Apparitions and After Death Communication (ADC)

So straight in with the second big question in as many blogs, no messing around (again): “Can human consciousness exist when the brain is fully and permanently incapacitated and does consciousness exist beyond death?”.

From the outset, evidence to support apparitions and ADC (After Death Communication) is less robust than that of NDE’s on the basis that they are not direct reports from those who are having the experience, they are as it were the projections of consciousness from other people, people who no longer reside in this plane of existence.

There are of course countless tales of ghosts and apparitions through the ages, that being a vision (or otherwise) of someone or in some cases something that has deceased which manages somehow to manifest its non-material self into being.

In the more intriguing of cases, information has been presented which the viewer could not have possibly known (should indeed these be truthful counts of what actually happened). Studies into such phenomenon pre-date (and no doubt outweigh) by some way those of Near Death Experiences.

Deathbed visions feature prominently in such studies, and that in itself is something I have second-hand experience of. My gran on my mum’s side became ill and it was her decision to pass over at home, surrounded by her family (a much more common thing is those days – 1960’s). In the hours before her death, she drifted in and out of consciousness, but towards the end of her life in this place, she became very lucid, her demeanour notably changing for the good. Minutes before she died, she sat upright in bed without aid and with a smile on her face opened her eyes. Her vision was not on those physically present in the room, but on other characters, acknowledging each one in turn at the end of her bed. Once she had finished she lay back down on the bed and closed her eyes. Interestingly, such apparitions were only presented to my gran’s consciousness; no one else in the room could see what she was seeing. Within minutes the dreaded death rattle pierced the silence in the room and she was gone.

The experience was quite profound for some in the room, whilst scary for some, others fully understood the ramifications of what they had just witnessed, a full on spiritual experience.

Penny Sartori (the nurse, now doctor, referenced in my previous blog regarding Near Death Experiences) has witnessed this exact phenomena on several occasions in her then capacity of nurse and went on to study and write a book about it. Another one for my growing list…

Further second-hand experience of apparitions involved my eldest son who came in to our living room looking a little upset when he was about four. When asked what the matter was, he said that the man at the bottom of the stairs was hurt. He told us that he came downstairs and saw an old man with blood coming from his head and that we should come see and help. We followed him into the empty hallway, my son turning to us saying he had gone away now.

Although apparitions may appear spontaneously, apparitions or ADC can be induced either via hypnosis or deep meditation (rather than through a medium), both of which altered states of consciousness. Whilst the examples are interesting (revealing “facts” that the viewer could not have possibly known, such facts corroborated via independent means) the most intriguing case for me regarded a truck driver who passed away following a crash in my home town of Liverpool. Three days after he passed away, his partners’ sister was left an answer machine message from the trucker. She contacted the telephone company and they said that it was impossible for the service to make a mistake in terms of the time when the message was left and that although rare, it was not the first time someone had experienced phone calls from the dead.

After Death Communications (not via mediums) is not a new thing, ancient cultures have always connected with those who have passed for guidance and advice, although it must be said that in the “Western World”, such experiences are by and large seen as esoteric and too delusional to be taken seriously, with the sharer often ridiculed. That said, in my opinion there is a shift in consciousness about consciousness itself, and hopefully this will lead to more experiences being shared, which should (in theory) lead to less cases being debunked, paving the way to prove that consciousness does in fact exist beyond the brain beyond reasonable doubt.

I guess one of the main reasons why I took up yoga, meditation and reiki two years ago was my individual quest for the answer to the key questions posed in both this blog and my last. I for one want to experience things first-hand, on the basis that one can only truly confirm or deny whether something exists if one experiences things with the senses we have (five or otherwise). I have attained semi-altered states of consciousness via yoga/meditation, lucid dreaming and Lucia No 3 to some extent, and I will continue to do so to see what things are presented to me. I do believe that based on the wealth of evidence as well as the cases of my gran and son, that apparitions may well exist.

Whether that constitutes immaterial consciousness and consciousness outside of the brain cannot be confirmed. Yet…

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Near Death Experiences (NDE)

So straight in with the big question, no messing around: “Could human consciousness exist in the absence of a living brain?” Isn’t that the million dollar question…

I have over the years read a lot about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and find the whole think quite fascinating actually. I guess if one looks for evidence of non-local consciousness, then NDE’s (for me) are the most logical place to start.

Once the brain is clinically dead (and by that I infer that one is clinically dead with the cessation of cerebral blood flow and oxygen), then after a period of intense “about to die” brain activity (which could be explained as the final electrical surge during the glutamate flood), one is fact dead. Deceased. An ex-human. One is indeed pushing up the daisies…

Thinking of a logical simile, death is like a computer: when it’s time to log off you prepare yourself, click Start > Shut Down and the internal parts process such a request which results in a spike of electrical activity – shutting down all services and processes before finally presenting a black screen. Once in this mode, one can move the mouse or type on the keyboard, but alas there is no response (unless you resuscitate it by pressing the power button again of course). Our computer cannot experience or store anything whilst in this mode, so I guess this is where we as humans may differ and as such the search for synthetic or artificial consciousness will be in vain.

The catalogued NDE cases I’ve read are very interesting indeed, especially those OBE (Out of Body Experiences) where folks have witnessed items from way above their vantage points like mouse traps on high cupboards, shoes on a roof etc after all visible brain activity has ceased. No doubt there have been some seriously clever and impartial folks documenting and studying such events, and personally I would like to think that experiences like seeing deceased relatives, beings of light and tunnels are in fact evidence of something beyond this realm. If we can only experience five percent of the electro/audio magnetic spectrum of what we call reality with the limited five senses we have, then one has to conclude there is something else out there. Exactly what that is, I guess we may never know.

The more intriguing cases for me are NDE’s of the young, for surely if an infant has no preconceptions about religion, beings of light, tunnels and the concept of death, then if in those cases they were able to describe such things in detail then for me the evidence really does start to stack up. There was one case that Penny Sartori who studies and writes about NDE’s cited, whereby a four year old child (whom obviously had little/no religious experience) managed to describe their NDE in great detail; going into a tunnel, meeting people and seeing a gate which they never went through.

Whilst there are extremes variety and wealth of evidence both captured and studied, I ask myself the question whether consciousness is non-local based on the NDE’s evidence I have read thus far and can I presented can be regarded as being beyond reasonable doubt. There is still something which the logical part of me questions. Take time dilation. I have first-hand experience of time dilation when “not conscious”, through vivid dreams and the Lucid Light Device (Lucia No 3) where extensive periods of dream-time occur within seconds or minutes of real-time. NDE cases could simply be experiencing “something” during that shutdown mode when the brain is hyper-active based on preconceptions or religious/spiritual beliefs of the individual. However, what cannot be accounted for I suppose is where someone is clinically dead with no visible brain activity who experiences activities in our reality (like OBE’s in the operating theatre – as some have described in great detail) once the brain has flat-lined. What could possibly explain such a scenario other than concluding one of two things: the brain can continue to function for a time after clinical death when all observable life signs have ceased, or that indeed consciousness is non-local.

I cannot say that I have had an NDE, but I can say that whilst under the influence of Lucia No 3, I had what can only be described as near death experience “experience”. I saw a tunnel. I saw white amorphous shapes what could be regarded as beings of light. Could it be that by immersing oneself in total light, one can attain an altered state and voyage into the void, into what could possibly be the collective consciousness?

OPINION: I do believe that people do have NDE’s. I do believe that certain NDE’s are difficult to counter given some of the incredible and fantastic evidence. The more and more I read, the more and more I begin to believe that there is something else out there, and NDE’s help in some way to proving that. However, I would not go as far as to say that it is beyond reasonable doubt at this stage. No doubt if I had a full on NDE then I could be persuaded, but I’d rather not just yet if I’m honest…

The Noetic Nook

A NEW BLOG SITE FROM INFINITY BECKONS – CLICK HERE

Middle-age modern life as we know it is a very busy one. Those days of calling at a friends house and trundling down to the local pub to discuss the topics of the day are sadly long gone. The demands of the corporation and the family more often than not take priority over the wants and needs of the self.

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As a result, a friend and I have created another blog site, affectionately known as the  Noetic Nook, as we have been forced to take a modern approach to pub chat and more specifically book reviews. The emphasis of this site is to replace those hard to get to face to face meetings, with a clear focus on seeking out evidence to support ideas that there is more to this thing we call reality.

Each page of this site will review a specific book, with the reader/reviewer adding their own thoughts and experiences for each chapter, together with an overall rating at the end.

First up is The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness beyond the Brain by Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake.

Nothing will ever replace good old physical meetings, but this site will at least attempt to virtually plug that gap and act as a sounding board for those who use it (at a time that is convenient), helping to formulate an informed opinion on key subjects, ever hopeful of proving that in fact infinity beckons…

Significantly, this is blog number 101 on Infinity Beckons. The number 101 not only holds significance in The Matrix trilogy (Neo’s room number), but 101 by all accounts figuratively signifies the beginning of one’s esoteric and gnostic journey to self-actualization…

Breadcrumb Diary: Week 1 – 2015

It’s been a while since I have had the time to catalogue my synchronicities, serendipities and coincidences, but with a fully charged and de-stressed noggin (following sixteen glorious days off work) the time is right to start again…

#1: Don’t scry over spilt milk…

Due to everyone being off work or school for 2 weeks, our stocks and supplies depleted at an incredible rate during the holiday period and as a result, I found myself making many a trip to the local store to replenish rations. After a scan of the fridge, I made a mental note that we also needed milk as well as a few other bits. What struck me as peculiar was a sense of foreboding about my future dairy purchase, not that I would get run over by a Morrison’s lorry on the way, but that I had what can only be described as a future echo, a premonition of leaking milk. Thinking nothing more of it, off I trundled to the shop at the bottom of the hill and acquired the needful.

When I got back I placed the milk in the fridge, the bread in the bin and collected the pooch for his evening exercise. I was accompanied by Dr Ervin Laszlo via a podcast I had downloaded earlier, in which he described the Akashic Field, a theoretical and mystical cosmic field that connects and informs everything, everywhere and everywhen, both at the quantum and material level. It was very interesting and I look forward to reading his new book (with Anthony Peake) I gifted myself as a Yuletide present over the next few weeks.

After de-leading the dog, and putting the kettle on to thaw out my frozen digits, I turned to look at the fridge, and lo – there was a white substance oozing from the door. I opened the fridge door to see that the milk I had placed there forty-five minutes earlier had in fact leaked, dripped into the salad compartment below and out through the ageing front.

I don’t recall ever having such a strong feeling of precognition before (albeit on an incredibly mundane scale), but I’m certain this was a full on premonition. Why it occurred and why it was shown to me through the medium of milk, I cannot comment…

#2: Together in Electric Dreams…

I guess it is never wise to watch a “thinking man’s film” just before one retires for the evening but that’s what I did last night anyway. The film in question is called Primer, a sci-fi time travelling affair created in 2004 for a mere seven thousand dollars (grossing five-hundred-thousand dollars since then), which for the very limited budget was and is quite remarkable. It’s one of those Inception type movies where you will have a general idea about, then you’ll go and do some Googling, then watch it again, have a chat to some friends then watch it again, satisfied that you still don’t have a clue…

My youngest son had watched it over the holidays and said he’d like to watch it again so with the females in the house safely tucked up in bed, the three amigos (my eldest included) sat down to watch, deliberate and cogitate the films content before during and after the movie. We all came away a bit confused but in agreement that it was a bloody good effort.

I crawled into bed near midnight my mind still fizzing somewhat at what I had just seen. When I woke in the morning, the wife was not impressed. By all accounts, I spent the night ‘fitting again’ as she calls it. The dream I had was a tremendous one. I was in a town somewhere in the US minding my own business with the wife and daughter when all of a sudden dark clouds appeared on the horizon and quickly made their way towards us. As they approached, the winds started to whip around us and all too soon there was a panic in the streets and my wife and daughter where swept off in the midst of the crowds, separating themselves from me and then my vision. I made for a nearby hill to get a better look to see if I could spot where they were, when all of a sudden the buildings that lined the road to the top of the hill slipped down the hill (all in one piece though as if on a conveyor belt), and there I stood high the grassy peak, as the storm’s epicentre made it way directly for me.

It was then that it hit me, literally. There was a huge white flash as the lighting strike hit me directly on the top of my head. I recall a loud sound accompanied the blast as well as the force which came with the bolt, but it did not harm me, instead it gave me a gift, the gift of foresight. I made my way down the hill which one again turned into a town and made my way towards the train tracks. Thankfully the train was still stationary at the station, so I made my way towards the first carriage in which there were two passengers. The first passenger (who my message was not for) was David Bowie dressed as Ziggy Stardust who sat calmly and statically as I ripped the entire side off the train with my bare hands. The second passenger (who my message was for) was still seated, and looked over at me.

“You don’t know me Anthony [Peake], but you must get off this train now as I have had a premonition that it will crash as it approaches the main station at Liverpool”. He took my advice and the pair of us left and made our way to some sort of lab / facility where he worked. Oddly when we got there a friend of mine “M” was there and I introduced him to Anthony and Anthony to him, quipping that up close he looked like Sting with white hair – which he quickly corrected “light blonde”. He shuffled some papers and I turned to him and asked what he thought was going on and as he opened his mouth to answer the scene faded and I woke up…

This morning I looked up nocturnal epilepsy to see how that was defined and what the symptoms of it were. Although that sounds a bit over the top, I do on occasions suffer from something rather interesting. I have a strange ability to fall asleep instantly, sometimes within thirty seconds of my head hitting the pillow I’m gone. Sometimes I also experience strange sensations which wiki defines as either Exploding Head Syndrome or Hypnic Jerk (my wife concurs with the jerk tagline).

Exploding Head Syndrome
Exploding head Syndrome (EHS) is a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination and is a rare and relatively undocumented parasomnia event in which the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a clash of cymbals, ringing, an earthquake, or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head.

This noise usually happens at the onset of sleep or within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not necessarily the result of a dream. Most episodes occur just after falling asleep or just prior to waking up, and are not associated with occurring in any certain sleep stage. EHS is an uncommon, usually nocturnal parasomnia that arises from the transition between different sleep stages.

Interestingly these noises are a common feature of out-of-body experiences.

Hypnic Jerk
A hypnic jerk, hypnagogic jerk, sleep start, sleep twitch or night start, is an involuntary twitch which occurs just as a person is beginning to fall asleep, often causing them to awaken suddenly for a moment. Physically, hypnic jerks resemble the “jump” experienced by a person when startled, often accompanied by a falling sensation. Hypnic jerks are associated with a rapid heartbeat, quickened breathing, sweat, and sometimes “a peculiar sensory feeling of ‘shock’ or ‘falling into the void.’

As I have tinnitus, then it’s logical to some extent to link the EHS / HJ to the point at which I fall asleep, my inner ear balance changing as I drift between states. I’m not overly concerned by it all and from what I have read do not think I have any links with epilepsy, nor do I get stressed about having EHS / HJ episodes. I know that I have more of these when I’m overworked or overtired, and restoring the balance via meditation and improved sleep patterns is the cure should I need it.

But that’s the logical view point, what if it is not that at all…

ADDENDUM: I just got a cold call from a life insurance company, should I be worried now?