Researchers have studied the brain processes involved in near death experiences.
Dr. Judith Katz and her team at the Hadassah University, Jerusalem released the study in late 2016. They refer to the near death phenomena as the “Life Review Experience” or LRE. Ultimately, it appears they have discovered scientific explanations for near-death experiences.
The near-death experience life review is a phenomenon known in every culture. It has been constantly mentioned through history. Having your “life flash before your eyes” is an experience shared by all. Now this research understands how it happens.
Katz and her team interviewed 7 people who had had a near-death experience. From the in-depth information they received, they formulated a questionnaire. 264 volunteers, who had not had a near death experience, completed the questionnaire. The Elsevier Journal “Consciousness and Cognition” published the results in their February edition.
The questionnaire revealed that people can experience an LRE during a distressing experience. An LRE isn’t necessarily limited to being near death. An LRE is more likely when the breath and arteries contain greater concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Near-death experience facts
Researchers observed that the parts of the brain where we store our memories shut down last. This includes the parietal, medial temporal and prefrontal cortex. During serious injuries and stress, these sections of the brain do not experience oxygen or blood loss.
An LRE isn’t always pleasant. Those who describe having one felt it to be a wild rollercoaster of intense emotions. Time ceases to exist.
What may be only moments in an emergency room may feel like millennia to the person having a LRE.
Despite popular belief, the flashbacks of a LRE are not chronological. Memories are vivid and random. Sometimes they occur simultaneously. The mind plays tricks with a memory’s point of view. People have described how the memory occurred from the point of view of the person they were with. If they had caused the person suffering, they felt the full extent of their suffering.
This brings to mind the Catholic views of purgatory, where a soul must pay for the crimes it committed. People who have had a LRE come back from it completely changed. Religious rituals during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur may be the ways the ancients tried to avoid the pain one experiences during an LRE.
Neurosurgeon has near death experience
Famous neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander had his life completely changed by his LRE. He had been an atheist skeptic before he lapsed into a coma brought on by meningitis. His neocortex had completely shut down. It was therefore not the heavy drugs he was being administered causing hallucinations.
Dr. Alexander had no recollection of himself during the experience, only his pure existence. He described being at first trapped like an earthworm. Suddenly a melodious light appeared and acted like an escape portal.
He then claims he met an all powerful genderless and faceless deity, that he doesn’t feel he can name. Everything was overwhelming love and oneness.
When he recovered from his coma, he wrote two books about his experiences, entitled “The Map of Heaven” and “Proof of Heaven“. He gave interviews to Oprah, Larry King and Diane Sawyer.
More stories about life after death experiences
Famous celebrities have also described their LRE during a near death experience. The experiences that George Lucas had during his LRE are clearly evident in his Star Wars franchise. Lucas nearly died in a car crash in 1962. When he was young he had no intentions of becoming a filmmaker. He had dreams of becoming a professional race car driver. These came to a grinding halt only a few days before high school graduation.
Lucas describes the experience to have changed him. Once a “directionless loafer” he became somebody who worked harder than anyone else. He also describes not being afraid of dying eventually.
Actor and Comedian Tracy Morgan had a profound LRE. He had also been in a near-fatal crash, when traveling in his minibus. He was in a coma for nearly 10 days. During that time, he claims he met God. He also said he spoke to his father, who had previously died from AIDS. His father told him that it was not his son’s time to die.
Morgan recalled the experience in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. What he described had all the hallmarks of the text-book near death experience. He believes his personal transformation permanently altered his life. He sensed endless love and compassion. Morgan feels he must tell everyone he loves them, up to 200 times a day.