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Theories of Consciousness and Death: Does Consciousness End, Continue, Awaken, or Transform When the Body Dies?

Roger Cook


In this paper the organic process of death is envisaged as giving rise to a transformative experience, one that the human brain may have evolved in response to being confronted with its termination. The out-of-body experiences (OBEs) of patients undergoing surgery are examined, and considered to have a physiological basis rather than a spiritual one. The near-death experience (NDE) is then interpreted as a return to the present of the moment of birth.

It is suggested that nothing leaves the body at death, but that the individual has a euphoric experience that coincides with cessation of awareness of time. The NDE of a noted atheistic philosopher is then considered. By its nature the process of death precludes research by conventional neuroscientific methods that would be both invasive and impractical. The paper concludes with corroborative evidence of a personal nature.

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ISSN: 2153-8212