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

Avoiding an Actual Death Experience

I know this is outside the normal scope of my blog, but given that thousands of people visit this site each month, and that I wish the best for everyone, I want to share my thoughts on what I believe is the truth about the Covid-19 virus, and what should be done by you to protect yourself. It may be that one person reading this doesn’t get infected because they did, and so it will be worthwhile.

I believe that unless radical action is taken, or we get lucky, we all currently have a probability of between 0.1 and 2% of dying in the coming months. Even 0.1% is much higher than it would have been but for the emergence of Covid-19. This statement is based on what we know from China and how national governments are failing to learn from the mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party.

As many on here will know, I have a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry and I have spent years interpreting clinical data on infectious diseases. My early research focused on developing anti-virals for HIV and Hepatitis, and I have spent much of my subsequent career working in virology or anti-biotics. I also live near the UK’s ground zero for Covid-19…Brighton. My wife works in a busy clinic less than half a mile from where the Brighton super spreader lives. One of my closest friends was on the same flight as the Brighton super spreader from Geneva, so thoughts about this virus have been urgent for me, and these are the conclusions I have drawn, and the actions I believe you…whoever, and wherever you are in the world, need to take to reduce your risk of actual death.

Firstly what we know…the facts:

  1. Covid-19 is highly infectious. It’s R0, the number of people an infected person infects is at least 2, but maybe as high as 3 or 4. This is more infectious than seasonal flu and without controls will result in the majority of the planet being exposed within a year. On Thursday 13th February a special adviser to the WHO said that 60% of the global population may become infected.
  2. Covid-19 has a high complication rate, between 10 and 20%. these complications are mostly severe respiratory in nature. With proper healthcare, the majority of cases resolve, but in those that don’t, the patient will die. The current case fatality rates, according to research from Imperial College in London, is between 0.5 and 4%. Seasonal flu is about 0.02-0.05%% by comparison. The time to death from first symptoms can be up to a month, as was the case for Dr Li, a healthy 30 year old, whose warnings could have spared the world from this looming catastrophe if they had been heeded.
  3. Most importantly is that Covid-19 has an asymptomatic infectious phase of anything from 1 to 14 days, or possibly in rare cases, longer. This means that infecters are completely indistinguishable from non-infecters, and could, theoretically, be anyone you are in contact with.
  4. China has risked a financial, political and social crisis by locking down many of its major cities in response to what they know about this virus.
  5. The Chinese data is not reliable.

Crucial things we don’t know:

  1. The mode of transmission. Droplets definitely, but what about aerosol? We don’t know for sure at this stage. Knowing this will determine exactly how we protect ourselves from this virus…the measures we need to take.
  2. The actual case fatality rate (CFR). Is it <0.5% or is it 4% or more? Knowing this will determine to what extent we need to act…individually and corporately as a global society.

Until these final two factors are fully characterized, which will take a few more weeks, given what we have observed in China, and what we know, we should act as though it is on the worse end of the spectrum now. Government bodies, like Public Health England (PHE) and CDC, are not doing this at the moment, but you can do things yourself at low personal cost to minimize your own risk.

So back to the data and observations. This is my take on what has happened in China.

They are in shock. The whole society has been completely caught out. While they are being less than honest, the data they have been producing is not technically a lie, but I (and some at the WHO) believe from what we are seeing, that it is just the tip of the iceberg. This is what I believe has happened:

The response to Dr Li’s warnings is the root to all of China’s current problems, and before long, the rest of the world. However, looking at the way that PHE are acting for example, and they know more than the Chinese authorities (CCP) did 2 months ago, our own authorities are no better. While the Wuhan authorities had the opportunity to kill the virus shortly after birth, and didn’t, so our own health authorities and governments, through radical action, could severely reduce the rate of spread, buying us more time, and potentially saving many lives. But like in Wuhan 2 months ago, they aren’t.

Up until about 3 weeks ago the Chinese authorities were able to produce what they thought was reasonably accurate data, but due to one factor, they were caught out – the long asymptomatic infectious phase and the large number of non-serious but infectious cases, and I believe it is fooling our own health authorities today.

Three weeks ago the Chinese thought they were dealing with a virus on the scale of thousands, but due to the silent carriers it was in fact tens of thousands. Then about 2 weeks ago the whole thing exploded in their faces. Suddenly they reached the limit of their PCR (genetic) testing capability. They were seeing thousands of people getting sick, possibly tens of thousands, and maybe thousands dying. I believe they suddenly realized that their testing data was possibly out by a factor of 10 as they had only been capturing symptomatic patients. Looking around, and with no actual idea of numbers, but a realization they were huge, they hit the panic button. They shut down Wuhan first, then the rest of the province and now these lock-downs are extending into places like Shanghai and Beijing.

Up until Thursday morning they were still pumping out the PCR numbers, but while these weren’t lies, I believe they are only a sample of the true picture due to limitations in the amount of tests. Then we had the spike yesterday. They added a few days’ worth of clinically diagnosed cases through CT scan and chest X-ray. This has thrown everything out of kilter. Organizations like PHE and the WHO had been blindly trusting the PCR data, but now suddenly they were told the infection rates were higher by a factor of at least 50%. They are still blindly taking this new data at face value, but it is again not accurate. Just like PCR testing has a limited bandwidth, so too does clinical confirmation by CT scan. In the west, your local primary care clinic does not have a CT scan. In most countries it doesn’t even have enough doctors to treat seasonal flu effectively. To perform and interpret one test requires time and the work of highly trained professionals. Moreover, those getting a scan are probably very ill, and only a small sample of those infected have had these scans.

The official numbers, even now, I believe are hopelessly wrong. The Chinese authorities know this but for a number of reasons are not speaking about it. The first reasons are cultural. The Chinese are very proud, and they are desperate to hide the implications of this whole episode – the combination of incompetence and ineffectiveness that lies at the heart of the communist government system (currently being replicated by our own governments).

The second is political. The communist party must been seen as being in control, and it clearly is not. Once the façade of control slips, the belief in the all-powerful nature of the CCP will fade and become challenged, this is what they are most scared of…more than a financial crash.

Thirdly, they are not technically lying. They genuinely don’t know the true extent of the numbers of infections, or the number of deaths, so they are choosing to only report to the rest of the world their official statistics. They aren’t lying, but they are not being completely honest. But their actions, and the reports from citizen reporters do point to the full story.


They may not be able to precisely quantify the nature of TERRIFYING, but they would not take such extreme measures unless they had a very real sense that it was massive and deadly.

In the absence of official information on this, we are left to rely on the YouTube videos that the likes of bureaucrats at PHE etc dismiss as conspiracy theory nonsense as they continue to follow the data produced by the CCP. In these videos you see people saying that crematoria have been working 24/7 burning tens of thousands of bodies. People are going into giant government hospitals, and not receiving any care…they are effectively death camps. Hundreds of millions of people are still forcibly locked inside.

From these observations, I believe it is sensible to conclude that the answers to the key unanswered questions…the way this disease is spread – droplet vs aerosol, and the mortality rates – low vs high, are not particularly reassuring. As a result, until we know these answers for sure, or we get lucky and the spring kills it off, or find effective licensed anti-virals etc, we should do the following.


  1. Countries should in effect go into external lock-down. This may be too late for some countries as the disease has established a beachhead (in the UK quite literally on a town with a famous beach), but not too late for others. By stopping all but essential international travel, you will massively reduce the rate of spread. I personally have skin in the game. I am due to go to New Zealand later this year, and will go, with a mask, if I am allowed, but I think we shouldn’t be allowed.
  2. Public Health bodies should be much more urgent in their warnings. The idiot mayor of London Sadiq Khan was reassuring people that it was safe to travel on the tube yesterday. He said he was basing that advice on PHE guidance. That is wrong. At the moment, it may be relatively safe to travel on the tube due to the low incidence of Covid-19 infection in the UK, but because we don’t know how many have it, how easily it is spread and the death rate, and because of the asymptomatic infectious phase, we are unable to quantify just how safe it is to travel on the tube.
  3. Areas with known cases should go into some kind of proportionate lock down. Pubs and restaurants closed. Shopping times allocated etc. Public transport limited to all but health care and other essential workers.

The advice from authorities should be honest. We don’t know exactly how bad this could be, and until we do, depending on your appetite for risk, you may want to consider severely reducing your person to person interactions, whether it be social, work or on transport. In addition you should be applying rigorous measures to avoid transmission when in public…hand washing, avoid touching others, and surfaces which others may have touched. Schools should be closed very soon, and in places like Brighton…now! Work meetings should be held remotely. Etc etc.

That should be the advice governments are giving until we know things aren’t really that bad.

Given the unknowns, this all makes complete sense. Now if the CFR is nailed down, and it is below 0.5%, we may decide that is a risk that we can live with to avoid economic collapse, because make no mistake, that is why governments are behaving like the mayor of Amity did in Jaws. He kept those beaches open so the tourists would keep coming, and bring their dollars, and get eaten by the monster. Our governments led by Trump, by Boris, by Xi are all precisely the same…as are we to an extent…I would be prepared to take on a small defined increased risk of death to avoid becoming impoverished, however at the moment that risk is not clearly defined, and could be much higher than we are prepared to tolerate. Our governments are taking an undefined risk with our lives to preserve the illusion of economic well-being.

You however, can choose to take you own measures:

Reduce person to person interactions

Take sanitation measures to avoid exposure to infection

Keep healthy to boost your immune system – sleep and eat well.

Or you could do nothing, hope we get lucky and avoid the bullet that has hit China between the eyes.

Please share this post if you feel this is fair analysis of the situation and sensible advise. Thank you for allowing me to side track our great discussions here. Also, if you want to read a great thriller about deadly viruses with asymptomatic infectious phases, then buy the book Deadly Medicine by Orson Wedgwood:

Deadly Medicine US Amazon link


Happy New Year! Will it be more of the same, or will this be the year the scales tip.

I hope you all had a nice Christmas, and I wish you a Happy New Year.

Last year finished with the tantalising presentation of data by Dr Parnia at the American Heart Association. It was the ultimate tease in my view and gave food for believers and sceptics alike. I don’t wish to reopen the discussion again after over 200 comments in the previous post, but its fair to say that that Parnia Giveth and Parnia Taketh away. On the one hand we had 4 instances of patients hearing things while they were being resuscitated, offering the potential for scientifically verified NDEs (or TEDs…more on that in a minute), and on the other we had data showing that there may have been sufficient brain activity in an undisclosed number of patients that could support consciousness.

I have tried to contact Dr Parnia and other authors on the abstracts, but have not received any answers to my questions on how the auditory experiments were conducted or whether there is any correlation between the reports of subjects hearing real world events and these signs of brain activity. We are therefore none the wiser on the implications of the findings the Parnia team presented. They know, but are choosing to sit on this.

We can speculate, as we have done for many years. We can say that he must have hits because of the way that he commits to the position of the consciousness surviving physical death. However, this is just speculation, and while those who believe have nothing to undermine those beliefs, neither do we have anything new from a meaningful scientific standpoint with which to challenge materialistic orthodoxy. The one thing I hope from this year regarding this subject, is that this state of affairs will end. I hope that Dr Parnia either presents further analysis from the two abstracts shedding light on whether there is overlap between the two subsets of patients (or hopefully that there is no overlap), or that we finally have a verified visual iPad hit.

In the meantime we have a new piece of research presented by Dr Parnia that says more about how he may be trying to reframe the whole subject, than it does about anything else (thanks Eduardo).

Latest Parnia abstract

The findings are not in themselves earth shattering. They describe various NDE like experiences of patients who have been in the ICU, and the potential benefits on the mental well being of these patients. Like I said, nothing new there. What is of note though is the attempt by Parnia to once again change the core terminology of the field. Instead of NDE he uses the term Transformative Experience of Death (TED). As Eduardo asked me in his email…what is he playing at? Why is he doing this? My gut feeling is that he is trying to move the field out of the UFO/paranormal/kook category, which NDEs are unfairly lumped in with, into an area of genuine clinical research in which these experiences that people have at the time of death are examined from a medical perspective, rather than a philosophical one. This may or may not work in terms of allowing the subject matter to become more acceptable to mainstream clinical researchers. Time will tell.

Another shift in terminology is that rather than describing OBEs as OBEs, the language used is subtly different…although the same thing. The percentages in this sample of subjects experiencing an OBE were very high (83%). If only the AWARE study had similar results!

Let’s hope 2020 will be less frustrating than 2019, 2018, 2017, 20…

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

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

Recording of Livestream 1:

Recording of livestream 2: 

Recording of livestream 3 (evening panel discussion):

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

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

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

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

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

future studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited to add the morning after:

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

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

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

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

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


NYU Livestream chat and thoughts

Just thought I’d open a new thread so we can post our “live” thoughts here. I notice there are 32 other people watching…hoping some of them are people from here.

The link in case you don’t have it

livestream link

You will be able to ask questions in the chat section

Brain Activity During CPR in AWARE II

More data from AWARE II. Eduardo picked this one up. This is also being presented at the AHA meeting this weekend, and while not as exciting from the NDE side of things, is very important because it appears to slay one of our holy cows…people cannot be conscious if they have had a CA.

Abstract 287: Bimodal Brain Monitoring Using Portable EEG and Cerebral Oximetry During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): A Pilot Study

As with abstract 387, the significance of this abstract needs teasing out (and after my last effort, please let me know if I have misunderstood it again!). It has to be said that this one is written using even more jargon. In this “experiment” 38 patients from AWARE II had simultaneous measurement of EEG and brain oxygenation during CPR. CPR lasted for between 10-60 minutes, and the correlation between brain oxygen levels and EEG was established. Various levels of brain activity were defined: normal/near normal, seizures, coma, absence of cortical activity, as determined by EEG. rSO2 (cerebral oximetry  levels) of 60-80% are normally required for normal brain function, including consciousness. However, this study suggests that levels as low as 30% are sufficient to produce cortical activity and that these levels are achieved at various points during CPR. From the conclusions:

…real-time bimodal brain monitoring provides insights regarding brain resuscitation and its dynamic interaction with patient factors. While ischemia may cause epileptogenic activity, there are periods of normal/near-normal cortical activity despite prolonged CPR >45-60 mins. A minimal threshold of brain oxygen delivery (rSO2>30%) may be required for cortical activity. These data raise questions regarding assumptions of irreversible brain damage with prolonged CPR, as well as the possibility of consciousness and cognitive activity during CPR

This, to me, at least suggests that periods of consciousness are possible during CPR after a CA and before full ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) is achieved. This is food for skeptics who will now claim that NDEs are a result of these kinds of brain activity. However, unless one of the NDEs in abstract 287 is directly correlated with rSO2 levels>30%, then these findings are irrelevant to NDEs. There is no mention of matching the patients in the two posters. What I would hope would be to see the subject who heard the noise from the headphones have an rSO2 of >30%, but the other 4 below those levels.

It would be good to have the whole poster or presentations for these. they may be available after they have been presented.

AWARE II – preliminary results

Once again thanks to Samwise for posting these in the comments section (I’m starting to have  suspicions about who he really is!). The link below is to the abstract from a poster by Sam Parnia that was – correction – will be presented at a meeting of the AHA in a few days ago time which focuses on resuscitation. The abstract has been posted on line in advance of the meeting, so this really is hot of the press.

Link to AWARE II poster abstract

On first analysis, the news is not brilliant in  terms of conclusive proof that NDEs are proven to be real, or at least not what we might be hoping for (edited to add: I may have got this completely wrong in my haste to post – please read the fantastic analysis by Tim in the comments section – if he is right then this data is very significant and is the first scientific evidence of auditory OBEs). However, on closer inspection, there is a small ray of light and also it is important to note that the numbers of this sample from the study are extremely small, and the study is still ongoing.

So, to the results (most of us know the methods – people who have had a CA are exposed to various stimuli, including the upturned ipad, during CPR, to understand consciousness while the brain is effectively “dead”):

Results: Among 465 in-hospital CA lasting >5 min, 44 (9%) survived and 21 were interviewed. Of these, 4 (19%) reported explicit memories, including (internal) cognitive processes such as feeling peace, joy, and a perception of seeing relatives, while other memories were suggestive of (external) awareness e.g. hearing people talking, drugs given. One of 19 correctly recalled the audio stimuli given during CPR, but none identified the visual test. In this limited sample, there were no signs of implicit learning. We then compared these to 22 self-reported memories from a registry of CA survivors, Additional themes emerged as follows: 1) a sense of joy and peace (95%), perception of a light (86%), a tunnel (59%), a review and judgment of major life events including a person’s own actions and intentions (54%), and an overall feeling of positive transformation after the event (95%).

Key points to take away:

  • No iPad visual hits – no smoking gun that we have all been waiting for
  • 1 audio hit – a slightly warm gun?
  • There were only 21 interviews, and only 4 who could recall any memories from the time during CPR – this is an extremely small sample

So there we have it, once again Dr Parnia used an AHA meeting to announce some preliminary results from one of his AWARE studies. The last one was in 2014 if I recall. There is a sense of déjà vu in more ways than one though. We don’t have an iPad (visual) hit, but at the same time the numbers involved were so small that it would be extremely unlikely for there to be a visual hit. Remember, about 10% of CA survivors have NDEs and about 25% of those have an OBE of some sort. In this sample size there were 21 interviews, 4 of whom had memories (how many of these were NDEs by the Greyson scale is not mentioned). Assuming 2 were NDEs, there was a 50% chance of an OBE. From this brief abstract, it appears no one claimed to have an OBE, which would be consistent with expectations.

The audio hit is interesting, but I know the skeptics will discount this out of hand. However, if the EEG was flat-lining, and there was no heartbeat at the time-point the audio was played, then this does provide the first true “scientific” evidence that NDEs are real. But it won’t be received that way.

The conclusion section closes with this comment:

In this context, in place of NDE a more appropriate term might be transformative experience of death (TED)

Well I’m not sure what to make of this. AWARE II is still ongoing, and I know many of us here were convinced that he may have had some positive iPad hits by the way he has been discussing the whole “nature of consciousness being a separate entity to the brain” in public, but there is nothing in these results to give rise to such confidence. Also…what’s with TED?

I suspect there will be lots of discussion! Remember, he is presenting next Monday at NYU and a live-stream is available. I’m sure he will elaborate further then.


Link to NYU event

More on the NYU meeting chaired by Sam Parnia

Thanks to Werner for posting this link in the last discussion.

Link to Meyers Blog Post

Nothing massively new on the research side of things except a little bit more about “COOL II”.

Answers may come from a future Parnia study, focusing on aortic repair patients, some of whom experience a controlled condition that biologically approximates death, with no heartbeat and flat-lined brain activity.

We’ve discussed this a bit already after seeing it referred to on the NYU research page. It is a future study, so don’t expect any results any time before the early to mid 20s (if we’re lucky). In the meantime this is a previously published scientific letter in this area:

Conscious mental activity during a deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest?

The blog article article is quite balanced, with Meyer being a skeptic, but the most interesting sentence from my perspective was this:

P.S. For those wanting more information: Parnia and other death researchers will present at a November 18th New York Academy of Sciences symposium on “What Happens When We Die?” (see here and here)–with a live stream link to come.

I will be checking their site often in the next two weeks, and will let you know on here once the link is advertised. Would be great if a few of us could watch and then discuss afterwards in here. Definitely worth coughing up 30 dollars or so, and taking the afternoon off work.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that he will announce anything specific regarding results from AWARE II, but it will still be good to listen in to their discussions.


If AWARE II doesn’t have a hit I’ll eat my laptop.

For those who don’t follow the comments sections in this blog, there has been a discussion about an article that appeared which has ultimately come from Sam Parnia’s department at NYU.

Is there life after death?

Firstly thanks to Eduardo for sending it to me first, although others picked it up as well. Secondly apologies for not posting it sooner. I tried on the WordPress App, but it crashed (I have to admit I find the app a bit useless for all but following comments, and even then it does not feel intuitive), and since then I have been very busy. I recently gave a talk to 250 people on my recent book on the origin of life and preparing for this sucked up all my time.

As others, and myself, have noted, the tone of this article is completely supportive of the understanding that the consciousness, or soul is an individual entity that is able to survive death. This article was clearly sanctioned by Dr. Parnia, as it is related to the What happens when we die meeting that is due to take place at NYU in November. This implies that he is absolutely of the belief that the consciousness survives death. The implications of this are very clear from my point of view. As a scientist to make such a stand is inviting derision unless there is strong evidence to support this position. hence my belief that he is now sitting on one or more “hits” (i.e. scientifically verfiied OBEs) from AWARE II.

Will he use this event in New York as a teaser for the study results? Please, can someone go and then report back here what happens…if I still lived in Canada I would have nipped over the border to attend, but since I am now back in the UK “nipping” is not an option. I am prepared to provide financial support with respect to the cost of registration if someone serious (i.e. an existing commenter) volunteers and agrees to provide me with a write up and maybe ask a question at either the daytime or evening event. Message me via the contact me link.

Hypothesis Checking and NYU meeting

Firstly, I am currently in the process of writing a book on NDEs. As part of that I am having to reread the book on the front page of this blog, Aware Of Aware. I apologize to anyone who bought that, it is truly a stinker. My new book will be much better (I hope!). As part of the book I am trying to identify what I would have as the central hypothesis that is being tested in AWARE II. This is the best I could come up with…if any of you think this isn’t a hypothesis, or could improve it then let me know:

“If OBEs in NDEs are a real phenomenon then the consciousness is a separate entity that leaves the body when the patient’s heart has stopped beating and brain activity has ceased.”

I then make these predictions of the results that would be needed to prove the hypothesis true:

Approximately 1% of CA survivors who meet the study’s inclusion criteria and who survive long enough to complete all interviews in the AWARE II study will have scientifically validated OBEs (correctly identify the image on the tablet). This is based on 10% having NDEs, 25% of those having OBEs and 40% of those seeing the target. That comes to 1% of the total. So this is my prediction for the different possible totals who complete the study as described above.

250 – 2-3 scientifically verified OBEs

500 – 5 scientifically verified OBEs

750 – 7 scientifically verified OBEs

1000 – 10 scientifically verified OBEs

And so on.

Secondly, can someone who lives in or near NYC please attend this. I will consider sharing some of the registration and (reasonable) travel costs on receipt of a full reliable report of what was said, along with some snapshots of slides and speakers. If I still lived in Toronto I’d fly down for this. PM me if you are up for this by using the contact me link at the top.

NYU what happens when we die

I hope I don’t end up in AWARE II!

I am having a fairly benign procedure this week, but it does involve general anaesthetic. Thankfully there are rarely problems. Here’s the thing though, I am having the procedure in a hospital right next door to Southampton General Hospital in the UK, the home of AWARE, and where Dr Parnia did much of his training and initial research. I believe they are a site in AWARE II, which is why I am hoping not to end up being a subject! That being said, if I end up having a CA (please pray I don’t if you are a believer) and they move me next door to the General, and I am floating near the ceiling, then I will most definitely be looking out for iPads in the resuscitation suite!

Provided all goes to plan, I will shortly be starting my job working on helping to develop clinical research into sleep medicine. It is very focused on Neurology, and I am really excited about learning a lot more about the physiology of the brain and particularly just what the heck happens to the conscious during sleep and dreams. I have done some work on this before, but will now be digging really deep into this area. You can be assured that I will post anything interesting on here.

I am very happy to finally be working in an area of medicine so closely related to the subject of this blog. While I have always worked in science and medicine, and recently my work was on the neuroscience of obesity, this is the first time I will be focused on something so closely related to consciousness. Exciting times!

Any thoughts on dreams, feel free to share!

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