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Metaphysics & Psychology

The Art of Remembering

The Art of Remembering 94

Memories shape our personality, and what will remain of it if they disappear? How much better it would be if everyone had an absolute eidetic memory. Eidetic, it is also photographic, memory (from the Greek word “eidos”, that is, “image”) – the ability to recall almost any visual image ever seen. The man looked at the photo for a couple of minutes, and it will be deposited in his memory for the rest of his life, the same with films, pages of the book, not to mention real events.

In some cases, eidetic memory goes beyond visual perception, extending to sounds when they are inextricably linked with pictures. Some experts also distinguish between the concepts of eidetic and photographic memory, referring to the first bright and colorful visual and sound images, and to the second – remembering exclusively text and numbers, without any visualization.

Standing apart is the phenomenon of hypermnesia, which allows an individual to remember and reproduce vast amounts of information. A more special case is hyperthymesia. The same, but only for those data that relate to their own personal life.

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All these concepts, as well as their variations, are often mixed in one heap, called absolute memory, not only in the muddy quagmire of public consciousness, but also in quite serious articles on psychology. Someone claims that true eidetic memory does not exist at all, someone promises to help develop it only in a series of very inexpensive courses. The latter, however, are most likely scammers.

But what about real personalities, historical and not very, showing the very “nonexistent” perfect memory? It is no secret that Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte are on the list of the greatest commanders in history because of their victories and impressive mental abilities. In particular, each of them showed miracles of memory. Caesar knew the face of each of the 25 thousand soldiers of his army. Napoleon remembered all the maps of the terrain and the location of the troops he had seen.

But these are generals and rulers, but what about others and more close to us in time? One of the most striking examples is Nikola Tesla, whom some praise as the inventor of everything in the world, others as an outstanding scientist, but an arrogant braggart.

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Nevertheless, the achievements of the Serbian genius cannot be denied, and his incredible memory is mentioned in almost any biographical summary. For example, a scientist could recite Goethe’s beloved Faust by heart, and this is more than 400 pages of not the simplest text. In addition, Tesla was fluent in eight languages: Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Italian, German, English, French, Hungarian and Czech.

Tesla’s acquaintances said that he rarely kept notes, since he remembered almost all the necessary information. And this came in handy in 1885, when after a terrible fire in the laboratory he had to recover from memory most of the inventions stored there.

Even closer to modernity is the American Kim Peak, who served as the prototype for the famous character from Rain Man. Unlike the hero from the film, Peak did not receive a fabulous inheritance and did not go with his brother on a car trip across the country, but his memory was even more impressive.

Unable to fasten his shirt normally, an eccentric with an absurd gait remembered about 12 thousand books read and tens of thousands of smaller texts – stories, articles, telephone directories. The peak could play without hesitation all international dialing codes and postal codes, all possible US roadmaps, and thousands of pieces of music. At the same time, with age, his memory did not fade, but, on the contrary, worsened.

Finally, the American actress Marilyn Henner can boast of the very rare case of hyperimesia, with high accuracy recalling every day of her life, starting from early childhood. The process of such memories, according to her, does not cause any effort – as if you press a button on the player, and playback starts.

At about this point, the reader may exclaim: “So it’s wonderful!” – and start flipping through numerous Internet articles with tips for developing absolute memory. But there is a reason why hypermnesia and hyperthymesia are generally considered mental disorders, and not a gift from God.

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The ability to remember, as if to press a button in the player, occurs once in dozens of cases, and in the rest, memories from super-memory come to the surface without demand, eclipsing the present for a person, simply interfering with life. Moreover, numerous studies show that the mechanism of forgetting unnecessary information is crucial for the assimilation of new knowledge.

And the matter concerns not only numbers from old accounts and passwords, but also impressions and experiences. We carefully store in memory the moments of personal life that are dear to us, for example, praise from parents, first kiss, birth of a child. But with the same success, the memory also grasps the negative, forcing us to return to shameful and sad memories against our will.

Have you ever been unable to fall asleep recalling the mistakes of youth? Did not dare to take a serious step in the relationship, having burned yourself many years ago? But all the fault is a good memory, albeit extremely selective. It is important to learn from mistakes, and not to go in cycles, but hypermnesia and eidetic will not ask your opinion. Welcome to sleepless nights with thoughts of what you have done wrong in life. By the way, sleep is one of the most important mechanisms for maintaining a healthy memory, which allows you to smooth out unnecessary sharp corners.

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The human brain is a very complex mechanism, and it is still not completely known how and where certain memories are stored. Complaining about a bad memory, we usually mean something specific – birthdays, forgotten keys and phones, passwords, PIN codes, household duties. Just at such moments, the ghosts of Caesar and Tesla float behind them, giggling at the miserable mortals, unable to touch their greatness.

Only here is a funny fact: with the highest probability, Caesar also forgot about household trifles, just like you and me. He remembered the soldier faces but forgot where he put his favorite belt. Because different parts of the brain that are far from always friendly are responsible for different memories. The mnemonist Brad Williams once noticed that, despite his amazing memory, he constantly loses keys and cannot find them. But, unlike everyone else, he remembers exactly what day it happened.

The temptation of absolute memories is understandable, but still do not envy the departed and living geniuses. Real and not very difficult exercises for the development of the necessary areas of memory without the need to “take pictures with your eyes” every past day are available everywhere. The memory of the right things is a real art, but it is inferior without the ability to forget.


Metaphysics & Psychology

Research confirms that “near death experience” is not an illusion

Research confirms that "near death experience" is not an illusion 99

Dr. Alexander Batthyany, a professor of psychology at the University of Vienna, has studied thousands of cases of near-death experiences. Human thinking ability has nothing to do with the brain.

Near death experience case study

Dr. Batthyany and others collected thousands of complete cases describing near-death experiences , and recorded in detail the content of the near-death’s private prosecution and doctor’s consultation.

Doctors ask dozens of questions about what the patient sees (visual), what he hears (hearing), what he thinks (consciousness and thinking), life background (such as religious beliefs, life experience), etc., such as “Have this experience before Do you?”, “Do you see the light?”, “Who do you talk about your death experience?”, “Do you believe in your death experience?”, etc., to judge and evaluate the credibility of the patient’s narration of the near death experience Degree and the patient’s mental state after death (whether normal, etc.).

Dr. Batthyany said that the results of the study are reliable and fully confirm that the near-death experience is a real mental activity rather than an illusion. He also said that research methods have certain limitations, which will lead to underestimation of the proportion of near-death experiences.

Extremely credible near-death experiences

Dr. Batthyany explained that due to the limitations of the method, cases are likely to be missed, so the actual rate of near death experience should be higher.

Dr. Batthyany explained how he and his colleagues analyzed thousands of cases by compiling and integrating medical records into a resource library (such as the NDERF website), and then using search terms related to vision (vision) or cognition (such as “See” (saw) or “thought”> search for related medical records and score them according to visual or cognitive content, and then further narrow the scope of the study, such as selecting near-death experience cases with detailed medical records. This screening method based only on search terms is likely to miss cases where there is no such vocabulary in the expression.

Dr. Batthyany said that the near-death experience cases are highly credible. They considered that thousands of cases with near-death experiences are likely to have false reports, but in the process of sorting and analyzing, they noticed that only 1% of near-death cases were deleted due to validity.

Therefore, Dr. Batthyany believes that even if there are still false cases, the number is not enough to affect the overall conclusion.

Evidence of the phenomenon

In addition to these near-death experience studies, Dr. Batthyany also pointed out that the phenomenon of back light also shows that the phenomenon of thinking consciousness is extremely complex, even in the case of severe deterioration of brain function, there can be active thinking.

Dr. Batthyany studies the back-to-light phenomenon in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Among patients with Alzheimer’s disease (ie, Alzheimer’s disease), some people have been completely incoherent for many years, but suddenly showed a marked improvement or normal thinking shortly before their death. This is what is commonly referred to as “return to light”.

According to the current neurological concept, as the brain function of Alzheimer’s patients gets worse and worse, their thinking performance should be that their memory and various thoughts and feelings are becoming more and more lost, and there is even no human thinking at all.

However, the actual situation is just the opposite. The whole state of mind of Alzheimer’s patients may suddenly become intact like a spark burst.

“Psychological Vision” of the Blind

In fact, there is also a phenomenon of “mindsight” or “mind intuition” which also illustrates the independence of thinking. “Psychovision” refers to the sight of a blind person who reports during a near-death experience.

Kenneth Ring of the University of Connecticut found that among 21 blind cases who reported near-death experiences, 15 blind people described seeing the scene and had vision.

Dr. Batthyany pointed out that some scientists believe that near-death experiences are hallucinations produced by human neurophysiological processes. However, “in this study, the results of near-death experience, rebirth, and psycho-visual phenomena suggest that patients experience near-death experiences when their condition deteriorates, die, or have no neurological activity, and it is common.”

Therefore, Dr. Batthyany concluded that even when the brain function changes or even the electrical activity of the brain stops (the EEG is flat), there is still a clear sense of self, complex visual images, and clear mental activities. And other thinking phenomena.

Even though back-lighting and psychological vision are very rare phenomena, the countless examples of near-death experiences are enough to illustrate the problem.

Dr. Batthyany wrote:

“Our research results show that the visual scene, mental state and self-awareness that people continue to appear in the near-death experience are a rule rather than an exception.”

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Metaphysics & Psychology

What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget

What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget 100

Humanity still does not know much about death. Of course, it’s easy to write it off as “nothingness,” but what if in reality everything is a little more complicated? In the selection below – ten creepy stories “from the other world” from people who survived clinical death.

Recently, the user Aidanmartin3 asked near-death survivors on Reddit to describe what it was like. The post quickly went viral, with hundreds of people sharing their stories in the comments.

I was about fifteen years old. Climbed onto the kitchen counter to grab something from the top cabinet, but slipped and fell headlong onto the marble floor. The next thing I remember is walking barefoot on water. Then I look to the right, I see a very bright light and a hand, as if calling me. I go to her and suddenly realize how peaceful and relaxed I am. Like the best deep sleep ever. Then I said to myself: “Dude, this is so cool, I would never wake up.” And then all of a sudden everything disappears, and I wake up because of my mother, who is crying over me.By that time, I was already numb, cold, pulseless and even managed to urinate in my pants. As an atheist who does not believe in all this, I often think about that case.


My father died for a short while and then said that at that time he was walking along a long corridor to the door. But when he was about to open it, his father felt himself being “sucked” into his own body

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He died of an overdose for several minutes.In reality, there was nothing. It’s just darkness and an incomprehensible period of time. It was almost like waking up after hanging out all night and feeling like a horse kicked in the chest.


It seemed to me that I was kind of floating in a long tunnel and I felt very tired. I remember how I fell asleep then and had a dream that I was in the kitchen of my childhood home, and dad was preparing breakfast. I heard turmoil and chaos at one end, and at the other, there was a warm light that seemed soothing. But then all of a sudden I ended up in the chaos of the emergency room.


The story of my ex-girlfriend’s mom. Her heart stopped for 28 minutes. The doctors had already told the family that she had left, and even brought in a priest to bless the room. But in the end she returned. She said that she recalls running around the field with a little girl, who, according to the woman, was her niece, in the dress in which she was buried.

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I heard a loud, high-pitched noise telling me that I am still too young to die. Then he got even higher, and I saw a bright light and woke up. The ambulance driver was shining a flashlight in my eyes


Anaphylactic reaction to the deadly sting of the Irukandji jellyfish. I saw this white glow and how I soared up, then my family and the doctors and nurses who were saving me. Came back and felt a lot of pain


It felt as if my body was being filmed on a CCTV camera from a third person. Then the camera gradually moved away and rose. I became very cold and began to hear loud clanking sounds. Woke up in an ambulance to the sound of a gurney bouncing on a rough road. It was so surreal. Since then I have not been afraid of death, to be honest. It was almost six years ago, but I still think about that case several times a month.

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I was hit by a car. I could see everything, blood had not yet got into my eyes. I heard all the commotion. I felt myself being pushed in the back, and then doing artificial respiration … After that I felt only the first beats of the heart and how the blood flowed through my body. The pain began to build up with renewed vigor, and then everything went black


I was pronounced dead three times. But “after death” I have never seen anything. At least i don’t remember


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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 104

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.

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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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