This was accompanied by the message from the publicist: "Your audience might love this story" - "might" being the operative word.
Do Near-Death Experiences Alter the Brain?
Author Says It Definitely Changed Him Forever
Woodland Hills, CA, September 29, 2009 – After he drank a cobra venom cocktail to simulate death, Jamshid Hosseini knew his worldview was forever transformed, but he also believes his brain was physically altered – rewired into something different.
The experience led him to create a spiritual “roadmap to bliss” that he and co-author Dave Cunningham detail in their critically acclaimed self-help book, Travel Within: The 7 Steps to Wisdom and Inner Peace (O-Books, John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.).
“Why did my whole life and direction change after that? I know that my near-death experience gave me peek at the eternal Oneness,” Hosseini said, “but I also feel that my brain actually changed. I’ve been doing a lot of study on this.”
So has Dr. Willoughby Britton, Research Associate in Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University Medical School. She studied the brainwaves of people who have had near-death experiences and found evidence their brainwave patterns differ from those who haven’t had a brush with death. The near-death patients showed a distinct spike in activity in the left temporal lobe.
The brain’s left temporal lobe has been linked to feelings of peace and tranquility. Dr. Britton said the temporal lobe is sometimes called the God module, the part of the brain that connects with the transcendent.
During a spiritual quest that included studies of Baha’i Faith, Hinduism and Zen Buddhism, Hosseini followed a monk in India who asked a select few disciples to drink a concoction of tea, honey and milk laced with cobra venom. The idea was that experiencing near-death would free one of our most primal fear.
For Hosseini, at least, it worked. His life, philosophy, and perhaps even his brain were changed forever. Cunningham, an award-winning journalist, novelist and screenwriter, spent over a year interviewing Hosseini and researching how his new look on life – born of a near-death epiphany – was supported by current thought in the fields of science, philosophy and religion.
Travel Within: The 7 Steps to Wisdom and Inner Peace is not aligned with any particular religion, and its precepts don’t clash with any of the world’s major faiths. The book includes a roundtable discussion between Hosseini, a scientist, a philosopher and a theologian.
During his worldwide journey, Jamshid “Jim” Hosseini lived on a hill overlooking a king’s palace in Iran, was beaten by Muslims for practicing the Baha’i Faith, begged for food in India, and labored for a monk in Katmandu. He took counsel from the famous Rajneesh in Pune and built his own successful business in California.