Who’s in Charge? (Part I)

(Let me say at the outset of this article that it may touch a little on the technical and even if you have zero interest in neuroscience or quantum physics I encourage you to skip easily over any part that befuddles or bores you and read this article to its conclusion. The implications are staggering!)

I just finished reading a fascinating book by neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga called, Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain. Gazzaniga throws his hat into the determinism vs. free will ring with unique clarity. His book is filled with a plethora of the latest research in neuroscience but one topic drew my particular interest. The research in question is that which specifies that a brain creates an activity before its owner (That’s us-or at least what we think of as us.) becomes conscious of that act. Encoded brain activity can appear up to 10 seconds before awareness dawns. In other words, our brains tell us what to do before we know we want to do it!

So the conclusion we draw from that rock solid research is that conscious volition is an illusion. Neuroscientists are telling us the feeling that “I” chose the tiramisu for dessert, and “I” chose to eat it with a fork and not a spoon, is an illusion. In fact our brain chose the tiramisu and “I” just took the credit for it.

Your mind is the result of the functioning of your brain somewhat like heat is the result of the functioning of an electric motor. But your mind also influences your brain. Our brains are subservient to the laws of classical physics; the definite world of analytic, cause and effect. It represents our past. Our minds belong more to the realm of quantum physics; emergent probabilities and the unpredictable future.

Aside from generating the mind, the brain is incapable of creating anything new. Mathematics and logic don’t create. They just describe and report. On the other hand, mind is just so much vapor without the structure of the brain to support it. So the brain generates the mind, the fog of the future, which inspires the brain to support greater growth.

My question is this: what is the meeting point between the two, the common ground that allows brain and mind to communicate with each other? There has to be some overlap or they would be lost to each other. You see what I’m getting at?

For this we would need a third entity different from brain and mind able to include the two. It could not simply connect the two like the corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain. It would have to be beyond both and at the same time completely conversant with each. It would have to be familiar with both and yet different from each. What could this be?

I have an excellent candidate for this all embracing connector which I am anxious to share with you in the second part of this post. See you there…

4 thoughts on “Who’s in Charge? (Part I)

  1. “The Intersection” of all things, the places that “I” believed were separate,where something ends and something else begins….As I have been practicing life as an observer here lately, I have had a couple of the most minute experiences where I witnessed that what I was doing wasn’t what “I” intended but is happening with such force that I have literally experienced myself the “I” as the physical element that produces the tangible only and that something else is responsible for everything else. Almost like “I” am “the front man”so to speak. The experience has taken my breath away and I am hungry for more, so now it is the intersection between “I” and ???? “I” have an idea that it really is my spirit!! I am looking forward to Part 11…………

    • . It seems like a brain like anything else has, it looks the same, balaiclsy seems to operate the same, and yet we seem to, at our most basic level, function completely differently. We seem conscious in a way very different from anything else that has a brain. Why is that?Another thing great about the brain is how it really does tie into so many areas in different ways. The brain and consciousness is one of those areas, for example, where it still seems old-school philosophy could have some kind of say without being rejected out-of-hand. After all, using simple models to study the brain don’t always lead where we’re hoping:It has led scientists to believe that findings using models of brain structure found in other mammals such as rats and monkeys can be extrapolated to humans. If this is not correct, there are repercussions that reverberate into many other fields, such as anthropology, psychology, paleontology, sociology, and beyond.If we’re on a whole other scale, where do we even start? Or for that matter, how can we even be sure it’s a new scale? It makes for some great questions.

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