Many years ago my brother and several friends ate a stew of what was thought to be wild potatoes. It was actually something very toxic and they were rushed to intensive care.
One Christmas years after, the talk turned to religion, and he matter of factely started describing his near death experience.
He had been on the operating table and found he was looking down at himself as the medics worked. He said that as they saved him he felt annoyance as he returned to his body.
This is someone who had no interest in the paranormal, a geologist, who I can never recall previously talking of such things.
Google revealed similar descriptions. So frequent were they that some operating theatres, around the top of cupboards, which can only be seen from above, have written messages for validation.
Trying to analyse it I thought of what it might indicate about a soul brain interface.
First, as a detached soul, he had an emotive reaction, indicating that souls have similar emotions to those we feel
Second, does it indicate anything about the soul brain disconnection? Does the soul disconnect from a dying brain or does the brain no longer hold the connection to the soul?
Looking for computer network analogies, the thing that appeals, although simplistic, is a wifi connection.
I also like the analogy of a damaged brain as a faulty receiver, historically damage has led to many discoveries about the brain's operation. Perhaps as our knowledge improves we will be able to be separate these factors.
From his brief description, when he was looking down, he had both sight and sound perception. I find it's similarity to our normal perception quite strange.
I would also be interested to know if there are correlations between people that have had these experiences and their subsequent lives.
The Persian mystic Kobra wrote that in the universes beyond the physical you cannot just march into new territories and conquer them. You have, instead, to tune yourself to them, to harmonize with them or they will remain closed off.
From 'The map of heaven' by Dr Eben Alexander:
The laws of heaven's physics are different from ours. The one rule we need to remember is we end up where we belong by the amount of love we have in us, for love is the essence of heaven.
It is what it is made of. It is the coin of the realm.
What scientists believe but cannot prove
A facinating book 'What we believe but cannot prove' edited by John Brockman features a collection of short pieces by leading scientists and thinkers.
Several common positions show:
Microscopic and intelligent life are common
Microscopic life is common, intelligent life is rare
Microscopic life is common, we are currently the only intelligent life.
The crux seems to be disagreement on the probabilities of the freak chemical events involved. I agree with Martin Nowak's outline:
"Important steps in evolution are robust. Multicellularity evolved at least ten times. There were a number of lineages leading from primates to humans. If our ancestors had not evolved language, somebody else would have. Cooperation and language define humanity. Every special trait of humans is a derivative of language. Mathematics is a language and therefore a product of evolution"
Panspermia also has frequent mention. We are contributing to it here on Earth by launching vast numbers of microbes into space.
It is how life spread through the galaxy.