I have been fortunate not to have lost any loved one I am close with. Although my grandparents are no longer with us, they passed away when I was quite young, so I was spared the emotional impact that comes with losing a loved one to death. It is only now, as I consider the possibility of losing my own parents, that I really begin to consider what happens after death.
Although I was not raised in a strictly religious home, I was given weekly religious instruction. However, the simplistic faith of a little child and the basic lessons that little child was taught does not seem adequate to answer my questions today as an adult. I’m not sure what happens to the psyche as we age that changes us so that we no longer can accept simple answers.
And no matter what information I search for in the medical and scientific communities, none of their “answers” are as comforting as the answer I received as a little child. And yet I persist in my search rather than believe in the simple, comforting lessons of my youth.
In the Summer of 2015 German doctors announced their findings of clinical experiments of near-death experiments. The patients included in this study had all been clinically dead and resuscitated. Most of them had been “dead” for almost twenty minutes.
These were not patients who all happened to die under the care of these doctors. If that had been the case it’s highly likely that these doctors would have lost their licenses to practice years ago. No, these were volunteers who were volunteering to be killed and brought back to life. Sounds crazy but that’s how the study was conducted.
944 people put their lives in the hands of these doctors. Over a period of four years, each was injected with a drug cocktail of dimethyltryptamine and epinephrine. The cocktail was not what “killed” them. It was a prescription of protection for the body so it could survive the death and resurrection procedure without incurring lasting damage.
So, after receiving the protective drug cocktail, the volunteer would then be put into a coma by way of a different drug cocktail through an intravenous procedure. Eighteen minutes later these drugs would be filtered out of the volunteer’s bloodstream by ozone.
Then a cardiopulmonary recitation machine was used to shock the volunteer back to life. This machine is new technology that has successfully reanimated people who have been dead for as long as one hour.
Once conscious, the volunteer’s testimony of the experience would be recorded. Every single volunteer had memories of the time that they were “dead”. Many of these memories bore similarities. Most commonly experienced were feelings of levitation, warmth, and serenity. Almost all of them testified to the presence of a light which overwhelmed them and into which they felt complete dissolution.
I find this comforting. I do not find it shocking. I also do not find it having any conflict with what I was taught in religious school as a little child. However, I wonder if the results would be the same if the study was conducted on a thousand serial killers.