The Light at the End of the Tunnel


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near-death-experience.jpg
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but not going to it....could that be an actual occurrence for individuals? Some people have reports of experiencing being dead, but then coming back to their body. These people claim they can hear themselves pronounced dead and sometimes report seeing dead relatives or even God. The individuals "experiencing" this claim it happens in a pattern: the sense of being dead, a sense of serenity, a feeling of floating, review their whole lives ("my life flashed before my eyes"), and then returning to the warmth of their body. Twenty percent of all people who survive cardiac arrest report that they have felt these near-death experiences. 

Specialists in the areas of psychology, parapsychology, and psychiatry are currently studying the probability of these events. Yet those in the scientific community view these experiences as pure hallucination. The assumption is not without cause from the scientific view due to many experiments. 

In 2007 Jimo Borjigin, professor at the University of Michigan became quite interested in the topic. Borjigin used nine rats to test this theory, while they were under anesthetic and going through cardiac arrest. Through looking at gamma waves in the brain, Borjigin and her team discovered that during the initial thirty seconds after cardiac arrest, the neurons in the brain fired synchronously. 

"But what is really interesting is that the coherence [in the dying rats] is more than two-fold higher than in their waking state," Borjigin said. "This suggests that after cardiac arrest, there is a kind of hyper-consciousness in the brain, with all of the neurons acting together in far more coherence than normal."

Quote taken from here.

To explain the "bright lights" experienced during these near-death experiences, it is due to the  alpha and gamma wave coupling that activates visualization/imagination. In conclusion, the brain can function immediately after cardiac arrest explaining the near-death experiences, even though the experiment was preformed on rats, it is assumed to be similar to people as well. 

Psychiatrists still believe that these experiences are due to certain drugs and medications and parapsychologists believe it is due to more than explainable science. Yet the outcome seems well explained from Borjigin's experiment.

1 Comment

I think this is such an interesting topic! What always amazes me is the thought that no living person really knows what is beyond this world when we die. The only way to find out is to actually die and then you can't report back to the rest of the world what its like! (so frustrating!) The struggle between science and religion seems to fit here. Scientists seem to suggest that "seeing heaven" is simply a phenomenon that occurs within the neurons of the brain. But what if this is something that can't be explained? I guess we will never know for sure! This topic reminds me of a book my mom told me about. She told me it was amazing - check out the website! http://heavenisforreal.net

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