On the radio I heard a short snippet about a man in a hospital who was dead for 47 minutes before being revived. story here And wow does this bring up a lot of questions. Here are some of my thoughts on what this incident means:
1. wysiwig - What you see is what you get: We are simply biological functions, nothing more and when you are dead you are dead, your memories and essence are gone.
2. Thinking about time: There is a longer period of time before you pass into another realm of existence and it is more than 47 minutes. (This brings up the question of where you are during this time. Maybe the same place you go when you sleep?)
3. You can travel back and forth between this place and that place. We just don't know how, or we don't do it much, or when we do, or when in one place we have no recollection of the other. Did joe spend 47 minutes in an afterlife and doesn't remember?
4. Time is irrelevant: This is hard to grasp but time, being a major focus of this essay, is actually irrelevant. How long you are dead is not important because it doesn't equate in the other life. Although the concept of eternity does kink that up a bit.
5. The unknown and unthought solution: This one really ticks me off because it is probably the right one. Maybe the answer lies in something that I cannot grasp, don't even have an inkling of a shadow of a clue about.
addendum: It will be interesting to see whatever becomes of the people cryonically frozen at Alcor But then again, if any of them are brought back to "life" will it really answer any questions?