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What is consciousness? When does consciousness leave us?

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  • What is consciousness? When does consciousness leave us?

    Dear Bhante,

    I would like to ask a few questions on consciousness:

    1. What is consciousness? Can we co-relate it to science for better understanding? Is consciousness like a form of energy or wavelength?

    2. At death, does the consciousness leave our body when we are pronounced dead by medical science i.e. when our heart and lungs stop? Or it leaves when we are already in coma states : body only supported by machines but brain is dead? For a dying person does the consciousness leave when the person was last lucid before he/she becomes confused or is sedated my medications OR it leaves only when dead?

    With metta,

  • #2
    The Buddha's teachings on consciousness are mostly very practical. They don't really say what it is, but mostly explain how to relate to it. So you don't really need science for a proper understanding from a Buddhist point of view. Science doesn't (yet) say much about consciousness anyway. There are some correlations between certain parts of the brain and consciousness, but nothing definite has been found. Scientists disagree on what consciousness is and what causes it. There are many different theories and also a lot of pseudo (non) science.

    Also on your second question the Buddha didn't say much. Practically it's also not very important to know such things. Again, it's how you relate to consciousness that is important, not what it is exactly or when it leaves the body and such. And how to relate to it is in terms of the three characteristics: anicca, dukkha, anatta.

    With kindness,


    • #3
      Thanks Bhante . 🙏🏻



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