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TDB: Heaven is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife


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http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.

The brain is an astonishingly sophisticated but extremely delicate mechanism. Reduce the amount of oxygen it receives by the smallest amount and it will react. It was no big surprise that people who had undergone severe trauma would return from their experiences with strange stories. But that didn’t mean they had journeyed anywhere real.

Although I considered myself a faithful Christian, I was so more in name than in actual belief. I didn’t begrudge those who wanted to believe that Jesus was more than simply a good man who had suffered at the hands of the world. I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

I know how pronouncements like mine sound to skeptics, so I will tell my story with the logic and language of the scientist I am.

Very early one morning four years ago, I awoke with an extremely intense headache. Within hours, my entire cortex—the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human—had shut down. Doctors at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, a hospital where I myself worked as a neurosurgeon, determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain.

Continued at link

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***BRRRRR!!!!! BRRRRRR!!!!!!****

"Wow dude, look! Those two trains are on the same track!!!" :ols:

In all seriousness though, I think there are too many accounts of similar experiences to dismiss this as the brain's shutting down accounting for the similarities in people's stories.

Further, I recall a story of a hospital that put stickers on top of some equipment in terminally-ill patients rooms. They were up too high to be seen by anyone in the room, and even the doctors didn't know what the stickers looked like. Several of the patients described floating above their bodies, looking down on the scene, and were able to describe the stickers precisely, after near-death experiences.

I certainly don't think a thread like this will change anyone's mind about heaven or anything else. But it's nice "confirmation" for those of us who believe. And it gives the cranky atheists something to get worked up about, instead of needing that extra cup of coffee today. :)

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DMT.........don't know what it is, look it up. The best answer and most logically scientific answer to all these "out of body" experiences. Basically DMT is the toxin that releases in your brain when you sleep that allows you to dream. When you are on the verge of death/dying, these toxins are pumped at a faster rate than normal and often (well close to 100%) of the time give the person vivid hallucinations. Hense the reason you hear people that have been on the verge of dying talking about how they "saw God" or saw their dead grandmother, family member, etc.

Because, as many of you know, when you dream, nothing is off limits and everything is up to the imagintion. If you are strong Christian and believe in God, go to Church, pray everyday, practice and preach the good word, than most likely you will have some vision of the afterlife as you are dying, because of how those views are engrained in your brain. There is a book called "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" that explains the advantages of DMT and it's many uses. "You don't find DMT, DMT finds you" So that "proof" of Heaven that the doctor talks about, may very well just have been a vivd hallucination, thanks to DMT. (almost sure that's exactly what it was)

/thread

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Pretty cool stuff there. I believe there is also a book by a little boy describing his experience with heaven.

http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Real-Little-Astounding-ebook/dp/B004A90BXS/ref=zg_bs_154606011_19

Yep, and how easy is it to dismiss a child compared to a Harvard neurologist? I agree with H_H though I doubt that this will convince skeptics, even while they ask for evidence, but only evidence that is repeatable and verifiable by external means. As such a neurosurgeon's experience while his entire cortex was "off" for seven days will be dismissed. But then I'm one of the few who believe that God does things like this not for the skeptics but to strengthen the faithful.

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I heard this story at length a few days ago. A regional NPR station I've taken to listening to did an hour on it and related stuff, like that which has already been mentioned. And yeah, people who already believe will automatically go along, people who don't, won't based on a story like this one. And while most of this other similar stuff (NDEs) has been effectively challenged or some of it actually "debunked" many times (and certainly not by just claims of "front part of the cortex shutting down") it most likely won't matter much to anyone posting here (or talking elsewhere) due to the same dynamic I refereed to earlier---believers are going to believe, non-believers are not going to see this as any kind of game-changer. Logical for both "sides." :)

I will say my favorite part of his heaven was the very detailed hot babe he describes he hung out while there---that sounded pretty tasty.:evilg:

Right after that was how he was told/could telepathically "hear" (his description---they had audio of the dude talking about it) that he was special/loved/important/cherished and he could never do anything wrong. My priorities are messed up because I should have put this ahead of the babe. :pfft:

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Yep, and how easy is it to dismiss a child compared to a Harvard neurologist? I agree with H_H though I doubt that this will convince skeptics, even while they ask for evidence, but only evidence that is repeatable and verifiable by external means. As such a neurosurgeon's experience while his entire cortex was "off" for seven days will be dismissed. But then I'm one of the few who believe that God does things like this not for the skeptics but to strengthen the faithful.

Nobody is dismissing a fact that these experiences took place.

Now, what is the evidence for your particular interpretation of these experiences?

---------- Post added October-11th-2012 at 10:36 AM ----------

...

In all seriousness though, I think there are too many accounts of similar experiences to dismiss this as the brain's shutting down accounting for the similarities in people's stories.

Further, I recall a story of a hospital that put stickers on top of some equipment in terminally-ill patients rooms. They were up too high to be seen by anyone in the room, and even the doctors didn't know what the stickers looked like. Several of the patients described floating above their bodies, looking down on the scene, and were able to describe the stickers precisely, after near-death experiences.

I certainly don't think a thread like this will change anyone's mind about heaven or anything else. But it's nice "confirmation" for those of us who believe. And it gives the cranky atheists something to get worked up about, instead of needing that extra cup of coffee today. :)

If neurons behave in a particular way when dying, then we can expect people to have similar experiences.

I recall hearing a story about that sticker study, but the story I heard ended with floating patients consistently failing to describe contents of the stickers.

Stories will certainly do little to change minds of people who do not consider stories to have poor reliability and people's interpretations of stories to be even worse. Confirmation of existing beliefs is easy to find.

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Today many believe that the living spiritual truths of religion have lost their power, and that science, not faith, is the road to truth. Before my experience I strongly suspected that this was the case myself.

This is me.

But I now understand that such a view is far too simple. The plain fact is that the materialist picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather than the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed. In its place a new view of mind and body will emerge, and in fact is emerging already. This view is scientific and spiritual in equal measure and will value what the greatest scientists of history themselves always valued above all: truth.

This is where I want to be.

I've always felt, or at the very least, wanted that science and faith would reconcile themselves.

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Nobody is dismissing a fact that these experiences took place.

Now, what is the evidence for your particular interpretation of these experiences?

oh don't mind me, I'm an idiot when it comes to this stuff as such my particular interpretation isn't what's important, I'll however just direct you to the Harvard neuroscience professor and his particular (highly qualified might I add) interpretation of this experience.

BTW, did you see what I did there? I took your thinly veiled attempt to make this about me defending this experience with my level of expertise which is admittedly nil, and I put the emphasis back where it belongs on the highly qualified professional in the discipline's expertise and knowledge regarding this issue.

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I've always felt, or at the very least, wanted that science and faith would reconcile themselves.

Science says: "Something strange is going on here. Let's investigate it."

Faith says: "We already know what's going on here."

Good luck with the reconciliation.

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Science says: "Something strange is going on here. Let's investigate it."

Faith says: "We already know what's going on here."

Good luck with the reconciliation.

Actually, faith says "we don't know what's going on and we never can because there's a higher power at work that's far beyond our comprehension."

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Yeah I bet this Harvard neuroscience professor has NEVER considered that...../sarcasm

---------- Post added October-11th-2012 at 10:44 AM ----------

Actually, faith says "we don't know what's going on and we never can because there's a higher power at work that's far beyond our comprehension."

Nah don't bother his pretty strawman, he was just about to put the hat on it. :pfft:

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oh don't mind me, I'm an idiot when it comes to this stuff as such my particular interpretation isn't what's important, I'll however just direct you to the Harvard neuroscience professor and his particular (highly qualified might I add) interpretation of this experience.

BTW, did you see what I did there? I took your thinly veiled attempt to make this about me defending this experience with my level of expertise which is admittedly nil, and I put the emphasis back where it belongs on the highly qualified professional in the discipline's expertise and knowledge regarding this issue.

If you open up this Harvard's neuroscience professor's skull cap and put a fork into his brain, he will have vivid experiences. He will describe these experiences. He may have very strong convictions about his experiences. His experiences are real. He may think they correspond to real things, but we would know they actually correspond to a fork in his brain.

Authority does not give weight to interpretation of personal experiences. For skeptics, things just do not work that way.

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Actually, faith says "we don't know what's going on and we never can because there's a higher power at work that's far beyond our comprehension."

How do we tell which phenomena we can investigate and which are beyond our comprehension?

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Science says: "Something strange is going on here. Let's investigate it."

Faith says: "We already know what's going on here."

Good luck with the reconciliation.

Only in your God-less world, Alexey. Your view of what faith says is outdated—God equipped us with minds that, at the outset, could figure out the relationship between seeds, earth, water, sunlight but it stops there? We can't use these minds to figure out the complexities of the brain of space?

I think only the staunchest hardliners in the clergy still think that science is evil.

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On the angle of whi this guy is, it does make the story more intriguing for some. And I would never assume to doubt his sincerity. But I believe there is a fair likelihood of intelligent/sentient life in the universe besides us (assuming we qualify). And there are a great number of scientists, LEOs, military personnel, and simply highly credible decent folks with no crazy history that claim to have been abducted by aliens. On reviewing such, I don't assume it's most likely they really were abducted even if they were astrophysicists with a long history of mental health. I understand it's possible. I just consider other things more likely. Just an analogy. One thing about a competent neuroscientist--he should do well explaining how there are brain functions that aren't easily accepted for what he is saying he experienced (and he's doing it to an extent), and thus make his case more technically solid.

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Only in your God-less world, Alexey. Your view of what faith says is outdated—God equipped us with minds that, at the outset, could figure out the relationship between seeds, earth, water, sunlight but it stops there? We can't use these minds to figure out the complexities of the brain of space?

I think only the staunchest hardliners in the clergy still think that science is evil.

The world is God-less or God-full regardless of my position on the issue.

Science says that we can and should investigate things we do not currently know.

Religion says that there are things which we cannot investigate and cannot know.

Do you see a way to reconcile these while allowing religion to make any claims about reality?

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If you open up this Harvard's neuroscience professor's skull cap and put a fork into his brain, he will have vivid experiences. He will describe these experiences. He may have very strong convictions about his experiences. His experiences are real. He may think they correspond to real things, but we would know they actually correspond to a fork in his brain.

Authority does not give weight to interpretation of personal experiences. For skeptics, things just do not work that way.

Not with the cortex shut down, but I'm glad to hear that you apparently know more than this professor. I bet he'll be super embarassed when he reads that he's been up ended by someone on the internet. BTW, sometimes the authorities really do know more than you.

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Not with the cortex shut down, but I'm glad to hear that you apparently know more than this professor. I bet he'll be super embarassed when he reads that he's been up ended by someone on the internet. BTW, sometimes the authorities really do know more than you.

I bet if Albert Einstein was alive today, he would use the internet. I have heard rumors of Steven Hawkins using it too. I can't say for sure that our President has though.

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