Elliot Giberson of Seattle asked Stephen Hawking "What do you believe happens to our consciousness after death?"
To which Hawking replied - the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer programme. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoritically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories.
It's wonderful to think that way, isn't it? Like a computer programme you built up the consciousness over years, leave it in your memory in such a way that when you die the memory can be used to run the programme in some other neural network (another human body)!
I think there is a way to it. Our consciousness programme is written over years with inputs through all the sensory organs. The inputs are derived from the environment that we grow up in. The experiences of others conveyed to us through communication mediums also influence this process of building consciousness. The programme itself keeps on evolving as our consciousness evolves. Finally, we get a programme just before our death.
If we can keep this programme available in communication channels, then it can be used to build another programme in another human being. I think it is happening already. People write books so that others can read them. Your experiences stored in your writing goes into developing consciousness in others. The thought brings euphoria. Thank you Hawking.