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Soul-searching Doctors Find Life After Death

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Neutral Singh, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Soul-searching doctors find life after death
    By Jonathan Petre
    (Filed: 22/10/2000)

    THE first scientific study of "near-death" experiences has found new
    evidence to suggest that consciousness or the "soul" can continue to exist
    after the brain has ceased to function.

    The findings by two eminent doctors, based on a year-long study of heart
    attack survivors, could provoke fresh controversy over that most profound of
    questions: is there life after death?

    Reports of "near-death" experiences, in which people close to death have
    vivid encounters with bright lights and heavenly beings, date back
    centuries, but the phenomenon has been treated with scepticism by most
    academics.

    The new study concludes, however, that a number of people have almost
    certainly had these experiences after they were pronounced clinically dead.
    This would suggest that the mind or consciousness can survive the death of
    the brain - a conclusion that was hailed by clerics last night as supporting
    religious faith.

    Bishop Stephen Sykes, the professor of theology at Durham University and
    chairman of the Church of England's Doctrine Commission, said the findings
    were "absolutely fascinating". He added: "I do not find them surprising,
    however, as I believe life is much more mysterious than we usually think it
    is. For theologians, the soul is far more than consciousness or the mind.
    But these findings challenge the crude idea that when a person's brain dies,
    that, as far as the person's existence is concerned, is that."

    The Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, another commission
    member, said: "These near-death experiences counter the materialist view
    that we are nothing more than computers made of meat."

    Based on interviews with survivors of heart attacks at Southampton General
    Hospital's cardiac unit, the new study is to be published in the respected
    medical journal Resuscitation next year.

    The study's authors, Dr Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist at the
    Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Dr Sam Parnia, a clinical research
    fellow and registrar at Southampton hospital, stress that more research is
    needed.

    Dr Parnia said: "These people were having these experiences when we wouldn't
    expect them to happen,
    when the brain shouldn't be able to sustain lucid processes or allow them to
    form memories that would last. So it might hold an answer to the question of
    whether mind or consciousness is actually produced by the brain or whether
    the brain is a kind of intermediary for the mind, which exists
    independently."

    Dr Fenwick said: "If the mind and brain can be independent, then that raises
    questions about the
    continuation of consciousness after death. It also raises the question about
    a spiritual component to humans and about a meaningful universe with a
    purpose rather than a random universe."

    During the study period, 63 cardiac arrest patients survived and were
    interviewed within a week. Of those, 56 had no recollection of their period
    of unconsciousness, a result that might have been expected in all cases.

    Seven survivors, however, had memories, although only four passed the
    Grayson scale, the strict medical criteria for assessing near-death
    experiences.

    These four recounted feelings of peace and joy, time speeded up, heightened
    senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another
    world, encountering a mystical being and coming to a "point of no return".
    Three of them described themselves as non-practising Anglicans while the
    fourth was a lapsed Roman Catholic.

    By examining medical records, the researchers said the contention of many
    critics that near-death experiences were the result of a collapse of brain
    functions caused by lack of oxygen were highly unlikely. None of those who
    underwent the experiences had low levels of oxygen.

    Researchers were also able to rule out claims that unusual combinations of
    drugs were to blame because the resuscitation procedure in the hospital unit
    was the same in every case.

    Dr Parnia, who was trained at the Guys and St Thomas' medical school,
    University of London, said: "I started off as a sceptic but, having weighed
    up all the evidence, I now think that there is something going on.
    Essentially, it comes back to the question of whether the mind or
    consciousness is produced from the brain. If we can prove that the mind is
    produced by the brain, I don't think there is anything after we die because
    essentially we are conscious beings.

    "If, on the contrary, the brain is like an intermediary which manifests the
    mind, like a television will act as an intermediary to manifest waves in the
    air into a picture or a sound, we can show that the mind is still there
    after the brain is dead. And that is what I think these near-death
    experiences indicate."

    Christopher French, a reader in psychology at Goldsmiths College, University
    of London, said he had not seen the new study but remained sceptical.
    "Near-death experiences could be pointing towards the soul or the mind
    leaving the body, but they could just be the brain trying to make sense of
    what is a very unusual event," he said.
     
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  3. Arvind

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    Curious to know, what Gurubani says about 'Life After Death'! Any idea?
     
  4. drkhalsa

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    Dear Singh ji

    As per my understanding life exist after death as per gubani the journey of the soul is endleess until it rreaches Akal Purakhs Abode and so is life and death and reicarcination again and again of the same soul

    jo ibnu siqgur syvy Kwdy pYndy sy muey mir jMmy koVHy ]
    jo bin sathigur saevae khaadhae painadhae sae mueae mar ja(n)mae korrhae ||
    Those who eat and dress without serving the True Guru die; after death, those wretched lepers are consigned to reincarnation.



    AY jI jnim mrY AwvY Puin jwvY ibnu gur giq nhI kweI ]
    ai jee janam marai aavai fun jaavai bin gur gath nehee kaaee ||
    O Dear One, he is born, and then dies; he continues coming and going; without the Guru, he is not emancipated.

    jm kI jyvVI qU AwgY bMD ]1]
    jam kee jaevarree thoo aagai ba(n)dhh ||1||
    In the world hereafter, you shall be tied to the leash of the Messenger of Death. ||1||


    clidAw Gru dru ndir n AwvY jm dir bwDw duKu pwiedw ]13]
    chaladhiaa ghar dhar nadhar n aavai jam dhar baadhhaa dhukh paaeidhaa ||13||
    When they depart from the world, they do not find the Lord's door and home; bound and gagged at Death's door, they suffer in pain. ||13||


    hir kw mhlu n pwveI mir ivstw mwih smwie ]1]
    har kaa mehal n paavee mar visattaa maahi samaae ||1||
    They do not attain the Mansion of the Lord's Presence, and after death, they sink into manure. ||1||


    pkiV clwiein dUq jm iksY n dynI Byqu ]
    pakarr chalaaein dhooth jam kisai n dhaenee bhaeth ||
    The Messenger of Death seizes and holds her, and does not tell anyone his secret.

    Cif KVoqy iKnY mwih ijn isau lgw hyqu ]
    shhadd kharrothae khinai maahi jin sio lagaa haeth ||
    And her loved ones-in an instant, they move on, leaving her all alone.

    hQ mroVY qnu kpy isAwhhu hoAw syqu ]
    hathh marorrai than kapae siaahahu hoaa saeth ||
    She wrings her hands, her body writhes in pain, and she turns from black to white.

    jyhw bIjY so luxY krmw sMdVw Kyqu ]
    jaehaa beejai so lunai karamaa sa(n)dharraa khaeth ||
    As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.

    nwnk pRB srxwgqI crx boihQ pRB dyqu ]
    naanak prabh saranaagathee charan bohithh prabh dhaeth ||
    Nanak seeks God's Sanctuary; God has given him the Boat of His Feet.
     
  5. Arvind

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    drkhalsa,

    Thanks for helping out with the Gurubani quotes. Yes, I agree with what you mentioned.

    Regards.
     
  6. S|kH

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    This article is bogus.

    "Religious people" have tried this again and again.

    They even attempt to prove Creationism as correct. There is a museum that attempts to prove Creationism as in God created humans directly, with no evolutionary steps.

    And besides, Guru Nanak rarely spoke on life after death and rejected Hinduisms re-incarnation. Take those quotes, and use them in context of during the life cycle of the mind.

    You go through multiple stages of the mind/soul since your born, you change, some develop more, some get closer to the truth, others dont. Others remain in the cycle of chasing one materialistic thing after the another. Some are run by lust, and go nowhere in life.

    Thats the way I take it.

    Hindus wanted to do rites on Guru Nanak, and Muslims wanted to bury him. I personally think that Guru Nanak wouldn't have cared, and he was cremated because he didnt care what happened to his physical body after death. It did not matter to him, his life was done.
     
  7. drkhalsa

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    Dear Sikh ji

    You can be very right in saying this and i am always open to all kind of interpretation of gurbani and so i am also open to your point of view but I would like you elaborate your point in more detail as just saying something bogus in one sentance doesnot appeal much to me , waiting for your reply
     
  8. Dev singh

    Dev singh Canada
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    I am sorry if I offend you.

    There is now way any one can see or feel soul or on the other side as most people says.

    I have done meditation for many years. I did see what I wanted to see. It was not any soul. This Jonathan claim it can not happen.

    If there is no god then there is no soul;

    When one is dead that is the end of him/her.

    Dev
     
  9. BhagatSingh

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  10. Dev singh

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    How this concern me? What the nanak said?
    What I saw is personal. U can see what u want for they u have to do the meditation

    dev
     
  11. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    We need to get away from this thinking that the physical body IS us. It's not. Yes the physical body turns to ashes / dust. The consciousness that was experiencing through that body does not cease to exist. And even more, there is only ONE consciousness in the Universe. Consciousness (awareness, the doer, the experiencer behind everything) is not created. It just IS.

    Quantum physics has shown us that the base reality (truth) to this Universe is not physical. Matter is made up of particles which are 99.9999% empty space. What's left are tiny subatomic particles that can either behave as a particle (matter) or a wave (having no form of its own, but instead is energy passing through a medium). The electrons in EVERY single atom in existence, can behave as either a particle or a wave depending on one thing.... a conscious observer! Without conscious observation, the electron bahaves as a wave and not a physical tangible particle!!!
    So if our consciousness is merely a product of our physical brains, and our physical brains are made up of atoms which are made up of electrons that need to be OBSERVED into existence by a CONSCIOUS observer... then how can you say your consciousness is only a product of the physical brain?? It's impossible given the science, and this fact scares scientists, even though they will begrudgingly admit this problem which they call 'the measurement problem' (google it)

    So why is this important? Consciousness just IS. There is ONE pool of consciousness. One small drop of this consciousness is experiencing through this physical body temporarily. When this body dies, yes the persona of this life will die, but it was only a character anyway. YOU are NOT that character!

    THERE IS a Conscious Creator. But not a separate physical entity as depicted in many religions. Creator is formless (but within this formless *conscious* creator, arises ALL form) hence the duality. Creator is ONEness, but ALL forms arising through duality are within this ONE. (Gurbani often likens it to a dream or a play where we are characters being played by Waheguru).

    So to put it short... yes there is a 'God' (as in Creator) and no we do not cease to exist. Only the physical body does. Since this awareness behind the veil, just IS, and can not be created (or destroyed), it will go on to experience other things until ultimately re-merging back as ONE.
     
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  12. BhagatSingh

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    1. You said you don't believe in God, you haven't seen him.
    2. People say meditation is a way to see God.
    3. You have meditated already and you said you have seen stuff.
    4. But you haven't seen God...

    So what have you seen in meditation?
     

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