Supernatural Magazine

The Scientific Possibility of Human Consciousness Surviving Corporeal Death

Please note that any views in this article are theoretical, not proven, and as such, should be taken and studied further. This is simply a hypothesis.


“Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing,” so says the Medical Encyclopedia.

It is a part of life, and always has been. Not that the simple fact of this eternal cycle makes it any easier for us, as mortals, to accept. It is the final journey in life, as we know it. Eventually, death will happen to all of us, claiming us, one by one. What is death? Is death a mystical curse from supreme beings, an alien virus?

Not hardly.

Death is simply the final stage of being alive. Few realize that in breathing oxygen, and exhaling carbon dioxide, a chemical reaction takes place at the cellular level, oxidation. We age because of this reaction and simply, we rust. The very act which sustains us, breathing, is the very one that will in the end, kill us. It seems that nothing is free of irony.

For most of us, death is a natural, peaceful process that occurs slowly over time, usually ending in a sad, yet gentle transition to whatever phase of existence seems to be beyond what we can see with our eyes for our consciousness. For others, however, this transition can be anything but peaceful, and at times, it seems to be the stuff of nightmares or our worst fears made manifest.

For the murdered, the angry, the suicidal, the tragic accidents and each time that an unnatural death or unwanted death occurs, for these poor people, it disrupts that natural flow.

These types of deaths rip their consciousness from their bodies, tearing lives apart, leaving deep emotional memories in the environment or even, rarely, seemingly the person themselves, trapped in a limbo, always seeking to escape their one last horrible moment only to be thwarted and left in a darkness that will never end.

Scientifically speaking, there should be no chance of an afterlife. We are born, we grow and age, learning from mistakes and hopefully making something of ourselves, and then we die and wink out like a candle flame when the wind blows hard; this is the majority of belief in what happens at death by orthodox science, which rejects and denounces any possibility of a spirit or soul. What if a soul is simply the free floating self contained electromagnetic consciousness of a once living human being? How do the immaterial control the material? That is actually the key to understanding the concepts we are about to get into.

Mind over matter:

Consciousness controlling matter.

To understand mind over matter, we must become clear on one point. The brain is completely different and separate from the mind, which is the personality of a human being, their collected memories, likes, dislikes and natures.

The brain is thing of flesh and blood. It feels no pain, and is still not understood by humans, despite our years of research. It is a thing of electrical impulses that fire faster than the speed of sound, and is composed of tiny pathways, each a key to the unknown side of our natures, the Mind.

The mind is you, your personality, spirit, what have you call it, is separate from this flesh, because of a concept we still cannot comprehend: consciousness. While certain portions of the flesh can be manipulated for various effects on certain parts of consciousness, the two are ultimately two separate things working in concert.

We are entirely self-aware and the actions we do every day, laughing, smiling, crying, emotional torment, and fear, and yes, even love, are controlled by something other than just flesh alone.

Besides being conscious, you are also unique.

Let us test a theory now to test mind over matter.

Hold your hand up.

Open your fingers and look at them. They are physical. They are matter, made of atoms and charges, flesh and blood. They are not independently alive and do not have a mind of their own. They are not behaving instinctively. Now, close your fingers and make a fist.

Open it.

Close it.

Now think about what you just did. Surely, it was your brain who told your fingers to move via thousands of electrical impulses firing from nerve synapses faster than the speed of sound.

Ok, acceptable.

Now, answer this.

Who told your brain to give the order to fire? What organ did that? What gave your brain permission or the order to fire the impulses, which in turn traveled down the nerves and into the muscles and tendons, causing them to contract and release?

The better question is who. Not what.

The answer is simple.

YOU did.

Nevertheless, YOU should not exist scientifically because you are a non-physical entity residing in a vessel of flesh and blood, rather like a robot to put in somewhat less poetic terms. You are the signal to the antennae who in turn broadcasts the signal to the listeners.

This fact makes mainstream science very uncomfortable. Moreover, they will most likely stammer a quickly built explanation, composed mostly of jargon, because their real answer is: We do not know.

So, with this knowledge, we must now ask ourselves, what is a ghost and how are they made? Is a ghost simply the free roaming consciousness of a human being? I think so.

This next bit is a bit tricky, but with some help from other researchers, I think I can explain it fairly well, so please bear with me. The following paper by Ron Milone of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) suggests the following:

“We must first take a look at the ghost in the human machine, the conscious of the mind. Professor McFadden from the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK believes our conscious mind could be an electromagnetic field. His theory may solve many previously intractable problems of consciousness and could have profound implications for our concepts of mind, spirituality and even life and death.

There are wide differences in the concepts of consciousness, which are prevalent among biologists, psychologists, and sociologists. The threefold meaning of consciousness comes from the Latin word ‘con-scio’: a) to cut, b) to make a distinction and c) to know.

There are three different ways to know the difference—‘con-scientia’:

1) Through genetic bio-reactive knowledge,

2) Through personal self-reflexive knowledge, and,

3) Through social, consensually validated knowledge.

Most people consider “mind” to be all the conscious things that we are aware of.

However, this is not quite accurate. The majority of mental activity occurs without awareness. Actions such as peddling a bicycle or walking can become as automatic as breathing. The biggest puzzle in neuroscience is how the brain activity that we are aware of (consciousness) differs from the brain activity of all of those unconscious actions.

The human brain is a symphony of electromagnetic signals, but science has had trouble finding the conductor of the symphony. One of the problems that neurologists have with consciousness is called the binding problem. The best way to explain the binding problem is to use the analogy of a tree.

A tree seems to contain thousands of leaves, all of which are contained on several branches. Neurobiology tells us that the information contained in the mind (all the leaves) is dissected and scattered among millions of widely separated neurons. The binding problem is encountered when science tries to explain where in the brain all those leaves are stuck together to form the conscious impression of a whole tree.

How does our brain bind information to generate consciousness? The data does not seem to add up and our symphony conductor is once again missing.

Through his research, Professor McFadden realized that every time a nerve fires, the electrical activity sends a signal to the brain’s electromagnetic field. However, unlike solitary nerve signals, information that reaches the brain’s electromagnetic field is automatically bound together with all the other signals in the brain.

The brain’s electromagnetic field does the binding that is characteristic of consciousness. Conscious information processing is associated with the EM component of ultra low frequency (ULF) brainwaves in either:

1. a) Dialectically “denser” parts of the brain in the normal awake state

of consciousness; or

b) a gaseous ionic structure in the vicinity of the mind

So, what does this mean in relation to this paper? Simple. Those ghosts are scientifically possible [electromagnetically speaking].

As Ron continues to explain, we shall see why.

“….EEG (Electroencephalography) technology is used to measure brain’s electrical vibrations from the surface of the scalp. The resulting EEG pattern will contain frequency elements mainly below 30Hz. The frequencies are categorized into four states as follows:

“….The dominant frequency in the EEG pattern determines what is called the current state of the brain. If the amplitude of the alpha range frequencies is highest, the brain is said to be in the alpha stage. Note that other frequencies still occur; it is not meaningful to give any exact frequency your brain is “operating on.”

So what happens at death? Using the first law of thermodynamics there are several possibilities: First, all that energy could transform into heat and bleed out of the skull. That would also mean no afterlife, much less any possibility for ghosts.

Fortunately, there are other possibilities.

The EM field could also change frequency or polarity. Interestingly enough there is some data out there that suggests that the mind goes into theta waves just before death, which gives us a possibility of ghosts [interactive human consciousness existing as a free roaming self contained electromagnetic field]….”

So, at the time of natural death, a person’s brainwaves change frequency into a state resembling semi-consciousness, or the closest thing to it, a near dream-like state, stuck between waking and sleeping, which all of us have experienced at some point, that terrifying feeling, frozen in a limbic state where we are conscious of what goes on around us but unable to wake, trapped under the heavy veil of sleep.

Our hypothesis is going in the second direction of the Electromagnetic Survival Theory, which states at the time of death, the electromagnetic frequencies of the brain switch over, allowing a peaceful release of the consciousness of the person.

So why the ghosts that seem to linger?

This gentle electromagnetic switch-gate is the door that allows us, the unique essence to leave the now useless shell of the body behind and continue onto the next part of existence wherever that may be.

But what happens when something interferes? What happens if this electrical process is disrupted?

These study data referred to above as shifting polarity have been collected on patients that die naturally, peacefully, usually in a hospital bed, surrounded by loved ones or others who care, trying to make their passing as easy as possible.

There have been no studies of people who die violently. Naturally, this would be both unethical, and highly unlikely to be possible. However, in an afterthought, what about these murders, suicides, accidental deaths, and those who simply do not want to leave?

I have come to believe that the sheer will or the event that makes such a tragic death occur somehow circumvents or shorts out the electromagnetic shift in frequencies. When this short circuit occurs, it somehow traps the consciousness of the person in limbo between this living reality and perhaps another, filled with other types of electromagnetic forms of life, perhaps even some types of beings or predators.

I also believe that if people want to hold on to their lives strong enough, that their sheer will and emotional attachment can disrupt the electromagnetic frequency shift and trap them on this plane of existence.

** * I would like to give tremendous thank you to Ron Milone and the contributing websites for their assistance in the preparation of this paper. I do not claim credit for their work.

Anthony Justus

Anthony Justus

Anthony Justus was born in Elizabethon,TN. He has been a paranormal investigator for eleven years, starting with a small rag-tag team in 2003 and growing into the first scientific research team in his state by 2007. His team was part of the TAPS Family network, a network of objectively minded paranormal researchers that took on clients world-wide to assist those with paranormal problems. He studied at Kaplan University for two years majoring in psychology and now runs the Haunted Spots Library blog and writes for Supernatural Magazine. He lives with his husband Ben in the mountains of Appalachia.