Sebastian Junger's Scary Near Death Experience

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Taken from JRE #1655 w/Sebastian Junger:

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The jurgen experience we were talking before this there's so much to talk about but we were talking before and you were saying that uh over the last year you almost died because you had some crazy internal and uh you had an aneurysm in your pancreas is that where you said it was yeah i had an undiagnosed asymptomatic aneurysm which Is a sort of ballooning in the blood vessel uh in the artery in my pancreatic artery and out of the blue it was a congenital thing like i apparently had developed during my whole life it um it was just from a a structural problem and uh and one afternoon one beautiful june afternoon last year at first and um you know i just felt this pain Shoot through my stomach i was like damn what is that within a few minutes i couldn't stand up and within about 10 minutes i would start to go blind and my wife called them the ambulance and um those guys got there and and um you know i was tanking really fast and the hospital is an hour away and i said by a miracle i don't even think the doctors understand it but by a Miracle i was still alive when i got to the hospital i lost 90 of my blood into my abdomen um and um i didn't know i was dying but i was dying and i was right in that sort of twilight zone and um the uh a black pit opened up underneath me and i felt myself starting to get pulled down into it and i i didn't want to go like it was cold and Dark and black and bottomless and i just knew like do not go down there i was getting pulled down into it and right at that moment my father who passed away in 2012 my father sort of appeared next to me and started trying to communicate trying to communicate with me and comforting me and i um i sort of waved him away and the last thing i remember saying to the Doctor i was sort of losing consciousness and the last thing i said to the doctor was you're losing me right now you got to hurry he was trying to put it he'd cut my neck open he was trying to put a line into my neck you know they pumped ten ten units of blood into me and that's what brought me back it was really close Wow um when you say you you felt like you're you were sinking into a pit like do you seeing this yeah i mean you know your perceptions are very weird because i you know very little oxygen in the brain i had a hemoglobin count of 1.2 if you're a doctor you know what that is it's almost unheard of and so i just felt this pit underneath me and it was pulling me into it and i didn't want to go And you can see a pit yeah i mean again c feel your perceptions are very weird when you're like that and then my father also was sort of floating above me he was a presence i don't know if seeing him is quite the word it's another perception wow yeah so coming out of that once you regained your health you must have had an incredible newfound Appreciation for all the people in your life and just everything it was a long path you know i mean i'm a really healthy guy later the doctor said you know it was your you know i was a marathon runner when i was young and um i don't drink i'm i am athletic and i use my body pretty vigorously and he said that saved your life like you didn't have a heart attack like you you you owe your life to that Wow but the next morning you know i didn't know that i'd almost died i had no idea i have two little girls i have a four year old and a one and a half year old and they're the most precious things to me i mean i can't even describe it obviously and the fact that they almost lost their dad was just devastating when the icu nurse came in and said how are you doing mr Younger you're one lucky guy you almost died yesterday i had no idea and then she came back an hour later and um and she said how are you doing and i said you know physically and i was throwing up blood i was i'm not i was not doing very well physically but i said i was i said but you know i'm really struggling with what you told me and Um it's really terrifying i didn't know and i mean i said i almost died in my own driveway in front of my family and i didn't even know like and i said i keep thinking about it i can't stop and she said the wisest things one of the wisest things i've ever heard she said um she said stop thinking of that moment as scary and start thinking of it as sacred and she didn't elaborate she didn't need to and the next five days in the icu i Thought about the word sacred and what the experience was now giving me access to and you know not to sound sort of like trite but um life is a freaking miracle and you know i'm not religious i you know whatever i i don't think any of us few of us i certainly didn't quite understand um what a miracle it is that we're alive That we exist that we draw breath that we can think about ourselves that we're here for even one day is a freaking miracle and you can forget that because your life gets busy and all of a sudden i feel like life was sort of returned to me meaning that i understood how sacred it is and um again i'm an atheist i don't mean sacred in a religious sense I mean in the sense that it's has a profound value and you mustn't mustn't forget it's so easy to lose sight of that when you're caught up in your bills or traffic or you [ __ ] and yeah there's so much so much of life that is essential in in in order for you to just keep on existing in society but not really important Yeah and you know we're humans we're i mean you know we're wired to react to things you know someone pisses you off or you're tired it's not that we shouldn't have those reactions those reactions also keep us alive i mean our emotional physical reactions are adaptive and they protect us right but at the end of the day you don't want them to run away with your experience of life You want to reclaim it and just go right you know all i have to do is go back to that moment of what happened in that driveway and that i was spared getting pulled into that pit that didn't happen and my daughters get to have a father i get to experience whatever the rest of my life is whatever it is who knows how long i'll Live but i get i i that gift was returned to me um and i don't even know i don't even know who to say thank you to other than i've started giving blood 10 10 people 10 people donated blood and saved my life i'll never know who they are and that um you know it makes you part of this sort of web of life um in a way that it's you know what i gave blood for the first Time you know like after this happened i gave blood and i made me feel so good uh and now i've i can't wait to do it again like you're i'm part of something bigger and and that's one of the most profound human joys is to be part of something greater than yourself so this this experience um that you how long did it take you before you were fully recovered well you know i had i had a you know gallon of blood in my Abdomen and and a gallon well whatever that amount of blood in your body gets out something like that they can't you know it's a hematoma and my body had to gradually reabsorb it so you know that takes months and uh and now i'm left with this sort of psychological residue of the experience which is i have this um uh you know renewed reinvigorated appreciation for life Um but also the the truth about life is that none of us know for sure we're gonna be alive at sunset you know i mean we all know you can get cancer you can die in a car accident or whatever but really the truth is the thing we're we're alive because the tiniest membranes in your body are are are not rupturing you know what i mean like the system that your body is is like incredibly complex and if Something goes wrong you can be dead in minutes and you can be totally healthy and that can happen and the fact that the universe can just randomly take you out for um no apparent reason um that's pretty startling news if you think about it i didn't know it worked that way and it can make you kind of paranoid did it make you paranoid no totally yeah i mean i just every day i was like i Mean this was gradually going away but i just i realized like you don't know you just don't know that you're going to be alive in an hour from now and you're going running you're you're reading a book to your daughter or whatever having dinner with some friends and now i like an hour from now i could be dead or the guy i'm talking to could be dead and none of us Know and none of us can do anything about it and that's just what life is we're we're living on a rock hurtling through the universe i mean we're we're part of the universe and we exist that it's um and it's mercy really were you afterwards contemplating what that pit was and what it means and what it means to slide into that and like You know i started to do a little research into the the death i want to write a book about this i think i'm going to call it pulse oh i like that the thing that keeps us alive it's a good name and why we're alive and what happens when you die and i've just started doing some research into this and and the the the the visitation by dead ancestors is very common For people um and often um i mean there's all kinds of reasons that you might hallucinate when your brain's low on oxygen but you know i didn't hallucinate anyone in my family i didn't lose i hallucinated my dead father right and that's very very common and i didn't know i was dying so it's not like i conjured him up because i knew i was headed somewhere i was very confused and there he was Trying to comfort me and that's a really common experience so i looked into it and so they have they have all these you know release of ketamine and all like they have all these dmt and they have all these sort of neurochemical explanations for the subjective experience of dying for the person and we only know this because people come back like i do and report what they saw and it's usually pretty Weird but it's pretty weird in predictable ways like a lot of people see the dead it's as if they show up to help and i want to repeat i'm an atheist i'm not religious i don't believe in anything my dad was a physicist so i want to sort of explain what happens in ways that he would respect scientifically and so one of the things they said is that you can take low oxygen kind of Mean all these things that physically could happen in the brain you can you can subject a healthy person to those things and they don't have the same kinds of hallucinations those hallucinations are particular only to the dying and i want to know i want to try to figure out what is going on in that weird twilight space catch new episodes of the joe rogan Experience for free only on spotify watch back catalog jre videos on spotify including clips easily seamlessly switch between video and audio experience on spotify you can listen to the jre in the background while using other apps and can download episodes to save on data cost all for free spotify is absolutely free you don't have to have a premium account To watch new jre episodes you just 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