Do we know what consciousness is? According to the dictionary, consciousness is awareness, ego, feel, self-awareness, sentience. Still more words we use to denote consciousness are mind, spirit, soul, and “me.” We are our consciousness, without consciousness we don’t exist. Now what is this thing called consciousness. “We have found the consciousness and it is us,” to paraphrase an old ’60’s axiom.
No one has even seen a consciousness, nor measured it, nor determined its weight. It is beyond all our scientific instruments. Scientists probing the brain with electrodes don’t measure consciousness, they only measure the result of consciousness. No physical signs of consciousness have been found in the brain. No memory cells, no emotions, no thoughts, nothing physical one can call consciousness. Yet some scientists really believe we are the creation of our brains. They may continue to probe hundreds of years and still not find any physical evidence of “us.” Near death experience research has proven consciousness lives on after the death of the brain. How can one believe a body organ such as the brain can produce something (us) far greater than itself? Or as one scientist put it: “can a brain examine a brain”? Can a liver examine a liver or a heart examine a heart?
The brain is an interface between consciousness and the body, and when the body dies the consciousness lives on forever. Does the probes of the scientists determine whether the activity measured is coming from the brain, or going to the brain from the unseen consciousness. Interesting thing to know if that is possible.
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A new year is dawning, time to rethink our goals and directions. Do we want to repeat last year or try out some new ideas? I hope we are willing to look deeper into ourselves and ask the questions that really matter. Who am I? What am I doing here and why? Questions that bring meaning and purpose to life.
I have to admit my life was pretty dull before my near death experience. Mostly just worked, ate, and slept. Locked in a daily rut of trying to make enough money to exist in a life style I inherited from my parents.
Now, I can see so many possibilities I have trouble choosing the ones I want most to explore. I rediscovered the joy of learning. Reading up on subjects I once thought to be beyond my capabilies and enjoying them. Philosophy, religion, psychology, metaphysics and spiritual books became my daily fare. Just couldn’t get enough, actually had a book store owner comment “You have read all the books here.” That was an exaggeration, but I did read a lot.
My experience instilled the sense of curiosity I had as a child, and I went with it. Alas, near death experiences are not well accepted into our society. Most scientists believe the beautiful, wonderful creatures, that we are lies in the creative power of a body organ — the brain. Our memories, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, imagination, creativeness is only the brain expressing itself.
So, I hope for the new year, we will take another good hard look at the possibility we are greater than our brains.
Happy New Year
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Question: Just wanted to relate a personal experience. I used to be a 100% skeptic, but this happened to me and now I am more open and I am looking for the truth. Please let me know your thoughts.
I am an emergency room nurse. About a year ago we received a patient by ambulance in full cardiorespiratory arrest. No pulse, no effective cardiac rhythm ( refractory ventricular fibrillation ). Patient had been in arrest for at least 15 minutes prior to arrival. CPR/ACLS in progress on arrival.
To make a long story short, we worked him for about 25 minutes without positive response. The physician in charge stated that we would defibrillate one more time and if no response we would stop. One last shock, and his heart converted to a beating rhythm, and continued to impove from there, later being admitted to intensive care.
AT NO POINT DURING HIS STAY IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM WAS HE CONSCIOUS. Most of the time he was technically dead.
The next day, one of the ICU nurses called down and told us the patient wanted to see several of the ER staff. He named several of us by name, and described us to the ICU nurses. He said he wanted to see us in person “to make sure he wasn’t going crazy”.
During a slow time later that night we went upstairs and he called us by name without introductions. He told a story of floating out of his body, just below the ceiling, watching us attempt resuscitation. He said he knew our names from when we called out to each other while working on him. One thing I found especially fascinating was that he said when we defibrillated ( shocked ) him, he would be pulled back into his body for a few seconds, then end up back floating by the ceiling a few seconds after. The last time we defibbed him he was pulled back in and became unconscious. At this point he had a pulse and improved.
We have talked quite a bit about it here. Some of the staff think maybe he was actually semi-conscious the whole time, his brain remaining oxegenated and at least partly functional due to effective CPR. Something akin to anesthetized surgical patients retaining the sense of hearing and being able to relate the conversations of the operating team after they have been awakened.
Others in the group here believe it was a NDE. We reason that this would explain the out-of-body viewpoint and the retention of sight and cognitive abilities by the patient even though he was to all intents and purposes dead when we were together in the ER. There is no other way he could have known our names, either, as his family was not allowed in the room during the resuscitation.
None of us have any experience in this matter and when I stumbled on this newsgroup I thought I’d post and see what you all thought.
Answer: He learned that this kind of experience has been seen many times in this group. For those who may think the patient was semi-conscious and listening, please note the author states: “He named several of us by name, and described us to the ICU nurses.” This question is quoted from the alt.consciousness.near-death-exp newsgroup with the permission of the author. He was directed to NDE accounts for further reading.
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If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.
She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.
Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her … a very dangerous proposition.
One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.
When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.
She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed gently around — she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
I pass this on to you, my friend/family, in the same spirit.
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