I say “native” qualities, because it appears possible that Life might continue on after the death of the body. We can’t see this energy, measure or detect it outside the body, so of course we jump to the obvious conclusion that it has no post mortem existence. Yet we do know that when Life is in our bodies we live and that in spite of our best attempts at a scientific understanding of this phenomenon, it appears and disappears with equal intrigue. Or does it?
Most doctors believe that when brain waves flat-line on equipment measuring EEG activity, the brain is dead and therefore assume the patient is dead. This follows from the premise that the brain is the source of consciousness. In fact clinical studies of near-death-experiences (NDE’s) suggest otherwise.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose practice specialized in treating terminally ill patients.
In 1975 medical doctor and psychologist Raymond Moody wrote a seminal book entitled Life After Life, that caused much excitement and stimulated even more research into the area of Near-Death-Experience.
Later, renowned NDE authority Bruce Greyson, M.D. and Professor of Psychiatry launched the field of Near Death Studies by developing research tools that could produce defensible results in a clinical setting. He is quoted as reporting:
“A clear sensorium and complex conceptual processes during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the brain.”
Pim Van Lommel, a cardiologist from the Netherlands conducted the first study of NDE’s in 344 cardiac arrest patients and published his results in The Lancet, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journal in 2001. He reported approximately 18% experienced "classic" NDE's, which included out-of-body experiences (OBE’s).
The patients remembered details of their conditions during their cardiac arrest despite being clinically dead with flat-lined brain stem activity. Van Lommel concluded that his findings supported a theory that consciousness continued despite lack of neuronal activity in the brain
Science can clearly measure the effects of Life within a living organism. Although there is evidence that at the moment of death in humans, there is a sudden minute and inexplicable drop in body weight that produced the 21 gram theory, or otherwise known as “weight of the soul”. This was also referred to in Dan Brown’s recent book: The Lost Symbol, which has been prominently featured on the front page of The Institute of Noetic Sciences’ website.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is an international research facility which has also verified much earlier weight of the soul experiments. Clearly something departs from our bodies at the moment of death. We can deduce that it is Life, or as some refer to it as the Soul which leaves when the body ceases to live. Apparently it has substance enough to have weight and that weight seems consistently to be roughly 21 grams.
But we can’t measure a unit of Life as itself outside the body - a bit odd don’t you think? And of course this is the fundamental problem science has always wrestled with in attempting to observe and define Life outside its organic container. It has simply never been done.
There are other energies and forces science cannot isolate and are yet commonly known about and their effects on matter around us accepted as proof of their existence. The rather recent discovery of a mysterious Dark Energy (see Hubblesite.com video on dark energy for a fun visual explanation) and the more obvious force of Gravity are such examples. Gravity for instance, cannot be isolated or measured other than by it’s interaction with mass, e.g., when you drop an apple, it falls.
It is at least possible that Life is another such independently unquantifiable energy or force. You can observe and measure the evidence of Life within organisms, but once it leaves them, like gravity without the apple, it may only appear to vanish. If this is true, then it would follow that Life might not need a body to exist, and in fact may have never needed physical organisms to exist at all.