Home » Mind, Neuroscience » Out of body experiences as “neural confusion”

Out of body experiences as “neural confusion”

Or so we learn from “Out-Of-Body Experiences Linked to Neural Instability and Biases in Body Representation” (ScienceDaily, July 11, 2011)

The way Mario and I told it in The The Spiritual Brain, OBEs simply show that the mind is not as tied to the brain as is commonly supposed. There is a huge move to discredit them for that reason, not because they underscore a specific religious doctrine. (They don’t, actually. Consider the case of lifelong atheist Freddie Ayer. )

These researchers are not really demonstrating much, except for one thing: If OBEs are associated with neural confusion, it’s interesting indeed, because the actual content is surprisingly lucid, and OBE’s often have a life-changing effect. – d.

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6 Responses to Out of body experiences as “neural confusion”

  1. Howard Storm is an interesting example of NDE.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Liddle

    But it wouldn’t be surprising if the content of an NDE was lucid, even if it originated in “neural confusion”.

    I’m sure you are aware of Susan Blackmore’s ideas about their possible origins:

    http://www.susanblackmore.co.u.....91nde.html

    And she was someone who had one herself, and pursued parapsychology research for many years – so not someone with an a priori commitment to a non-dualist account.

  3. A Critique of Susan Blackmore’s Dying Brain Hypothesis by Greg Stone
    Excerpt: Though skeptics claim Susan Blackmore is an unbiased researcher, in the preface to her book, she makes her prejudices known as she assumes the viewpoint of the biased skeptic. She writes:

    “It is no wonder that we like to deny death. Whole religions are based on that denial. Turn to religion and you may be assured of eternal life. ….” And, “Of course, this comforting thought conflicts with science. Science tells us that death is the end and, as so often, finds itself opposing religion.”

    This is a misrepresentation of both religion and science. Consider the comment, “whole religions are based upon a denial of death.” Religion’s primary concern lies with the spirit and its relationship to the universe. Some prefer the term “spiritual” to describe religious views, focusing on the core issue—the existence of spirit. Almost all religions hold the belief man is, in essence, a spirit or soul that lives beyond body death. This is not a denial of death, but rather a focus on the life of the spirit. No one I know denies the existence of death—the body dies. The life of the spirit is another matter. By assuming spirit does not exist, Blackmore cynically reduces the subject of religion to a denial of death. If the spirit exists, however, and transcends body death (one of the two hypotheses considered in Dying to Live), then Blackmore, not religion, is in denial.,,,
    http://www.near-death.com/expe.....es001.html

  4. Many people think that life after death itself is ‘imaginary’. Yet to suggest ‘imaginary’ denotes that someone thinks that life after death is somehow a ‘non-conformity’ to reality. Yet, there are several lines of evidence that point to the ‘physical reality’ of a ‘higher dimension’ above this 3-Dimensional (3-D) reality;

    Please note how 3-D reality folds and collapses, like so much Paper Mache, into a tunnel shape, in the direction of travel, as the constant for the speed of light is approached in this following video. Please pay particular attention to the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 minute mark;

    Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    Here is the interactive website (with link to the math) related to the preceding video;

    Seeing Relativity
    http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/Searle/

    Note how the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 mark matches the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ effect noted in many Near Death Experiences, as well as conforms to the tunnel experience Bill Wiese mentioned in the video;

    The NDE and the Tunnel – Kevin Williams’ research conclusions
    Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer)

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    As well, please note mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light, because, from our non-speed of light perspective, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for the mass going the speed of light, whereas conversely, if mass could travel at the speed of light its size will stay the same while all other frames of reference not traveling the speed of light will disappear from its sight.

    Special Relativity – Time Dilation and Length Contraction – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSRIyDfo_mY

    As well, please note how special relativity also confirms the reality of a higher ‘eternal’ dimension for time, which is also noted in very many Near Death Experiences;

    ,,, when traveling at the speed of light time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. speed of light travel gets us to the eternal, ‘past and future folding into now’, framework of time. This higher dimension ‘eternal’ inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not ‘frozen within time’ yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    In this following video is a description of the work of Bernhard Riemann, the son of a Christian minister, whose work on the math of ‘higher dimensionality’ opened the door for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity;

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/

    Carl Friedrich Gauss was a devout Christian who supported monarchy and opposed Napoleon, whom he saw as an outgrowth of the revolution.
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss

    Gauss’s work on complex numbers, like the square root of negative one, extend the idea of the one-dimensional number line to the two-dimensional complex plane by using the number line for the real part and adding a vertical axis to plot the imaginary part. In this way the complex numbers contain the ordinary real numbers while extending them in order to solve problems that would be impossible with only real numbers. This ‘higher dimensional number line’, particularly this understanding gained for the ‘higher dimensionality’ of the square root of negative one (i), is essential for understanding quantum mechanics:

    Bernhard Riemann was the son of a Christian minister who, like Gauss, was a devout Christian his entire life and whose work on the geometry of ‘higher dimensionality’ was essential for opening the door for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity;

    Bernhard Riemann
    Excerpt: For his Habiltationsvortrag Riemann proposed three topics, and against his expectations Gauss chose the one on geometry. Riemann’s lecture, “On the hypotheses that lie at the foundation of geometry” was given on June 10, 1854. This extraordinary work introduced (what is now called) an n-dimensional Riemannian manifold and its curvature tensor. It also, prophetically, discussed the relation of this mathematical space to actual space. Riemann’s vision was realized by Einstein’s general theory of relativity sixty years later.
    http://www.usna.edu/Users/math/meh/riemann.html

    4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – Every 3D Place Is Center In This Universe – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

  5. As well, please note how quantum entanglement cannot be reduced to any explanation in this 3-D material framework;

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    And please note, how this quantum entanglement, which blatantly defies any constraints of this 3-D material realm, is found to be integral and foundational to molecular biology i.e. to biological life;

    Quantum Information In DNA & Protein Folding
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    As well, please note the ’4-Dimensionality’ that pervades every measurement for ‘power scaling’ in biology;

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ‘emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

    As well, please note the uniqueness of this 3-Dimensional image on this 2-Dimensional surface:

    Shroud Of Turin’s Unique 3 Dimensionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041182

    Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Pictures, Articles and Videos
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg

    So atheists state ‘imaginary’ to denote what they believe is a non-conformity to reality, but the evidence actually indicates that it is their very own belief in a ‘absolute 3-D material frame of reference’ that is what is truly ‘imaginary’ in the first place?

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist. Then again I’m not a professor of physics at a major university as Dr. Henry is.)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    I hope that this evidence would give any atheist who are reading this enough solid reason so as to look up to that ‘higher dimension’, which is more real than this 3-D dimension, and to ask Christ, who has conquered death, into their life.

    Hebrews 2:14-15
    “Since we, God’s children, are human beings – made of flesh and blood – He became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could He deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.”

  6. As well many people think that hell is ‘imaginary’, but please note that Bill Wiese mentions ‘going through a tunnel’ in this following video! It made me take particualr notice of his testimony for I am fairly certain he does not know anything of the relativistic physics surrounding the ‘tunnel’ to a higher dimension;

    Bill Wiese on Sid Roth – 23 minutes in Hell
    http://www.vimeo.com/21230371

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