Nurses are often first-hand witnesses to the deaths of terminally ill patients under medical care. For that reason, nurses have a unique opportunity to observe the moments just before and after death that most individuals rarely get to see. It’s natural, then, that nurses might catch a glimpse behind the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead – if such a veil exists at all. To confirm the presence of such a veil, a recent study found that the majority of nurses from eight Argentinean hospitals reported having witnessed strange, unexplained, or paranormal phenomena while on the job, usually related to death or near-death.
The report will be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a journal devoted to peer-reviewed scientific studies of paranormal and anomalous phenomena. According to authors Alejandro Parra and Paola Giménez Amarilla, 55% of the Argentinian nurses surveyed reported at least one instance of a paranormal or unexplained experience related to their duties:
Results showed that of the 100 nurses surveyed, 55 of them reported having had at least one anomalous experience in the hospital setting, the most common being the feeling of ‘presences,’ hearing strange noises, voices, or dialogues, noticing the tears or groans of patients, and intuitively ‘knowing’ what disease patients have.
Nearly 20% of the nurses reported that patients experience near-death experiences and 18% report witnessing patients healed by “religious intervention.” The study found that in general, these nurses accepted the phenomena they witnessed and were not frightened or surprised by them:
Acceptance of these experiences, without interpretation or explanation, characterized their responses. By reassuring them that the occurrence of paranormal phenomena was not uncommon and was often comforting to the dying person, we may assist nurses to be instrumental in normalizing a potentially misunderstood and frightening experience.
Are nurses uniquely positioned on a front line of research into necroneuroscience and the unexplainable? Quite possibly. As brain research continues to unlock many of the secrets of human consciousness and cognition, death has become one of the last frontiers of neuroscience. Who better to study such a frontier than the health professionals who come into contact with death every day?….
Old superstitions, like old habits, die hard. Sometimes a sledgehammer is needed. At least, that’s what a ghost hunter in Thailand claimed when he was brought in to perform an exorcism on a woman who appeared to be possessed by ghosts of previous owners of the house she had just moved into. One of the ghost hunter’s solutions to this problem was to smash the spirit house – placed in front of Thai houses and businesses as a home for the ghosts of previous residents – with a sledgehammer. Did it work? Should Peter Gabriel get a percentage of his fee?
There are many superstitions and religious customs involving homes and buildings. A popular Catholic tradition entails burying a statue of St. Joseph (the husband of Jesus’ mother Mary) upside down so the patron saint of workers will work harder to help the house sell. In Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, placing a spirit house in front of homes and businesses is an ancient custom that evolved from a combination of Animism (spirit worship), Hinduism, Buddhism and real estate. Often elaborate, the spirit houses are placed in prominent locations for spirits – generally those tied to the area due to having once lived there or owned it – to stay in rather than causing problems for the living residents…..
A religious organization known in India as the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar Project has been pushing a program on would-be parents that it claims can create “uttam santati,” or custom babies. While many of the group’s core beliefs date back to ancient Hindu mysticism, critics accuse the group of verging on the ultra-nationalist side, seeking to create a stronger Indian nation – and Indian bloodline – through their controversial birthing program that makes some rather questionable claims.
Whatever their goal is, the program has recommendations that stray into the pseudoscientific. Many of the procedures outlined in the program involve the “purification of energy channels,” mantra-chanting, and just good ol’ proper nutrition. Ok, I can get behind that one. Eat your veggies, expecting moms. However, the group also instructs couples to arrange their copulation around planetary alignments in order to ensure the most auspicious astrological birth signs. Because, you know, nobody wants those wily Geminis or Scorpions or whatever in their houses. No word yet on healing crystals…..
For most people, having sex is an out-of-clothing experience. Once that thrill is gone, many couples try putting some articles of clothing back on to enhance the mood because you can’t get more than naked … can you? Astral projection specialist Steve G. Jones says you can and he’s promoting stripping off your physical beings and having out-of-body sex. It’s safer than actual sex and cheaper than virtual sex. Sounds like fun, but is it legal in all 50 states?
“You both get into your astral bodies and move together.”
In a recent interview, Jones focuses primarily on two people leaving their bodies to enter the astral plane and become intimate with each other’s souls. No foreplay is required. In fact, that pre-sex time should be spent getting into a meditative state somewhere in that sweet spot between awake and asleep. Once that’s done, it’s a simple matter of sitting up, entering the plane and meeting up with your astral partner.
“You find that you can become much more intertwined in the astral body than you can in the physical body.”
That intertwining depends on how adept you and your partner are at astral projection. The merging of souls or energy is the ‘orgasm’ that is reportedly a combination of both physical and astral pleasure that is said can still be felt after each person returns to their physical bodies…..
New evidence from a cave in England shows that Stone Age residents living there 15,000 years ago ate their friends and relatives and then turned their skulls and bones into works of art. Were they adding insult to injury or honoring the dead in appreciation of a good, albeit grisly, meal?
“The sequence of modifications performed on this bone suggests that the engraving was a purposeful component of the cannibalistic practice, rich in symbolic connotations. Although in previous analyses we have been able to suggest that cannibalism at Gough’s Cave was practiced as a symbolic ritual, this study provides the strongest evidence for this yet.”
Silvia Bello, Calleva Researcher at the Natural History Museum, describes in PLOS One what he and fellow researchers found in Gough’s Cave, a spectacular limestone cavern in Cheddar, Somerset, England. Measuring 115 meters (377 ft) deep and 3.4 km (2.12 mi) long, Gough’s Cave is famous for the remains of its human dwellers, including Cheddar Man, the oldest complete human skeleton in Britain, dating back to 7,150 BCE. The cave was found in the 1880s by Richard Cox Gough, who turned it into a show or tourist cave which was illuminated with an early electric lighting system in 1899…..
What do you think of when you envision the word “zombie?” Is it a snapping, ravenous flesh-hungry beast? An aimless, lost soul wandering about, yet still a ravenous beast? These are all images that Hollywood has implanted in your head, the end result of decades of spooky lore and fictionalization, yet you may not be aware that the modern zombie as we know it has its origins in something every bit as strange, and if you believe the locals, far more real. Here actual zombies have a long tradition, with many odd accounts of their existence encompassing many aspects of the bizarre, and remaining largely unsolved.
On the island nation of Haiti, the religion of Vodou, also commonly spelled “Voodoo” in the west is estimated to be practiced or at least believed by some 80 to 90 percent of the population. It is a unique faith in that it is comprised of an eclectic mix of various African folk beliefs brought over by slaves by the French, as well as a pinch of Catholicism thrown into the fray, which was largely the result of trying to camouflage Voodoo customs when efforts were made to stamp out the more traditional practices in a drive to convert these people. The Voodoo religion places great emphasis on the nature of spirits and their interaction with the world around them, with earthbound spirits supposedly being capable of bringing good fortune and luck, or conversely misfortune, madness, and misery, and it is in this particular belief where we can find the origins of the zombies.
It is believed that there are two basic types of death in Voodoo, and that each generates a different type of spirit. One is death by natural means, such as old age or illness, which is seen as the body coming full circle in the natural cycle of life and death. These spirits are not typically imprisoned on earth, and are free to move on. However, there are also those who have died abruptly from unnatural causes, which are considered to be things such as murder or accidents, in which case they have not yet reached the end of their predetermined cycle and their spirit becomes fettered to the earthly realm, doomed to wander without a body until their preordained date of death, the day they were supposed to die, arrives. It is these spirits that are the most vulnerable, and which are the main targets for the process of zombification…..
“To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”
That’s the mission statement of Way of the Future, a nonprofit religious corporation founded by Anthony Levandowski, the god of self-driving vehicles. He’s the engineer who built Google’s autonomous car and founded Otto, a self-driving truck company that was acquired by Uber. He’s now being sued by Alphabet, the parent company of Goggle, for allegedly stealing trade secrets and infringing on patents. Perhaps that’s why he needs an AI god.
“He had this very weird motivation about robots taking over the world—like actually taking over, in a military sense. It was like [he wanted] to be able to control the world, and robots were the way to do that. He talked about starting a new country on an island. Pretty wild and creepy stuff. And the biggest thing is that he’s always got a secret plan, and you’re not going to know about it.”
That quote from an engineer friend is in an article in Wired and sums up Levandowski’s view on robots … and on Way of the Future. Not much is known about the company/religion. While just discovered now, Wired found that he filed the incorporation paperwork in 2015. There doesn’t appear to be a website or anything more from Levandowski, which goes along with his reputation for “secret plans.”…..
A film that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May has its worldwide premiere in a few weeks and its subject matter could not be more timely. I Am Not a Witch tells the true story of witch camps in modern-day Ghana and Zambia where women – from children to the elderly — are controlled and exploited by men whose only power is fear and hoodoo trinkets. In the process of telling the stories, the female director exposes the modern “chieftains” who control women in both of her home countries.
“There are different reasons as to why they ended up there. When I asked them why they had been accused, many seemed to think it was jealousy. Some of them had started a business in their village and then when the business did well, the accusations followed. A lot of them were widows. And when you’re a widow you’re quite vulnerable in certain places.”
As Zambian-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni explains in a recent interview in the Irish Times, “there” can be a small village or a traveling labor camp. “They” are generally elderly women, but the witch camps also contain many children, one of whom becomes the focal point of her film……
Halloween is the third-most popular holiday in the U.S. after Thanksgiving and Christmas, which can seem strange and potentially hypocritical when one looks at its obvious demonic symbolisms celebrated in a country that tries to also be religious while dealing with a constitution that prevents a state religion. Fortunately, the controversy lasts just a few days. In India, the practice of what is called black magic and witchcraft occurs year-round and has prompted the government of the state of Karnataka to pass the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill. Since one person’s black magic can be another’s religion and, since some of these practices have crossed over into the common culture (like Halloween), the bill had to leave some things out. If you’re planning a trip to Karnataka, here’s a list of black magic do’s and don’ts.
According to The Hindu, on the banned list is Made Made Snana, a practice where, after a communal meal is cooked, members of a lower caste are forced to roll over the leftovers on burning plantain leaves to remove bad karma. Also banned is fire-walking, which has become a motivational and corporate bonding activity in the U.S. Another no-no is removing an evil spirit by forcing the possessed person to walk around naked. It is now illegal (finally) to force menstruating women to walk around naked. Exorcising ghosts by making the alleged victim drink water from a shoe or worse, drink urine or eat feces is banned. So is performing surgery with nothing but your fingers (a practice sometimes called psychic surgery in the U.S.), branding children or throwing them onto a bed of thorns.
Yes, all of these things were legal until the murder in 2015 of Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, a leader in the movement to ban some of these practices and superstitions, prompted politicians to push for the passage of this bill that had been proposed in 2013 and promptly ignored……
“May you be in Heaven a full half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.”
While the devil may not know you’re dead, you will. A new study of near death experiences suggests that the human mind is still functioning after all bodily vital signs are gone. In fact, it’s operating well enough that the person can hear the medical personnel and family members talking about them being dead. There’s something to think about when you’re discussing how to divide up the inheritance.
“And the evidence reveals that people whose heart stopped and then restarted – usually on the operating table – could describe exactly what had been happening around them. The new research is an extension of these findings.”
Dr. Sam Parnia is the director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City and the author of the study, published this month in the journal Resuscitation. He starts by looking at the classic signs used to determine ‘time of death. Those generally start with the heart stopping, which cuts off the blood supply to the brain, flatlining the brain monitor within 20 seconds. That ends all brain reflexes and begins the death of brain cells……