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Old 10-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brain surgeon convinced heaven is real

'It was a place of clouds, big puffy and pink white' The prominent neurosurgeon who is now convinced there's a heaven after his out-of-body experience | Mail Online

I thought this was interesting, especially since it seems he had an out-of-body experience during a time where there was no brain activity (If I read this correctly). That obviously shouldn't be possible
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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:shakes head:

Did the memories somehow write themselves into his brain after the event or does this surgeon believe that memories aren't a physical process?

This isn't to say that memories can bloom - forming a fractal of memories - where a thought runs down a rabbit hole and a whole existence springs forth.

I have often had these things happen when I fall asleep on the subway, In the moments between sleep and awakening, as consciousness buttresses against my dreams, I live an elaborate an entirely novel existence (albeit a false one) and I find my waking thoughts trying to fall back into the rabbit hole, chasing after this ephemeral, fleeting, alternate reality.

Oliver Sacks writes,
One may set out on an elaborate mental journey, visiting different countries and cultures, or compose a book or a symphony, or live through a whole life or an epoch of history, only to find that mere minutes or seconds have passed. Gautier described how he entered a hashish trance in which "sensations followed one another so numerous and so hurried that true appreciation of time was impossible." It seemed to him, subjectively, that the spell had lasted "three hundred years," but he found, on awakening, that it had lasted no more than a quarter of an hour.

The word "awakening" may be more than a figure of speech here, for such "trips" have surely to be compared with dreams. I have occasionally, it seems to me, lived a whole life between my first alarm, at 5 a.m., and my second alarm, five minutes later.

Sometimes, as one is falling asleep, there may be a massive, involuntary jerk-a myoclonic jerk-of the body. Though such jerks are generated by primitive parts of the brain stem (they are, so to speak, brain-stem reflexes), and as such are without any intrinsic meaning or motive, they may be given meaning and context, turned into acts, by an instantly improvised dream. Thus the jerk may be associated with a dream of tripping, or stepping over a precipice, lunging forward to catch a ball, and so on. Such dreams may be extremely vivid, and have several "scenes."

Subjectively, they appear to start before the jerk, and yet presumably the entire dream mechanism is stimulated by the first, preconscious perception of the jerk. All of this elaborate restructuring of time occurs in a second or less.

There are certain epileptic seizures, sometimes called "experiential seizures," when a detailed recollection or hallucination of the past suddenly imposes itself upon a patient's consciousness, and pursues a subjectively lengthy and unhurried course, to complete itself in what, objectively, is only a few seconds. These seizures are typically associated with convulsive activity in the brain's temporal lobes, and can be induced, in some patients, by electrical stimulation of certain trigger points on the surface of the lobes. Sometimes such epileptic experiences are suffused with a sense of metaphysical significance, along with their subjectively enormous duration. Dostoyevsky wrote of such seizures:

There are moments, and it is only a matter of a few seconds, when you feel the presence of the eternal harmony. . . A terrible thing is the frightful clearness with which it manifests itself and the rapture with which it fills you. . . . During these five seconds I live a whole human existence, and for that I would give my whole life and not think that I was paying too dearly.

No doubt the same thing happened to this poor man. I'm not negating his experience - I'm certain it occurred. I am questioning it's genesis.

"That's me -- call me crazy, call me a pervert, but this is something I enjoy."
- Boogie Nights

Last edited by william; 10-14-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"I'm certain it occurred. I am questioning it's genesis. "

I wouldn't want to guess how it happened, I just think it is interesting that he had this type of experience, whatever it was
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