Looks like the preliminary results of the AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study are now beginning to be released and reported.  The study was initiated in 2008 (more) and discussed on this site - see video.

These preliminary results point to the idea that a unified consciousness exists for some time after clinical death and subsequent resuscitation - see below.

The AWARE Study was also testing for evidence of out of body experience.  In this portion of the study, a controlled image is placed near ceiling level to determine if any people, claiming out of body experience, are able to subsequently observe the image and identify its content.  Results from this portion of the study do not appear to have been released to date.

More results are expected during 2012.

Happy Valentine Day . . . .

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Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012
Scientists discover 'near death' evidence

by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail (UK)

For centuries, those brought back from death's door have claimed they had a glimpse of the afterlife.

They speak of seeing a tunnel, a light, dead relatives, or their own lives flashing before their eyes.

Some even recall floating out of their body and watching doctors struggling to revive them.

Medical and scientific experts have maintained these 'near-death experiences' do not exist and are simply a normal reaction to intolerable stress.

Yet now university researchers claim to have produced compelling scientific evidence that they really do happen.

Others say this may show the mind continues to exist after death.

Near-death experiences (NDEs) occur when someone is clinically dead, their heart has stopped beating and their brain no longer functioning.

The study, one of the most extensive scientific investigations into the phenomenon, shows that almost one in five heart attack patients who were brought back to life had had an NDE.

The researchers say known medical explanations cannot account for these out-of-body sensations.

Dr Pim van Lommel and colleagues from the Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem, Holland, investigated the experiences of 344 heart patients resuscitated after cardiac arrest.

All had been clinically dead at some point during their treatment, says a report in The Lancet today.

Sixty-two patients reported NDE, of whom 41 described a deep experience during a special state of consciousness. These included outofbody experiences, pleasant feelings, and seeing a tunnel, a light, deceased relatives, or a life review.

The researchers said: 'Our results show that medical factors cannot account for occurrence of NDE; although all patients had been clinically dead, most did not have NDE.

'If purely physiological factors caused NDE, most of our patients should have had this experience.'

Dr Sam Parnia, a clinical research fellow at Southampton University who made similar findings earlier this year, called the latest report 'very exciting'.

'This is a very significant study because it takes us one step closer to understanding the human condition at the end of life which has been ignored by the scientific community until recently,' he added.

The Dutch researchers also found that NDEs were more common among people under 60. Deeper NDE experiences were more common among women.

The experience made people believe strongly in an afterlife and removed their fear of death. Dr Parnia, who hopes to carry out further research in Britain if he can get funding, said the Dutch study shows some people have remarkably similar impressions of what happens when they are clinically dead.

'In the past it has been assumed that consciousness comes to an end when the brain stops functioning, but there may be some kind of independent existence,' he said.

'It is also significant that people who had an out-of-body experience had a lessened fear of death as a result. Previously it has been suggested that just being close to death makes people feel that way, but it was not found among those who did not have NDE.'

He added: 'The main significance of the NDE lies in the understanding of the relationship between mind and brain, which has remained a topic of debate in contemporary philosophy, psychology and neuroscience.

'Very little is known scientifically about the subjective experience of dying, the nature of the human mind and its outcome during " clinical death". The findings need to be investigated with a much larger study. If the results are replicated, it would imply that the mind may continue to exist after the death of the body, or an afterlife.'

But chartered psychologist Christopher French, from Goldsmiths College, London, said there were alternative explanations for NDEs.

'Some people may have developed a false memory based on something called imaginative inflation, where the individual actually takes on board the details of an experience as if it did happen.'

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Tags: AWARE, Death, Experience, NED, Near, Parnia, out-of-body

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All I want to know is 'why' did it take science so long to even decide to study this phenomena. Maybe scientists are not as  unbiased as they would like to believe they are when it comes to studying things that may be beyond the level of a hammer and a nail.

Backgrounder: The AWARE Study

The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is the first launched by the Human Consciousness Project, a multidisciplinary collaboration of international scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death, and is led by Dr. Sam Parnia, a world-renowned expert on the study of the human mind and consciousness during clinical death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler of the University of Southampton. The team will be working in collaboration with more than 25 major medical centers throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.
 
Although the study of death has traditionally been considered a subject for theology or philosophy, recent advances in medicine have finally enabled a scientific approach to understanding the ultimate mystery facing humankind. “Contrary to popular perception,” Dr. Parnia explains, “death is not a specific moment. It is actually a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and the brain ceases functioning – a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.”
 
“During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. Subsequently, there is a period of time, ranging from a few seconds to an hour or longer, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process.”
 
A number of recent scientific studies carried out by independent researchers have demonstrated that 10-20 per cent of people who go through cardiac arrest and clinical death report lucid, well structured thought processes, reasoning, memories, and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death.
 
“The remarkable point about these experiences,” according to Dr. Parnia, “is that while studies of the brain during cardiac arrest have consistently shown that there is no measurable brain activity, these subjects have reported detailed perceptions that indicate the contrary—namely, a high level of consciousness in the absence of detectable brain activity. If we can objectively verify these claims, the results would bear profound implications not only for the scientific community, but for the way in which we understand and relate to life and death as a society.”
 
During the AWARE study, physicians will use the latest technologies to study the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest. At the same time, they will also be testing the validity of out of body experiences and claims of being able to see and hear during cardiac arrest through the use of randomly generated hidden images that are not visible unless viewed from specific vantage points above.
 

The study is being funded by the UK Resuscitation Council, the Horizon Research Foundation, and the Nour Foundation in the United States.

John,

I am scared to death of death.   Why ??  It is because my human body experiences decay physically, and it troubles me....   I have dreams at night that I am 18 years old in High School.... then all of a sudden I get this feeling that I'm 48 years old and I have never achieved my goals.  The feeling hits through your whole conscience....this is not a mid life crisis..... right?    I am alive and well (PMS and emotionally).   Going through the change of life.......    and I do get hot flashes.... maybe this is a non-discussed issue...

Love you all...

db

 

Sounds like you have been dreaming about how my real life went between those years. Too soon we get old, too late we get smart. But I wouldn't sweat it, what you are doing NOW is the most important part of your life. Just enjoy the experience.

What is the saying Plan like you will live forever but Live like you will die tomorrow, or something like that. Enjoy your life now is most important and the way to do that according to the teachings of the charactyer Jesus in the book called the good news. is to

1 Love truth and righteousness above all else

2 Love your neighbor as yourself.

Of course if you can have a relationship with the author of those words all the better to understand how to apply those 2 rules above in your day to day activities.

The Near Death Experience seems to become more and more a news item, since more people start 'demanding' answers.

Swedenborg was familiar with the experience more than 250 years ago, when the cutting edge of medicine was the use of leeches. Maybe this will help a little bit. He also said that dying itself is no more difficult than walking from one room into the next. 

http://www.opensourcereligion.net/profiles/blogs/swedenborg-and-the...

Yes db, the temporal body does experience decay but you are eternal.  It is the decay of the soul that we should pay attention to.  Over time, we become engaged in wrongful actions and accumulate habits, tendencies, inclinations that get etched, over time, deeply into our very being. 

As we acquire selfish habits that appease the body we become lost in the awareness that "I am my body."  Once I loose a sense of my true eternal identity as a luminescent point of metaphysical light, I begin to also see others as bodily objects.  In essence, we begin to identify so closely with matter that we see ourselves and others as material objects. Is it possible to truly be spiritual while in the belief that "I am my body"?

The real question is is how to get rid of those selfish habits.  Perhaps you can share some of what you are learning about self-transformation when you have time.  I would look forward to that.

 - john

Kernel, that is an excellent observation "  In essence, we begin to identify so closely with matter that we see ourselves and others as material objects"

Yes, science has been reluctant to investigate the subject because those who sprinkle research grants can see no advantage (profit) to such investigation.  The AWARE study is the exception.  Once NDE is confirmed as a reality and no longer viewed as an as some kind of illusory brain-dead dream state, if that is what is about to happen, I suspect a pharma company will try to commercialize a NDE pill.  Just kidding. . .

The Swedenborg description of NDS was that of a great scientist and mystic revelator and spiritualist.  He describes a well defined framework with precision. 

The framework I am familiar with lacks the clarity and precision outlined by Swedenborg.

Thanks Adriaan.

If I may jump in here, one often observed result of NDEs is that the person becomes a spiritual person with the incentive to become a good and useful person. Seems to me that this is often referred to in the Christian Church as being "born again".

You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again” (John 3:3, 5-6).

The tool for change is our free will. We have that tool to change from seeing ourselves as the centre of the 'universe' to seeing others as, or more, important. This is a life-long process with many ups and downs.

There is nothing wrong with initially doing good so we will go to heaven, selfish? yes. Later we do good in order to feel appreciated, selfish? somewhat. Finally we do good because we love doing it, selfish? no. These are the major stages in the spiritual sense of the Creation Story , the creation of a spiritual person.

Finally . . . what we do is good.

 "I suspect a pharma company will try to commercialize a NDE pill." LOL

Personally I see "the clarity and precision outlined by Swedenborg" as the result of actual, daily experiences  for 27 years. Hard to ignore, but then, I may be biased :)

 

Actually, the observation is not excellent.  What is excellent is when sheds no longer identifies with the transient imperfect illusory world of matter the basis of self.  This takes place in the knowledge that I am a conscient non-physical soul.  This knowledge, in turn, can be converted to the state referred to as Soul Consciousness.  So we move from awareness of self as a physical entity to understanding of self as metaphysical soul.  In addition to knowledge, this requires some practice and discipline.  This is Easy Raja Yoga Meditation.  The world is at a point of maximum spiritual entropy (irreligiousness) James, there is no person to turn to.  There is only one direction left. 

Glad you can appreciate this knowledge.  Perhaps it came from Khem - or maybe not.  Envision for a moment your state as one of soul consciousness.  Experience how does this feel James.  Is the feeling new or does it give you a head ache : )?.

Remember, you are never being asked to go some place you have not been before.  The drama is accurate.

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