Anesthesia

#1
Hi all,

I was lying in bed last night and began wondering about general anesthesia. I wonder why consciousness is able to be turned off temporarily by drugs if at death it apparently is not lost, but continues in another form. If the death of the brain does not annhialate consciousness or the memory there of, I wonder why altering the brain with drugs has any effect.

What are people's thoughts on this?
 
#2
I have wondered this myself. One response I have gotten is that our consciousness is tethered to the brain (filter) and somehow until we are free in death or temporary death in nde we are subject to the brains limitations. Then there is also dementia which terminal lucidity seems to indicate that being close to death can sometimes frees one from the limitations of an impaired brain. I've heard Kastrup and others refer to these two points as being the strongest arguments against the survival hypothesis.
I also was told by a friend (who was struck by lightening and acquired mediumistic abilities) that it took them up to a year after they died with severe dementia to regain access to their faculties (etheric at that time I presume) where by she was able to have a coherent connection with them. Anyway it seems like you hear a lot of different ideas and understandings about these topics that seem to contradict each other as well as ones that are consistent

You might check out stuart hammeroff (on "new thinking allowed"). He has theories of how consciousness is affected by anesthesia and how consciousness derives from microtubuals which somehow extend into the ethers beyond the brain. At any rate this is all above my paygrade :)
 
#3
We don't know what effect the drugs have on consciousness itself. It may simply cause amnesia, for example.

The ability (or inability) to recall what has taken place is an issue in other areas. Recently there was a case of someone being without breathing or heartbeat for several hours. I forget the circumstances, but basically the environment was very cold, which prevented any substantial damage to the brain. When the person was eventually resuscitated and recovering, they did not report having an NDE. But they were also unable to recall an entire day, or more than one day before the accident occurred. During that time the person had been experiencing normal consciousness.

I'm not suggesting that this is the only explanation of anaesthesia, only that we don't really know fully how it works.
 
#4
We don't know what effect the drugs have on consciousness itself. It may simply cause amnesia, for example.

The ability (or inability) to recall what has taken place is an issue in other areas. Recently there was a case of someone being without breathing or heartbeat for several hours. I forget the circumstances, but basically the environment was very cold, which prevented any substantial damage to the brain. When the person was eventually resuscitated and recovering, they did not report having an NDE. But they were also unable to recall an entire day, or more than one day before the accident occurred. During that time the person had been experiencing normal consciousness.

I'm not suggesting that this is the only explanation of anaesthesia, only that we don't really know fully how it works.
I agree, memory is an important part of the puzzle. It's hard to know how to interpret that kind of data. It's possible that they had an nde but did not remember it.
One thing I've gleaned from dream, hypnosis and trauma work is that memories are often state specific and there can be whole lifetimes of memories or experiences in ones current life that can only be accessed when our consciousness in tuned in to the right frequency if you will. On that note: I've had experiences where I've been able to access vivid recollections of what appeared to be every dream I've ever dreamt. I've also had dreams where I experienced myself in a different identity with different memories that were unfamiliar to me yet were vivid and detailed.
 
#5
I have wondered this myself. One response I have gotten is that our consciousness is tethered to the brain (filter) and somehow until we are free in death or temporary death in nde we are subject to the brains limitations. Then there is also dementia which terminal lucidity seems to indicate that being close to death can sometimes frees one from the limitations of an impaired brain. I've heard Kastrup and others refer to these two points as being the strongest arguments against the survival hypothesis.
I also was told by a friend (who was struck by lightening and acquired mediumistic abilities) that it took them up to a year after they died with severe dementia to regain access to their faculties (etheric at that time I presume) where by she was able to have a coherent connection with them. Anyway it seems like you hear a lot of different ideas and understandings about these topics that seem to contradict each other as well as ones that are consistent

You might check out stuart hammeroff (on "new thinking allowed"). He has theories of how consciousness is affected by anesthesia and how consciousness derives from microtubuals which somehow extend into the ethers beyond the brain. At any rate this is all above my paygrade :)
Thanks for the response. Yes terminal lucidity is a very compelling phenomenon that supports the notion of some form of separation from the brain. On that separation full lucidity is restored. Although if this is the case and we retain all our faculties and physical senses, I wonder why a brain is even required in the first place. Although that's a philosophical issue and it's enough to present the data that this even happens at all to shake up the physicalist position. I have seen Dr Hameroff's new thinking allowed interview which is very interesting indeed, and have contacted him to ask if he'd be willing to have a discussion personally.

We don't know what effect the drugs have on consciousness itself. It may simply cause amnesia, for example.

The ability (or inability) to recall what has taken place is an issue in other areas. Recently there was a case of someone being without breathing or heartbeat for several hours. I forget the circumstances, but basically the environment was very cold, which prevented any substantial damage to the brain. When the person was eventually resuscitated and recovering, they did not report having an NDE. But they were also unable to recall an entire day, or more than one day before the accident occurred. During that time the person had been experiencing normal consciousness.

I'm not suggesting that this is the only explanation of anaesthesia, only that we don't really know fully how it works.
[/QUOTE]

On this I would agree. It is known that general anaesthetics have a very strong amnesic effect, purposely integrated so that no memory of the surgery is retained upon awakening. Even taking the case of dreaming during sleep, I've often woken up, gone through the entire day (12 hours or so) and suddenly recalled a section of a dream that was a main component during the experience itself. Throughout those 12 hours, that part may as well not have happened at all. Add to this natural process the powerful amnesic drugs in anaesthesia and it would make sense that any conscious experienced would not be recalled or maybe even saved in the first place. However I wonder in that case why some are able to recall Out of Body Experiences during routine operations when they are not close to death. In order for Larry's suggestion to be fully explanatory, while not close to death the consciousness/soul/whatever should still be fully connected and working through the functional abilities of the brain and therefore not present, again taking into account the very powerful amnesic drugs.
 
#6
We lack the ability to know. We need to find out why.

If Dr. Schwartz's research is successful there is going to be a kind of hysteria best exemplified by the work of Courtney Brown's recent trailer on his youtube channel.

Nice or not nice, we arrived but we don't know how. How can we trust our memories if we don't have clarity of what happened yesterday, let alone 20 or 2000 years ago?

Our autobiographical memory is awful. Perhaps we are here to become someone else and their really is some sort of soul-processing technology that alters our quality after death -- a kind of integration of lives.

I don't mean to be opaque. Schwartz mentions people living multiple lives in parallel or the energy of a soul being separated and placed in multiple bodies. This sounds a l lot like the biological robot idea. He stated einstein is now living multiple lives, a percent of his energy in multiple bodies (frankly, that is savage!).

Are we the AI in the box?
 
Last edited:
#7
I agree, memory is an important part of the puzzle. It's hard to know how to interpret that kind of data. It's possible that they had an nde but did not remember it.
One thing I've gleaned from dream, hypnosis and trauma work is that memories are often state specific and there can be whole lifetimes of memories or experiences in ones current life that can only be accessed when our consciousness in tuned in to the right frequency if you will. On that note: I've had experiences where I've been able to access vivid recollections of what appeared to be every dream I've ever dreamt. I've also had dreams where I experienced myself in a different identity with different memories that were unfamiliar to me yet were vivid and detailed.
For information purposes, the case I referenced was that of Audrey Schoeman
Really, that is an example of the current state-of-the-art ECMO machine, sometimes described by Sam Parnia. As well as being a remarkable survival.

Yes, dream-consciousness is strange. It almost seems to coexist as a separate reality. Quite often I will find as I drift off to sleep at night, I start to remember the dream I had had just before waking that morning. During the daytime, my waking hours, I had no recollection whatsoever of it. And I do sometimes seem to get glimpses of dreams from long ago, which resurface in that half-waking half-sleeping state.

My apologies for diverting this thread somewhat off-topic, it wasn't my aim.
 
Last edited:
#8
Thanks for the response. Yes terminal lucidity is a very compelling phenomenon that supports the notion of some form of separation from the brain. On that separation full lucidity is restored. Although if this is the case and we retain all our faculties and physical senses, I wonder why a brain is even required in the first place. Although that's a philosophical issue and it's enough to present the data that this even happens at all to shake up the physicalist position. I have seen Dr Hameroff's new thinking allowed interview which is very interesting indeed, and have contacted him to ask if he'd be willing to have a discussion personally.
On the question of "why a brain is even required in the first place", my take on this is that the primary purpose is to control the body, and to process the incoming data from the senses. It also seems to modulate our conscious experience such that we are subject to effects emotional and physical, as well as giving access to our human languages for example. People in an NDE often describe communication with no particular language, but direct mind-to-mind communication.
 
#9
Hi all,

I was lying in bed last night and began wondering about general anesthesia. I wonder why consciousness is able to be turned off temporarily by drugs if at death it apparently is not lost, but continues in another form. If the death of the brain does not annhialate consciousness or the memory there of, I wonder why altering the brain with drugs has any effect.

What are people's thoughts on this?
Hi - this is only a guess, but I think perhaps the brain is in much better shape when under anaesthesia than it is in a cardiac arrest. Perhaps the brain actively forgets what happens under anaesthesia just as you can actually feel it forgetting your dreams as you wake up. This might also explain why 90% of people who have a cardiac arrest, don't have an NDE.

Another piece of evidence that might suggest this, is that it is said that when people first come round from anaesthesia they are often in a delirious state - which they then forget.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/delirium-what-you-should-know-3156864

Hallucinations are altered perceptual disturbances. A patient may see bats flying around the room and watch them fly from corner to corner. They may reach out and try to touch something that isn’t there or talk to someone who is not present or even an individual who has died.
I guess this is based on the idea that the brain is normally filtering out information from a larger reality that may be available while we are unconscious.

David
 
#10
What affects the brain affects our consciousness while incarnated here on Earth. They’re inexorably linked at this time. That said, how do we really know that people have no experience during anesthesia? I’ve read stories where people did have memories and even NDE-like experiences.

Also, remember, we dream every night. But some people virtually never remember any dreams. But they still have those experiences every night. They just (for whatever reason) don’t have conscious recall of them the next day. The same might be true for us under anesthesia. We don’t really know. We dont understand the nature of memory. We don’t remember dreams, we don’t remember our birth, but those things were experienced by us.

It might also be worth mentioning that some people
Have NDEs, but do not recall them until months or even years after their resuscitation. So, again, we really have no idea how or why consciousness and memory works the way they do. But we are seemingly tied to and affected by our nervous system for the time being. And one seems to affect the other in ways we do not understand.
 
#11
I’ve commented about this area before, the reactions I received from some were very interesting.
Having experienced General Anaesthetic a few times in my life, I can honestly say that it is unique. In that, for me, time disappears from the time I go under, to the time I wake up. It’s instantaneous. I have no memory of anything at all, it’s ‘switch off’ - ‘switch on’.
 
#12
I’ve commented about this area before, the reactions I received from some were very interesting.
Having experienced General Anaesthetic a few times in my life, I can honestly say that it is unique. In that, for me, time disappears from the time I go under, to the time I wake up. It’s instantaneous. I have no memory of anything at all, it’s ‘switch off’ - ‘switch on’.
That is certainly the experience of the vast majority. So what's your take on this and of the suggestions made earlier in the thread?
 
#13
That is certainly the experience of the vast majority. So what's your take on this and of the suggestions made earlier in the thread?
I have just had a quick scan of the previous posts and couldn’t find the ‘suggestions‘ you mentioned. In any event, I’m not that bothered as I think that we seem to be basically fooled into making it appear that our consciousness is here for a limited time, but I don’t go for that. The body knows the difference between being anaesthetised and death. I think if I were to die while ‘under’ I would soon become aware of it. Probably by having an NDE of some description, only this time it probably would not be a near death, but the real thing.

But the important thing Is that I don’t know this for sure, so keeping my motivation for staying alive going. If we knew for sure, I think lots of us might not achieve our purpose here during this life, or full potential, whatever that may be, before checking out earlier than planned, either deliberately(suicide) or not (some appear to have a choice during their NDE).
 
Top