I'm currently living with some relatives. They're not religious, but I guess you could call them spiritual. Recently, I've discussed life after death with one of the members of the family. He believes that the mind can live outside of the body. He's been reading up on some out-of-body experiences, or near-death experiences, and he has actually had a personal experience of "leaving his body" after he fainted some years ago.
My relative told me some interesting stories of someone who were considered braindead (for a short time) as well as a person in brain surgery. Both of these patients supposedly left their bodies during these episodes.
The first story was about a person who was declared braindead on the operating table. There was no registrated activity in the brain whatsoever, but the person woke up from this state after a short while. He or she told... well, someone, of how he/she was floating right below the ceiling in the room while staring down at his or her lifeless body. Now, how is this possible if there was no activity in the brain? I tried to look at this story as a skeptic. Just to be clear, I know little about the brain and how it works, so I don't claim to really know what I'm talking about here. Anyway, I told my relative what I thought had happened: The person probably had the out-of-body experience right before the brain shut down. He/she would then black out completely when the level of activity in the brain stopped, I suppose. He or she probably didn't know exactly when (s)he was "outside the body", so to them, it might as well have happened during the braindead state. People would like this to be true, that there in fact is a soul and a life for us after the death of our bodies, so those who heard the story might have insisted that the person's "soul" was floatin' around somewhere when there was no brain activity. That would make this story pro-soul, if that makes any sense.
After I had tried to explain what really might have happened to this person, my relative said that my theory could be plausible. But then he had another story to tell, and he said that it would challenge this theory. Apparently, some other person was undergoing brain surgery. My relative said that for this particular surgery, the patient had to be put in a state of coma. The doctors would have to drain some blood from the brain, and the rest of the body was put under some sort of artificial life support. Additionally, the patient's ears would be plugged to create pressure in the head. During surgery, the patient left his/her body. Nothing new there. But then it got a bit fishy: after the surgery, the patient could tell exactly what had happened and what had been said in the room while in coma. He/she recalled a conversation between the doctors, eventhough his/her ears were plugged. Someone had dropped a tool on the floor during the surgery (what a clutz!), and the patient remembered seeing that, too. He/she could even remember the exact time certain things happened, as, I guess, there was a clock in the room. I don't know how often doctors check the time, but it seems a bit odd that the one dropping the tool would be all like "Oh my, I better remember the exact time I dropped my instrument, you know, instead of concentrating on the patient undergoing effing surgery!". But I digress. I really wanted to say that this story sounded like a load of BS, but I really didn't want to end up in an argument with my relative.
I have no idea where my relative got these stories from, so they could have originated from pretty much anywhere.
So, what do you guys think? Can we explain these stories scientifically? They're probably just made up or altered and glorified for the sake of "proving" the existence of the soul.
One other thing: have anyone heard of the type of surgery from the second story? It sounds like it could have been made up too for the sake of the story, with the earplugs put in to make it impossible for the patient to hear anything and all that. But if anyone knows anything about brain surgery, it would be wonderful if you could shed some more light on this.
I had at least one out of body experence as a teenager where I was viewing my bedroom from an elevated corner of the room...as if suspended in a corner near the ceiling. I was looking down and could see my entire room...though I was simultaneously layng n my bed! I have no doubt it was due to the psycological stress I was experiencing in my personal life at that time related to some past drug experience with LSD. The mind is very poweful and oxygen deprivation and other trauma can have chemical reactions leading to many side effects. I have also have seen "stars" before my eyes and experinced 'tunnel vision" during a fainting episode brought on by unexpectedly witnessing a bloody event. I am unable to comment on your "stories" but use my own experiences and common sense as I do when reading any "story". BTW I do not believe the mind can live outside of the body. I am happy to have managed any opportuity to live and experince life inside my body!