Life flashing before eyes in near death incident may allow mind to see future – scientists

Afterlife: Expert discusses 'feelings' in near-death experiences

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When many people have a life-threatening accident, they claim to have seen glimpses of their life. One famous incident, in particular, came from famed British saxophonist Tony Kofi, who fell from a third storey building when he was a teenager. Describing the experience afterwards, Mr Kofi said he believes he saw a glimpse of the future.

The two-time BBC Jazz award winner said: “In my mind’s eye I saw many, many things: children that I hadn’t even had yet, friends that I had never seen but are now my friends.

“The thing that really stuck in my mind was playing an instrument.”

Mr Kofu said it was that experience which inspired him to pick up the instrument and learn to play – something which had never occurred to him before.

While some would argue that it was the vision which caused Mr Kofi to play jazz, a psychologist believes it is not out of the question that the musician caught a glimpse of the future.

Steve Taylor, senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, played on the idea that time exists in a “spatial” sense.

This idea suggests that time is only a human construct, and our mind is wired to see it flowing from past, to present, to future.

Mr Taylor wrote in The Conversation: “Since Einstein’s theory of relativity, some physicists have adopted a ‘spatial’ view of time.

“They argue we live in a static ‘block universe’ in which time is spread out in a kind of panorama where the past, the present and the future co-exist simultaneously.”

According to Mr Taylor, this could explain why some people have a review of their life when they have a life-threatening event.

It could also explain why some believe they see the future in a near death experience.

The psychologist said: “But what about Tony Kofi’s apparent visions of his future? Did he really glimpse scenes from his future life? Did he see himself playing the saxophone because somehow his future as a musician was already established?

“There are obviously some mundane interpretations of Tony’s experience. Perhaps, for instance, he became a saxophone player simply because he saw himself playing it in his vision.

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“But I don’t think it’s impossible that Tony did glimpse future events.

“If time really does exist in a spatial sense – and if it’s true that time is a construct of the human mind – then perhaps in some way future events may already be present, just as past events are still present.

“Admittedly, this is very difficult to make sense of. But why should everything make sense to us?

“As I have suggested in a recent book, there must be some aspects of reality that are beyond our comprehension.

“After all, we’re just animals, with a limited awareness of reality. And perhaps more than any other phenomenon, this is especially true of time.”

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