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Dr. Pim van Lommel, M.D.: Continuity of Consciousness - About Death

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First I want to discuss death. The confrontation with death raises many basic questions, also for physicians. Why are we afraid of death? Are our concepts about death correct? Most of us believethat death is the end of our existence; we believe that it is the end of everything we are. We believe that the death of our body is the end of our identity, the end of our thoughts and memories, that it is the end of our consciousness. Do we have to change our concepts about death, not only based on what has been thought and written about death in human history around the world in many cultures, in many religions, and in all times, but also based on insights from recent scientific research on NDE?

What happens when I am dead? What is death? During our life 500000 cells die each second, each day about 50 billion cells in our body are replaced, resulting in a new body each year. So cell death is totally different from body death when you eventually die. During our life our body changes continuously, each day, each minute, each second. Each year about 98% of our molecules and atoms in our body have been replaced. Each living being is in an unstable balance of two opposing processes of continual disintegration and integration. But no one realizes this constant change. And from where comes the continuity of our continually changing body? Cells are just the building blocks of our body, like the bricks of a house, but who is the architect, who coordinates the building of this house. When someone has died, only mortal remains are left: only matter. But where is the director of the body?What about our consciousness when we die? Is someone his body, or do we “have” a body?


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