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dr. Gerald Woerlee


A short introduction

Gerald Woerlee was born in Western Australia, where he went to school and studied medicine. After some time as a resident, he went to England to specialize in anesthesiology, and subsequently worked as an anesthesiologist—until retirement—in the university and peripheral general hospitals in the city of Leiden, in the Netherlands. His main professional interests are teaching, surgical risk assessment and the practical application of pharmacokinetics to anesthesia and medicine. dr. Woerlee is the author of professional textbooks on these subjects. He has also had a lifelong fascination with the physiological and physical basis of parapsychology and near death experiences. This interest has resulted in several books on the subject. Retirement has provided him more time for exploration of the matter of consciousness, as well as the startup of a company using machine-learning to predict surgical risk.


Nadia Hassan reads ‘What is consciousness?’

In the third episode of the Essentia Readings podcast (available for free on all major directories), Nadia Hassan reads Dr. Gerald Woerlee’s What is consciousness? A half-hour of fascinating material that may surprise you.

What is consciousness?

Consciousness is more fundamental than, and precedes, higher-level mental activity such as thoughts and emotions. Therefore, it is possible that consciousness—as a kind of primary ‘operating system’—is present even in the complete absence of recognizable mental activity, argues dr. Woerlee with the authority of an anesthesiologist. We may thus be conscious even during states of seeming unconsciousness, which is relevant for metaphysics—such as idealism—that consider consciousness fundamental.

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