My whole life has passed before my eyes

Have you ever had an accident or an adverse moment in which your whole life appeared before your eyes? It is a very frequent phenomenon that is explained by various hypotheses.

My whole life has passed before my eyes

Last update: August 07, 2022

During critical and threatening moments, it is common to see different fragments of one’s existence. Like a carousel of life cycle snapshots. There are those who conceive this phenomenon as supernatural and unscientific. However, science has studied the phenomenon known as “My whole life has passed before my eyes”.

There are thousands of testimonies on these experiences. The first of which we have news is that of the Swiss geologist Albert Heim who in 1892 fell off a cliff while climbing a mountain. During the fall, he felt that he was somewhere else and began to see a whole series of images relating to his own life.

That accident, from which fortunately he was saved, served him to become the pioneer of study of the near-death experiences of mountaineers. His work is still a reference.

Our view of time is altered when we go through borderline experiences where our life is threatened.

Revising certain experiences is due to the disinhibition of the cortical area.

People who change after a borderline experience

The experiences in which a person finds himself saying “My whole life has passed in front of my eyes” can be very different. An accident, being in the operating room or in a threatening situation can put the brain into a kind of trance.

To this is added another no less surprising fact: whoever sees moments of his own existence in an instant limit experiences a change.

There are aspects of the personality that change as a result of this experience. There are those who stop fearing death and most become aware of the beauty of this world.

There are also profound changes, such as leaving one profession and looking for another one or establishing new, more ethical, human and simple priorities.

While it is more understandable after surviving a traumatic event, it is the mental flashbacks that occur between life and death that generate countless questions.

Brain stress and time perception: “Mi the whole life has passed in front of the eyes “

In 2017 a group of Israeli scientists from the Hadassah Hebrew University of Jerusalem published one study about. Participants said “my life has passed in front of my eyes” following a situation of extreme stress in the brain.

At these moments time ceases to exist in the mind. It dissolves, almost like Dalí’s clocks. Past and present occupy the same floor and overlap, thus suddenly all past life mixes with immediate reality. This theory coincides with what the philosopher Immanuel Kant stated.

Time is a construction of the human mind, according to Kant himself. Therefore, and however unlikely it may seem to us, many neurologists accept this idea as valid. The perception of time and its organization are nothing more than products of our consciousness.

Disinhibition of the cortical area between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus

Faced with a great threat, the brain faces death for which brain activity is so intense, chaotic and excessive that it inhibits the cortical area.

The prefrontal cortex (determinant for cognition or decision making) and the hippocampus (responsible for memory) alter the release of GABA.

This neurotransmitter inhibits multiple functions of the central nervous system. However, in situations of extreme danger, it stops working.

This means that the hippocampus “unloads” most of the memories in the prefrontal cortex. This explains why they are so vivid, real, intense.

There are those who come into contact with scenes from the past that they didn’t even think they remembered.

Many people need psychological support after these near-death experiences.

“My whole life has passed in front of my eyes”, need for support

Renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks pointed out that the experiences that he sees his whole life pass in front of his eyes are, in fact, a type of “extremely complex” hallucination. On the other hand, the psychiatrist Bruce Greyson, one of the figures who has studied these phenomena the most, delves into another aspect.

Dr. Greyson points out that to date neurological hypotheses do not offer a clear explanation of why this phenomenon occurs. Clearly there is a borderland in our mental universe that eludes us.

First of all, we should validate the experience. It is not a paranormal phenomenon nor are we facing a mental disorder. They are real and concrete experiences, difficult to understand and which, at times, will require psychological support.

And not just for the trance experienced, but for what comes after. Dr. Greyson treated ex-military or police officers forced to leave their jobs. The idea of ​​hurting or having to physically confront someone was suddenly repugnant to them.

Professional support in these cases is always recommended. These are facts that happen every day and that almost never have consequences.

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My whole life has passed before my eyes