How about half a dead person?
Actually, more like half a dead brain, which equals roughly 20% of a dead person–but that shallow 20% is nearly 100% of what interacts in the world during life.
Sorry for the pseudoscience but here’s what I’m getting at: I’m finally reading My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. It’s the true walkthrough of a brain scientist having a stroke. As she tells it, the left hemisphere of her brain (linear time, rational stuff, ego stuff, pain) gets suffocated by blood and so the right hemisphere (nonlinear oneness, non-rational stuff, transcendental stuff, nirvana) comes to the fore. As the brain is hemorrhaging, the worldly Jill self that makes sense of reality as an experience she can know and, to a degree, control is dying.
At one point she gets tired of struggling to figure out what’s happening to her, who she is, what she’s doing, because–not unlike how I experienced the large-dose mushroom trip–her “rational” voice is a miniscule peep in the background of this rushing, joyful, awe-inspiring NOW that is more her than her. When that happens she hears a booming voice tell her that if she lies down now she’ll never get back up. Succumb and die, essentially. Not wanting that, she claws her way back to normalcy enough to call for help.
But say she died anyway. Just… what if? Can’t prove anything here so it’s really a crap hypothesis–but I’m putting it out there to add to the heap. Say she died anyway while clawing at life. If something remained as a ghost it wouldn’t be that large oneness Jill that is more her than her, would it? No, because that’s what she’s dying into. What would remain would be the part of her that wants to stay–the part that normally interacts with the day-to-day world in life, right? The ego-self. Or a free-floating piece of it.
The remnant of the worldly dead persona. Is that what a ghost is? If so, what’s its action? To exist.
At least we still have that in common.