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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


4.20.2004

The Self & It's Brain 

There's a large book by John Eccles & Karl Popper called The Self & It's Brain in which the two esteemed neuroscientists present a battery of philosophical theory coupled with intense neurological research in order to demonstrate their learned opinion about how the mind coordinates its brain. They imagine the self as a sort of detached wave which interprets and organizes the myriad of data churned out by the various bodies of the cortex - a controller and integrator of thought & emotion, memory & mood. When I read the following excerpt it was as if I suddenly felt my mind as a distinct entity coordinating all the data streaming in from my sensorium, reading the diverse & complex electrochemical & magentic fields generated by my cortex and translating them into the linguistic shell it uses to evaluate & catalog experience. In this context language is thus a translational layer between the matter of the brain and the subtle aether of mind employed by the discarnate self as it steers the ship of the human organism through the sea of life.

Here's the excerpt from the text:
Briefly, the hypothesis is that the self-conscious mind is an independent entity that is actively engaged in reading out from the multitude of active centres in the modules of the liaison areas of the dominant cerebral hemisphere. The self-conscious mind selects from these centres in accord with its attention and its interests and integrates its selections to give the unity of conscious experience from moment to moment. It also acts back on the neural centres. Thus it is proposed that the self-conscious mind excercises a superior interpretive and controlling role upon neural events by virtue of a two-way interaction across the interface between World 1 [the material world] and World 2 [the world of mental states]. It is proposed that the unity of conscious experience comes not from an ultimate synthesis in the neural machinery but in the integrating action of the self-conscious mind on what it reads out from the immense diversity of neural activities in the liaison brain. [italics added]
The question remains regarding the nature & origin of this mind. Is it an epiphenomenon of the brain, the product of an incomprehensibly convoluted associative network of 100 billion neurons? An abstraction manifest within the hyperdimensional manifold of interfering and cohering EM waves washing over the neurochemical stew of the cortex? Or perhaps it originates elsewhere, in the uncharted plenum of supra-consciousness, a vast singular pool of Soul out of which individual consciousness emerges and seeks out the vehicle of a unique human brain, through which it can experience Creation as manifest in duality through the unique genetic eyes of its host...

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