After death what?

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #38393

    Unseen
    Participant

    WHAT DEATH IS LIKE AND MY SURGERY

    Because I’m known to friends, relatives, and others have a degree in philosophy, I’ll sometimes find myself in philosophical discussions with lay folk. Now and then, the question comes up “I wonder what death is like?”

    Here’s my take:

    What something is like depends on a comparison with something with a known value. There is the problem? Well, my surgery Monday reminded me that many of us do have a way to relate to death.

    You see, my surgery, though minor, required me to undergo general anesthesia. A mask was put over my face, something was injected into my drip, and I woke up feeling weary and exhausted and feeling as if no time at all had passed.

    That period between being put under and waking up is as close as you’ll get to a knowledge of what death is like. It’s effectively brain death. It’s not the unconsciousness of sleep where a sharp or unfamiliar sound might break it. It’s a profound unconsciousness in which a human being, in a sense, no longer exists. They are, for the duration of the procedure basically a living contradiction, a living corpse.

    Miraculously (in the hyperbole sense not the religious sense) modern medicine is able to bring you back, knowing who you are and with all of your memories and mental faculties. Most of the time, actually.

    Most of the time I say, because most of the time the anesthesia is by far the riskiest part of the operation. They know how to cut you up, put things in or take things out, fix whatever needs to be fixed, etc., but they can’t always give you back to you. When surgery that should be routine goes horribly and fatally wrong, it’s almost always the anesthesia that does the killing.

    Post Note: My surgery today was to biopsy something on a vocal cord that might be worth looking into. I’ll know the result of that in a few days. Hopefully, it will be nothing to worry about because “It is benign 90% of the time,” my ear/nose/throat specialist told me.

    I wouldn’t play Russian roulette with a 9 in 10 odds of surviving. Would you, even if you might win $1 million? So, yes, I do worry.

    #38394

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Rest in peace is a nonsense notion. One can no more rest in peace than in a state of turmoil. Rest requires a you. Aint no you in the great beyond.

    I get the connection with anesthesia. But i like the stories of how it actually feels to die. And many humans have been clinically dead and come back. My uncle had that experience. He said he lied there on the operating table hearing clearly the voices. A sense of peace and tranquility came over him and he saw the light. Yeah a religious guy so i think his experience was colored by his religious expectations. But being shocked back to life with those electric zappers was a horrible experience.

    Buena fortuna Unseen. Live long and prosper.

    #38395

    Unseen
    Participant

    Rest in peace is a nonsense notion. One can no more rest in peace than in a state of turmoil. Rest requires a you. Aint no you in the great beyond.

    I get the connection with anesthesia. But i like the stories of how it actually feels to die. And many humans have been clinically dead and come back. My uncle had that experience. He said he lied there on the operating table hearing clearly the voices. A sense of peace and tranquility came over him and he saw the light. Yeah a religious guy so i think his experience was colored by his religious expectations. But being shocked back to life with those electric zappers was a horrible experience.

    Buena fortuna Unseen. Live long and prosper.

    One observation I often make in discussions about death is “Dying is an experience. Death is not.”

    Yes, yes, yes, people experience clinical death. Obvious calling their death by the physician was a mistake probably based on, understandably, not having all the data at hand. And yet, physicians are called upon to make the pronouncement knowing that there’s a miniscule possibility that they might be wrong. And so, “dead” people seem to come back to life when they were not really dead at all.

    While I’ve been unsuccessful in finding this experiment, a person wanting to decide if true or false the notion that your soul floats out of your body and looks down on it before going off to meet St. Peter or returning back to the world of the living. He found hospitals which had a ledge just above bed level and printed out a simple phrase in large letters and placed it on the ledge just above bed level (I’m guessing at shoulder level to a person on their feet).

    When people came back claiming to have seen their body from above, he asked them had they seen a rather prominent phrase near their body and none of them could remember seeing such a phrase, much less recite it.

    There are certain near death experiences people have, such as “My whole life flashed before me in an instant,” but but what they have in common are improbability and unprovability. These may simply be brain-generated phenomena that happen under some extreme circumstances. Whatever the cause, if one is unwilling to accept that there is a scientific basis, that only leaves magical (woo or religious) explanations.

    #38396

    I was a passenger in a car wreck once. As we floated through the air and rolled 3 times before hitting a tree, I remember thinking that “This is it man, I am about to die”. My thoughts were “I am glad that I am aware of the experience but it is actually quite boring and pointless as I won’t be able to share the experience”. After we climbed up and out of the wreck without a scratch I remember noting that no pleading to any gods had even entered my head. When we got home I played one of my funeral songs (at volume 11) and had a good laugh about it. It’s still good to be alive 30 years later 🙂

    #38397

    Best Wishes Unseen. 90% is very good odds. Jakelafort would back that any day 🙂

    #38398

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen wrote…One observation I often make in discussions about death is “Dying is an experience. Death is not.”

    That is a great line. I wonder whether there is flexibility in the definition of death. As our medical knowledge grows our capability of doing the Lazarus shuffle increases. Last decade’s dead man is perhaps waiting to be resuscitated in the present. I have a memory of i think it was Puritans adding bells inside coffins in case the dead human came back.

    I had a car accident in which i was stationary waiting for light to change and saw in the rear view mirror a car approaching at an increasing speed. All i could say was scream aaaaaaaaaaah. I definitely had the sensation of time slowing as it seemed to take a long time to come to rest after impact. My gf was hysterical. One joke about how we might miss the daily double was enough to alleviate some anxiety. But i found the experience anything but boring.

    Yeah i like Unseen’s chances.

    #38403

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Now and then, the question comes up “I wonder what death is like?”

    Do you ask that out of the blue when you see panhandlers approaching?  😉

    That period between being put under and waking up is as close as you’ll get to a knowledge of what death is like. It’s effectively brain death. It’s not the unconsciousness of sleep where a sharp or unfamiliar sound might break it. It’s a profound unconsciousness in which a human being, in a sense, no longer exists. They are, for the duration of the procedure basically a living contradiction, a living corpse.

    Miraculously (in the hyperbole sense not the religious sense) modern medicine is able to bring you back, knowing who you are and with all of your memories and mental faculties. Most of the time, actually.

    I would say even that is not fully comparable to death, since your brain cells and other bodily cells still maintain their locomotive and replicative abilities and functions.  And your memories and personality are typically there in place when you regain consciousness.  In actual death, all of that at some point ceases.

    Post Note: My surgery today was to biopsy something on a vocal cord that might be worth looking into. I’ll know the result of that in a few days. Hopefully, it will be nothing to worry about because “It is benign 90% of the time,” my ear/nose/throat specialist told me.

    Glad you came out on the other side of the ether or whatever they use.  And the odds look ever in your favor, judging not just from your Doctor’s probabilities, but from the many living statistics I see every day.

    They are so defiant and resilient, they actually have T-shirts that say: “Fuck Cancer!”  And contrary to Biblical superstition, even bald heads don’t take away from strength or the <i>real</i> “crowning glory” that is <i>inside</i> the head!

    I wouldn’t play Russian roulette with a 9 in 10 odds of surviving. Would you, even if you might win $1 million? So, yes, I do worry.

    Your odds are much better than Russian Roulette.  Last time I checked, they only make revolvers with 6 round cylinders. 👍

    You hang in there, let us know how you’re doing, and like Rona Barrett always said: “Keep thinking the good thoughts!”

     

    #38404

    Unseen
    Participant

    Best Wishes Unseen. 90% is very good odds. Jakelafort would back that any day 🙂

    I fear that is what she tells all patients even though her actual thinking is “Holy shit. This guy better start writing up a will pronto.”

    #38405

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Now and then, the question comes up “I wonder what death is like?”

    Do you ask that out of the blue when you see panhandlers approaching? 😉

    That period between being put under and waking up is as close as you’ll get to a knowledge of what death is like. It’s effectively brain death. It’s not the unconsciousness of sleep where a sharp or unfamiliar sound might break it. It’s a profound unconsciousness in which a human being, in a sense, no longer exists. They are, for the duration of the procedure basically a living contradiction, a living corpse. Miraculously (in the hyperbole sense not the religious sense) modern medicine is able to bring you back, knowing who you are and with all of your memories and mental faculties. Most of the time, actually.

    I would say even that is not fully comparable to death, since your brain cells and other bodily cells still maintain their locomotive and replicative abilities and functions. And your memories and personality are typically there in place when you regain consciousness. In actual death, all of that at some point ceases.

    Post Note: My surgery today was to biopsy something on a vocal cord that might be worth looking into. I’ll know the result of that in a few days. Hopefully, it will be nothing to worry about because “It is benign 90% of the time,” my ear/nose/throat specialist told me.

    Glad you came out on the other side of the ether or whatever they use. And the odds look ever in your favor, judging not just from your Doctor’s probabilities, but from the many living statistics I see every day. They are so defiant and resilient, they actually have T-shirts that say: “Fuck Cancer!” And contrary to Biblical superstition, even bald heads don’t take away from strength or the <i>real</i> “crowning glory” that is <i>inside</i> the head!

    I wouldn’t play Russian roulette with a 9 in 10 odds of surviving. Would you, even if you might win $1 million? So, yes, I do worry.

    Your odds are much better than Russian Roulette. Last time I checked, they only make revolvers with 6 round cylinders. 👍 You hang in there, let us know how you’re doing, and like Rona Barrett always said: “Keep thinking the good thoughts!”

    You’re right that there are differences between being really deeply under through anesthesia and actual death, but we don’t perceive those. We might as well be 100% dead since the fact that the motor continues to run in some respects is irrelevant to the patient but important to know for the doctors present.

    “even bald heads don’t take away from strength or the real “crowning glory” that is inside the head!

    Funny side note: They gave me a hair net which logic told me to put over my beard but “No no, that goes over your head (you idiot),” even though I shave my head every morning and was completely bald except for my facial hair. Weirdly, they stick to a protocol even when it’s totally nonsensical.

    #38406

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen wrote…One observation I often make in discussions about death is “Dying is an experience. Death is not.” That is a great line. I wonder whether there is flexibility in the definition of death. As our medical knowledge grows our capability of doing the Lazarus shuffle increases. Last decade’s dead man is perhaps waiting to be resuscitated in the present. I have a memory of i think it was Puritans adding bells inside coffins in case the dead human came back. I had a car accident in which i was stationary waiting for light to change and saw in the rear view mirror a car approaching at an increasing speed. All i could say was scream aaaaaaaaaaah. I definitely had the sensation of time slowing as it seemed to take a long time to come to rest after impact. My gf was hysterical. One joke about how we might miss the daily double was enough to alleviate some anxiety. But i found the experience anything but boring. Yeah i like Unseen’s chances.

    When was your gf hysterical? Was she aware it was about to happen or was she hysterical during or afterward? Did your “aaaaaaaaaaaah” alert her that something bad was about to happen?

    #38407

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen wrote…When was your gf hysterical? Was she aware it was about to happen or was she hysterical during or afterward? Did your “aaaaaaaaaaaah” alert her that something bad was about to happen?

    My scream cued her into what was about to happen. During and immediately after she was wild with fear. As soon as i cracked the joke she smiled and laughed. The man who drove the car that hit us indicated that he thought he was slamming on the breaks when he was on the gas. I suppose if he had begun to apply the “breaks” much earlier we might have died. Neither of us brought PI claims though it would have been easy enough to pursue especially with a car that was total loss. We did make it to the race track-Monmouth Park. It was not much fun though being there with a probable concussion.

    #38408

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen wrote…When was your gf hysterical? Was she aware it was about to happen or was she hysterical during or afterward? Did your “aaaaaaaaaaaah” alert her that something bad was about to happen? My scream cued her into what was about to happen. During and immediately after she was wild with fear. As soon as i cracked the joke she smiled and laughed. The man who drove the car that hit us indicated that he thought he was slamming on the breaks when he was on the gas. I suppose if he had begun to apply the “breaks” much earlier we might have died. Neither of us brought PI claims though it would have been easy enough to pursue especially with a car that was total loss. We did make it to the race track-Monmouth Park. It was not much fun though being there with a probable concussion.

    Concussions are not probabilistic. They are binary. LOL

    #38410

    Davis
    Moderator

    I just found out this week that I may need to undergo an operation in the future which has a 3% mortality rate within one year. I think that 3 out of a 100 chances is not negligible. A 10% chance of a serious illness is harsh unseen. I’m sorry to hear that. My fingers are crossed (which is useless, but less useless than thoughts and prayers).

    #38411

    jakelafort
    Participant

    i knew a guy in his 30s who had a pacemaker. Pacemaker had to be replaced once every decade. Told me there was a 1 percent chance he would die. He died. Statistics are filled in by the unfortunate.

    #38413

    Unseen
    Participant

    I just found out this week that I may need to undergo an operation in the future which has a 3% mortality rate within one year. I think that 3 out of a 100 chances is not negligible. A 10% chance of a serious illness is harsh unseen. I’m sorry to hear that. My fingers are crossed (which is useless, but less useless than thoughts and prayers).

    I just hope I don’t end up like my uncle whose had a good deal of his throat removed and now talks like a Battlestar Galactica Cylon warrior.

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