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Body-Independence of Consciousness & Retained Information

Alan J. Oliver, Syamala D. Hari


We present experiences of one of the authors (Oliver’s), of a conscious but thoughtless state called Samapatti, as examples to support the view that consciousness is not produced by the body. Oliver got into the Samapatti state whenever he focussed his mind on a human or animal subject; in that state, his mind became still and then he became aware of some physical or psychological conditions of his subject. The experiences show that one can be conscious without the usual in-and-out thought flow and be aware of something external to one’s own body and mind without any physical or sensory connection. We point out that these apparently ‘anomalous’, experiences are possible realities described in the traditional sources of Hindu Philosophy. In ancient times, Hindu philosophy thoroughly analysed consciousness, mind, body, and their relations to one another. The philosophy proposes that consciousness is not produced by the body or brain and that it is independent of both body and mind. It asserts that mind is a memory which keeps accumulating experiences, desires, aversion, emotions, etc. of the living being as life goes on. Unlike consciousness, clearly, some contents of the mind are not completely independent of the body because for example, sensory experiences require the interaction of the body with the environment. Yet, the so called principle of reincarnation proposes that some subtlest aspects of the mind, the latent impressions of past experiences and desires called vasanas survive the death of the physical body and that they are carried over into another body in a new life, and get another chance for expression. These proposals of Hindu philosophy, namely, body independence of consciousness and survival of bodily death by the mind’s information content, allow for the possibility of near-death experiences and recollection of past life experiences.

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ISSN: 2153-8212