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Metaphysics & Psychology

Scientists Examine Individuals Who Claim Communication With The Dead – Surprising Results Found

Scientists Examine Individuals Who Claim Communication With The Dead – Surprising Results Found 86
Mediums are individuals who claim to experience communication with the deceased. Throughout history, mediums have been subjected to much skepticism and ridicule. Things are a little different today as science continues to move forward and explore the mysteries surrounding the metaphysical.  Science is constantly evolving, and in some cases returning to what was once already known.

The scientific investigation of mediumship started approximately 150 years ago. Members of the British and American Societies for Psychical Research studied it heavily, which involved many prominent physiologists, psychologists and scientists. Today, most ‘psychical’ research is largely classified, and its findings remain classified within the Department of Defence, you can read more about that here.Within the past few years, scientific research on mediumship has gained more popularity. This could be due to the fact that recent research has confirmed that mediumship is not associated with conventional dissociated experiences, psychosis, dysfunction, pathology or over-active imaginations. (2)  In fact, a large percentage of mediums have been found to be high functioning individuals. (3)

“Most prior research on this phenomenon has focused on whether mediums can genuinely report accurate information under blinded conditions, and whether their personalities deviate in significant ways from population norms. But little is known about their physiological and electrocortical processes. Scientists have long proposed and used electroencephalography to study mediums in trance (deeply dissociated) states (Prince, 1968Mesulan, 1981Hughes and Melville, 1990Oohashi et al., 2002Hageman et al., 2010), but to our knowledge mental mediums who do not experience trance states have not been studied using these techniques.”  (1)

A team of researchers, including scientists from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) published the very first paper on mediumship in the Journal Frontiers in Psychology. (1) Paul Mills at the University of California, San Diego, and Julie Beischel as well as Mark Boccuzzi at the Windbridge Institute teamed up with Arnaud Delorme, Dean Radin and Leena Michel at IONS to design and conduct a study to collect psychometric and brain electrophysiology data from six individuals. They had all previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions. Correlations between the accuracy of mediums’ statements and their brain electrical activity were examined, and the differences in brain activity were studied when they intentionally evoked four subjective states: perception, recollection, fabrication and communication.

Each participant performed two tasks with their eyes closed, in the first one the participant was given only the first name of a deceased person and asked 25 questions about them. After each question, the participant was asked to quietly perceive information that was relevant to the question for 20 seconds and then respond verbally. Each response was recorded and then scored for accuracy by individuals who knew the deceased persons.Out of the 4 mediums, the accuracy of 3 of them was significantly above chance, and the correlation between accuracy and brain activity during the 20 seconds of supposed communication with the dead was outstanding. Researchers discovered that brain activity during the 20 seconds of silent mediumship communication was significant in the frontal theta for one participant.(1)

In a second task, participants were asked to experience four different mental states for 1 minute each.

  1. Thinking about a known living person
  2. Listening to a biography
  3. Thinking about an imaginary person
  4. Interacting mentally with a known deceased person

During this task, each mental state was repeated three times, and statistically significant differences were obtained through electrocortical activity among the four conditions by all six participants, primarily in the gamma band, which are the fastest brainwave frequencies ever recorded.(1) It’s important to note that differences were not only found in the gamma band, but the theta and alpha frequency bands as well.

Brain frequency states like gamma have long been associated with meditative trance states.(6) A brain operating at this frequency is also observed in lucid dreamers. It suggests that when an individual is in this brain frequency range, they are utilizing more of their brain. Human beings use a small percentage of their brain, and the fact that we utilize more of it when we enter into altered states of consciousness like meditation, lucid dreaming or trying to communicate with the dead is intriguing. It suggests that we are more alert, aware and attentive in these states. (5)

A few prior studies have examined electrophysiological data and neuroimaging results of claimed mediums, or shamans in trance states. This study, however was the first EEG study of mental mediums who do not experience communicating with the dead as a trance, meditative type state.

All of this might be difficult to understand, but the differences in brain activity suggests that communicating with the deceased may be a mental state that’s distinct from ordinary thinking. They concluded that correlating accuracy with electrocortical activity qualifies as a “robust” finding. The results showing differences in gamma power bands between different mental states confused the researchers, because they observed that the gamma difference also correlated with eye and muscular activity. Researchers concluded that the experience of communicating with the dead may be a distinct mental state that is not consistent with brain activity during ordinary thinking or imagination. It’s good to see that there are researchers and scientists out there keeping an open mind to these possibilities, and are exploring more areas of this phenomenon.

“The results (and researchers) don’t point to this as definitive proof of mental communication with the deceased, but the accuracy ratings in the first task and the unique brain activity measured in the second certainly call for further inquiry into this still quite under-studied phenomenon in the scientific literature.” (4)

Sources:

(1)http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834/abstract

(2)http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/emily-kelly-pdfs/KEL13JNMD%202011%20Mediumship%20Paper.pdf

(3)http://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/96365

(4)http://noetic.org/blog/new-study-on-brain-states-during-mediumship/

(5)http://nro.sagepub.com/content/9/6/475.abstract

(6)http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an ‘experimental’ patient

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 87
Image: Giphy.com

US doctors described the story of a man who tried to relieve depression with psilocybin mushrooms in an unconventional way. He injected an intravenous infusion of mushrooms, causing the mushrooms to continue to multiply in his blood and cause multiple organ failure. The case was reported in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

Many drugs that people traditionally use as psychedelics are increasingly becoming the focus of medical attention. Some of them have already been repurposed and started clinical trials: for example, micro-doses of LSD have proven to be at least safe in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, and psilocybin has helped patients with  migraines and  depression. Often in such experiments we are talking about microdosing – that is, the mass of the substance is not enough for a psychoactive effect.

The story of an American who decided to experiment on his own was described by doctors led by Curtis McKnight of Creighton University School of Medicine. According to relatives, the 30-year-old American suffered from bipolar disorder, but shortly before the incident stopped taking his prescribed medications and suffered from alternating states of mania and depression.

When he stumbled upon research on the potential benefits of psychedelics, he boiled psilocybin mushrooms and injected the filtered solution into his vein. A few days after this experiment, relatives found him in a lethargic state with jaundice, diarrhea and bloody vomiting and took him to the hospital.

Doctors discovered the patient had a problem with multiple organs at once: acute renal failure, liver damage, tachycardia, and low blood saturation and ionic imbalance. He was prescribed droppers to normalize the composition of the blood, vasoconstrictors to raise blood pressure, antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Despite this, he developed septic shock and DIC (excessive blood clotting) and needed plasmapheresis. Only eight days later he was discharged from the intensive care unit, and at the time of publication of the article he had already been in the hospital for 22 days.

In the patient’s blood tests, in addition to the Brevibacillus bacteria , there were also Psilocybe cubensis fungi  – the same ones from which he injected himself intravenously. Apparently, due to insufficient filtration of the solution, the fungi entered the bloodstream and multiplied there, causing intoxication and multiple organ failure.

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 88

The authors of the work note that this is not the first such case – at least in the 80s of the 20th century, doctors already described a patient with similar symptoms after an intravenous injection. Therefore, McKnight and coauthors warn their colleagues: since psychedelics are increasingly used as a medicine (at the end of 2020, they began to legalize it in the United States), it is important to remind patients of the inadmissibility of self-therapy. Intravenous administration can be dangerous – doctors still do not know if it has the same psychoactive effect as the classical methods of administration.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

A part of a person’s essence accompanies him throughout his life: this is confirmed by a brain scan

A part of a person's essence accompanies him throughout his life: this is confirmed by a brain scan 89
Photo: pixabay.com

A new method of scanning the human brain has produced amazing results. It turns out that in every person there is a certain part of his essence, which accompanies him all his life from the moment of birth to death.

Scientists believe that this is the core of a person’s self-awareness. It combines memories of the past with fleeting sensations of reality and provides a basis for anticipation of events in the future.

It turned out that a certain part of a person’s consciousness is consistent as they grow older and older.

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been interested in the question: can this sense of “personal self” be stable throughout life? A new psychological study with the results of a brain scan made it possible to conclude that a certain part of a person’s consciousness really accompanies him throughout his life.

It is consistent as it gets older and older. Miguel Rubianes, a neuroscientist at the Complutense University of Madrid, says the aim of the study was to answer the question: Are we the same person throughout life? In combination with the results of other studies, scientists have concluded that there is a certain component that remains stable from birth to death.

The other part of consciousness remains susceptible to current changes. The scientists recognized independence as the basis of identity. And every time a person uses the word “I”, he means a thread that connects together all the events and experiences that have occurred in life.

Experience gained over the years changes a person, changes the components of his identity. Each case associated with personal experiences, a broken heart, a successful career step, expected or unexpected failure lead to the fact that a person compares himself to himself before and after these events. It is a neurological programming scheme that involves visual self-knowledge as an indicator of connection with your impressions of yourself.

This effect makes it possible to cope with memories and recognition of information when it is associated, for example, with one’s own photograph of an infant. Although this principle has a lot of evidence, scientists believe that the very mechanism of the brain involved in this remains a mystery.

This study was published in the journal Psychophysiology.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop 90

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we sometimes do not notice how time flies past us, what miracles surround us. We do not have time to listen to the rustle of leaves in the wind and we miss those minutes when the crimson moon hangs at the very horizon.

Below are 10 films that reflect the beauty and diversity of our world. You watch such a movie and forget about everything.

Kytice

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

7 fairy tales-ballads based on Czech folklore are filmed colorfully and poetically. 

They endure a time when people were closer to nature, believed in miracles and the spirits of the forest, when the terrible and the beautiful were merged together.

Ashes and snow

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Gregory Colbert’s documentary has no plot, but it attracts with its stunning, unrestrained beauty, reflecting the unity of man with nature.

The film was shot for 13 years in the most exotic corners of our planet: Burma, Ethiopia, India, Antarctica, Sri Lanka, Tonga islands and many other picturesque places.

The fountain

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The main character Thomas tries to find a cure for his wife Isabelle. Every day she gets worse, and he cannot be near, because he puts experiments in the laboratory. In his soul, love, the desire to be with Isabelle and the desire to extend her life are fighting. 

Darren Aronofsky’s philosophical drama was filmed in vivid colors, despite the fact that the director did not use computer special effects.

Samsara

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

This is a beautiful one and a half hour trip to the most amazing places on the planet. 

Director Ron Fricke showed the inextricable connection of all people and events on earth, the cycle of death and birth, the versatility of our world, where beauty coexists with nondescriptness, and the end means the beginning.

The Bear

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The story of a bear cub that lost its mother and nailed to a large wounded bear. Together they have to go through many trials, the worst of which is meeting the hunters. 

The wonderful plot of the film is combined with stunning music that helps you immerse yourself in the world of nature and feel it with your whole body.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The harsh Siberian nature, untouched by man, the majestic Yenisei River and the small village of Bakhta with a simple way of life. 

People live and survive in these parts, rely only on themselves and also ask only themselves. Four seasons – four lifestyles for each of them.

August Rush

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Young musician August Rush does not know his parents, but he really wants to find them and for some reason is sure that if he plays, they will hear and recognize him by his music. 

Mesmerizing music permeates the entire film and works wonders to dispel the evil spell of separation.

Baraka

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

A documentary masterpiece, a philosophical essay accompanied by superb cinematography and music, goes without words. The only and main actor here is life in all its diversity and unity. 

The gaze of a monkey sitting in a hot pond is equal to all the depths of cold space, and the dances of the aborigines are synchronized with the movements of the forest.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

This is a beautiful and unhurried philosophical parable about a wheel of time moving into infinity. Each time, with the beginning of a new cycle of rotation, life on earth is renewed, and everyone has the opportunity for a new rebirth. 

The film by Korean director Kim Ki-dook tells about two monks – a teacher and his student – and the obstacles that must be overcome on the way to finding harmony.

Chronos

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The main characters of the documentary narration are cultural and historical monuments. 

They absorbed the life of the people who created them, and have remained for centuries as an imprint of bygone eras.

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