Tag Archives: out of body experience

163 – Flatliners: Hollywood and the Near Death Experience

Looks like there is no intellectual property that the great minds of Hollywood are afraid of resurrecting. Twenty seven years after it originally premiered, they’re bringing back Flatliners as a quasi-reboot / stealth sequel. They’re probably getting the message that us geeks are getting tired of rebooting properties when they could basically create a new story with new characters while keeping it in the same universe and even just some kind of nod to the original can satiate fans who are looking for a continuation of the story.

Joel Schumacher made one of the 1980s most stylish and inventive horror films with The Lost Boys (a film we’ve talked about on this podcast a hundred times) and he took the main heavy from that film (a little actor by the name of Kiefer Sutherland) and made him the lead of his next movie, Flatliners.

Flatliners is a film about medical students who create Near Death Experiences for themselves (the flatline of the title) and then get resuscitated back to life. They’re looking for the last frontier, what happens after we die, what Shakespeare called “the undiscovered country from whose bourne no man returns”, well, unless you’re Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Billy Baldwin, Oliver Platt, or Julia Roberts.

What they find is a cosmic justice waiting for them, an accountability for their sins in life waiting for them. And those sins can now come back to haunt them in our world, brought back through the portal of the Near Death Experience. That’s the gist of the story and it’s still an effective horror film. We’ll see about the remake starring Ellen Page and Diego Luna (who are usually pretty great) and directed by the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director, Niels Arden Oplev (and written by the dude who wrote Source Code which is a solid Twilight Zone episode of a movie!)

Anyway, when you think of a Near Death Experience, you think of your life flashing before your eyes, a tunnel with a light at the end, and sometimes an Out of Body Experience where your spirit leaves your body and you watch what’s happening to you.

Well, science seems to have an answer for some of those aspects of NDEs, there are others that consistently confound modern science, including Out Of Body Experiences during clinical death (cardiac arrest at least) that are not quite explainable and in one case, seemingly impossible.

Then we go into celebrity Near Death Experiences, from Kiefer Sutherland’s own father Donald, to Johnny Cash, Gary Busey, and many more.

You know theyre father and son, right?
You know they’re father and son, right?

This week’s song is based on Dylan Thomas’ classic poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, with our own track about raging against the dying of the light. Here’s a headbanger about going out with a fight form our own flatline, “Pre-Emptive Strike”.

And when I’m hanging by a thread,
Tied to machines and half-dead,
and when you think it’s my final act,
don’t pull the plug,
I’m coming back.

Hey!
The strength of my will protects me from harm,
I’m not going out with a needle in my arm.

I’ll not go down without a fight,
my will is my pre-emptive strike,
I’ll not go down without a fight,
I’ll not go gently into that good night.

And when you think I can’t go on,
And when you think I’m not that strong,
I will not die by my own hand,
I’ll hold my ground, I’ll make my stand.

Hey!
The strength of my will protects me from harm,
I’m not going out with a needle in my arm.

I’ll not go down without a fight,
my will is my pre-emptive strike,
I’ll not go down without a fight,
I’ll not go gently into that good night.

56 – Have an Out of Body Experience: With Luis Minero

Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) are one of the least talked about paranormal phenomena, a lot of people have so much invested into the idea of your consciousness leaving your body at the time of death, that we forget that some people claim that they can leave their body and travel while they’re alive! 

It’s been called astral projection and spirit walking as well, and it’s something we talked about in the episode with Garnet Schulhauser and his spirit guide, Albert.  There’s an excellent cinematic representation of an out of body experience with Jake Busey and Michael J. Fox in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners (which if you haven’t seen, you should probably go check it out, because it’s a great movie.)

But it’s also part of the Kevin Bacon/Kiefer Sutherland/Julia Roberts paranormal “classic”, Flatliners. That’s a decent one to watch if you’re interested in some late 80s/early 90s nostalgia. I thought it was pretty scary in Seventh Grade too, if that makes it more enticing.

Neuropsychologists call this “leaving of the body” a Doppelgänger experience, where you feel an illusory body leave your physical sense. Scientists have used these disassociative experiences to learn more about how the human mind constructs its sense of self. People experience this state through meditation, extreme physical duress, episodes of being near death, and  hallucinogenic substances. But others claim that its nature is more mystical, that our souls and consciousness can leave our bodies and  we have conversation in this episode is with Luis Minero, who’s the head of the International Academy of Consciousness, which is an organization dedicated to investigating the mysteries of psychic phenomena and human potential.

Luis first had an out of body experience as a adolescent, he was laying down in his room and all of a sudden he felt that he was on the other side of the room. This started happening to him on a consistent basis afterwards and he became fascinated with the paranormal.

Luis details one of the ways to have an out of body experience.

  1. Get into a quiet room and put yourself in a comfortable spot where you can meditate.
  2. Focus your concentration on different points of the body (focusing your concentration = energy) and start moving that concentration from your head to your feet slowly.
  3. Increase the speed of moving the energy from top to bottom until it feels like your body is vibrating quickly.  Okay, we’d love for anyone to give this a try and see what happens. I’ve never had an out of body experience (my sister has though and we’ll have to ask her about that on a future episode) and I’m definitely going to give this a shot in my meditation exercises sometime.

If you’d like to learn more about the subject and more of Minero’s techniques, check out his book, Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience: A Practical Manual for Exploration and Personal Evolution right here.

The song for this episode is “Push” by Sunspot.

Hot breath on my neck
I shut my eyes
turn all the way inward,
go deep inside.
and my face is wet,
how I want this to be
anyone but me
someone else’s body

to push push push away and out of here
I need to push push push away and out of here

From up on high
I can see where I lie,
Some kind of fantasy,
pushed right out of body

I went so far inside
that I lost my mind
I came out the other side
that’s where I hide.
that’s where I hide.

I’m watching myself now,
somewhere outside my brain,
free of the terror,
free of the pain.
Turn away from the scene,
I set off on my own,
into infinity,
beyond divinity.

to push push push away and out of here
I need to push push push away and out of here

From up on high
I can see where I lie,
Some kind of fantasy,
pushed right out of body

I went so far inside
that I lost my mind
I came out the other side
that’s where I hide.
that’s where I hide.