Questions about consciousness
Research by Sam Parnia shows that consciousness persists after cardiac arrest and when clinical death occurs.
It seems that the burst of mental activity immediately after clinical death may be because brain cells sense oxygen deprivation and starvation when the heart stops and circulation to the brain ceases. Neurons go into hyper-alert and awareness continues even without previously available sensory organs. Consciousness still “sees” and “hears” even though the physical organs have ceased functioning.
Here are some questions:
In Chinese folklore, ghosts that haunt are spirits that still “believe” they are “living”. They may be spirits of people who died violently, and they may be spirits of those who have not fulfilled their unrequited love. Other spirits may be seeking revenge for the wrongs done to them as living people.
(1) Are these ghosts and spirits the “consciousness” of the deceased in search of love or bent on revenge?
(2) In Western folklore, child ghosts haunt residences and playgrounds. Are child ghosts the “consciousness” of the children who died?
It seems that these dead children do not realize they are dead, and their consciousness lingers on in the invisible realm believing they are still “alive”. The consciousness of the dead child may still be seeking to “live” as “live children”.
(3) Do child ghosts “prove” that human consciousness exists long after death in a parallel invisible spiritual realm or in another invisible and intangible dimension?
(4) Does near death experiences “prove” that consciousness and the physical body it occupies are separate?
(5) Do near death experiences and reincarnation “prove” that consciousness uses the human body as a “vessel” to maneuver about in this physical world?
(6) Is reincarnation a process of perpetuation of consciousness in physical human form?
(7) In Tibetan Buddhism, the soul of a deceased ascends to bardo, the in-between state. Is it “consciousness” that ascends to bardo, the in-between state, and is it “consciousness” that seeks reincarnation?
(8) Does “consciousness” retain memory?
Near death experiences indicate that one’s “consciousness” does retain memory of the experience of ascending through the tunnel towards the brightness at the other end, emerging into the brightness with a sense of peacefulness, seeing and meeting the deceased who are “alive” in the brightness, being pushed back into one’s own physical body, etc.
Reincarnation cases indicate that some people retain their memory of their past lives while others retain it only partially and still others do not retain it at all. Deep hypnotic regression has been able to retrieve some of the memories of past lives.
In other reincarnation cases, skills learned and acquired in one’s previous life are retained by the person in his or her reincarnated life.
(9) Do these cases of reincarnation illustrate partial retention of “consciousness” or partial “conscious memory” of a previous life?
Some specific talents and skills such as musical talent in very young children seem to be transferred or transmitted by their musically talented parent.
(10) Would this trans-generational talent be proof that partial consciousness can be inherited?
Chinese folklore says that before one’s soul is reincarnated, it is forced to drink a soup that erases all memories of the previous life.
(11) Is this a metaphor for a possible process that may occur in bardo, the in-between state, where “consciousness” undergoes dispersion, recombination, reconstitution and form a new composed “consciousness”?
This process would explain why most people do not remember anything about their previous life.
(12) Do those who can remember details of their previous life, as in the cases of the reincarnation of Shanti Devi discovered in India, and the American boy James Linegar who is the reincarnation of James Houston, an American pilot shot down in WWII, and other cases, illustrate that “conscious memory” can remain partially intact through reincarnation?
(13) Does “consciousness” reincarnate in search of closure for the traumatic event in its previous life?
(14) Does “consciousness” reincarnate to leave a legacy in the physical world?
(15) The goal of reincarnation of the soul is said to be spiritual advancement. Does “consciousness” perpetually seek self improvement through repeated reincarnations?