When we die, do we know we are dead?

Hemant Kulkarni
1 min readFeb 21, 2024

As far as we know, we won’t know when we are dead.

Human consciousness arises from our brain activity, firing of neurons. In many stroke and heart attack cases, the patient has some chance to be saved if treated before the brain dies. That is before the neurons starve of blood.

Even in heart surgeries, the heart is sometimes stopped and taken out of body, and the patient is still alive. In this case, the brain is kept alive by pumping it blood through some external machine.

Thus, brain is where consciousness arises. And when our neural activity ceases, our consciousness too will vanish. And we won’t know we are dead.

Even people who have near-death experiences do not say they “experienced” death. They narrate how their whole life flashed in front of them.

This is evidence-based. If someday, someone figures out to how to return from the land of the dead, we will have to change this notion and realize that there is experience post-death too.

Until then, we can rest assured that there is no experience after death. Just like there was no experience before birth.