Monday, May 14, 2018

In contrast to the Pam Reynolds NDE...

As I make my way through the individual cases (chronologically), certain accounts jump out from the background. Valerie’s NDE is one such case. It is actually a fairly “ordinary” (if not stereotypical) NDE, filled with the usual iconic NDE imagery: The experiencer abruptly begins her account by describing a man dressed in a ragged and torn robe. (It is strongly implied that the robed figure is Jesus—though, as in many of these accounts, he is not specifically identified as such.) She floats upward, following him. He assures her that the “prayers of the righteous are answered.” She is almost blinded by a light issuing from a doorway, which she was blocked from passing through. She undergoes a mini-life review, which she calls a “judgement,” and is sent back to her body.

This NDE would not be remarkable except for the fact that Valerie had apparently been put in an induced near-death state (heart stopped, blood removed) to repair a brain artery aneurysm, apparently the same procedure that Pam Reynolds underwent. The surgery lasted seven hours. Pam Reynolds, by contrast, became conscious out-of-body shortly after her heart was stopped. She is aware that “she” has left her body, is able to see it, and is able to observe and remember the operating theater in clinical detail. She described the surgical instruments used, the ambient sounds that she “heard,” not to mention the non-physical people that she communicated with. Pam Reynolds was oriented in both time and place despite being out-of-body and was able to “remember” the details when she returned to physical consciousness. (To dismiss her experience as a hallucination is a bit of a stretch, particularly when contrasted with Valerie’s.)

Personally, I think that the contrast between the two experiences is evidence of an important factor that we usually forget when interpreting NDEs: NDE differences suggest that what we see out-of-body, and how we interpret what we can see, depends on not only the nature and development of the individual consciousness, but also on how much consciousness we bring with us when out-of-body. Valerie experienced what her consciousness was able to experience, and she interpreted her experience with the tools that she had available to her.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Physics of the afterlife, continued

Quite a while back, I scribbled a speculative comparison of “afterlife” environments with a view of forming some rudimentary concepts that I dubbed the “physics of the afterlife.” I took as starting point a detailed account of a non-terrestrial environment described in “The Children That Time Forgot” entitled “Boy remembers being in his aunt’s womb: Desmond Sanderson, Coventry.” This fairly detailed account of a “between-life” environment is notable for two very specific physical descriptions—a special fruit that was fed to the newly-crossed-over to help them recover from the terrestrial environment, and water. Actually, what the three-year-old Desmond describes as “water” is apparently a substance that mimics the appearance and behavior of water, but the substance isn’t a liquid in physical terms. Desmond describes being able to float on top of the “water” but he never gets wet from it. Additionally, the substance displays chromatic colors that are internal (not reflections) and makes tinkling sounds when it’s disturbed. In terms of legitimate afterlife descriptions, this is fairly specific—none of the vague sorts of lights and clouds that are usually described.  Well, I’ve come across another account of this “water” in an NDE account from the NDERF site:

I could see the water, and a bright glow surrounded it and the burbling of the water had a musical sound to it, this stream of water fairly sang! The water was so sparkling clear! I remember wanting to bend over and take a drink from the stream that was running through this garden we were walking thru. When I tried to scoop up water with my hands the water ran through my hands, literally, and it wasn’t wet!—“Derry”

Derry’s account is one of the more descriptive NDEs and is worth a read.

I may be approaching this issue from the wrong perspective by expecting the afterlife environment to be like the terrestrial one, and trying to figure out why it isn’t. (Obviously, if I were on the other end, I’d be trying to figure out why terrestrial water gets things wet and doesn’t play music.)   But I keep returning to this because it is one of the few common specific descriptions by experiencers that surprises them. (Among other common experiences are being able to travel to destinations instantly merely by thinking of them, 360-degree vision, ability to communicate without words, etc..)   I can somewhat explain these commonalities, and the experiencers don’t seemed surprised by them. But I can’t explain the “water.” Why not just have “real” water in the afterlife?  Why this substance that obviously isn’t water, despite outward appearance? The most obvious answer: “water” doesn’t, or can’t, exist on this particular afterlife plane. Other terrestrial artifacts—dirt, sky, light, buildings—are represented in forms that are somewhat analogous to earth. But not water.

This may, or may not, be related to the water anomaly: An NDE account by Jaime wherein he is presented with a cup of coffee by his deceased grandmother. When he tries to drink it he discovers that “it was not hot and had no taste. It was lukewarm; but yet there was steam coming from it like it was hot, but it was not. It's like when you are sick and there's no taste.”

Water as we know it does not, and cannot, exist on this plane—what could this mean?

As we are all taught in biology class, life as we know it can’t exist on the physical plane without water. If there is no water in the afterlife (or on that specific afterlife plane), we aren’t in bodies that function like terrestrial ones... perhaps we are in forms that mimic the physical, and appear physical, but we are governed by different laws (or “root assumptions”) that would appear alien to us. This opens up a whole world of speculation for the physics-inclined explorer, and eliminates the need to send Mars-type landers into the afterworld to scrape for subterranean ice.