Impossibility of Death
It is not possible for your ego to conceive of its own demise, it's a part of your intellectual functioning that can not comprehend the termination to its existence. Although Human Beings are aware that they must some day die, the mind simply can not fathom or fully comprehend the state of non existence.
We can also not FULLY comprehend of zero, it is an abstract mathematical concept.
Zero is necessary for math to work, it functions therefore it is. As far as Humans go, we think - therefore we are. So does zero truly represent non existence or simply a place holder for some continued existence ?
Infants and very young children have an innate sense of immortality, those who have not yet been fully indoctrinated into societies cultural norms or religious dictates do not grasp the possibility of our own annihilation. As per psychologist Jesse Bering we have 'an innate sense of immortality' that stems from this cognitive quirk that is, the seeming impossibility of our annihilation is hardwired into our brains." The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life
Perhaps this "cognitive quirk" is why religions universally incorporate immortality for the righteous and an after life into their belief systems. The belief in life after death is universal. There is no culture and no religion that denies it, it is built into the Human Psyche.
Mathematically and Philosophically the after life can not be proven or dis-proven. Scientifically - by physicists - possibly, some day but not yet. Basically you either believe or you don't believe. There are however a growing number of cases in which individuals 'believe' they came back from the dead after existing for a short period in some sort of after life.
Nay sayers will argue that these cases are illusions formulated by a dying brain, which in some instances is very possible, however in many other cases the illusion factor is not very feasible.
Studies of Post Death Experiences
The results of the largest study ever under taken into near-death and out-of-body experiences implies that some level of cognitive function and awareness continues after the brain has completely shut down .
In 2008 Scientists at the University of Southampton studied over 2,000 cases over a 4 year period of people who suffered cardiac failure at hospitals in Europe and the USA.
Roughly 40 per cent of survivors described an awareness during the period that they were clinically dead before being resuscitated.
One man believes he had an out of body experience and looked on from a corner of the room as doctors jump started his heart.
He was unconscious, clinically 'dead' for nearly 4 minutes but was able to describe in detail the actions of the staff in detail, from a vantage point he would not have been able to with closed eyes, flat on his back had he not been in a corner of the room. The brain generally ceases functioning 20-30 seconds after the heart stops and will not resume again until the heart has been restarted. So 4 minutes or there about is indicative of conscious function outside the biological scope of the Brain.
Now, granted that this is not proof positive of life ever lasting it is a step in that direction.
Of the over 2,000 cases and 330 survivors , 39 per cent said they were able to recall some form of awareness while being resuscitated. The remainder had 'zero' recollection. Dr Sam Parnia , one of the researchers, believes more subjects may have had after death or out of body experiences but drugs used in the resuscitation process may prevent their recollections.
Many said they had felt an unusual sense of tranquility, and about 1/3 experienced a shift in the movement of time - it was either accelerated or decelerated. See - Results of world's largest Near Death Experiences study published
Life After Death & Out of Body Cases
The Pam Reynolds [Lowery] case is one of the more famous instances of life after death experiences. Pam Reynolds was an American singer-songwriter who died in 1991 and then again in 2010.
The first time she died, during a brain operation she was clinically dead . She had no brain activity and no blood flow to her brain. However - although considered dead by the medical professionals she made multiple observations during the procedure which medical personnel reported to be accurate, too accurate for any laymen to know of, especially a dead one or at the very least an unconscious one. She died in 1991 at the age of 35 and died again in 2010 at the age of 53.
There are many many cases of life after death experiences, not all bare cognizant witness to what transpired around the body while the 'soul' was out of it. Some involve trips to Heavenly realms and even Hell.
The Patrick Tierney case differs from Pam Reynolds in that his recollections of the time he was clinically dead involve a trip to what can be best described as Heaven and meeting with dead family.
About one in five saw a narrow, dark tunnel with light at the end, which the individual interpreted as the path to 'heaven'. Christians believe they met with Jesus and Buddhists met Buddha. Across religious lines they believe they met dead relatives and loved ones.
Seattle Migrant Case
In the 1980s, a migrant worker named Maria reported a near-death-experience . She had been visiting friends in Seattle when she suffered a massive heart attack. She told social worker Kimberly Clark that she had left her body and floated outside the hospital. She claimed she saw a tennis shoe on the third floor ledge near her room. She provided several details regarding the shoe, including that it had a patch, one of its laces was stuck underneath the heel and that the little toe area was worn. The social worker checked the ledge, found the shoe and verified everything Maria had said about it.
From the hospital room window , the details that Maria had recounted were impossible to observe. Upon retrieval of the shoe, Clark stated. "The only way she could have had such a perspective, was if she had been floating right outside and at very close range to the tennis shoe. I retrieved the shoe and brought it back to Maria; it was very concrete evidence for me."
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, by Dr. Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry was publishedin 2010 and moved rapidly to the bestseller lists. The work contains thousands of cases of near-death experiences. Dr. Long believes that medical evidence fails to adequately explain these reports and stated, 'There is only one plausible explanation that people have survived death and traveled to another dimension.'
Floating outside the realm of mainstream science, into the dimension of pseudo-science, para-psychology and the paranormal there is also compelling evidence to suggest the reality of an after life.
Granted that much within this realm is plagued with charlatans and hucksters separating the wheat from the chaff is at time a burden. Even taking into account that much of the material available here lacks scientific objectivity as well as credibility there is still a tremendous amount of convincing evidence to suggest that we do not die when our bodies cease to function.
Most psychic occurrences are not planned, they are spontaneous and therefore difficult if not impossible to test under laboratory conditions. Cynics among the scientists begin with an assumption that anything which contradicts the laws of science at its current level of understanding cannot occur. They are closed minded and the possibility of non-material mechanisms explaining unexplained phenomena is rarely considered.
The famous early 20th century inventor Thomas Edison was not one of these cynics, he hypothesized on building a 'Ghost box' to communicate with the dead, it was never completed before he joined his ancestors in the after life.
Other unexplained phenomena are wide spread such as ghosts, and psychic mediums. 99.999 % possibly a tad more, of so called 'Psychic mediums' are scumbags and frauds who prey on the bereaved for monetary gain or notoriety. The other .001 % are probably for real.
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