"First let me say I really appreciate the research work you have done, it is very helpful. In addition to NDEs, I spend a great deal of time researching the topic of Free Will. In my studies, it has become very clear that Free Will is an illusion. In recent years, neuroscience findings have really backed this up. One study performed MRI scans of people's brains while the participants "choose" between two options (a brain already made the decision up to six seconds before the person was consciously aware of what they would choose). The person watching the scanner knew what the participant would choose before they even knew! In addition to that, it is more than evident that none of us chose our parents, DNA. environmental/socio-economic upbringing, etc. All of which hardwires our brains into being who we are. Also, it has been shown that tumors pressing on certain parts of the brain make people act a certain way.
"My hypothesis is that the "soul" or consciousness is merely a passenger or an observer being taken for the "physical ride" by the body/brain and all of their natural processes. Would this be accurate to say? Also, many NDErs report being forced to come back to their bodies - being told "it's not your time." This is a common occurrence as you know. Even when they protest and want to stay, they are forced to come back to the physical plane. So, is there any evidence to show that we might actually have some sort of real choice or free will in the afterlife? If not, then who/what is calling the shots? Thank you."....Steve
The best research on futuristic "knowing" was done by HeartMath, and concerns the heart. As you must know by now, about 65% of heart cells are neural cells - thus, the heart is considered our fifth brain (counting the major evolutions of brain growth as "separate" developments of the brain). Indeed the heart is a brain and it informs the brain in our head about 4 to 5 seconds, sometimes minutes, about what is to happen BEFORE it does. Considering that the heart produces an electric field 1,000 times more powerful than the head brain, and a magnetic field 5,000 times more powerful, I have no hesitation in saying that our heart is our first responder. It knows in advance, I believe as a protector, as a way to alert our head brain, and as a way to prepare the entire body for what is to come. Do not get caught up in MRI test results. That's a limited approach. More than our brain "knows things," can think, and make choices.
Fate or destiny or choice. Humankind has been debating this for as long as the human family has existed. What I have noticed in my own work, which spans almost three-quarters of a century (if you consider what I was doing before I died), is that some things (people and events) seem fated in the sense that no matter what or how or when, they will and do occur. We face them because somehow we are "scheduled" to face them. We may not be able to avoid or change them from happening, but we can alter how we respond to them and in altering response, we can change outcomes. Always it's the aftereffects, the aftermath, that can be turned around, leading to "rewired" long-term results. Other things in life correspond to our choices, where we are headed because of our decisions along life's way. Outcomes then tend to match paths chosen.
Read my book Future Memory
. It is devoted to the subject that interests you. When you read it, pay attention to page 208 and the chart called "A Model of How Existence Could Exist." Pay attention to the Actual and Virtual Electron. Think of God or the Greater Reality as the Actual Electron. Think of us folks or creation itself as the Virtual Electron. The Actual Electron maintains itself in equilibrium - it is what it is. But, because of the Virtual Electron's ability to change, shift, transform, alter, it can respond to potential and a whole array of ever-changing possibilities. The Actual Electron needs the Virtual Electron to experience itself. Without potential and the variabilities present in potential, creation as we know it could not exist; we would not be here because "choice" would serve no purpose.
I sometimes cringe when people say "we create our own reality." That's a tricky thing to say. To make that statement have any meaning, you need to establish that there are levels, dimensions, to existence. If you think of the spiritual, the higher order, as Level 1 and creation (us) as Level 2, then it does make sense. Everything we can study, know, intuit, indicates that on the higher, finer levels of existence, the soul that we are, our spirit-self, does indeed plan and act in accordance with plans. Yet in the earthplane, where slower energies prevail and we seem bound by our personality or ego self, we can feel tossed around or subject to actions taken or to whatever thoughts and emotions predominate. It's as if choice has little long-term effect and changes hardly anything. This is one of the main purposes of meditation or entering into "sacred silence." You come to realize that differences, variables, serve a higher order and that choice really is the life process. In realizing this and how true it is, you also come to realize that everything is one - on the highest of levels only Oneness exists: One God, one people, one family, one existence, one law (love), one commandment (service), one solution to problems (forgiveness).
Science is incredible. What we are now learning about ourselves and our world is exciting. But science is only a work in progress. You cannot capture or know Truth until you widen the lens of your viewpoint. Combine science with spirituality and you're on your way.