The end of human life
To avoid misunderstandings, I use the term life in relation to the existence and transformations of the organism in which the conscious Ego develops and with which it is associated in this world, while I speak more generically of existence with regard to any experiences which the same Ego could be able to meet in another dimension. It sometimes happens that we hear about a «life beyond life» or a «life after life», but these expressions do not seem entirely appropriate to me, since we always approach the question starting from the fact that we are still living with our organism in this life. To be even clearer, it is appropriate to reiterate that human life has an end, and that this term – which as far as I know is inevitable – is marked by that event that we call death, which can be made to coincide with the definitive stop of the functioning of our nervous system, and in particular of our brain. In the event that a person decides to be cremated after death, she/he can be sure that, after the cremation, the organism through which they have lived has definitively ceased to function. In this respect, it seems to me correct to state that death is to all effects the end of this life. It is therefore an important event, which strikes our imagination, about which the mystery that surrounds the destiny of the conscious Ego is present even today for those who continue to live, while, on the other hand, as regards the organism that is buried or cremated, we can be sure that life in it has ceased to manifest for good.
Since every living human is destined sooner or later to experience death, the conscious Ego only has to wait for that event to occur to know directly what fate holds for it. From this point of view we can well recognize, obviously, that as long as a person is alive she continues to face life as she can and with the resources she has, and therefore it is not convenient and makes no sense to deal with death or worry about it. However, death can show itself in different ways, and the psychic dynamics that are activated in one or the other case can involve the conscious Ego well beyond its intentions and expectations, often finding it unprepared, especially in a culture like ours which does its best to remove the experience of death, considered as the annihilation of human life (which is implicitly recognized as the only possible form of existence). So let's see what are the most common forms in which death occurs, and the relative involvement of the conscious Ego, as far as we know. First of all, the organism's death can occur at any age, and therefore even before the conscious Ego has been developed. In various cases, then, death occurs suddenly, due to a traumatic event, and is practically instantaneous: in these circumstances, although we cannot say anything about the fate of the conscious Ego after death, we can believe that it is not even aware that it is about to die, and therefore it does not feel any suffering. Similarly, the organism can enter a deep coma without the conscious Ego noticing it, and remain in that condition for a shorter or longer period, until death: since the deep coma is characterized precisely by the complete loss of consciousness and of self-awareness, which for us humans are no longer ascertainable, we can say nothing about the state of the conscious Ego in such condition.
In the case of accidents and traumatic events, the Ego often has the time to realize the high risk of death it is facing: for example, a passenger or the pilot of a crashing plane, or a climber who loses its grip and falls into the void, may have time to experience the emotional reactions that elapse between the moment in which the event due to which they will probably die occurs, and the moment in which their organism actually ceases to function. If death is almost instantaneous, the time that elapses varies from a few seconds to a few minutes at the most, as in the case of death by drowning. We can get an idea of the psychic reactions that are perceived by the conscious Ego in this period from the testimonies of those who have had the fate to survive the event. Even though these are often reactions of panic or terror, this is not always the case: some climbers, for example, have reported feeling euphoria during the fall, and the case of the Swiss mountaineer and geologist Albert Heim (1849-1937) is well known, who in 1892 published an article with some testimonies of impressions, emotions and moods experienced by mountaineers during falls that could have had a fatal outcome, one of which occurred to himself (for more information, please refer to this page of Psi-Report blog). Other testimonies referring to psychic experiences that occurred to fighters during particularly risky actions, for example in the short period of time between the perception of a probably lethal event and the finding of not being dead, can be found in the various collections of NDEs available on the web.
When death – regardless of the age of the dying person – is preceded by a more or less long period of crisis of the organism, due to illnesses or suffered traumas, the conscious Ego almost always has to face even intense sufferings due to its strict dependence on the functioning of the nervous system of its organism. In cases of this kind, only the state of unconsciousness resulting from coma, or the temporary relief produced by the administration of pain-relieving drugs, can free the Ego from an extremely negative condition of pain. In fact, our culture does everything possible to link consciousness to the functioning of the organism, and practices such as hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and forms of meditation that can result in a certain degree of separation of the conscious Ego from the nervous system – and which require long and constant practice to be effective – are usually neither evaluated nor used. For similar cultural reasons, the rules of many societies do not allow the sick patient to freely decide to die without suffering, precisely because that part of the human psyche that drives our culture ensures that personal life be considered for its value as an energy functional to collective development, and not as a property of the conscious Ego. In practice, the single conscious Ego can be sacrificed – that is, destined to endure useless and prolonged sufferings, which it doesn't want, up to death – so that it can serve as a symbol (and as a warning) of the collective value of life: a real nonsense for anyone gifted with a spark of intelligence. In any case, all the traumatic and negative aspects related to death are still part of the experiences of human life, while death itself is a practically instantaneous and completely painless event, which probably has a liberating effect – we do not know for sure if temporary or permanent – on the conscious Ego.
The imaginary representations of the afterlife
Once recognized that death marks in any case – and for each of us – the end of the experience of human life, the conscious Ego can feel the desire to know in advance what kind of experiences it will encounter once it crosses that threshold. Obviously, this desire does not concern those who are convinced that death brings about the annihilation of the Ego, but for everyone else the condition in which the Ego will find itself after death remains an enigma, since we have no reliable knowledge in this regard, unless we want to satisfy ourselves with one of those prepackaged programs that are offered to us by one or the other religious institution (certainly not coincident with each other). The collective – as well as individual – character of human life means that, beyond the personal experience of our life, we can have sufficient information and data to get an idea of the life and experiences of other humans: although these experiences can be very different from each other, and everyone directly and intensely experience only their own life, the information on the life of others has a fairly reliable character if it is well documented. The same cannot be said regarding the eventual existence in the afterlife, separated from ours by a barrier that makes it impossible to exchange reliable and adequately documented information on what can happen in that dimension. In fact, even the use of the two sources of information from which we can draw, NDEs and mediumistic communications, leaves much to be desired in terms of reliability: NDEs, although often psychic experiences of remarkable interest, can be considered in some cases as threshold experiences, but not as communications certainly coming from the afterlife, and the various mediumistic communications, in their sometimes conflicting diversity, are almost always contaminated by human psychic elements. Evidently, the barrier that separates the two dimensions makes it impossible to transmit validable data relating to the afterlife, and the very fact that the information is received in our physical dimension makes it contaminated by the tunings of the human psyche.
Yet it is precisely some psychic dynamics that feed, in many humans, the need to imagine a form of existence of the conscious Ego that extends beyond the death of the organism, maintaining a continuity with the personality of this life or, in some cases, even with the mere organic existence. Often it is people who suddenly lose a relative to whom they are affectively very bond – especially parents, and in particular mothers, to whom a son (or a daughter) dies still young – who feel, due to this loss, a pain that not even time is able to remedy, which is however mitigated by the testimonies – genuine or presumed – referring to a continuation of the existence of the personality of their son in another dimension, to its state of well-being and happiness, and to the confirmations on the permanence of the affective bond that still binds the deceased to those who live in this world. In these cases, the afterlife is imagined as a very distant place – from which one cannot come back – in which our relatives have gone to continue their life, experiencing much more gratifying and congenial feelings and emotions than they did in this world, but keeping their personality, affections and memories. That this conception of the continuation of our human life is not necessarily linked to the development of a conscious personality, is demonstrated by the fact that even in the case of the death of very young children, under the age of three or four, it is imagined that their life can continue in the afterlife through a process of growth and development of the personality analogous to that which occurs in this life. In some cases mediumistic communications – and sometimes also materialized apparitions – have given confirmation of this singular elaboration of the human psyche.
Before dismissing such psychic experiences as baseless fantasies, due exclusively to the need to alleviate the human pain for the loss of a loved one, it is advisable to remember how the psyche is endowed with an undeniable power in defining and shaping reality: while in the case of the physical dimension of our world the power of the human psyche must deal with natural environmental events, with their own objective reality which also influences our psychic reactions, in another dimension the psyche's power in determining reality could be much more pronounced. As we have already pointed out, the human psyche – elaborated through the collective attunements determined by the interactions between a large number of brains – has also been able to intervene on the natural environment of our planet, significantly modifying it, and is actively engaged in the search for the knowledge necessary to control our organism. Therefore, the reality of this world is also largely determined by the psyche, and what we define as objectively real is such as it is normally shared by a consistent and strongly majority number of people. What is perceived as subjectively real, if it cannot be confirmed by other people, remains confined to personal experiences that are not objectively verifiable, but if it is denied by others it is defined as hallucination, with the implication of an anomalous functioning of our perceptive and interpretative system. In another dimension, however, a psychic reality of a different kind could be less demanding in terms of collective consent, adapting more easily to what the conscious Ego perceives as its most authentic and meaningful aspirations.
A condition in which a form of reality not dependent on collective consent can be experienced – even if for a limited period of time – by each of us, is represented by dreams, which have a limited duration and are interrupted when the conscious Ego returns to the ordinary reality of the waking state. Although in ordinary dreams the state of perception of reality by the dream Ego is of a lower quality than the reality perceived in the waking state, we have seen in the page dedicated to lucid and conscious dreams how sometimes the level of perception of dream reality is indistinguishable from that of ordinary reality. An interesting aspect of dreams is that different characters often intervene in them, in addition to the Ego, each of which seems to have its own autonomy that may very well not conform to the Ego's expectations: as everyone can realize, dreams are not always pleasant and satisfying, but can involve very complex dynamics and interactions in which the dream Ego is involved, not infrequently with an intense emotional participation. Other experiences that can determine in the Ego the perception of a reality that is completely indistinguishable from the ordinary one – albeit completely subjective, at least if considered from the point of view of our human dimension – are NDEs, some examples of which are reported on this site in the section dedicated to them. In various cases the events experienced by the Ego and the personifications with which it interacted have been described as more real than the same ordinary reality of our waking state. Therefore the possibility of experiencing a subjective reality completely indistinguishable from the objective reality to which we have become accustomed in the course of our human life is confirmed by many experiences already ascertained in the psychic dimension in which we live now. The problem that remains to be taken into account is the one relating to the instrument by which one or the other form of psychic reality is experienced by the conscious Ego.
We will return in a future post to the issue of the instrument by which the conscious Ego experiences psychic reality. Let us now proceed to examine some of the representations through which the continuation of existence after death can be imagined, starting from what for many centuries has been culturally affirmed by the institutionalized Christian religion, and accepted as true by a good number of faithful. As we well know, this representation hypothesizes gradual states of happiness and bliss, or temporary sufferings and more or less eternal torments, consequent to the actions performed and to the decisions intentionally taken by the conscious Ego – as a reaction to its own psychic experiences – during the course of human life. The most interesting aspect of this representation is given by the attribution to a possibly alien superior entity – which, as far as we know, could also have its own corporate organization – both of the role of judge of organisms produced by its company and that of creator and organizer of the great theater of human life. The strangest thing is that the organisms tested in this life and found to be defective would not simply be eliminated, but would have to be tortured sine die. Given that undoubtedly many humans have believed in the truth of this representation – and some of them believe it even today – one wonders if, in their case, subjective reality in the afterlife could conform to their expectations: in fact, hell and heaven are nothing else but extreme projections of psychic dynamics that we can already experience, temporarily, during this life.
Other religious variants are based on more or less different psychic elaborations, but always founded on the continuation of the experiences of the conscious Ego at the end of life, and on the permanence of some aspects of the human personality, including memories and certain character features, even after that the brain has ceased to function. One of these variants, which had in the past – and still has – a remarkable amount of followers, involves a cycle of rebirths in human form (or in another form), through which a spiritual entity accumulates experiences of various kinds that contribute to its evolution. In general, as regards the conscious Ego, there is no memory continuity between the current life and the previous ones, however well documented cases have been ascertained of children who remembered events, people and places connected with remarkable precision to the life of a person who died some time before they were born: for these cases, very rare but validated by testimonies and investigations carried out with great care, it will still be necessary to look for an explanation, which I delay to a future post. Anyhow, the succession of lives seems to follow a temporal process, that is, each rebirth follows over time – from a few months to a few decades – the end of the previous life. The fact that the conscious Ego does not usually retain the memory of previous human lives – some aspects of which can however be somehow perceived by imagination – rules out that it can identify with the spiritual entity interested in the incarnation experience, even if, once a life is over, the Ego's experiences and personality would be assimilated, so to speak, by the spirit entity. To complete the picture, there are those who believe that before being born the spirit entity accepts to forget its identity and previous experiences, starting the new life of the conscious Ego as tabula rasa.
Other forms of psychic experiences referred to the afterlife
By examining various testimonies of NDEs, of which we have an abundant documentation today, we can highlight at least two aspects that seem to me particularly important, as indicative of the conscious reception of psychic attunements substantially different from those we normally experience in our life. In some respects, it could be considered that these psychic experiences represent an evolution of those that can be perceived in the state of lucid and conscious dreaming, or of some experiences induced by the ingestion of psychoactive substances (some examples of which are reported on the page dedicated to them). The first aspect to which I refer is that relating to the strong sense of reality perceived by the conscious Ego of the experimenter, a reality which – when remembered by the person involved in the experience – is described to us as more real than the objective reality to which we are accustomed in our waking state. From our collective point of view it is obviously a purely subjective experience, however – unless we want to question the report's veracity – the fact that a subjective reality can exceed in intensity the objective reality, collectively recognized and supported, it is particularly interesting, also because it undermines certain mechanistic platitudes about the functioning of our brain, which is evidently able to tune in and process what is interpreted and felt as «real». In some NDEs the experiencer's conscious Ego is fully involved in a dimension that has all the requirements of reality: the fact that some aspects of this dimension are different from those we are accustomed to in the waking state does not imply that they are automatically perceived by the Ego as untrue, unreal and illusory.
Another aspect that characterizes some NDEs is the separation from the physical body and the progression through two phases: in the first the conscious Ego observes from the outside and with detachment the body from which it has separated, the people who interact with that body and the events that happen in relation to the body's conditions, while in the second phase it moves away from those circumstances still linked to its human life, to explore a different and unknown dimension. As for the first phase, there has been a lot of debate on the correspondences found in some cases between the events that occurred in objective reality and the descriptions reported by the experimenters on what they observed from their external point of view. In the event that the experimenters had found themselves in an ascertained unconscious state, various hypotheses have been advanced to explain how their brain could have acquired information about what was happening around their bodies in objective reality. In my opinion, the most interesting aspect of this phase concerns the detachment from the body, and the consequent disappearance of any form of pain and suffering to which the conscious Ego is normally subject in such circumstances: if we want to attribute all this exclusively to the brain functioning, we must hypothesize an autonomous ability on the part of certain cerebral circuits to modify the same perceptual faculties on which the conscious connection with our body and the physical environment is based. Since this process certainly does not occur through culturally acquired programs, it should be a congenital faculty: in this case, the most surprising aspect of the phenomenon consists precisely in the representation of the separation of the conscious Ego – which maintains its own self-awareness unaltered, in some cases feeling more alive than ever – from a body felt as alien and uninteresting, towards the destiny of which the conscious Ego often feels a full indifference.
In the second phase, the conscious Ego can experience an alternative reality, characterized by completely different tunings than those of the human psyche: it often feels loved by an unconditional, warm, welcoming and comforting love, a love that accepts it for what it is or what it has been in this life, without criticizing or judging it. Convincing explanations may follow, given by the entity or entities from which this love radiates – often described as «beings of light» – about the various aspects of the universe and our world, and the meaning and value of human life: almost all these explanations are normally forgotten upon re-entering the body, but the memory of the sense of fulfillment and perfect understanding of their truth felt during the experience is not lost. Now, I think that at least one question is right to ask: why should our brain stage a representation so complex, coherent, and rich in perceptual and emotional elements (characterized by an intense energy and a strong feeling of reality), rather than simply turning off the light of consciousness, as usually happens in the critical conditions in which the body may find itself due to traumas, diseases or surgery needs? Every answer that can currently be given to this question represents a personal interpretation of the facts, that is, of the reported experiences: in fact, no one is able to know for sure how and for what purpose the brain functioning can go beyond, so to speak, its own limits. In attributing these experiences exclusively to the brain functioning, it must be implicitly recognized that the brain is much more than an organ (more or less similar to a computer) capable of perceiving, interpreting and processing the different aspects of the objective reality of this physical world: it can also become the tuning device of alternative realities and dimensions.
Another interesting aspect of various NDEs is given by the fact that the experimenters declare that they no longer have any fear of death, but rather that they await their final death with a feeling not only of trust and hope, but often of certainty that the passing will concide with the beginning of a new existence in that alternative dimension that they have already experienced. Those who want to refer the functioning of the brain to needs exclusively related to human life, should reflect on the fact that the fear of death is often not connected to the event of death itself – an event that sometimes can be desired as end of the sufferings that not infrequently precede natural death – but rather to the expectation of the annihilation of the existence of the conscious Ego: some of those who have experienced an NDE, being in this condition, had no faith in a possible continuation of their existence after death, so the conversion of their fear of dying into a positive feeling of expectation and hope is not due to an act of faith, but to a psychic experience perceived as real, the effects of which are long lasting. To consider every psychic experience exclusively as the product of the computerized, or even mechanistic, functioning of the brain, without taking into account the nature and evolution of the conscious Ego and its needs, is at least reductive and simplistic, if not naively infantile. The brain can certainly be a device endowed with extraordinary functions and capabilities, but precisely for this reason its role must be considered on the basis of all the faculties with which it is gifted, including that of tuning alternative realities and dimensions.
The Ego, its desires and will
Usually NDEs simply happen, also because the critical conditions in which they occur are often the consequence of unexpected events that follow one another at a fast pace. Only in recent decades has the literature and information on NDEs stimulated a mass interest in them, so it is plausible to hypothesize that, in critical conditions, a person may wish or hope to have an NDE. Even in such circumstances, however, in most cases these experiences do not occur, or they sometimes manifest themselves in a way that does not conform to expectations, for example as distressing NDEs. The events of human life, as is well known, do not always indulge the Ego's desires (whatever their origin), and often even the strongest will has to deal with aspects of reality that do not submit to its control. Consequently, some people imagine the afterlife as a dimension in which reality changes according to the desires and will of the conscious Ego: it would be, of course, a subjective reality very similar to an intensely conscious dream in which happens what the Ego desires and wants to happen. In its most naive form, this imaginary reality would serve to satisfy typically human desires, which often are the more intense the less they are satisfied in the ordinary reality of our life. Our desires, of course, are of psychic origin, and derive in part from the natural needs of our organism, and in part from the cultural programs that are transmitted to us through the interaction between human brains. So most desires are specifically connected with our human condition.
NDEs, or at least a part of them, show instead a radical change of perspective: through a more or less rapid transitional process, often perceived as out of time, the conscious Ego finds itself in an ecstatic condition in which it feels in perfect harmony with everything (many experimenters describe it as a homecoming), so much so that the only real desire it feels is to remain in that condition and not to have to return to human life. The detachment from one's body, the insensitivity towards the organism of which one feels like a prisoner – with all the typically human psychic experiences that the conscious Ego is forced to endure through it – and the painful return inside that organism, with the prospect of having to experience the human condition again – this time with the vivid and persistent memory of a completely different dimension – confer an autonomous value and a new dignity to the conscious Ego: the desires linked to the human condition immediately lose their importance, nay, the only authentic desire that remains is to die in order to return to that state of bliss that the conscious Ego feels as perfectly suited to its true essence. Of course, only a minority of humans have experienced an NDE in their lifetime, and not all NDEs correspond to this heavenly picture, but a good number of them have the essential requirements of it: it is as if these experiences contain a message sent to the conscious Ego of every human being, not just of those who have experienced them firsthand. This message confirms the transitory character of human life, but above all it highlights the autonomous essence of the conscious Ego and its belonging to a different dimension, to which it will sooner or later return.
However, we can also understand why the conscious Ego is not easily allowed to experience that dimension: there are some cases of people who have attempted suicide, even more than once, after having a positive NDE, and anyway there are a lot of testimonies of the discomfort, disappointment, resistance and resignation with which the conscious Ego reacts when it feels constrained to return to its organism and experience the human dimension again: the widespread affirmation that this life is the supreme good shows, in these cases, all its illusory inconsistency (not to say falsehood). For the conscious Ego that has experienced a positive NDE, at most human life can be considered as a temporary commitment and a task to be fulfilled, waiting to be able to return to the form of existence most congenial to its true nature. Our human desires and the will by which we commit ourselves to fulfill them, thus also accomplishing the task of living, therefore represent expedients to bind the conscious Ego to this life, so that it can also endure – as far as possible – also the difficulties and pains that destiny reserves for it. The normal condition of the conscious Ego during human life could be described as a state of narcosis, in which the Ego cannot recognize its own authentic essence, and remains at the mercy of the psychic experiences in which it is involved, in search of something that continually escapes it: as long as the human psyche produces the only form of experience that the conscious Ego can access, this is considered the normal condition of life, but when the it manages to experience alternative psychic tunings, then things do change.
The formation of the conscious Ego
It is evident that human life is not very suited to the spiritual aspirations of the conscious Ego: we interact with the physical environment through our organism, which, with its needs, heavily conditions the brain functioning. The complex, often conflictual, alchemy created by the interaction between human brains (each with their own psychic dynamics) and by the historical development of the cultural programs deriving from these interactions, make the evolutionary process of the conscious Ego, who almost always remains entangled in the dynamics of the human psyche, anything but easy. Desires, intentions, social conditioning, represent the most evident manifestations of these dynamics, while the alternative dimension unveiled by many NDEs, in which a benevolent comprehension, an immense and unconditional love and a sense of bliss and complete harmony welcome a conscious Ego completely freed from its organism, appears to us almost as an utopian and alien condition. Since these are two so different worlds, it is natural to ask ourselves in what relationship they are to each other, and obviously – as we consider the issue from our human point of view – why we have to face and endure the human condition if our final destiny is to get out of it to move to that other dimension. NDEers often report having asked questions of this kind to some of the luminous entities they met in the other dimension, and having received clear, comprehensive and convincing answers, which however they had completely forgotten in their body re-entry phase. A first answer could be given by the fact that, for some reason, human life is necessary – nay, indispensable – for the very formation of the conscious Ego: only through the life experience, in fact, could consciousness give rise to subjects aware of their own existence and their faculties of experimentation, knowledge, love and action, which can then allow them to pass into the spiritual world.
We should remember that during human life the conscious Ego experiences its own development, its own maturation and its own evolution according to the passage of time, through which the continuous flow of the present is based not only on the memory of the past but also on the perspectives, expectations and hopes for the future. Many NDEs are instead characterized by a completely different perception of time, a kind of eternal present in which all events are already contained, and the order in which they are perceived depends, in a sense, on the way in which attention is focused on the one or the other event, even if the sensation is often that of navigating in an eternity in which the very concept of time, as we mean it in this life, loses its meaning. In that dimension, therefore, even human life – with its limited duration and the passing of time that characterizes it – could be perceived in all its relative oddity, perhaps as a localized container, a kind of coffer that can be opened when it is necessary to examine all the more or less interesting things contained within it, which, however, lack the character of reality that we attribute to them in this life. Time is precisely the fundamental factor on which the human perception of reality is based: real to the maximum degree is what happens in the present, while different degrees of reality are attributed to the events of the past of which traces remain in people's memory, also on the basis of documents and finds that – preserved up to our present – testify to their existence. But what has been erased in every human memory becomes unreal for us.
In this life the conscious Ego, once it has sufficiently developed, meets its destiny and confronts it with the resources at its disposal: we have often highlighted how both destiny and resources are different from a person to another, and this is one of the reasons why human life itself remains an enigma. Every form of psychic experience, in the course of this life, becomes real for the conscious Ego when it leaves a trace at least temporarily in its memory. For example, if I have a dream and I remember it when I wake up, that dream becomes part of my psychic experiences, but sometimes it can happen that I know that I have had a dream, though I can't remember it: in this case a trace of the memory of having dreamed of something remains, even if the memory of the dream has been lost. But if I have a dream and then wake up convinced that I have not dreamed, it is as if that psychic experience never existed for me. NDEs are therefore important psychic experiences also because they are imprinted in the experimenter's memory, I would say in an almost indelible way, yet many details of them are not remembered: for example, sometimes the experimenters are certain that they have received exhaustive answers to their own existential questions, but they are no longer able to remember them. We could also ask ourselves, at this point, if there could be psychic experiences that the conscious Ego completely forgets, and who is – in these cases – the conscious subject. In the psychological field, various cases of multiple personalities have been observed and reported, in which one of the personalities, that is a conscious Ego, did not remember anything of what happened when another conscious subject took over. Even in the case of people placed in a state of hypnosis it seems that the conscious Ego does not remember, once awakened, what happened while it was in that state.
Obviously, the interpretation of these anomalous mental states is based on the observation of the behaviors of the studied people and on the testimonies reported by them about their memories and their conscious experiences, as they are subjectively perceived: as for all psychic subjective experiences, if we do not want to rely only on the good faith of the subject who reports them, it is necessary to devise some indirect verification method, the results of which will in any case leave doubts about what actually happens in the subject's mind. These mental phenomena can also be generically attributed to the brain functioning, without however being able to identify the causes that produce alterations such as the suspension of memories or their reactivation. We must once again resign ourselves to the fact that the objective knowledge we have is too limited to allow us to be able to reliably interpret the plurality of subjective psychic experiences, most of which remain enigmatic for us. The very formation of the conscious Ego is therefore a complex process, which can be endangered by the psychic dynamics in which the Ego is involved. We also know that an organism can die even before the conscious Ego has had time to develop. The complexity of all the issues concerning the individual destiny of every human organism, and the ways in which this destiny influences the formation, development and evolution of the conscious Ego, is such that, in the absence of reasonable and satisfactory answers, we often prefer to limit the existence of the Ego to the life of the human organism with which it is associated.
The fact remains that, once recognized the effect that random factors have on the individual destiny of every human organism and on the formation of the conscious Ego, the latter in most cases develops and confronts itself with the tasks and the difficulties of life – as they manifest themselves over time – relying on the mental resources of the brain and on the interactions made possible by the network of human brains, above all by making decisions and implementing them through the use of will. This choral process, which involves the whole mankind, has different effects for the personal history and the evolution of the conscious Ego linked to each person: human life therefore shows this double aspect, due to which every human being participates – for a limited period of time – in the continuous flow of mankind's history, with all the dynamics of good and evil that characterize it and make it transcendent and enigmatic to our intellectual resources, and at the same time the conscious Ego linked to the human organism undergoes an evolutionary process that can lead it to an authentic existential dignity. NDEs open a window that allows us to take a look at the possible fate of the conscious Ego once its adventure of human life is over. As I have already observed, in many NDEs the perception of detachment from one's organic body is associated with the transfer of the conscious Ego into an environment in which at last it feels at home, as if it had returned from a long, tiring and often troubled journey.