The end of the near-death experience

(134 Posts)
Justshabbynochic Mon 26-Aug-13 06:55:24

I've always sat on the believer/non-believer fence.

One of my strongest beliefs in the after-life was the bafflement of scientists over near-death experiences. I would get into debates with athiests over this: "How could a person who is dead still have mental awareness to have these?!"

Well, scientific evidence has come out this week, here:
m.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23672150

I have to say, the article has really shaken me. I don't know why, because I'm sure it's not that surprising, but it's one of the things that have kept me on this side of believing in God, and now I'm feeling really confused and sad about it.

I'd like to hear from Believers (of any faith!), who can read that and tell me why it's inconsequential to them regarding their faith.

I have a fear of dying, so please be gentle if you're Athiest...reinforcing to me there is nothing after death will make me feel worse.

Thanks x

headinhands Mon 26-Aug-13 22:28:51

You can't be terrified of something you won't experience. That's in a nutshell. You will never know what it's like to be dead because your brain won't be working. If you're going to start fretting about death you should really be stressing about all the millennia before you were born because you were effectively dead then too. But as previous poster says, make the most of what you have and be kind to the world.

Stripedmum Mon 26-Aug-13 22:32:53

Life is too absurd for it to be 'nothing'. Think about it! Emotions - what are they about?! Certainly not helpful a lot of the time.

headinhands Mon 26-Aug-13 22:55:10

A wiki page outlining one of the possible explanations for the necessity and evolution of emotions in humans

TheSecondComing Mon 26-Aug-13 23:00:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

headinhands Mon 26-Aug-13 23:08:18

Who says life is nothing? It's what anyone makes it to mean. In my case it's family and new experiences and wanting to be a force for good rather than bad.

Justshabbynochic Tue 27-Aug-13 08:01:19

TheSecondComing can I ask what your beliefs are?

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Aug-13 08:32:45

I read a very interesting article about the mind/brain separation thing. It compared it to a radio picking up on radio waves and playing music. If the radio is broken, you can't hear the music but that doesn't mean the waves aren't there. I found it very interesting. I agree with others that this study doesn't really prove anything. I think there is a lot we just don't know/understand yet.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 09:01:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Justshabbynochic Tue 27-Aug-13 09:16:10

Thank you.

I think I really fear the realisation that life is for nothing. There is no purpose.

headinhands Tue 27-Aug-13 09:57:27

The purpose thing, one analogy would be pets. There's no good reason to have pets but we do because its fun and we get a lot out of it so that's the purpose.

Lets ask what would be the big plan/purpose if there was one?

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Aug-13 10:02:51

I like to think we're all here to learn from/experience life. This might sound a bit weird but sometimes I think of it from an alien's point of view. As if they sent people down to earth to learn as much as they can and report back smile

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Aug-13 10:04:50

I don't mean that we are aliens (although you never know with some people!!!!) I just mean as if we are here to learn/experience life on earth and then move on to our next 'mission'.

Ok I sound like a loon! grin

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Aug-13 11:04:36

Did I scare you all away? smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Aug-13 11:17:50

There are plenty of people who have no supernatural beliefs who find their lives to be full of purpose. Whether there is an afterlife or not, this life is here for sure so make the most of it. smile

Anyway - the research won't make much difference to what most people believe either way, but its yet another of those mysterious 'things science can't explain' which now science is starting to explain.

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 27-Aug-13 11:21:58

Head in Hands. Bit of a digression but plenty of good reasons to have pets. There is evidence that developing a relationship with dogs gave us an evolutionary advantage over Neanderthals. Cats were/are kept to keep vermin at bay. And as you have already stated, we get a lot out of keeping animals as companions, so it is hardly pointless.

Even though i believe very much in the existence of the soul, I don't think there is any great purpose other than a desire to experience life in the physical - I think of humans as a way of the universe trying to understand itself (think of the first Star Trek film when Vega/Voyager became human in order to understand itself!).

While we are living that is all we see, so understandably we cling to life. If we then exist as non-physical entities I would expect our perspectives and perceptions to be very different, and once the connection with the body is severed that it will cease to matter very much. Most eastern traditions focus on mastering the ego so that the continued existence of the self in the same format is not such an issue as it is in the west. If you practice yoga or meditation you find that the barriers between individuals begin to dissolve and you perceive that we are part of the same whole. Waves in an ocean.

Snorbs Tue 27-Aug-13 11:22:44

Life isn't "for nothing". Life is an opportunity. It's your chance to make of it what you want, to achieve what you wish to achieve, to touch other people's lives in a positive way.

Imagine that, tomorrow, someone hands you a set of wings so that you can fly wherever you want. Up mountains, over seas, along cliffs and through the clouds.

Would you bemoan the fact that when that person handed you those wings she didn't tell you what she thought you should do with them? Or would you be grateful for the astonishing opportunity to fly where you wanted to fly?

headinhands Tue 27-Aug-13 12:08:44

That's exactly what I mean loving. No one thinks there's some big hidden purpose for us to have pets. We don't need to have them but we do because there are very good reasons to have them in the now without needing to think some supernatural force is driving us to have them.

headinhands Tue 27-Aug-13 12:53:41

It's probably a messy analogy but it makes the point that that things don't have to have big driving reasons behind them for them to be very rewarding and satisfying.

fackinell Tue 27-Aug-13 13:08:17

I most definitely believe in life after death. I've had too many visitations not to. What would be the point of all our life experiences if they were for nothing. We came from somewhere, it makes sense that we go to somewhere. And just like Shabby, I'm terrified of anything otherwise. I'm not particularly religious but I am very spiritual.

Justshabbynochic Tue 27-Aug-13 14:02:45

Life is too hard for this to be it. There must be purpose behind all the suffering. That is what I want to believe.

Fackinell can you please elaborate on "visitations"?

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Aug-13 14:22:53

>We came from somewhere

We came from stardust. And (if you're lucky) from the love of your parents. That's enough for me. smile

>Life is too hard for this to be it. There must be purpose behind all the suffering. That is what I want to believe

For me, suffering is one of the reasons I don't believe, and don't want to. The idea that suffering is in any way part of a deity's plan strikes me as far worse than it being unplanned chance. Many sources of suffering can be alleviated by mankind's efforts - combatting disease, predicting tsunamis, negotiating peace. Part of the 'reason for being' is to do what one can towards such ends.

fackinell Tue 27-Aug-13 14:37:26

I had a dream in which my DGranda woke me (I was totally hammered and much younger) from a fire. He was screaming in my face that I had to wake up as it wasn't my time. I say bolt upright in bed and the duvet was smouldering from the heater I had stupidly lit at the bottom of the bed.

My DGran also visited me a couple of times. The most prevalent when my Dsis and I were in Bali and there was pan pipe style music on the radio. Mine stopped and Annie's song came on (DGran's fav) I ran to get my Dsis and her room had the same station but pan pipes. We ran to and fro changing channels and we just knew. I called home and discovered even with the time difference she had died at that precise moment. My ExP was like this shock

My DGran was clairvoyant and as a child I used to see Gran's aunt. She was distressed I had inherited this especially when I refused to shake her BIL's hand at Christmas dinner because he 'was going to die.' Freaked her out totally and he died a week later (I think I saw his aura.)

I could go on and on. I have huge respect for individual beliefs, these are just mine. smile

Snorbs Tue 27-Aug-13 14:40:22

Life is too hard for this to be it. There must be purpose behind all the suffering. That is what I want to believe.

Fair enough. What's stopping you from going from "This is what I want to believe" to "this is what I believe"?

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 27-Aug-13 15:36:01

I think suffering is just part of being part of the natural world - earthquakes, floods, disease (obviously much of it is also of our own making). It is part of the experience of life. I don't think it serves a purpose.

Headinhands. I do see the point you were making. I think you could maybe say something similar about the arts - in many ways they are pointless, but we seem to have a need to express ourselves in ways that have no practical purpose.

I think it is telling that the likes of Buddha and Lao Tzu have very little to say about life after death. Their view was that you cannot know what death is so there is little point on dwelling on it. The important thing was how you live your life - they offer different paths through life but both take you to a place where death is no longer something to fear.

Justshabbynochic Tue 27-Aug-13 18:49:51

Grimma where did the stardust come from?

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