Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Question of the Soul

Before a few months I've had to undergo some sort of X-ray to check out whether I had any infections in the stomach and so on. That was the first time I've been put under anesthesia. The first time I experienced....nothing. Literally nothing, other than perhaps a few hints of what had been done to me by the time I woke up.
All I remember was hearing the Doctor say, 'and now...sweet dreams to you... 1...2...3..' and I was still there...or was I? I asked her... yes??? 1...2...3 what? (they were just standing there, so I asked)...what's supposed to happen?
I don't know whether the question baffled them, but they didn't answer until I asked: 'When's the X-ray going to begin?'
The nurse said: 'We're already done with the X-ray' And I go like...'what?? but I was awake the whole time.' After which she says: 'No you've been under anesthesia'

I understood the magnificence of this discovery of surgical anesthetics in 1846. Before, surgeries used to be performed without, which is a scenario I don't even want to imagine. So humour me for a moment when I start putting 1 and 1 together. Why is it that I felt nothing? Did I experience non-existence?
It was definitely not sleeping. It was a mock death. Not only because of the biological procedures that were being undertaken, but because the very aspect of time is negated. I did not feel myself go to sleep and wake up. I felt as if that very portion of time they used to X-ray me, was almost non-existent. Does that mean that time only exists when we do? And being dead would then mean, that time no longer is....

I ask you to humour me because it made me wonder. Just for the sake of argument lest any religious lunatic read this blog. It's always been a question whether the soul existed and was a seperate entity from the biological body. When they 'anesthetized' me, why did I not feel my existence, had I had a soul? The anesthesia is supposed to work biologically... not spiritually. So not being able to feel myself's existence at all..
Is it a hint that perhaps the soul does not exist?
Or would the religious argue that it did affect my soul?
Or would you say souls disappear with your consciousness?

I know no one can answer this philosophical search for the meaning of life. But I feel a part of the answer lies within the anesthetics. 


jack said...

I'm not going to comment on the soul part because I believe that is more a religious thing.

Since I last spoke to you I've had surgery twice. Once for double bypass heart surgery and again to implant pace maker/defibrillator. By the way I have NO scare ... they super glued my incision!

It was explained to me by the anesthetist that what happens with general anesthesia that you are put into a "reversible coma." He told me you won't dream or even know when you go out of consciousness. When this happens much of your body functions are slowed and some are shut down by the drugs. This is much different that a regular sleep that your body continues to function normally aka breathing/pain receptors in brain etc. Basically you're as close to death as you can get and still be considered alive because you do still have "some" brain wave action.

Good to see you are OK and still kickin

Your friend

TripleTee said...

Hey Jack (or Keith)
great to see you here and thanks for the reply. I hope you're doing well with the pacemaker.
In that case, I guess you and I have already experienced 90% of death. It's timeless...literally non-existent. Non-existence exists if you know what I mean. It's the sad truth. Or the happy truth, whichever way you choose to look at it :)