Two highly reputable scientists are studying what used to be a disreputable phenomenon in straight science: Near-death experiences. With the advent of modern medicine, NDEs have become a much more common experience that include seeing a white light and being greeted by dead relatives. Patients rise above their own bodies and see doctors frantically trying to resuscitate them.
Dr. Sam Parnia and Dr. Peter Fenwick plan to place cards in places where heart-attack victims will be treated that can only be seen from the ceiling, if they have out-of-body experiences. Parnia has published a study showing that 10% of clinically dead patients who were later resuscitated reported NDEs. Some of the evidence includes patients recognizing hospital staff they had never met but who helped resuscitate them. Others remembered overhearing conversations between doctors. According to known medical science, this should be impossible, because they don't have any brain activity during this period.
Most scientists assume near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences are a result of a lack of oxygen in the brain. However this is changing?in December 2001, Dutch neurologist Dr. Pim van Lommel published an article in The Lancet, a respected peer-reviewed medical journal, showing that 18% of clinically dead patients who were later resuscitated recalled near-death experiences years after the event. NDE researcher Kenneth Ring studied blind patients who were resuscitated from cardiac arrest who described seeing their body while clinically dead, although it was slightly out of focus.
If near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences don't come from the brain, where is consciousness based? "There are two ways to view the universe," says Fenwick. "Our current world model is that everything is matter." But this doesn't explain consciousness. A new theory says the basic building blocks of the universe are not made of matter but of consciousness. "This second, transcendent, view of the universe makes it much easier to understand NDEs,? says Fenwick. He thinks quantum mechanics, which shows that matter can have both a physical form and a wave form at the same time, is a step in that direction.
Scientific studies of prayer are also beginning to influence scientists. These studies show that subjects benefit from the prayers of others even when they don't know that someone is praying for them. This has been interpreted as an indication that consciousness behaves like a field, such as magnetism, which can be affected by other fields. If that's true, then it's possible for one person's consciousness to affect another's.
Will this finally convince the skeptics? "No, nothing will, but that's OK," says Fenwick. "It's how science progresses. Any research that says you have to have a major rethink in your world model is always rejected. But it will prove that consciousness is not in the brain."
Can other consciousnesses attack us and can we defend ourselves from psychic attack? Robert Bruce tells how in ?Practical Psychic Self-Defense,? click here. Listen to a fascinating interview, where Robert tells Whitley Strieber how to protect himself against this type of attack, by clicking ?Listen Now? at the top of our homepage.
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