In March 2014, I published my first book Auf der Suche nach der Ewigkeit [Quest for Eternity] in the German-speaking part of Europe.
Much has happened since.
I wrote the book over a period of six month after a quasi near-death experience. Since I did not really have a target group back then (and no publisher), I actually wrote the manuscript for myself.
For a man in his mid-forties, a rationally minded database programmer with a quasi near-death experience, who started a search for himself and eternity and, most of all, for a answer to the question: Am I still going to exist after death or not?
Everything I experienced and found, together with the worldview that developed through this, I have written down. I did so, so I would not forget because the connections and insights I have found are complex and from a logical standpoint very fascinating and most of all enlightening.
I did not want to fall back into a state of not-knowing, not ever. This book was finished, and without making the effort of finding a publisher, I informed myself and, without further ado, published the book myself.
That should have been it but suddenly the book was selling well, and as time passed, increasingly so. A Facebook page I created to complement the book, accumulated more and more followers, the number of “Likes” quickly reached a five-digit area. More books and a closed German speaking group (Jenseitige Welten) where readers can discuss the topics of my books and that of Biggy Weber in a safe environment was added. In the meantime, I have published my fourth book on this fascinating area of topics.
And now the English translation of my first book came into being.
For all this, I am very grateful and hope you enjoy this book that has been read my so many people in my country and helped them to understand.
WHEN WE DIE
“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”
- Lao Tzu -
Dr. Sam Parnia is an American cardiologist and initiator of the AWARE study (a study of the death process and related near-death experiences, initiated in 2008). The study examines the death process aiming to bring those who are suffering a heart attack back to life without permanent damage. He has recently published the book Erasing Death (Parnia, S., Young, J., (2013) HarperOne Press.). Here, he describes how, after a cardiac arrest, all organs cease to function and the process of death begins. Dr. Parnia argues that death is not a point in time but rather a process that, under certain conditions, can be revoked hours after it has begun without the patient having suffered permanent brain damage. He further states that seconds after a cardiac arrest our organs cease to function – including our brain as soon as it is no longer provided with oxygen and nutrients.
Nowadays, we are able to measure cortical brain activity with help of EEG (Electroencephalography). The cortex (cerebral cortex) is the outer part of our brain that allegedly provides us with the qualities that make us human – vital functions such as mobility, hearing, sight, smell, memory, perception, speech, and our “I”. I will argue later that we do not take residence in our brain.
Parnia observed, how a cardiac arrest (circulatory collapse) is followed by hypoxia. This leads to unconsciousness within seconds. Consciousness is “switched of” and with it, all the functions that make us human. Medical consensus dictates that, in this state, the brain is not capable of producing or maintaining consciousness. It can neither process nor store information. This loss of function can be visualized using an EEG. Parnia found that about 1% of those who had suffered and survived a cardiac arrest report (some days or weeks later, when asked) a near-death experience. The percentage is significantly higher when those who have just awoken from an operation or out of a coma are asked. That leads Parnia to assume that all people in a similar situation have similar experiences. They just forgot about it, as happens with dreams. In my opinion this is quite plausible. Think of the dream you had two days ago. Can you still remember it?
Parnia’s observations regarding near-death experiences are as such: Right after a circulatory collapse, many people find themselves floating above their bodies. In most cases, they calmly observe the medical personnel trying to bring them back to life. These are experiences that are explicitly portrayed and can be confirmed by the medical personnel that was in the room at the time. The patients could not have been experiencing this through their sensory organs since their cardiac arrest has caused the circulatory collapse described above which is accompanied by the loss of organic functions. As a result, the brain is not capable of absorbing or processing information.
And certainly not so, I would like to add, in the structured and logical way in which patients describe their near-death experiences. (More about this in the Chapter “Near-death experiences”.)
Parnia uses the term actual death experience. When a patient is suffering a circulatory collapse, “there is some process that leads to inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutritions to the cells in each organ. […] When this process happens to the heart, it stops working. There is no longer a system to pump blood around the body, the organs become deprived of oxygen and stop working within seconds, and we are then lifeless. This was the end – or at least this is what has been considered for millennia to be the end. Incredibly, it now doesn’t seem to be.” (Parnia, S., Young, J., (2013), p. 20). Since this end is called death, I find Parnia’s term actual death experience very befitting since the experiences described by patients occur after their actual death.
Parnia makes two very interesting observations:
Since these experiences (time-wise) occur at a stage when the brain is no longer working, the following question has to be asked: What is it that now produces and maintains consciousness when the brain has verifiably ceased to function? And where is the information stored (since patients recount the occurring events from memory)?
How can our brain cells, whose main function it is to process oxygen and nutrients, produce something as complex as consciousness?
Thus, Parnia has boiled it down to the essence. Consciousness and all of its experiences must be “stored” outside our brain, in some place that is beyond our knowledge and which we do not know of (yet). This place has many names and should not be searched for in this perishable, material world. I will introduce you to some of the most common terms throughout the course of this book.
In October 2014, one and a half years after publishing the first outcomes, Parnia and his team presented the preliminary results.
In total, 2060 patients with cardiac arrest were examined in hospitals in Great Britain, Australia and the United States. 140 out of 340 survivors were questioned right after they woke up. 101 patients, in addition to that, participated in a questioning some weeks later.
40 percent of survey participants report of conscious and structured perceptions after the cardiac arrest has set in. Two percent were able to describe, in detail, the carried-out resuscitation procedures. One patient (!) had a near-death experience in a (verified) period, in which conscious perceptions are impossible, according to approved medical principals. From this can be concluded that near-death experiences neither are imaginations nor wishful thinking nor hallucinations. They are real. But, for the time being, we are only able to watch the “other side” for a few minutes. I am curious how the mainstream of science will react on this.
“In the beginning was the word (the logos)” and not matter. This is the origin of a dispute between two groups, materialists and dualists, that has been going on for millennia. One side says: our consciousness is produced by our brains and dies with it. The other side says: the mind has created matter and controls it. Body and soul exist apart from each other and together form a temporal unity. When the body dies, the soul continues to exist.
It is science that commonly represents materialism and accuses believers of believing in myths and rejecting the facts. They often claim that one day they will prove that there is no such thing as an immortal soul and that there is nothing that one can see, feel or measure. And this should be proof in itself!
Neither one can be proven. If it could, our reality would lose its (primeval) purpose: the shaping and ripening of individual creative consciousness in a world full of contradiction and antagonism (called duality in this book). Being able to prove merely one aspect 100% would disable us to choose. But this is what we should do as often and intensively as possible. It is ultimately decisions that let us grow.
The age we are living in is exciting. It is a time of change. Almost daily, assumptions and discoveries are being made that there is something else out there, something we cannot grasp or measure. A future without death but with eternal progressive development in a fantastic world that exists among us and that is as tremendous as it is inconceivable.
To claim something does not exist just because we cannot see or perceive it, is highly arrogant. Just look at it this way:
Our eyesight only allows us to detect a very tiny part of our universe. This part consists of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Taking everything into account, looking at the great big picture, our eyes can only see a fraction – which amounts to almost nothing. The microcosm, the world of bacteria and viruses, the world of atoms and particles remains just as hidden to us as the entire universe, except for the few shining dots we see in the night sky. Taking this as a benchmark, we are basically blind.
If we take all our perceptive senses, all that we can touch, feel, perceive together with what we can measure or detect with the assistance of technical equipment, the amount of information we are able to extract from the known and “unknown” universe, is so very small and adds up to such a small amount of the actual amount of information of the known and the “unknown” that the floating-point number resulting from it tends to zero.
I do not know this for sure, but the number of zeros right of the comma, which is supposed to represent the percentage of what we know, is probably greater than the number of letters in this book (approx. 500 000). The (supposed) amount of information in its entirety contains not only the mere existence of maybe 100 billion x 100 billion stars but the exact information about every single star, its planets and its characteristics.
Add to this the even greater amount of information about the assumed rest (95% dark matter and energy). And this for all 9+ (string theory) dimensions and throughout all existing times, such as past, present and future.
In comparison to that, what do we really know, verifiably? What we believe to know about our own planet, is infinitesimally slim. We do not have any more blank spots on our world map but the oceans and the inner planet still remain essentially unexplored. Not to mention our solar system and all the rest out there. NASA launched the space probe IRIS on June the 28th 2013 aiming to understand how our sun actually works. We are merely at the beginning of our explorations of outer space. We do not even know our own star that well, not to talk about all the others out there.
And it gets even worse: All this is based on what we think we do not know. That is to say: dark matter and energy (first discovered in 1995), the remaining parts of our universe, other universes and so on… It is very probable that the total amount of what we are unable to explain drastically increases in the years to come.
Considering all these numbers and forecasts, I ask myself: Who is building on sand here? Those of us that seek their salvation in spirituality and religion or those who rely on what science can show us? Religions insist on their doctrine. Sometimes they adjust to new insights and scientific consensus (earth is not the center of the universe/ life did not develop in 6 days). At the core, however, their message remains.
Science loves presenting its insights as if they were set in stone (as were the 10 commandments, by the way) and are absolute as presented. Unchangeable and forever true – it might often seem. But the general consensus often had to rectify some of its assertions, to correct them or down straight discard them. (By the way, the 10 commandments still stand.) I will now give you some examples and show you that the general consensus has little to offer that can be proven for certain.
In this context, the only statement we can be sure of is: “The universe is full of enigmas and mysteries!”
Our brain is not capable of generating consciousness. To support this statement, I will give you an analogy:
Our brain functions analog like a TV antenna, like a receiver, that can also transmit. If the antenna is defect or misaligned, you cannot receive any images on your TV. That does not mean that the image (film/movie) is gone. The information is still available and exists all around us. As soon as the antenna is fixed or properly aligned, we can “receive” the image once again. Let me explain some more using dementia as an example. As the illness progresses, patients lose their memory and their experiences. Since we are, generally speaking, the sum of our memories, it seems as if the patient´s personality disintegrates. A frightening event for all parties involved. However, a dement person does not get erased bit by bit. Their “antenna” simply gets progressively misaligned.
Perhaps you have heard that some people who suffer from dementia shortly before their death suddenly regain their memories and lucidity (their memories were never really gone). Medicine calls this “terminal lucidity”, a phenomenon that even today cannot be scientifically explained. The person close to her or his death says farewell to her or his loved ones and goes to a place we all get to go to some day when we “die”. It is the place that represents our true home and that I will further illustrate both scientifically and spiritually.
You will learn about the Field where every thought that has ever been thought exists. Every picture that has ever been seen is stored here with all the experienced emotions it has generated. This place is also the causal origin of the forms known to us, as for example ice crystals and spirals. This field is what gives species their appearance. It is a species memory. All consciousness is connected to and through this field. In the entire cosmos, there is no consciousness that is not connected to “God’s network”.
Within this field there is a place we go to after leaving our body that I call the “worlds beyond of earth”.
Can I prove this? If I could, I would reduce my own philosophy and all of reality (the dualism of consciousness) to absurdity. But I will give you a long list of highly sustainable indications that, put together, will form a strong chain of arguments that only allows one compelling conclusion: There is a never-ending process of creation, an all-embracing plan and no matter what kind of person you are or what you believe in or not: you are more than the person that smiles at you in the mirror every morning.
To those who are yet doubtful, how about a little wager? A wager Pascal offers us (“Pascal’s Wager” - see attachment). He wagers that God exists!
Here, as in everything else, there are numerous contrary points of views. Google will show you many websites that argue well and conclusively that we are dealing with a deception full of fallacies. Other sites value Pascal’s wager as absolute proof of God.
Some of the arguments regarding God are interesting for they all present God as something comprehensive and human-like. Be assured that on this planet there are 7 400 000 000 different standpoints and concepts when it comes to God. Surely “he” is not a “he”! More on that in the Chapter “Essence of God”.
In the meantime, how about a little wager? I wager there is an all-embracing truth and existence, something we call God and that you are not outside of it, on the contrary, you are part of it!
Do you bet against it?
Religions and science exist not as far apart from each other as one might think. They only have different ways of approaching the same phenomenon.
Our soul and mind originate in and from God. Neither God nor our soul can be scientifically explained (not yet). I will demonstrate to you that we have an immortal soul, that we live in God and have been created by Him from and thorough His will.
You do not like the term “God”? Neither do I. There is no word in our vocabulary that comes even close to describing “all that there is”. Since I am unable to offer a better alternative, I will stick with “God”. Lacking further alternatives, I will use the word “angel” and for the hereafter the term “worlds beyond”. Should you have a different or a more precise term for yourself, feel free to use it as a substitute. It is merely my way of naming things and, according to Goethe, a “name is sound and smoke”. By the way, this is also exactly why in some religions it is forbidden to make an image of God.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to meet a man with whom I quickly got into a deep conversation about death. In addition to his job as a curate, Wolfgang works at a hospice in a voluntary capacity. There he accompanies people on their final journey. During the conversation, he told me that he can often smell that a person is going to die – often days ahead. What amazes him is that others cannot perceive this particular smell. Only once could a doctor confirm this scent. My first thought went to that unpleasant smell that dying people have due to the change in metabolism. A sweet/sour unpleasant odor. He shook his head and said that the scent he perceives is very pleasant, almost beguiling. For him it is an infallible indication that the person is going to leave this world within days.
This interested me and I began researching and came across some explanations that suggest that angels accompany the dying person “home”. This also explains why, in many cases, the dying person does not feel fear. They relax and become peaceful.
Consciousness changes its oscillation during the process of dying or, in other words, its frequency changes (I cannot express it any better). For a short period, the dying person has access to both worlds: since they resonate with both. Thus, they speak, for example, with friends and relatives who have already passed away, who wish to welcome, accompany and comfort them. These souls can only be seen by the dying. Only those able to experience emphatic near-death experiences, are able to share this experience of a dying person transitioning to the here-after. If you wish to know more about this phenomenon, I recommend the book Glimpses of Eternity by R. Moody and P. Perry.
During my research, I came across the story of a surgery nurse who was also able to detect the peculiar scent and thus knew, even before the operation, if the patient was going to die or not.
There are more among us who can smell that a person is going to die with one hundred percent accuracy. Mostly, they work in the line of nursing and developed this ability through experience. This phenomenon is better known when it comes to animals which can detect the transition of a person and not only through their olfactory senses (see Chapter “Let the Children come to Me”).
At the (supposed) end of our life, on our deathbed, we often have insights, that would have given us a fulfilled life had we lived by them. We regret that, out of consideration for others, we did not live our life the way we wanted to. We regret spending more time with our jobs and careers than with our family and friends. That we lost contact to friends and left in quarrel. The list goes on and on. Shortly before we die, we see what is truly important in life. In this context, the question arises: Do we have to wait for our deathbed to have those insights?
No, we do not.
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