In connection with Lama Ole Nydahl’s forthcoming teachings in London on “Death and Rebirth“, we reproduce here an article from Time Magazine published two years ago. It is an interview with British scientist Dr. Sam Parnia, an expert on the scientific study of death and author of “What Happens When We Die“.
What Happens When We Die?
By M.J. STEPHEY Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008
Dr. Sam Parnia
A fellow at New York City’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world’s leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind “out-of-body” experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project’s origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain.
What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people’s claims of “near-death” experience?
When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases —as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, (more…)