Abstract Details

Subjective Reality in the State of Clinical Death  Yury Serdyukov (Department Of Philosophy, Sociology And Law, Far Eastern State Transportation University, Khabarovsk, Russian Federation)   P1

One can surmise that the subjective reality exists during the state of clinical death, and we can infer the features of the latter, from the state of Near-Death Experience (NDE), the essence and content of which are manifold and diverse, since they span a wide variety of experiences - from the total absence of images, existential horror and vital depression to euphoria. Oneiric experiences in NDE are constituted by a number of factors, firstly, by the spontaneous activity of the brain capable of creating vague images and sensations; capable of partially memorizing them without fully comprehending the perceived images. Secondly, they are shaped by the most deeply imbedded and regular patterns and habits, attachments and impressions. Thirdly, there are innate psychical structures which are believed to be formed in the prenatal period. And finally, one may deduce that the formation of the oneiric experiences in NDE is affected by the activation of specific genetic structures, the process that is inevitable in the conditions of the most acute and severe stress, - which clinical death, ultimately, is. Oneiric experiences in NDE exist in a singular temporal continuum which differs dramatically from the phenomenological temporal axis. Firstly, under NDE the duration of time radically changes: a short period of clinical death (lasting up to 3-5 minutes) tends to comprise an avalanche of events, which sometimes surpasses the longevity of the whole preceding life. Secondly, an impression of eternity manifests itself: the temporal span of events vanishes and a person is immersed into a state of being out of time where all the events exist simultaneously or nothing exists at all. Thirdly, time becomes reversible: the normal sequence of events is violated so that it is not the cause that precedes the effect but the effect actually precedes the cause. But how are these fundamental temporal deviations possible? It could be explained by the nature of NDE itself where the determinants of individual time of a person - both biological and subjective - are altered. During clinical death a person loses all sensory contact with reality and is suspended in the condition of the absolute sensory deprivation. Almost all the natural temporal regulators including sunlight and the contraction of the cardiac muscle are excluded from the perception of the external world, and the latter "dissolves" entirely. NDE is being accompanied by the rhythms of the cerebral electric activity exclusively. Amongst those two predominate when clinical death unfolds: theta waves, typical of the state of the severe psychological stress (which is believed to be the norm for animals in their natural habitat) and delta waves, emerging during deep natural sleep, drug-induced sleep and in a coma. Can these biological rhythms maintain the perception of time in NDE, typical of the common states? Certainly not. Total sensory deprivation and the cessation of almost all biorhythms create the state of subjective reality, characterized both by the phenomenon of the complete loss of time perception and the phenomena of the alteration in its duration and vector.