A year before A J Ayer (1910-1989) died of pneumonia, he choked on a piece of salmon, lost consciousness, and in a technical sense died. For four minutes his heart had stopped until he was revived. Within a day, he had recovered sufficiently to chat about his near death experience.
He claimed that he saw a bright light which he believed was created by the government of the universe. He could not see the ministers who were in charge of the light but at a distance, he could see the ministers who were in charge of time. Ayer was instantly struck by the thought that Albert Einstein had theorized that space and time were the same. So he tried to attract the attention of the ministers of time by walking up and down and waving his watch and chain. His failure to attract the attention of the ministers of time made him feel desperate but before he could make other efforts, he regained consciousness.
Ayer, a lifelong atheist, was shaken by the near death experience as it provided a "rather strong evidence that death does not put an end to consciousness.”
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