The mind and what happens after death

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Since the beginning of time man has been desperately seeking answers about what happens when the body dies.

Many ancient cultures came up with complex ideas, created elaborate farewell ceremonies, wrapped bodies up to prevent decay, called upon the gods to take care of the soul of the deceased, making all kinds of preparations to make sure the last breath of the body is not the end of … what?

Traditionally such questions were rather of a philosophical nature but scientists are trying to find answers because of the many inexplicable situations that occur during cardiac arrest and resuscitation due to advanced medical procedures. Hence the world’s first large-scale scientific study of what happens when we die and the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death was launched in September 2008 at a symposium held at the United Nations, called The Human Consciousness Project (SM).


In spite of the widely read observations and studies published by Dr. Raymond Moodie, Ian Currie and Dr. Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross already decades ago, the scientific world in general still staunchly believes that the human mind, consciousness and self are only by-products of electrochemical activity within the brain, although there is no scientific back-up. Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Sir John Eccles argued already years ago that mind and consciousness may in fact constitute a separate, undiscovered entity apart from the brain. His last book published before he died is entitled, ‘How the Self Controls Its Brain’…

Osho says,

One distinction has to be understood, the distinction between brain and mind. The brain is part of the body. Every child is born with a fresh brain but not with a fresh mind. Mind is a layer of conditioning around the consciousness. You will not remember it; that is why there is a discontinuity.

… Mind has no beginning; it has been always there with you. Then at a certain moment you drop it.

The end of the mind is enlightenment. Then enlightenment continues. It has a beginning but no end. Together they cover the whole eternity, from the past to the future.

But the brain is born every time you enter a body and it dies every time you leave the body. But its content — that is the mind — does not die; it remains with the consciousness. That’s why it is possible to remember your past lives — even when you were animals or trees or rocks. All those minds are still with you. But because psychology makes no distinction between mind and brain, and science accepts no distinction… in the English language mind and brain are almost synonymous. That’s why sometimes I forget and instead of using brain, I use the word mind.

In each life when a person dies the brain dies, but the mind is released from the brain and becomes a layer on the consciousness. It is nonmaterial; it is just a certain vibe. So on our consciousness there are thousands of layers.

Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Ch 8, Q 1

In view of the extensive research being conducted it is essential to look at one simple other fact – although the mind is riveted to find out about what happens after death, the mind is unable to live in the here and now! Isn’t it much more important to find out why so many humans only live lukewarm lives and help them become candles burning at all ends, rather than prove scientifically what happens after death?

There’s a great scene described by Osho that happened between Confucius and Lao Tzu:

…Confucius asked, ‘What happens after death?’

And Lao Tzu was just like a flare, became aflame, and he said, “Again! Are you going to drop your stupidity or not? You are alive – can you say what life is? You are alive – can you reduce your experience of life into objective knowledge and make a statement of what life is? And remember that you are alive, so you must know.

You don’t know life while you are alive and you are bothering about death! You will have enough time in your grave. At that time you can meditate on what death is. Right now, live! And don’t live lukewarm.”

Many people go on living on dimmer switches. They go on dimming, dimming. They don’t die, they simply go on dimming; they simply fade out. Death happens to only a very few people, those who have really lived and lived hot. They know the difference between life and death because they have tasted life, and that experience of life makes them capable of tasting death too. And because they know life, they can know death. If living, you miss life; dying, you are going to miss death.

Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Ch 1, Q 1


Read more about the project at:

Read the entire parts of Osho’s discourses here:

On Mind and Consciousness: Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Ch 8, Q 1
On Mysticism: Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Ch 1, Q 1



Dr. Raymond Moodie, Life After Life
Ian Currie, You Cannot Die
Dr. Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross, Life After Death

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