Tina Hines had just left her Phoenix home and was about to take a hike with her husband when she collapsed. Her heart stopped and she had to be resuscitated six times en route to the hospital. She was dead for 27 minutes, and apparently had a near-death experience that made her believe that heaven was real.
When she finally was revived, she couldn’t talk, but gestured for paper and pen. She promptly scrawled the message above that seems to say, “It’s real.”
“It was so real, the colours were so vibrant,” she later said. She also said she saw a glowing figure she thought was Jesus standing near a gate. Many people have undergone near-death experiences. Some have religious-related experiences, such as Tina’s, while others describe a tunnel of light, and deceased family members greeting them.
But if you think these experiences are proof of the existence of life after death, think again, say mainstream scientists studying NDEs. Predictably, they say it’s all in the activity of brain synapses that they say are enhanced near the time of death. They’ve got proof by studying brain activity of rats just before they died. You can read about it here. It certainly would be interesting to know what the rats are experiencing. Certainly not Jesus. But maybe the big celestial mama rat. Who knows.
More on the science from Dr. Jim’s Borjigin of the University of Michigan, author of the 2013 rat-brain study. “Like ‘fire raging through the brain’, activity can surge through brain areas involved in conscious experience, furnishing all resultant perceptions with realer-than-real feelings and emotions….However, for those instances where experiences may occur around the time of cardiac arrest – or beyond it – these new findings provide further meat to the bones of the idea that the brain drives these fascinating and striking experiences.”
Fortunately, there are also scientists who look beyond brain functions and are interested in studying evidence of life after death, rather than ignoring or denying it, which are common positions of neurologists. These outlier scientists say that experiences such as Tina’s are her interpretation of a real after-life experience. In other words, the afterlife is both real and subjective.
In fact, people who don’t believe in an after-life and have near-death experiences might experience just what they believe. Many years ago, I was present when the actor Cary Grant mentioned that he had a near-death experience. (He mentioned that after talking about his LSD experiences.) I asked him what it was like. Grant made it clear he didn’t believe in an afterlife, and said what he experienced was “nothing.”
That might be an initial experience. But Grant and others like him might eventually consider if there is nothing, why am I experiencing anything? At that point, they might start experiencing ‘something.’
Tina and Brian Hines. Below, Tina’s niece Maggie Johnson got a tattoo of the message.