Death or life


Heaven could be hell: all depends on what to have for finished perfection. Christina’s story on her near-death experience promised eternal old age and arthritis.

I saw the movie “What Happens When You Die” over YouTube. Christina 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 blue gown and trod barefoot on warm grass. She met her grandparents. The grandfather augured heavenly diapers.

Where do we go now: there are ponies and trees, in Christina’s paradise, but there is not even one book in sight. Sjæl og Videnskab, a Danish production, does not bring any hope for heavenly intellectual pleasures either, whereas earthly rumor has it, there are ideas to steal, about gardens in Greece.

It is typical to have a shaded terrace, covered in ivy or jasmine, says architect Eleni Psyllaki for the Gardenista.

Before I continue and look to what there seems to be considered unearthly, let me make a reservation. I truly believe there cannot be certainty about afterlife, in this earthly existence. Mortal matter cannot reveal immortality. The following is not to prefigure on things, or to give a premonition: I do not believe in those. It is to compare people’s stories on near-death with known medical conditions, for the tag Thinking and Awareness, that is, human thinking and awareness of thought processes.

Pim van Lommel, interviewed in Sjæl og Videnskab, the movie above, 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 has a lasting effect as a truly spiritual experience.

Jacqueline Landau felt “love” for the “light” she saw in her near-death experience. 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 to browse 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 varicolored and a darker 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 around the time of her brain surgery: that makes a delineated shape of moderate luminosity.

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, especially in early stages of learning to walk.

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

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

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.

Ms. Brazon 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 with a minor physical impact, and we “hear twice”, as we may “see twice”.

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

Ms. 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: with the shine of the ring.

I distrust 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: Apoptosis

Oxygen limitation is not friendly to neural growth and recovery, and this is what a spastic hand would need.

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.

Does the Multiverse Really Exist? Space Science documentary→ (14:59)

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” the fish could refer. 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.

Finally, a tip 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.

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