Saturday, September 13, 2008

"I was being drawn down a long tunnel toward Arthur Bryant's...."

It's one of those instances in which science follows science fiction: Researchers are going to study what it's like to almost die.

There is a movie I vaguely remember from my childhood--it wasn't that great, but I thought the premise was neat--in which scientists figured out a way to actually record experiences from brainwaves. Then one of them dies while wearing the recording gear. And suddenly the world has access to what it feels like to die.

Like I said, a neat premise.

Christopher Walken makes any movie badass. It's science fact.

Anyway, there is a little data on this already. It goes something like this:

"Previous research suggests about 10 to 20 percent of people who live through cardiac arrest report lucid, well-structured thought processes, reasoning, memories and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death.

One study found that people who reported peaceful feelings, bright light and out-of-body experiences during a brush with death are more likely to have had difficulty separating sleep from wakefulness in their everyday lives. Both before and after their near-death experiences, these people often have symptoms of the rapid-eye movement (REM) state of sleep while awake."

So maybe (the science fiction writer in me suggests) these people already have a thinner wall separating their consciousness--or their soul?--from whatever comes next. Maybe they are just a few high-powered psychotropic drugs away from actually seeing it for themselves.

Maybe I should start writing a script.

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