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    Between life and death by Beth Aaron April 08, 2004 (Editor s note: the man who reported his near-death experience has been changed to Bob Smith.) Bob Smith, a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2004
      Between life and death

      by Beth Aaron
      April 08, 2004

      (Editor's note: the man who reported his near-death experience has
      been changed to Bob Smith.)

      Bob Smith, a sophomore psychology major from Las Vegas, said he does
      not talk about his experience often.

      He said the experience is difficult to describe.

      "It wasn't your conventional near-death experience," he said, "with
      the light at the end of the tunnel and the family member spirit

      Smith said the only "conventional" aspect he can think of in
      relation to his experience is the feeling he was connected to his
      body by a kite string.

      He said he felt as if he was stepping back from his body, but not
      witnessing events in the physical sense.

      "It was like I got an inverted third-person perspective of the
      functioning of my own mind," he said.

      Some Eastern religions reference the idea of the "silver cord,"
      Smith said.

      According to http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research12.html,
      a "silver cord" also is referenced in the Bible.

      It is defined as the interface between the spiritual body and the
      physical body.

      Smith said he believes his near-death experience was related to both
      the spirit and the mind.

      "Which is how I explain all human perception, for that matter," he

      Dr. Randolph Schiffer, professor of neuropsychiatry and behavioral
      science, said near-death experiences are often described as

      This dreamlike quality is a possible result of metabolic impairment
      of the brain.

      "What I think it is," he said, "is each person's individual whatever
      experiences are most important to them come out in their metabolic

      The term metabolic refers to a derangement of brain function by the
      stress of whatever has injured a person to the point of near death,
      Schiffer said.

      The metabolism of the brain cells can become impaired.

      "They talk about a very pleasant experience," he said. "There's a
      great variety of things. The common quality, though, is the report
      that it's pleasant."

      Occasionally, Schiffer said, near-death experiences can be
      unpleasant, such as in instances of violence.

      However, people in distress are anxious and restless, but almost
      everyone he has seen reaches a calm state eventually.

      "As if we're wired up when the moment comes," he said, "we're able
      to bear it and let go."

      Schiffer said another underlying factor similar in most near-death
      experiences is the willingness to make a change for the better in
      one's life.

      "We self-generate the meanings of our lives," he said. "We all kind
      of truck along in our lives because we don't remember time is

      Schiffer said those who have gone through a traumatic event that
      sparked a near-death experience are more likely to realize they are

      Smith said after he went through his near-death experience, he was

      "For weeks I was just completely detached," he said. "Still, to this
      day, I'm still withdrawn from the rat race of everyday life."

      Smith said he tries not to take trivial things seriously and keep
      everything in prospective.

      He said meditation helps him to stay in touch with what he learned
      from his near-death experience.

      "Afterwards, it's just a matter of holding onto that," he
      said. "Take some time to stop and think about who you really are.
      Who you were before you were born, if that makes any sense."

      Schiffer said people should not dwell on their mortality, but they
      should keep in mind that each day is valuable.

      He said people that believe each day matters are more efficient in
      their daily lives and make better use of their time.

      People should not wait for a dramatic instance such as a near-death
      experience to turn their lives around for the better, Schiffer said.

      "You should do that anyway," he said, "because life itself is a near
      death experience."
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