By: Mark Stokes Can neuroscience shed light on one of life’s biggest mysteries – death? In a new study just published in PNAS, researchers observed a surge of brain activity just moments before death. This raises the fascinating possibility that they have identified the neural basis for near death experiences. First, to put this research into context, death-related brain activity was examined in rats, not humans. For obvious reasons, it is easier to study the death process in animals rather than humans. In this study, nine rats were implanted with electrodes in various brain regions, anaesthetised then ‘euthanized‘ (i.e., killed). The exact moment … Continue reading Could a final surge in brain activity after death explain near-death experiences?
Author Monica Grady Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences, The Open University I still believed in God (I am now an atheist) when I heard the following question at a seminar, first posed by Einstein, and was stunned by its elegance and depth: ‘If there is a God who created the entire universe and ALL of its laws of physics, does God follow God’s own laws? Or can God supersede his own laws, such as travelling faster than the speed of light and thus being able to be in two different places at the same time?’ Could the answer help … Continue reading Can the laws of physics disprove God?
The heart of the religious ritual is mysticism, argues Brian Muraresku in “The Immortality Key.” by Derek Beres The concept of “dying before you die” lies at the heart of religious tradition, argues Brian Muraresku. This secret ritual connects the Eleusinian Mysteries with the origins of Christianity. In “The Immortality Key,” Muraresku speculates that psychedelic wine could have been the original Christian Eucharist. After a 20-year ban on clinical psychedelics research, the U.S. government approved trials on DMT in 1990. At first, Rick Strassman, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, only … Continue reading How psychedelics help you “die before you die”
Soul is Inside Out director Pete Docter’s new exploration of one of life’s great questions: where do we come from? By Don Kaye In 2015 Pixar and director Pete Docter brought us Inside Out, a brilliant, moving exploration of how our emotions affect our relationships as we grow older. The Oscar-winning film’s script (by Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley) was heavily inspired by the filmmakers’ research into neuropsychology and the mysteries of how the human mind works. Now five years later, Docter and a new team have gone in a completely different direction–the metaphysical–with Soul. Den of Geek was given a chance to view the first … Continue reading Inside Pixar’s Soul and the Secrets of Life Before Death
William Blake saw angels and ghosts and the Hallelujah sunrise, even on the darkest day. We need to foster his state of mind by Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer, and works with the research group, Perspectiva. He has a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His latest book is A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness (2019). He lives in London.Listen here Edited by Marina Benjamin William Blake’s childhood vision on Peckham Rye is well known. Sauntering along, he looks up and, according to an early biographer, ‘sees a … Continue reading The four-fold imagination
by Gary Lachman, New Dawn Waking Times What happens when we die? Human beings have asked this question probably more than any other, with “Does God exist?” and “What is the meaning of life?” coming in as close seconds. All three, of course, are intertwined, but while the reality of the deity and the solution to life’s riddle may be grasped in the here and now, what happens when we give up the ghost seems to be something we can know only by doing just that. It seems that the only way we can know for certain what happens after death … Continue reading WILL I SURVIVE? A LOOK AT THE AFTERLIFE
The fear of death drives many evils, from addiction to prejudice and war. Can it also be harnessed as a force for good? Jeff Greenberg is a professor and social psychology programme director at the University of Arizona. His books include The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Life in Death (2015), co-authored with Sheldon Solomon and Tom Pyszczynski. Listen here Edited by Sam Dresser Many people think consciously about their mortality only once in a blue moon. Maybe if an odd mole appears. Or after a close call in the car. Or when they read about the death of a celebrity … Continue reading This mortal coil
Kingsley L. Dennis, Contributor Waking Times ‘The real tragedy of our time lies not so much in the unprecedented external events themselves as in the unprecedented ethical destitution and spiritual infirmity which they glaringly reveal.’ Paul Brunton There is little doubt that we are living in an age of extreme contradictions where opposing trends appear to exist side by side. It is a time when individuals take greater care of their bodies and are obsessed by diet and health fads, while obesity is an epidemic. We live amidst a paradoxical combination of playfulness and fear, of fun and anxiety, of euphoria and … Continue reading A METAPHYSICAL MALAISE?
Philosophy professor James Sterba revives a very old argument. by Derek Beres In his book, Is a Good God Logically Possible?, James Sterba investigates the role of evil. Sterba contends that if God is all-powerful then he’d be able to stop evil from occurring in the world. God’s inability (or unwillingness) to stop evil should make us question his role, or even his existence. Why does God allow evil to happen? This question has been at the heart of Western religious philosophy since the dawn of monotheism. The very term and concept of God has long divided humans. Is he the … Continue reading What are the chances that God is actually good?
by Zen Gardner, Guest Waking Times First off, who says there needs to be a reason? We may look at our lives linearly and think causality is at work, but is it? Besides, what is it that’s asking for a reason? Isn’t that the contraption built by that severely limited paradigm we’re trying to wake up out of? And wouldn’t having a reason imply a desired outcome? Where did that come from? It all sounds like presumption born out of ignorance to me. Short-sighted and unaware to the max if we’re even the least bit conscious. I know, pretty severe, but … Continue reading SO WHY ARE WE HERE?