A huge number of people claimed that their life “flew before their eyes” or that they really left their body and went somewhere else, being close to death.
Some scientists have called these experiences hallucinations or delusions, but researchers at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine say something else is actually going on.
A team of researchers from several medical fields, including neuroscience, critical care, psychiatry, psychology, social sciences and humanities, came to a number of conclusions after looking at unexplained-conscious episodes that are associated with a heightened state of consciousness.
The main conclusion is that these events have nothing to do with what a person experiences if they are hallucinating or taking a psychedelic drug. Instead, near-death survivors typically report five distinct experiences:
– Separation from their body with a heightened, vast sense of consciousness and the knowledge that they are dying;
– Or they “travel” to another place;
– Some say that they have a meaningful and focused review of their lives, including a critical analysis of all their past actions – basically, their life flashes before their eyes;
– Some say they feel like they are going to a place that feels like “home” to them;
– And the feeling of coming back to life.
The researchers note that near-death experiences usually cause a positive and long-term psychological transformation in a person. The team notes that people who had negative and anxious experiences during NDEs did not experience such events.
The researchers also found that scientists can actually see the physical changes that occur in the brain as we approach death.
Researchers have found the presence of gamma-ray activity and electrical surges when people physically die. This is usually a sign of a heightened state of consciousness when scientists measure it using electroencephalography (EEG).
The findings support the claims of people who say they “left their body” at the time of death.
The authors of the study also note that advances in medicine over the past century have brought countless people back from the brink of death.
Lead author Sam Parnia said: “The advent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has shown us that death is not an absolute condition, rather, it is a process that can potentially be reversed in some people even after it has begun. Brain cells do not become permanently damaged within minutes of being deprived of oxygen when the heart stops. Instead, they “die” within a few hours. This allows scientists to objectively study the physiological and mental events that occur in connection with death.”
The authors of the study concluded that neither physiological nor cognitive processes completely end at the time of death. While previous research has failed to prove that people are talking about their near-death experiences, new research shows that it is just as impossible to refute what they say.