Brain Vs. Mind

The following is a quick insight into the most important merit of Awareness, that is the realization and perception of our nature as human beings. It’s a quick journey into our essence and reality.

Pondering over the Human Mind, Consciousness, and perception, one can’t help but realize that, as humans, we are distinguished above other creatures by the Mind, whose most important characteristic is Awareness. How can we define those terms, and how are they related to one another?

“Awareness”: is the ability to perceive our surroundings, our self being, our feelings, thoughts, desires, beliefs, and freedom of choice. It’s what makes us feel alive. It is simply the difference between an awake person and a sleeping one. When you wake up at morning, don’t you feel that you were nonexistent then your senses start coming back gradually? You first become aware of who or what is waking you up, where you are, the things you have to do this morning, and now you are back to life’s theater, you are back to awareness. Awareness could be compared to the electric current without which computers don’t work. A lot of biologists consider the mind —that is responsible for awareness— to be a direct result for the physical brain, exactly like kidneys produce the urine. Darwinists think that as soon as the physical brain reached its current size and amazing complexity, the mind emerged spontaneously as a direct result for evolution.

Those who suggest that the mind emerged naturally from the physical brain face several problems because of that very same concept under discussion, that is awareness.
Firstly, their suggestion means that substance is characterized by a concealed mind of its own. When it reaches a certain stage of complexity in its construction, it explodes and the concealed capabilities emerge. The end product is that they have given materialistic substances qualities that totally contradict the materialistic concepts, this is closer to the religious concepts than science.
Secondly, if the mind emerged from materialistic substances without any need for a higher absolute intelligence, then how can we trust its judgments?! For simplicity, imagine that a mentally retarded person makes a computer program, will you trust the outputs of this program?! How be it if this programmer had no mind whatsoever?!
Thirdly, if the mind emerged from materialistic substance, this means that it shall consequently follow its definitive chemical and physical laws that give constant outputs. These definitive laws contradict the freedom of choice of all humans; i.e., you may continue to read this post or simply close it and continue browsing. If the mind was a direct result to the physical brain, then all humans would have adopted the same view for every issue. That’s because the materialistic view is always one for every issue as you can see in all physical matters. Accordingly, personal perspectives which are the most important characteristic of human beings shall disappear. Thus, if this suggestion was true, the human mind wouldn’t have existed in the first place.

Let’s seek practical evidence. There is no doubt that practical evidences are the strongest. Dr. Wilder Penfield (The founder of modern neurosurgery and a Nobel Prize winner) has performed more than 1000 operations for epileptic patients who did not respond to medical therapy. During the operations performed under local anesthetization, he tried to reach the location of the human mind within the physical brain through electrical activation for the different centers of the cerebral cortex. On activating a certain part of the cortex, one of the patients’ hands moved, but the patient would then try to stop it with his other hand. When Penfield discussed the matter with his patients later on, they said that he was the one moving their hands and that they could not stop it. This means that while one hand was moving under the electrical activation’s control, the patient’s freewill was trying to stop it with his or her other hand. This proves that humans have “freewill” separate from the electrochemical activities of the brain. Dr. Penfield admitted that the brain and the mind are two separate things and each has a different nature. After his thorough researches on the human brain, Dr. Roger Sperry (a Nobel Prize winner for his research about the different brain functions) confirmed too that the mental functions do not emerge from the normal activities of the physical brain, even though they use it as a machine.

A person may make some tests to check on his heart and brain functions. But he will never make a neurological cerebellum examination to check on the correctness of his thoughts and feelings. Absolutely, there is no brain check that can scan our thoughts, and determine if they were wrong or right. What’s going on inside our minds is something very private and totally irrelevant to materialism.

Awareness is one of the mind’s functions, but the mind itself is not the apex of the pyramid, it’s just one of the self-being manifestations. You cannot get to know a person through lab tests and X-ray checkups. You must know how he feels, what his thoughts are, his aspirations, and his view of the whole existence, in order to really know him. In short, the essence of any human being goes far beyond his body, brain, consciousness, or even his mind. It is rather that intrinsic nature that integrates all of the previous and makes you feel a whole consistent being who realizes himself and name it “ME.” This is why: when Sir “John C. Eccles” was receiving the Nobel Prize for his research on “Brain Biology,” he said: “I find myself compelled to say that there is a non-materialistic nature for my being and my mind, a nature that agrees with what the religious call the ‘Soul.’ ”

All religions indicate that the soul is the immaterialistic essence of any human. The dualism of the soul and the body could even be found in all civilizations throughout the history all over the globe. This dualism has even been the main pillar of the ancient Egyptian civilization that goes back more than 7000 years.


In response to: Aware

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