Some people might say there are no guarantees in life, except for death and taxes. But now you can make it a third: life after death.

Being afraid of death is an epidemic on this earth, however scientists have pretty much “confirmed” that our consciousness lives on after our physical body dies.

Through studying more than 2000 people from the UK, Austria and America, British scientists have indicated that thoughts linger after death and have cited evidence of many out-of-body experiences from patients declared to have been dead moments before regaining signs of life.

Research from the University of Southampton cast doubt on whether the existing theory that a persons brain becomes inactive around 30 seconds after their heart stops circulating blood, and therefore their awareness, “consciousness”, also stopped.

Dr Sam Parnia commented:

“Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning.

“If attempts are made to reverse this process, it is referred to as ‘cardiac arrest’; however, if these attempts do not succeed it is called ‘death’.”

Two per cent of the patients who were studied stated that they had an out-of-body experience and approximately half of all the participants felt fear during their experience.

One 57-year-old man could even recall what was going on within the room in incredible detail after being pronounced dead.

Dr Parnia also went on to say:

“This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating.”

In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat.

“This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted.

“Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.”

Such cases are becoming more and more common. Some people even report meeting dead relatives, or seeing a tunnel of light at “death” before “returning” to their bodies. The accuracy of their reports should suggest that their experiences are legitimate.

Having out-of-body experiences are not exactly uncommon. In spiritual communities it’s also known as astral projection and one can eject themselves out of their body at will through entering a state of conscious during deep meditation.

Perhaps our physical death could simply be thought of as “the final astral projection”?

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