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Does life, or rather consciousness, continue after death? Are we more than just our bodies and brain? If you listen to Western materialist/reductionist science, the answer is a disheartening no. Consciousness, it is believed, arises from physical processes within the brain and when we die, consciousness dies with it, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens next. However, the great spiritual traditions have been telling us just the opposite for millennia: “We are spiritual beings, having a human experience,” to quote Teilhard de Chardin. But you’ll have to take that promise on faith, mainstream science tells us, as there is no reliable evidence to back it up.
But as is so often the case, things are not quite as clear cut as they seem at first glance. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to demonstrate that indeed consciousness is not a byproduct of the brain, but rather that the brain is simply a tool of consciousness—a biocomputer, if you will—and that when the body dies, consciousness continues to exist in different forms, and, in documented cases of reincarnation, in different bodies as well.
But I don’t expect you to simply believe me because I said so. Rather, I want to present evidence, both scientific and anecdotal to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the story currently being spread by those who think that consciousness dies and disappears with the brain is at best shortsighted and, beyond that, patently false.
You Are More Than Your Body
If consciousness is a product of the brain and nothing else, then when the brain and heart stop functioning, consciousness should also cease to exist. But unfortunately the evidence we do have shows that this is most definitely not the case. In fact, there are hundreds of documented cases (and likely thousands of undocumented cases) where people who had near death experiences—that is, when their bodies were pronounced dead by trained medical professionals, often for substantial amounts of time, but later came back alive through miracle or medical intervention—were able to vividly recount what happened to them during the experience and which was later confirmed to be accurate by independent persons.
Take for example, the case of Pam Reynolds, who:
“… underwent a rare operation to remove a giant basilar artery aneurysm in her brain that threatened her life. The size and location of the aneurysm, however, precluded its safe removal using the standard neuro-surgical techniques. She was referred to a doctor who had pioneered a daring surgical procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest. It allowed Pam’s aneurysm to be excised with a reasonable chance of success. This operation, nicknamed “standstill” by the doctors who perform it, required that Pam’s body temperature be lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head. In everyday terms, she was put to death.
“When all of Pam’s vital signs were stopped, the doctor turned on a surgical saw and began to cut through Pam’s skull. While this was going on, Pam reported that she felt herself “pop” outside her body and hover above the operating table. Then she watched the doctors working on her lifeless body for awhile. From her out-of-body position, she observed the doctor sawing into her skull with what looked to her like an electric toothbrush. Pam heard and reported later what the nurses in the operating room had said and exactly what was happening during the operation. At this time, every monitor attached to Pam’s body registered “no life” whatsoever.
“After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. During the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a Near Death Experience. Her remarkably detailed out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be true.” 
Another incredible example is the case of Dr. Melvin Morse and his patient Olga Gearhardt:
“Olga Gearhardt was a 63 year old woman who underwent a heart transplant because of a severe virus that attacked her heart tissue. Her entire family awaited at the hospital during the surgery, except for her son-in-law, who stayed home. The transplant was a success, but at exactly 2:15 am, her new heart stopped beating. It took the frantic transplant team three more hours to revive her. Her family was only told in the morning that her operation was a success, without other details. When they called her son-in-law with the good news, he had his own news to tell. He had already learned about the successful surgery. At exactly 2:15 am, while he was sleeping, he awoke to see Olga, his mother-in-law, at the foot of his bed. She told him not to worry, that she was going to be alright. She asked him to tell her daughter (his wife). He wrote down the message, and the time of day and then fell asleep. Later on at the hospital, Olga regained consciousness. Her first words were “did you get the message?” She was able to confirm that she left her body during her near-death experience and was able to travel to her son-in-law to communicate to him the message. This anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the near-death experience is a return to consciousness at the point of death, when the brain is dying. Dr. Melvin Morse thoroughly researched Olga’s testimony and every detail had objective verification including the scribbled note by the son-in-law.” 
But death is not required for consciousness to leave the body, as demonstrated by the famous case of Dr. Charles Tart and ‘Miss Z’ (whose name was changed for privacy purposes). Dr. Charles Tart is one of the world’s leading out of body experience researchers, who through a synchronous turn of events, ended up performing one of the most famous experiments of all time, demonstrating that indeed consciousness is not confined to or generated by the body or brain.