Nov 22, 2010 I Micah Hanks

A Novel Idea: New Study Focuses on Near Death Experiences

One of the most enduring tenets of the search for proof of life after death involves claims of Near Death Experiences (NDEs). The term, first coined by American psychologist Dr. Raymond Moody, typically entails circumstances where individuals leave their physical bodies; this sometimes results in recollections of foreign environments resembling long tunnels or hallways, the presence of bright lights, or the appearance of deceased loved ones.

A number of individuals have also reported odd sensations that include not just leaving their physical body, but also hovering over themselves during medical operations, where they are able to see a room busy at work in which they are the central focus, lying on an operating table! At present, regardless of the large number of reports associating this occurrence with patients undergoing traumatic surgery, as well as brushes with death resulting from accidents or illness, there is no proof that the out of body travels some NDE experiences recount are actually happening. This, however, may soon change, and under quite dramatic circumstances as-yet unparalleled in modern science.

A new study being undertaken in the U.S. and Britain at eighteen hospitals seeks to find evidence of extra-bodily perception, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. "Researchers have suspended pictures, face up, from the ceilings in emergency-care areas," the report says, in an effort to see if patients returning from near-death after cardiac arrest "recall seeing the images during an out-of-body experience."

A lead investigator with the study, Sam Parnia, has referred to the suspended pictures as "objective markers." Although the study has already involved 1,500 patients having undergone resuscitation of this sort, he has not yet detailed whether anyone has been able to describe the images they might have been privy to while hovering above their physical bodies.

Should the study in question actually prove to be successful, perhaps the old expression "get over yourself" will take on an entirely new meaning altogether; but more importantly, it could provide tangible evidence that some aspect of the human consciousness--perhaps the soul--is capable of existing outside the confines of the physical body. What could the long-term implications of such otherworldly evidence be, should this end up being the case?

Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

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