"It was like turning off the TV. A second before everything worked and the next thing I knew was that I was surrounded by doctors and nurses with their feet in the air and plugged into a bag of blood. They asked me: “How do you feel? We lost you for a minute”, Says a man who has been at the gates of death or, rather, left to return and now be able to tell.
It is perhaps the oldest and most human question that exists: Is there life after death? We have been looking for the answer since time immemorial, which has given rise to religions, theories and above all a lot of speculation. But for many guesses that the human being can develop over the years, the harsh reality is that no one knows for sure what happens at that moment.
Research in this regard ensures that certain patterns are repeated, such as white and radiant light, the sensation of disconnection with the body, the long tunnel or intense inner peace.
Never before has the issue of conscience been addressed in borderline situations. At least not at the level (because of its magnitude and relevance of its conclusions) of the study published in the journal 'Resuscitation', conducted by the Langone School of Medicine at the University of New York.
Doctors declare the death of the patient when he stops breathing, his heartbeat ceases and no brain waves are detected for several seconds. Common sense tells us that once the organ fails, blood no longer circulates to the brain and, therefore, monitors cannot detect any activity. However, the NYU investigation questions the established consensus, as it states that human consciousness does not disappear immediately after death. Which means that, in theory, someone could hear how doctors announce their own death.
Several of those who say they have experienced a near-death experience (NDE) say they remember what happened in the hospital ward once the doctor had already left them for dead. Some even remember conversations between professionals or their faces of disappointment. All this led the researcher to demonstrate the apparent survival of consciousness after technical death in the largest study to date, baptized as'AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation)', which analyzes the experiences of 2060 people who have suffered cardiac arrest. Of these, 330 survived after resuscitation efforts and 140 claim to have gone through an NDE.
“We have studied the human mind in the context of death to understand if the conscience is annihilated or continues after the person has died; and the relationship this has with what happens inside the brain in real time”, Summarizes scientist Sam Parnia. Although most participants recognized that they could not remember clearly, a 39% He was able to describe a "perception of conscience" and a small percentage was able to describe the conversations and situations in the hospital room.
Another study of the same nature is carried out by the University of Southampton, initiated in 2008 and whose results were published in 2014. The study reflected a large number of cases of near-death experiences in patients with cardiac arrest who were clinically dead, but who were finally able to resuscitate. In large part of these experiences and after having managed to recover the patient, it seems to reflect that he has maintained a thread of awareness throughout the process, recounting similar situations to those of the study at the University of New York.
It must be taken into account that it is true that the brain can remain alive for a short time after the cessation of respiration and cardiac activity: our consciousness and perception is not deactivated sharply, which could do that, even if our constants were Incompatible with life we still possess a few seconds or even minutes of consciousness. But studies conducted by the University of Southampton indicate that in many of the near-death experiences the brain had no activity during the period reported in question and that the descriptions offered by the patients were very accurate when describing the objects and situations that occurred during his death.
Another experiment of the same type has been carried out at the Technische Universität in Berlin, with believers and atheists who have been resurrected after being clinically dead and whose experiences reflect patterns similar to those described above. These kinds of theories are some of the most important and the ones that have had the most support, reaching conclusions about this in the UN.
One of these users who has had a near-death experience, says that five years ago he underwent major surgery. He began to bleed and was in a state of clinical death for several minutes. "I woke up in a place that looked like space, but there were no stars or light. I wasn't even floating, I was just aware of being there. Nor did he feel cold, hot, hungry or tired, but something more neutral and peaceful. I knew that a nearby light appealed to me, but I had no need to go to it at that moment. I remember thinking about my life, but not as if it were a montage or a succession of photographs, but more as if I were swirling between the pages of a book. Whatever it is, I'm still afraid of dying, but I'm not worried about what will happen next".
A visit from a loved one
Another man says he suffered a motorcycle accident at more than 80 kilometers per hour. The doctors left him for dead during the transfer to the hospital. "I just remember falling on the road and everything went black and silent. I didn't fall asleep because something really strange happened. I opened my eyes and found my brother sitting near where I was. He had died from overdose a few years ago. He looked at his watch and said something like 'they will arrive soon'. I wish I could give more details, but honestly I don't remember much more about the incident".
“I remember as if something dragged me back, very slowly, as if it were the current of a river. At one point I began to see a garden, without flowers, just dust and grass. Also a playground, with children, a boy and a girl. It's hard to describe it, but I felt I could stay if it was what I wanted. I told myself that I did not want to abandon my mother and finally returned to my body. My heart stood for six minutes, ”says a third comment.
A user says he suffered complications during his months of treatment and chemotherapy: “The worst part of all is how peaceful it is. It's like the feeling after having set off the alarm at seven in the morning. You may do it once or twice, but remember that you have to go to school or work and that the dream will have to wait, because you still have many things to do. ” On the other hand, there are always those who have the most 'normal' experience: “There were no white lights, no blackouts, no dreams or visions, I just wanted to sleep. They say, I asked 10 times what had happened to me after the accident".
Trying to find an explanation
Biocentrism: quantum hypothesis
One of the scientific hypotheses that consider the possibility of life after death is, according to Robert Lanza, biocentrism, which is based on quantum physics. In fact, he believes that death is only a product of consciousness, an illusion. This theory implies that it is not the universe that forms life but the opposite, that life generates what we consider reality. It is our conscience that shapes what we consider the world to be, including death itself. Also space and time.
To support this theory, the author takes into account the results of double slit experiments, which state that a particle can behave both as a particle and as a wave depending on how it is observed. It also starts with aspects such as visual perception, which can change if the receptors dedicated to it are altered.
The aforementioned author takes into account the physical theory of the possible existence of multiple universes. Theoretically, our death could mean the journey of our consciousness to another dimension or universe. Life is considered something continuous from which it is not possible to leave.
Hypothesis contrary to the existence of life after death
A large majority of the scientific community believes that death is the end, there is no evidence of the existence of anything beyond it. The neuroanatomic substrate that allows consciousness is the brain, which implies that after the cessation of its activity is also stops working.
It is also proposed that the near-death experiences and feelings that those who suffer from them are normal and expected as consequence of the biological alterations produced at the time of death: alterations in the storm cause effects very similar to those mentioned, the vision of light or a tunnel would be associated with the narrowing of consciousness and the pupillary dilation of a person in his last moments and the capture of details may be due to persistence during a few seconds of brain functioning while the organism stops working.
And in this way the respected physicist and cosmologist thinks Sean Carroll, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, stressing that life after death is incompatible with everything we know about modern science.
Carroll argues that those who ensure that the soul persists after death should answer other questions such as: what particles form the soul? How do you interact with ordinary matter?
In an essay entitled "Physics and the Immortality of the Soul", "Carroll suggests that the only evidence of life after death is"some legends and incomplete statements of witnesses… in addition to many illusions".
"We are made of atom”, He said. "When you die, it's like putting out a candle or turning off a notebook. There is no substance that leaves the body. That is a process that stops. This is how the laws of physics describe life"He added.
In that sense, Carroll indicates that consciousness, at the most basic level, is a series of atoms and electrons contributed by the mind. However, he argues that the laws of physics do not allow them to continue functioning after physical death.
"The claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decompose into constituent atoms face a great insurmountable obstacle: the laws of physics that underlie everyday life”, He commented in an interview with the British newspaper Express.
"Everything must happen on those margins, and there is no way, in those laws, to allow the information stored in the brain to persist after you die.”, He complemented.
The expert refers to quantum field theory, a discipline of physics that applies the principles of quantum mechanics to classical systems of continuous fields, such as electromagnetic.
In other words, this theory holds that there is a field in the universe for each type of particle.
Carroll wields that, if life continued after death, the quantum field would have "revealed particles and spiritual forces."
"Believing that there is something later, to put it mildly, requires a physics beyond the standard model. The most important thing is that we need some way for that 'new physics' to interact with the atoms we have”, He wrote in the scientific journal Scientific American.
"Within quantum field theory, there cannot be a new collection of 'particles and spiritual forces' that relate to regular atoms, because we would have detected them in other experiments", Hill.
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