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Eteponge I need your help!

Discussions about Afterlife Research, Survival Science, Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, Spirit Communication, Mediumship, Ghosts, Spirits, etc.

Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Maddogkull » 24 May 2010, 01:28

I have recently been debating a hardcore atheist (not even open minded one bit) Just thinks everything to do with NDES is 100% physical. Now he kept telling me that NDEs have been made in laboratory tests, and proved that that it is just in the brain. Something about putting a helmet on and zapping the brain or something. But basically he said it has been proven to just be in the brain. I have tried to do some research on the subject, but whoever I ask about it on any board all I get are skeptical answers. I never get answers that the possibility that NDEs are more mystical then people think. Do you know if you can give me some answers to some questions?

Isn’t the white tunnel just your optic nerves backfiring, so you see a white light?
If the Vagus nerve is simulated, isn’t that just what a OBE/NDE is?
Has NDE's almost been proven just to be physical?
What are your views of NDE's? (Do you believe in a afterlife?)
Anything else you can help me out with will be greatly appreciated

I cannot give you anything in return but I’ll give you some brownie points. :lol:
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby ProfWag » 24 May 2010, 18:25

Maddogkull wrote:I have recently been debating a hardcore atheist (not even open minded one bit) Just thinks everything to do with NDES is 100% physical. Now he kept telling me that NDEs have been made in laboratory tests, and proved that that it is just in the brain. Something about putting a helmet on and zapping the brain or something. But basically he said it has been proven to just be in the brain. I have tried to do some research on the subject, but whoever I ask about it on any board all I get are skeptical answers. I never get answers that the possibility that NDEs are more mystical then people think. Do you know if you can give me some answers to some questions?

Isn’t the white tunnel just your optic nerves backfiring, so you see a white light?
If the Vagus nerve is simulated, isn’t that just what a OBE/NDE is?
Has NDE's almost been proven just to be physical?
What are your views of NDE's? (Do you believe in a afterlife?)
Anything else you can help me out with will be greatly appreciated

I cannot give you anything in return but I’ll give you some brownie points. :lol:

Keep in mind that just because NDEs could be proven to just be "physical," doesn't mean that ALL of them are. Hence, it's a debate that won't have a winner. (btw, I don't believe in them, but that's just my belief...)
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby really? » 24 May 2010, 22:28

Maddogkull wrote:I have recently been debating a hardcore atheist (not even open minded one bit) Just thinks everything to do with NDES is 100% physical. Now he kept telling me that NDEs have been made in laboratory tests, and proved that that it is just in the brain. Something about putting a helmet on and zapping the brain or something. But basically he said it has been proven to just be in the brain. I have tried to do some research on the subject, but whoever I ask about it on any board all I get are skeptical answers. I never get answers that the possibility that NDEs are more mystical then people think. Do you know if you can give me some answers to some questions?

Isn’t the white tunnel just your optic nerves backfiring, so you see a white light?
If the Vagus nerve is simulated, isn’t that just what a OBE/NDE is?
Has NDE's almost been proven just to be physical?
What are your views of NDE's? (Do you believe in a afterlife?)
Anything else you can help me out with will be greatly appreciated

I cannot give you anything in return but I’ll give you some brownie points. :lol:


I don't know how old you are so your personal knowledge of the provenance of paranormal claims ideas and beleifs may be limited. I'm assuming you are young judging from the tone of your post..
If you take a broad overview of every subject on the paranormal you would quickly come to the conclusion that there is not one shred of evidence that really can stand up to scrutiny including NDE's.
Yes, NDE's have been demonstrated in the lab and even in non lab situations using recreational drugs. Because there are mundane explanations for what's occurring. That's the reason you are receiving it ain't so answers. It's the default position until something substantial would change that position.
NDE's can be mystical that does not mean they are other worldly.
Perhaps you'll find this topic interesting if you've not already read it.
A Rational Exploration of NDE-Related Research http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=148845

As for my position on life after death. Here it is.
It would be great to live forever and to see my dead relatives and friends whom they themselves will die someday- again, but I'm not willing to fore go reason and truth for an idea or belief no matter how comforting and reassuring it may be.

What arguments have you presented to the atheist ?
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Maddogkull » 24 May 2010, 22:56

Yeah, I'm pretty young compared to the general consensus. 20 years old lol. The thing I don’t understand, with eteponge he presented information that the brain produced information when you have no brain waves. How is that possible?
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby ciscop » 25 May 2010, 00:02

well.. the thing about it is that NDE can happen anytime
while you are unconscious
lets suppose i am having a heart surgery and during that time i ¨die¨
my NDE could have happened way before ¨i died¨
there´s no way of knowing when it really happened

really mentioned the recreation of NDE with recreational drugs
i want to mention that a group of psychologists created a horn that produced a sound that helped create a ¨divine¨ experience.. not a NDE, but it just shows you how there are certain things that can stimulate that part of the brain to create those sort of mystical experiences.

not sure why you bother debating
is one of those topics were there wont be a winner
NDE is for people that believe in them, those that dont, only have weird dreams (if they recall them at all).
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Eteponge » 25 May 2010, 02:16

Maddogkull wrote:I have recently been debating a hardcore atheist (not even open minded one bit) Just thinks everything to do with NDES is 100% physical. Now he kept telling me that NDEs have been made in laboratory tests, and proved that that it is just in the brain. Something about putting a helmet on and zapping the brain or something. But basically he said it has been proven to just be in the brain. I have tried to do some research on the subject, but whoever I ask about it on any board all I get are skeptical answers. I never get answers that the possibility that NDEs are more mystical then people think. Do you know if you can give me some answers to some questions?

Isn’t the white tunnel just your optic nerves backfiring, so you see a white light?
If the Vagus nerve is simulated, isn’t that just what a OBE/NDE is?
Has NDE's almost been proven just to be physical?
What are your views of NDE's? (Do you believe in a afterlife?)
Anything else you can help me out with will be greatly appreciated

I cannot give you anything in return but I’ll give you some brownie points. :lol:

As for the accusation that NDEs have been totally reproduced in a lab via a helmet sending electrical stimulation to the brain, these accusations are not accurate at all, and are greatly exaggerated by Skeptics. Michael Prescott dealt with these here, quoting from the book Irreducible Mind, where the authors set out to examine these experiments and see if they matched the Skeptic's claims of them, and to see if they matched actual NDEs or not, and guess what, they don't ...

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/mich ... e_min.html

And there is the view, propounded most notably by M.A. Persinger, that electrical stimulation of the brain can reproduce NDEs on demand:

Persinger has also claimed that "a vast clinical and surgical literature ... indicates that floating and rising sensations, OBEs, personally profound mystical and religious encounters, visual and auditory experiences, and dream-like sequences are evoked, usually as single events, by electrical stimulation of deep, mesiobasal temporal lobe structures". His sole reference for this strong claim is a paper by Stevens (1982). That paper, however, is confined entirely to descriptions of certain physiological observations made in studies of epileptic patients, and it contains no mention whatever of any subjective experiences or of electrical stimulation studies, much less of "a vast clinical and surgical literature" supporting Persinger's claim. Persinger goes on to claim that, using weak transcranial magnetic stimulation, he and his colleagues have produced "all of the major components of the NDE, including out-of-body experiences, floating, being pulled towards a light, hearing strange music, and profound meaningful experiences." However, we have been unable to find phenomenological descriptions of the experiences of his subjects adequate to support this claim, and the brief descriptions that he does provide in fact again bear little resemblance to NDEs (e.g., Persinger, 1994, pages 284-285)....

Neurologist Ernst Rodin stated bluntly: "In spite of having seen hundreds of patients with temporal lobe seizures during three decades of professional life, I have never come across that symptomatology [of NDEs] as part of the seizure." [Pages 382-383]


As the authors explain, the similarities between hallucinations produced by electrical stimulation of the brain and NDEs have been greatly exaggerated:

[i]As we mentioned earlier, research frequently cited in support of a model in which abnormal temporal lobe electrical activity produces an OBE is that of neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield. Penfield is widely reported as having produced OBEs and other NDE-like phenomena in the course of stimulating various points in the exposed brains of awake epileptic patients being prepared for surgery. Only two out of his 1132 patients, however, reported anything that might be said to resemble an OBE: One patient said: "Oh God! I am leaving my body". Another patient said only: "I have a queer sensation as if I am not here... As though I were half here and half there". In later studies at the Montréal Neurological Institute (where Penfield had conducted the study's), only one of 29 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy reported "a 'floating sensation' which the patient likened at one time to the excitement felt when watching a football game and at another time to a startle" (Gloor et al., 1982, pages 131-132). Such experiences hardly qualify as phenomenologically equivalent to OBEs. [Page 396]


Regarding the Tunnel that people see during their NDEs, Susan Blackmore has theorized that the optic nerve causes a "Tunnel Effect" due to random neuron firings in the back of the eye to explain away the "Tunnel" that people see.

But a woman named Vicki who was born blind who had her optic nerve severed in her incubator at birth, she still visually saw a Tunnel during her NDE and OBE. And it happened awhile into the actual experience. Which of course throws serious doubt on that explanation.

The fact is, The Tunnel can appear in front of them, to the side of them, up above them, even through a wall, soon after or long after their clinical death set in. And sometimes even not at all. They don't always start the experience seeing a tunnel, and it's not always directly in front of them, and sometimes they don't even experience it at all.

The Tunnel is truly a moot point concerning the overall NDE experience.

Also, see my indepth article on NDEs:

http://eteponge.blogspot.com/2007/09/ne ... -body.html

If they bring up the "dying brain theory" / "lack of oxygen theory" as an explanation to NDEs, that doesn't fit either ...

"Simultaneous recording of heart rate and brain output show that within 11 seconds of the heart stopping, the brainwaves go flat. Now, if you read the literature on this, some skeptical people claim that in this state there is still brain activity, but, in fact, the data are against this in both animals and humans. The brain is not functioning, and you are not going to get your electrical activity back again until the heart restarts." (Dr. Peter Fenwick)

Further Dr. Peter Fenwick Quotations:

"Let's look at the physiological state of the brain and body at the time of reported NDEs. No detectable cardiac output, no respiratory output - they certainly weren't breathing. Neither did they have any brain stem reflexes - in other words they was no activity whatsoever in the brain."

"The first point is that signs of cardiac arrest are the same as clinical death. There is no detectable cardiac output, no respiratory effort, and brainstem reflexes are absent. If you are in this state and I put a tube down your throat, you will not cough. You will have dilated pupils. Your blood pressure has fallen to zero. You are, in fact, clinically dead. Even if I start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), I cannot get your blood pressure any higher than 30 millimetres of mercury, and this is not going to produce an adequate blood flow to your brain."

"When you are fully unconscious, you show the signs of clinical death which is no respiration, no cardiac output, fully dilated pupils showing that your brain stem is not functioning and that is the clinical criteria of death." (Dr. Peter Fenwick)

Dr. Sam Parnia: "During cardiac arrest brainstem activity is rapidly lost. It should not be able to sustain such lucid processes or allow the formation of lasting memories."

Further Dr. Sam Parnia Quotations:

".....This is termed the delayed hypoperfusion phase and is thought to occur due to a disturbed coupling between brain function, metabolism and blood flow. Clinically, these observations are supported by the loss of brainstem reflexes such as the gag reflex that indicate a loss of brainstem function, which normally activates the cortical areas via the thalamus."

"As seen these experiences appear to be occurring at a time when global cerebral function can at best be described as severely impaired, and at worse non-functional."

"An alternative explanation is that the experiences reported from cardiac arrest, may actually be arising at a time when consciousness is either being lost, or regained, rather than from the actual cardiac arrest period itself. Any cerebral insult leads to a period of both anterograde and retrograde amnesia In fact memory is a very sensitive indicator of brain injury and the length of amnesia before and after unconsciousness is a way of determining the severity of the injury. Therefore, events that occur just prior to or just after the loss of consciousness would not be expected to be recalled. At any rate recovery following a cerebral insult is confusional and cerebral function as measured by EEG has in many cases been shown not to return until many tens of minutes or even a few hours after successful resuscitation." (Dr. Sam Parnia)

Pim Van Lommel's well-known research study published Peer-Reviewed in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, also notes that cerebral activity flatlines within 4 to 20 seconds of cardiac arrest.

Dr. Pim Van Lommel Quotations:

"You can prove that the brain stem is no longer functioning because it regulates our basic reflexes, such as the pupil response and swallowing reflex, which no longer respond. So you can easily stick a tube down someone's throat. The respiratory centre also shuts down. If the individual is not reanimated within five to 10 minutes, their brain cells are irreversibly damaged."

"The fact that in a cardiac arrest loss of cortical function precedes the rapid loss of brainstem activity lends further support to this view."

"From studies of induced cardiac arrest we know that in our Dutch prospective study of patients who survived cardiac arrest (Van Lommel et al., 2001), as well as in the American (Greyson, 2003) and English study (Parnia et al., 2001), not only total lack of electrical activity of the cortex must have been the only possibility, but also the abolition of brain-stem activity."

"However, patients with an NDE can report a clear consciousness. And because of the occasional and verifiable out-of-body experiences, like the one involving the dentures in our study, we know that the NDE must happen during the period of unconsciousness, and not in the first or last seconds of cardiac arrest. So we have to come to the surprising conclusion that during cardiac arrest NDE is experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem."

"What you see when you induce cardiac arrest is that within one second the blood flow to the brain is zero centimeters per second. Within two seconds, it stops totally. After an average of 6.54 seconds, the first ischemic changes show on the EEG, with attenuation of the waves. After 10 to 20 seconds, you have a flat- line EEG, which means the electrical activity of the cortex is gone. The brain stem reflexes- such as the gag reflex and whether the pupils stay dilated - and the medulla oblongata - where the center of breathing is - stops. So that's the functional loss of your total brain. Well, with a heart attack, if it occurs on the coronary care unit, it takes between 60 and 120 seconds before circulation is restored. If it occurs on the general ward, it takes two to five minutes. If it occurs in the street, it usually exceeds five to 10 minutes, and 90 percent of those people will die."

"How could a clear consciousness outside one's body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG? . . . Furthermore, blind people have described veridical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience. NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation. In our prospective study of patients that were clinically dead (flat EEG, showing no electrical activity in the cortex and loss of brain stem function evidenced by fixed dilated pupils and absence of the gag reflex) the patients report a clear consciousness, in which cognitive functioning, emotion, sense of identity, or memory from early childhood occurred, as well as perceptions from a position out and above their "dead" body." (Van Lommel, Van Wees, Meyers, Elfferich (2001). Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands. Lancet.)


As for Ketamine producing NDEs, this explanation is problematic too ...

The Skeptic Sources refering to the Drug Ketamine causing NDEs are referancing an old paper by Ketamine Researcher Dr. Karl Jansen, who has since totally changed his stance on Ketamine actually causing the experiences, and is now far more open to the metaphysical component of NDEs. His current hypothesis is that Ketamine and other triggers of NDEs/OBEs simply act as a "door to a space" rather than actually producing that space. He states that his findings now are more in line with other researchers in his field such as John Lilly and Stanislav Grof.

"I am no longer as opposed to spritual explanations of these phenomena as this article would appear to suggest. Over the past two years (it is quite some time since I wrote it) I have moved more towards the views put forward by John Lilly and Stan Grof. Namely, that drugs and psychological disciplines such as meditation and yoga may render certain 'states' more accessible. The complication then becomes in defining just what we mean by 'states' and where they are located, if indeed location is an appropriate term at all. But the apparent emphasis on matter over mind contained within this particular article no longer accurately represents my attitudes. My forthcoming book 'Ketamine' will consider mystical issues from quite a different perspective, and will give a much stronger voice to those who see drugs as just another door to a space, and not as actually producing that space'." (Dr. Karl Jansen)

Melvin Morse M.D. wrote an insightful article titled "The Right Temporal Lobe And Associated Limbic Lobe Structures As The Biological Interface With An Interconnected Universe" that is along these lines of thought.
"I think Eteponge's Blog is a pretty cool guy. eh debates Skeptics and doesnt afraid of anything."
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Maddogkull » 25 May 2010, 06:37

I got one question, It makes 100% sense that if you can experiance conscinouss after death, means there is some sort of afterlife. But what if it is just your brain being distored. In that state, You can defintly bet that there would be time distortion? What do you think?
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby ciscop » 25 May 2010, 06:53

not really
it could be just an hallucination
same experience has been reported by users of ketamine

it isnt black and white.. it could be either of, that´s the problem with NDEs
you want to believe in an afterlife and NDE help you do it, so hold on to it if that´s what you want
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby really? » 25 May 2010, 10:21

The real reason NDE's are touted as clear evidence to some as proof of an afterlife is that unpleasant reality called Death.
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Maddogkull » 25 May 2010, 22:34

What about me? Someone who wants nothing more then nothing after death, but sees that most likley there will be some kind of afterlife? I guess I am in the minority. :lol:
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby ProfWag » 25 May 2010, 23:31

Maddogkull wrote:What about me? Someone who wants nothing more then nothing after death, but sees that most likley there will be some kind of afterlife? I guess I am in the minority. :lol:

What brings you to the conclusion that "most likely" there will be some kind of afterlife? Because a few people who redline claim to see a white light at the end of the tunnel? 'C'mon...
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Maddogkull » 25 May 2010, 23:59

As you know we do not know a lot about the universe. Just the fact that we’re are here seems like good evidence. To you it makes perfect sense this all started by accident, but to me it doesn’t make sense. Different strokes for different folks. I was talking to a physicist, and what she told me was we know what energy does, but we do not know the inner nature of energy. People dismiss it as being nothing; some people say there is something to it. There might be a certain kind of Aether(not talking about a “god” by the way) connected at the plank scale, like how Nikola Tesla predicted. Nikola Tesla, in my opinion was way more intelligent the Einstein, and came up with tons of better theory’s (now were left making up assumptions of mystical forces like dark matter or energy) Do we honestly think one man got this whole universe pinned down with his equations?. There is so much we have to learn about the universe. Skeptics try to debunk the holographic theory of the universe, by actually talking to theoretical/mainstream physicists who are agnostic, all of them tell me is that you cannot debunk certain theories like that. We do not know what a singularity is, we really don’t.....like what Hawkins said, It’s like saying what’s north of the North Pole. We will never most likely know what that singularity is. It could be a blueprint to this whole universe. Once it exploded the universe happened. You might think I am whoo whoo saying that, but honestly there are no facts you can give me that actually proves this singularity means nothing special. Cause we do not know. To me it just seems like we are here or a certain reason, who knows. And yes an NDE in my opinion, most likely proves there’s an afterlife, (if the person has no brainwaves). Eteponge showed detailed information showing that NDEs aren’t necessarily hallucinations. You should look into Roger Penrose’s work (if you already haven’t) he is a really smart person, he’s not some whacky guy like Deepak Chopra, and a lot of his theories are great. But yeah the truth is, "We Do Not Know” that’s what is comes does to. We only have assumptions.
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby leo100 » 02 Jul 2010, 22:22

ciscop wrote:not really
it could be just an hallucination
same experience has been reported by users of ketamine

it isnt black and white.. it could be either of, that´s the problem with NDEs
you want to believe in an afterlife and NDE help you do it, so hold on to it if that´s what you want


Nice try!!!

However careful reliable research has been done that show Ketamine doesn't consistently reproduce any element of an nde.

http://www.nderf.org/ketamine_cmment.htm
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 Oct 2010, 04:11

Right with you Maddongkull. As Sokrates and Siddharta pointed out, once you nirvanize, there is no more you. The alternative scares the shit out of me so bad that when I first "believed" it, I leaped into the arms of Jesus (he's divorced me since when he found out I was part monkey, the creationist chauvanist [Shut up, Shakespeare!])

Eteponge, that was amazing. Anecdotely, I have heard one account where consciousness in an NDE observed events that occured during clinical death, but even the NDE takes the null that it was a creation of his mind. The minimal beta is that, at times, the body and the psyche do not cohere. Personally, I estimate that is slightly more likely than the null, but that leads down the slippery slope.
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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Re: Eteponge I need your help!

Postby Craig Browning » 18 Oct 2010, 03:06

I'm a firm believer in NDE's and Out of Body situations... I actually teach a workshop on Astral Travel but one of the things I point out to every student is that the starting point to it all is MENTAL PROJECTION it has nothing to do with silver chords, spirituality, mysticism, etc. it's simply allowing your mind to drift and move along a focused sense of journey, literally letting your own imagination open certain doors of insight to you... very much a waking type of dream.

True Astral Projection (a.k.a. bi-location, clairvoyance), such as one comes to know at death or near death in limited cases, requires many influences. When done consciously it only happens after years of discipline and even then, the eager will frequently delude themselves into believing something happened when in truth, it didn't.

Yes, genuine Astral can happen when one sleeps. It's quite common as young one come into puberty and seniors head into their more declining years, but it's rather rare in the years between the two.

When it comes to NDE type accounts there is a huge truth to the fact that it's mental hallucination created by certain bio-electrical discharges. This gives us the tunnel effect and can trigger our memories so that our life flashes before our eyes and/or we find long lost loved ones there at the end of the tunnel, to greet us.

We have to remember that most projection type work has ALWAYS involved the use of sedative and hallucinogenic herb compounds, be it in the form of "tea" or smoke. The other common ritual arrangement included sleep & food deprivation (fasting) which likewise trigger biological "messengers" so to speak, that make us more susceptible to a hallucination based experience. These religious rites keeping us focused on a given purpose behind the journey so that we can personalize it and attach it to something etheric and mystical -- pure psychology!

This does not mean that your experience has no value, only that there is an alternative understanding behind the ritual and why it is designed as it is and why, psychologically, it will impact us in manner that seems to be a "Religious Experience"

The NDE scenarios in which Astral happens and the patient is looking down onto events in their room, home, etc. IS NOT the same thing as those previously mentioned... it is the more mystical exception in that your "consciousness" or "soul" has left the body in a quite literal sense. The shamanic theory being bi-fold; firstly, the spirit must experience certain things in a certain way in order to grow; secondly, you need to out of you physical body so that your consciousness doesn't interfere with the physics tied to the work doctors or EMTs, etc. are doing... you must be an observer rather than a participant. Again, there is a reason for this when it comes to the metaphysics to it all, but it is important that you understand how this is not the same or even related to the tunnel of light, etc. they are quite different things...

One Last Note... I've always found it interesting how some folks don't encounter this famed tunnel & light but rather some dark horrors. Typically, these are individuals with dark secrets in life and possibly even "negative" life-styles in which they inflict cruelty onto others, deny their 'true-self', etc. Because of the osmosis factor, these people have been pre-conditioned to believe that there might be a hell to go to upon death and so when they have an NDE, that's where they go... about two weeks after the NDE however, you'll find them in church :twisted:
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