Saturday, December 21, 2013

More NDE and Kundalini

There are thousands of accounts of Near Death Experiences (NDE) and Kundalini Experiences (KE) that reveal an energy continuum outside the present bounds of Western science. What’s so special about these accounts? Why should we take them seriously? They occur irrespective of cultural, linguistic, geographic or religious influences. In other words, yes, they are anecdotal in nature, but, at the same time, asynchronous, disconnected in time and space. In fact, so disconnected it would indicate that the subjects (the individuals undergoing the experience) were in no way influenced by others undergoing similar experiences. Similar enough for any serious investigator to keep an open mind about the subject and to focus on proving/disproving the existence of this hypothesis — that the energy continuum exists.


Instead, neuroscientists tell us that the NDE is an hallucination. In a recent Scientific American article the author argues that Dr. Eben Alexander’s book Proof of Heaven is not an account of consciousness existing separate from the mind, but only an hallucination.
“The reason people turn to supernatural explanations is that the mind abhors a vacuum of explanation. Because we do not yet have a fully natural explanation for mind and consciousness, people turn to supernatural explanations to fill the void. But what is more likely: That Alexander’s NDE was a real trip to heaven and all these other hallucinations are the product of neural activity only? Or that all such experiences are mediated by the brain but seem real to each experiencer? To me, this evidence is proof of hallucination, not heaven.”
Notice how he uses the pejorative term supernatural as opposed metaphysical, a more respectful, scientific term. But that’s what the conventional wisdom does: ridicule new hypotheses, instead of investigating them. In addition, the article was originally published under the title Proof of Hallucination, before it was subsequently changed to the current title, Why a Near-Death Experience Isn’t Proof of Heaven. More misplaced ridicule, and very unscientific, because the article no more proves that NDEs are hallucinations than it proves that consciousness cannot exist outside the mind.

The only convincing point Shermer makes in the article is that Alexander did not see heaven. That much we agree on. But from Alexander’s descriptions in his book, I do believe he “visited” the energy continuum, just like Jill Bolte Taylor did.

As for the argument that all NDEs are hallucinations, why do all NDE subjects have basically the same hallucination? Despite the differences of culture, etc? If they were hallucinations, it would seem to me that they would differ. One subject would see himself in a poker game, another charging up San Juan Hill, still another making love to the Empress of China, and so on. I know my dreams are different each time. Why are all NDE accounts virtually the same?

How is the NDE is related to Kundalini? That the two share a set of similar effects is certain. That up to now, there is no empirical proof that either phenomenon can be scientifically observed is also accurate.

That makes it easy to discard, (even ridicule), the numerous anecdotal accounts of these phenomena. Yet, this disdain is so Western-centric, so Scientific-American, totally ignoring centuries of research that has taken place in other laboratories. Namely, the laboratory of the practitioners' bodies, those who have practiced a variety of esoteric, consciousness-expanding disciplines through the ages.

To devalue these practices is to say there is no other way of unlocking the secrets of consciousness, except through experiments performed in the labs of Western scientists, especially the cabal of neuroscientists who proclaim that consciousness does not exist outside of the brain, that the brain is like a computer motherboard, which, once it shuts down, is no longer of any use. The human body is not a computer.

These individuals approach all consciousness research with a set of foregone conclusions; they know what they are looking for and proceed to find it in their data. Quelle surprise!

They’re as close-minded as the so-called experts who opposed Dr. Barry Marshall when he declared that ulcers were caused by bacteria. But that’s the way much of science works. By resisting new ideas until they become so clearly corroborated that resistance finally topples over of its own inert dead weight.

Yes, Dr. Alexander got carried away. Better to have titled his book One Small Step in Proving the Existence of an All-Encompassing Consciousness.

Nevertheless, Kundalini and the NDE are real, not just it’s-all-in-your-mind accusations leveled against New Age babblings. Consciousness exists outside and beyond the human brain. That we don’t have the tools or methods of demonstrating this to Western scientists at this time doesn’t mean we never will.

Right now, research could focus on how the practice of Kundalini activation techniques sheds light on the NDE, bolstering and supporting by separate experimentation thousands of NDE and KE accounts.

If we don't know what consciousness is how can we presume to say what it isn't? So let's keep our minds open until we can — one way or the other.

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