Are there any NDEs that conclusively prove the existence of the soul?
Extract from Chaitanya Charan’s upcoming book: “The Mystery of Reincarnation”
One of the most amazing cases of a NDE during documented unconsciousness is that of Pam Reynolds reported by Dr Michael Sabom in his book Light and Death
Pam Reynolds was diagnosed with a giant basilar artery aneurysm: a weakness in the wall of the large artery at the base of her brain had caused that artery to balloon. A fatal rupture could have come at any moment. Initially, doctors offered her no hope of survival. But eventually she came in touch with neurosurgeon Robert Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Spetzler was a specialist who was at that time pioneering a rare, dangerous, but sometimes necessary technique called hypothermic cardiac arrest, or “Operation Standstill.” This daring operation required that the patient’s body temperature be lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head.
Dr. Spetzler explains, “If you would examine that patient from a clinical perspective during that hour, that patient by all definition would be dead. At this point there is no brain activity, no blood going through the brain. Nothing, nothing, nothing.”
During this period of clinical brain death, Pam had a vivid NDE in which she saw – with clarity and detail – her head, the cranial saw, the operating room, and the doctors and nurses there. She was surprised to see the peculiar way in which her hair had been shaved and was alarmed to see someone cutting her groin area during what was supposed to be brain surgery. From the area where her legs were, she also heard a female voice saying that the blood vessels were too small on the right side, and a male voice suggesting that they try the other side.
It’s incredible that, during this period of brain death, she had any perception at all. But it’s even more incredible that she could have heard the two voices. During the entire time not only was she under general anesthesia, but she also had special earpieces actually molded into her ears. Those tiny speakers were emitting 90 to 100 decibel clicks at a rate of 11 to 13 clicks per second. Sound at that volume is easily louder than a whistling teakettle and nearly as loud as a lawn mower or even a passing subway train. This sound was meant to monitor her most basic level of brain function and ensure that she was deeply and consistently anesthetized. Just imagine tiny speakers specially molded to completely fill the ear canal emitting clicks that loud and rapid. Then imagine the likelihood of accurately hearing a brief conversation that was taking place at the volume of normal conversation – about 60 decibel, substantially below the 90 to 100 decibel clicks. Even though the conversation was happening a few feet away, there’s little possibility it could have been overheard. Regardless, even if Reynolds had somehow been partially conscious and hearing things as she normally would, it’s strange that – as Dr Sabom confirms – she never mentioned hearing clicks, much less feeling distracted by them or struggling to hear through them.
Dr Spetzler summarizes the profound questions raised by Reynolds’ NDE:
“At that stage in the operation, nobody can observe, hear, in that state, And I find it inconceivable that your normal senses, such as hearing, let alone the fact that she had clicking modules in each ear, that there was any way to hear [what she heard] through normal auditory pathways. I don’t have an explanation for it. I don’t know how it’s possible for it to happen, considering the physiological state she was in. At the same time, I have seen so many things that I can’t explain, that 1 don’t want to be so arrogant as to be able to say that there’s no way it can happen.”
When Reynolds was asked how she was able to hear, she replied that it was through nonphysical processes.