Do mosquitoes see lights when they die?

So, it appears from books like “After” by Bruce Greyson (kindly recommended by Ajahn Brahmali) that the mind experiences some rather extraordinary things at the time of death. Lights, visions, life flashing in front of your eyes etc. But I’m wondering if less advanced beings like mosquitos or ants or whatever experience a similar thing. In life, their minds are very limited by the kind of brain are tied to. But I’m wondering if their mind is capable of more once it begins to separate from the body.

I’m not sure the EBTs have an answer to this so I’m posting this in the Watercooler category. Anyone know of anything in any Buddhist scripture or scientific study that would allow some hypotheses on this?

The reason I’m asking this is that certain answers would make the case for kindness and compassion even more compelling (not that these need any more justification, but still it could be quite amazing)


Sometimes one of these?


Rarely did I laugh that much


I’m not familiar with anything in the Nikayas that directly addresses this.
From a scientific standpoint there is zero data, nor even any currently known scientific methods, to measure this in other species, let alone insects.

Even if fMRIs were done on dogs, which can be trained to remain still in the scanner, it would merely reveal activation of certain areas of the brain which could correlate with certain mental states – but wouldn’t prove what the dog was actually experiencing.
Let alone Mikey the Mosquito.

This is not to discount NDEs and what they may point to. The Buddha did teach that a conditional stream of consciousness continues after physical death to combine with nama-rūpa in the womb, as we know. For example in DN15.
In either case, such experiences, no mater how unusual and exotic, are still conditional.

But how much “more compelling” do we need to be kind and compassionate? Don’t we and other beings, including insects, experience enough dukkha already?

Just saying… :pray:

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This. This is what the Buddha taught, as I understand it.

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Even for the devas.

It’s true that a number of studies have indicated relatively sophisticated behaviors such as counting and possible “emotional” reactivity in a number of species, including bees.
It’s just unfortunate, imo, when people “need” this to open their hearts and to abide by the first Precept. Not saying this applies to you.

But, yeah, if someone chooses to act more kindly and skillfully because some insects can count, then fine. Better for them and better for the bumblebees.

Simply from my observations of creatures, I agree that humans generally grossly underestimate ALL Beings. It is all a question of quiet looking on - not doing or interfering, and just observing without applying a conceptual template to what is being seen. As far as I am concerned a whole new universe opens up. Having seen and observed, I don’t really need any scientific tests to tell me that they have consciousness and that when they die they will have their own version of the process. We don’t even really understand death and rebirth in humans (no tests) how much less so for other creatures. But I have no doubt that they experience things in accordance with the station of their consciousness and Nama/Rupa.

Generally I have observed a correlation between length of life/life span and degree of sophistication. Some insects only live for a day but others, like tarantulas can live up to 20-40 years. Same with lobster which lives even longer… (just some random examples)… I see how some spiders have memory and habits… you have shy ones and tame ones… The same with all creatures, each has a personality :slight_smile: but one has do quietly observe for a long time in some cases to see it.

What I see makes me agree with the Buddha when he says that being re-born as an animal is worse than being human. They really do have it so tough… as humans we should have boundless compassion for them, for all living creatures. Instead (heartbreakingly foolishly) humans are often the greatest cause of suffering for animals - viewing them as lower and simply as commodities or annoyances. Of course there are beloved pets, but also abused pets… but mostly I’m referring to the casual and wanton way humans destroy habitat (macro and micro), kill animals that they don’t like, or kill for sport or even just for convenience :expressionless:

Note it did take me a while to see silverfish in the linen cupboard without the indoctrinated view that they must be destroyed… so what if there is a little hole in the fabric? … is that so terrible… is that worth killing for?

:slight_smile: :pray: :sunflower:


………Me too. :rofl: Me too.