am sure as Charlie said he has been asked for weeks about his opinion and of course he has to provide an answer.
So I think we are just where we were a week ago: he seems to be more prone to the immaterial consciousness (like the idea defended in his Essay) but then a wild strange comment appears!