AwareofAware

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

The Art Of Fence Sitting

There has been a press release and a few Tweets from the Parnia lab. Here is a key quote from the press release:

“So far, the researchers say, evidence suggests that neither physiological nor cognitive processes end with death and that 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.”

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/recalled-experiences-surrounding-death-more-than-hallucinations-301519733.html

Here is the tweet that will cause the most consternation among the majority who come here:

“One of the most exciting discoveries – brain activity associated with heightened states of consciousness has been shown to be present even during cardiac arrest. This marks a pivotal moment in the study of recalled experiences of death and in our understanding of consciousness.”

In the past I have occasionally been a bit abrasive or less than complimentary about aspects of research or things that have been said by the Parnia lab. A while back I resolved to stop doing that, because while I find the words entertaining to write, if people associated with the lab read this blog, they may not find them entertaining to read and I have enormous respect for them. However, today I am struggling to stifle the snarky side, but I will do my very best from letting any acid bleed onto the page and remain as objective and even in my commentary of these statements as possible. However, I am going to unpick them surgically as I know that people will latch on to certain phrases, and they need to be addressed.

To the first statement. Does it reveal any new research findings? No. So the key question is what do they mean by “evidence suggests that neither physiological nor cognitive processes end with death”?

In the absence of unpublished new evidence or definitions of death, human physiological processes must by the definition of the word physiological, end with death. The definition of death using Sam Parnia’s own definition in previous publications, is the cessation of all measurable heart and central nervous system activity. Some definitions include respiratory processes, which can occur during CPR, and is possibly why time of death is declared on cessation of CPR. This all creates a semantic problem.

The first semantic problem is that physiological processes cannot happen after death. Biological processes such as changes in cellular chemistry continue after death, but it is actually impossible for physiological processes to continue unless the definition of physiological has changed. CPR is a grey area, but it is also the area which is most relevant to discussions of REDs or NDEs.

The second semantic problem occurs with the use of the new term RED.

For the word physiological to be correct they must now be defining the period where there is no heartbeat but CPR is being performed and therefore passive respiration is occurring, as a period where the patient is alive. If so, they have moved the goal posts and in doing so RED becomes an incorrect expression for all experiences reported during this period because they are not experiences occurring during their new definition of death…they are however “nearly”dead…mmm, can anyone think of a term to describe an experience that happens when someone is nearly dead? Anyone?

I hope any readers from the Parnia lab will allow me one indulgence of snarkiness when I ask people to rearrange the words: their eat can’t and they it have cake.

The second term, “cognitive” is much more straight forward. My current work in Alzheimer’s focuses on tests that measure changes in cognition and the definition of cognition is; “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.” This is precisely what is reported during REDs or NDEs. No disputing this.

The statement then goes on to say that studies have so far been unable to prove or disprove the reality or meaning of patients claims of awareness during death.

Well that depends on whether you regard the testimony of thousands of credible individuals including healthcare professionals as evidence that provides proof. If you do, then it is proven. However, as I have stated on here numerous times, these experiences have not been scientifically validated/proven using modern scientific, digital (non-human) methods.

If I have missed something and this press release says anything new then please let me know in the comments.

Let’s move on to the Tweet. This refers to the recent “straw man”case and possibly to their own findings which they mentioned in the AHA poster in 2019 (and likely subsequent unpublished findings). In the Straw Man case, EEG activity sufficient to be associated with consciousness was measured for up to 30 seconds after death. I repeat for the nth time, there were no recollections of consciousness because the patient never recovered. There was no reported life review, or other element of a RED reported.

In the AHA poster it was reported that EEG levels that could be associated with conscious activity were measured up to 90 minutes after death (but during CPR…so were they dead?). Despite repeated efforts to get an answer to the question of whether or not there were reported experiences of consciousness during these EEG episodes, no more details have emerged. They have the data. They know whether those patients survived and were interviewed, but through reasons only they know, which I am sure are good, they have chosen not to share these important details with the wider community for over 2 years now.

Until we are presented with validated reported recollections of consciousness, either during periods of EEG activity, or in the absence of EEG activity, these findings are interesting, but not relevant to informing the scientific community on the nature of REDs (or NDEs if a patient is not technically dead during CPR 🙂 ).

Until the Parnia lab, or other researchers, present time stamped validated reports of consciousness matched with EEG data we have not moved forward significantly from the 1970s in terms of scientifically proving one way or the other what is going on.

To me these statements represent scientific fence sitting. They are very much in character with some of Dr Parnia’s previous enigmatic statements. To one community, the NDE community, he unequivocally states his belief in dualism based on scientific evidence, to the other community, the medical scientific community, he presents a more nuanced position in which the data might support the understanding that these conscious episodes are due to underlying “physiological” processes.


However, sitting on the fence is a precarious position to take, and the fence is getting thinner as he gathers more data, and at some point he will need to get off the fence, especially when addressing fellow scientists of a sceptical disposition. He can obviously only do that when he has actual data to support what he says though.

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202 thoughts on “The Art Of Fence Sitting

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  1. Mery on said:

    Well, as I said in a previous comment, the press release provided and written by Langone Health is misleading, since the gamma waves are not part of the article in Annals of NYAS, not even mentioned. It is based on the resport by Zemmar’s, and it may be the Parnia Lab opinion, but that should not be placed among their own study conclusions. Bruce Greyson and Jeffrey Long confirmed in a PC that this press release is bad publicity and that that part in the conclusions should be corrected.

    I believe that Parnia is always playing both sides. They already mentioned their alpha waves, and never draw any conclusions from it in their talks, except maybe the physiology part: the brain has not lost function irreversibly after minutes of CA. But with this information they published the consensus article and the Bigalow Essay, in which they discard EEG observed activity during CPR as causing REDs. And during their last talk they went all way dualistic. So I really don’t understand their position.
    If by heightened levels of EEG activity they meant the gamma waves by Zemmar, then I don’t think conclusions should be drawn from that report: the interpretation of those findings is ambiguous, and the increase in gamma waves was seen only during BS, not after CA, actually it decreased after CA.

    There is a report from 2021 I which brain activity continued after cessation of CBF but spectral analysis revealed a decrease in all bands and loss of coherence.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34184175/

    I believe Parnia loves publicity. He seems to be very insistent equalling CA to death, and that brain activity is severely disfuncional at that moment. If he has his own data, he is clearly contradicting himself. And then the whole talk at the brain awareness week makes no absolute sense.

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    • Hi Mecy

      What do you mean by a PC regarding Greyson and Long? I never heard that term apart from personal computer

      Thanks

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      • Personal communication. I exchanged some mails with Greyson and Long, about that press release. They are co authors of the study on REDs, and are not happy about that press release.

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    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      One of the main problems with dualistic philosophy is that no one can explain how the non physical interacts with the physical brain. It is why idealism has taken off as of late.

      However, it is starting to appear that science is just beginning to unravel this problem.

      Gamma waves popping up as the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood, recent findings in brain microtubules in relation to consciousness, and Parnia’s stance that these gamma waves showing up when the brain is shutting down with death allowing humans to gain insights into other dimensions of reality, and then doubling down on that in the Brain Awareness Week panel and in his labs quote “are the gamma waves causing the life review, or is the life review causing the gamma waves?” Are all pointing dualistically.

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      • I absolutely agree Michael. You made a perfect summary after days and days of speculation:

        “Gamma waves popping up as the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood, recent findings in brain microtubules in relation to consciousness, and Parnia’s stance that these gamma waves showing up when the brain is shutting down with death allowing humans to gain insights into other dimensions of reality, and then doubling down on that in the Brain Awareness Week panel and in his labs quote “are the gamma waves causing the life review, or is the life review causing the gamma waves?” Are all pointing dualistically”

        I think the dualistic view is quite evident. Even if brain markers are true, they must not be necessarily read as causation but the way mind and brain interact.

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      • Michael, I’ve seen something on these microtubules but not sure where it comes from. Like is this a hypothetical proposal based off something they found in the brain? A philosophical one? Where is this coming from and do you know where I can read for myself about this?

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    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      @Mery,

      What did Greyson and Long say?

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      • Mery on said:

        Long’s answer was:
        “Thanks for drawing that to my attention! You are correct that us authors do not believe studies showing gamma wave bursts at the moment of death explains anything about NDE. They confused our article with another article that talked about gamma wave bursts at the moment of death- which was refuted by some excellent writing by Bruce Greyson”
        Greyson’s:
        “Thank you for forwarding this release advertising the Langone team’s “consensus” article that inexplicably included the recent questionable report of gamma activity allegedly after cardiac arrest as one of the conclusions of that article. At best, this is sloppy journalism, if not bias on the part of the AAAS editors of EurekAlert! It would be nice if the Langone team could issue a correction, but I fear this release has already circulated too widely for a correction to have much effect.”

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        So both Greyson and Long think the press release is referring to the “Straw man” study, I wonder if that is the case for the Parnia Labs tweet about brain activity at cardiac arrest (there is no evidence Parnia solely runs that Twitter account).

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    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Mery, I think you should also ask Greyson and Long about the Tweet with regards to brain activity and cardiac arrest. It might be about the Zemmar report, but it would also clarify if Parnia has data or studies which he has been keeping under the table (which I think is unlikely given Greyson and Long have been working with Parnia).

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  2. Eduardo on said:

    I think some statements by Parnia (and team) are related to the fact that also Parnia studied or is studying terminal lucidity at the end of life in people with dementia, etc.; perhaps that explains what he states in point 4 of the April 7, 2022 report.
    Together with the National Institute on Aging Parnia and others have or were aiming to follow about 500 terminally ill patients who have dementia and a life expectancy OF 1 WEEK OR LESS.
    They planned to even use biomarkers of brain activity. They were going to examine EEG measurements to assess whether any electrocortical biomarker corresponds to brain activity before, during or after a period of PL (i.e. end-of-life paradoxical lucidity).
    Now I understand, moreover, Parnia’s praise and congratulations to the study of the 87-year-old epileptic man (of whom we know that the time of his actual cardiac arrest was not recorded); according to some websites, Parnia said: “This study seems to confirm this by identifying a possible brain marker of lucidity at the end of life. It may be that, as multiple parts of the brain shut down with death, this leads to a disinhibition of other areas that helps people experience insight into other dimensions of reality that are otherwise less accessible.”

    https://nyulangone.org/news/new-studies-explore-end-life-cognitive-thought-improved-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation-methods?fbclid=IwAR30GLVLsXOFMVmbs36j_EaK43yWSr9788gUzsVk0QVkCgPKTtxHKqPfFAo

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  3. Well, if it’s only “gamma activity and electrical spikes” (press release) there’s a lot of heavy lifting to do via these in respect of the whole *content* of REDs, including the bleeding obvious, i.e. people seeing things they shouldn’t be able to, mentioned before by Sam Parnia. I see the fence fitting but do think they’re tilting towards the non-physical without explicitly saying it.
    Interesting Mery got those comments from Bruce Greyson and Jeffrey Long about the PR. Would be interesting also to hear what Peter Fenwick (author of The Truth in the Light) thought of it. I believe he’s a supporter of the non-materialist position.

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  4. Eduardo on said:

    At this point, I believe that many unknowns of NDEs are “answered” by the 80-90 percent who were reanimated and did not have NDEs…If NDEs were physiological in origin, why don’t 80-90 percent report them?

    Another thing…Ben…By “physiological” I think you mean also at the molecular level, not only at the tissue and organ level…Don’t forget that the definition surely came about at a time of the rise of materialism, where the hypothesis of life after death was nil, practically. …There are studies that indicate that genes are followed after death, for example. I may be wrong, of course.

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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  5. David on said:

    He’s no Lue Elizondo.

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  6. Anthony on said:

    I read the tweets from Sam Parnia’s lab and I really think they have found in their study a correlation between brain activity and near death experiences. If this finally happens I think it would be a great advance for all these issues, although I suspect that some will not be so happy
    It only remains to wait for the results of the second phase of his study and see what it brings

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Frank on said:

    I guess that Parnia’s stance is:

    1. A RED seems to point to access to other aspects of REALITY, since it can not be explained as an illusion or halluciation.
    2. Changes to/in the brain are correlated with a RED, so there is something special going on on a physiological level as well.

    How to interpret these other aspects of reality, how they are related to consciousness, how to interpret these physiological processes in relation to consciousness, and whether or not consciousness survives, seems to be beyond the current scientific data we have.

    But the fact that the consensus statement rules out hallucinations, illusions or psychedelic drug induced experiences basically supports nr 1 above.

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  8. FourDoorThreat on said:

    I posted this on another blog post, but didn’t the first AWARE study not show any EEG activity out of all their patients? In fact, didn’t their one verdicial NDE they got out of it was showing a flat line? I can’t say for certain, but from what I gather, it seems brain activity during cardiac arrest isn’t always a guarantee.

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    • Mery on said:

      The aware 1 study did not show any results on EEG, if I remember correctly it did not include EEG readings, it focused on the visual targets. The patient with veridical perceptions was given CPR outside the study settings, no visual targets were in the room.

      It is the Aware2 study that measured EEG, they got isoelectricity for the majority of time, except for some activity (epileptic, Burst suppression, thetha and even alpha). They published a paper back in 2018 about this and was mentioned in the references for this last consensus article and the Bigelow Essay.
      I believe the Twitter comment was referring to the gamma waves from Zemmar’s report, since as far as we know Parnia has only mentioned the alpha waves in their findings, not gamma. Their alpha waves were already mentioned in 2019 and they never correlated to NDEs. Even in the Zoom talk, which seemed very dualistic they already knew about their alpha waves (also mentioned in an Instagram post) and the gamma waves in Zemmar’s report. When they say EEG activity linked to hightened consciousness, I believe they mean that gamma waves have been linked to high cognitive processes (among other things) in other studies (not related to NDEs), they are not referring to their own study.

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    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      I was thinking the tweet was also referring to the Zemmar report because it seemed so out of left field, plus the series of those tweets seem to be a summary of press release which mentioned the gamma waves.

      I thought the first AWARE study had EEGs connected to the patients, and I remember years ago Sam being on a news program and he brought the apparatus to the interview. On a previous post on this blog, I saw someone bringing up the one NDE they got out of the study showed a flat line, and Ben agreed with it.

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  9. Mery on said:

    I left a comment on twitter (had to create an account for this, I hate Twitter) about the press release not being correct on reporting their conclusions. I got this answe:
    “Thank you for your comment. However, the man in article includes multiple supplementary materials, these review the topic of the electrical activity in relation to death.”

    Now, I must say I am a bit cross about this answer. I carefully read suppl material (2) where they have a section on EEG findings related to death. They never mentioned Zemmar’s findings, and comment on Chwala and the rats findings, dismissing them as possible citotoxcity, and stating that no reports were obtained from those patients nor animals and therefore it was very speculative.
    I have answered them. In case you might want to follow this thread I am Merypips.

    I truly believe they are misleading here, they made a mistake that concerns other authors, and instead of acknowledging, they are trying to justify themselves. They are trying to fit the findings of gamma waves from Zemmar’s into their own research, but why?? Or is it simply that they won’t correct the press release?
    They had their own results during the zoom meeting, why on earth would they go on such discussion, then??

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    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Wait, what? They are saying the “Guidelines” study shows the brain activity they are referring to? A lot of people on here have meticulously gone through that article, its supplements, and it doesn’t discuss the gamma waves. I can see why Greyson and Long are cross about the situation now, it also explains why the press release and one tweet seem so out of place.

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      • Mery on said:

        The guidelines reference the studies from 2013 and 2009 in rats and patients, and they dismissed them as causing REDs. See page 14 of suppl material. They do not mention Zemmar’s study nor any other findings.

        Their tweet is a continuation of the press release, so I take they are mixing things up: the Zemmar’s report (or maybe some new results from their own study?) and passing it as part of their study’s review and conclusions.

        It seems like it is all smoke, these hightened states of consciousness linked to gamma waves refer to other kind of studies, and have not been ever linked to hightened consciousness during CA, as far as we know, at least nothing of the short has been published.

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Again, that is my conclusion also, there seems to have been a mix-up with the PR people.

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    • Alan on said:

      Mery, doesn’t the reply you received from Dr. Long absolve all the authors of the main paper? … “You are correct that us authors [meaning all authors of the paper] do not believe studies showing gamma wave bursts at the moment of death explains anything about NDE.” And Dr. Greyson’s too?
      I read their twitter reply to you as well and their referencing the Supplementary S2 File and the “electrical activity in relation to death” in that. So it looks to be just a mistake in the Press Release. As Greyson says, “sloppy journalism, if not bias on the part of the AAAS editors of EurekAlert!”

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      • Mery on said:

        Yes, I understand your point. However, the press release was not written by Eureka news. It was Langone Health who wrote it, that is, people from Parnia lab’s center. At least someone from the Media release communication department. And the Twitter account is from Parnia Lab.
        I am not sure who wrote it, and who is responsible for it, or whether they represent Parnia’s position. But if so, maybe he changed his mind and is trying to pass it as their article conclusions, without informing the other authors. Maybe he is open to new interpretation of the gamma waves that contradicts all (and I mean ALL) his previous comments on this, and doesn’t know how to “unsay” what he previously said.

        Or maybe it is someone from his team, or the media press thing from his institution, and has nothing to do with Parnia’s position. That would make sense with the Zoom meeting and their dualistic position…

        The articles from 2013 and 2009 were better designed than Zemmar’s report, which is very very ambiguous. And Parnia has always criticised them in previous articles. So I wonder why would he change his mind now based on this last study, which adds nothing relevant to what was known before.

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      • Mery (and Yitz) you have made some very pertinent points, ones that I share. Parnia virtually ignored social media until last year when a new account was created under the parnia lab handle. Then the Instagram account appeared at the beginning of this year. I suspect that both of these are run by more junior members of his team with his approval and oversight. The tone of some of the posts do contradict what he says publicly, and therefore it is entirely possible that some of the contributors from his lab do not share his position and he let’s them have their say for the sake of balance.

        I personally do not believe his position on dualism has shifted. From everything that has been said by the lab, the new data that he refers to, specifically the Straw Man article, suggests that he, or they, think this shows activity around the time of death, and specifically immediately before and after. Moreover, his repeated reference of access to other dimensions, or wider realities, for me enforces my belief that while he regards this data as genuinely interesting, it maybe just shows the necessary activity that would be seen as the consciousness awakens to these new dimensions and leaves the body. Basically the “packing its bags and saying goodbye” scenario that I have been suggesting.

        I picture something analogous to the scene in Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy where all the dolphins suddenly fly away and sing “Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.”

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        For that matter Ben, Parnia was still pounding the “different dimensions” drum a few days ago in that Popular Mechanics article.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. I don’t believe anything has changed, except the amount of discussion the recent case study has generated. As I have said numerous times, without knowing what the patient experienced…if anything…it is impossible to know what the EEG activity refers to. No, hang on, incoming, I just received a message from someone and they have been able to interpret the EEG readout using advanced software. This is the actual sound that the consciousness is making…incredible find: https://youtu.be/2v2CNGiK7sQ

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  10. Eduardo on said:

    I believe that Parnia relates or refers, rather, to his research with episodes of terminal lucidity in point 4 of the press release.
    What I mean is that Parnia now has electrocortical samples from moments (days, hours or minutes) prior to death. Something he did not have in Aware I, and he can make a comparison or relate it to Ecms.
    For this reason, what may be happening is that Parnia has seen many “gamma waves” in those “electros” of patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in their moments of lucidity, and now he sees it again in this case of the 87 year old epileptic man.

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  11. Katie on said:

    I think I remember an example given in one of Dr Parnia’s writings of people experiencing traumatic memories of being resuscitated which was very different from REDs. Could this be related to the increased gamma rays vs people experiencing REDs not having any EEG activity?

    This just isn’t adding up based on Parnia’s recent talk and Bigelow entry

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    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      If you read Mery’s comments on this post, what appears to be happening is that both the press release and the tweet seem to be referring to the Zemmar report with the epileptic man. When they inquired the Parnia Labs Twitter account about this, they were told to check the supplements with the “Guidelines…” report the press release was promoting. Except that report mentions nothing about gamma waves or brain activity during a RED. Mery contacts Bruce Greyson and Jeffrey Long who contributed to the report and they are not happy.

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      • Katie on said:

        I guess I’m confused on this. Why would Parnia lab do a press release on another study when this looks like its referring to its own study?

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    • Katie on said:

      Lol I just realize I wrote “gamma rays” 🤣

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  12. Mery on said:

    The conversation keeps going.
    “Dear Merypips – thanks for the interest. Electrical surges, including gamma activity is of interest since at least 2013 – and the study that brought this to the fore was referenced and discussed. The interpretation -whether excitotoxicity or otherwise -is of course up for debate.”

    The guidelines clearly referred to the studies in 2013 and 2009.
    The new conclusion and Tweet seems to refer to Zemmar’s report. Bad press, very bad move.

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    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      The whole tweet about brain activity similar to heightened consciousness makes sense under the Zemmar report as their patient was epileptic. However, to say that happens under cardiac arrest is a whole new ball game, and why it feels so out of place.

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    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      @mery

      So basically they are still sticking to the findings in 2009 and 2013 and just adding Zemmars case report in the mix????

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      • Katie on said:

        This is why I’m confused. Why add that study at all unless it corresponds with something AWARE II found?

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    • Katie on said:

      So at they referencing the Zemmar study without citing it?

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      • I believe so. They only referenced their own findings on Instagram, few months ago, about EEG during CPR, and mentioned the alpha waves (2019 findings). On the tweet about the new article they are including the tweet about “latest discoveries” and even included that information in the press release about the contents of the article, but the artícle doesn’t include such latest discoveries, the only reference on gamma waves made by them was the Zemmar’s comment on Instagram last month. So that’s why I believe things got mixed (on purpose or by mistake by other collaborators, I do not know).

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s possible that we may also have played our part in muddying the waters. I know there was a lot of discussion initiated by Tim on the subject of gamma waves after the Zemmar study. Who knows. Nothing has changed. No report of an experience therefore nothing more than just confirming that findings from the rat studies may also apply to humans.

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  13. Shouldn’t we be all asking them for clarification in their twitter post? Just to push them

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  14. Unfortunately, the evidence seems to be mounting against REDs/OBEs. I surmise that Parnia has changed his tune, and for good reason.

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    • I disagree Yitz. I just think he is just allowing for possibilities that emerging data points to. I think some of the confusion comes from different voices representing the lab on social media.

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        The question is how does evidence mount against the EVAs or OBEs? There are far too many anecdotal cases of accurate recall verified, thousands maybe, to hand wave away. Saying there is this secret “afterlife mafia” hoaxing all these claims is even too far fetched for most skeptics.

        I know AWAREII had an audio hit, but I wonder just how it will be interpreted. As they are using headphones if I recall, I think the hit almost certainly occured during a period of flatline EEG, if there is activity a lot of people, even non skeptics are going to say, “Well, dummies, they are still probably conscious!”

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      • Exactly. Even if the EEG i off the chart, it cannot explain how someone sees things outside of their body. I like the afterlife mafia suggestion…would that make me a Don or more like Grace Hamilton in the Godfather?

        On the issue of the audio hit, while I have a lot of respect for Parnia and his co-workers, his refusal to thus far share any more details of this or the context of the EEG activity during CPR, is pretty poor form, especially given that 2 years have passed. While it is his research, and he must judge the timing and methods of communicating the data so that it has the best impact, the knowledge this research potentially provides all humanity is far too important to play secret squirrel with.

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      • ekarus on said:

        agree

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      No he hasn’t. There is no one Parnia goes on a two hour public zoom conference telling the world his dualistic mindset based off evidence but then changes his tune literally the next week.

      However, I think Parnia is doing a horrible job at releasing information accurately. He’s putting words in other scientists mouths and irritating them, he is saying completely different things depending on who he is talking too, and he is turning his important work into a media spectacle as if it was a reality tv show.

      He’s going to cost himself his credibility. It’s slowly starting to happen with me. I feel less confident in anything that comes out of Sam Parnia’s mouth than other scientists in the field. Even hardcore skeptics!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with Ben that it may be that people handling the Parnia Lab’s social media accounts are responsible for the tweets, not Parnia himself. I noticed that sometimes in Instagram they were answering more directly using expressions like “we”, and even introducing themselves as “one of the researchers”, so I guess different people have access to their account.
        But as Michael said, this is damaging their reputation. It seems it is all about publicity. Remember the Instagram answer about how they would be discussing new discoveries in the zoom talk? And then they didn’t.
        I think that we have to be very careful when it is about tweets and publicity, and trust only what comes directly from his mouth…

        I am keeping Bruce Greyson updated about the tweet posts, he was interested about it. But I don’t think they would write to the Parnia lab for clarifications, Greyson doesn’t go into social media debates…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael, as I said, I am of the same view for the most part, but I don’t think it has cost him his credibility…yet. I think it would serve him better to reign in those who contribute to the social media feeds a wee bit. Yes, we are hungry for news, and I do believe they have news they are sitting on (any data on the audio hit or EEG signals during CPR would be news), but if they wish to maintain the appearance of objectivity without looking increasingly duplicitous, it would be wiser if they were to reserve comment on their position until they release this data and any other information they have gathered.

        If he has more data than is the public domain that causes him to be certain of his publicly stated dualist beliefs, then he has a moral and ethical obligation to share that data as soon as possible either at a convention, or ideally in a publication. Both take time, and we must be patient from that perspective, and he has said that a paper will be out this fall. From a personal perspective, that feels too long, but from a broader perspective, it is absolutely vital that if they have scientifically validated evidence of dualism then while they have a responsibility to share this as soon as possible, they must also be absolutely sure the research can’t be shot down by semantic pedants who identify a technical or statistical flaw or something.

        My current organisation is in a bit of a pickle because it didn’t get the protocols of the studies right at launch. It is a drug that I strongly believe delays the onset of dementia, but due to the flaws in the data, it won’t now be used as widely as it could be in the US. This may turn out to be a tragedy if confirmatory data proves what we believe to be true about the drug since tens of thousands will not have received treatment when they would have if the study got it right from the start. However, like Parnia, it could be argued that we are building the plane as we are learning to fly. Given this, despite my impatience, I would rather wait another 6 months and the data AWARE II was flawless, than it is released now and torn down by materialists.

        Like

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Parnia saying the brain is a receiver is nothing new, I can find a skeptic.com article calling him out for it all the way back in 2014 on his Wikipedia page.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mery, thanks for reaching out on Twitter. The responses from Dr. Long and Dr. Greyson you got cleared it up for me. I think the team is in a thankless position esp. because at some point a bunch of debunkers will arrive and have a go at them. But … there’s so much in their full paper (which I’ve looked at) and the supplementary stuff that it’s like them saying … “do you see what we’re getting at!!!”

        Like

  15. Michael DeCarli on said:

    @Mery

    Could you please keep us up on what Dr. Greyson says!? I respect his research more than anyones. He’s really quite impressive.

    Like

  16. Peter on said:

    I think what we can do is sit and wait to the fall.the data will tell us everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great blog and forum Ben. I only found this blog after the Zemmar paper came out and have been coming here since to read but have not commented before. But a really good top notch and well informed discussion here by all those posting and your excellent dissection.

    Maybe I’m wrong but in my view the recent ambiguous and confusing statements from the Parnia Lab is likely them playing a game for the materialism indoctrinated scientific and medical community – that is let’s make it like we (Parnia Lab) are also more toward being traditional scientific materialists like you are but are investigating dualism and what is the evidence for it as it does need to be looked into scientifically. This way they won’t be overly criticized and shunned when the research findings come out that don’t support the mainstream indoctrinated scientific materialism accepted view. The fact they are willing to put somewhat vague misleading nonsense in their tweets and press releases to position themselves this way (unless there is another good reason for doing so that I might have missed) and not correct it when such is pointed out to them is not at all what should be happening on their end. I’m personally disappointed in the Parnia Lab. They should not be causing unneeded confusion or anxiety either as if people like those on this blog don’t matter in the resulting collateral damage until its all corrected down the road when the actual research paper comes out.

    What I think is happening with some of the data we see like with Zemmar’s patient is that consciousness ‘decouples’ from the brain and this decoupling is what causes the massive opening of the ion channels in the neurons in the brain, which in turn shows up as the spike in gamma waves that also show coherence [though the absolute gamma is still lower and the real gamma spike was before cardiac arrest in the Zemmar patient, as was correctly pointed out in the comments on this blog]. I think this could then be the point where the soul leaves the body (i.e. consciousness separates from the brain). Consciousness then is no longer limited by the brain and thus there is expanded awareness. The awareness and thought pattern of the person right at the moment they leave their body is also stamped onto the brain – but not after unless it was an NDE and the person returns to the body, but there would still be no brain activity until that re-entry into the body occurs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Hsan, glad you appreciate our thoughtful little community. I genuinely think the decoupling idea is the most likely explanation for the EEG activity. All your points are well made.

      Like

    • Hi Tim

      Any information from yourself?

      Like

      • @ Z

        Hi, Z, I’m actually trying to refrain from posting for the time being; I’ve posted far too much, recently. The only thing I have to say about the Parnia Lab tweet is that it’s badly phrased, therefore confusing and most unhelpful

        Tweet: “One of the most exciting discoveries – brain activity associated with heightened states of consciousness has been shown to be present even during cardiac arrest. This marks a pivotal moment in the study of recalled experiences of death and in our understanding of consciousness”

        The brain activity that we talked about from the 2019 poster was more than likely related to the efficiency of the mechanical chest compressors (Like the Life Stat) they use. Someone in cardiac arrest, however (without intervention that is) has no brainwaves, period, it’s impossible for them to have electrical activity without any perfusion to the brain, one doesn’t need to be a physician to work that out. If you unplug your computer, it’s stops working.

        Brains need “fuel” and lots of it, even small reductions in blood pressure will cause someone to lose consciousness, so our experts tell us. And of course we know that ourselves, it’s just common sense.

        Secondly, Dr Zemmar’s patient had a catastrophic brain injury and he was in burst suppression (no consciousness possible) when his heart stopped. If one believes that the brain is responsible for the life review (as you must if you are a reductionist materialist) then you have to have a fully working brain (as a whole) including the cortex.

        From a purely physiological perspective, logical thought processes with reasoning (as in the life review) surely can’t suddenly spring up in localised spots (of the brain) unless we want to re-write the textbooks. His brain was massively damaged so whatever activity they think they’ve identified, it can’t be anything as organised as a life review.

        So what on earth are they going on about it for ? I’m blowed if I know, but I suspect they may be trying to keep things sweet with those who do not want to hear about consciousness without a brain and there are many, many of those.

        Don’t listen to me, listen to experts like Bruce Greyson and Jeff Long. They know their stuff (and some) and what did they say ? Load of nonsense, basically.

        Honestly, I would just ignore it, but I can already see that it’s gathering a life of it’s own, as I knew it would. Just my thoughts, Z, all the best !

        Like

      • Thanks Tim,

        I think somewhat ironically that the ones acting most sceptical towards the entire thing is those who on this blog and similar for example. We are in general propements of the mind been an thing upon itself yet are going through every detail it seems. If anything it shows the difference between a sceptic and a cynic.

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Hi Tim,

        A part of me wonders if the tweet is referring to work Parnia Labs has done but hasn’t published yet. I do agree the claim that the brain under cardiac arrest some how shows activity along the lines of heightened consciousness seems to go against everything science tells us, a clearly unconscious person is some how conscious?

        We’ve known for years the dying brain doesn’t shut down instantly, but I believe the activity in those studies show they are no where on par with heightened consciousness.

        Like

  18. This is looking like it’s a minor mistake made by someone handling the social media accounts. A minor mistake with potentially big consequences however. I hope they clarify/retract or whatever.

    Like

  19. When a totally new area of research arrives in science, there will be one or two papers that “lay the groundwork” for the work … definitions etc. (e.g. RED not NDE) and suggestions for further research. Einstein’s 1905 paper on special relativity essentially gave contemporary physicists some new physics lessons they’d never forget and certainly laid new groundwork (e.g. space and time could no longer be considered separate). So I think their Annals of the NYAS paper is doing this. I thought how they referred to the term “dimension” in the supplementary material was stunning. Perhaps they are setting the stage for groundbreaking actual data (e.g. veridical REDs) in their next paper?

    Like

  20. I am slightly confused as to what is going on here exactly…

    Someone correct me or fill me in here if I am wrong.

    1) Dr. Parnia is sitting on the fence and going from one side of the fence to another, even though he supports the dualist view (most of the time).

    2) That the social media account is posting false conclusions from person(s) who are not Dr. Parnia?

    3) ????

    Not sure if Dr. Parnia and team are in favour of survival or not here.

    Thank you for any insight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • P.S was the rat brain study not refuted long ago?

      Like

    • Hi Hans, and welcome,

      1. correct

      2.Speculation

      As for the rat study, the data was never refuted…the signals were present for up for up to 30 seconds after death. However, the materialist conclusions/assumptions that these signals explain NDEs have been refuted. Tim is specially good with that one.

      Like

  21. P.S was the rat brain study not refuted long ago?

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  22. Cobra on said:

    I’m really a bit dissappointed with the Parnia people. One can’t really trust their words at the moment. Also they never mentioned, to my knowledge, gamma waves before the Strawman Study was published. I don’t get why they put so much weight on this case. Don’t they have data from their own studies? If their own data confirms the Strawman, why have they not mentioned their gamma waves findings before? It doesn’t make sense right now.

    Since their study is still going, maybe they now have found a patient with gamma waves, similar to the strawman? That would at least make sense for them to rely so heavily on the strawman.

    Like

    • Maybe I am mistaken, wasn’t the Aware2 recruitment closed in 2020?

      To summarize:
      Consensus on REDs and B Essay: written in 2021 they dismissed gamma waves, they even dismissed their own finding of thetha waves from 2018.
      January Instagram: advertise updates on Aware2
      February 11: they announce a manuscript coming up on Aware2 (this means they wrote it some months before at least, and results should have been ready for a while before that)
      February 16: they publish on Instagram their findings on alpha waves (the update they promised) (these data were also present in 2019).
      February 24: they comment on Zemmar’s results (mentioning the gamma waves).
      March: Zoom meeting (?????)

      I also think, that the review they carried out for the RED consensus statement was a very meticulous work. If they had other findings supporting otherwise (like gamma waves) they wouldn’t have dismissed those studies and put forward a dualist view. Same with the Zoom meeting in March.

      Maybe it was a bad mistake from the people in charge of the social media communications, based on the recent comments by Parnia on the gamma waves, and despite it is very wrong to change completely some of the study conclusions, we are over analysing this…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Mery,

        I believe, I’ve read on an instagram post, that they would release the study in fall, but it was still ongoing or something along the lines. But maybe I remember it wrong.

        Anyway, I think you are right! It could be we are overanalysing, it’s just that they are contradicting themselves very obviously and on twitter they don’t even react to the contradiction. I hope it clears up soon.

        Like

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        @mery

        I agree.

        A few weeks ago Ben posted the response Parnia Lab gave to Jordan about this very issue. The response was Parnia Lab affirming that REDs are not hallucinations, acknowledging that the other “dimensions” people experience are very much real, that the could not be purely attributed to biology, and explained the position with the sentence “are the gamma waves causing the life review, or is the life review causing the gamma waves.”

        I really wasn’t even bothered by the press release at first and thought it was a mix up for including Zemmars study. But based on Parnia Labs response to Jordan a few weeks ago, I think their position is the same with dualistic leanings, but the communication had a breakdown and we all dissected it to an extreme level lol.

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      • @michael – yeah, it’s all getting a bit old isn’t it? It’s as though there is someone in the Parnia lab who is bating us!! Every time we calm down, a tweet suddenly appears that sends us into another meltdown!

        Like

      • Hi Mery, the AWARE II study was originally supposed to complete recruiting in 2020, but didn’t. From my understanding they were still recruiting at least up until recently. This is from their current webpage on the study. I think this page was created 2 years ago :

        https://med.nyu.edu/research/parnia-lab/research-studies/consciousness-awareness-cognitive-experiences-during-cardiac-arrest/consciousness-awareness-during-resuscitation

        “We are actively recruiting for AWARE II, and hope to expand our academic partnership to universities around the world. Our goals for the next two years include investigating whether a majority of cardiac arrest patients experience awareness during resuscitation, even if patients are unable to recall it due to impaired memory. This is being done through testing of novel methods that aim to evaluate for the presence of implicit learning in the absence of explicit recall during cardiac arrest, as well as studying how we might better protect the brain and preserve function in survivors. We’re also interested in whether memories could be triggered in those who have forgotten them, using external stimuli.”

        It is possible they have now recruited all their patients and are conducting statistical analysis for the publication in the Fall.

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  23. I agree with you both.
    The reason I went into social media (I never do, I didn’t even have a Twitter account) analysing this is because I am a researcher myself, more than a decade of experience with clinical research and publications, and to mix studies/add conclusions that are not part of a study just for the sake of publicity (by whoever did that) is terribly wrong and a fraudulent use of publicity. The fact that it affects other authors and that the Parnia Lab wouldn’t admit the mistake or correct it makes it even worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cobra on said:

      I agree. It’s not a good style of them.
      I appreciate your commitment! (And that of others here, too)
      Otherwise I (and probably others) wouldn’t get all these important infos.

      Like

    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      Very true Mery!!!

      Like

    • Cobra on said:

      My mind was still spinning around the question, why they put so much weight on Zemmars data, when they should have their own data. I hope I remember their study concept right, could it be, that they don’t have the data of EEG right before and shortly after cardiac arrest, because they’ve put the electrodes on after the CA and during CPR? So that they have EEG data after CA but not during? So that would explain why the Zemmar data is so important to them? As it closes a gap? Please excuse if i remember it wrong and the electrodes are on from the start. Maybe i should take a break 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cobra, that is exactly right. The adapted crash cart turns up after CA and measures EEG etc during CPR etc. However, while the Zemmar data is interesting, it only closes a gap in terms of measuring physiological parameters. There is no report of consciousness. Whereas the AWARE studies are trying to correlate reports of consciousness with presence or absence of physiological data from EEG, ECG and oxymetry.

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  24. Ok still new to this but I had a thought. What if part of the reason it seems like there’s this back and forth with what Parnia et al (did I use that correctly?) position is, is that they do have a lot of evidence they are not sharing.

    And they are 1. laying the ground work with better definitions; purposely lessening the scope of NDEs, not because they don’t find validity in the negative NDEs, but are trying to have less variables for testing with the intention of after ruling things out or in to include them…

    Because 2 they have new information that will show that some things are connected to the materialistic definition of the brain, like a life review, but other things are definitely not connected to the material definition.

    That could explain the excitement, the seemingly “fence sitting”, and the reason they are trying to be very careful because they know that if they don’t have a well organized, coherent argument meticulously backed up by data they aren’t going to convince people to take this seriously to study?

    Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Just know that if I were doing these studies and publishing my findings and conclusions, I personally would be trying to come from every angle I could think of for anticipating interpretations and criticisms, so that I could address that with as clear wording and communication as I could. And if I had data that was pointing strongly to 2 seemingly contradictory concepts, knowing what I know about human nature, but was muddled by how defintions were grouping things together in a way that was conflating them, I would be very, very careful in the information I gave out before I had a polished argument.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Eduardo on said:

    It should not be forgotten that Parnia was also recently studying terminal lucidity in patients with dementia who had a week or less of life expectancy, who underwent electroencephalography. Perhaps, and I say perhaps only perhaps, gamma waves appeared in these episodes of terminal lucidity, and Parnia relates or attaches importance to the case of the 87-year-old epileptic man (Zammer’s study).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is a good point Eduardo. After all the expression “around the time of death”could encompass the days before. However, while the Zammer case is informative in terms of providing evidence about brain activity at the point of death, some of the assertions the study makes, and the author makes in subsequent Tweets are completely unsubstantiated speculation, and yet Parnia (or his associates) has given this study plaudits. That I think is why people here are disgruntled and trying to understand where he is coming from.

      Anyway, I have to admit to being somewhat weary of this. I suspect things will be quiet for a few months until the paper is released in the Fall.

      Like

      • Dario on said:

        does sam parnia’s hopes of life after death then drop?

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      • Katie C on said:

        No, I do not think this is the case Dario. Those who have followed Parnia for years have seen him waffle back and forth, and I think it’s purely to appear impartial. I think he genuinely believes consciousness continues on after death. This is nothing new from him

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely right Katie…if it wasn’t for his waffling back and forth, this blog would be a lot quieter!

        Like

      • Dario on said:

        be that the positive results are even could before autumn? you don’t know how long I hope.

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      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        As you commented on another chain in this post Ben, the AWAREII researchers don’t keep EEGs on patients before hand, having to bring a crash cart to the patient when CA happens. I don’t know how long it takes for the cart to get to the patient, but given the AWAREII team mostly got isoelectricity with some occasional alpha waves, I am going to assume almost every time they got the EEG leads on the patient long after CA had started.

        I believe Zemmar commented for their sole case, it was kind of a fluke they had the EEGs on the patient before hand because almost no one slaps an EEG on someone waiting for them to die.

        That is, until Parnia started this study with patients to see what is going on with terminal lucidity where they have EEGs on the patients before hand. This is possibly could be why Parnia said during the Zoom meeting last month they had data to backup the Zemmar study, since the circumstances with AWAREII makes it almost an impossibility they would have EEGs on someone before they under went CA.

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  27. https://linktr.ee/nyugsom_ccrs

    An update regarding the specific CPR induced consciousness (CPRIC).

    This was one of the sunsets serperate to RED if I correct

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  28. Wow you just take a longer break from this blog than usual and suddenly 6(!) new blog entries?? & hundreds of comments! What did I miss? I just flew over some comments and what I have seen is that even though there has been so much activity on here that in fact we are not one step closer in geeting real hard valid evidence for either pro or contra NDEs, am I right or did I miss something?

    Like

  29. I thought I’d better post this, even though it’s perplexing :

    https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(21)02479-X/pdf

    No mention of finding RED’s (why?) in this mostly (?) self reported sample, even though 44 out of 116 (37.9%) had memories from their resuscitation, it seems to be just themed around CPRIC which they previously told us occurred only in 0.3% of their patients.

    Did some of these patients have RED’s (?) and Parnia Lab haven’t included the experience? If they did, that doesn’t appear to match up to the negative outcomes (depression PTSD ETC) reported by this sample. as RED’S (as we all know) produce very positive outcomes!

    In Aware 1, about 40% of patients reported feeling aware but did not have any specific memories.

    This study is another confusing enterprise. There must be some RED’s in those numbers (44) as the questionnaire they used specifically asked if they had RED type experiences.

    I don’t know what else to say other than the paper seems to be mostly about CPRIC and negative outcomes unless I’m missing something or reading it wrong.

    Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      I just noticed one of the authors of that report is Tara Keshavarz, whom was a co-author for the Bigelow Paper that Parnia submitted for the contest.

      I think as Z said, this report appears to be separate from the topic of REDs.

      Like

    • Katie on said:

      In a previous comment I mentioned that maybe all these references to waves popping up at the point of death is NOT referring to REDs. It’s referring to those cases in which an individual has awareness of resuscitation, and is typically traumatized by it. (which I’m glad to see others like Z noticed this too).

      But I think this goes deeper than just this article. I think it goes back to ANYTHING Parnia’s lab has referenced in terms of the gamma waves. I think Parnia’s team is going to say there is NO correlation between the gamma waves and REDs. But there IS the connection between gamma waves and CPRIC.

      Unless I’m way off base with this. idk

      Hopefully we get answers soon

      Like

    • Thanks for posting Tim. The questionnaire is specifically identifying facets of CIPRIC, and looks for cases from a wider registry…possibly a national registry. It would be interesting know if there are CIPRICs as well as REDs in any cases, but since they aren’t looking for this, I guess they didn’t mention it. It all ties in with their theme of consciousness during CA though, and adds credibility to their status leaders in the field of this kind of research. It also helps differentiate REDs. the more instances they have of the two different experiences, the more they will be able to distinguish the characteristic. the key one here seems to be the long lasting impact. REDs = positive, CIPRIC negative, despite virtually identical physiological trajectories.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Ben !

        I agree with what you’ve said there but that study (or most of it) is derived from this questionnaire which specifically asks for elements of RED’s.

        https://med.nyu.edu/research/parnia-lab/get-involved-our-research/patient-participant-research-opportunities/mixed-methods-study-adult-cardiac-arrest

        So why did they ask for elements of RED’s if they weren’t going to use them? Ah, just thought, maybe there will another paper (derived from this case study) on just RED’s. Who knows…

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Tim. They will use them, of that I am certain. I do think that what we are seeing is possibly a deliberate strategy to further establish their credentials beyond the field of REDs, but within the area of consciousness at or around the time of death. Also they need to understand the different types of experience and differentiate them, and their underlying characteristics. The fact that CIPRIC is so different from RED, and that the long term sequelae are also different helps prove that REDs and CPRIC are completely different and that REDs are not caused by CPRIC.

        Like

  30. Hi Tim and FourDoorThreat

    From reading of the guidelines papers they seem to try snd make RED snd CPRIC as serperate things.

    Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      This is inline with the Bigelow paper they wrote it seems, I think they argue CPRIC is entirely different then REDs and they even say the brain activity caused by CPR that is picked up by an EEG is not a RED if I am not mistaken.

      Like

    • Hi, Z and FDT

      Agreed but there should be some RED’s in that sample, in fact there must be. So they have not mentioned them even though their questionnaire asked for them, if you see what I mean.

      I shall probably (yeah right) leave it there, for the time being, as I would like to hear something from Parnia himself. Hopefully before Autumn. My head is spinning.

      Like

      • Michael DeCarli on said:

        Hi Tim,

        My first take from reading was that, in this particular release, they were ONLY discussing CPRIC. I don’t think they would have even included REDs in the piece because they seem to be trying to gather data to begin to form a baseline to come up with ways to help individuals with the psychological issues that can arise.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Michael

        Hi, Michael, yes, I get that but I’m a stickler for detail and at the bottom of their paper, in the conclusions they say this :

        “Cardiac arrest survivors may report anxiety, depression, and PTSD. While the mechanism is unclear, there may be a relationship between awareness and cognitive memories during resuscitation and negative psychological outcomes, including depression and possibly PTSD”

        Now, patients also (of course) have awareness and cognitive memories that are called RED’S and they have very positive outcomes. I would have liked to have seen some distinction between the awareness and cognitive memories associated with RED’s and the awareness and cognitive memories associated with CPRIC.

        Having said that, Parnia is not first author on the paper so it’s not his work (the composition anyway) and that might be the reason, if you see what I mean.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Tim, I agree that it would have helped if they had been more specific regarding the selected population in their conclusions. I think if we had a copy of the full text I suspect that the subjects in the population they are referring to would be stated as specifically being those that experienced recollections OF CPR, rather than just conscious episodes during CPR, but I am not going to pay to know that detail. In some parts they say they say “during” CPR, but when it comes to the specific symptoms of PTSD they say this:

        “CA survivors with awareness and/or memories of their resuscitation reported higher rates of moderate to severe depression compared to those without awareness or memories”

        On the subject of naming on papers it is often the convention to have the researcher who did all the work (usually a junior associate like a post doc) as the first author, and the boss as the last author. I know as I have been through this with my modest little pile of 6 papers that I wrote during my Ph.D. Sometimes, I was just in the middle of the list, even though I did the donkey work and wrote the paper, but my boss was often the last name.

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      • Just to add, I totally get your point though. They only describe 2 groups – a group who have memories, and a group who don’t, and those that do only have CIPRIC…as though these are the only two groups possible. No reference at all to the third group who have REDs.

        Like

  31. FourDoorThreat on said:

    I think Ben has pointed out several times on previous blog posts we have had reports of verdicial NDEs that have occured well after that critical 20 to 30 seconds when brain activity stops. This interestingly includes the one verdicial NDE reported in AWAREI which was “time-stamped” to have occured long after that time period. We know it happens (and I believe Parnia has either seen or heard plenty of anecdotes of these), we just haven’t been able to capture it on a EEG properly.

    Aside from Pam Renoylds who had a burst suppression on her EEG during her surgery, I stumbled across the case of Bettina Peyton who reportedly had a flat EEG while she was giving child birth, and still made accurate EVA observations.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. FourDoorThreat on said:

    This might be a little off-topic, but is anyone surprised there hasn’t been much of a ruckus from materialists over the “different dimensions” thing Parnia has been pushing the past couple of months? Let’s play Devil’s Advocate and think about it for a bit:

    1. Parnia is claiming as the brain shuts down, we actually get to see more of reality or different dimensions. This is like saying a gaming PC gets better graphics with a game if you turn it off.

    2. What are these different dimensions, can we detect or measure them? I know the concensus article has a supplement that goes into possible theories, but I will eat a hat if Parnia has actually discovered these “dimensions”.

    3. Evolutionary wise, what purpose would it serve humans to briefly see these hypothetical, so far undetectable dimensions before we die?

    Really, when you think about it, Parnia’s and his labs’ claims are really ballsy when you think about it, I mean good for him to be bold enough to say it.

    Like

    • Very fair angle

      Like

    • FDT I think that is a good point. I also think that the use of the phrase “different dimensions” is somewhat non-specific compared to say “heavenly realms” so wouldn’t trigger hard core materialists. The presence of different dimensions is an established fact in physics, and the potential for quantum mechanics to be a part of consciousness, makes what Parnia says to be uncontroversial, but as you say, in reality, they are really ballsy, and as a scientist he must produce data at some point that supports these suggestions.

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      • @Ben

        Ben said >”Just to add, I totally get your point though. They only describe 2 groups – a group who have memories, and a group who don’t, and those that do only have CIPRIC…as though these are the only two groups possible. No reference at all to the third group who have REDs.”

        Thanks ! Personally, I would have to closely examine every case (CPRIC and RED) to get the full picture. Occasionally the two are blended or are in tandem. Also, patients with RED’s often suffer depression because they want to go back (to where they were) or they feel guilty that during their (RED) experience, they were ready to go and effectively leave their families behind etc.

        It is true that most people with RED’s cope very well and take up life with new meaning and purpose now that they’ve had a glimpse (behind the scenes so to speak) but there are also some with RED’s who are so depressed that they had to come back, they sit in a chair all day, wanting to die (go back).

        It’s a complicated area, more so than that paper would indicate, but I’m sure they are aware of that.

        Like

      • “The presence of different dimensions is an established fact in physics, and the potential for quantum mechanics to be a part of consciousness, …”

        Hey Orson and folks. Since Orson mentioned this I thought to link this latest (2022) New Scientist article that seems pretty relevant, paywall but one gets the jist,

        “A new place for consciousness in our understanding of the universe
        To make sense of mysteries like quantum mechanics and the passage of time, theorists are trying to reformulate physics to include subjective experience as a physical constituent of the world”

        https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25433802-500-a-new-place-for-consciousness-in-our-understanding-of-the-universe/

        But there is this free commentary on this New Scientist piece over at Mind Matters

        https://mindmatters.ai/2022/04/new-scientist-offers-a-sympathetic-account-of-panpsychism/

        I thought also to link it because of the statement in the supplementary material of the NYAS paper about the “bottom-up” and “top-down” approach to understanding consciousness, “Consciousness is thought to be the product of either a “bottom-up” or a “top-down” phenomenon”. The first is materialist (has no C anywhere in particle properties), the second not.
        So in the NS bit above we’re able to read, B4 we get paywalled out, this … “Their ideas amount to an audacious attempt to describe the universe from the inside out, rather than the other way around, and they might just force us to abandon long-cherished assumptions about what everything is ultimately made of.”

        The present “bottom-up” approach in physics is that the smallest bits (quarks etc.) give rise to everything larger with mediating forces and C is just a “froth” on top. Somehow this new approach has C in there too. Also in the “bottom-up” it seems? There’s C fundamentally in everything, in there with elementary particle properties? Could that be “top-down” too?

        So the possibility of having physics at base needing subjective experience. I think exciting times and seems to adds theoretical meat to this whole area.

        Importantly, the article in NS is based on a recent edition of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2021, on essay replies to the philosopher Philip Goff who’s been pushing “consciousness in everything” for years along with others. A book will be out, so I’ve read. What struck me there are three famous physicists below giving essays in reply to Goff … Rovelli, Carroll and Smolin. Obviously and to be clear it’s not all one-sided with Goff.

        https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/jcs/2021/00000028/f0020009

        How this connects to the “dimensions” stuff the NYAS paper talks of … obviously it all very complex, maybe some beginning of a theory?

        Sorry, long, but seems highly relevant 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Cobra on said:

      I really hope they don’t just use “dimensions” as some kind of buzz word …

      Like

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        In the Popular Mechanics article from last week that featured Parnia, he didn’t say different dimensions but “aspects of reality”.

        Like

      • Cobra on said:

        @FDT

        Thanks for reminding me, I read it, but forgot this wording. Still it’s a bit cryptic. I’m wondering why he doesn’t word it clearer. It could be anything from other realms to old memories coming back, that otherwise wouldn’t.

        Like

  33. Steen on said:

    I noticed this recent tweet from Parnia lab:

    “ One of the most exciting discoveries – brain activity associated with heightened states of consciousness has been shown to be present even during cardiac arrest. This marks a pivotal moment in the study of recalled experiences of death and in our understanding of consciousness “

    To me it seems like the perception of REDs are changing fast. Until recently ‘proponents’ were in steady denial of any kind of brain activity during cardiac arrest.

    Cheers,
    Steen

    Like

    • @Steen

      Steen said >” To me it seems like the perception of REDs are changing fast. Until recently ‘proponents’ were in steady denial of any kind of brain activity during cardiac arrest.”

      The perception of actual death experiences (RED’s) is not changing fast at all. What you are picking up on there is some data from 2 recent observations, one from Parnia’s own study in (2019) in which they observed some brainwaves associated with periods of rest in humans (alpha waves were the closest to arousal ). The other waves are not associated with consciousness. This occurred in a small number, around 1 > 3 at most out of 38 ? (I think)

      If you have looked at Parnia’s thoughts on this, in both the guidelines paper and his Bigelow essay, it appears these are likely to be CPRIC cases but he hasn’t clarified it yet, so we don’t know.

      However, if you read this latest material, the alpha wave activity which has likely been generated by the very intensive resuscitation they utilise, it doesn’t fit with the definition of a RED. And it was quite rare, but nevertheless it appears it occurs which sceptics will obviously pick up on.

      But, cardiac arrest with no intervention, always produces a flat line EEG, period, after 10-20 seconds. It can’t do anything else, there is no blood flow into the brain and brains can’t work on fresh air. CPR in almost all cases never restores consciousness unless the heart had not actually stopped. In that case they were never in true cardiac arrest (according to Parnia)

      The second paper was the recent case of an 87 year old man with a catastrophic brain injury who was in burst suppression before his heart stopped. Apparently they have observed some gamma wave activity at that time. Check out what Bruce Greyson and Jeff Long said about this so called brain activity and what Dr Zemmar bizarrely claims it represents (life review) …basically a load of nonsense.

      He has no scientific basis to make such a claim, the patient reported nothing, he was dead, so physiologically he couldn’t possibly have had any experience. His festering brain injury might have been responsible, who knows, but if you put EEG leads into a steaming cow pat, you’d see some level of activity. But there you go, it’s worked as I knew it would, presumably that’s why you are here and that’s fine, yo are welcome of course and I do understand that it’s confusing.

      Nothing has changed IMHO (might be wrong of course) except the new classifications.

      Like

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Well tim, the whole concept of brain activity shortly after CA isn’t new at all, we saw this with the Chawla study over a decade ago, the 2013 rat study, and more. What has been consistent I believe is the fairly rapid decrease in brain activity at CA. The Zemmar report confirms and repeats what we have known all along, brain activity drops across all bands at CA and is pretty much gone around 20 to 30 seconds after according to the EEG.

        What would be news is if we take the Parnia Labs tweet literally in that we saw brain activity associated with heightened consciousness during CA, or the EEG is lighting up with Gamma waves crazily when the patient is clearly unconscious as what happens during CA. But so far, we have not seen evidence for this and it goes against everything medical science has tested so far including the recent Zemmar report.

        I think for “proponents” who discuss a lot about the research with NDEs, there hasn’t been a denial of brain activity at CA, and based on this blog and other NDE related social media I have seen this seems to be the case. Maybe for the people who are more interested in the stories of NDEs or have a shallower understanding of them think no brain activity can occur at CA.

        Like

      • @FDT

        Thanks, but I’m well aware of the claims made about of Chawla’s observations and Jimo Borjigin’s rat study. The rat study is completely irrelevant to near death experience research as we don’t know what rats experience or even if they are conscious in the way humans are.

        Some brain activity (in a burst) after the heart stops cannot be responsible for NDE’s, as many NDE’s have occurred with a documented flat EEG, tens of minutes/several hours after the heart has stopped.

        As to fairly rapid decrease in brain activity at cardiac arrest, it’s not just fairly rapid, it’s catastrophic. When the heart stops, consciousness is lost instantly. In 10-20 seconds the EEG goes isoelectric.

        It’s absurd to think that an NDE could take place (physiologically that is) as a result of heart stoppage. There isn’t time for any organised brain activity to produce anything, the patient’s eyes roll back in their head and that’s it, they’re gone (physiologically)

        What appears to happen then (which science by and large still will not accept) is that something non physiological happens, ie the mind seems to separate from the brain. And that’s where we are, with endless arguments back and forth.

        All the older data (case studies) are not going to go away just because some anomalies appear from time to time. Anyway, as I said, I need to stop posting comments.

        Liked by 2 people

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Yeah, I found an article from 2019 with Parnia talking about the one verdicial NDE they got out of AWAREI, and him mentioning how it should be impossible for the patient to observe what they did (3-5 minutes after cardiac arrest), and how there was an absence of detectable brain activity:

        https://www.sca-aware.org/sca-news/life-after-life-does-consciousness-continue-after-the-heart-stops#:~:text=Normally%20there%20is%20no%20measurable,seconds%20the%20brain%20%E2%80%9Cflatlines.%E2%80%9D

        Interestingly, the article also mentions how the sounds and words used for the AWAREII audio tests will remain a secret until the study is done, this is probably why we haven’t heard anything about the audio hit and probably won’t until the study comes out in the fall.

        Like

      • @FDT that point about the sounds remaining secret is new…never heard that before. That is a very good sign in terms of their being thorough to insure as much blinding in the study as possible. I know it is something I banged on about a lot on this forum, and that any images or sounds must not be known to the interviewer or anyone who ever comes into contact with the patient or reports or records what the patient has said. The reports of the patient must then be matched with the stimuli that have been produced.

        If taken to the extreme, and this may explain a lot, the sounds and images remain secret until the last patient has been enrolled, and the data “locked”. Then investigators can do the matching and if there is correlation, then there can be absolute certainty of the integrity of the findings of the study. This may explain why Parnia has not confirmed any hits…they may be aware of reports, but as yet have not correlated them with their data. He suspects there are hits, but hasn’t yet proved them himself. It would also explain why he can throw materialists the occasional bone without being internally inconsistent.

        Surprised we didn’t pick this article up before…thanks again FTD.

        Also I thought that the AWARE I patient didn’t have EEG. Will need go back and check that one.

        Like

    • Anthony on said:

      Steen
      My opinion is that we are slowly approaching the end of these questions, or a much more certain understanding of why near-death experiences occur. Of course, in my opinion, the explanation will be totally neurological and physiological, but we still have to wait
      I think it’s possible that Parnia and her team have found a strong correlation between brain activity after cardiac arrest and near-death experiences.

      Like

      • Steen on said:

        I would be surprised if they have enough data to show any strong correlation. But they are certainly suggesting brain activity has a role in recent texts published on twitter.

        Maybe they just want to put some kind of materialistic merit to their research. I don’t expect any sudden breakthroughs coming up soon.

        Like

  34. FourDoorThreat on said:

    Hey Ben, the AWAREI NDE didn’t have an EEG, but as you, Parnia, and everyone else has pointed out, the inference is from that “time stamp” of having occured after that 30 seconds where based on all those tests done over the years, there is no detectable brain activity. The article I linked has this paragraph:

    “Dr. Sam Parnia estimates the man experienced conscious awareness for three to five minutes in the absence of detectable brain activity, a time, he has said, “when no human experience should be happening whatsoever.”

    So I take it that Parnia is working on that knowledge, or maybe they in fact had a EEG for that patient.

    I am curious about the audio hit for AWAREII, someone had to confirm it so both the patient and medical staff involved for that case know what was playing through the headphones at the time (correctly as the Parnia Labs stated), I assume there are probably non-disclosure agreements involved. But yes, it makes sense to keep target information locked down to prevent any sensory leakage, etc. As I’ve said, Parnia has to make a very tight case for this, I mean apparently Worlee accused him of manupulating data over the AWAREI NDE. The patient never saw the target in that case anyways, so Worlee is just frustrated over yet another garden variety verdicial NDE.

    Like

    • @FDT yes, I think you are right in that Parnia is working on the knowledge that brain activity stops shortly after the ECG flatlines, and does not resume, except in rare CIPRIC type cases, until the heart restarts.

      Good point on the audio hit…the poster from AHA states that the subject “correctly recalled…” in other words they were able to match the report with the sound. So by secret, it does not mean secret until the end of the study to all, just secret to potential subjects, but I also hope to those coming into contact with the subjects either during CPR or interviews. That for me is the key to blinding here.

      Like

  35. @Ben Correct, I found the article here it clearly mentions that there were able to timestamp the verifiable EVA at the time when there was no visible EEG activity

    https://www.healthing.ca/science/life-after-life-does-consciousness-continue-after-our-brain-dies

    And given Parnia has said that RED is not consistent with hallucinations and etc, I am pretty certain Parnia still holds a dualist view of consciousness, not to mention to recent zoom session and the Bigelow essay. It’s just most of us have failed to appreciate the great deal of criticism which are faced by many scientists who hold dualist views. Most of them are secretive about their dualist view until they have earned themselves more prestigious titles take noble price laureate brian josephson for example.

    Like

    • He also mentions in that article about people having very bad experiences too, but in the consensus statement they made one of the criteria of a RED that it must be positive. That is not scientific or helpful. If people have NDEs or REDs that are negative, we must try to understand why. I know he wants to steer clear of religion, but what if some religions are right? After all, most religions are dualist in nature. It is not good science or good process to discount possibilities when there is no objective evidence to discount them, and brushing negative experiences under the carpet could be hugely damaging in terms of misinforming humanity about what may lie on the other side, and as a consequence of life choices.

      I am open in stating that I come from the angle that I have a strong faith, and that for me NDEs provide strong supporting evidence for aspects of my faith, but my faith was originally born out of scientific reasoning through exploration of the topic of the origin of life, and then reinforced through “mystical” experiences. My Ph.D. in chemistry, which focused on manipulating nucleosides and amino acids to create anti-viral drug candidates, opened my eyes to the fundamental paradoxes that lie at the heart of life’s central biochemical mechanisms. My knowledge of the structures and processes of DNA and its replication and translation have convinced me beyond doubt that life was the result of a creative act. There is simply no other plausible explanation, and I explain why in my first non-fiction book – DNA- the elephant in the lab.

      Like

  36. God this whole thing is a mess. I don’t even know which side is right or not. Are there hits? Are there aren’t hits? What are the hits? I need answers.

    Like

    • There have been numerous “hits” validated by respectable, credible Healthcare professionals, but as yet no publicly presented scientifically verified hits.

      Like

      • So pretty much there is scientific evidence of the experiences being real and not hallucinations but the evidence isn’t presented?

        Like

      • I didn’t say that. I just said that none had been presented. That could be because none exists, or that the researchers at the Parnia lab have chosen not to share any scientifically verified hits to date for reasons only they know best. We all believe they have evidence due to the oft stated position of Parnia himself which exudes absolute certainty in a belief in dualism. We will know later this year whether they have rock solid evidence or not though.

        Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Parnia’s beliefs about the brain not producing consciousness is not anything new and stretches well over a decade ago. Watch some of his videos from the late 2000s or early 2010s (mainly the ones where he talks about self) and he gives credence to dualist theories all the way back then.

      Like

  37. Parnia Lab has been asked by several people to clarify or correct and enough time has passed and they have not done so. So what I think (and of course I could be wrong) is they have done what they did in order to show a materialistic leaning in incorporating Zemmar’s claim for NDE life review as showing up in gamma brain waves after cardiac arrest. Then when Parnia Lab releases their AWARE 2 findings later this year, they will likely be contrary to the scientific materialism position. But it will be harder for the scientific community that ideologically dismisses any spirituality aligned finding that is against materialism to do so against the Parnia Lab findings because Parnia Lab are presenting themselves to be rooted in the scientific materialism camp as their base or default position.

    The reference points for that will be their most recent tweets and recent publication in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. (not some webinar where they have showed a different stance as its hard to access and doesn’t count the same as the written word in scientific publications – also they did not put the video of their recent webinar of March 17 on Lucid Dying onto YouTube as they said they would be, likely because it shows Parnia Lab mostly not in alignment with and against the scientific materialism position and instead showing belief in dualism, so they probably reconsidered and thought it best to not put it out).

    This may all cause people like us on this blog some unnecessary anxiety and the need to put this new positioning by those we have some trust in into context and ask questions to understand any possible ramifications. And really when it comes down to it, waste our valuable time on it when it should never had to come to that. But I guess they figure it’s a good long term strategy and worth it still (though I personally would not be able to do this and neither would most or at least some of you on this blog do so either).

    One thing is being missed though. [Though I doubt very much this is the case] Suppose the NDE (even beyond the initial stages, or at least until an OBE occurs if one does occur) was being registered in the brain continuously (unlike the download or imprint onto the brain upon soul re-entry as is currently thought by those who believe the NDE is real just as experienced). Well it could still be that the NDE keeps registering onto the brain and brain waves continuously present while the NDE is occurring IF it is that this happens as long as there is going to be a possible return to the body and not an actual death, and the ‘silver cord’ (OBErs talk of this) is still in place and connected and not severed.

    If this were to be the case, then the continuous presence of brain waves during the actual time period the NDE is actually taking place would still not prove a materialistic explanation for NDEs, and still would not be a death nail for NDEs as being real just as experienced.

    Recall there are shared death experiences where a person at the bedside of the person who dies has a SDE and yet still come across as conscious to others during the time they are outside of their body (though it maybe they are in a lesser cognitive state in the physical body during the time of the SDE). So they would be fully expected to have brain waves during the time of the SDE – though I’m pretty sure this has never been attempted to be measured for obvious reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Katie on said:

      Bingo. This is Parnia 101.

      But that makes sense. They need to show they’re open to either side being the truth.

      Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Yeah, definitely noticed they never did put the Zoom talk on Youtube despite them saying they would. I don’t know if we’ll ever know if they didn’t because they felt the dualist beliefs Parnia and the other speakers endorsed would be alarming or considered unacceptable.

      With regards to brain activity during an NDE such as the OBE portion, this reminds me of Parnia Lab’s reply to a so-called Jordan where PL said, “Do brain waves cause the life review or does the life review cause the brain waves?” They’re basically saying there is the possibility if brain waves happening during a NDE, it is a correlation rather than a causation.

      Like

      • Charlie on said:

        Yeah… who is Jordan btw?

        Like

      • FourDoorThreat on said:

        Someone that asked the Parnia Labs position after the Zemmar study came out and they got a private message back from PL, which almost sounded like Parnia himself wrote it as it was pretty much in line with classical Parnia beliefs.

        Like

  38. Eh. This whole thing just frustrates me as it seems to be not even choosing any side and there doesn’t seem to be viable evidence to either. Maybe we should all just pour investments into the SENS Foundation for better future healthcare to be safe. Give us time to find answers to things too.

    Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Yeah, Parnia Labs saying NDEs/REDs are definitely not hallucinations, illusions, or caused by drugs but at the same time making a subtle reference to the Zemmar study (I think?) is kind of confusing. Then you have Parnia going on how the brain shutting down allows us to see different dimensions of reality in recent months, I hope he is working with physicists on that one because that seems way over his head for a medical doctor.

      I think at best, the audio hit they got might make a case to continue AWARE style studies or inspire other researchers to do the same thing. As Ben implied, we don’t have the technology to read other people’s consciousness (and that is probably something long away, if even possible) so a lot about NDEs are still heavy speculation.

      Like

    • @Micheal, honestly I still interpret his “dimensions of reality” to be a mathematical dimension and not a meta-physical one. Him saying that, I think it was during death, that the brain opens up new experiences of reality, could be that the brain isn’t working the way it should and thus produces a conscious experience we wouldn’t normally have because it’s functioning in a way that’s different from how the brain works when it’s healthy and the person is alive. But that experience could still be totally materialist (and still valid and not an hallucination, etc.) and not some glimpse into a reality not governed by our universes physical laws (relational patterns). So again I’m not well versed in the NDE literature (not the way I want to be anyway) but so far I haven’t interpreted what Parnia has said as being fence sitting or waffling. I interpret what he’s saying as this is what the results are of my studies and other people are interpreting it as being more definitive than it really is. I feel like he is actively trying to resist others putting meaning on the information in his studies.

      I fear that this is going to at least lean more materialistic but there is reason to believe with the creating of REDs category that maybe they’ve found some direction to say these criteria is outside of the materialist consciousness. But without more information, it’s just as likely it could also just be them trying to have better structure and definitions to test that will point to materialistic.

      At this stage I need more information. What have they found, what does the evidence suggest, do they have an interpretation of the evidence and if so why do they think that way and is it through a lense? Can the evidence be interpreted a different way? Like, I’ve had what probably traditionally would have been described by at least some, 4 OBE’s. They were all before I was 24. I thought at the time they were. But I never considered that they could be until a lot later due to low blood sugar, which has caused me to have seizures. From Parinas BICS paper, it could have been some kind of temporal lobe seizure. I just can’t rule out anything at this point.

      Like

  39. Michael DeCarli on said:

    Do you all think that materialistic explanations for the NDE/RED are starting to appear to be the more likely answer or still non materialistic?

    Like

  40. Charlie on said:

    I keep getting sucked back in. I think what we’re seeing is Parnia the individual versus Parnia “the lab.” When he’s alone (webinar, Popular Mechanics, etc) he gives significant credence to dualist/filtering philosophy with only passing reference to materialist ideas. When “the lab” speaks (or tweets) the tone is much more “scientific” which is something we should expect from a research institution.
    I think what we should expect from Aware 2 is ambiguity open for interpretation. Parnia the man sure seems to like the filtering idea based on what he knows, while the institution prefers materialist explanations.
    I am starting to think aware 2 may be a bust for both sides and could only stoke the debate further

    Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      I think at best, the audio hit would be interesting but it wouldn’t be really relevant to skeptics. They would say the patient some how still heard the sounds even though all current science shows there is no consciousness during cardiac arrest (with fleeting brain activity for a maximum of 30 seconds after it occurs, and no correlation if that activity is indeed consciousness).

      Like

  41. The sloppiness of the situation is the problem. If the fence is being leaned on then it’s time to step off and give the results.

    Like

  42. Charlie on said:

    Not to be lost in all this awful messaging is the fact Parnia and the lab has repeated what these people experience in RED is real. Not an illusion. Not drug fueled hallucinations. Not even just wishful thinking. They have evidence and experience showing these people are having real experiences at a time when frankly they shouldn’t be. We go to sleep every night with a brain in 100 times better shape and don’t have any dream close to what these people report. That says something at the end of the day.
    Maybe the brain is registering these real experiences while it has some juice left to do so. But he and the lab have reiterated their results support real experiences with no modern explanation. We are just being set up for a further philosophical discussion

    Like

  43. FourDoorThreat on said:

    This isn’t about the press release or tweets from a few weeks ago, but am I the only one who feels non-materialism is on the verge of getting stamped out? I’m not against materialism and am open to the possibility it maybe the correct world view, but these days you are going to have a hell of a time finding a non-materialist philosopher for instance. I think it’s telling the NDE crowd and other similar communities cite Bernardo Kastrup all the time because he is one of the few non-materialist philosophers in today’s day and age, and he is considered some what fringe among other philosophers.

    Again, while I don’t have an issue with materialist worldviews existing, they just seem to be overwhelming among academia which makes it difficult for non-materialist philosophers and scientists to get around. Parnia has alluded to this in interviews, and while he hasn’t received as much flak as other NDE researchers, every now and then someone will make a comment in the news or a magazine at his “problematic” views with how the mind works or how he is trying to slip “theism” in through the back door (funny given Parnia is not a religious person and has never mentioned personal beliefs in God, not even with regards to his views on NDEs).

    I don’t know if Dean Radin or Rupert Sheldrake’s research is legit or if the skeptical claims about what they have achieved is correct, fact is given modern skepticism movements are synonymous with materialism, I don’t think they would be the most unbiased judges for those two scientists. It would be nice if there was a neutral party that could evaluate Radin and Sheldrake’s work, and even if they concluded it wasn’t legit, we would know it wasn’t a hit piece. Regardless, I think the skeptics have more or less shut out Radin and Sheldrake and I haven’t seen them do anything really significant in years.

    If Parnia loses interest in NDE research, I don’t think there will be any new researchers in the field that won’t have a materialist worldview. While I knew Peter Fenwick was in his ’80s, I was surprised to find out Kenneth Ring was also around the same age. Point is, the old guard of NDE researchers have been around for almost half-a-century now and they haven’t found any replacements for the most part. Heck, Parnia himself got interested back in 1994, so it’s not like he is a young buck either in the field.

    Maybe I’m wrong and that today non-materialism still has some level of support, anyone else want to chime in?

    Like

    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      Well, all of the non materialistic researchers of today. Greyson, Fenwick, Ring etc, we’re materialistic for the first large amounts of their careers when they were young. It seems that when one really dives into NDE research they lose their materialistic worldview over time.

      Like

      • Charlie on said:

        @FDT I am very much a novice to this but I’ve found the opposite. It seems every time I poke around there is someone new with a non materialist view point. I think a lot of academics, doctors, psychologists, etc are acknowledging the limits of physicalism and evidence continues to show the benefits and mysteries of the spiritual side of humanity. I wish I could cite some names off hand for you but I do notice kastrup is a favorite of internet message boards but not necessarily the academic realm.
        I follow mindmatters.ai which often provides interesting commentary and rebuttal. It can be a bit too conservative for me at times but it’s refreshing to see some different interpretations of data

        Like

      • Great discussion, and one very close to my heart. As a Ph.D. organic chemist, I have spent my life emerged in the materialist world, and have often found myself a lonely voice when talking on matters spiritual. However, I have also learned that while my willingness to discuss these things is greater than most, I am far from alone when it comes to fellow scientists in believing in the eternal nature of the soul, or on the existence of a “supreme spiritual being”. However, historically the radical materialists have had the loudest voice and tend to shout more moderate opinions down.

        However, I agree that we may be entering a post materialist era. It is partly related to generations as well as emerging scientific thinking on consciousness. Boomers were very much rebelling against the existing millennia old societal rituals of religion and to be able to fully embrace the sexual revolution and other liberating aspects of abandoning traditional belief systems, they needed the intellectual justification to undermine those systems. Materialism, underpinned by Darwin’s theory, provided this justification. Gen X children like myself, for the most part accepted this intellectual inheritance as it was still a debate that was raging between what appeared to be freedom loving people and traditionalists who would suffocate our lives with rules. Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in a world where these arguments have for the most part been regarded as settled by the mainstream media and academia, so the debate has raged less and captured less attention, allowing innate curiosity to ask questions that science is unable to answer.

        I wrote my book on the origin of life (DNA: the elephant in the lab) after being incensed by the Governor General of canada who mocked scientists with faith at a scientific get together in Ottawa. It was notable that many in the room who heard her did not share her sentiments. My area of expertise is on the chemistry of the molecules that lie at the heart of life, and my knowledge of the system that is central to all existence is more than than sufficient to be able to analyse the possibility of whether it could have come into being by an undirected natural process. It absolutely could not have, and this view is shared by many other chemists and physicists, including Paul Davies who is an atheist. One of the proof readers of my book was a Ph.D. neuroscientist from Harvard, and while he doesn’t share my Christian faith, he is equally convinced in dualism and the “constructed” or “created” nature of our physical universe.

        A link to my book which spends a whole chapter discussing the issue of an academic and media establishment dominated by materialist ideologues.

        Like

    • Sheldrake’s not a crank, but he sure isn’t right, either. For instance, his theory that the constants of nature (such as the speed of light) have changed, is wrong.

      Simply put, humanity was off in terms of it’s original measure of the speed of light.

      Like

    • Michael DeCarli on said:

      @KP

      The problem with the brain creating a mathematical dimension that isn’t a hallucination is that that statement isn’t possible. That’s exactly what a hallucination is…

      Like

  44. Charlie on said:

    @FDT https://www.aapsglobal.com/
    As I said, I always stumble on something new… here’s a link that might be of interest for a ” post materialist” academic and research group

    Like

    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      I know such organizations exist, but I don’t know if we’ve reached a point where post-materialism in academia and science exists in any significant numbers. Again, I’m not one who is suggesting materialism must be stamped out, but the opposing view at a quick glance appears to be a small minority at this time.

      If this resistance to non-materialism wasn’t around, I think the possibility may exist Parnia may have been able to do the targeting portions of the AWARE studies on a much larger scale. The fact NDEs are uncommon have been a stumbling block, larger numbers of hospitals participating would increase the probability NDEs with verdicial components would occur in rooms with the targets setup.

      I get the materialists want a bone thrown for them, and some of them subtly invoke Occam’s Razor if they don’t get that bone. I recall seeing someone recently saying with regards to verdicial NDEs scoffing that there must be no other way these people got the information they did such as memories from medical TV shows, etc. and they must have had a OBE where consciousness left the body (they are being sarcastic with the last point). More importantly, I think what is preventing most materialists from getting on the brain as a filter and/or receiver theory is they want to be able to measure that consciousness that is out there.

      So I just don’t know where to go from here. A part of me wonders if the rise of skeptical organizations (really materialist apologetics in practice) during the mid-late 20th century is why we are at this position today.

      Like

    • Dario on said:

      so is there any life expectancy after death by reading this article?

      Like

      • It seems to be hinting to a duality between the microtubules and quantum soul meaning it is possible that the tubules may be linked to the afterlife. Though it’s all speculation.

        Like

      • As I allude to in both my books, I suspect that quantum mechanical processes are what lie at the centre of the “interface” between the material realm and the non-material realm. When you understand the nature of sub-atomic particles, and even these are somewhat illusory when viewed in terms of wave particle duality, then it is possible to see that the whole of our physical experience is an illusion created by tricks of light.

        Like

  45. Grzegorz from Poland on said:

    Good afternoon,

    I’m sorry but i have question which is not connected with current discussion but if anyone will answer I will be glad.

    IS there any case of person who was blind from birthday and has any expierence with NDE?

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Nemesiss on said:

      Yes

      Like

    • There are, and have been written up in books by the likes of Greyson and Moody, but I am not aware of any that have been reported as case studies in medical literature.

      Like

    • @Grzegorz

      Grzegorz said >”IS there any case of person who was blind from birthday and has any experience with NDE?”

      The answer to that is yes, absolutely. Ken Ring and Sharon Cooper published a collection of case studies in their 1999 book “Mindsight”. The really fascinating ones are the reports from those that were blind from birth, such as the case of Vicki Umipeg (Vicki Noratuk–after she was married) who had two near death experiences with out of body perceptions. Vicki was one of around 50,000 premature American babies who’s optic nerves were sadly destroyed in their incubators, by the application of too much oxygen.

      The reason that the cases of those that were blind from birth are even more important to NDE research, is that sceptics can’t come up with any feasible explanation for them (their ability to see during their NDE’s) because there isn’t one.

      Vicki has never seen anything with physical eyes, (her eyes were destroyed) no colour, no shapes, she has no concept of light. if I remember correctly (not 100% sure) she doesn’t even ‘see’ blackness. And yet during her second NDE she not only had visions of another world, she also saw from an out of body perspective what occurred in the operating room.

      Sceptics have tried and failed to debunk these cases (as they do) attempting to come up with ever more unlikely explanations for their content but what they are not understanding is that it’s simply extraordinary that someone blind from birth would suddenly start reporting the experience of “seeing” because “seeing” is a sense that makes NO sense to them (no pun intended).

      These cases are numerous in the literature, now, from all over the world, but here is the case above in detail.

      “My first awareness in the emergency room was of being up near the ceiling. I could see again! Throughout this near death experience I was in a state of stunned awe from seeing. In fact, it was so foreign to me that it was a continuous complication in my efforts to cope. But it was also like a foreign language that you don’t understand, but that you ache to hear more of.

      Below me was a body on a cart I wasn’t sure was me. I was shocked and aghast. The hair length was mine, and a lot of it had been shaved off! This may not make sense, but it took me so long to grow, and I loved my hair!. It was like losing an important part of me. Blood caked the skull. Nearby I clearly saw a female member of the medical team. I felt drawn to her, and I can’t explain why. But I had a great need to get her to understand me. Then I heard a male voice say that there was blood on my left ear drum, and that I might be deaf. “I’m not deaf! I’m not deaf!” I was screaming at him. Maybe she could tell him. “Don’t you hear me? I’m right over here!”

      At this point while the visual impressions floored me, they were secondary to my desire to communicate verbally, because that’s the main way I’ve navigated through life. Then the female said, “We don’t know how much brain damage there is…and if she might be in a vegetative state.” I yelled at her, “I’m not in a vegetative state!” I was so frustrated and angry because I was yelling with every ounce of strength I had, and it was like I didn’t exist! I just wanted to get out of there.

      Almost immediately, as if in response to my thought, I was drawn up, sort of “Vooom!” right through the ceiling and then the hospital, rising through space.”

      https://ndestories.org/vicki-noratuk/

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Grzegorz Figura on said:

    I’m very excited. I wił check these books.

    Like

  47. @FourDoorThreat

    – There are varying stats around the world on philosophers and scientists who are materialist or non-materialist. A poll may not be the best to answer the truth, yet it appears non-materialism is growing (panpsychism or idealism?) but this could be argued a gradual shift towards the truth?

    Also, take into consideration of the social dynamics of fields of work… if you don’t share the same view, like many other areas, you could be ostracized… so it would seem reasonable that if you pressed those outside in a “safe-zone” agnosticism or non-materialism would be higher.

    Again, I don’t know but here’s a poll:

    https://dailynous.com/2021/11/01/what-philosophers-believe-results-from-the-2020-philpapers-survey/

    Also:

    https://www.essentiafoundation.org/ (For more credible idealist names to add to your list ;))

    @Ben

    – Paul Davies is a deist (sort of agnostic).

    Best wishes all!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. @Ben

    Not sure if you read this? (“Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False” – Thomas Nagel).

    https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199919758.001.0001/acprof-9780199919758

    Like

    • Yes it a good read

      Like

    • Hi Hans, thanks. I haven’t read it but will put it on my reading list…I will have time for reading (and writing) over the next couple of months as my job has just been axed. Hopefully it won’t take me long to get another one, but been a rough few days as you can imagine as I loved what I was doing…best job I’ve ever had in fact. Anyway, like I said, I now have a couple of months to dust off that novel I’ve been working on for the past decade and get it on kindle before I start a new job!

      Like


  49. Video f the March panel

    Liked by 1 person

    • tim on said:

      Thanks Z ! Well spotted !

      It’s very curious that Parnia’s zoom recording (only) has been replaced by a static picture of him. That should give us a bit more to speculate about lol :). Anyway, it doesn’t actually matter, we know who it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Katie on said:

        That is very odd they took out his live video from the event and replaced it with a still image

        I don’t necessarily think it really means anything. But it’s still really weird

        Like

      • Hi, Katie !

        I agree, I don’t think it means anything but I did wonder why. I’ve just looked at his comments about the gamma activity reported in the dying man we discussed and how it might be connected to the reports of NDE’s, or RED’s as he calls them now.

        He does indeed sound (just there at least) as if he believes that some ‘hitherto undiscovered’ brain process (or part of the brain) might be responsible for the ‘reports’ etc.

        But that doesn’t fit with what he says previous to that because he’s clearly arguing against a physiological explanation for NDE’s. He must be, otherwise what he said previously doesn’t make sense.

        He also says he has data from his patients which backs this up but what he is referring to there is not RED’s (unless I’m mistaken) but the alpha waves they discovered in a few patients that received extensive CPR.

        Those will not turn out to be exclusively RED’s, I’m sure of that, although there could be some ‘mix’, if you see what I mean. They’ve already told us in their paper that RED’s occur way below that level of consciousness anyway, when the brain is not functioning.

        In addition, some gamma waves at any stage of death or resuscitation cannot ever explain the veridical perception element of NDE’s. And their guidelines paper is not compatible with a physiological explanation for NDE’s, period.

        So I just think Parnia is being careful (as he needs to be) with what he says and giving a nod to mainstream science to keep them onside. He needs funding for the next phase.

        Like

      • I agree that Parnia is being balanced in his approach. I also think he was genuinely excited by this data, but I believe more do with my speculation that this activity relates more to the consciousness “packing its bags and saying goodbye” than to it being evidence of the life review. He acknowledges it could be this, but if REDs are chronological then the life review would happen after the consciousness has departed the brain.

        There is another possible explanation for this brain activity which relates to the fact that the majority of people don’t experience NDEs, the possible reasons for which I look at in my book on NDEs. Memory issues is the popular and most commonly cited reason for lack of RED recall, however I show that change in memory in function due to age or drugs alone could not account for the vast difference between children and adults in terms of RED recall, and I speculate on possible reasons why this might be. One of the reasons I propose is that the consciousness becomes “stickier” with age, and reluctant to leave the home it has become so familiar with. Now, if some who have a CA have consciousnesses that hang around longer than others, or maybe even never leave their physical host body, it is possible that you might get different EEG profiles than those who get out of dodge as soon as possible.

        I cannot wait till the fall when his paper will be published. I suspect there will be many nuggets of information we can discuss for years in there, even if there is no visual hit. In fact I would put money on there not being a visual hit.

        Like

    • Well done Z. I had almost forgotten about this. It is funny that his bits are replaced by a picture. I remember commenting at the time that he looked like he was using the time to respond to important emails! Maybe there was a patient under his care who needed his input or something, but I did feel that he wasn’t fully engaged. Personally, from the bit that I watched it felt that while there were some interesting tidbits, it was a wee bit esoteric in nature with lots of speculative philosophy and not much science…all veg and no meat (no offence to any vegans/vegetarians).

      Like

      • tim on said:

        @Ben

        Interesting thoughts, Ben, on why RED’s are recalled nearly three times more (60% > 20%) by children who are resuscitated. If consciousness “arrives” (rather than emerges) here from somewhere else (and I am personally satisfied that it does) then one could also speculate that said consciousness (the self–the psyche/soul) is much more loosely tied for children than adults.

        Alternatively, it could be that children’s memory circuits are less affected (overall) by the sedatives that medics routinely administer afterwards (apparently?). But that’s only mere speculation, of course, because I don’t know.

        This is what Parnia said earlier on in the discussion which is completely at odds with the speculation about brain surges (gamma waves or whatever) at the end.

        “…And then what’s really astonishing is now you look at the ‘death part’ where all our brain processes shut down ..you know we have a ton of data of what happens, you stop oxygen and blood flow the brain stops functioning and yet in that state of seeming unconsciousness, people who are going through death are having this lucid expansion of their consciousness, this vastness and they access aspects of their own reality that they would otherwise not have, like all their memories, everything they’ve done in their life, as if it’s been recorded and they’re re-evaluating it.

        How do we explain that ? I think we can’t and we just have to ‘put our hands up’ and say this is something phenomenal that just happens.”

        So, my thoughts are that he knows very well that brain surges are not the culprit but as a good scientist, he has to be seen to entertain it, in the spirit of not ignoring a fellow colleagues observation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hsan on said:

        I agree with what you say Ben and Tim say. Good comments on children’s consciousness being more loosely tied to the brain/body than that of adults. Good of Z to pick up right away that the video got put up on Youtube. Two things about the video:

        1. The delay in putting up the video as its from March 17, and thus took 6 weeks to put up. I think it was delayed so as not to get it too much attention because the comments of the panelists were pretty much against scientific materialism.

        2. Parnia’s video footage being replaced by a photo of his. It looks like he does not want people taking video clips of him and posting them elsewhere (like Twitter especially). This is likely because of his comments in it that are against the worldview of scientific materialism.

        This is the unfortunate position they are in if they wish to get anything close to their due acceptance from the mainstream scientific community for their research that is coming out in the fall (AWARE II). Otherwise if they are seen to be too out of bounds, they will be unfairly attacked and wrongly discredited by the hardcore materialists.

        That is just the sad state of affairs that exists. Truly seeking and finding truth is pushed aside when it comes in conflict with the dogma of scientific materialism.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @hsan I think you make a good summary. It is like the Straw Man case…when you actually read the consensus paper, or the supplements, Parnia makes precisely the point I do about previous studies have shown EEG activity around death…there were no NDEs reported, so the data is not really that informative. However, he did not say that in any of the Twitter or Instagram comments about the case. I think now we have to wait till the fall and hope that he gets his paper through peer review. Hostile reviewers could scupper it.

        Like

      • @ hsan

        Hi, hsan, thanks and what you say may well be the case (as to why Parnia has insisted on having his zoom footage removed) or it could be as Ben says. who knows.

        As to the rest of your post, I fully agree. Others may of course disagree.

        Like

      • Steen on said:

        @Tim, are you implying 20% of adult cardiac arrest recsll a RED? That’s much higher than reported by Aware I (9%). Even 9% is probably pretty high as I could suspect a lot of confirmation bias by the interviewers.

        Like

      • Dario on said:

        how to get results before autumn?

        Like

      • @Steen

        Steen said > “@Tim, are you implying 20% of adult cardiac arrest recall a RED? That’s much higher than reported by Aware I (9%). Even 9% is probably pretty high as I could suspect a lot of confirmation bias by the interviewers.”

        Implying ? That’s an odd question, Steen. Why would I need to ” imply” when I can just present the facts? 10-20% is the figure I always quote, to be precise.

        If I’m not mistaken, we are now on the seventh prospective study (as opposed to the many retrospective studies which have also now been shown to be correct by the prospective studies).

        The prospective studies are the gold standard, even hard line sceptics (such as Woerlee) admit that. As a sceptic, why would you appeal to confirmation bias ?

        Prospective studies control for that and everything else that might affect the results…unless you want to accuse the authors of participating in some kind of ingenious international conspiracy ?

        Yes, Aware one found about 9% of their interviewed patients reported RED’s (authentic NDE’s)

        In the interim 2019 (?) poster, I think the percentage had gone up to about 18% (Aware 2) and that is still ongoing until Aware 3 begins.

        Michael Sabom’s 4 year study (Atlanta study) found about 40% of cardiac arrest patients had RED’s (NDE’s)

        Pim Van Lommel’s study (published in the Lancet 2001) in 10 hospitals in the Netherlands was the second and largest prospective study. They found 18% had RED’s or NDE’s as it was then with 12% of those having a core experience.

        Janet Schwaninger’s study I think showed around just over 20% had RED’s (NDE’s)

        Penny Sartori’s study about 18%

        Bruce Greyson’s about 10%

        So, as you can see, I don’t need to imply anything. I have a question for you, however, if you would be so kind as to explain.

        You last asked me a question (nearly one month ago) about the perception of RED’s changing –you said) and I replied to you straight away.

        Why have you left it as long as a month to come back to me ? And then you ‘tag me’ with something that wasn’t even mentioned in that post ? Bit odd, isn’t it.

        Like

      • Tim, as my next post will show, you are more likely to be right than not (as usual!).

        Like

      • Steen on said:

        Tim, it’s not my intent to be rude. I did indeed read your response to my previous comment and while I appreciate you fleshing out the recent research in brain activity at the time of death, I don’t think it invalidated my comment about recent messaging on Twitter by Parnia Lab.

        Now regarding the frequency of REDs I’m extremely skeptical about these fairly high percentages being reported. It’s my understanding that a large percentage > 50% of CA survivors emerge back to life in a state of delerium and that recovery is long for those relatively few that survive. It’s not as in the movies where people emerge after a minute immediately regaining clear consciousness and asking “what happended?”. I believe that the relatively long period between the event and the interview by the RED researcher provides a window for false memories of the episode to be formed.

        Finally my skeptism has been increasingly fueled by a number of high profile cases among professional football players collapsing on the field who due to the presence of medics fairly quickly are recovered. Their stories always goes like “the last thing I remember…and suddenly I was in this hospital bed”. This is young people and I would certainly expect some spectacular accounts from this source taking into account 20% is supposed to have this experience.

        Like

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