“And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” -Genesis 2:7
Research conducted by 32 scientists in the United States, United Kingdom, and Austria discovered the astounding fact that individuals in a state of cardiac arrest, i.e., their hearts and respiration have stopped and, within seconds, cessation of all brain function, nevertheless experienced consciousness, despite clinically undetectable consciousness.
Their findings are published as an article titled “AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study,” in the journal Resuscitation (September 2014).
The researchers discovered this a 4 year multi-center study of 2,060 cardiac arrest (CA) survivors in 15 US, UK and Austrian hospitals. The method used was a three stage quantitative and qualitative interview system, including specific tests to determine the accuracy of the survivors’s claims of visual and auditory awareness while in a state of cardiac arrest.
The researchers found that these individuals, while their hearts had stopped, nevertheless experienced a broad range of cognitive themes, with 2% exhibiting full awareness. The scientists conclude that their findings supports other recent studies that indicate consciousness may be present despite clinically undetectable consciousness.
Among 2060 CA events, 140 survivors completed stage 1 interviews. 101 of these 140 patients completed stage 2 interviews.
These were the research’s findings: 1. 46% of CA survivors had memorieswith 7 major cognitive themes:
Fear: “I felt scared”; “I was terrified. I was told I was going to die and the quickest way was to say the last short word I could remember”; “Being dragged through deep water with a big ring and I hate swimming—it was horrid”.
Animals/plants: “All plants, no flowers”; “Saw lions and tigers”.
Bright light: “The sun was shining”; “Recalled seeing a golden flash of light”.
Violence/persecution: “Being dragged through deep water”; “This whole event seemed full of violence and I am not a violent man, it was out of character”; “I had to go through a ceremony and … the ceremony was to get burned. There were 4 men with me, whichever lied would die…. I saw men in coffins being buried upright.”
Deja-vu: “…experienced a sense of De-ja vu and felt like knew what people were going to do before they did it after the arrest. This lasted about 3 days.”
Family: “Family talking 10 or so. Not being able to talk to them”; “My family (son, daughter, son-in-law and wife) came”.
Events immediately post-CA: Experienced “a tooth coming out when tube was removed from my mouth”.
2. 9% had near death experiences (NDEs):
One person’s NDE: “I have come back from the other side of life…God sent (me) back, it was not (my) time—(I) had many things to do…(I traveled) through a tunnel toward a very strong light, which didn’t dazzle or hurt (my) eyes…there were other people in the tunnel whom (I) did not recognize. When (I) emerged (I) described a very beautiful crystal city… there was a river that ran through the middle of the city (with) the most crystal clear waters. There were many people, without faces, who were washing in the waters…the people were very beautiful… there was the most beautiful singing…(and I was) moved to tears. (My) next recollection was looking up at a doctor doing chest compressions”.
3. 2% described awareness with explicitrecall of “seeing” and “hearing” actual events related to their resuscitation:
“At the beginning, I think, I heard the nurse say ‘dial 444 cardiac arrest’. I felt scared. I was on the ceiling looking down. I saw a nurse that I did not know beforehand who I saw after the event. I could see my body and saw everything at once. I saw my blood pressure being taken whilst the doctor was putting something down my throat. I saw a nurse pumping on my chest…I saw blood gases and blood sugar levels being taken.”
4. One had a verifiable period ofconscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected.
The scientists express perplexity about their findings:
“there is no measurable brain function within seconds after cardiac standstill. This ‘flatlined’ isoelectric brain state which occurs with CA onset usually continues throughout CPR since insufficient cerebral blood flow (CBF) is achieved to meet cerebral metabolic requirements during conventional CPR. Howeverit was estimated our patient maintained awareness for a number of minutes into CA.While certain deep coma states may lead to a selective absence of cortical electrical activity in the presence of deeper brain activity, this seems unlikely during CA as this condition is associated with global rather than selective cortical hypoperfusion as evidenced by the loss of brain stem function. Thus, within a model that assumes a causative relationship between cortical activity and consciousness the occurrence of mental processes and the ability to accurately describe events during CA as occurred in our verified case of VA [visual awareness] when cerebral function is ordinarily absent or at best severely impaired is perplexing. This is particularly the case as reductions in CBF [cerebral blood flow] typically lead to delirium followed by coma, rather than an accurate and lucid mental state.”
No doubt you’ve all read about near-death experiences (NDE).
Only a minority of NDEs are hellish, including Bill Clinton’s in September 2004 when he had a quadruple bypass surgery, wherein he found himself in a dark hellish place; only the faces of Chelsea and Hillary brought him solace. As he recounted in an interview on ABC’s Primetime Live:
“I saw, like, dark masks crushing, like, death masks being crushed, in series, and then I’d see these great circles of light and then, like, Hillary’s picture or Chelsea’s face would appear on the light, and then they’d fly off into the dark.”
Most NDE accounts that I’ve read, however, are of Heaven and of encounters with the divine in the form of the purest, most brilliant (but not blinding) light. From those accounts, it would seem that Heaven is the destiny for most of us.
That is not so, according to a U.S. Marine from Louisiana named Shawn Weed who had a frightening 8-minute NDE of a terrible place — the vestibule to Hell.
Below is his account as transcribed and summarized by Michael Brown of Spirit Daily, followed by Weed’s 1+hour-long video.
To recount: on a break from the Marines and relaxing (“chilling”) with two Marine buddies (one a corporal, the other an S-2 intelligence agent), Weed and his friends were goofing around taking pictures of a noose that was placed over his neck when — caught from behind by one of the men, who thought it would be even funnier to tighten the noose a bit — Weed was suddenly unable to inhale, unbeknown to his colleagues, who had snapped a few photographs of the “gag” and thought Weed was prolonging the stunt.
He was anything but.
Weed found himself unable to breathe. Desperate, the Marine had tried to loosen the noose strangling him. That proved impossible. Suddenly, he found himself there in the room, but in an entirely new way, now staring at his own body in the same room as his Marine buddies, who took an appallingly long while to notice that he was unconscious and in trouble. His spirit had left his body.
With equal suddenness, Weed next found himself out of the room and in a totally unfamiliar otherworldly place with darkness so thick and solid black it nearly had a texture: a vast region or plane that seemed to have no ground or floor, and yet with something that he was standing on, like air but hard, a place he didn’t recognize at all: no light, no wind, no sound, standing on nothing, as if in a giant warehouse. The only light was a dim light coming from his own form. He felt stuck despite trying to stride forward to find an exit. “I had no clue,” he says, “where I was.”
“I began to realize that I was standing in-between two parallel planes that stretch on forever and there’s no walls, there’s no doors, there’s no windows, I’m trapped in between these two parallel planes, and there’s no way out.
“From that point I became very scared but before I could even think of another thought I was snatched off of my feet by a very, very large demon. And of course for me, I didn’t know what had happened. It was like getting hit by a truck and having no clue that it was ever coming. This thing had come upon me so fast and caught me with such complete surprise and was so big, I can’t possibly begin to describe what it feels like to be in the grips of something that big.
“I had this shooting pain from my head to my feet, like a bolt of electricity but not stopping. And I had this pounding sensation, this hurting, pounding sensation from my left shoulder and I saw these fingers that came down to roughly to the bottom of my chest. The depth of its hands went from the side of my neck the breadth of my shoulder. That was the width of its hand. The color of its skin was black and red. I don’t know if it was red with black shadows moving across it or red with a black oily substance like a cloud moving beneath the skin so it makes it have a perception of moving while standing still, like the sky with clouds moving. I was watching these giant red fingers with blackness moving through them and this thing was crushing my left shoulder.”
“This thing had me and was just smiling at me, waiting for me to look at it. When I looked over my shoulder, this thing was grotesque. It sounds even more crazy, but it was like thirteen feet tall. Anything you want to know in this place you can ask it in your mind and the answer is given to you and when I thought how big it was, ‘thirteen feet’ came to me. All I know it was huge, ripped through with muscles. No hair, no beard. Just completely hairless and humanoid in shape — two legs, two arms, one mouth, one nose, two ears. The differences were this: where our eyes are white, its were yellow, and where our irises are green or blue or brown, its irises were gold and diamond-shaped like a snake’s. It had a really wide flat nose and gleaming white teeth, perfectly shaped like a human’s. The only thing strange about the teeth is where we have the canines, it had two tusks coming out of its mouth like a boar, a wild pig.
“The thing picked me up like I weighed nothing to it. And it was taking me along for a ride. I only looked at its face for a second. That’s all it took. As a man, I’m not afraid of any other man on the face of this earth. I will fight any man, I don’t care how much bigger they are than me. But this thing? There was no fighting it. It was far too big. It was like it weighed three or four thousand pounds. You could take one of me and put another on top of me and you still wouldn’t be as tall. This thing had me by the shoulder and was moving at a very fast velocity. It felt like a hundred miles an hour and it had complete control. There was nothing, nothing at all, I could do to get away. I had seen that face for only a second and it was enough to scare me. I’m pretty sure it would scare anyone.”
All hope drained from Weed. It seemed like it was all over. “I think that the strength of hope is with God and without God and any hope you don’t really have a reason to live and to fight and you don’t have any strength whatsoever,” he says in the video (which you can view below). “Without hope you don’t have strength. After hope left me, and it was taking me wherever it wanted to take me.” The thought came to him that they were headed from the “outer darkness” (what he later wondered is what the Bible calls “Abraham’s bosom”) toward the fiery part (the “fire and brimstone”) of hell.
This confused Weed.
He was no saint. He was indifferent (or what the Bible says about being “lukewarm”). He “drank like a fish,” many nights, and smoked some cigarettes; slept around. Who knows what else.
But he didn’t consider himself a “bad” person. He was no murderer. He’d never molested a child. He occasionally went to church.
And so he found it “mortally appalling” that he was “being taken to hell” — by a towering demon.
Sounds preposterous, until you watch and listen to Weed tell it.
Fantasy? Like a comic book drama?
If so, it’s one that makes this tough-looking Marine weep at several junctures.
That crying begins when he describes (starting around 52 minutes into the video) how he was rescued — by an angel.
“I was just an average guy,” he said. “I never pictured myself as bad.” As he thought of such things he saw a pinprick of light.
“As I was thinking this to myself — that I’m not such a bad guy — that’s when that light appeared,” he says, “and I looked up at it — like a star far off in the night sky, something so tiny and insignificant and far away that it couldn’t possibly help me.
“Then it moved off to the left a little bit and went back to the right. It moved and I wondered, ‘What is that?’ and I began focusing on it and it came rushing at me like — the only way I could describe it — the speed of this thing was like a bolt of lightning.
“It came at me so fast that one second it was just a tiny little star in the night sky and the next there was blinding white light and his hand was reaching down to me and it was an angel [here he begins to weep].
“My hand just reached up and grabbed this hand, my reflex was just to grab this hand. And as soon as I touched this hand all three of us were motionless and standing on this ground that you can’t see.
“This beast, this demon, still had me by the shoulder and instinctively I knew to stand still because I knew if I moved it would have ripped my shoulder and arm off and beaten me with it. It was just that massively strong. There was something in me telling me, ‘Don’t move. Don’t move.’
“I was just standing there looking up at this angel and this angel was like nine feet six inches tall and had brown wavy hair pushed to the back and had olive-colored skin, it wasn’t really white, it wasn’t really black, it was somewhere in between, but the light that was emanating from within it was so bright white that it practically overshadowed the color of its skin.
“I say ‘it’ because it wasn’t really a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ although the body was shaped like a ‘he,’ like a male, and when you looked at its face it’s like the most handsome man you have ever seen combined with the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I mean, when you look at this angel, you think, ‘Wow, he is beautiful.’ I know this is a funny thing to say. In the vernacular, a man is ‘handsome’ and a woman is ‘beautiful.’
“But this angel was just beautiful.
“Its eyes were blue — I mean perfect blue. If someone took a piece of the sky and put it in its eyes, or a cup from the ocean, and put it in its eyes, there were no flaws in them. Just perfect. Just beautiful.
“He was shaped like a man with a chest and strong arms and an Adam’s apple, a strong man, more like a fitness-trainer strong, not body-builder strong like the demon with muscles popping from where they shouldn’t be. But you can tell this angel was there to fight and he had on a white robe cut in a v-neck in the front and gold along the edge of his collar like embroidered and this robe was kind of like a white Roman tunic that came just before below his knees and elbows and I was just blown away by it.
“I’m looking up at it and blown away by its brightness and beauty and at the same time frozen in place and you could feel [the] anger [from the demon] like heat and it looked around to see what had stopped it: It turned around and was ready to fight, make no mistake; this demon was ready to get down in the worst way — but as it whipped around, this angel — its speed was just incredible and it just rushed forward and with open palm hit this demon and had to angle its arm upwards at about the height of its head to hit this demon in the chest and it hit this demon with such power — I can’t describe the fierceness of it, the power of this thing. It hit this demon with such force that its hand was literally ripped from my shoulder and it had no clue what had hit him.
“By the time it turned its head it was already hit.
“And this demon was hit with such force that it literally folded up and flew backwards.”
The angel, allegedly, according to the Marine, then called Weed by a “long” mystical name.
“It called me this name to let me know more or less that I still had a chance to make it into Heaven, that I had a heavenly name, and that I squandered it, I wasted it, and if this had been my ultimate time, that’s where I would have stayed. When he called me this long name, it was a feeling of ‘home.'”
The name was just as quickly removed from his memory.
“It looked at me and it began to speak at me and its voice was like a waterfall. If a waterfall could speak, like a rushing sound. I understood it was converting my understanding to understanding its language. It didn’t descend down to my broken language of English. It elevated me up to understand its language and he looked at me and said, ‘Hello, my name is Michael’ [Weed weeps again].’ I immediately knew this was the Archangel of the Bible.”
The demon was trying to get back, claims Weed, and the angel “gave me a saddened look and he said, ‘Your time has not yet come. It’s time for you to go.'”
Immediately the Marine was back in his body, as immediately as he had left. Shawn opened his eyes; he came back to “life”; there he was, back in the room with his friends; lying on the sofa they had placed him on; he said it took twenty minutes to recover use of his body, as they tried to revive him (successfully, happily).
Devote life to God as much as you possibly can.
It’s not enough to say you believe. You must believe.
It’s not enough to not be a killer, or an abuser.
You must be holy.
“If that makes a Bible-thumping Christian, so be it,” says the Marine. “I’d rather be a Bible-thumping Christian than in the ‘middle,’ because I know where that gets you (Revelation 3:20). We don’t realize the reality of the place. I was at the doorstep of hell. I know for certain that it does exist because that’s where [before Michael] it was taking me.”
“God in the beginning created human beings and made them subject to their own free choice.” -Sirach 15:14
John Walsh reports for The Independent, Jan. 29, 2014, that H. L. Mencken once defined the conscience as “the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking.”
For centuries we thought that the conscience was just some faculty of moral insight in the human mind, an innate sense that one was behaving well or badly. Some religions say the conscience was given to us by God, to give humans a choice between sin and Paradise.
Now, thanks to neuroscience, we’ve found the actual, physical thing itself.
Scientists at Oxford University recently made a startling discovery: they found a region of the brain that makes you wonder if you’ve done something wrong, and whether you’d have been well advised to do something better.
That region is called the lateral frontal pole. It’s the size of a large Brussels sprout and it’s unique to humans: monkeys and other primates don’t have it.
Scientists already knew that the brain can monitor decisions it has made. It tells itself: “I have chosen to follow this track in the forest and it’s turning out to be a sunlit pathway/sodden jungle”, but it registers no more nuanced reaction than that.
What this newly discovered region does, however, is to identify other paths that it might have been better to take. “This region monitors how good the choices are that we don’t take,” said Professor Matthew Rushworth, who led the research, “How green the grass is on the other side.”
The lateral frontal pole, in short, informs us that we’ve made the wrong choice.
This is about good and bad, right and wrong. This is about the brain’s connection to morality. This means that the Oxford scientists, without apparently realizing what they’ve done, have located the conscience.
The lateral frontal pole prefrontal cortex is found at the very front of the brain (shaded in dark pink) with one just above each eyebrow
Humans have two lateral frontal poles! One above and behind each eyebrow!
But why would we need two consciences? Maybe they’re our good and bad selves — the angel and devil traditionally thought to reside on human shoulders.
Science has suddenly become exciting. By next week they’ll probably have discovered the exact whereabouts of the soul. Can you imagine the look on famous atheist Richard Dawkins’s face if they did?