Dr. Bruce Greyson reports of cases that suggest that consciousness does not need a physical brain and in fact not even a physical body. Presented at the “Cosmology and Consciousness Conference” hosted by Upper TCV, Dharamsala, in 2011.
Dr. Bruce Greyson is the Chester F. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. He was a founder and Past President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, and for the past 26 years has edited the Journal of Near-Death Studies.
1 thought on “Dr. Bruce Greyson: Consciousness Independent of the Brain”
I am surprised there are no comments on this very powerful and impressive presentation. I was struck by the fact, not pursued by Dr Greyson, or others, that there seemed to be a strong cultural component to memories of past lives i.e. that they were more common in cultures where reincarnation was accepted / believed in. So in India / Burma etc small children remembered relatively recent past lives, whereas the most striking example from the USA was of a past life 60 years earlier (the young pilot shot down at Iwo Jima). It seems to me two factors may be operating here – a) that those around the young child are more likely to respond and attend to the child’s statements as referring to a past life and b) (more esoterically perhaps) that people in these cultures on death are more prepared / conscious of the process of separation – that they retain an awareness of their own identity (their morphic field perhaps). As I understand it, the Tibetan Book of the Dead is intended as a guide to the dead person on how to navigate the transition.
The other thing that struck me was the association between a violent / unexpected / sudden / untimely death and its being remembered in a subsequent life. I think of my own life, which though fascinating to me, is really pretty dull, and unlikely to need remembering, even if what I have learned / understood is useful / important and can be passed on. There are interesting parallels here with the western idea of ghosts, who are usually described as having suffered some trauma which they are unable to let go of, so they are stuck in some sort of limbo.