According to Dr. Sam Parnia, and other researchers, death could be more like a cold, rather than an immutable instance – much like the inferences of ancient Egyptian and Zoroastrian ‘myths’ of a transferable consciousness. In his book Erasing Death, Parnia discusses new medical techniques that could make death a completely reversible process, but to what end?
The Egyptians and Hermetics believed life was an eternal journey, not an unassailable, final, and binding moment in our lives that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical and hospice care.
On Big Think, Dr. Parnia discusses his experience with sustained resuscitation and near-death and out-of-body experiences.
Dr. Parnia has observed patients being brought back to life, after hours of their hearts ceasing to beat with merely CPR. No permanent damage was done to the brain in these instances. He also wonders if near-death and out-of-body experiences hold any medical secrets, which could be used to tell us something about the condition, including resuscitation of the brain.
Dr. Parnia states,
“We’ve never had an objective method to go beyond the threshold of death and study what happens both biologically and from a mental and cognitive perspective. Therefore, everything that we deal with is basically hearsay and people’s own beliefs.”
Dr. Parnia specializes in patients who die of cardiac arrest, who oddly, don’t report the bright lights and benevolent beings that many other people do who experience near-death.
Another study suggests that your life really does flash before your eyes at death.
Researchers from Hadassah University in Jerusalem revealed
that the “life-review” rarely happens in chronological order, as is depicted in Hollywood movies. After conducting in-depth interviews with 7 people who experienced near-death, participants in the study reported having their experiences detailed to them all at once, or in a random fashion. They reported feeling all their psychological stress and pain.
This could suggest that we are given a choice, with an active consciousness, to choose whether to stay in our current incarnation or move on to another one.
There may, in fact, be an emotional component to “reversing death.”
Dr. Parnia has found that by cooling the body a few degrees before death can prolong the brain’s ability to be resuscitated, but there many be other medical tricks, both modern, and ancient which could be used to make us immortal.
Mark Roth, biologist, has been experimenting by putting animals in suspended animation – a type of hibernation – with the hopes of prolonging their lives. He is currently working with nematodes and hope to work up to humans.
In another odd experiment, a man that was comatose for 15 years roused from a vegetative state after doctors stimulated his vagus nerve.
Researchers point out that the brain is only 2 percent of the human body, and like the ages-old argument dividing the brain from consciousness, it may be possible that our “life” depends little on the functioning of the primary vehicle in which we are currently encapsulated.
But to what end?
Should we observe the birth and death of a star we will see the perfect order of the larger consciousness. A star is born when atoms of light elements are squeezed under enough pressure for their nuclei to undergo fusion. A balance of forces creates all stars: the force of gravity compresses atoms in interstellar gas until the fusion reactions begin.
When a star dies, though conscious itself, it can become a planet, capable of hosting innumerable additional forms of conscious life. The stars essence or wisdom “lives on” through new, varied forms of life.
Similarly, if life in physical form is just a chance to experience duality, in order to make clear choices which can bring us closer to our Sophian reality, and further from the egoic trap of the Fallen Angels, then why would we choose to halt physical death?
To wit, the Egyptians went to great lengths to preserve the sarcophagi of the dead, but not to preserve the material casing (skin, bones, etc.) to bring these things back to life.
The bodies of kings and queens were preserved only to maintain their wisdom (consciousness) as much as possible, so that it might be delivered into the next incarnation. The physical form was thought of as a stepping stone, not a final destination.
Yet, why do we assume that our next incarnation should be in a physical body? Are there other life-forms which might outgrow this physical, and thereby dual, existence?
The transmigration of the soul may have served us well as long as were to be imprisoned in a purely physical, humanoid form, but what of the light body? What of incarnations as beings of a higher consciousness, just as important and vital in the logos as man. Plato, Pythagoras, Greek philosophers, ancient Egyptians, and the Christian gnostics, agreed.
How the divine spark manifests is limited not only to the human form – yet we are obsessed with staying in the body.
Tantric masters pass directly from gnosis to the rainbow, or light body. In Thuken Losang Chokyi Nyima’s book, The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems: A Tibetan Study of Asian Religious Thought, it is stated,
“When the gnosis [personal knowledge] that is a nondual union, free from acceptance and rejection, transports you to that state in which all dharmas of samsara and nirvana are seen as empty of reality itself, then awareness itself, undivided into samsara and nirvana, directly perceives the dharmadhatu as the object. This ripens into the body of continuous self-awareness and brings about freedom. The liberation on the spot is like moxibustion applied to the proper spot on the body. This emphasis on seemingly transcending the path is like that of the six yogas of the new schools, but there is a great difference in meaning: in the six yogas, the technique of binding the five winds in the central channel affects the appearance of the empty body, leading you gradually along a path of great bliss that involves effort. Here, on the other hand, having severed all analytical thought, you settle directly into the self-luminous ultimate nature. . . “
In closing, though it may be possible to reverse death, the process of reanimating the spirit, or the eternal consciousness into form should be left to the Higher Self, and the Universal Intelligence which creates our form to begin with. While we can elevate our DNA, or even take various medications to reverse sickness, the true goal of all consciousness is to experience itself. In our limited human form, we may know very little about the true purpose of our souls, in this or any incarnation. If we simply ignite the form without elevating the consciousness, we may be missing the point of our time in a human body.