Brain, Mind And Consciousness

By Sunil Kumar

Now; to the most interesting part of human existence; the brain. Kind of obvious here; but if it were not for my prefrontal cortex; emotions and experiences; this article would not be written. Also interesting to know that some ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians believed intellect and decisions were a result of the heart; and not the brain as we know it today.

Theosophical Society Seal

Visit Theosophical Society Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aerial view of the Adyar Estuary and Adyar. On...

Visit Aerial view of the Adyar Estuary and Adyar. On the top ind is Tidel Park and the Chennai MRTS. The gardens belong to the Theosophical Society. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mind also has been the subject of intense debate; whether it resides somewhere in our brains or it has an existence in the ether; the unknown beyond; the “collective unconscious” of psychology. Before I get disturbed by the next mundane communication with my normal material self(an email, a phone etc etc); let me discuss my idea post for the day.

Sagittal human brain with cortical regions del...

Visit Sagittal human brain with cortical regions delineated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A conversation between Jiddu Krishnamurti and Pupul Jayakar on uncovering the nature of mind. While the philosopher Krishnamurti(Theosophist from Adyar, Chennai) states that mind is colored by the connotation of race; limiting beliefs(patriotism etc) and adherence to dogma(present in every creed, religion and caste); Pupul Jayakar asks him some pertinent questions aimed at creating some sort of clarity. The abstraction of the Theosophical movement does not lend itself to the reality of modern-day existence; which Krishnamurti would have felt for himself if he were alive today.

The ever-increasing web universe is in itself an abstraction unlike anything else ever seen; and probably consciousness has been suitably altered. In the trans-continental scheme of things; philosophers and gurus also had(many still have) a field day in global movement(literally). Although some of them covet nothing; but followers can provide them with the impetus and resources necessary to travel everywhere.

English: Professor Sir Roger Penrose (born 8 A...

Visit English: Professor Sir Roger Penrose (born 8 August 1931) OM, FRS is an English mathematical physicist renowned for his work in mathematical physics, in particular his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back to the uncovering of the source of thought; consciouness; the daily churning; a feature of existence. Are we truly cosmic sparks; or something else. The truth is still out there. Ancient Indian philosophers including the Vedic sages; Buddhist thinkers thought of the “mindstream” as relentless chatter; away from the nature of “eternal unchanging reality”. English scientists such as Roger Penrose deliberate on something more complex; the quantum nature; the unexplained world of particle physics; something which Deepak Chopra also talks about often.

Every religion talks about the “soul”; an idea that has existed since time immemorial. That probably does not intrude in the nature of the world; the bots of the world; and the constant chatter aimed at monetary self-realization. Mind, emptiness, perception were first discussed largely in the area of the Indian subcontinent; proving that this region has been the teacher and most profound civilization in the world.

The current scientific context; a result of Renaissance Euro-centric philosophers; mixed with science and Eastern thought(Indian, Chinese, Japanese etc) is inching closer to an explanation; but fundamental questions remain. 7 billion humans; interesting study; with their genomic code of consciousness; and a world of splendid contrasts.



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