NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
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12-01-2013, 08:22 PM
NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
I was really interested in NDE (near death experiences) a while back when I thought there was an afterlife. I figured they couldn't really be explained by science, but now I found an article that links some studies which explain how they can occur. Out of body experiences can even be artificially triggered.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...near-death Wrote:Approximately 3 percent of the U.S. population says they have had a
near-death experience, according to a Gallup poll. Near-death
experiences are reported across cultures, with written records of them
dating back to ancient Greece. Not all of these experiences actually
coincide with brushes with death—one study
of 58 patients who recounted near-death experiences found 30 were not
actually in danger of dying, although most of them thought they were.
-------------------------------------
Out-of-body experiences are also now known to be common during interrupted sleep patterns that immediately precede sleeping or waking.For
instance, sleep paralysis, or the experience of feeling paralyzed while
still aware of the outside world, is reported in up to 40 percent of
all people and is linked with vivid dreamlike hallucinations that can
result in the sensation of floating above one's body. A 2005 study found
that out-of-body experiences can be artificially triggered by stimulating the right temporoparietal junction in the brain, suggesting that confusion regarding sensory information can radically alter how one experiences one's body.

As someone that has experience sleep paralysis myself (five times), I can say that the experience makes you really inclined to believe in the supernatural. Three out of the five times I felt a presence in the room with me, the first couple times it felt like that presence was what was holding me down. It is by far the scariest experience I've ever had, It felt like my body was in complete shock, every bit of my consciousness was experiencing intense fear. I had some pretty crazy theories about it back then. That it was a demon or satan, another that it was my body waking up in the process of astral projecting. None of which had any rational reason behind them.

Have any of you had NDE or sleep paralysis experiences? If so, what was it like?

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12-01-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
The very sad thing about this is, despite evidence, some people would most probably still believe that their NDE is proof of an afterlife. Just like how people still believe in creationism despite overwhelming evidence for evolution, they cannot accept the truth as a substitute for their illusions.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

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12-01-2013, 08:41 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
I used to get sleep paralysis all the time when I worked night shifts, and I never felt inclined to think it was supernatural. But then, I also did a lot of drugs so maybe I wasn't inclined to believe my senses, especially not when I was waking up from a dream. Maybe if I'd had the same experience when I was not in bed, waking up, I might have thought it might not be a dream, but yeah... I think the reason people believe these things are supernatural is because they are unaware of the ways their senses can be unreliable and play tricks on them. But if you are inclined to believe in the supernatural, you would probably see them as pretty good evidence. If you aren't, you may be more inclined to look for a natural explanation.

That being said, my reaction is always "no shit!" However, I took a philosophy class on death and dying once, and I was appalled because I was the only student in the class that didn't automatically take NDEs at face value and believe they were proof of an afterlife. Of course they aren't. If you're dying and your brain is dying and all fucked up, lacking oxygen and who knows what else, of course you can't trust your senses and you're likely to have hallucinations.

Regarding your last question about sleep paralysis, here are a few of mine that I recall:

1. I wake up and the bed is surrounded by things like Star Wars Jawas, little hooded midgets glaring evilly at me.
2. It is winter and I have a heavy quilt over me, covering everything but my face. It develops skeletal hands and begins to choke me (since it was up around my neck anyway, I just felt pressure).
3. I am lying on my back in bed. My roommate opens the door, walks in, and wordlessly places a pack of cigarettes on my forehead, then leaves. (This didn't actually happen. There were no actual cigs there, and she wasn't even home.)
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12-01-2013, 08:46 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
Sleep Paralysis has happened to me. It's not fun, and if you're a theist with no knowledge of what this stuff is, it can become to solid foundation to your faith. Crazy ass shit.

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12-01-2013, 08:59 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 09:04 PM by Adenosis.)
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
(12-01-2013 08:41 PM)amyb Wrote:  1. I wake up and the bed is surrounded by things like Star Wars Jawas, little hooded midgets glaring evilly at me.
2. It is winter and I have a heavy quilt over me, covering everything but my face. It develops skeletal hands and begins to choke me (since it was up around my neck anyway, I just felt pressure).
3. I am lying on my back in bed. My roommate opens the door, walks in, and wordlessly places a pack of cigarettes on my forehead, then leaves. (This didn't actually happen. There were no actual cigs there, and she wasn't even home.)
Wow crazy experiences. I never had much for visual hallucinations except seeing an outline of the presence once.

cheapthrillseaker Wrote:Sleep Paralysis has happened to me. It's not fun, and if you're a theist with no knowledge of what this stuff is, it can become to solid foundation to your faith. Crazy ass shit.
robotworld Wrote:The very sad thing about this is, despite evidence, some people would most probably still believe that their NDE is proof of an afterlife. Just like how people still believe in creationism despite overwhelming evidence for evolution, they cannot accept the truth as a substitute for their illusions.

Agreed, it definitely made me more sure of the supernatural. Thank god I pulled myself out of that nonsense.
I always laugh inside when I write god, because I know some theist will wonder along and say "SEE! He believes in god!". No, it's just a habbit. Chillax.

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12-01-2013, 09:43 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
Confirmation bias, I suppose. If you already believe in the supernatural, you will look for/accept supernatural explanations. Hallucinating evil looking creatures would make such a person even more sure of the existence of such things, whereas someone not prone to supernatural explanations would assume it had something to do with dreams, drugs, or some other natural things.

Likewise with NDEs. I have almost died a few times. I have had auditory hallucinations in these altered states. Even then, I said to myself, "damn, my head is messed up because I'm hallucinating." Other people may have interpreted the exact same thing as supernatural (I hallucinated the voices of dead people I knew).

But that's also why it's hard to tell a believer of the supernatural that these things have natural explanations. Because they will look at exactly the same evidence and arrive at the opposite conclusion.
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12-01-2013, 09:55 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
I've had sleep paralysis. You are semi concious, but your body is completely immobile. The only way I got out of it was to struggle immensely - to will mentally and force myself to get out of it. In later years it became easier.

Because you're in such a vulnerable state (a person could calmly lay a hand over your face, and you'd be smothered), and because it's at night, you feel extremely paranoid. If you're someone prone to believing in ghosts, or aliens, you'd think this was their doing, and feel extreme terror. It's not a fun experience. But I can understand completely peoples "reports" of demonic possession, or alien abduction. They're 100% wrong, but I can understand their confusion.
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12-01-2013, 10:11 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
It's apparently part of the reason people believe in succubi/incubi also. I'm jealous, none of my hallucinations ever tried to fuck me.

And the idea of demons and hags sitting on the sleeper's chest, trying to suffocate them. I'm glad I didn't have ones like that, that would've freaked me out. I have read about people who have them a lot, and apparently learning about it and understanding what's happening can make them less frightening and perhaps less common. I've also heard it's more common when your sleep cycle is irregular and if you're sleeping on your back, both of these things seem true in my case.
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12-01-2013, 11:13 PM
Re: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
It's believed alien abduction cases are caused by sleep paralysis as well.

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12-01-2013, 11:42 PM
RE: NDE explaned by science. (+Sleep Paralysis)
Quick little Harry Potter mention: to be hagrid, or hagrode is to be filled with the emotions that a hag causes. So technically some of you wake up looking like this guy:

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