Near Death Experiences: Can We Really See the Light?

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After reading Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, I began wondering if near death experiences could really occur. The book focuses on a four year old boy's account of his visit to heaven during an emergency appendectomy. He recalls meeting his miscarried sister, whom he was never informed of, and his great grandfather who passed away 30 years before he was born. He was able to describe "impossible-to-know details" about both of them, astonishing his family and doctors.
This book raises the question, can near death experiences really occur? Over the last 20 years research on this topic has dramatically increased, and there are disputing opinions on what causes this to happen. Many psychologists agree that there are 3 main possible causes of NDE's including: expectation, endorphins, and temporal lobe stimulation. Expectation simply means that people think they are going to die and engage in thoughts of an afterlife. Endorphins are released during times of stress or during physical trauma or fear, and are known to block pain and induce feelings of well-being and intense pleasure. During their stages of relaxation and pleasure their brain wanders to thoughts of being in the presence of everlasting peace. Lastly temporal lobe stimulation is said to be crucial because of its sensitivity to anoxia, the absence of oxygen. This is important because temporal lobe stimulation is said to have a large part in hallucinations, out of body experiences and memory flash backs. This is due in large part to the limbic system which is also sensitive to anoxia and in charge of the organization of emotion and memory. When the brain is deprived of oxygen these processes do not function normally and can cause someone to believe they have passed away. Doctors claim that administered drugs are responsible for NDE's however psychologists have proved that wrong. NDE's have occurred while under the influence of administered drugs however the accounts were less detailed and "more mutated," leading psychologist to believe drugs are an unimportant factor.
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This page contains a single entry by aydtx014 published on October 23, 2011 9:31 PM.

Method of Loci - A Life Saving Method? was the previous entry in this blog.

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