Consciousness Survives the Death of the Body – New Research Confirms

ConsciousnessBuck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The greatest question of all time may very well be, ‘what happens to us when we die?’ While many, individuals, religions and spiritual traditions have come to their own conclusions about the ever-lasting nature of the soul, it takes a great deal of faith to be certain about the after life. To the scientific mind, this won’t do, and the question looks a little more like, ‘what happens to human consciousness after clinical death?’

A team of researchers at Southampton University in the UK recently conducted one of the largest ever studies about what happens to consciousness after death. The conclusion: We still don’t know what happens, but consciousness and awareness appear to linger for sometime after physical death, suggesting that consciousness and the body are entangled actors somehow, and that may unravel and follow separate paths after what we refer to as death.

“Scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria.

And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted.” [1]

We are accustomed to thinking of this issue in terms of ‘near-death experiences,’ which have very little scientific appeal as by their very nature these experiences are entirely subjective and impossible to quantify. Attempting a more objective look at what happens to the mind/conscious apparatus of our being, the multi-disciplinary team was led by Dr. Sam Parnia, who in an interview related to the study, remarked:

“The evidence thus far suggests that in the first few minutes after death, consciousness is not annihilated. Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know, but right after death, consciousness is not lost. We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. But in this case conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted. but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events”.

The scientists admit that they still don’t know at all what is going on with human awareness after death, even though the study gives concrete evidence that some portion of our consciousness is able to survive at least the first few minutes of bodily death, and maintain sufficient awareness to somehow observe the clinically dead body and its surroundings while awaiting resuscitation.

The research is a scientific clue that consciousness survives clinical death, and while not all that conclusive, the study certainly opens the door for an expanding understanding of the relationship between the body and the spirit. The singularity point between science and spirit may be approaching more rapidly than ever.


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Read more articles from Buck Rogers.

About the Author

Buck Rogers is the earth bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for

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  • In consciousness lies the essence of truth

  • Scott Cisney

    Don’t try arguing this with “scientists”. They are in fact as closed minded as “believers”. This article, along with many others, makes the statement in one form or another that “near death experiences don’t count for much, they are the result of hallucinations due to oxygen starvation, etc.”. Yet they will almost never seriously look at many accounts where near death experiences contained lucid, non-knowable details of the time after the individual’s death. Things such as the efforts made to resuscitate the individual. And sometimes the person making the argument such as I am making, has a personal, tangible, and unforgettable experience that makes him sit in a position of great bewilderment at the stubbornness of very smart people to even CONSIDER alternatives that fall outside their preconceived and very stubbornly held opinions. I have no need to argue this issue.

  • EnditsoonLORD

    You are right. Yahweh breathed the breath of life into Adam and that breath is in all of us. When we die that breath goes back to Yahweh but WE are dead and know nothing just as Scripture says. In the resurrection He will breath that life back into us.

  • Ivan Sanchez

    I being one of those who have had experienced such things when i was into astral projection. The first time I really did anything worth noting besides just doing barrel rolls or hitting the ceiling, I went to the living room (in spirit) , saw my dad, I took note of what he was eating, drinking, wearing, watching and the time on the clock. Then I went down the hallway, through my door, saw my own body and as soon as I reached it, bolted awake. I went to the living room and smiled because everything was as I saw it.

    This sort of destroys evolution, because the spirit must be created, therefore life was designed.

    From a youth I had experienced things that let me know there was more to this world than just the physical. This led me on a quest of reading and searching for truth. What I read convinced me that the Bible was manufactured deception. I later married a Christian women, and was always mocking and making fun of church. When I went with her to church I saw everyone as weak minded sheeple, since I was always a man apart. I was utterly convinced of my spiritual beliefs. After witnessing a few too many coincidences regarding faith, I actually said the following prayer in a totally skeptical manner, but was sincere that if He was real I would follow Him: Jesus if you are real and really created everything of course I’d serve you, just show me something. A month later while driving my jeep after mocking and scoffing as my wife pulled out for church it was as if my spiritual eyes were opened or the blinders fell off, in an instant a flood of information hit me and I knew I was on the wrong side of things as sure as if Jesus was sitting in the passenger seat, I realized I desperately needed forgiveness, and to be reconciled with my Maker. I stopped the car, got out and knelt and prayed for forgiveness and was hit with the most intense feeling of power and love which engulfed me that you could mentally, physically and spiritual feel. I broke down when I realized I walked and talked against the one that created me and He still had this insane amount of love for me, it’s beautiful. I later found out my wife was praying for me at this same time. To this day I still have a problem feeling kind of sheepish sitting in church, and I had to swallow my pride big time to admit that these people who never really studied much, had the truth and I having read volumes was deceived, yet that only goes on to show the spiritual warfare taking place in the form of informational warfare. The enemy conditions the populace to feel that faith is for the ignorant.

    • HeatherPearc

      How on earth does this destroy the theory of evolution? Why does this imply to you that the spirit must be created any more than the body must be created by design, (I assume you mean intelligent design). How do you justify the implication that if something can’t be explained in a way that you believe, then it must be designed.

      I can think of several alternative explanations for the experiences you describe. Existence of a designed and created spirit is on the list but pretty low down the list due to lack of empirical evidence. There are other explanations that do have better evidence such as temporal transference etc. Open your mind to explore all possibilities before jumping to a conclusion that your theory has to be the only one that is correct.,

      • Ivan Sanchez

        I think you are missing the point. If humans have an immortal soul, something must have designed the whole system. There is just way too much corroborating anecdotal evidence of the supernatural, beings from other dimensions, and the existence of conscious awareness outside of the body. Evolution does a crappy job of explaining life from non life. It certainly could not create a soul capable of crossing dimensional barriers,

        • HeatherPearc

          How do you make the leap from consciousness surviving after death to Humans having an im mortal soul? The two are totally unrelated.

          There is no suggestion here that conscious is immortal, merely that it survives longer after the heart stops than we thought.

          The boundary of what constitutes death is being pushed back further and further as medical and scientific advances are made in our understanding of the body. It is certainly no longer news that the heart stopping does not necessarily indicate death. This has been known for some time now, even brain death no longer is a reliable indicator of death.

          This is causing a lot of ethical debate in medical circles as to when a person actually dies.

          It has never been suggested however that consciousness is immortal, or for that matter that we have a soul. We still die, and there is no reliable evidence for life after death.

          I stand by my point that none of this has anything to do with evolution and whether or not there is a creator.

          Even if there was such a thing as an immortal soul, it still does not mean the only extrapolation is that it was designed.

          As for the evolution of life from non life……Please stay up to date with the times Ivan. You either haven’t researched it , or you are relying on knowledge from the last century. There are now several very solid possibilities of how life began. None of them involve a designer, in fact they make the concept of a designer even less likely.

  • Defiant

    If consciousness survived the death of the body…and it WAS actually “confirmed,” there would be no need for this ridiculous article.

  • EnditsoonLORD

    And I quote from this article:
    “We still don’t know what happens, but consciousness and awareness appear to linger for sometime after physical death, ”
    Talk about double speak. This is the most ignorant article. They say they don’t know, yet they say they have “confirmed”. LOL And to top it off they say they know what happens to “dead” people by asking “live” people. How ignorant can you get.

  • FlDino

    Fact is until they are able to attach something to the brain that shows what the person sees we’ll never know. I tend to believe people who have had NDE’s but I wonder why some people have them and others don’t. I passed out last year (heart) and had to be “paddled” back but I don’t remember anything. I’m sure someday they’ll know and this sounds like they might be a step closer.
    We don’t know all there is to know so how can anyone deny the possibility?

    • EnditsoonLORD

      NDE’s are just dreams and imagination:

      • FlDino

        And you know this how? I’ve never met an omnipotent know it all before.

        • EnditsoonLORD

          I know this because I know the omnipotent. “Know it all.” is a redundant description when talking about omnipotence don’t you think?

          • FlDino

            Just wanted to emphasize. Guess you got it.

      • Bill the eighth

        In your opinion, nothing else. The fact is we don’t know and anybody that claims different is either expressing their opinion or lying.

      • seira

        How do you know for sure that they’re just imaginations and dreams?

  • colleen schatt

    i died went to heaven and was walking and talking with JESUS. 🙂

  • Sandi

    I never understood why scientists have such a hard time realizing that our consciousness survives after death. They are supposed to agree that “Energy is neither created nor destroyed. . . it only changes form”. Doesn’t that mean we don’t just cease to exist?

    • Steve Stepp

      Lol are you a scientist? Please tell us how you know for certain that consciousness lives after death. The reason scientists are having a hard time “realizing” that consciousness lives after death is because no one can, or has, come close to proving it. Using anecdotal evidence like this proves nothing. If we used personal testimonies as evidence then bigfoot and the loch ness monster are real. and the homeless man down the street is jesus.

      • EnditsoonLORD

        True, true, true. And we all know that jesus lives in Mexico.

      • Sandi

        Scientists have also discovered the existence of other dimensions. There’s more than the 3-dimensional existence we live in and humans can access some of those when they use more than the 5 physical senses.

        • HeatherPearc

          I think you will find that these “other dimensions” are mathematical concepts. They exist only in complex equations and are usefull only for explaining possible theories.

  • Enlifenment

    We continue to view consciousness in reverse – as if consciousness only exits because we exist. Does this infer that plants, animals and minerals are unconscious? Hardly. Consciousness may very well be simply a feature of physical reality (even though we typically don’t refer to consciousness as something tangible with the five basic senses). Consciousness may simply be part of something infinitely “larger” (as well as infinitely “smaller”) or more “complex” than we can possibly comprehend. For humans then, consciousness is a part of being human but when the physical body “dies,” consciousness is still there – just in different way than we conceptualize. Life is still going on with bacteria and microorganisms breaking-down the flesh. Are they not conscious as well?

    In essence then, consciousness may be simply a form of energy. And one of the tenets of energy is that it is never created nor destroyed.

  • Hp B

    Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.12

    na tv evāhaḿ jātu nāsaḿ
    na tvaḿ neme janādhipāḥ
    na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
    sarve vayam ataḥ param


    Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

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