AwareofAware

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

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!

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124 thoughts on “Lucid Dying Zoom Discussion – lots of talk…

  1. Dario on said:

    aware II is about to end? and will there be aware III?

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    • @Dario…there are a number of different ongoing studies. I am not sure AWARE II will end just yet either since they haven’t reached their recruitment goals. The study that is by far the most interesting, but has no name yet, is the one that looks at consciousness during hypothermic surgery.

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  2. Michael on said:

    Yep. Your number 2 item is what is really irritating me. Parnia answered that question very materialistically. If I remember correctly, he said that they had findings in his own study that backed up the straw man study, he said that his past enigmatic comment of “there is disinhibition of certain areas that helps give humans insights into other dimensions of reality” meant that deeper brain regions were communicating to give this experience (not that consciousness was leaving), and he said that these gamma readings could account for multiple parts of the lucid experiences many people have in relation to death as opposed to strictly a “life review.” I really have no idea what to think anymore.

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    • Charlie on said:

      I think it’s important to keep in mind the practical implications versus philosophical. If he thinks “deep brain” stimulation is associated with lucidity, not a life review, it could revolutionize understanding and treatments for some neurological disorders, i.e. could we harness that activity for patients struggling with lucidity?
      Again I think we should read his interpretation based on the totality of his statements. He sure seems to lean toward a “fundamental” consciousness, even in light of his findings. If he comes out later with a 180 degree change, well then his entire credibility is in question based on his responses and actions for the past months while he possessed conflicting data.
      I really have no dog in this fight but classify myself as an optimist. That said, thus far all Dr. Parnia is acknowledging is that certain brain waves (such as the straw man) may be present shortly after blood flow to the brain stops. Can the brain activity be linked to lucidity? Maybe? If so, that could be huge for understanding the brain and disease.
      But why do the waves occur? And do they “explain” the metaphysical aspects of REDs? Dr. Parnia is not acting like someone with an answer. Rather, he is talking like someone with a (in my opinion healthy) humility for the unknown/unknowable.
      Aware 2 will not provide concrete answers. It will likely show brainwaves which skeptics will latch into (ahem the straw man study). Yet the man who knows the most about it thus far is almost doubling down on non-physicalism, with a healthy dose of practical medicine. That should suggest he has no purely physical answer.

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    • Michael, can you have both but for different circumstances? So insight via disinhibition meaning the brain is more a partial receiver in this state – a receiver of information from “outside” the brain. As said, consciousness is not leaving. So maybe something is “coming in”? The mind is enabled to kind of reach out?

      This is distinct from going much further when the brain actually is shut down during CA and a full blown NDE is experienced with paranormal features. Certainly Parnia many times has said people are getting information they shouldn’t be able to get. Though the word paranormal isn’t used as it’s rather loaded.

      So re the first, when Parnia said “there is disinhibition of certain areas that helps give humans insights into other dimensions of reality” does that also mean something as extraordinary? And should one be surprised or worried he has results that back up the straw man study?
      This goes back to something I said a little back to what David Bohm suggested – that certain insight (when people are normally alive!) could be from something external. A kind of ocean of consciousness or the like.

      Of course, the straw man paper doesn’t touch anything like this. One thing I noticed was this paper references the Facco and Agrillo paper of 2012 that really challenges accepted materialist dogma (“Near-death experiences between science and prejudice” – also in Frontiers) but they don’t talk about that at all but to do with “memory replay” and “oscillatory activity”. Greyson is mentioned once in a reply to Mobbs and Watt. Nothing by Parnia.
      I remember reading this 2012 paper when it came out but still 10 years on there seems to be two camps with the straw man paper not dealing with the non-materialist camp at all. Ships still passing in the night.

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      • Michael on said:

        Alan,

        That is what I thought Parnia meant when he used the “disinhibition” quote in the straw man article and the subsequent Instagram post. Like you explained above, I thought he was alluding to the brain being a type of “receiver.” However, in the recent zoom conference he explained it differently. If I remember correctly, he said something along the lines of this disinhibition being more like areas of the brain that normally are not able to communicate with each other become more connected as the brain shuts down instead of the receiver analogy I had thought he was alluding too… I will need to rewatch once uploaded to YouTube.

        You are correct though, this still doesn’t address the more “paranormal” aspects of the NDE, and up until his comment on the straw man case report Parnia had been sounding quite un-materialistic throughout the two hour zoom conference. All of the panelists were. It’s what made the comment so jarring. It was like a weird 180 degree flip from his stance the entire conference and it took place at the very end of the conference and was in reference to a case report that was the main reason many people were watching the conference.

        As far as being surprised or worried that he has evidence to support the straw man study, I don’t really know. On one hand I am a bit worried because it could be some evidence that the RED is of neurophysiological causation as opposed to something non physical. But, on the other hand, as Mery and Charlie have stated, Parnia is still using a lot of non-physical language. Plus, the Aware II study has been going on for years. I’m sure a chunk of his evidence supporting the straw man study was found awhile back yet Parnia still submitted an entire essay quite literally publicly advocating full blown life after death to the Bigelow Contest in November 2021. I don’t think he would have done that if he had materialistic notions.

        Your last point about the straw man study not dealing with the non materialist camp at all is a very important point and I think needs to be discussed. It’s something that has happened with every materialistic explanation of the near death experience to date. Basically, an article will pop up saying that the near death experience has been explained physiologically because of (for example) deterioration of the retina. The scientists involved will explain that as the retina cells begin to shut down, the visual field will deteriorate from the outside in and that explains the tunnel so many people see. The problem is these same scientists have not really jumped into the full phenomenology of the near death experience. If they had then they would know that the tunnel perceived in near death experiences is not a fading of the visual field but instead of a structured tunnel. They would also realize that the tunnel is only one part of the near death experience. Their hypothesis does nothing to address the other aspects of the near death experience like life reviews, OBE’s, feelings of immense love and peace, meaningful encounters with deceased relatives, etc…

        It’s the same with the straw man study. The media, and social media posts from Zemmar himself, are very bold in claiming that this one case report goes the distance in explaining near death experiences physiologically. However it really doesn’t. Just yesterday Vice magazine posted an in depth article diving into this. The article featured neuroscientist Loretta Norton of Kings University College, Ontario, and Critical Care Doctor Lakhmir Chawla who BOTH conducted similar studies in 2009 and 2017 that had very similar findings and a lot more patients yet didn’t receive the same media frenzy. Chawla even found gamma waves. Both scientists were not too happy with the media explosion of this latest straw man finding. Chawla pointed out that comparing gamma wave findings to the life review found in near death experiences is a huge stretch. We all experience these same gamma waves every day of our waking lives yet that doesn’t mean we are having life changing full life reviews. It’s such blatant speculation. Not to mention there are responses from fifty year near death experience researcher Dr. Bruce Greyson, and researcher Titus Rivas who both delve into the flaws in this straw man report as well.

        Which is why I am quite frankly irritated at the Parnia Lab for exploiting this. This adds confusion and they pointed everyone to this Lucid Dying Zoom conference to gain clarity on this and they didn’t provide it even when the question was directly posed! If this is truly groundbreaking findings in relation to near death experience research we deserve to know why.

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  3. Eduardo on said:

    It is striking that Parnia gives so much importance to the case of the 87-year-old epileptic man, when the same authors of this study present 6 reasons that could also be the cause of these gamma waves.

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    • It is peculiar. I have no idea what to make of his stance on this and whether he is going to publish something separately soon that is related to this case, or whether it will be in the publication this fall.

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    • Michael, thanks for reply. A few points. Re what you said about Zemmar and the media, in the straw man paper they did also say “Subjective descriptions of this phenomenon are described as intense and surreal and include a panoramic life review with memory recalls, transcendental and out-of-body experiences with dreaming, hallucinations and a meditative state … The neurophysiological signature of this phenomenon is unclear.” When I read this again I see this as a strong scientific statement of basically *not knowing*, since each word in a published peer-reviewed paper means something. I realize now they (the authors) all haven’t a clue how NDEs are generated so I was surprised if it seems Zemmar is being overconfident in the media posts.

      Wrt disinhibition, OK, I’ll be listening too when it comes on YouTube. It seems from what you say he may be holding two positions at the same time as I believe he spoke of the receiver view in his book Erasing Death, or has done before. The “insights into other dimensions of reality” – I’d really like to know what he meant by that! – seems really key.
      But I think this is related … I went to a Society for Psychical Research talk by Prof. David Luke of Greenwich Uni. a few years ago who’s been massively studying non-ordinary states using, e.g. DMT. He co-edited DMT Entity Encounters. Bluntly, people can experience while alive, other incredible realms.
      Isn’t there then this weird position that the brain is active, connecting differently, not NDEing in any sense, yet accessing something and people bring back memories when they snap back and talk to some scientist-interviewer about the “realm” they visited?
      If an NDE scientist is open to NDEs as other realms *during NDEs* and knows also that the brain when not dead, under say DMT, can see even more or different realms, it’s a very fine balancing act to comment on! Not saying Parnia knows of this latter to be clear.

      Re the tunnel effect you mention, I saw that was also extensively dealt with in the 2012 paper along the lines you explained and no physical mechanism can explain it. And as you say, there’s all the rest to be explained physically. And ditto about the Bigelow Essay of course, Sam’s huge leap out of the materialist camp surely.

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  4. @Charlie, and others, great comments. However, when it comes to the “Straw man” paper, and the subsequent comments by one of the authors, they were specific in stating that their findings related to activity during an NDE/RED, and from memory, the Parnia lab suggested that this could be a plausible explanation for the Life Review.

    The whole reason I dubbed that paper a Straw man, was that THERE WAS NO NDE/RED, yet it created a false argument about whether or not this data pointed to a materialist explanation for NDEs. We have known for years that brain activity occurs in rats in the same way, that it occurs in long term coma patients in the same way and that there can be EEG activity during CPR in humans, but unless EEG data like this is directly linked with a reported NDE/RED, then it is wishful speculation on the part of materialists.

    Moreover, as Tim has so expertly pointed out on numerous occasions in the past few weeks, the activity on the EEG is unlikely to be able to cause the kind of structured memories that occur during REDs, but this point is often lost in the materialist noise.

    Given the following facts:

    1. AWARE II is set up to monitor EEG and oximetry during CA.
    2. Patients are being exposed to timed auditory and visual stimuli.
    3. Consented survivors are asked if they have any recollections from this time.

    We should be able to establish whether or not real recalled experiences only occur during periods of sufficient EEG to account for physical consciousness, or also in the absence of sufficient EEG. However, since it is likely that all people may generate this EEG activity around the moment of CA, there may be some instances where aspects of REDs could be associated with this EEG activity, whether or not they actually occurred during that time frame or were a result of this brain activity. Specifically if someone has a RED in which they have a life review and meet dead relatives, but don’t have a time stamped auditory or visual OBE, then if there is any meaningful level of EEG activity at any point around CA, then it is plausible, and indeed scientific, to infer that while this is only associative, it could also be causative. Of course, that is precisely what the materialists will do, except some of the more fanatical will replace the word possible with definite. However, if there are any time stamped instances of REDs in which the subject remembers digitally confirmed sounds or images, and these occurred outside of any measurable EEG active episodes, and EEG data is present (i.e. flat lining), then dualism is the most likely explanation for REDs. I suspect that AWARE II will definitely have instances of the former i.e. EEG plus non-OBE REDs, and that this is what Parnia is referring to when he says they have evidence similar to the Straw Man paper, we just have to hope they also capture the latter or the case for dualism becomes that bit harder to argue from a scientific perspective.

    Given this, Parnia’s statements could be consistent with either scenario, but if he does have the latter, he is under moral obligation to share that with the scientific community at the earliest possible moment that the data is sufficiently compelling, and “publishable”, since it is one of the most important findings in scientific history, and has profound and world changing implications for modern human thinking. Of course the understanding of “sufficiently compelling” is subjective. I think he is wise enough to know what threshold needs to be met to satisfy the deeply sceptical scientific community. No data will satisfy the fanatics or materialist ideologues, but the target should be those who are sceptical, but also curious and prepared to be objective.

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    • Michael on said:

      Wouldn’t the reclassification of NDE to RED and the recent collaboration on this change with Peter Fenwick and Bruce Greyson allude to some flat EEG findings from Parnia?

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      • Yes, excellent point Michael. If there is any EEG activity, then the patient is not physically dead using medical criteria for death. However, while they have hinted at things, as yet they have not provided any specific cases in which there were scientifically verifiable and recorded recollections of experiences during medically defined death…flat line ECG and EEG. That is what we are all waiting for, and have been for what feels like an extremely long time.

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  5. I’ve re-read their instagram post about RED and they write “Researchers are grappling with many questions. In these moments when people’s hearts have stopped beating, and there is a severely disordered brain, or there is little to no detectable brain activity, how is it that people can lucidly recall such vivid experiences?”

    Aren’t they saying that there are lucid experiences with little and even no detectable brain activity? They wouldn’t write that if they had evidence that the opposite is true, would they?

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    • I have pointed this statement out in another post, the strawman research was only an observation which was consistent with the findings from the Parnia lab: there is no need to read too much into it. It is difficult to dismiss the array of experience reported by NDErs

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  6. Hi guys!

    Let me a reflection:

    Dr. Parnia seems to say that these gamma waves could be correlated to life review (not a statement but a possibility).

    But life review is only ONE of the various elements that could be part of a Red or Nde. Following Greyson’s scale there are some other equally important (tunnel, peace, encounters, knowledge of other things and so on).

    So, even if Dr Parnia is asserting that there could be correlation between gamma waves and life review, he is not saying that there is correlation with the ENTIRE Red or Nde.

    This is why, to me, there is not incoherence between this idea about life review and the non-materialistic position kept during the entire panel by Parnia and others speakers (and even in the past). Could simply be that some aspects have neural correlates but others no. Otherwise, Parnia had spoken not only of life review or paradoxical lucidity.

    As someone said in previous comments, his interest is also to provide possible contributes to the study of mental disorder.

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  7. Kaito on said:

    I fail to understand what Sam parnia think of this study

    In a similar one published 10 years ago on rats, he said that the EEG in tease was due to calcium influx in brain cells
    But here he seem to think something different

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    • I guess his thinking, or at least his public position, has changed on this. One needs to allow for sceptic explanations if the science is possible. But as others, and myself have said many times, none of these publications that show EEG activity around death are able to explain scientifically validated OBEs. This has and always will be the case, and until we have an OBE that is properly scientifically validated, rather than the thousands validated by respected health care professionals whose ability to make accurate and unbiased observations is completely dismissed by the radical materialist community…we will be in this situation!

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  8. If there is any doubt about what the Parnia lab thinks on this topic, I think this response to Jordan dismisses that doubt. They are retaining an open position on aspects of the science and how they relate to specific elements of the experience, while maintaining the belief in non-materialistic explanations. Why would you believe something if the evidence didn’t support it? They have evidence for this belief in other dimensions, and before long I hope we will see that evidence. My one big concern is the peer review process and whether there are editors who are hostile to the non-materialist position who could make it very difficult for this evidence to see the light of day in a way that is acceptable to purists. Einstein had similar issues. The organisation I work for has had similar issues. Let’s hope they encounter fair and balanced objectivity rather than radical activist materialist reviewers.

    “Of course – it is a nice break from to work to engage with everyone who has been following our research 🙂 We go into this topic in more depth in a paper we recently published. But in short, hallucinations that occur around the time of death are different and separate from REDs. We believe that the other “dimensions” people experience are very much real. In the same way one experiences joy or sadness, it is a state of reality that cannot be purely attributed to biology. Are the gamma waves the cause of the life review, or is the life review the cause of the gamma waves? It’s a very philosophical question as much as it is a scientific one.”

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    • Good morning Ben and thank you for the update.

      Where did you find this response? I am scrolling various replies on instagram but I cannot find it.

      Matt

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      • It may have been a PM, but I asked Jordan if I could share it (I hope that Parnia lab feel the same, but it is in line with the paper they published and the numerous statements that Parnia has made on this subject. I only signed up to Instagram to follow the Parnia lab so am not very familiar with its workings. I have gone off social media and other than this blog, and keeping myself to myself on the web for the most part!

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      • Thanks for update Orson! Powerful words.

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      • Pleasure. I think we can stop speculating on what they are thinking…except then we won’t have anything else to talk about.

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    • Cobra on said:

      Which paper are they refering to? The Bigalow one?

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      • Dario on said:

        Has phase III of aware 2 already started and will it end this year?

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      • I am not aware that there are different phases to AWARE II. It is one study looking at patients who have CPR in ICUs around the world and monitors EEG and oximetry. They seem to be about 60% recruited. In addition they expose the patient to visual and auditory stimuli which may capture incidents of external consciousness…i.e. OBEs. The next phase in the series of studies is the hypothermic study which has already started. They have also started a paradoxical terminal lucidity study in patients with advanced dementia. All great stuff.

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      • The consensus statement on REDs that was published in February. See the last post on EVA in RED!

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      • Cobra on said:

        Thanks alot, Alan and Ben, I have read that one, just wasn’t sure, which they meant in the new message.

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    • Michael on said:

      Ben,

      I do have a question for you though! If they are saying these “dimensions” are real in the same way person experiences joy or sadness, what do you think that means? I have zero medical background but I thought that those feelings could be explained fully physiologically. Are they saying those feelings are non-materialistic as well or are these “dimensions” real in the same way feelings are?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you are over thinking it. The Parnia lab may have the ability through their patience and hard work to provide the world with scientific evidence that consciousness persists beyond death, but that is where their unique abilities end. When it comes to interpreting what that means, they are no better equipped than us, except maybe for the many NDEs they have heard.

        From my own experience there are different levels of joy, but for me true joy transcends circumstances and is sourced externally by connection with the creator. If that is what they are talking about, then yes, experiencing joy can be the interaction with a dimension beyond the one we currently occupy.

        Anyhoo…we need to keep our eyes on the prize…the smoking gun. Then the real business of understanding what it means can be discussed openly again.

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      • So my problem has been that I’ve read things that people who believe in something more have said and things from skeptics and I’m very dissatisfied with both because they both seem to me to be very close minded and never seem to address the issues from the other side of the argument. I am one of those people that really need hard evidence and I need to be overwhelming. I don’t need it to be a for sure yes there’s more to life than the materialistic. Just something that is very hard to explain away with the materialistic view. Like I read an experience about a person who said they left their body and saw a tennis shoe out on a ledge of a hospital room that supposedly that person was not able to see unless they were on the roof of the hospital looking down. It was supposedly verified but then later I read that another person had said they could clearly see it when they went up to the window to look. Wasn’t there my self and I can’t verify. And if I was there when it had happened. I would have tried multiple angles and things to see if I could have saw it in a conventional way.

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      • Grrr. The above post was posted to wrong message. In case someone is confused.

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      • The discussion section is somewhat clunky. I need to look into how I change it without causing disruption, but that would require using timeI do not have! Great chat between you and Michael.

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    • So I’m new to this and haven’t been following this for years. But 1. In previous things I have read and seen interviews with Parnia, it seems to me that he’s a scientist that knows the social and human nature of the people in science. And has to be very careful how he words things, because he has to stay objective and he has to have as perfect scientific processes from start to finish as he possibly can, to present the evidence in a way that will be accepted by the scientific community at large. At least a few years ago Parnia seemed to have this position that he was curious to find out if consciousness was separate from the materialistic brain but that he had no skin in the game with either interpretation.

      At that time I interpreted him as suspecting the materialistic view point as being “the truth” but that there were experiences that opened the possibility to consciousness not being materialistic. And that deserved serious scientific study. I’m not sure he believes one way or another (he has said that people are attributing meaning to the things he has said, that wasn’t what he actually said or meant) but I do think he feels it’s important to study this. Very few people are able to truely able to have a neutral stance on things because our brains want definitive answers and Cognitive Dissonance is really, really uncomfortable, but I do think Parnia is legitimately one of them. Which is why I suspect the ‘dimensions’ people in this thread are talking about as language supportive of non-material consciousness, might actually be a mathematical use of the word and not one that’s metaphysical. Though, I haven’t seen this talk from whence this came from, so what do I know?

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      • And 2. With the Gamma waves comment, that’s been a point for me that’s like how do we know and how do we test something like this? Like let’s say for argument sake that our brains are recievers and that they are basically organizing and limiting consciousness. Ok, one would think that if what ever we are, there is going to be some thing that interacts with our brains outside of our brains. And that our brains would have some response to this. So let’s say that in an NDE, the sense of the point of no return is actually when the outside influence can no longer interact with the “material” brain (not saying it is or isn’t). But if that were the case I think it highly likely that, for example, having a life review would show some kind of brain activity specifically because of how the “outside consciousness” interacts with the brain. So then, how would one be able to tell that the brain having some activity is because of the materialistic brain working or before of some outside agent acting upon it?

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      • Grrrrr. *Because of some outside agent acting upon it.

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      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        I think Parnia using the word “dimensions” is actually more indicative of a non-materialistic explanation because Parnia submitted a huge essay fully in support of non materialistic explanations to the Bigelow Institute very recently. November 2021!

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      • Well I’m only about a third of the way through that, so if that’s the case that would be in my opinion very awesome. But I’m being cautious because I really, really don’t want to get my hopes up.

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      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        KP,

        I feel you, I don’t want to get my hopes up either. However, I’ve been researching all this for years, the truth is the data is actually pretty overwhelming. Parnia is just one piece of this whole puzzle. There are numerous lines of evidence leading here.

        Dr. Jim Tucker, University of Virginia
        Dr. Bruce Grayson, University of Virginia
        Dr. Laurin Belg, Wisconsin
        Dr. Stuart Hameroff, University of Arizona
        Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel Prize winner
        Dr. Donald Hoffman
        The Windbridge Institute’s quintuple blind studies.

        There’s more than that list that’s just a scratch.

        There’s a lot. More evidence than many other areas of science have required to be accepted by mainstream. I think the reason for this is it is such an emotionally charged subject.

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      • So my problem has been that I’ve read things that people who believe in something more have said and things from skeptics and I’m very dissatisfied with both because they both seem to me to be very close minded and never seem to address the issues from the other side of the argument. I am one of those people that really need hard evidence and I need to be overwhelming. I don’t need it to be a for sure yes there’s more to life than the materialistic. Just something that is very hard to explain away with the materialistic view. Like I read an experience about a person who said they left their body and saw a tennis shoe out on a ledge of a hospital room that supposedly that person was not able to see unless they were on the roof of the hospital looking down.

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      • It was supposedly verified but then later I read that another person had said they could clearly see it when they went up to the window to look. Wasn’t there my self and I can’t verify. And if I was there when it had happened. I would have tried multiple angles and things to see if I could have saw it in a conventional way.

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      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        KP,

        The case you are talking about is “Maria’s Shoe.” It’s one of the more famous veridical NDE’s.

        You need to read Titus Rivas’ book “The Self Does Not Die.” Terrible title but great book. It discusses Maria’s Shoe as well.

        Here’s the bottom line on Maria’s Shoe. The shoe was not visible at all from the woman’s hospital room. When the shoe was placed on the roof twenty years later to try to debunk the woman’s experience, the shoe was visible from the street. The debunkers tried to say that the woman who reported the experience, not the actual person who had the experience, embellished the shoe.

        There are debunkers in all areas of controversial medicine and science.

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      • Now that’s the type of information I need. And absolutely rediculous. Unless there were pictures of where the shoe was and clear measurements of where it was, then it’s absolutely absurd to think that you’d be able to replicate it. And you’d never be able to replicate it exactly anyway. But this is what I’m talking about. People love to “make sense” out things but it usually ends up being them confirming their biasis rather then really accurately pricing information together. It’s really frustrating for me

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      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        KP,

        Yep, confirmation bias. It’s a nasty phenomenon on both the materialist and non materialist side of the debate. Which is why researchers like Parnia are so important.

        My advice is to really just dive into this research. Get on YouTube and listen to the talks by Bruce Greyson and Jim Tucker, listen to the debates between skeptic Gerald Woerlee and Bernardo Kastrup, and you’ll start to see just how much evidence there really is, and how much we really don’t know about consciousness and our own universe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        KP,

        Lastly, and this is something I think is important to address, what you will find is that most of the researchers who are putting out data on the non materialist side, are doctors and scientists who have already achieved tenure. This is telling because it means that these researchers have had this data for decades but could not put it out there because the mainstream academic paradigm rejects this data currently and it could have put their careers in jeopardy. Neuroscientist Dr. Marjorie Woollacott does a great job explaining this and why she waited to release her data.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is the reason I created this blog and wrote my original book under a pseudonym. My most recent book, the one on the front page of this blog, is published under my real name. I have decided that questions around the origin of consciousness are becoming more mainstream, and to adopt a dualist approach is more acceptable. Moreover, the subject is too important for people like myself to be hiding any more.

        Like

      • I’m fully aware of humans being social animals. This is the way of anything that causes a paradime shift. And science is no different. Grrrrrrrrr humans.

        Like

      • First it’s a shame that anybody feel the need to hide. It’s rediculous that the very thing science is supposed to prevent, is used in such a way that achieves the total opposite of it’s heart. People don’t have to agree with you but to totally dismiss and mock someone and thus stop listening because it doesn’t fit in with the accepted, for lack of a better word, “reality” is not critical thinking at all. Especially since the way that science works is to find information by piecemeal, and more importantly when answers are not gotten or are fuzzy, then there’s refinement based on criticism. I get that science has processes and standards that have to be met and that those things exist for reasons of the brain’s biases and limitations and I also understand that it’s difficult for people to test things in regard to this topic.

        My personal opinion is that we are in the dark reaching around at things and we just haven’t found the right things to give a definitive direction, but some of us have decided with the stuff we have already been able to analyze, that’s enough information to have a definitive answer about “reality”. And thus, everyone else who dares to question that, is not just wrong but their judgement is so bad that that’s worthy of derision. Which is not cool.

        I once was watching a talk with Neil Degrasse Tyson. I was so disappointed when he said that science really can prove a negative and that he only really hears the argument that one can’t prove a negative from philosophers. He’s example is that there’s this cave that PRESUMABLY doesn’t have any way out and of we are at this cave and we think that a bear is inside we can sit outside and wait and see if the bear comes out. We did there for some amount of time and the bear never comes out, so therefore we can confidentially conclude that that’s no bear inside.

        Seriously?! Are you kidding me. There is so much wrong with that, I’m not going to write about it. I’d be ok with it, if he’d say well I’ve been out here a really long time and no bear is coming out, so since I don’t really have a good way to test this, I think it practical to say there’s probably no bear in there and move on to testing something I have a better sense as to what to test. I’m not ok with him stopping at that point and saying there must not be a bear in there period. That is in my opinion what many scientist and skeptics are doing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure where to put this. So I’m putting it here.

        “Those who continue to attempt to categorize recalled experiences of death as “unreal” experiences base their
        arguments around the fact that hospitalized patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) with a disordered brain can
        exhibit a state of acute confusion (also referred to as delirium). This leads to delusional, hallucinatory and illusory
        beliefs in response to chemical changes in a dysfunctional brain. Consequently, they believe that the recalled
        experience of death should also be categorized this way. They have proposed that a variety of mechanisms, such
        as a lack of brain oxygen, increased carbon dioxide, the release of endorphins (the body’s own morphine-like
        substance), a specific type of seizure known as temporal lobe epilepsy (which is like an electrical storm in the
        brain) may be causing these experiences in this manner. In addition, they have also proposed that since a multitude
        of drugs, including LSD, DMT, and Ketamine can induce hallucinations in a wakeful state, then the recalled
        experiences of death that are occurring during a deep coma must also be the same. This line of thinking has been
        aided by ambiguous and/or subjective definitions, as well as a misuse of research scales [See 3.1-3.4] for the so
        called “NDE” and has led to the problem of comparing “apples” and “oranges” – two things that are fundamentally
        different and unable to be compared together scientifically (i.e., the recalled experience of death and the variety
        of hallucinatory, delusional and illusory experiences), but, are nonetheless labeled the same.” From the Parnia BICS paper

        This is part of my argument. How can one seriously study this stuff and communicate about it, if the discourse is based on limited language that people can’t really use to apply to their concepts? It creates a false sense that everybody is talking about the same thing and there is shared meaning. Honestly, I couldn’t said it better myself and it is exactly what this subject of study needs.

        Like

  9. Michael on said:

    Hi Ben,

    I think the line in the response “cannot be purely attributed to biology” is very telling!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anthony on said:

    I have always thought that the brain does not completely shut down when cardiac arrest occurs, and the study of rats several years ago and that of epileptic man confirm this. Is that activity enough to generate near-death experiences? I guess it’s something that will be discovered over time, maybe we’ll find out with Sam Parnia very soon. During the death process, the brain secretes different substances, imagine the different connections that can exist at that time and the things that can happen… there is much to learn about the mechanisms of the brain, and this is what a relative tells me in fact he is a neurosurgeon. I recommend reading about Michael Persinger’s experiments and the “Helmet of God”, a helmet with which he was able to simulate near-death experiences with different magnetic fields.
    Of course, I believe that science is getting closer to explaining all these events from a physiological, neuroscientific and, of course, materialist point of view. There is nothing wrong in it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dario on said:

      so will life after death be excluded in the future in your opinion?

      Like

    • About Persinger’s experiment:

      Persinger reports that many subjects have reported “mystical experiences and altered states”[4] while wearing the God Helmet. The foundations of his theory have been criticized in the scientific press.[5] Anecdotal reports by journalists,[6] academics[7][8] and documentarists[9] have been mixed and several effects reported by Persinger have not yet been independently replicated. One attempt at replication published in the scientific literature reported a failure to reproduce Persinger’s effects and the authors proposed that the suggestibility of participants, improper blinding of participants or idiosyncratic methodology could explain Persinger’s results.[10] Persinger argues that the replication was technically flawed,[8][11] but the researchers have stood by their replication.[12] Only one group[13] has published a direct replication of one God Helmet experiment.[14] Other groups have reported no effects at all[15] or have generated similar experiences by using sham helmets,[16] or helmets that are not turned on,[17][18] and have concluded that personality differences in the participants explain these unusual experiences.

      (Source Wikipedia)

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    • Cobra on said:

      But it is old news, that the brain is still active for a short time after CA. That was always said. No one claimed that brain activity stops at the second of CA. So the rat and epileptic man studies only confirmed what was known already. After 20 – 30 secs the brain shuts down. That’s what Parnia said all along. The question is, if RED occur when brain activity is measurable or not. And we don’t know it yet.

      Like

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        Cobra,

        We pretty much know it occurs with no measurable brain activity. We just haven’t captured it in an empirical scientific framework. Until now at least.

        But there’s thousands of accounts of NDE’s (RED’s) occurring minutes and minutes into cardiac arrest before CPR was even initiated in some instances. And they’ve been verified by attending healthcare providers. We’re just waiting really lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael, we are all dancing to the materialist tune. If it wasn’t for their distrust of everyone who holds a different view to them, NDEs would be completely accepted as reality given the reliable human testimonies that have been gathered. It is absurd, and I make that point very forcefully in my. Book.

        Like

      • Cobra on said:

        @Michael

        I agree, it’s not captured yet. That’s actually what I wanted to say. English is not my first language.

        Like

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Michael’s point is great, there are plenty of anecdotes that show NDEs can happen well after the moment anyone should have consciousness any more. Even if AWAREII doesn’t have any verdicial REDs that can be time stamped to a flat EEG, remember those anecdotes still exist.

        Like

    • Anthony on said:

      Dario
      I don’t know, I’m not ruling anything out. In my opinion, it is possible that in the first moments after clinical death there is some kind of latent consciousness, which perhaps is what allows people to see what happens in the operating room, for example. But I also think that near-death experiences may be influenced by these traces of brain activity. Our spirits are immortal and we will live in a country house surrounded by beautiful meadows? Too good to be true haha

      Like

  11. Charlie on said:

    I think Parnia’s public stance, his recent publications on the classification of REDs, and Instagram reply all show the medical evidence thus far cannot explain the RED experience (“cannot be purely attributed to biology”). Does that mean he has a “smoking gun”? Maybe but I don’t think that should be all we’re relying on. OBEs are unpredictable and I suspect nearly impossible to time stamp. Oh you’re having a transcendent experience and possibly talking to God or deceased relatives? Did you happen to notice what color this note card was? (Or whatever stimulus they are testing).
    I expect they have found numerous REDs with some brain activity and some possibly without (which they have alluded to, I think). As Parnia stresses death is a process and these people are recalling it. This doesn’t mean you should be having the greatest life changing moment ever. Your brain is failing. The heart doesn’t start beating its purest as it fails, so how is the brain producing such a magical experience? As he has suggested, maybe it’s not. Maybe its function as a receiver/filter is becoming distorted and we are receiving our true conscious experience. Sounds wacky but that’s what he seemingly suggested based on my understanding of the conference.
    Parnia and others clearly have no explanation for this qualitative experience (love, joy, etc) that is happening as the brain activity fades. As Dr. Greyson mentioned the EEG in the straw man was actually pretty unremarkable and inconsistent with the experiences people report in REDs. If Dr. Parnia found similar results he also has no explanation (hence the Instagram response and his public comments in the conference).
    I agree brain activity can correlate to transcendent experience but to infer causation is premature. I don’t think Aware 2 is going to provide any “proof” of an afterlife, as that is something only faith can address. And if you have faith, you don’t need this study (though it works be nice haha). I think the results will result in many more questions and provide hope and talking points for both camps.
    That said, I think I need a break from this topic haha

    Like

    • Charlie, I believe you have great insights on this topic. I I totally agree with you.

      Btw, have any answers from Greyson or Titus Rivas (as was mentioned in another comment) to the EEG article been published anywhere (besides personal mails and communications)? I would love to read them.

      Like

      • Charlie on said:

        Thanks Mery, I don’t know of any official responses or publications so I’m just relying on what people say here to be truthful regarding the responses they’ve received…

        Like

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        Hi Mery,

        The Dr. Greyson email response was to me. The Titus Rivas response was via his Facebook account a few weeks ago.

        Like

  12. Have people read the “Supporting Information” part of Parnia and colleagues recent paper? Esp. File S2.

    https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.14740

    Everyone’s been talking above about “dimensions” in relation to other dimensions of reality and this word is refd. 29 times in this File S2 – thought I’d point that out. They also ref. Prof. Lisa Randall who’s a famous physicist proponent of multiple dimensions but I know she wouldn’t have been using her ideas (proposed with Raman Sundrum) for anything like the (purported) spaces required for NDE experiencers to experience. Other string theory spaces wouldn’t hack it too as these are of a different nature required – this is general stuff anyone can find about and the maths details are horrendous of course. And all this is along the “physicalist paradigm” – not “spiritual” spaces to be clear.
    But I do know cosmologist Prof. Bernard Carr has proposed over many years in detail a kind of mixing of perceptual space *with* physical space to accommodate paranormal phenomena. Another lecture I went to years ago by him! People may know of him as past President of the Society for Psychical Research and he’s well aware of pretty well everything to do with the paranormal with a wonderfully open and critical mind. But I don’t think he’s formalised this (i.e. detailed equations) as I remember a rather detailed Powerpoint without this. That would be a project for some physicist! But they’d have to go over to the “other side” of scientists who accept the paranormal – who’d take the risk?

    Anyway, it’s fascinating they mention “dimensions” so many times in the ref. so it’s pretty clear what’s on their minds. I guess. 😉

    Like

    • To be clear “dimension” is refd. 29 times, “dimensions” 4 times.

      Like

    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      Alan,

      What do you think is on their minds about it?

      Like

      • Alan on said:

        Michael, I think, in some part, they are trying to move the *scientific* conversation forward to an acceptance of serious discussion about the mind actually being able to access hitherto undiscovered realms of existence. Otherwise I cannot imagine why such language as “dimension” would appear. It’s also worth reading the part in the supplement where they consider the “bottom-up” and “top-down” approach to understanding consciousness and the possibility that “consciousness is a separate entity”.

        Like

    • Speaking on dimensions. . . .

      Do you think it possible that Gd exists in the fourth dimension (just as we exist in the third and yet control the second in our minds)? If so, then Gd might be dreaming us up. Of course, this would go against the grain of traditional thought.

      Like

      • I believe that God exists outside our dimensions and yet interacts with this dimension. As a Christian I believe that he once took human form in our dimensions, I also believe that we are the result of God’s creative genius, but I don’t personally believe that we are dreamt up…our consciousness is individual, unique and exists separate from God, however it could not have come into being without his will. It is a mind twister, and I’m afraid we will not get any closer to knowing the truth until we die and meet the being of light aka God. I look out our existential relationship to God in the same way that children should look at their parents. Without their parents (or their parents genetic seed), they could not exist…did their parents dream up, no, but without parents children can’t exist.

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      • Anthony on said:

        Personally I do not believe that God exists in any dimension, I do not believe that any entity has created us. I don’t think a man with a beard and a robe comes to visit us when we die, not at all, but I respect all religious beliefs
        I think that perhaps there are forces in the Universe that we still do not understand, such as consciousness itself and there may be interaction with other dimensions

        Like

      • I do not know whether there is a god or not. I don’t know if there’s existence after death. I was born into a Christian family and I never had faith but I had a knowing and that knowing went away. I want there to be an existence after death, especially since I’ve been having an existential crisis for 13 years and it’s been super painful, but my logical/analytical brain just can let me believe. I used to think I was psychic (which also could be “real” AND existence after death not be “real”) but a lot of what’s happened could be explained as seizures from low blood sugar as I have severe Reactive Hypoglycemia.

        But, even through all of this, I think that if NDE’s aren’t something unusual happening with the brain (like the brain’s attempt at continuing to function by somehow getting a large amount of oxygen into it, thus causing hyper-real and lucid consciousness) and there is a God or we are all god somehow experiencing separateness; then either there aren’t any dimensions but something is happening that is creating the experience of limitations and boundaries, or there are dimensions because that’s what would be the mechanism for the limits and separations and thus God would have to exist in a separate, semi separate dimension or dimensions but have the ability to at least have some interaction with our dimensions. I do not understand space/time well enough, but it does seem to me that in order to be eternal, one can not exist in time

        Like

      • KP – Sorry to hear about your existential crisis, I hope you can find solace in the positive accounts from NDEs. I too am sometimes concerned about the idea that we might all be God but experiencing separateness, and that our existence is all just a solution to supernatural loneliness and boredom. However, I had an experience in a dream when I was younger when I was momentarily removed from this reality and encountered God, and that being sure felt separate from me, and utterly amazing. This along with other experiences I have had through practising my faith have convinced me that we are not just pieces of God manifesting in a different dimension, no more than children are just pieces of parents. I’m not sure how consciousness is created from nothing, but I believe it is, and is unique to each being. It may be that a tiny piece of the material from God is used to form each individual soul, and that piece of material grows into a fully fledged human consciousness independent from the source seed.

        Whatever the truth is, we will not know for certain this side of the physical death divide. I find reassurance and lots of internal consistences in my faith, and while my mind wonders to questions around these issues, I think that dwelling now on what we don’t know and cannot know may not be completely helpful. Despite my scientific training and knowledge, I do actually trust this being entirely and that is from my own knowledge and experience.

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      • Ben I thank you for the empathy and compassion. I wish it were as simple as that for me. I would love to not have the uncertainty have such a hold over me. I don’t know maybe one day, I will find peace. 😀 Because this is a real awful struggle.

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      • In all honesty, when I pray out loud, when I turn my attention to God, everything feels different. Anyway, I know many on here will be offended by my saying that, but it is just the truth I have experienced.

        Like

      • I think that whether God exist or doesn’t, whether there’s existence outside of life and after death, or not, whatever fills a person with lasting joy, or comfort, or peace; whatever helps to manage emotions positively – as long as your not creating pain, suffering, harmful consequences in your self or others, then do it and you have nothing to apologize for. There may not be life after death, but honestly it’s how we are experiencing our lives that matter. So even if there’s no existence after this, if believing in more makes your life better, then it matters even if when you’re dead it doesn’t. I just wish I could convince my
        self to believe like I did before, because I don’t care if others are fine with coming not to believe, it made my life better. Life was magical and I felt connected to everything. I felt never ending. So there’s that.

        Like

  13. Also, we do exist in the 4th dimension. We experience it as the arrow of time, which if I understand it correctly is an illusion per Einstein because everything should be happening all at once.

    Like

  14. I should also say that if God exist outside of space-time (this universes 4 dimensions), then it would have to reside in at least a 5th dimension that has to some how interact or overlap in some way with our 4. Also we could exist in more than 4 dimensions but don’t have the ability to perceive them or maybe we do but are not aware that we are.

    Like

    • Anthony on said:

      KP
      If I’m not wrong, mathematically it has been shown that there are 11 dimensions (correct me if I’m wrong). Ants live in a world of two dimensions and are not capable of perceiving the third in which we find ourselves (of course not the fourth). So it is not ruled out that there are dimensions that interact in some way with ours. When we die, does our spirit/energy/ether/consciousness travel to those higher dimensions? That is the big question

      Like

      • So 1. I don’t want to mispresent my knowledge on this. I’m limited in my mathmatical understanding. One would think that because I’m good at logic, that I’d be good at math, but I’m a conceptual learner and at least when math was taught to me, they didn’t teach it conceptually, so I didn’t do well at it. All I understand is through my husband teaching me, and he is exceptional at math (though he doesn’t formally study it but is good enough at it that when he was in high school he came up on his own trigonometry equation, that was an actual equation but was unaware it was, to explain some, I think, physics thing to a teacher.) I’m unaware about the mathmatical proof but from what I understand per my husband, is that the 11 dimensions are a hypothesis that has strong evidence, but isn’t universally accepted and that there are other hypothesis.

        2. With the ants that makes no sense to me. 1st, how would one even be able to determine that ants only perceive 2 dimensions? My husband gave me the example that when an ant is walking along and there’s a blade of grass hanging down above them but not touching them they have 2 options. One option is to keep going. The other is to lift their thorax up, grab onto the leaf blade and climb it. Or the other evidence is some ants have wings. They can fly and clearly move around in 3 dimensions. I have also just been informed that ants are secondarily flightless which means they evolved from flying insects which would have required 3d perception. Ants certainly exist in 3 dimensions. They have height, width, and length and are not shadows.

        3rd. While I do think that physics has a strong potential to answer the consciousness question, I am personally uncertain if one can link consciousness with dimensions. I did start to read the winner of the BICS contest essay, but there’s so much there that I’d have to dive into to even begin to get a sense of what’s going on, it’s going to take me a long time. From what I read and I watched some of the links to I think his Vlog?, there’s definitely a complex philosophic argument but I didn’t see anything hard that was backing it up – again I only went through a small portion of it. I’m not dismissing it.

        With that said, rhetorically – what exactly is meant by dimensions in this respect? Can one apply spiritual or non materialistic meaning to physics?

        Like

      • KP, you’re right about the 11 dimensions as only a hypothesis as far as any general reading I’ve done on this. And all this kind of physics theorizing has a “physicalist” background only. Something very profound is missing at the base of all this physics and mathematics (superstring theory) in relation to some extra input to with “mind”. For me, I see it as there has to be something mind-like about space otherwise all these spiritual phenomena couldn’t happen within such a space. I think that’s a pointer at least to God. Why does reality bother at all to be like this? I can only guess one answer. Hey, please do take care! 🙂

        Like

  15. Michael DeCarli on said:

    New quote from Parnia. Similar but also a bit profound. Curious what others thoughts are.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a39454993/dying-brain-waves/

    Liked by 1 person

    • SeanD on said:

      There’s a pay wall in place. Do you have the quote? (I’m cheap, sorry!)

      Like

      • Hi Sean, I was able to access it without paying. He repeats some of what he said before, but adds a few more comments as I mentioned in my response to Michael. He is right to point out that the data is intriguing, and could support the hypothesis that the life review is a result of this kind brain activity, which is perfectly valid, but he also suggests that it could also be evidence of the brain accessing different aspects of reality that are not normally accessible to us…aka different dimensions. He is consistent in stating this, it is very exciting, and I suspect we will be getting new evidence to support this position that he publicly takes.

        Like

    • ““What is most intriguing is that this seems to be occurring when the brain is shutting down at the end of life. This study supports these descriptions and certainly raises the possibility that a marker of lucidity at the end of life may have been discovered,” says Parnia.”

      If this is the quote you’re talking about. For me I take that to mean that this is the point that they are going to be able to test. Some thing more concrete they can use as a start that will lead to something to further objective information.

      Like

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        This quote is big too.

        “According to Parnia, while the brain is in the process of shutting down and dying, “there is disinhibition of parts of the brain (i.e. emergence of functions) that are ordinarily depressed by our usual brain activity,” such as those we use to get through our day-to-day tasks. Because of this, we’re granted access to what Parnia refers to as “aspects of reality at death that we would ordinarily not have access to,” including the depths of our consciousness.”

        Like

      • KP…only if accompanied by a reported experience.

        Like

      • Alan on said:

        The whole thing is really intriguing Michael and Orson!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Orson,

        (language is failing me…grrrrrrr, this is where talking face to face to be able to clarify and ask questions would be 1000 times better)

        How do I put this…

        So I guess I meant that the word ‘marker’ he’s using is a start to, towards something more concrete is because in order to test you have to have some thing to test. And I have almost zero knowledge on how the brain is being tested. Clearly it’s stated in the article that this was something that was lucked upon, and not due to any experiment, but could what Parnia be saying is that now we have something that we can use to measure? Maybe that’s too strong? Maybe it’s more like something that he can maybe fold into his experiments, that could give him a clue as to where to go forward?

        Like

      • KP, you are over thinking this. EEG activity is a “marker” of all kinds of brain processes. These processes can to an extent be distinguished by the type of signal present and from what we know it is possible to speculate that the activity reported in this patient is a marker of conscious processes. We don’t know whether or not it was as we have no reports of conscious recollections. There is nothing wrong with speculating that it might be conscious activity, and even speculating on what kind of activity it is, but without a report of conscious recollections, especially ones that researchers are able to “time stamp”, then it is nothing more than speculation (which is why I get annoyed when materialists make assertions). There is nothing more to be said on this case really…that sums it up. Parnia through AWARE II has the capability of matching EEG and oxymetry data with reports of conscious recollections. They will be REDs if there is no EEG, insufficient R02 and ECG and this case will be a distant memory.

        Like

      • Ok, I think I understand what you are saying.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Great find Michael. Parnia is very careful how he phrases his response (as always). I love the expression ‘we’re granted access to what Parnia refers to as “aspects of reality at death that we would ordinarily not have access to,”’. He is nothing if not consistent in his referral to different dimensions.

      My beef with the original paper was that it was more than just theorising, it was in places stating that this was evidence that the brain creates NDEs. Once again…there was no NDE reported, so it is just speculation…a straw man that has achieved its purpose in spades full by creating endless arguments about whether the brain causes REDs when there was no RED! Parnia does a very good job of dealing with the straw man using nuance, describing the EEG data as “intriguing” and a possible marker of activity of the consciousness (lucidity) at death (like I said…maybe the activity is caused by the consciousness packing its bags and leaving). When dealing with the kind of disingenuous materialist assertions that accompanied this article, I eject any pretence of nuance from my writing and am more inclined to use hyperbole and polemics 🙂

      Like

      • SeanD on said:

        Thanks Orson, great stuff as always!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        My takeaway after reading the Popular Mechanics article is this.

        The Popular Mechanics article included much more verbiage from Parnia than previous articles and really tried to explain to the layperson what Parnia was trying to say.

        Parnia is literally describing the brain’s filtering functions faltering at death without specifically calling the brain a filter publicly. This is pretty profound and in line with his position in the conference.

        Acknowledging that these gamma waves could be a “brain marker” at the time of death is not in any way saying that these gamma waves are causal. Which is in line with the Parnia Labs response to Jordan. “Are the gamma waves causing the life review, or is the life review causing the gamma waves?”

        I’m happy with this article because it clarifies a lot of my frustrations with the seemingly back and forth rhetoric lately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree Michael, the scientific dogma stating association is not necessarily causation, is dogma for a reason. Moreover, and once again I have to point it out…there was no reported life review, there was no association with any reported conscious activity.

        Like

  16. Yitz on said:

    Ben Williams… I agree — we’re likely not merely “dreamt up.”

    Like

  17. Cobra on said:

    https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948999

    Not sure, if I completely understand. Is Parnia here more materialistic again?

    Like

    • Mery on said:

      The article on the new definitions of RED and it’s supplementary material never mentioned the gamma waves. And it dismissed earlier studies on gamma waves findings in rats. However, this post was published by the Parnia Lab, if I am correct. And they included a mention to the gamma activity in their conclusions. I don’t really understand this, since their article never mentioned the gamma activity (their article is clearly open to consciousness being separate, same as the Bigelow Essay, and their talk few weeks ago), and this post is advertising an specific peer reviewed published article (the one in NY annals of science). So I don’t think is very correct on their part to add information that was not mentioned in the article.
      Of course, the artícle was written in 2021, so maybe they wanted to include recent findings (by others?), for whatever reason.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Constiproute on said:

      Their statement around these new dimensions is somewhat ambiguous. Do they mean these dimensions are accessible through the progressive deactivation of the brain or through different types of connections around death ? Their comment on the gamma waves article seems to acreditate the second interpretation.
      Also they assume distressing ndes might not be considered as real as the positive ones simply because they are too different from one another and by the way, don’t transform people. So should we assume they value the positive ones simply because they have common features and bring positive changes and not because they are scientifically proven to be true ?
      They also base their judgement on previous studies, not the new one as they say. Where are the new incomes from Aware 2 study ? Even if they want to remain discreet on this subject, why always refering to the past ? It sounds more and more like wishfull thinking. They can easily accept the hallucination theory when it concerns the experiences they don’t like but are very carrefull when they study the positive ones. Do they have a validated OBE as they expected before they conducted the study ? Or ndes occuring precisely when the brain is off ?

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      • Alan on said:

        Hi Constiproute, “Do they mean these dimensions are accessible through the progressive deactivation of the brain or through different types of connections around death ? Their comment on the gamma waves article seems to acreditate the second interpretation.”

        I had a look again at the Supplementary File 2 with the ref. to “connections” (“include connections between almost all of the major brain structures”) and they talk of “the neural correlates of religious experiences”. But does correlation mean causation? A religious experience when alive will be when the brain is functioning (but surely could be really “real”), but a true NDE, a RED, is when the brain is not. It’s very confusing but for me, logically, these “dimensions” seem to be accessible for both states.
        Philosophically/religiously, I guess whatever God, or the like, could be IT would also facilitate contact when we’re alive, e.g. praying as people often report.

        And do gamma waves imply correlation again but not causation?

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    • Hi Cobra, well found! My analysis for what it’s worth (I’m not medical). I think there are two themes in the EurekAlert! link.

      1. The *experiential* in relation to their extensive Point 2 … “The recalled experiences … Also “people who have survived an encounter with death have recalled unexplained lucid episodes involving heightened consciousness and awareness.” Also in Point 1 “consistently described recalled experiences surrounding death, which involve a unique set of mental recollections with universal themes.” Also “mental events that occur in relation to death.” Also “nor cognitive processes end with death”. Also “although systematic studies have not been able to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness in relation to death, it has been impossible to disclaim them either.” These statements I see as distinct from physiological. For sceptic deniers Point 2 needs backtwisting arguments to dismiss. And also there’s the title.

      2. The *physiological* in relation to their Point 4. Also “This is allowing scientists to objectively study the physiological [and mental] events that occur in relation to death”. Also “neither physiological [nor cognitive] processes end with death”.

      I also guess they do not see the “gamma activity and electrical spikes” (mentioned only once) as causing REDs. Overall I’d say heavy on the experiential with no physiological explanation, so no change over all these years.

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      • Cobra on said:

        Thank you, Alan. My English is not bad, but scientific English is often harder to understand. So you are saying, they didn’t change their tone overall? That’s good! Thanks for clearing it.

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      • Alan on said:

        Cobra, I think so, yes.

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      • Constiproute on said:

        Hi Alan : “I had a look again at the Supplementary File 2 with the ref. to “connections” (“include connections between almost all of the major brain structures”) and they talk of “the neural correlates of religious experiences”. But does correlation mean causation? A religious experience when alive will be when the brain is functioning (but surely could be really “real”), but a true NDE, a RED, is when the brain is not. It’s very confusing but for me, logically, these “dimensions” seem to be accessible for both states.”

        in this case I don’t understand the purpose of the brain. Why having a brain if we can live without it ?
        In order to prove life is possible without these connections, they should have had patients having an experience when their brain was clearly off. They don’t talk about such a case in their papers.

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      • Alan on said:

        Constiproute, maybe it’s how we learn things and be better people? A difficult challenging apparently physical world is part of the learning of the spirit (maybe for all creatures), I just don’t know. I can’t say what they know as far as “hits” in their own studies of course.

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  18. https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nyas.14740?af=R

    The supporting information regarding table 5 is interesting as it refers to an ongoing study that ongoing and the themes are consistent with REDS. (My paraphrasing just to add)

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    • I think that’s the NYU study that is going back and looking at thousands of reported REDs and pulling out themes.

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      • Wonder if it referring to aware 2? It the ongoing word that I find intriguing

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Hey Ben, what do you think of the recent tweet from Parnia Labs stating that they found electrical activity in the brain in cardiac arrest similar to heightened consciousness?

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      • Again, I am suffering from having moved back this side of the pond and missed Parnia’s tweets and press release. Post coming in next hour or so.

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        I’m wondering how the recent statements reconcile with the first AWARE study where none of the patients had activity on their EEGs. In fact, if I am not mistaken, the one verdicial NDE they got was shown to be a flatline.

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  19. So I was thinking about following Parnia on Twitter but it seems his account is suspended? Does anyone know what’s going on with that?

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  20. https://mobile.twitter.com/nyugsom_ccrs/status/1512522976717164550?cxt=HHwWjMC-3cbox_0pAAAA
    This is probably related to Paria’s statement regarding the Strawman

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Katie on said:

    New updates. Not sure what to make of these tweets

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Katie on said:

    Looks like an update came out. Not sure what to make of it though

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