When some people are closely connected to death, they can report a feeling of the afterlife or a form of life after death. This may include feeling disconnected from your body, seeing deceased relatives or religious figures, or looking back at your life.
Up to one in ten people who have been exposed to death have reported an NDE and often feel euphoric – some with a newly discovered sense of religion and life after death.
However, an expert has now found that NDEs are not a sign of heaven, but that the brain is running out of energy and is desperately looking for a solution to impending death.
In an article for Scientific American, neuroscientist Christof Koch, president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, wrote: “I accept the reality of these intensely felt experiences. They are as authentic as any other subjective feeling or perception.
“As a scientist, however, I start from the hypothesis that all our thoughts, memories, prescriptions and experiences are an indispensable consequence of the natural causal forces of our brain and not more supernatural.
“This premise has served science and its maidservant, technology, extremely well in recent centuries.
“Unless there is exceptional, compelling and objective evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to abandon this assumption.
“Modern death requires an irreversible loss of brain function. When the brain runs out of blood flow (ischemia) and oxygen (anoxia), the patient faints in a fraction of a minute and his electroencephalogram or EEG becomes isoelectric ̵
“This implies that large-scale, spatially distributed electrical activity within the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, has broken down.
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Research showed that people who have an NDE tend to have less fear of death and less interest in material functions.
They are also less competitive and less interested in their personal status.
A Western University statement said, “This is important because it indicates that individuals do not have negative relationships with their NDEs.”