Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:51 pm

Webwanderer wrote: The question is, does awareness originate in the body, or does it simply work within it from a larger context?


This is even called the "hard problem of consciousness" ... up to now neuro-scientists have not established any evidence of the location of awareness in the physical body and brain ... and of course they can't find it there or in any 'form' because awareness is formless ... and this is fundamentally what we are in essence ...

Eckhart Tolle 101 I would say ...
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:46 pm

Phil2 wrote:
Webwanderer wrote: The question is, does awareness originate in the body, or does it simply work within it from a larger context?


This is even called the "hard problem of consciousness" ... up to now neuro-scientists have not established any evidence of the location of awareness in the physical body and brain ... and of course they can't find it there or in any 'form' because awareness is formless ... and this is fundamentally what we are in essence ...

Eckhart Tolle 101 I would say ...


I wouldn't say neuroscientists are even looking for awareness as a form. This is futile, since most scientists consider awareness an emergent property - a sum of many complex parts. The hard problem of consciousness is why and how it "feels like something to be or experience something" - qualia. This is a step beyond mere awareness. Awareness is the basis of qualia, but qualia is not a necessary condition of awareness. So it could be that many animals have a rudimentary awareness, but with the absence of that next evolutionary stage that gave rise to qualia, are more like biological automatons, self perpetuating biological machines that react to stimuli (albeit in highly complex ways), without the ability to "feel what it is like to be them".

Humans, and some other animals, at some point developed the ability to channel awareness through various experiential lenses that gives rise to a unitary sense of subjective awareness - a feeling of what it is like to be that awareness. So there is no way that quality in itself can be considered in physical terms. I believe it is a very grand illusion of emergence, and impossible to explain from the subjective vantage point that enables it to be contemplated.

Consciousness cannot know itself in the same way fire cannot burn itself.

Is it not the purpose of meditation, for example, to strip away thoughts about the contents of consciousness, and simply experience it? You are left with simply being awareness rather than trying to feel what it is like to be awareness.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:26 am

Is it not the purpose of meditation, for example, to strip away thoughts about the contents of consciousness, and simply experience it? You are left with simply being awareness rather than trying to feel what it is like to be awareness.


Interesting question epiphany, could one not ask the same of life/living?
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:25 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:
Is it not the purpose of meditation, for example, to strip away thoughts about the contents of consciousness, and simply experience it? You are left with simply being awareness rather than trying to feel what it is like to be awareness.


Interesting question epiphany, could one not ask the same of life/living?


Of course jen :)

I often wonder what it would be like to live an entire life without qualia, just pure "what is" awareness, but therein lies the paradox! As soon as I try to feel what it is like to just be awareness, I am already colouring it with mind.

Now, in the interests of the thread's opening topic, what is it like to be aware without a brain/body? Again, the question is loaded with qualia. To me, the only question left worth asking about awareness after biological death is: can it be subjectively and phenomenally experienced? If not, awareness without a brain is exactly the same, in experiential terms, as unawareness, or complete annihilation. The debate over whether or not "we" have awareness after biological death is, IMO, moot.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:56 am

To me, the only question left worth asking about awareness after biological death is: can it be subjectively and phenomenally experienced?

And so too is any answer going to be 'loaded with qualia' :wink: how can any of it not?

Based on my own - I know others will not accept it as 'scientific investigation' but there you go, in faithfully putting stuff into 'proven true' 'proven false' and 'not proven' categories, there have been clair evident (absolutely my 'qualia') legitimate, information shared that not only prove the accuracy of information true (to me and to others), but the subjective still being able to be energised and shared as perceived and projected as such.

I'm not sure if that's the same as subjectively experiencing it, because it's obviously not my subjective experience, just the acceptance of description from one (or others) who are 'after biological death' and faithfully relaying their experience/s.

It's for this reason that I lean to the side of ... maybe not eternally - (but what is eternal when time is not what we think it is?), but certainly for some earth time after death it seems to be a more both individual + universal awareness that continues after the death of the body.

It's these for want of a better word 'boxes' of 'proven true' accounts / examples wherein I cannot argue rationally with the evidence or its accuracy; and when others argue against it those arguments only become steeped in irrationality and tend to redirect focus, or lose logical processing - deeming a thing 'not proven' as being proven true or false, etc


and not so much the nde awareness - albeit that level of awareness does allow me to 'remember' some of the shared differences in a 'bodyless' state of perceiving - particularly the total not static things of time and space/place/matter and the flimsy, easy to see misconception of any total individuation of experience/s and/or shared movements of energy.

I 'wish' that science would truly open mindedly explore the question as you have framed it, and open mindedly explore the 'possible responses.'

It would just open the door to wider awareness on this 'level', not that I need it to be validated, but it would just be nice to all be on the same page. I just went looking (again) at progresses in neurological studies and in one research centre they listed all of their research projects to do with consciousness under 'abnormal' or clinical 'problems'... so we can see that their mindset is already made up, and the parameters of their findings will have to be framed within those limitations. :( If we keep doing the same things the same way, of course we are only going to get the same results.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:12 am

Not everyone is so closed minded though. There are some breakthroughs if you look hard enough for them, certainly those more like me putting things into those three boxes as honestly as they can, while being faithfully aware of influences of bias - proven true, proven false and not proven.

Eg: Dr Elisabeth Kubler Ross' body of work with the dying cites many 'beyond the veil' communications with validated factors of individualised expression.
Dr Bruce Greyson's work in exploring explanations for 'altered consciousness' in terms of nde awareness. His work that is peer reviewed, clinically tested according to scientific principles etc that conclude that the 'clair' (merely enhanced & clear) awareness experienced in an nde is not - is proven not consistent with aberration or irrational hallucinations, or psychiatric disturbance or the likes of epilepsy or schizophrenia.

These sorts of 'assumed' cause and effects that do not fit the actual experience are often used to illegitimise that state of awareness, the human capacity to experience it and studies looking openly at them.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:33 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:I just went looking (again) at progresses in neurological studies and in one research centre they listed all of their research projects to do with consciousness under 'abnormal' or clinical 'problems'... so we can see that their mindset is already made up, and the parameters of their findings will have to be framed within those limitations. :( If we keep doing the same things the same way, of course we are only going to get the same results.


Neurology is a specific branch of neuroscience that studies disorders of the nervous system. I think that's why you're only finding stuff about clinical problems/abnormalities. It's confusing because the word "neurological" is often used synonymously with "pertaining to the brain". Neurology is more about medicine than general scientific study.

We can talk about people's experiences with dying, but dying, or being near death is not after death. NDE's are not experiences of death, by their very definition. Clinical death is determined based on equipment that is available bed-side. To claim that near death experiencers are actually dead, and therefore experiencing a glimpse of the after life, is based on a presumption of clinical death. Until we are able to hook up more sensitive monitoring equipment to dying patients (a very difficult if not impossible task), we are limited in our definition of what death really means, especially in terms of brain state at the edge of life. This is the one point NDE studies and commentators continually fail to acknowledge. We are not studying death, we are studying dying. The fact that people come back to tell us of their experience attests that.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:15 am

We can talk about people's experiences with dying, but dying, or being near death is not after death. NDE's are not experiences of death, by their very definition. Clinical death is determined based on equipment that is available bed-side. To claim that near death experiencers are actually dead, and therefore experiencing a glimpse of the after life, is based on a presumption of clinical death. Until we are able to hook up more sensitive monitoring equipment to dying patients (a very difficult if not impossible task), we are limited in our definition of what death really means, especially in terms of brain state at the edge of life. This is the one point NDE studies and commentators continually fail to acknowledge. We are not studying death, we are studying dying. The fact that people come back to tell us of their experience attests that.


This is totally correct in terms of what an nde is - but I strongly disagree that those studying that state of awareness 'continually fail to acknowledge' it.

In my experience it is a notion that allows those unwilling to explore that state of awareness to discard investigation of it as a real state of awareness.

In my own experience of working with scientists and different explorers over more than 30 years not one of those investigators has ever said this is 'death', only their detractors refer to it in that way. I detail my position more in the topic (Not) Proof of Heaven to me - referring to the title of neuroscientist Dr Eben Alexander's book - it may have been proof of heaven for him, but not for me.

More recently those in those circles of investigation have been trying to come up with a consensus on what to call it to avoid this bias - for me 'death' doesn't even come into it, while physically my brain and body were more than 'compromised' in terms of what medical science dictated that I 'should' have any awareness, let alone the expanded awareness, I was more 'alive' than I have ever been, and many other nde experiencers share the same view.

If ... and I stress IF it is any indication of the state of awareness after death, then still 'near death' has no relevance, and neither does the word 'death' as we take it to mean the end of life. It was an opening up of non physical faculties - or at least not limited by physical faculties - not a diminishing of them.

Those that extend it into 'death' do so because of the clinical parameters of the physical body, and you are right, we cannot yet measure with any accuracy levels of awareness. I take heart, I really take heart (cheered and whooped and hollahed) that the Nu Complexes (beyond flat line) field has been noticed, even though no one yet knows what it means - I take heart in that only because it was where science believed there was a calculated an end point of energetic flows, and it is now known that that was prematurely limiting.

My acceptance --- albeit I'm leaving room for correction if it is found that the living human brain has a capacity to transcend time, space, individual experience and perceptions, memories etc and that capacity dies with physical death -

My acceptance of the notion of awareness beyond physical death - is based not on the nde as such, but on empathic 'now' sharing of accurate information and perception. As in an energy of one no longer in body sharing information that was not available within an individual's physical awareness at or before their death (and so energetically limited to the physical dimensions while a body was 'alive') that can be proven to be true, accurate and where the 'source' of the information is not in body.

The sorts of things I'm speaking of is evidenced information concerning events surrounding the person's death that may have been distorted or misunderstood, that have been forensically supported on investigation where there was no investigation or knowledge previously; corrections of misunderstandings; sharing of accurate information in events that have not yet occurred on this 'plane / level / dimension' that unfold exactly as described, or past events that on investigation are as was described; passing on requests with regard to 'unfinished business' etc to third or further parties, so after death communication really.

In my understanding, and in experience, the 'personality' of the person is accurately identified in up to triple blind conditions (eg an entity describes them self and their relationship or an event to a 'sitter' who is unknown to the medium to take to another person unknown to the medium to have it evaluated or evidenced) these events may be accurately descriptive of past, present or future relationships or events.

The historical reasoning behind limiting this awareness, and the free studying of it, is that it sees all, shares all which is similar to the unlimited awareness experienced in an nde if that wider universal awareness is accessed.

One cannot distort power amid the truth of a thing. Those that seek to close it off or shut it down do so in fear of the truth, not in support of it.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:35 am

epiphany55 wrote:We can talk about people's experiences with dying, but dying, or being near death is not after death. NDE's are not experiences of death, by their very definition.

This line of argument has been used to dismiss NDE's since the term was coined. It was invented, if memory serves me correctly, by Raymond Moody in the 1970's. I do not think it is accurate enough to cover all types of the phenomena. A better, and more accurate term, is TDE or temporary death experience. This will get honest investigators beyond the pitfall of a flawed term.

It is a false argument based on a somewhat arbitrary definition that NDE's are not experiences of an awareness of what happens when the body dies; or as a reference to a transition to an original state more of pure consciousness without link to a physical body.

Science routinely upgrades its terminology when greater understanding of the needs for accurate description are recognized. This same need for greater accuracy can be met with the term TDE. Of course more definitive terms are yet needed to refer accurately to the many levels of OBE's. NDE and TDE are just two of many possibilities.

No doubt some will argue that if the body is not permanently dead then there was no death, and therefore not relevant to studies of death. Others will see that death is not necessarily a noun but also a verb - that is a transition of consciousness based upon the body's failing, and just because the body was resuscitated does not invalidate the true nature of the experience.

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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:58 am

To claim that near death experiencers are actually dead, and therefore experiencing a glimpse of the after life, is based on a presumption of clinical death. Until we are able to hook up more sensitive monitoring equipment to dying patients (a very difficult if not impossible task), we are limited in our definition of what death really means, especially in terms of brain state at the edge of life. This is the one point NDE studies and commentators continually fail to acknowledge. We are not studying death, we are studying dying. The fact that people come back to tell us of their experience attests that.

This is another argument that needs review. Consider an analogy: While many may have stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and looked into its great depths and broad vistas, some may argue that those reports are invalid because those reporters did not go on into the canyon itself and explore its depths - and they would be right in that there is still much to learn and accounts may be quite limited. And while some others may have even ventured a ways into the canyon and returned, it could be still argued they did not descend to its floor. They too would be right in that there is still much unknown to the human mind.

That said, it seems short sighted to not consider what information the reports offer without assumption that they are distortions, especially in consideration of the multitude of reports available for review and the commonality of their information. Consider also that it is a very large canyon and may look vastly different from one viewpoint to the next. Skepticism is generally quite healthy. Blindness and agenda is not.

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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:36 am

Webwanderer wrote:No doubt some will argue that if the body is not permanently dead then there was no death, and therefore not relevant to studies of death. Others will see that death is not necessarily a noun but also a verb - that is a transition of consciousness based upon the body's failing, and just because the body was resuscitated does not invalidate the true nature of the experience.


The fact remains that until we can be absolutely certain the NDE happens when the brain has absolutely no function, we are right to be cautious about how we categorise such studies.

Nobody is trying to invalidate the experience. It is not even the reliability of the recalled memory that is in question. It's the time at which that memory was believed to be created that poses the problem. Pinpointing the specific time a memory was created often proves difficult even when fully healthy and lucid. We can forget whether we did something yesterday or today. When we dream, we can't know for certain if the dream happened at 2am or half an hour before we awoke. There are experiences of time being heavily condensed or memories of events lasting hours, yet only actually happening in the space of minutes. Physicists and neuroscientists tell us that time is relative to the perceiver.

So surely the validity of the near death experiencer claiming the NDE happened after the death of their brain, when prior to that their brain would have been in anything but a healthy state, ought to be questioned. The authenticity of their experience and their ability to recall it in great detail is completely separate from their ability to recall the moment it happened.

The only thing that will give NDE's as explanations for what happens after we die more validity is more advanced technology. That would be the case whether we have ten documented experiences or millions.

I for one would like to see more questioning of NDE's along the lines of time perception and the ability for people in dying brain states to be so certain about WHEN the experience occurred.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:44 am

epiphany55 wrote:The fact remains that until we can be absolutely certain the NDE happens when the brain has absolutely no function, we are right to be cautious about how we categorise such studies.

Caution may be wise, but overly cautious is a problem in its own right. Right?

So surely the validity of the near death experiencer claiming the NDE happened after the death of their brain, when prior to that their brain would have been in anything but a healthy state, ought to be questioned. The authenticity of their experience and their ability to recall it in great detail is completely separate from their ability to recall the moment it happened.

One must also consider that many NDE'rs report observations of being outside their body while attendants frantically work to resuscitate their failed bodies. Many also report happenings in nearby rooms that they couldn't possibly know from the room they were in. Some also speak of going on into the light while their bodies lay flat-lined with doctors working on them to restart their life functions.

The only thing that will give NDE's as explanations for what happens after we die more validity is more advanced technology.

For you maybe. But science and technology seem poorly equipped to study the issue - both technology wise and perspective wise. Also, if consciousness is beyond physicality, the study of physical properties is likely to be insufficient to reveal much. Consider, gravity has yet to be explained scientifically, yet we all recognize its value and reality. The same can be said for NDE's and TDE's. Many can recognize their value as a source of perspective and sense their reality in consciousness transition.

I certainly am not waiting for an approved scientist to tell me what to think. There is far too much at stake. Taking the lessons and insight of the TDE and NDE, and gleaning a greater perspective on human existence, is well worth making my own way on the matter. My experience in doing so has brought me a far greater experience of living than anything offered by unnecessary caution advised by some scientist who may have questionable bias on the matter.

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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:06 am

The only thing that will give NDE's as explanations for what happens after we die more validity is more advanced technology.


Forgive me for chuckling - the only real explanation about what happens after we die will be the experience of it. Advanced technology may come up with other 'supposing', and I welcome that.

It really does not matter - we can't change it or influence it, we can only live as awarely as we can in this moment. Whenever, wherever, however that is.
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:04 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:Forgive me for chuckling - the only real explanation about what happens after we die will be the experience of it. Advanced technology may come up with other 'supposing', and I welcome that.


Sorry, I meant explanations for those of us who are alive. After all, we are the only ones asking the question of what happens after death!
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Re: Doesn't Awareness die with the body?

Postby epiphany55 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:39 pm

One must also consider that many NDE'rs report observations of being outside their body while attendants frantically work to resuscitate their failed bodies. Many also report happenings in nearby rooms that they couldn't possibly know from the room they were in. Some also speak of going on into the light while their bodies lay flat-lined with doctors working on them to restart their life functions.


I'm aware of these OBE reports, although I don't know enough to draw any lines between anecdotal and verifiable evidence. For example, how many cases where the experiencer has accurately described specific objects and/or people in the room have actually been verified by one of the medical staff? And in cases where this verification has been documented, has the staff member personally declared this verification?

But science and technology seem poorly equipped to study the issue - both technology wise and perspective wise. Also, if consciousness is beyond physicality, the study of physical properties is likely to be insufficient to reveal much. Consider, gravity has yet to be explained scientifically, yet we all recognize its value and reality. The same can be said for NDE's and TDE's. Many can recognize their value as a source of perspective and sense their reality in consciousness transition.


Current technology is poorly equipped to study the issue. There would surely be some value in being able to more sensitively monitor brain activity during cardiac arrest and other emergency situations, although there are undoubtedly moral and practical implications of hooking people up to such equipment in those situations. The monitor would likely already have to be in the body somewhere (the data from which could then be bluetoothed or something :lol:). It may be that we could eventually prove the brain was indeed active on some level to the moment of resuscitation in such cases.

This would at least rule out the claim that the NDE happens when the brain has died.

I certainly am not waiting for an approved scientist to tell me what to think. There is far too much at stake. Taking the lessons and insight of the TDE and NDE, and gleaning a greater perspective on human existence, is well worth making my own way on the matter. My experience in doing so has brought me a far greater experience of living than anything offered by unnecessary caution advised by some scientist who may have questionable bias on the matter.


It's not about waiting for a scientist to tell you what to think. But it is about accepting the limitations of one's perception of such events without the appropriate expertise involved in the discussion. For example, I believed many of the 9/11 conspiracy theories that were put forward, but reading the opinions of qualified architects, structural engineers and demolition experts put many of those theories to bed.

I've said before, experience can be a life changer. That's not in question. What is in question is what that subjective experience means in terms of answering objective questions such as "what happens when I die?".
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