I speak with Prof. Jim Tucker of the Department of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia in an in–depth interview on past life memories in young children.
I’m pleased and honored to report that I’ll get to conduct interviews on behalf of Thanatos TV and their playlist of English productions on topics like e.g. near death experiences (NDEs), reincarnation/past life therapy, deathbed phenomena, out of body experiences, post–mortem communication etc., both from the perspective of those who have had a personal experience of this kind as well as legitimate scientists and experts in adjacent fields doing serious work and research in trying to better understand what circumstances and parameters facilitate such experiences and what their nature is and what their implications might be for the rest of us.
As I have experienced an NDE myself at age four in the context of surgery and have long repressed the memory – or rather: dissociated from it, I suppose – and as there is also an ongoing and profound history of trauma that I’ve been trying my best to live with, I have set out with this blog to look for the root cause(s) of my manifold … shall we say challenges I’ve been experiencing as well as looking at and for possible treatment options. Here’s to hoping that what I’ve collected so far might put me in a position of being an open minded and alert listener and moderator to the accounts I’m about to hear. I am honored and glad that I got asked to contribute as it provides me with a sense of purpose and might possibly be an opportunity to share and use some of what I managed to unearth for myself and from others in the context of trauma, NDEs and the likes so far.
Take a peek at Thanatos.TV’s playlist “Thanatos EN (productions in English)” , if so inclined. Above embedded video might serve as a starting point to get an idea of what their work is about.
Respekt, Vertrauen, Wertschätzung – es gibt Dinge, die wünschen sich wohl alle am Arbeitsplatz. Wie ist das bei Menschen, die psychisch krank sind? Drei von ihnen erzählen von ihren Erfahrungen.
Original Article (in full) | Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induces profound changes in various mental domains, including perception, self-awareness and emotions.Abstract of a clinical trial in Basel, Switzerland
So, I did it! I signed on to undergo two to four sessions involving the administration of LSD at a fairly high dose (this is a first for me, I have zero prior experience with psychedelics other than my own NDE or NDE–like experience at age … four). There is evidence that the fear regulating circuits in our brain are less active when under the influence of LSD and the researchers hope to establish a therapeutically viable treatment model in the long run from conducting these trials.
Frankly, I would have preferred getting accepted into a trial that investigates MDMA as I’ve become convinced that MDMA–assisted psychotherapy is some kind of ‘gold standard’ when it comes to treating symptoms of (complex) post traumatic stress disorder, which I’ve been living with for … well, my entire life. (I’m 55; and oh, I just found that MAPS.org are also funding LSD assisted therapy…) But I’ve carefully deliberated my participation, had long and thorough prep talks with one of the scientists, who is also going to be my ‘sitter’ on the days involving the substance and I now have their go on it (and my inner critic and sceptic approves as well…).
Needless to say that I’m kind of apprehensive, too. After all and like I said above, I have no experience with so called ‘hard drugs’ at all, zero, zilch, none! But there is a reasoning behind this for me, next to the anticipated outcomes that the researchers hope to establish from these trials.
So here’s to another chapter of my life’s journey! (Not only in this regard, but pretty much and ‘coincidentally’ on all other levels and in all other areas of life as well… I don’t seem to understand ‘moderation’… it’s always all or nothing at all with me… 🙂 )
I came across this very interesting research by Prof. Dr. Sarah Garfinkel, holding a position in Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex, with particular relevance to people suffering from PTSD. Basically her findings corroborate what most patients will have experienced throughout the course of their condition, which is that even in resting state and absent of any immediate real threats there is a constant “noise” of feeling alarmed. She measured activity in certain brain areas in subjects who were experiencing post–traumatic stress symptoms (for the most part returning veterans from wars in Iraq and “tours” to Afghanistan) and control groups without PTSD symptoms with the results clearly showing that the so–called default network mode of the brain was significantly fragile and more vulnerable to triggers from the salient network, which is responsible for identifying potentially harmful stimuli, than in healthy individuals. She calls this a disequilibrium in the brain meaning that it is harder and less frequent an experience for patients of PTSD to achieve the equilibrium as experienced in default network mode. (in my understanding; feel free to correct me should I have misinterpreted her findings).
If I read her work correctly, this would prove that therapeutic modalities like cognitive behavioural therapy or dialect behavioural therapy have it all wrong when it comes to symptoms of PTSD. And in that vein I’d go as far as suggesting one needed to rethink the effectiveness of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy), which – in all fairness – has been a controversially discussed approach anyway.
What is more, further work of hers shows that signals sent from our bodies even determine our overall sense of self (–awareness). Again, this is something I’ve been pondering for quite some time and coming from my own history of lifelong PTSD as well as plenty of research into available literature on the subject/condition.
So far, I think our ‘best shot’ in having symptoms relieved are MAPS.org’s treatment modalities, which have entered phase III in clinical trials the world over and are expected to be approved by the FDA as a conventional therapeutic modality as soon as possibly 2021 or 2022.
A team of scientists at Cambridge may have accidentally discovered why k-holes feel so much like near-death experiences.
Cambridge scientists discover the potential neurological reason for the experience commonly known as a “K–hole” in users of the recreational as well as anesthetic drug Ketamine. This experience also known as “ego death” or ego dissolution is often likened to phenomena experienced during a near death experience.
New research asks, how does psilocybin create a feeling of ego dissolution, and what chemicals in the brain create our subjective sense of self?
Here’s a very interesting article on the findings of very recent research into the phenomenon called ‘ego dissolution’ or ‘ego disintegration’ as frequently reported by people having ingested psilocybin mushrooms or similar psychedelic substances.
What’s new in this study that the researchers were able to establish the significance of glutamate levels in two critical brain areas, the medial prefrontal cortext as well as the hippocampus. Based on the changes of glutamate levels in these areas, the sensation of ‘ego dissolution’ was reported as either negative (for changes in the medial prefrontal cortex) or positive (for changes in the hippocampal areas of the brain).
The goal of this and similar studies is evaluating the therapeutic benefits of the compounds found in psychedelics on various mental and emotional disorders like treatment resistant depression, PTSD, even schizophrenia. All conditions are said to be associated with an impaired integrity of the sense of self or ego. The authors see a possibility for psychedelic assisted therapy to become a mainstream conventional treatment modality in only a few years based on the fact that the FDA approved research into psilocybin a breakthrough status twice.
Sounds like extremely interesting research probing into the makings of the mind and consciousness per se.
We now know the exact biological mechanism that has patients fall unconscious under anesthesia. But the research in related fields continues.