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Death is everywhere, yet no one talks about it. Violent video games, constant death in the news, fear of disease and dying. Why are we so afraid of talking about death openly?

Today on the SOTT Talk Radio Health and Wellness Show, we look into the subject of death.

What are the top five regrets of the dying? What about reincarnation and near death experiences? What about the physical process of dying?

All this will be explored and more as we explore the subject of death here on the Health and Wellness Show.

Running Time: 01:29:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Doug: Welcome to the health and wellness show on the SOTT radio network, were we expose the lies and emphasize the truth about health in our modern world. Welcome everybody to the health and wellness show today is the 6th of November 2015. I am your guest host Doug, joining me in our virtual studio are Tiffany, Erica, Gaby, and today we also have a special guest Irini.

Everybody: Hello!

Doug: So today we're going to be talking about, a little bit unusual for the health and wellness show, we're going to talk about death. So we see death as being a natural PART of life, therefore it's something that should be talked about in the context of health and wellness. Just reading from the show description here, Death is everywhere, yet no one talks about it. Violent video games, constant death in the news, fear of disease and dying. Why are we so afraid of talking about death openly? Today on SOTT Talk Radio Health and Wellness Show, we look into the subject of death. What are the top five regrets of dying? What about reincarnation and near death experiences? What about the physical process of dying?

So we're going to be exploring that and more, and hopefully a conversation is going to lead us into some interesting areas, I'm sure it will. So I think to start off with we'll talk a little bit about kind of the physical processes in dying and how we actually die. I know that Tiffany has some information on that, and some personal experience on it. So Tiff, did you want to share with us?

Tiffany: Yes, yes I've died several times. [Laughter] I was a hospice nurse for a period of time. I thought it was going to be much worse than it was, but it actually wasn't that bad. I thought it was going to be weird and kind of macabre but it wasn't that awful, I really enjoyed the time that I spent with my patients before they passed away. I'll just get into some of the physical signs of dying. I visited patients in their homes, in nursing homes and in assistant living facilities. They had various different signs of cancer, Alzheimer's disease and things like that.

Several things that come about when you're dying, not in any particular order - when people are dying they lose their appetite, they refuse meals, they'll only eat small amounts of food. Little bites here and there, they don't want to drink much and it's really not a good idea to force feed them even though their families worry about them not eating enough and not getting any fuel. Their metabolism slows down, it only makes sense they're not going to eat that much. Another thing is, is that they're very, very tired at certain points in the process - maybe when I first go and visit somebody, they'd be up, walking around a little bit, sitting up in the chair, but eventually all of them take to their beds.

We'd have to order hospital beds for people in their living room most of the time. They'll just be in their bed and they will just sleep the majority of the time, sometimes they're very, very difficult to wake up. They're physically weak; they lose a lot of muscle tone, depending on what disease that they have like cancer. They'll become ... and their muscle tone is just not there and so they will look really, really bad. They're near death; I don't really know how to explain it. One of the most interesting parts about it, some people get confused or disorientated.

Sometimes with the Alzheimer's patients it's hard to tell because a lot of the time they're not talking anyway but the people are still communicating, they'll sometimes say that they saw their mother or saw some other relative that had passed away. They'll have conversations with them and they might see things in the room that other people can't see. My grandmother she was actually seeing some things at home at the hospice and at my mother's house. We have an aunt that's not wrapped too tight, and she said that she saw a demon in my Aunt. The thinning of the veil, I guess you could call it, the boundaries between this world and the next world is kind of blurred and transient maybe.

Gaby: Where these people on like high opioid drugs?

Tiffany: Yeah, Hospices is kind of like a hot bed for painkillers. Not everybody wanted to be on a bunch of painkillers but if they were, they would be more out of it, less communicative but the ones who didn't really want to go that route that much - they were much more alert when they were dying. And again with the loss of appetite, people eventually would lose the ability to swallow pills, so there's liquid morphine that you can put under their tongue to help just to help with their pain, and it also helps with their breathing, if they have in stage COPD, the morphine can help with grieving. Most of them worry about they will die in a lot of pain; Hospices make a really big point to make sure that people have pain medications.

Doug: That's a really interesting point. We can only assume that there is a natural process to dying and some of the articles that we looked at for the show talked about this; one of them in particular was called, "What dreams may come, end of life dreams may be comforting" and I wonder if the drugs kind of interfere with that natural process. Obviously you don't want people to be in a lot of pain, you don't want to make them suffer but at the same time I wonder if these drugs interfere someway and stop some of the natural processes like having these dreams that kind of a life review, that's what the article was stating. That's something to think about.

Tiffany: Yeah I think it definitely does. In the time that I was a hospice nurse, I don't think that I saw one person that died. I mean eventually they do because they can't swallow anything and then they start the active physical, we call it actively dying, where they just can't take anything in at that point. They're not really speaking and they pretty much lose consciousness. I've never seen actually anyone die a natural death unassisted by any kind of medications or anything like that. I've actually only seen one person die right before my eyes. Although there was times when you shown up, like you're there when they're dying but then you get a call when they have already died so you go to the house. They will have really labour breathing, like they'll breathe fast and then some regular. And then they'll have periods when they stop breathing and this is called, "Cheyne Stokes" breathing. Sometimes they will have these oral secretions; that kind of get trapped in their roots and that is what is called the, "Death Rattle" because it makes that noise when they breathe in and out.

Their bodily functions kind of slow down like they won't put out as much, they'll stop defecating this is kind of linked to their organs shutting down and also because they're not eating or drinking anything. Some people you'll notice that they'll get swelling in their feet and ankles. There's a thing called mottling, M.O.T.T.L.I.N.G where the blood will pool on their lower extremities, we see on a lot of peoples feet or on the lining of their bed. They'll be like on their underside, kind of like blood pooling, I don't know how really to describe it but like their veins becoming gorged because the circulation is not really working that well. Some people get really cool, there was one guy I went out to his house and he was just cold, the first time it happened to me I was never able to get anybody's pulse. I couldn't get his pulse, I couldn't get his blood pressure but I could listen to his heart with my stethoscope and he was still breathing, awake and talking to me, it was the oddest thing.

Doug: Did he complain of being cold, or was he just cold to the touch?

Tiffany: Oh yeah he was cold to the touch and he complained about being cold even though he was wrapped in blankets. Most people that I've talked to, some of them say that they're OK with it. Some people get distressed about it but the most important thing for them was to be able for them was to be able to die at home in familiar surroundings, to be around their family and be in their own bed, just to be in a place that's familiar to them that was the most important thing for them.

Those are just some of the physical things and then when the patient would die we'd go out to the house and clean up the body, put on a diaper, put fresh clothes on them and called the funeral home. I'd have to announce the time of death, even if it wasn't exact because usually they died before I'd got there, so it would just be the time that I got there. The one time that the person died when I was right there, it was a little gross I have to say, just his physical process that he went through right when he died I won't go into the details. It was bad! Well he was at home, that's where he wanted to be, his family where around him, there were like a house full of people.

Gaby: That's nice

Irini: What's interesting to me is that people before they die they sleep so much. It reminds me so much of infants, when we're born we spend so much time sleeping.

Tiffany: Yeah so they're the same way, maybe it's the kind of phase you go through right after you're born and right after you die, like a waiting room for one world to the next.

Doug: Yeah it's interesting that you said something earlier Tiff, about like the thinning of the veil. It seems like in dreams or in sleep there's kind of like that thinning of the veil; your consciousness, kind of like an inhabiting a transition, between regular waking life and whatever lies after death. It may be that as infants that are coming into this world they are sort of still inhabiting, that kind of 'two worlds' at the same time and as we're dying we kind of again go into that transition area I don't know, it's just speculation there.

Gaby: It's interesting that they say the people that have gone to past life therapy, they also record needing a lot of sleep after therapy, after a particular session that was particularly difficult. They require a lot of sleep.

Doug: It's interesting that you talk about reincarnation actually Gaby; maybe we can get into that a little bit. It seems like the mainstream perspective on this stuff is that it is impossible and that is doesn't actually exist. There is no way that one consciousness; because one consciousness is completely dependent on brain, the idea of consciousness is a product of physical reality, the physical brain, the brain creates consciousness therefore it's not possible to transfer consciousness from one brain to another brain. And all these incidences where you hear about children who have these past life memories that can't really be explained, then any other means that they're getting these memories that people have lived before them in some way. These things get brushed aside by the mainstream, these kids are making it up for attention or they were qued by the parents, by friends of the family or something like that. I don't know what do you guys think? Where do you stand on reincarnation?

Gaby: I saw very interesting research by a Dr. Jim Tucker who wrote a book called: Return to Life: extraordinary cases of children who remember past lives. He found that not only one or two but several children and then from his studies he says the following data, "roughly 70% of the children say they died violent or unexpected deaths in their previous lives" - these are children who recall past lives - "they also count for close to three quarters of those deaths. More cases are reported in countries where reincarnation is a part of the religious culture. But the psychiatrics say there was no correlation between how these trauma cases and the family believing in reincarnation.

One out of five of children who reported past lives say they recall the intermission - like the time between death and birth. And cases were a child's story that has been traced to another individual the time between death of that person and the child's birth was about 60 months. Further research by psychiatrics' and others show that the children generally have above average IQ's and their mental disorders where average. 20% of the children had scar-like birthmarks and unusual deformities that closely matched signs of injury that the child recalled of their previous death." That was very interesting data that he collected from all these children that he studied.

Doug: It's interesting; I was reading his interview transcript. He tells a story of one child called James who had a past life; he was the son of a Christian couple in Louisiana. So I mean within Christianity there is no talk of reincarnation and generally it's rejected as something of a heathen religion or something like that. So there was no way that he was qued by his parents that he should be having this kind of experience.

Tiffany: From what I've read it seemed like the children do have these memories of having lived previously, usually by the time their age is 5-7 they forget. That seemed interesting to me. There was another article; Children who have near death experiences and Lee Charmed Lies, there was a study about 30 kids who had near death experiences. It said that they were better at school, they were more mentally stable, had more empathy for other people and not one of these kids have become addicted to drugs or alcohol. That they're also more likely to have long lasting relationships, when they're older.

Gaby: It speaks of past life therapy, when people recall whatever past life, they'd become more stabilized.

Doug: It's almost that it gives more a perspective on things, like if you could have a near death experience and you seen what's on the other side, whether you want to attribute that to brain chemicals or energy surges in the brain at the time of death. It's like a gift, a grand perspective on things. It discounts the idea that it is just a material explanation for it and they get an impression of the microscopic picture of things. Like the little things in your life don't actually add up to much there's a bigger perspective on things like career, money or whatever might motivate people normally who don't have that perspective. These people have their standards and perspective and see what is actually important, maybe even a certain degree to 'Why you are here'. I don't think you're here to clock as many hours as you possibility can in your job, or rise up in the pay ranks, get a great wife and a white picket fence and all that kind of stuff and maybe it puts things into a grander perspective.

Gaby: If you think about it, these realizations require very high cognitive functions. I don't know if there is research of that; brain scans or whatever related to near death experiences. But recalling these experiences or going through them does speak of having and using higher cognitive function.

Irini: I think I've read that the brain is dead when this is going on. So it's like... I don't remember who it was but one scientist, one doctor was saying, that it seemed like the mind was separated from the brain. Some of these people who have these experiences, they see hear and experience things in way more vivid ways than we do in everyday life. All these things they went through but their brain was clinically dead.

Erica: The brain is just an interface for consciousness that is outside of your brain

Doug: One thing that is really controversial, it is controversial among materialists, people who think that the only reality is material reality. But in quantum physics and all these other kinds of areas, it's almost accepted at this point that matter is actually a product of consciousness and not the other way around. So, to me it makes total sense that the brain is a receiving apparatus and it's were consciousness is seated and then consciousness experiences a life through the body. And when the body is done it continues on and it does make perfect sense to me that then it would, in order to keep on growing and keep on learning it's lessons that it would be reincarnated in another body. To keep on having those experiences, to me it doesn't seem controversial at all, but maybe that's because I'm completely not a materialist in any way shape or form.

Irini: Maybe it has to do also with what you believe in and how you believe it, like the materialists and the people who are more spiritual - if I may call them that - maybe it has to do with - that is controversial, what I'm going to say - maybe it has to do with soul developmental stage. Maybe some are new souls, so for them it's more everything is more material and that's how they see their world and how they perceive it. And it might be that people because so many people have clinical death and they come back but they don't have any near death experiences. So, it might have something to do with this.

Gaby: Well bad news for the materialists because there are very well documented cases. One particular case is explained in the book, The Scalpel and The Soul, which was written by a neurosurgeon, there was a woman who had a brain aneurysm which required surgery and for that particular surgery they are placed in clinical death for 20 minutes at the most and everything is very well documented, electrical activity of the brain is recorded, everything. There was a conversation during this surgery which the patient recalled very well, whilst she was dead - the brain basically shows zero trace of activity, there was nothing going on in her brain, and she could still recalled the conversation which was demonstrated by the video recording of the surgery. So, this is something that a materialist would not be happy to explain because there is no explanation...

I saw a video on YouTube about this doctor who got into studying near death experiences, and in his operating room he would take these pictures and post them high up on top of cabinets, or on top of lighting fixtures, and see if patients when they came back after their surgery or their near death experiences could tell the doctor whether they could see the pictures on ceiling that nobody else could, and they could!

Doug: Yeah that's not really very explainable. There have been a lot of cases where people have reported floating above their body. If they're in the operating room they can recall conversations that where had, they can recall people who were there that they hadn't seen whilst they were conscious. You see the materialists struggling, really struggling to explain these things via a material explanation and they do all these mental gymnastics to be able to explain these things. I don't know, to me it seems like you have to go with Occam's razor there, the most simple explanation has to be the right one, and if somebody is aware of something going on around them whilst they're clinically dead. Clearly their conscious is still active when their body is not.

Irini: There's reports of people who see realities and loved ones who had past, without even knowing that they had died. So those stories are also corroborated and so there seems to be some awareness after death.

Tiffany: Yeah there is a story where the guy had a near death experience and he said he was in some place with his mother and aunt and yet his sister was there. He was shocked that his sister was there questioning, "Why was she there?" It turns out whilst he was dying, his family didn't want to put any more stress on him, but his sister died like a week before then. She didn't know it.

Doug: Oh no, Wow!

Erica: It also says a lot with this ego that we have, you guys were talking about the materialists and being attached to the physical reality and then all these types of experiences put all that into questioning, it can't be answered. The thinning of the veil, the intervention, this idea of things aren't the way they appear to be but very strange occurrences can happen and they're unexplainable to even the ego, or the concept of the soul not being a physical part of the body.

Doug: Well there was some interesting book written by Carl August Wickland , if I'm not mistake, and it was called: 30 Years Among the Dead - this is going to get into some wacky territory here, so everybody take it with a grain of salt. This guy worked with his wife for years on people who had spirit attachments. So this idea of a spirit attachment is that once somebody dies, rather than the spirit moving on, the soul to the next level whatever that might be, something keeps them here. They can't deal with something, or they haven't learned a particular lesson and they end up sticking around. He had a method for releasing these spirits and they would enter into his wife, then they would have conversations with the spirits through his wife channelling these entities.

It was really interesting because these spirits had some kind of mental block, obsessions, or they didn't know they were dead in a lot of cases and they didn't understand what was happening to them. They had some kind of fear or block that was keeping them from moving on. I thought it was really interesting that this idea, from this I took from it that you almost have to prepare for death, or if you have certain beliefs in certain things they can prevent you from actually making that transition. To actually moving on, it's kind of like an obsessive need to stick around whether it is an obsession with a person you want to apologise for something, or you want to get revenge on somebody. These things can hold you there, maybe I'm going off on the left field here but that's kind of what I took from that.

Erica: There is something you mentioned, the fear, where does this fear come from? Why are people so afraid of dying? And you can't just blame it on horror movies, because people were afraid to die even before all that. I think religion plays a big part in it and people fear hells fire and damnation, they're going to be judged, punished, they're going burn in hell forever. That's really bad to have! If you're on your death bed who would want to be thinking something like that? You wouldn't be surprised that they have a traumatic or scary death; they're frightened they're going to hell!

Irini: And it's forever! From the studies I read. It seems that people who died of overdose tend to stick around earth - bound because they're so confused and unaware of what happened to them, they don't realize they're dead. Also people who commit suicide, when they already get to the place where they decide to take their lives; they are already in extreme emotional pain.

Doug: Yeah, I think the religion thing doesn't really help on that frontier because I know in Christianity, if you commit suicide you're going to hell for sure. I think that somebody who has already reached a place where they have to end it for themselves, even if they are not necessarily a religious person that thought has got to be in their consciousness somewhere. This idea that they've committed this grave sin, I can see how that can make them not want to move on and facing whatever comes next. They couldn't face what was in their own life but they can't face what comes next either. So, I can see that would be really detrimental to having a natural easy process to dying.

Tiffany: Some people are just really afraid that it'll be painful, the most painful thing they will ever go through, they are afraid of the pain. That's a lot of what I heard. They take pain medications; I think a lot of that is just emotional pain that they're trying to prevent. I don't know if they are just really, I wouldn't say addicted but attached to life, attached to having a physical body for some reason. I could see how they would they have spent their whole life in a physical body and that change would be difficult for them but maybe they just really love being in 3D Earth and they don't want to leave.

Erica: Or that they realize that they can't take all these things with them, you mentioned earlier Doug this idea of working and having all these attachments and these possessions. It's like that letting go, that releasing and there is a big fear of that; regret, shame.

Doug: I think that's a really good point too. I think when it comes to this, we've been talking about the process of dying, and people are at the end of their lives... They'll have these dreams of people from their past, or start thinking about past incidences that maybe some regret, coming to terms with a lot of things; this is probably a big part of the dying process, you have this sort of life review going on and thinking about these things and regrets, reliving certain experiences. I think that if we interfere with these process in any way through drugging somebody or even to a certain extent where people want to talk about things and they try talking to the wrong person and they're like, "don't worry, don't think about that." I think that maybe interfering with these things you're actually interfering with a very natural process and that might actually interfere with the person's ability to move on. And led them to stick around because they haven't come to terms with these things, they haven't learned the lessons that they needed to learn from these experiences.

Irini: I wonder also with this fear of dying is a product of our modern way of living. It wasn't around so much in the past when people lived in nature. They saw how everything in nature is like where there is birth and death and they were part of this cycle. I think it was in one in ... books ... that there was a priest who worked in Alaska; he saw how the elder population of Alaska knew when their death was approaching. They would gather all their family together; to talk, share memories, sing and dance. They'd have a final party with the loved ones before the grand departure.

The whole community and family shared in this moment and provided support and they were not scared of dying! I come from Cyprus and grew up in a Village and it wasn't uncommon to hear people like, "He's 95 years old and he's still active, smokes and drinks." I would hear people my age telling me about their grandparents, and they knew when their time was coming and they would call their children from other cities to come to see them.

Gaby: That should come natural to us but people are still out of touch with such natural processes. They get numbed down, drugged; they just don't see it coming so to speak. Interesting what you say because at least when doing heart surgery on patients is a speciality with high risk of death, on an emergency basis or electric surgery. I remember that people who died shortly afterwards, they had a really peaceful look in their eyes, almost like light shining through them. On my daily routine I'd just look at them and I would be like startled and shortly afterwards they died. I wondered if they already knew about even though it was not expected...

Doug: Before they died did you actually see that peaceful look on their face?

Gaby: Yes, one particular man he was smiling and he had a bright light to his eyes - that's how I will describe it. It's difficult to explain, within one minute I left the room and proceeded to the next room, and then the nurse came in and she told me that he just he just slowed down and basically died.

Tiffany: A lot of people if they're a little bit disoriented in the process of dying sometimes, they'll get this moment of clarity were they'll start communicating with people again and call their family and talk to people. And then after that they might die. A lot of people's family members live far away - this one man, he was distressed because he wanted to see his son, he seemed like he waited for his son to show up and he gave himself permission to die after that.

Irini: It seems like we have an instinctual awareness of when our time comes probably we all do probably. It's like Doug was saying, sometimes it gets buried, these things so that we don't feel it by maybe false beliefs or maybe drugs.

Doug: I think it's what we are surrounded by too. As far as the view of death in our culture, death is kind of like this ultimate consequence and something you're trying to avoid at all costs. You know, like we were saying in the intro, violent video games and all this death and destruction in the news all the time. We are kind of surrounded by this very negative picture of death and how you want to avoid it. It's used as a motivation factor to promote fear, fear of death is so prevalent and so encouraged that it becomes very easy to bury this view of death as a natural process, like what our show says - none of us are getting out alive! It just seems like a complete avoidance of coming to terms with that

Tiffany: Especially if you're in a hospital and they turn all these heroic efforts to try and keep you alive, the breathing machine, tubes and wires sticking out of you and people just don't want to let go. Doctors don't want to say, "Ok there's nothing more that we can do for you." They see it as a failure and they won't send people home, they won't call in the Hospice and say, "there's nothing else we can do." That would be like admitting defeat, like death is something they need to overcome.

Gaby: The people I really like, I actually prefer them to die at home in their bed. On the other side of the coin, very young people who never had any disease and came into the emergency room with a very weird allergic reaction which didn't respond to standard allergic treatment with adrenaline or cortisone. It was pretty shocking for everybody; he was talking to his son like 30 seconds before the incident and suddenly started to die despite resuscitation. Everyone had this heightened awareness of like, wow to die you have to be alive.

Doug: Well it even comes into the whole debate on the assistant suicide thing. Were a person who is in some kind of chronic state and is really just suffering, there's this humanitarian movement that yes, we should have this assisted suicide. Were this person is suffering and there is no point making them endure this any longer but it's so controversial and some people are so against this idea and they're like, "no, no, no we can't help them, we can't assist in this natural process, we have to prevent it at all costs!" even if the person is suffering greatly. Even the idea you have to sign a, "do not resuscitate" order - you have to tell people to stop trying to save the life, if the body is giving up then it's giving up, it's time to move on. The whole culture seems to be geared to thing idea that we need to avoid death at all cost.

Tiffany: Well a lot of the times the patient will say I don't want to be resuscitated and then with their family it's a different story. If the person loses consciousness and their family is there and they want the doctors to do whatever they can to bring this person back, even if they do have a do not resuscitate order, the doctor is going to listen to their family that's in the room with them at the time.

Doug: Well so much of it is just trying to avoid law suits.

Erica: Well speaking about the whole cultural belief, you know, this idea that it's to be feared and morbid and ugly, and let's just put them away in the hospital or nursing home and not really face it. As Irini, was sharing culturally in the past it wasn't feared the way that it is now. It wasn't looked at as this scary end of life. There's been lots of medicine stories about it, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés it's called: The Radiant Coat; the crossing between Life and Death and she talks about how stories throughout cultures, that are old but young, ancient, but also new - show the harmonious relationship between death and the living and that death is actually like an old nurse who comes into the world with us on the day that we are born, it's our relative, our companion, our midwife into the next world.

We prepare all our lives for this; we have this death close to us since the time we were in the womb and then bursting into the next world. So it's not so much a threat as it is a protector. And she talks about all the different symbols of death like, the tinker at the cross roads, or the archetype, like the skeleton. It's not meant to be feared so much, it's just a reminder that death always sits next to you. She talks a lot about this cultural belief and how we carry this fear, but if we change our perspective about it and we see death as a protector... and she talks about how you can almost see it in the corner of your eye, especially as people get older and they start to have this disattachment from the materialist aspects of their life. In fairy tales it's the continuour, the creator, the most primitive people believe that the concept represent themselves in dream life. So as you guys were talking about, these dreams that people have that take them into the other world and how to awaken to death. She talks about in Latin culture the virgin Guadalupe, she is the midnight woman. She comes to the bed of the dying and teaches them how to die, how to enter death with eyes wide open. To truly live in ones dying, how does one make a concession with death? And then she gives 4 interesting points with each point she has a story that goes along with it and I'm not going to go into the stories so much.

She says the first is the clear memory of where you came from, who you really are, your true self, not your materialist self or ego self, but your true soul self. The next is the clear power, and she talks here about cultures, like Irini was talking about; in cultures how they have ceremonies like, Day of the Dead that was just on November 1st. This relationship with your culture and your ancestors and the people of your past and how they give you power to die in your own way. It's actually a healing or restoring of the soul to its original home.

Then the third is clear seeing, the worldly attachment to people and things; it's the illusion that we're attached to and people need to go through that process of letting go of those attachments of this world. The final one clear knowing, developing your intuition, lead taking of this world. She tells us archetypes teach us of our follies, the things we choose time and time again and we don't choose death, death chooses us. She talks about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who's done extensive study of working with dying people; the stages of death, the anger, the denial, the grieving, the bargaining, the regrets and then the processing.

She talks about ego grieving how we ally ourselves in the last day with our eyes wide open, seeing that the ego wants to control when in reality it's time to let the soul do its work. In the west we try and trick death, just like you guys were talking about with the doctors saving and then Doug mentioned it's one of the top Political moral issues of our time, whether we assist people in dying or whether we let the process happen naturally. Finally she talks about how the demonization of death is an unfortunate concept in our modern world; monotheism, religion, death becomes spooks that chase us through allies and hospitals and it's enormously tarred and feathered as believed as 'taking' in this life. The human conception of these things is that they are to be feared when in reality, we need to embrace them and see it as; "No one gets out alive" - and in death we're witnessed to our altered state of consciousness like when people are dying and they start to see loved ones.

I experienced that with my own Mother dying of terminal brain cancer. They're not even in their body anymore, they're kind of in the ethereal realm and they're talking to people that have gone on, they're telling stories of things that you didn't witness or they didn't witness but it's coming from the other side. I just thought it was really great because it gave the example of how it's not to be feared but to be embraced and accepted, and in that acceptance it becomes not so much of a scary thing. It's easy to speculate about, we're all alive! [Laughter] ... you see it in art, in music, in these concepts that get pushed to the side but I think there is some deep meaning in there.

Doug: Yeah, for sure.

Tiffany: It's a shame that people think that the time before they die is the only time that they can reflect upon their lives and think about their relationships, regrets, and what they could have done differently. That's something you should be doing through your whole life, as often as you can. Not waiting till you're at deaths door and try to make a mends or make things right, or get right with people, get your affairs in order. This is something that should be happening throughout your whole life, not just at your end.

Gaby: If you're really lucky, you will know when you will die. Most people don't know.

Doug: It's interesting, Gurdjieff actually talks about that. There's a passage from one of his meetings called, The last hour of life and he talks about living your life in such a way that every hour, you're looking at it as this is my last hour of life. So, how would you live that differently versus how we normally live were you're caught up in the moment and obsessed with whatever is happening around you. He's not saying go out and scratch everything of your bucket list or anything like that, it's not a matter of, "well I don't want to spend my last moment with this person" - you're in your life, you need to take care of your responsibilities and accept were you are at any given moment, it's more about how you approach that. How do you live that life, are you just preoccupied with what's going on around you? Are you thinking I don't like this person very much? And here I am spending the last hour of my life with this person. You're taking in everything that need to take in, if you look at it like wherever you are is where you need to be. How can you get everything out of that moment that you need to be getting, to be learning those lessons or whatever happens to be the purpose for you being there.

Gaby: I was going to follow up on Gurdjieff, with Carlos Castaneda, when he started he was greatly influenced by him... [Bad audio]... Journey to Islam...

Everything is going wrong and you're about to be your death will tell you that you're wrong, your death will tell you that I haven't touched you yet.

Irini: I think most of us normally, we spend our lives living the way somebody wants us to live it. We live it the way based on expectations from other people; we don't live our true life the way we want to. That's how we come to the end of life to think about all these things that we could have been thinking all along. Changing our priorities, changing the way we conduct ourselves...

Doug: We've actually got a caller on the line right now that maybe we can go to. We have with us, Shane, Shane can you hear us?

Shane: I can hear you yes, Hi everybody!

Everybody: Hi!

Shane: I just wanted to talk a little bit about my process I'd gone through with my Grandparents. I was pretty closely involved in their process of dying and it was really a remarkable experience on my part. There's something revering about helping somebody with their process of dying. And I think when a lot of family members are faced with a loved one dying, how strong that damage and denial around that can do. How it can be a really great service to another person by really accepting and respecting their death, or of that process of dying. I know through that it can really help them endorse, create really special moments that can help facilitate that person being able to accept death themselves.

I know the last time that I visited with each of my Grandparents I knew with each one, when that would be the last visit. You can tell, I think that there is openness on their part; I don't know if there are other things involved but you can sense it. I think if you are in that mind frame were you are accepting were they're at, that you can have that opportunity to be able to tell them how much they meant to you. Or how much they mean to you, how much you love them, those kinds of things that release a big burden on their part. It is hard to go through life, some people will hold onto so many anger issues and control issues that can make the dying process really difficult. That was the case with my Grandfather, he did die very much the same as he lived; stubborn, he held onto the very last possible moment.

I just wanted to share that experience, it was a remarkable time and I learned quite a bit, it can be a really special thing.

Tiffany: Thanks for sharing that. It can be a nice moment, people think oh wow. You're going to visit dead people, isn't that sad? Isn't that terrible? And it really wasn't, you're sitting there and holding their hand, talking to them. You're connecting in a more natural way than you would just in normal conversations with people, just two people sharing themselves, talking about your life, sharing your stories. Nobody cares about what they look like, or that they're sick, or that they're in a bed, you know, "what are you doing for a living, how much money do you make?" - You're just talking with each other and being yourself with people and that can be a really beautiful thing.

Shane: I agree. There was a pretty significant change that I remember seeing in my Grandfather, probably within his last year and you could see him releasing of some control, not all of it. It's just interesting I guess that death can help change a person a little bit too and there are those bonding experiences that I think are really needed for death.

Doug: I would agree, I think that a lot of it is that we use this term of letting go. It seems like the process of dying is a certain amount of letting go, releasing that ego that wants to control everything and be in control. Being faced with this moment of realizing that you're not in control, you probably haven't been your entire life. But visiting with these people that are dying and speaking with them, you're probably working through a lot of issues and assisting in that in some way. You're telling them it's ok, whatever happened through the course of our life, with disagreements or whatever that might have been. You're assisting them to let go, you're helping them like, "everything is fine, everything is good, I enjoyed our time together in this life." - it's reassuring them and letting them do that 'let go' process.

Tiffany: A lot of people who are dying, they're ok with it themselves but a lot of their major worries come from how their families will cope with them dying, how they will get on without them. There was this one man that I spoke with... [audio cuts out]

Doug: I think we maybe lost Tiff there

Shane: I didn't hear anything, but I can hear you guys now. I'm going to head out, great show topic! Thanks!

Doug: Thanks a lot for sharing your experience, Shane, that was great

Everybody: Thank you Shane!

Tiffany: Can you hear me now?

Doug: What were you saying Tiff?

Tiffany: Yeah I was holding his hand and I was talking to him, his wife was there too saying, "What's going on, what are you worried about? I can tell you are in a lot of distress right now." He was worried about his wife and whether she would be ok money wise, whether she would be able to care about the house and everyday things. She reassured him that, "It'll be ok, you've left me money, the kids are here and they will help me, it's ok for you to go." I guess he just needed to hear that she would be ok before he allowed himself to die.

Doug: There's also the tradition of visiting somebody's grave after they have died, that's more of a process of the living. People who are left behind have a lot of stuff and issues that they need to get out, so although it's not the same thing as visiting somebody by their bedside when they're in the process of dying, I think that visiting somebody's grave; some people actually have conversations as if the person was actually there, or in their heads. It's a way of working through things that were unresolved. Who knows, maybe it does have an effect of letting people actually transitioning to the other side; there are things that are hanging over that weren't resolved. It might be a process that can lead to resolution.

Erica: I don't know if any of you have Grandparents that talk to their significant other even though they've been dead for years. The conversation is like, "Who you talking to Grandpa?" "Oh I'm talking to Grandma", "Well isn't she dead?" I remember this as a kid, "Well that doesn't mean I still can't talk to her, I talked to her my whole life, I'm going to talk to her when I'm dead too" - it's not so cut and dry. We take the dignity out of it and in doing that we take the dignity out of living too, that they will live on. They're our teacher really and not fear it.

Gaby: It's interesting how people who are less fearful, so to speak, also they take it for granted; it is in their knowledge that death is not the end it's goes on.

Tiffany: There was an article out about no matter what culture people come from, no matter where they live in the world, if they have these near death experiences nearly all of them reported seeing this tunnel with this bright light white. Sometimes there's this gate that they can pass through or not pass through, usually they don't pass through so I wouldn't know the story about their near death experience. There's somebody there that tells them, "no you can't go pass this gate, you need to go back" they all experience the same thing no matter where they are from or what they believe.

Irini: There was a book I read about how people experience death as a positive thing, called, Life before Life and this woman; she was putting subjects under hypnosis she will ask them particular questions about pre-birth during and after the birth experience. The interesting thing was that some of them would go way back to remember how they died, how they came back into life. They all reported that the death experience was much more pleasant than the birth experience because they said that coming back, being inside a tiny body that is not independent and they can't do anything and they said they felt confined, cold, and alone and disconnected in their new body. Going back after their death it was like they were going back home again.[Laughter]

Tiffany: A lot of people described that death and the light is just this overwhelming feeling of love, it's the best feeling o they've had in their life. They want to go back to it, but they know it's not their time but they take that feeling with them and it influences their life. There was a story about this lady who had a near death experience and she saw the light, she came back and she all of a sudden had this knowledge of quantum physics and went on to become a physicist.

Doug: That's very interesting

Gaby: I wanted to know all of your opinions about the following; I read a book called; The Wisdom of Near Death Experiences by Penny Sartori, and she said that two lesser-known after effects of near death experiences reported by many researchers are that some people develop a new sensitivity to electricity or have problems with their wrist-watches. Sometimes the watch can't keep time or stops all together. She covers a nurse who says that one woman blows light bulbs regularly when switching them on, so much that it has become a standing joke in her family. She has also been blown backwards across the room several times when using or touching electrical appliances.

Disturbing in a different way were accounts of people who developed psychic tendencies after having a near death experience. One woman told her that she could foresee bad things that were going to happen. So electrical anomalies and psychic powers...

Doug: Wow. Well I don't have an explanation for that.

Erica: I definitely think its possible

Irini: There is a book by Kenneth Ring, who wrote a lot about near death experiences and he wrote many books about them. He has a lot of research on the subject, he wrote a book called, The Omega Project; what he found is that all the elements like the one you were talking about, - he also found these experiences in people who were abducted. He found that a lot of the personality characters of people who had near death experiences and alien abductions are similar. He never came to any conclusion, obviously an alien abduction is a very scary experience for most people and very traumatic. Near death experiences are very life changing for the better and a very happy or joyful experience. He found some interesting points.

Tiffany: Physical left over's of being taken to another realm, I don't know.

Doug: That's just what I was going to say, too.

Irini: Where we are, there's a certain level of inexplicitly and when we are moved into something else, it's more charged. Maybe when we come back there's some residue from that, it affects our life in this world.

Doug: These are all difficult things to explain from a materialist perspective. All of these materialists that look at these phenomenon's and try and find physical explanations for them, he just come up! I don't know! I don't know what could be going on here.

Gaby: I think we need to move on from the materialistic world

Irini: The thing is its ok not to know, it's exciting. Its like, "Oh wow, there's so much more to learn" - it's hard to understand the people who thing that, "Oh that's all very strange and this is all I know and that's enough."

Erica: Don't think about it, don't talk about it, it's morbid. It's something to be feared, like Doug had said about the last hour of your life based on Gurdjieff, if you live each moment being in awe of what you're experiencing maybe there's not that fear that comes.

Doug: I think it comes back to that, this idea that the materialists are actually very uncomfortable with the idea with that they're not in complete control and that physical reality is not all that there is and there is something more going on. There are different types of people; people who accept that everything that they see is not all that there is and people who are very uncomfortable with that concept and idea.

Tiffany: Well there's something that we brought up in our pre-show call, something about the weight of the soul. Did somebody have some information on that?

Doug: I think it was Jonathan who was going to look into that. I know a little bit about it. Apparently they have done experiments were they weigh the person before they die and afterwards, they found a difference of 28 grams I think. There's some speculation that the soul actually weighs 28grams, once the soul leaves the body you can see that difference in weight, I don't know how much there is too that.

Irini: There was a movie about it wasn't there?

Doug: Yeah there was a movie called, 21 grams; but I haven't seen it... any speculations guys?

Tiffany: I'm still trying to wrap my mind round that the soul can have any weight at all.

Gaby: I think there are some confounded factors there. I mean, come on!

Doug: You could speculate that rather than this idea that there isn't a difference between physicality and non-physicality, but that there are levels of physicality. Maybe the soul has some materialistic aspect to it, but it's so fine that we can't experience it or perceive it in any kind of physical way. We are surrounded by this other level of physical matter that is so fine that is beyond our perception. I might be completely out in the left field here.

Gaby: I think that would be more in the lines would be how the soul or consciousness actually interacts with in the genes and the body. Who knows?

Irini: Maybe our consciousness is also material the way Doug was talking about, if you think about physics and the tiny elements that exist, everything is made with something.

Doug: That's pretty fascinating non-the-less.

Erica: Maybe, like Tiffany experienced in a Hospice. I know I experienced it when my Mother died with the changing. Were you think you see the spirit no longer in the body, the person that you love is there in a physical shell so to speak but that their spirit has moved on.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross talks about that in her work:On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families, about how it speaks so much on how we view death when people die and they put make up on them, dress them up, and put them in a wooden casket. It's as if people don't want to see the gruesome aspects of it so we treat the dead how we treat the living in that sense.

Irini: That's very interesting, the subject of zombies is now very popular people are dressing up like zombies and it's like dressing up like death. It's ugly and disgusting; we're living a very weird paradox.

Erica: It's almost like in people's unconscious and then they're acting it out and there's this whole fear and non-acceptance in it.

Irini: We can't allow the dead people to look dead, but if someone is alive and dresses like they're dead, we can live with that.

Doug: The whole zombie thing is a strange thing; it's dwelling on the gruesome aspects of death, the rotting corpse. The lifeless, rotting corpse that has been reanimated and it goes around trying to kill others and turning others into zombie. If you're bitten by a zombie then you become a zombie. It's this picture of death again that it's gruesome and terrible and something you want to avoid at all costs. Those who watch zombie movies are desperately trying to escape this gruesome aspect of death, and that death is a terrible thing, and there's no room there for a more positive view of dying. That it is a natural process and something that we all have to go through, it's this terrifying thing that we have to run from, we have to arm ourselves with weapons and do everything we have to, to get rid of this menace, to escape and find safety.

Tiffany: It's more like a materialist view of death; they're focusing on the dead body and the physical aspects of it. There is a physical aspect of dying, but that is not all there is, they completely shun the more spiritual parts of the whole dying process and they focus on what happens to the body after its dead. Who cares really? I still don't understand people who are squeamish about being cremated or buried; you're not there anymore, who cares what happens to your body!

Doug: It's just a shell. So we do have a pet health segment from Zoya that we can go to. Anything to add anyone? Why don't we go to the pet health segment, she will similarly be talking about Death.

Zoya: Hello and Welcome to the Pet Health segment of the Health and Wellness show. Today I am going to be talking about death. Today more pet owners and officials are willing to talk openly about sensitive an issue that has to do with a departure of a beloved furry member of the family. Talk about how difficult it is and about the depth of grief that is no different than the intensity of grieving over a human loved one.

Another important topic is, is that sometimes there is no choice and the most compassionate choice is one could o for their pet is lessen their suffering by ending their life. The accepted notion is that pets have no perception of death in the way that we humans do. The general consent is that they probably experience death in the way that children do. They feel the loss but understand the finality of it, but we do. Even if we do a fair share of ... there is nothing wrong with wanting to make their last moments as peaceful and long as possible. There is nothing wrong with grieving their departure. It is quite possible that grief is as much about similarity as it is about love, or affection, it just ends with the argument that we need to take bereavement more seriously.

If so, all the stages of grieving and all the ways of dealing with it, can apply to losing a pet too. Write about it, talk about it, share pictures, and compose songs. This wonderful creature was a part of your life for such a long time and filled your life with so much joy and contentment. I'm sure this kind of love doesn't go wasted. Maybe if to truly believe that pets that loved us, probably never truly leave us, they're always in our hearts.

Now I would like to talk about euthanasia. This is considered one of the most difficult tasks that veterinarians have to do. The reason a way around it is that it is the most kind and loving thing to do for an animal pain. As a student I often see a lot of people come in with their sick pets, spending a lot of money and time, trying to squeeze those extra months or days not wanting to let go or thinking that it is their responsibility to provide their pet with all the possible time they have left on this planet.

While it is truly commendable, especially when they're so many people that get rid of their pets without any problem, or want to put them down to sleep because they no longer serve their purpose. Some breeders do that a lot here. We must remember that as guardians for our pets, we must try and provide them the same care that nature would. One of the things that nature does is allowing things to wither if it is their time. It's a natural process, seems as though our furry friends can't speak, we have to make the decision for them.

Veterinarians have all kinds of specifications for euthanasia. There is a convenience euthanasia; were the client is unwilling to keep the pet anymore, in such cases conscience veterinarians will try and find another home for the pet. Speaking of non-judgement, apparently there are more and more cases in the US where people ask to euthanize their pet because they have no money to care for them. Although I do have strong feelings about certain breeders, who see animals as monkey making meat-bags. I understand that some people have no choice. So, if possible, help the animal find another home.

Another type of euthanasia are non-medical euthanize; it describes the euthanize request that is unrelated to the patient's medical stability. Such as behaviour issues, aggression in elimination, family life style or emotional changes that impact the patients quality of life. There can be non-imminent medical euthanasia; that describes situations that maybe manageable or curable under different circumstances, these patients will suffer if they do not receive treatment but the necessary conditions and resources are not available.

There is the medical euthanasia; the most common, that describes the euthanasia as being chosen because the client and the veterinarian deem the patient's quality of life unsustainable. As you can see there are various situations and reasons, it's important to understand every person and every pet has their own unique situation. If you care about your animal, then you can make the right chose whilst keeping in your mind that lessening their suffering is much more compassion and merciful than just having them around for a few more days a month. It doesn't mean you can't make their departure as comfortable and as stress free as possible.

Euthanasia should be, preferably, performed at home unless it's an emergency, or for some reason members of the family are against it. Another vital element is not breaking the human-animal bond. If you find yourself in such a situation, ask a veterinarian to allow you to keep holding your pet through the entire procedure. Sure, animals can resist but then that's what sedation is there for, both human both you and your pet should be as stress free as possible at the time.

Please, don't be alarmed by all the various medical equipment and that's another reason to do it at home to make the process a little more comfortable. Another thing to consider, especially if your pet is still in a condition of moving around by itself, is that some pets prefer to die alone. For example, you're probably familiar that some cases that cats leave their houses and disappear, it's possible that they probably went to find a place and die. Be sensitive to the behaviour and choices of your pet too, if they're unable to move and you can see that they want your touch then don't break the human-animal bond. But, if they want to leave don't stop them.

Another thing to remember is that veterinarians understand, or should understand, that in such situations a person or you can be very distraught. Good veterinarians are willing to give you any time you need, and to continue being kind and sensitive to your needs. It is indeed true that losing a pet is like losing a family member, and isn't an easy day at all. This is it for this segment, hopefully it was helpful, and have a good day!

Doug: Thanks for that Zoya that was very informative. I find it very interesting that the idea of euthanizing a pet in situations where it's the most humane thing to do is much more accepted than the idea of euthanizing a human when they're suffering.

Erica: That's very true; we had to recently euthanize our 16 year old dog. She was old and ill, what she said about its like losing a family member it really is, you don't realize it until you are in the moment of it, you grieve for them. What was interesting that our dog was so old we thought maybe she would die on her own, but the vet said she was going to continue to live for you. The vet said it was the best thing to do at that stage because she couldn't walk away. It was hard; she got a chocolate bar before she died.

Doug: The forbidden food! Ok, well I guess that wraps it up for our show this week. Thanks everybody for joining us and we're sorry that Jonathan couldn't join but he will be with us next week. We'll be back with you next week with another topic on Health and Wellness, Friday 10am Eastern Time. Be sure to tune into the other SOTT talk radio programs, tomorrow we have got The Truth Perspective at 2'oclock Eastern time and on Sunday there's Behind The Headlines, also at 2o'clock Eastern time. Thanks everybody for joining us, and join us again soon!

Everybody: Bye!!