What if consciousness exists apart from a physical body? Many would then have to revise their worldview. They would have to acknowledge the reality of the world of spirits and surrender the worldview that they had held – naturalism, materialism, and perhaps even atheism. Instead, it is easier to dogmatically proclaim that spiritual realities are not within the purview of science.
However, it seems that science can speak to the question of consciousness existing apart from a body:
· Of the 2,060 patients from Austria, the US and the UK interviewed for the study who had survived cardiac arrest, almost 40 per cent said that they recall some form of awareness after being pronounced clinically dead. http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/670781/There-IS-life-after-DEATH-Scientists-reveal-shock-findings-from-groundbreaking-study
· Of those who said they had experienced some awareness, just two per cent said their experience was consistent with the feeling of an outer body experience – where one feels completely aware and can hear and see what’s going on around them after death. Almost half of the respondents said the experience was not of awareness, but rather of fear.
One man was able to recall the events in the hospital with “eerie accuracy” after he had “died temporarily.”
This finding has often been reported but often ignored. Why? Perhaps Dr. Parnia’s response is illuminative:
· “The detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events."
· "This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions.”
These findings are not unusual. Wikipedia reports:
· In a review article B. Greyson refers to Van Lommel's study (as well as other sources) and mentions that there have been "documented and corroborated accurate perceptions by near-death experiencers of incidents that occurred during the time when the brain was fully anesthetized or deprived of blood flow, as during cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest". B. Greyson also mentions that apparently some patients reported events that occurred beyond what their sense organs could perceive and that would have been impossible for them to perceive even in a conscious state. (Greyson, Bruce (2015-11-09). "Western Scientific Approaches to Near-Death Experiences". Humanities. 4 (4): 775–796. doi:10.3390/h4040775.)
· Another review article reports that 41 (12%) of the cardiac arrest patients interviewed provided accounts similar to the Sam Parnia's 2001 study. Also, the same review article. One patient had a conventional out of body experience where he reported being able to watch and recall events during the time of his cardiac arrest. His claims were confirmed by hospital personnel. “This did not appear consistent with hallucinatory or illusory experiences, as the recollections were compatible with real and verifiable rather than imagined events”. (Parnia, Sam (2014-11-01). "Death and consciousness--an overview of the mental and cognitive experience of death". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1330: 75–93. doi:10.1111/nyas.12582)
These findings point powerfully to another reality, a spiritual reality, outside of the physical. If this is so, then the existence of a supreme Spirit Being from which all the spiritual entities derive their existence, becomes very probable.
P. van Lommel concluded:
· How could a clear consciousness outside one's body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG?... (the) NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation. (van Lommel P, van Wees R, Meyers V, Elfferich I. (2001) "Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands" in The Lancet, December 15; 358(9298):2039–45)
However, such findings are ignored, because they do not fit into the prevailing materialistic paradigm – that nothing exists outside of the physical world. To suggest otherwise opens the door to considerations about the existence of God – an inconvenient and uncomfortable truth.