It’s fair to say that death is one of life’s greatest mysteries. No one knows what happens when someone passes on. Does the person go somewhere? Or does everything just break down and start to devour nature?
There are near-death experiences that are very convincing despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence. However, near-death experiences always have things in common, and many of them are almost identical. The reason why this is so bizarre is that statistically, it cannot be a coincidence that the afterlife and the out of body experience are described in the same way by everyone.
What does science say?
And a recent study has also shown that our brain is already prepared for death. One of them concludes that the body is able to sense death because the body starts to shut down just before death, releasing an unidentified, unmeasurable substance through the nose which lets the brain know that the body is beginning its final shutdown. So the brain knows when death comes for some reason.
Many theories have been put forward, ranging from the idea that the brain is encoded with the “date” of death to the idea that the brain can foresee the future and knows when death will occur.
Researchers have also found that our brain, its part responsible for consciousness, shows unusually high activity in the moments just before death.
This could even mean, some believe, that they have managed to capture a kind of electrical ‘imprint’ or interference from the human soul passing away during death using brain scans. Scientists are hopefully edging closer to unlocking the ultimate mystery that could provide the answer to death and the afterlife.
Animals and death
This brain research is closely linked to earlier research that showed that animals can also sense death. Dogs and cats have long been known to see things that may not be of this world. And they are also mysteriously able to sense earthquakes and even death. Do animals really have this paranormal ability? There is no definitive answer.
Some people who have had a traumatic near-death experience or who have come straight back from clinical death have said that there is something out there.
At first, science regarded these as meaningless reports. But the big revelations of recent years are beginning to suggest that there may indeed be something out there. Some have reported seeing a white light, while others swear their lives flashed before their eyes.
There are many accounts of what happens to the human consciousness at such times:
‘When I woke up, it was as if I was in space, but there was no light and not a single star. I wasn’t floating, I was just… there.’ – a man who had a near-death experience when he almost bled to death during surgery told the paper.
‘There was no cold or heat, no hunger or fatigue. I felt at peace. I knew there was light and love nearby, but I didn’t need to turn towards it. I remember seeing my life. Not like a montage, more like a book, it appeared before me.’ – another person said.
Furthermore, a shocking testimony comes from a teenager who has experienced death has shocked the world. The boy defied death: in fact, for a short time, he was dead himself and told of seeing Jesus. Then he came back to life told everything he had seen.
The phenomenon has come to the forefront of interest these days, largely because of the increase in the number of people who have personally experienced near-death experiences. This experience has a powerful impact on those who experience it, sometimes profoundly changing their worldview, their relationship with other people, their views on death, the afterlife and religion. These after-effects are almost as characteristic as the components of the near-death experience itself.
The big question still lingers in mind, despite all the accounts: are these accounts real?
If there really is something in the afterlife, will all people end up in the same place? What does await us beyond the path of death?
The moment of death
It’s possible that we can actually see the important moments of our lives in the millisecond before we pass.
Many of us have fantasised about what happens to us at the moment of death and after that. There are many theories, and while some people think that passing is a slow process, like falling asleep – ideally at least – others believe that death happens in a millisecond, and we leave our earthly shell.
There are also heated debates in the scientific community about whether or not anything like a movie fades before our eyes. In other words, it is possible that moments in our lives do become visible somehow before our eyes before we die?
At the moment of death, several studies have suggested that memories can somehow be released from the brain. This means that old memories that the person didn’t know about and wouldn’t have been able to remember in their lifetime can surface. However, it is possible that certain processes of death can activate parts of the brain responsible for the memory which triggers this phenomenon.
People who have had near-death experiences have reported reliving or seeing many memories they had not remembered before and thought they had forgotten. These experiences always seemed very fresh and crystal clear, which was never the case in their everyday lives.
Unexplained brain activity
At first, experts thought it was just the brain and imagination playing tricks on the mind, but as the research became more complete, they realised there was more to it.
Specific brain activity scans of people experiencing death showed that the part of the brain responsible for memories always underwent a huge stimulation. The instruments went crazy, and it was as if there was serious brainwork going on in the mind, even though the person was about to die or had died at the time.
Memories are somehow stored and preserved deep in the brain so that we may never forget anything, which means that the brain’s capacity must be incredible. However, science is currently not able to determine what exactly it is that makes memories appear before we die.
Perhaps it is some kind of by-product of the brain shutting down, or perhaps it has some spiritual purpose. We don’t know, but what is certain is that the moment of death is much more interesting from a scientific point of view than death itself, and many experts have devoted entire research projects to unravelling the mystery.