– The enigma of near death experiences has fascinated people since the dawn of history. A near-death experience is one of the most enigmatic events in a human life.
It has often been said that shortly before we die our entire life flashes before our eyes and we can see everything that has happened to us. Is this really true?
A group of scientists have investigated the subject and the results of their study are intriguing.
According to a study conducted by researchers with Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel many people do experience unusual memory events near death.
The team started by examining documentation of interviews with seven people who had experienced a near-death experience. They developed a questionnaire that they sent out to 264 other people who medical reports suggested had also had near-death experiences.
From the questionnaires, the researchers concluded that unusual memory events did occur among those who had approached death—but not in the way depicted in movies.
There was no chronological timeline, for example. Instead, people experienced random memories that they described as occurring without the feeling of time passing. Some described memories as feeling as if they were happening simultaneously, like a video collage of sorts, though they were able to separate the events they experienced. Many of the memories were described as exceptionally vivid and emotional.
Many of the responders also reported experiencing what they described as memories from the perspective of other people—they would feel as if in the mind of another person as events transpired that were actually from their own memories.
The researchers did not attempt to find the source of the unusual memories, but suggest they may be due to the fact that they occur in parts of the brain that hold autobiographical information and processing—such as the medial, prefrontal and temporal cortices, all of which are the least impacted parts of the brain during blood-flow loss.
All of the respondents reported that their near-death experiences had a profound impact on them, and that it caused them to have a different outlook on life and death, most particularly in how they viewed or felt about the people in their lives.
Ancient beliefs about the soul can be found among many cultures world-wide and the subject of near-death experiences is interesting to modern scientists, just as it was to ancient scholars, philosophers and mystics.