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  • It is now about 100 years

  • that the theory of relativity and

  • the quantum physics, quantum mechanics,

  • brought a real earthquake into the classic ways of Science

  • - especially the physics, but the topic of Near-death experiences

  • it can bring even a bigger earthquake

  • - and not only to the neuroscience,

  • it can change our understanding of our life

  • because it can open a very big picture

  • above our existence.

  • In a way it may perhaps become even a challenge

  • for the modern time humanity

  • to integrate the implication of this phenomena.

  • Tibetan Master Kalu Rinpoche

  • You see?

  • So, the Near-death experiences are not real

  • in the way they appear to the dying people.

  • Similarly like this world around us

  • is not real in the way

  • we are perceiving it. And it is not only

  • the Buddhist wisdom and Buddhist insight

  • which is telling that. It is even our science which knows that as well.

  • Giving example:

  • the light and the colors

  • they don't exist. These are just

  • electromagnetic waves

  • of a very particular wave-length

  • and electromagnetic waves are colorless,

  • or even lightless -

  • it is the interpretation

  • of our eye and especially the brain

  • which gives the appearance of light and colors and shapes and all that.

  • But

  • the Buddhist teachings are also very

  • unequivocal about the other side

  • of this truth: that in the different frequencies of existence

  • - or if you like, in the different frequencies of appearances -

  • the experience of happiness

  • and sorrow is what it is.

  • You know, your tooth ache:

  • it's good to know it is just appearance

  • does it help you?

  • I think I don't need to explain what is meant by Near-death experiences

  • because this topic is now discussed everywhere.

  • You can find it even in the mainstream medias,

  • you will find it in professional literature, in the magazines,

  • even in daily newspapers... Usually there is an attempt

  • to explain it away in some way,

  • but also, to be honest, there is

  • also increasing number of articles popping up

  • representing rather the other side

  • of the discussion.

  • So, in this talk I would explore

  • the phenomenon of Near-death experiences

  • as objectively as I can,

  • assuming a position

  • from where I can cover, or even explain

  • all the confronting or

  • conflicting argumentation of the different sides of the discussion

  • - and let's be clear that

  • these involved sides of discussion have sometimes

  • substantial argumentation for their position. - Sometimes it is even

  • enhanced by emotions. You know, because it is such a sensitive topic.

  • The mainstream science, for example,

  • will try to explain the whole Near-death experience purely materialistically

  • as a result of the brain chemistry:

  • all these neurotransmitters, endorphins,

  • dopamine, serotonin, all that -

  • and certainly they have quite a heavy weighting argumentation.

  • For example, that you don't need

  • to be dying to have this kind of experiences similar to

  • Near-death experiences,

  • and it's true, another situations may lead to similar experiences.

  • But, actually, in the science the predominant

  • explanation is in this "dying brain surge"

  • kind of a last goodbye

  • of the dying brain, you know, putting out this final

  • spectacular firework of brain chemistry.

  • So, that would be the position of mainstream science.

  • But then we have another angle

  • of argumentation and this comes

  • from the side of psychology, coming with the hypothesis

  • that the Near-death experience can be

  • actually kind of recalling,

  • or reliving

  • of the trauma of birth - you know,

  • this tunnel and the white light

  • and the spiritual unconditioned love so many times reported

  • in the Near-death experiences,

  • comparing it with the birth channel, the baby coming out

  • to the dayligt, being covered

  • by the unconditioned love from the parents -

  • hmmm

  • So, that would be the argumentation

  • from the psychology side.

  • And then we have, of course, the religious community

  • seeing in it rather

  • the confirmation of the oldest religious idea actually

  • that there is a continuation

  • of existence after the body dies

  • this kind of afterlife, that only the soul is leaving

  • the dying body and goes its way

  • to the different destiny.

  • Actually, Buddhism is not really working with the concept of soul,

  • of eternal soul, but it has

  • the idea of eternal rebirth:

  • coming from lifetime to the other one

  • and again in different spheres of existence -

  • that is the Buddhist point of view.

  • It is clear that in my explanations I will use predominantly

  • the wisdom an insight coming from the Buddhist teachings

  • because it opens the biggest picture

  • above all these phenomena of Near-death experiences

  • of afterlife, even of this contemporary

  • existence here and now, explaining so many things.

  • So, in this talk

  • wanting to take this superposition

  • trying to incorporate all these kinds

  • of argumentation into one clear explanation.

  • It is little bit like

  • the three facets or three sides

  • of this strange object. So the circle would represent

  • let's say, the psychology view,

  • the square would represent the scientific way of explanation,

  • and the cross would be the religious way of understanding.

  • You know, like three facets of one object

  • and our task would be rather

  • to see the whole object

  • in one glance.

  • Not that one of these is correct at the other false,

  • that is not very helpful. The truth is mainly contained in this

  • kind of an explanation which covers all the existing ones.

  • - Actually, I've done it already,

  • if you have seen the Video "UFO and Buddhism"

  • in the second half, beside many other things,

  • I was also explaining this

  • juxtaposition of Darwinism and creationism

  • with this superposition, finding a kind of

  • position from where these two are fully

  • integrated - not that one is right and

  • the other is completely false, it doesn't work so.

  • The truth is more contained in this kind of

  • embracing all what we know. It is something like

  • searching for a common denominator.

  • You may know it from mathematic. If you have

  • let's say, number 2, 3, 4:

  • it is not 4 because the 3 is not properly contained in that,

  • it is not the 6, 9, no,

  • 12! You have to go up to 12

  • because all the three are properly

  • contained in that.

  • So, for task of this magnitude I will start with explanation,

  • with a fundamental explanation

  • of the relationship between brain and mind

  • because this is the foundation,

  • we have to start with that.

  • So, I will explain it with the help

  • of a computer

  • but I ask you, please, be attentive to it

  • even if it may appear to you somehow

  • primitive, or boring, or whatever. Stay attentive through this

  • little exercise

  • because I 'will refer to it many times

  • even later in this talk.

  • So, get it properly, here it is:

  • So, as you can see, I have attached many of the peripheral devices

  • to make the analogy to a living human being

  • as complete as possible.

  • The camera is really connected

  • and that's the symbol of a human seeing

  • and it works,

  • microphone is the hearing, symbol for the hearing ability.

  • Speaker is clear, that is the speaking,