Scientific Basis Of Brain, Consciousness And Rebirth

Dr. Granville Dharmawardena Ph.D.(Cambridge) [Source – The Island]
October 25, 2013, 12:00 pm

article_imageWe have heard much about rebirth in books, journals and speeches. Some small children talk about their past lives spontaneously and adults talk about their past lives when they are in a hypnotic trance. Some others recall their past lives when they are in deep meditation. Verifiable details of what people revealed about their past lives have been verified by reputed scientists and found to be true and rebirth has been proved as a scientifically true phenomenon.

A person who dies and is reborn normally carries with him/her his/her knowledge, skills, emotions, enmity, friendship, fears and even sexual tendencies to the reincarnate. Memories relating to these get lodged in the subconscious mind of the reincarnate. They remain hidden and pop up into the conscious mind when stimulated.

This writer visited a very poor family living in a hut in Gampaha and was surprised to find a violin in that hut. It belonged to the 14 year old boy who lived there. He played it for us and was very talented in playing it. He said that it was presented to him by the music teacher in school. He had to be very talented to get it as a present from the music teacher and such a talent cannot develop while living in such poor conditions. Therefore his talent must have come from his past life. Under hypnotic trance he revealed that he was well to do in his past life. His past life parents were both teachers. His past life father had bought him a violin and taught him how to play it. His past life home was only five miles away from his present hut and he had died at the age of 25 years of a motor accident. He was immediately driven to his past life home and we could recover his past life violin. His past life parents agreed to pay for his education.

A 14- year- old sinhalese buddhist girl from a suburb of Colombo met this writer because she fainted frequently attacks. Under hypnotic trance she revealed that she was a trained LTTE cadre in her past life. The LTTE had trained her in fighting methods including karate and Bharatha dancing. Under hypnotic trance she performed both karate and Bharatha dancing. Although she had never learned Tamil language and lived in a sinhala environment she could understand a Tamil conversation.

Memories of injuries sustained at the time of death get deeply ingrained in the astral body and after it links itself with the brain of a foetus, it influences the development of the body of the foetus. Bullet wounds and stab injuries sustained at the time of death usually appear as birth marks. Professor Ian Stevenson of the USA has studied a large number of such cases and written a book on the subject titled “The Biology of Reincarnation”. He haS even found tyre marks on the chest of a person who had got run over by a car and died in his past life.

This writer met a young man with one leg shorter than the other. Under hypnotic trance he revealed that he had got run over by a train in his past life near the Wilwatte railway station and one of his legs got severed in that accident. That leg is now shorter than the other in this life and he feels handicapped by that because he in now a cricketer.

A- 14- year old boy had four birth marks. two in his belly and two on his back. He revealed that in his past life he lived in China and died when he was shot by a terrorist. He had received two gun shots and the birth marks are where the bullet had entered and exited his body.

A young girl in the USA who had become very obese could not lose weight because the normal weight losing techniques were not working for her. Later it was found that the cause of her obesity had come from her past life. In her past life she had been a pretty girl who got abducted and raped. After that she had thought that the reason for the abduction and rape was her beauty and made a vow not to be beautiful. As a result of the vow she had become very fat to lose her beauty. After her death her astral body had carried the vow to her current life and lodged it in her present life subconscious mind and that made her very obese and resistant to weight losing techniques. After erasing the memories of the past life vow from her subconscious mind she could lose weight.

A lady working at the Matara Hospital came to meet this writer with her twelve- year- old son and complained that her son was her sole companion in life, but he treated her as an enemy. He always used to beat her with whatever that came to his hand and beat and kick her even while walking on the road or travelling in a bus. No treatment had worked and she was desperate. Under hypnotic trance it was revealed that in their past lives they had lived in India, the mother was a rich lady and the son was her servant girl. The lady had been cruel to the servant girl and when she contracted malaria at the age of 16 years she was not looked after and as a result she died. The servant girl’s astral body had carried the memories of the cruelty she had suffered under the lady and became the son of the lady’s reincarnate at Matara to take revenge. Under hypnotic trance most of the memories of cruelty in the boy’s subconscious mind could be erased.

Change of sex during rebirth result in gender confusion. If a man dies and is reborn as a girl, his male sexual tendencies and desires are carried in his astral body and get lodged in the subconscious mind of the reincarnate girl. But her body possesses female tendencies and desires. Having opposite tendencies and desires in the subconscious mind and the body result in gender confusion preventing her from performing a female role in sex. Such a girl will not have boy friends and avoid getting married. If she gets married under compulsion the unlucky partner, most likely, will separate after getting frustrated.

Near death experiences (NDE) and out of body experiences (OBE) are two rebirth related phenomena. Here a person who is unconscious or in deep sleep can see thins around him/her, some times things happening far away or even in spiritual worlds. If it happens when a person is unconscious , very often when a person is anaesthetised, it is referred to as a NDE and if it happens in deep sleep it is an OBE. When it happens while a person is unconscious most people can, now, recognise it as a NDE, but when it happens during deep sleep most people believe that it was a dream. Now, a lot of literature is available on this subject.

A lady who was anaesthetised in a London hospital experienced a NDE and saw not only what was happening around her unconscious body but also somethings on the roof of the tall hospital building. After regaining consciousness she told the doctors that she had seen everything the doctors and nurses were doing and heard everything they spoke. When she realized that the doctors were going to ignore what she said about her experience, she told them that she saw not only what was happening around her, but went over the roof of the hospital building and saw an old shoe blocking the gutter on the roof edge. The doctors sent people to the roof of the building to check it and found that what she had said was true. This was the incident that made the western scientists and psychologists accept NDE and OBE seriously as real phenomena.

A totally blind woman in the US became unconscious due to a cardiac arrest. Doctors gave her prompt attention and managed to revive her. During the period she was unconscious she could see everything that happened round her unconscious body, but was blind again after she regained consciousness.

Investigations have shown that consciousness disembodies during NDE and OBE and the disembodied consciousness can remain floating for quite some time before it re-embodies. A disembodied consciousness is referred to as an astral body (manokaya). An astral body can see, hear, smell and recognise and remember objects and events, and relate and describe them after re-embodiment and regaining consciousness. An astral body carries with it the entire memory bank, the karmic records and the identity of the person. Until the astral body re-embodies, the person is all but dead and doctors, often, pronounce such a person as dead.

When a person dies his/her consciousness disembodies and the resulting astral body remains afloat until it finds another body, normally a foetus, enters and settles down there. Then we say that the person is conceived in a new mother’s womb and the person is reborn when the new mother gives birth.

When a person’s consciousness is disembodied in an NDE situation, it is possible for the astral body of a deceased one to enter the unconscious body. This causes confusion because when the person who went unconscious regains consciousness he/she will have a new identity, the identity brought by the astral body that came in, ie. the identity of the deceased one. Here the new person that is created has the same body and a different consciousness. In rebirth the new person created has the same consciousness and a different body. The description, “Na ca so na ca anno” (not the same person, not a totally different person either) applies to both these cases.

A -16 -year old Norwegian girl was unconscious after meeting with a motor accident. After a few days she regained consciousness and found that all the knowledge she had before the accident had got erased out of her mind. She could not speak Norwegian language, her mother tongue. She could not recognise her parents and her home. She refused her identity as a Norwegian girl. Instead, she recognised herself as a Russian girl. She could speak Russian language fluently, a language she hadn’t known before the accident. She spoke of her parents and home in Russia. On investigation it was found that she was identifying herself as a Russian girl who died while she was unconscious.

The girl created in this way as a result of the motor accident had the body of the Norwegian girl who met with the accident with the identity (knowledge, memories, beliefs, parents and other acquaintances) of a Russian girl. Investigators traced the Russian family which lost a girl while the Norwegian girl was unconscious. The new Norwegian-Russian girl recognised the parents of the deceased girl, her home and her other belongings.

What had happened here is when the consciousness of the Norwegian girl disembodied in an NDE situation, the astral body of the Russian girl which left her body at death came and entered the Norwegian girl’s body before her own consciousness re-embodied. This clearly shows that the identity, the memories, the self and the I-ness of a person resides in his/her consciousness.

The entry of a deceased person’s astral body into the body of a person who is experiencing an NDE is a very rare event. The norm is that the astral body of a deceased person remains afloat until it enters the foetus in a lady’s womb resulting in a conception. Research work carried by the Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Joel Witton has shown that an astral body could remain afloat for up to 800 years before entering into a foetus. This writer has met people whose astral bodies have remained afloat for up to 40 years before meeting their new mothers. Almost all of them said that while remaining afloat they were trying to collect enough merit to qualify to get a better mother and join a good family. An astral body can acquire merit offered to deceased relatives by those who offer merit to departed ones. Acquiring merit helps an astral body to be born in a better place.

Astral body

It has been found that floating astral bodies have a shift competition among themselves in finding future mothers. They are looking for ladies who have become pregnant recently having foetuses that do not have consciousness attached to them or women who are likely to become pregnant shortly. Often, several astral bodies quarrel to enter the foetus in a single lady and the one who has accumulated more merit succeeds. For an astral body to go into a lady’s womb its merit level must match the merit level of the lady. An astral body with low merit level cannot enter the womb of a lady who is higher on merit level. Normally a lot of astral bodies float above places of religious worship like the Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwan veli Seya, Temple of the Tooth, Kelani Viharaya, Tissa Vehera and the Kiri Vehera where they can acquire merit and also find mothers to come to the human world. Sometimes an astral body may choose a lady as its future mother, follow her to her residence and wait there until she gets pregnant to enter her foetus. Some astral bodies go straight into the houses of pregnant ladies and enter their foetuses. Sometimes an astral body can provoke a lady and a man and get them to unite to create a pregnancy to enter the lady’s uterus. Ladies who find it difficult to get pregnant have a better chance of becoming pregnant if they frequently visit one of the above places of worship where a lot of astral bodies float around looking for ladies who can become their future mothers.

‘Trailing mothers’

The astral body of a lady who died in India by performing Sathi Pooja( suicide committed by a widow by plunging into husband’s funeral pyre) was looking for a mother to be reborn into the human world. It was floating over Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura and chose a prosperous teenage school girl from Ambalangoda who had gone to Anuradhapura on pilgrimage as her next mother, followed her car to her residence, a journey of over 150 km, and and waited there until she became pregnant. She being a school girl studying for the GCE(O/L) exam a Colombo school was not getting pregnant. The astral body then provoked her and a boy who had visited her on her birthday. They, then, went into room and united. After she got pregnant the astral body entered the foetus in her uterus. The girl who was born as a result could describe in detail, under hypnotic trance, the mother’s journey from Anuradhapura to Ambalangoda. She also described her suffering in the burning pyre.

A 20 year old girl from Colombo studying for the GCE(A/L) exam started crying when she was hypnotised and her age regressed to her foetus stage. When asked for the reason for crying she said that she loved her mother very much but her mother didn’t love her. She explained that she loved her mother so much that she (her astral body) came to the mother’s house and waited there for six months for the mother to get pregnant. After that she provoked the mother and the father, got them to unite and entered mother’s uterus after she got pregnant. The mother explained that it was an unexpected pregnancy at a time they were not financially ready for another baby and therefore they were unhappy about the pregnancy. She could describe some of the things that happened in that house during the six month period before she went into the mother’s womb and got conceived.

Most of these are investigations carried out to understand the nature and the mechanism of rebirth. How does science explain the mechanism of rebirth?


Functioning of the brain and consciousness, and rebirth take place in unvisualisable realms and, therefore, is beyond old classical science and rational knowledge. We are generally conditioned by classical science to think in terms of Isaac Newton’s mechanical model of the universe. There are lot more things that happen in the universe than what this mechanical model can explain. Most people, unfortunately, are conditioned to reject anything that transcend the capabilities of rational thinking. No mechanical model of brain and consciousness can explain the capacity of human beings to feel pleasure, pain, love and hate, and for spontaneous and purposive activity. They transcend the rational stream of things and therefore cannot be understood through classical science and old models of philosophy.

To understand these we need a science that can ‘transcend’ the normal and traditional way of thinking. Transcend here means going beyond rational thinking, classical science and old models of philosophy. Fortunately scientists have discovered, during the last few decades, quantum science which can transcend the normal and help us appreciate the phenomena taking place in unvisualisable realms. To appreciate these we must, for a moment, stop limiting our thinking to the rational scenario and focus our mind on the unvisualisable penomena happening around us that we cannot understand such as what makes a man different from a robot. Robot has a body and a computer all of which are material and operate in visualisable realms . Man has a body which is material and operates within visualisable realms, a brain which partly transcend the visualisable realms and consciousness which completely transcend the visualisable realms.

Here we consider man as consisting of body, brain and consciousness (mind). The body is material and its functioning is very well understood through old classical science because rational knowledge and rational thinking can explain it. The brain controls the organs of the body by sending electrical signals in the way a computer controls various parts of a complex mechanical set up by sending electrical signals. If a part of the brain gets damaged the organs controlled by that part of the brain become inactive.

David Bohm

The functioning of the body is classical while that of the brain is both classical and transcendental. Consciousness is completely transcendental. It is quantum scientist David Bohm who first found, in the 1950s, that thought processes were quantum in nature. In 1992 physicists working at Southampton University in England experimentally tested if thought processes were quantum in nature and their work confirmed David Bohm’s discovery. Since then a lot of research work has been carried out on the quantum nature of the brain and consciousness. The brain has two modes of functioning, classical and quantum. The brain links itself with the body through its classical functioning, its slow operating interface, and with consciousness through its quantum functioning, its infinitely fast operating interface. Brain is made up of over a hundred billion brain cells known as neurones of about hundred different types. Neurones are different from other body cells and they communicate with each other through chemical and electrical signals. Neurones are like the electronic elements in a computer. The transfer of signals in computers happen through the movement of electrons which are very light and in neurones it happens through the movement of positively charged ions which are heavy. Movement of ions is much slower than that of electrons, but the transfer of information inside the brain happens at infinite speed. How can slow moving ions transfer information at infinite speed? This is the crux of the problem of how a material body becomes a living person. It is beyond comprehension and it transcends the mechanistic scenario.

Recent advances in quantum science help us appreciate how this happens. In neurones the slow moving ions transcend the normal and create the property of holism. Holism, here, means that the many individual parts of a quantum system get so fully integrated that they behave as a single unified whole like in a laser beam. In a laser beam the boundaries of individual photons get so overlapped that the beam behaves as though there were only one large single photon present and that makes a laser beam so very focussed and powerful.

The special class of quantum structure that possesses the property of extreme holism was discovered by Sathyendra Bose and Albert Einstein and it is called a Bose-Einstein condensate. It is this type of quantum coherence that gives special properties to lasers, super conductors, super fluids and neutron stars. The essence of a Bose-Einstein condensate is that it is the most highly ordered and highly unified structure possible in nature. Its many parts are so unified that they get inside each other. They share an identity.

Magneto encephalography (MEG) studies have shown the existence of 40 Hz (hertz) waves in the human brain which are higher in frequency than the beta, alpha, theta, and delta brain waves which are normally observed in a electro encephalograph (EEG). They are created by the movements of ions in neurones. These 40 Hz waves created all across the brain enter into a quantum coherence creating a Bose-Einstein condensate where information transfer happens at infinite speed, much faster than the speed of light. While the movement of electrons carry information in computers at normal speeds the information transfer in the brain is not done directly by the movement of ions. Ion movement, instead, creates 40 Hz brain waves which enter quantum coherence creating a Bose-Einstein condensate which transcends the normal and transmit information at infinite speed.

Bose-Einstein condensate

Consciousness is another independent quantum entity, a Bose-Einstein condensate, where information transfer takes place at infinite speed and it is linked to the brain through the brain’s 40 Hz wave Bose-Einstein condensate. It has been found that when a person is anaesthetised the 40 Hz brain waves disappear resulting in the breakdown of the link between the brain and consciousness. When a person is under the influence of drugs or liquor they get disrupted and disorderly making the brain consciousness link loose and the person becomes unsteady. At death all brain waves disappear and consciousness separates from the brain and floats away. It is then referred to as an astral body. It then looks for a new brain which possesses a 40 Hz wave Bose-Einstein condensate and has no consciousness attached to it. Normally it is a brain in a foetus in a pregnant lady. Consciousness is a bundle of energy vibrations in a quantum vacuum (shyunyatha) which is the background state of the universe and it is the ultimate transcendental reality describable by modern science. Consciousness being made up of energy waves is utterly impermanent and therefore one cannot say that something migrates from the deceased person to his reincarnate. Consciousness is the store house of all our thoughts, memories, images, emotions and karmic records. Self, ego and I-ness reside in consciousness. Bose-Einstein condensates operating in the brain and consciousness transforms a material body to a living person.

A prominent physicist who has studied this subject expresses it , “These ideas only seem strange when we apply them to micro-objects because, by habit and by virtue of our cultural environment, we think of micro-objects as inanimate. It is no doubt true that to assert that micro-objects have volition is too strong a statement, but the have attributes that are they beginnings of volition and activity.



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