“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
What happens after we die? It’s a question that’s old as civilization. For those who believe in the Holy Scriptures, we are taught in Bible verses death is only temporary. There are two deaths. The first is a physical death of the body here on Earth. But that is not the final death. There is potentially the second death of the soul in hell. We either go to heaven or hell depending on Christ’s judgment and God’s grace. For Catholics, you could temporarily end up in purgatory where you go through some expiatory purification before going to heaven.
But the answer to this question age-old question of what happens after we die may have just been answered, at least to some degree, by a team of researchers who believe they are close to unraveling the mystery of life after death.
The research led the scientists to arrive at a stunning conclusion: We remain fully conscious at the time of death.
First let’s review how the scientific world determines death. Doctors typically determine death based on the time the heart stops beating. Once the heart stops functioning, circulation stops, and blood ceases to circulate to the brain, which then immediately shuts down brain function.
Consciousness continues despite brain function ceasing
The stunning revelations of the research showed that even though brain function ceases from a technical standpoint – consciousness does not.
Consciousness remains intact and operational, and although the body is technically dead, the person’s consciousness continues to function and is aware of the body’s demise. In other words, the person knows that they are dead.
The results of this latest research on consciousness and its persistence after death, seems to explain the phenomenon of near-death experiences.
There have been numerous examples of where a person has technically died in a hospital room, but was later resuscitated. Afterward, they have recounted events that went on in the room, be it doctors announcing their death, working on them, as well as specific details activities and conversations in the room they should not have been able to recall.
The new research now seemingly explains why this occurs – it is because the consciousness is still functioning.
However, as compelling as the research is, the report did not appear to address an aspect of consciousness that has been reported in numerous near-death experiences. The report only seems to have focused on things that a technically “dead” person might “hear” going on in the room.
Many people who have related what they observed during a near-death experience have reported visual aspects they couldn’t possibly have seen given their physical vantage point at the time.
One of the most common recollections people have following a near-death experience is describing viewing what is occurring in the room from a vantage point that is outside of and/or above their body. In other words, they view what is going on in the room as if they were looking from above, as if there is a camera mounted on the ceiling that is pointed downward.
This study raises important questions about what consciousness actually is and how it functions.
Is consciousness actually the soul that religion has been teaching us about? It would seem so. It would seem as if science is finally confirming that – not only does the soul access –it is a separate component from the body.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
– John 11:25-26