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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

In 3 Years’ Time

September 24th, 2008

In 3 years’ time scientists might be faced with powerful evidence for the existence of consciousness outside the body. See this BBC article about the ‘Aware’ project:

….investigators will place images strategically in hospital bays, such that they will only be visible by looking down from the ceiling and nowhere else.

If after 36 months, hundreds of patients report being “out of body” yet no one can report seeing the images, then we must consider these reports to be nothing more than illusions.

If on the other hand there are hundreds of positive reports, then we will have to redefine our understanding of the mind and brain during clinical death…

Read whole article.

Can you imagine what it will mean for Science. I’d like to see Richard Dawkins trying to explain that one!

And if there are few reports of images being reported, well maybe the souls were so excited about being loosed from the body they will have more interesting explorations on their mind, and will go straight into the famous ‘tunnel of light’ rather than floating about in the hospital room!

3 Responses to “In 3 Years’ Time”

  1. Think what it will do for spirituality and every day living as a consequence!

    If it were proven that there was something ‘else’ after death, maybe some folks will start living their lives more skillfully instead.

    Win Win situation if you ask me 🙂

    AX

  2. While I absolutely believe in life after death, and in out-of-body experiences, and astrology, and fairies, and all sorts of other odd things, I can confidently predict right now that the results of this experiment will be completely inconclusive.

    Firstly, because results of sociological experiments are almost always inconclusive. They’re open to way too much interpretation. If no one sees anything, that will be interpreted by believers as Phillip suggested — there are more important things for these souls to be thinking about. But even if every image is spotted and reported by every near-death patient for the next three years, skeptics will still be able to find faults with the way the experiment was conducted, or ways in which the patients may have subconsciously glimpsed the image ahead of time, or whatever.

    If Spirit were really willing and able to provide everyone conclusive proof, it would have already done so. I think that Spirit can only provide you with Proof when and if YOU are ready and willing to accept it. Anything else is an infringement on our free will.

  3. We need a science of consciousness – so little is really known about our brain’s functioning and even less about the nature of consciousness itself. I had quite a few out-of-body experiences as a child. I remember very clearly finding myself facing the far wall opposite my bed, my nose pressed up close to the patterned wall paper, without having left my bed. I have only had one major one as an adult. This happened when I was meditating in my bedroom. It was very brief but I saw myself laid on the bed from high above – it’s a bit of a shock to see yourself from the ‘outside’.

    These experiences have led me to wonder where it is that we actualy ‘dwell’. When asked, most people seem to feel that their consciousness is ‘inside’ them, but maybe this is a trick of their senses. We can talk about out of body and inner body experiences but with consciousness is there really an ‘outside’ and an ‘inside’? Perception is a slippery thing; sometimes I feel that the boundary of our bodies isn’t as much of a boundary as we might think. I have known many people who have had the experience of – when parted by distance from those they love -‘knowing’ or ‘feeling’ what that person is going through. It seems that we not only have an interconnected web of nature but of consciousness too.

    I was with my sister when she died, and sitting with her afterwards, I had the strongest feeling she was still there, still connected to her body in some way. However, when I saw my mum after she had died – this was in the Chapel of Rest and a few days had passed – it was a shock that her body felt so absolutely vacant. Unlike the experience with my sister, I couldn’t feel anything of what had been my Mum, despite her body being so familiar. It’s interesting what the article says about death being a process, rather than a moment. I have come to feel that we enter into life by degree and we leave that way too. Babies always seem like otherwordly little creatures, not quite fully here. It is as if we become more ’embodied’ with time at the beginning of life and less embodied around the time before and after death. Perhaps our consciousness needs time to adjust to coming ‘in’ and going ‘out’.

    My consciousness now needs time to adjust to the vacuum cleaner. Despite what the lovely Thich Nhat Hanh says about mindfulness and joy in our everyday chores, your blog is still much more fun and far more interesting than housework!

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