Print this page

Observations placeholder

Schrodinger, Erwin - What is Life - Death is a function



Type of spiritual experience


When activity or function ceases death occurs physically, for that body as a whole, but as the body is an aggregate of numerous things, true physical death of the body only occurs when every single aggregate that makes up the body has ceased to function.

In some resepects death never occurs, because at the lowest levels of aggregate the molecular level and cell level there may be activity indefinitely.

Thus in order to establish what death is, one has to consider it functionally at the level of each aggregate. 

A human body with its mind is an aggregate and the human being dies when its mind dies and ceases all activity.  But the mind in totality is not necessarily processed by the brain, as such establishing when death has occurred is very difficult - as is evident from coma victims.  Many ancient seers stated that the 'seat' of the soul was the heart, thus if the heart had completely stopped the Higher spirit had probably left.

A description of the experience

Erwin Schrödinger – What is Life?

What is the characteristic feature of life?  When is a piece of matter said to be alive?

When it goes on ‘doing something’, moving, exchanging material with its environment, and so forth, and that for a much longer period than we would expect an inanimate piece of matter to ‘keep going’ under similar circumstances.

When a system that is not alive is isolated or placed in a uniform environment, all motion usually comes to a standstill …. Differences of electrical or chemical potential are equalised, substances which tend to form chemical compounds do so, temperature becomes uniform by heat conduction.  After that the whole system fades away into a dead, inert lump of matter.

A permanent state is reached, in which no observable events occur.

The source of the experience

Schrodinger, Erwin

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image