I have experienced a knockout two times in the boxing ring during my active fighting career.

At the time I was KO, I was conscious of nothing and then I woke up.

I am interested in knowing what was going on with my soul at that time when I was in KO mode, if you know what I mean.

This has been bothering me for a couple of years.

My trainer told me that the brain "turns off" in this unstable situation and only important systems like breathing, pumping blood and other important systems are turned on and other stuff like cognitive thinking is turned off. But his information was from the medical perspective, so I would like to hear from a religious point of view.

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    Have you ever been under general anesthesia? If so, how does that experience compare to being knocked out? – Monica Cellio Mar 20 '13 at 21:21
  • I don't have been, just local anesthesia when visiting dentist a couple of times. But what I can tell you is that KO is not like sleeping or dreaming or beeing first drunk. It's simply bang and nothing, Basically the term knockout is very good and accurate. Nothingness, full stop ;) – Derfder Mar 20 '13 at 21:52
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    Is this any different from fainting (which is presumably more common than KOs)? – Dave Mar 21 '13 at 16:04
  • @Monica Cellio: I've been knocked out once in a bar scuffle. No injuries or anything. Don't even know how I got knocked out. That's the thing. Both a KO (which causes a concussion) and general anesthesia produce amnesia. You don't remember anything immediately prior to each event nor anything that occurs during that period. You will remember the time briefly before that, but nothing during. Fainting is a bit different depending on severity of hypoperfusion or hypoxia. I don't think anyone can conclusively say what is happening with the soul during that time. – user2088 Mar 21 '13 at 19:47
  • Since this question seems to be addressing a state of unconsciousness, perhaps it could be rephrased and generalized to all unconsciousness, including sleep? (The state of the soul during sleep has been addressed in tradition, but as written, I doubt this question will get any answers.) – Shmuel Apr 14 '14 at 4:09

the body acts as a limiter/bottleneck to the soul.

the soul is perfectly capable of seeing without physical eyes or thinking without a physical brain (see this audio by rabbi zev leff). but while it is attached to the body, it is limited by the body. hence a small child is incapable of abstract thought and a ko boxer may not grasp anything - the soul's powers are limited/filtered by the body.

most people are totally limited by the body. if the body is "out" (i.e. the brain is "out"), the soul is blocked completely. This blocking mechanism ends after death of the body or for some rare individuals, if they have sufficiently purified their body and nefesh from spiritual impurities as explained in depth in the book Shaarei Kedusha. see there. I have personally met such people and they possess clairvoyant powers.

  • "Seeing without physical eyes" - even in the dark? If what you say is true, we could see in the closet too. Your statement makes no sense to me. Sorry. i think you are completely wrong. "Soul" (as most people call that) is the child of your body (parent 1) and the environment (parent 2 = electromagnetism, gravity, quantum field ;D etc.). If you take one parent out the child stop working. It's the same like with a computer. The hardware without a power will stop working. We are electrochemical machines. Even if it's very hard to accept. Of course, it's fascinating how complex the life is. – Derfder Apr 15 '14 at 18:54
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    @Derfder that statement is from Rabbi Leff. check out the audio. Yes, you could in principle see in the closet, but the body blocks the senses of the soul. This occurs until purifying the body/nefesh or until death as i wrote in the answer. your KO experiences prove nothing because like i said, the body blocks/limits the senses of the soul as long as the soul is bound to it. – ray Apr 15 '14 at 21:34
  • I think we have a communication problem here. I don't understand your concept of "soul" at all. My concept of soul is completely different than yours. You are talking about soul as it is a person/parasite inside our body or something like that. – Derfder Apr 16 '14 at 6:58
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    @Derfder yes. right they are two different creatures. a gorilla and a higher being joined together as explained in detail in Shaarei Kedusha. see there. the higher being is the real you which goes on after death. you are asking for the torah perspective right? see also the Vilna Gaon's commentary on Yonah. available here: dafyomireview.com/yonah.php – ray Apr 16 '14 at 11:34

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