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Posts tagged ‘health care’

Never Had an NDE, But Anecdotal Evidence Convinces Me They’re Likely Real

One of my favorite Shakespeare quotes goes as follows: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  Going back as far as I can remember, I’ve pondered where we as beings came from before birth and go to after we die.  After all, if you think for a moment about our brief physical existence, as Shakespeare also wrote, strutting and fretting our hours upon this stage, don’t you wonder what’s behind the veil?   There was a moment in Woody Allen’s film “Hannah and Her Sisters” where his hypochondriacal character Mickey thinks he’s dying, gets a clean bill of health, and then becomes ecstatic–until moments later he realizes that his stay of execution is only temporary, that we’re all going to die.  He then goes on a temporary quest to find out what it’s all about, reading all the spiritual literature he can.  Well, that would also be me.  I’ve been obsessed, given the fact that I’ve not lived the life I’d have scripted out for myself, with finding out what it’s all about.  My life often reflects the sentiment Daniel Stern expressed in “City Slickers” when he said that he wanted his life to be a “do-over.”

Do we have souls that survive physical death and move into an unseen dimension or are we literally our bodies?  I’m inclined to lean heavily on the former rather than the latter and the reason is more than simply self-serving wishful thinking.  Let’s face facts, in a very real sense, if we don’t survive physical death we won’t even exist to be upset about it.  If we do survive it’s an adventure I can imagine being very excited about.  Having no fundamentalist religious beliefs that instill fear, I have no worries about how I’ve lived my life and any possible negative karmic consequences.

My hypothesis that we survive physical death is based on many things I’ve read,  bizarre synchronicities I’ve experienced, appreciation for the complexity and brilliance of all things alive (if it’s Darwinism, what creative force put Darwinism into place?), and most convincingly, amazing accounts I’ve read and listened to from those who have shared near death experiences.  I fully acknowledge that surviving the deaths of our bodies seems too good to be true, and that hypothetically the dying brain can conjure up imaginings of life after death as a way to comfort us in our fear of non-existence, but what convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt that we aren’t our bodies are accounts of NDE’ers reporting what they witnessed from outside their bodies during surgery or above accident scenes or of hearing conversations that went on way away from the physical space their bodies were located at.  Many neurosurgeons are totally baffled by such NDE’er accounts, especially since during heart stoppage for only a few seconds, the brain stops functioning. Such doctors don’t talk about these phenomena readily since they have no explanation for how it’s possible and at the same time they don’t want to lose credibility with their scientifically-oriented peers.  They routinely ignore the writings of various doctors such as cardiologist and writer Dr. Pim van Lommel, NDE experiencer Dr. Eben Alexander, NDE experiencer Dr. Mary Neal, Dr. Raymond Moody, and many others who’ve been brave enough in their search for the truth to ignore the peer pressure to remain silent.

Scientists often dismiss the notion that we aren’t our bodies before even examining the evidence, which has given rise to the de facto religion of scientism, which means, according to Wikipedia, “the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative world view or the most valuable part of human learning–to the exclusion of other viewpoints.”  The credo of scientism is “if it doesn’t fit with our existing world view and we can’t reproduce extraordinary claims in a laboratory, it must not be given any credence.”

For my money the exploration of inner space should be the next frontier of a more enlightened science.  If only NDE accounts were followed up by open-minded scientists who don’t automatically discount all anecdotal evidence as nonsense, perhaps we’d be headed to a place where people wouldn’t have such a dreaded fear of what lies beyond. Frankly, science may never even get there since it might be wholly inadequate for material science to prove an immaterial reality.

I challenge readers to explore YouTube, listen to and watch as many NDE accounts as you can, and come away at least open-minded about the possibility of there being more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  Check out channels like NDEAccounts, IANDSvideos, Anita Moorjani, Raymond Moody, Near Death Experience: Healed by the Light.

The Health Care Elephant in the Room

We’ve been hearing a lot of blather lately about how our national budget is so stretched and our deficit is so huge that we either must raise taxes or cut entitlements or a combination of both. Much of this debate pretends there doesn’t exist any solution to high health care costs other than reducing benefits to those who aren’t yet on the doorstep of Medicare eligibility. And that’s exactly the way the health insurance lobby wants it. While lobbyists spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually bribing our elected officials and successfully steering them away from any solution that would involve eradicating health insurance companies, people are going bankrupt, losing their homes, and making “Sophie’s choices” between food and rent. President Obama, who was once for “Single Payer Health Care,” now says that he doesn’t want to disrupt health care as we know it by radically changing our health care delivery system. That’s code for “I can’t do anything to successfully combat the economic clout of the health insurance lobby, so let’s just try to do what little we can to incrementally improve this broken system.”

Just what is the purpose of health insurance companies, anyway? Are they not in business to make a profit? And if that’s what they’re in business to do, what kind of coverage do they really want to offer their customers? I would argue that these companies have teams of lawyers and accountants staying up late at night–every night–trying to figure out how to make sure they provide as little coverage as is legally possible. An essential part of this plan is to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to demonize the very concept of a health care system that would be administered by state or federal governments. After all, if they can make government itself the bad guy most of their work is done for them. Tea Party members have, with the aid of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etal, latched on to this mantra, “private enterprise is good, government is bad,” with a vengeance. Yet within the last couple of weeks polls have indicated that even Tea Party members don’t want their Medicare tampered with, whether they’re getting it now or on the verge of getting it within the next couple of decades. Soon, I hope, this huge health insurance lobby con will be exposed to enough light to expose the truth, that health insurance companies are simply the price-gauging middle men standing between you and your doctor as the real death panels preventing you from receiving the care you deserve at an affordable price. Quality health care should be a right for all citizens, not a privilege for the select few who can afford it. Perhaps it’ll take millions of more bankruptcies and foreclosures for this message to get across to the general public. Perhaps then even Fox News and Ann Coulter won’t be able to convince Americans that government itself isn’t the bad guy, that maybe Single Payer Health Care can be as effective as Medicare is to the people who currently depend on it in an otherwise financially perilous world. I know I’d rather pay a little more in taxes to the federal or state government rather than pay high premiums to insurance companies who are forever inventing ways to escape covering me. Don’t fall for the big con.