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QUESTION Where Do You Go When You Die? The Increasing Signs That Human Consciousness Remains After Death

“I don’t mean that people have their eyes open or that their brain’s working after they die," Parnia said. "That petrifies people. I’m saying we have a consciousness that makes up who we are—our selves, thoughts, feelings, emotions—and that entity, it seems, does not become annihilated just because we've crossed the threshold of death; it appears to keep functioning and not dissipate. How long it lingers, we can’t say.”

zblaze 7 Feb 14

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What does everyone think about Ghosts ?

I've had a rather interesting experience with something that I believe was my sister not long after she passed away. It was quite profound. I saw that you are in Monterey. I live in Marina.

MikeSR, I replied to another post on related subject:

W.B. Yeats, the poet, wrote “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper” ... yes he wasn’t a scientist, but for me that rings very true; and for that reason I, who adamantly believe in no god(s) does not deny the possibility that in the realm of “ghosts” I do not outright dismiss the possibility ... and I’m an intelligent, very rational human. His words bring to mind for me things like radio ... the waves were there but until humans built the appropriate receiver, we were ignorant of it. "Our senses to grow sharper ... also interpreted as when humankind invents equipment": ... I can see many other examples of this, as equipment was invented to measure that which before was intangible.
. And that is why I am more of an Agnostic than a card-carrying Atheist ... in the realm of the paranormal, I have to confess that yes I am a doubter, but OPEN to the idea that ESP and ghosts MIGHT EXIST. Some say that being open to the thought that it might exist implies lack of rationality, but I don't buy that ....


No after life after death? Ewwwww.. scary! Lets start a religion so we won't have to fear death and forever departing from our loved ones. We can sleep better at night then..


I will let you know when I get there... because right now I am over here. And here is all I know right now.


The title is misleading as it implies an "after you die" (after-life) sounds like the article is asserting an implied need to modify the definition of death.

As for have their eyes open and brain's working after death . . . .


That is damn interesting. Thanks NoMagic.


All seems like a LOT of special pleading to me, much by bright minds who WANT such a conclusion.

I fell in 87 and awoke in 88. I had a MILD edema, a MILD post concussive syndromne, but for MONTHS I was walking and talking and eating and doing things.

EXCEPT "I" was not there. "I" was fucking unconscious. "I" have no memory of that time.

My memory is akin to a Salvador Dali painting. I fell in fall and awoke to Spring, brown falling leaves were now a surreal landscape of an impossible spring. SO where was "I" all those months?

TBI's, Split brain and other things clearly show conciousness as a by product of brain, and damage to the brain by disease (alzheimers, downs) injury (TBI's) and so forth show this EVERY DAY. To me conversations like this SPIT in the faces of people who struggle with these very issues daily.

Your Mom's Alzheimers must just be imaginary right? Her conciousness, all fucked up so she does not know who you are or whom her children are, carries on in some mystical fashion without the brain which is mucking it up?

To me it is "My fear of Death drives this notion, and it is so strong this fear, that it overrides my compassion for your actual plight"
Which is wish thinking of a most unkind sort.

Wow, I've never posted an article that has been so misunderstood, and misrepresented by the comments as this one has.
No where does it suggest that "Alzheimers is imaginary" or that "consciousness carries on in some mystical way".
It also doesn't indicate that reincarnation is possible... @ SACat

To suggest that it "SPITS in the face of people with debilitating diseases" is patently absurd!!


I have heard and believe it from a scientific outlook. Energy can be transformed into other substance, but it cannot be destroyed. You have perhaps a small loss during the change of the energy process, but energy cannot be destroyed. At, death we shed our bodies and become spirit, which is energy, so I think Our spirits follow the laws of physics, I think spirit can be transformed but not destroyed. This leaves many ideas on exactly what the spirit becomes on its next transformation or in my case, Reincarnation. So there are many places the spirit can go or be after death.

Yes, our energy still has to exist.


There are many dimensions. I am not up on how many there are. But interesting concept.


You just wrote the simplistic definition of reincarnation.

That's one option. Another option is that our true selves (we are not our bodies, etc.) cross through these 4 dimensions, just as our physical bodies intersect with the first dimension, the first and second dimension, and the first second and third dimension, but are most fully expressed in all 4 dimensions. How many dimensions could our true selves inhabit? Possibly all of them, however many that may be.


This is what I think about birth and death. Only the consciousness/the mind, 'who' we are, is Born and Born again, very slowly our entire lives. Only that which is born is subject to death.
A prerequisite of Birth, is to not to have previously existed, 'who' we are has never existed before. A requirement of death is to no longer exist. Our Bodies is 'what' we are. They are never 'born' but are delivered alive, they begin their spiritual/breathing lives with their first breath, and end them with their last. 'What' we are existed before delivery, and exists after the consciousness dies. Our bodies are recycled down into atoms to be redistributed in the cycles of nature and life.


Its really easy for science to say there is no continuation of something after death.

The thing that bothers me is the torrent of fairly reputable studies over the last 50 years that seem to indicate something strange is going on.

From a scientific point of view, a lot of these experiences can be explained by the various processes inside the brain during death.

I personally don't get upset by the continuing research into the phenomena, as it may add impetus to understanding the "consciousness" mystery. Will we be able to replicate human thought processes, transfer knowledge, etc etc - its all as much fun to discuss and explore as any other branch of science, and will lead to much greater understanding.

@SACatWalker Yes, it is surprising, but true. I have one link to start off with, but people have been seriously studying the phenomenon for a long time.


Newsweek is not an especially trustworthy science source.


If so, I don't believe the physical attributes remain whole. Maybe you come back/ transfer into a younger or older version of your self. Or not! Your "energy" transfers into someone else entirely. Trippy.....

go def- this is a response to your aging more through each life.....


Dust to dust.

You are talking about the body not the 'person'/'consciousness'. Dust still exists, where as a person, his/her consciousness, no longer does.

yep, the body goes, but the energy survives. During the tranformation process minimal losses occur, but the energy is still almost complete in thae transformation with few losses. After all what is a dead body good for? I am an organ doner and my body goes to medical research or making more doctors.


After decapitation they approximate consciousness to be gone by 8 seconds, might be longer though, doubt you remain as a spirit or some form of ethereal energy after you pass though. More like if consciousness isn't inhibited during ones death, so any death not related to head trauma or while a person is sleeping I'm pretty sure it's safe to say a person can maintain a short brief of consciousness.


If genes are "active" after death then perhaps the person's not truly dead yet. In any case, a lot of conjecture, but how does the author know any of this?

godef Level 7 Feb 14, 2018

By measuring brain wave activity.

In a 2016 study published in the Canadian Journal of Biological Sciences, doctors recounted shutting off life support for four terminally ill patients, only to have one of the patients continue emitting delta wave bursts—the measurable electrical activity in the brain we normally experience during deep sleep—for more than 10 minutes after the patient had been pronounced dead; no pupil dilation, no pulse, no heartbeat. The authors were at a loss for a physiological explanation.

@zblaze The key word being "pronounced."

@SACatWalker Neither I or the article says that it does SACat. Try reading the article, or at least re-read the comment you responded to.

Why are you here?

@zblaze If the patient was pronounced dead, but yet they still measured electrical activity in the brain, then in fact they are probably wrong, albeit no doubt almost there. I'm am here for straight science, not speculative mumbo-jumbo and leaps of logic; the question here shouldn't be about life after death, it should be whether science is advanced enough yet to understand/determine when a person is truly, COMPLETELY dead.

One of the incarnations of Star Trek had an alien race that was able to bring back a person after some days of what the crew understood to be death. It is possible that there could be resurrection technologies that we have not discovered yet. Or not. Who knows.

i am like us all, I don't know. i am just saying in mathmatical physic courses I had in college, it is a fact 'Energy can be transformed but never destoyed.

@BettyColeman Yes, but like the energy that runs a computer, does it retain any pattern that can be identified as a person, or is it just the pure random energy that came from nourishment?


In regard to the article, it does not really matter how long the genes live on despite brain hour, four hours, one day, four days...there is zero science that suggests that a person's "self" lives on after a person has died. For what it is worth, I was told in a college Philosophy class that some ancient Greeks thought that our consciousness came from a common pool of human consciousness when we were born and returned to that pool of consciousness when we died. However, there is no indication that is true either.

That's one of the theories that I like.


Excellent article. I'm pleased to see the research continues.

@SACatWalker Yes, seriously o thou knower of all things. You apparently are a dogmatic atheist, one I choose to call a fundamentalist or "fundie atheist".

You're not doing the research so why should it bother you...unless you too are holding some "beliefs" none dare challenge?


I've heard we jump to another spot in the "multiverse"

Perhaps... purely conjecture, but if you die in this universe, perhaps you transfer to the universe where you live just a little bit longer. And since multiverses are infinite, then you never die, just keep getting older and older... gack!

@WizardBill Maybe that's why we are visiting this realm. This might be like some kind of drug for infinitely old beings. Dang though, a lot of people are having a bad trip these days.

@SACatWalker Curiosity, possibly. Animosity, definitely. And if it's in this thread its on topic, therefore it is of more importance than agnosticism or atheism. It'd be the same if the post was about dogs or cats.

This is a site, not a group. Get used to many topics being discussed...being it is a site for agnostics too, you'll see much you won't agree with.

Before you have a rude awakening, try to understand this is actually the owners' site. I've seen they have a low tolerance level for trolls.

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