When does the near-death experience occur? (or, do we need a brain to think?)
The most important question about the near-death experience (NDE) turns out to be a very simple one: When does it occur? Does it occur in the last few minutes of life, when those who have had one think it occurs? Or is it an invention of the mind after the fact of recovery to full consciousness … ?
Science has now answered this question. The facts of the NDE, supported by 50 years of clinical AND experimental research are clear: it is in fact the dying experience. It happens [to all — in all cultures — and no matter how they died ] in the last few minutes of life.
Unfortunately, most scientists, especially neuroscientists who specialize in studying how the brain works, seem completely unaware of the research …
It is reasonable to ask if near-death experiences are then simply the result of a dysfunctional dying brain, with all the release of endorphins, endopyschosins (neurotransmitters that cause hallucinatory experiences). … All of life could be considered in that perspective.
The science of the near-death experience is clear. We die awake, aware, with an expanded sense of reality. … the common elements are that we die the life we live, in terms of the specifics of the experience. However, we all die consciously, learning lessons of love about our life. … I see it as circumstantial evidence that we continue to live, that death is just a body problem. After all, why would we have evolved a complex neurobiological system involving easily 25% of our brain [the portion of brain concerned with spiritual experience], just to give us a pleasing hallucination at the point of death?