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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Shared Death Experiences and Other Signs of the Afterlife

I will update this post later; I want to use it to collect information about near death, shared death, and other out-of-body death-related experiences.

A lot of paranormal stuff is simply bunk, or manifestations of phenomena that have true physical explanations.  There are plenty of "scientific" explanations for "near death" experiences -- the one where you see the shining light, you see dead relatives beckoning to you or telling you it's not yet your time, etc.  The scientific explanation for that has to do with your brain's reaction to whatever trauma is causing you to nearly die.  Ok, that's fine.  But what about "shared death" experiences?  That's where you are with someone who is dying -- or in some cases, where you know someone who happens to be dying some distance away from you -- and you participate in their "death" experience.  I.e. you find yourself hovering above their body (and your own), along side them, as they are about to take off for the other world (or whatever).  Apparently this sort of thing has been reported since the 1800s.  Of course, there is a scientific explanation for that as well -- your mind wants to make sense of the death in some way so you invent that scenario.  This is a situation where you have to ask whether the scientific explanation is really as plausible as the "supernatural" explanation.  I don't know the answer, but will look into it some more.

The reason I bring this up now is that I hadn't heard of shared death experiences until just a few minutes ago, when read this on  I wonder if it would be possible for someone, knowing that a loved one is going to die, to try really hard to "share the death" with the loved one in that way.  I suppose I'll give it a try, if I have the chance.  People who have that kind of experience (including the near death ones) come back with a whole new perspective on life.

The other, possibly related phenomenon is the one of transmigration of souls.  i.e. where the "soul" of someone who died somehow clearly has ended up in the body of someone who simply did not know that soul.  UVa researcher Ian Stevenson wrote a number of books documenting a number of cases.  Carl Sagan criticized his methods though.  So perhaps it's not conclusive, but still, when young children start remembering and talking about their past lives as an unrelated adult, it's very very strange.

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