Jun 14 2013
I recently received this question:
I heard Seth Shostak mention in one of the “Big Picture Science” podcasts, that we are unconscious when we sleep.
I disagree. This is an altered state of consciousness.
Then.. you go further…
What about a COMA? Still not truly unconscious. People have memories after they wake up of people talking to them. They just don’t know where they come from.
What about NDE’s?
C’mon… if you were truly unconscious (regardless of scientific unmeasurability of brainwave activity) , you are still either having thoughts or remembering the thoughts before you wake up.
I contend that TRUE unconsciousness is ACTUAL death. (not clinical death – a decision made by instruments) The inability to think AT ALL in any capacity as if you had never been born.
Please discuss this? Am I wrong?
I do not believe in dualism. I trust that as I lay dying, I may have experiences that feel like fantastic dreams… but when I actually die… I am dead.
If I were unconscious while sleeping… How did my alarm clock wake me up? How did my snoring wife rouse me from non REM sleep?
Michael Goff (Aka, Evil Eye)
Thanks for the question. In short – this is wrong, or at least overly simplistic to the point of effectively being wrong. The primary problem is in dealing with consciousness as a binary state, and therefore any flicker of consciousness is not “unconscious.”