Death or life

Heaven could be hell, and that only in regard of what quality to have for finished perfection. Christine’s story on her near-death experience promised eternal old age and arthritis.

I saw the movie “What Happens When You Die” over YouTube. Christine Stein had a car accident on her way to work. In hospital, her heart stopped and purportedly — she died.

In her heaven, she wore a long pale blue gown and trod barefoot on warm grass. She met her grandparents. The grandfather was a portent for heavenly diapers.

Where do we go now: there are ponies and even a few young deceased people as well, in Christina’s paradise. There is not even one book or place for reads, in sight.

It is typical to have a shaded terrace, covered in ivy or jasmine, says architect Eleni Psyllaki for the ■→Gardenista. But her story is about gardens in Greece.


Before I continue looking into what there might be unearthly, let me make a note. I allow for a possibility of life after death, but I truly believe there cannot be certainty about afterlife, in this earthly existence: mortal matter is unable to reveal immortality. There is no hurry to learn the after, on the other hand. I love ■→my time with Aristotle, and the following is not to prefigure on things, or to fake insight. It is to compare stories on near-death with known medical conditions, for the tag Thinking and Awareness.


Sjæl og Videnskab, a Danish production, does not bring any hope for heavenly intellectual pleasures, either.

It promises impressions of strong luminosity and an overbearing emotional effect that some of the people call “love”.

Pim van Lommel, interviewed in Sjæl og Videnskab, says that near-death does influence emotions, and thus it can enrich personality. Mr. van Lommel emphasizes that hallucination does not change affect, whereas near-death brings a lasting effect, as a truly spiritual experience.

Jacqueline Landau felt “love” for the “light” she saw in her near-death. Although it was the first time in her life she saw it, the attraction for the luminosity was as strong as to have her focus and think about her son, to stay with life rather than the “light”.

The medical conditions worth browsing here might be:
■→Wikipedia: Pseudobulbar affect;
■→Wikipedia: Cerebral hypoxia.

Ms. Landau suffered a cardiac arrest. Mr. Peter Fenwick of the King’s College insists it is enough to pronounce death. He says the arrest stops brainstem reflexes, the ceased brainwork cannot produce hallucination, and the experience has to be spiritual.

Have hearts never started up again? History of cardiopulmonary resuscitation reaches back to the 18th century.
■→Wikipedia: History of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Nobody has recovered from brain or brainstem death, however.
■→Wikipedia: Brainstem death
■→Wikipedia: Brain death

It is not only Ms. Landau to report impressions of strong luminosity, with a near-death condition. The intensity has been also described as “millions of suns”, and never could have been real. The persons would have lost their eyesight. Optic nerves might produce the effect.
■→Wikipedia: Optic nerve

Vicky Brazon was reportedly born blind, “never saw light”. Her near-death luminosity is described as varicolored and darker in spectrum. She says she saw shapes as flowers, and “was able to see all around her”.

There is not much geometry in rustic landscapes, and humans have developed architecture; people can write sheet music before ever playing it — brain associative abilities might explain Ms. Brazon’s visuals, but she says she remembers a ring shining, from her brain surgery: that would make a reflex of light on a delineated shape.

It is not probable a doctor or nurse would have had jewelry in the operating room. Jewelry is strictly forbidden, the reason to be also the medics’ safety. Further, persons of standard eyesight report directional visualizations, also for near-death. Ms. Brazon might have lost her eyesight when she was very little: children look in all directions a lot, carried around by grown-ups, or in early stages of learning to walk.

It might have been in her early childhood she saw the shine of a ring.

Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

Ms. Brazon reports having heard what the medics were thinking. Ability to read medical minds would be useful, to medical students as well as translators of medical texts.

She might have experienced a déjà entendu, similar to the more known déjà vu. Human brains process sensory information in a parallel distributed fashion. The brain may repeat a process, even on minor physical impact, and we “hear twice”, as we may “see twice”.

To form a memory, the brain needs to integrate neural work in real time. If there is physical trauma and makes it difficult, the brain may involve secondary or gnostic areas, to make an association rather than a memory. The time envelope for associations is broader than for memories, in most people.

Vicky Brazon does not say she felt of heard her head being shaven. She says she saw it, as the human cortical priority for eyesight would favor, and with the shine of the ring.


I do not trust the narrative by Penny Sartori and Karen James, nurses. The patient purportedly regained control over his spastic hand, after near-death. Reports of “self-healing” after near-death would include cancer remissions, but these might point to hypoxia as stimulant to apoptosis.
■→Wikipedia: Hypoxia
■→Wikipedia: Apoptosis


Some persons say they “understood everything”, during the near-death experience. We may enjoy this brief video on Greek gardens, before we ponder on the enduring problem of finiteness in human perception.

We people can use words and phrases as “never-ending” or “everlasting”, but there is no way actually to visualize a space that would not end anywhere.

Here, even a specialist on cosmic endlessness would picture the universe as Swiss cheese ― with a thin, yet rind.

Perception on endlessness has remained unresolved since Antiquity, and this real-life status quo on human knowledge is likely to stay on, for some time longer.

We can think we have a fish tank, and we make observations on the fish. The fish is in a tank, in a room, in a building, in a geographical area, and somewhere in a country. Whatever outer border we think, the matter is we cannot really envision “all the out there” to refer the fish. Near-death has not brought a resolve, and it is not likely to bring any answer.


When Mr. Chris French of the University of London emphasizes there is no evidence the mind could go separate from the brain, one may add there was no evidence for atoms in Antiquity, and what we call an atom today is not the old definition, as there is a way to split it.

I enclose a tip here I got in high school with curricular training: if in a condition of limited consciousness or fainting, but we’d have an aspect of awareness remaining, we try to press our tongue against the palate or teeth. People happen to choke on own tongues.


If there is a soul in a human being, earthly living would be a stage before another form of existence. We get born unprepared and possibly there is not any “layette for the way to come” either. To look to ancient frescos, children figures — those would be immature forms of souls — mostly, if not always, would be playing with objects suggestive of taking aim. The afterworld would not give us a clue, because “soul maturation” takes some time….

Staying where I began ― mortal matter cannot provide a principle on immortality ― people report linguistic communication also after near-death. I’ll continue with my language “chores”.

Joke emoticon

■→This text is also available in Polish.


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The world may never have seen her original handwriting, if her skill was taken for supernatural. Feel welcome to Poems by Emily Dickinson prepared for print by Teresa Pelka: thematic stanzas, notes on the Greek and Latin inspiration, the correlative with Webster 1828, and the Aristotelian motif, Things perpetual — these are not in time, but in eternity.

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Świat może i nigdy nie widział jej oryginalnego pisma, jeśli jej umiejętność została wzięta za nadnaturalną. Zapraszam do Wierszy Emilii Dickinson w przekładzie Teresy Pelka: zwrotka tematyczna, notki o inspiracji greką i łaciną, korelacie z Websterem 1828 oraz wątku arystotelesowskim, Rzecz perpetualna — ta nie zasadza się na czasie, ale na wieczności.

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268 stron, $21.91