Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is mind?

What differentiates living things from non-living things?  They are both made up of elemental particles, they are both held together by some bonding force, and they both "exist" in physical reality as observable things.  And yet, the idea of "observable" and "thing" is something we take for granted.  If not for our mind, the distinction between living and non-living would not exist within our terms.  But what exactly is "mind"?

Our physical birth into this world was initiated the moment our father's sperm merged into our mother's egg to form into a new single organism.  If you contemplate this for a moment, you would see how miraculous this is, taking two distinct forms and combining to create a new third form.  It's like taking a rock and air and creating a tree.  One could argue that the sperm and egg are living tissue and that the DNA is driving the transformation of the two into a third form.  However, this does not explain how the DNA, which also is just atoms and molecules, "knows" it has merged and that it should begin a transformation autonomously?  Even chemical signals alone do not explain how this process works since something must interpret the chemical composition.  Although both the sperm and egg are living tissue, they do not have a "mind" as we think of the term mind, or does it?  So how did our mind spring forth from that union?

Science has discovered the basic rules/laws of this physical reality over time.  But many times throughout history science has been sure of its knowledge of physical reality, only to be proven wrong again and again.  And yet, it is undeniable that science has taught us much about our physical world and how many things operate.  However, the one aspect that I believe has the most important significance is understanding our mind.  From the moment we were born, our body can move and function without any notion of a mind.  The understanding is that the basic core of brain, the cerebellum, is what develops first and gives the body movement.  Here is where I differ in the understanding.  The cerebellum and the rest of the brain is no more of a control system as the computer's CPU is the control system (the CPU does nothing until told to do something by an abstract thing called a program).  Each of the components of the body themselves function independently of the brain.  The brain then is merely a communications facilitator, a switchboard so to speak, organizing the messages from the rest of the body with the mind as the control.  In this fashion, the body can act even without the brain and science calls that muscle memory.  I call it cellular consciousness (and at a deeper level, conscious energy).

From this system of cells, messages, and brain, the missing component seems to be will or consciousness.  The prevailing belief is that the brain is the source of consciousness.  But I go back to my question in the introduction: what differentiates living things from non-living things, if they both are made up of the same elementary particles?  When I say elementary particles, I am not talking about the atomic molecules such as oxygen, carbon, etc.  I'm talking about the particles that make up the atoms, in basic terms, electrons and protons and neutrons.  To suggest that because these elementary particles combine into specific and unique forms such as atomic molecules, that this some how gives properties of life, is about as believable as saying because I formed a man out of Lego, the man must be living.  Now, if the Lego pieces themselves were living and has the essence of life, then I can accept that the Lego man can be living.  And this brings up my next point.

If the combination of the elementary particles creates larger structures which one might argue is the foundation for life, and that the combination of these larger structures into even larger form is what allows life, etc., then the same must be true that the elementary particles themselves has whatever properties or essence of life.  If we look at a car as an example of a non-living thing, the car was created from elementary particles, to atomic molecules to larger forms such as iron and plastics, to the pieces of the car, and finally assembled into a car.  You can see the similarity between the car and a living organism: they each are made of elementary particles, they each have larger forms which provide specific functions, and these forms work together with other forms to provide a larger purpose, and ultimately is skinned to create an appearance of unity and singleness.  And yet the car is unable to act on its own.  You might say "you need to have fuel", but adding fuel doesn't cause it to operate.  You might say "you need to start the ignition", but even then, it does not operate.  But the one who put the fuel in, started the ignition, and operates the vehicle is the person who did all these things to bring the car to "life".  That person is the mind of the car.

If the person is the mind of the car, then where is the mind in the person?  If the person's body is no different than the car's, then there must be a driver of the body somewhere.  Science currently believes that the driver is the brain, and yet this cannot be, as it is merely a portion of the body.  A necessary portion no less than the ECU (electronic control unit or the central processor) of a car, but it is still simply a portion that operates as a part of the body (before the ECU, there was only a carburetor which meant the driver had full control of the car's operation).  The ECU handles all of the minutia of keeping the car running such as fuel delivery, timing, sensors for detecting issues with the car's operations, and many other unseen details.  In the same way, our brain handles the operation of the body to keep it running.  But neither can do anything beyond just running without the operator (a running car without an operator is like a body in a coma).  The reason why science seems to put so much emphasis on the brain is because of the distinction between the two main complex living species on earth: plants and animals.  Plants do not have a structure called a brain and is thus assumed it is limited in consciousness.  And yet if consciousness is manifested in the living as behavior, then it should be argued that even plants have a conscious mind.  If you ever watch a plant during the day, you'll see it "move" to follow the sunlight, not to mention it lilts and lifts as the day cycles between light and dark.  If this is not behavior, then I don't know what is.

Ultimately, if the mind is not of a physical nature, then where is it?  What else remains of the body that we haven't discussed?  How about the energy that binds everything together and even forms the atoms?  Where is it?  What is it?  How does it work?  This is the only thing that remains that might provide any sort of explanation for consciousness, and yet most people do not consider this because they cannot see it, nor do they think about it, so it is not within their comprehension.  This also would force people to consider then that anything and everything that exists is conscious.  What kind of moral dilemma would those who put so much emphasis on human morality face then?

As an aside, consider the concept of a word.  What is a "tree"?  What is a "run"?  What is a "nail"?  Language is the means to express the ideas and perceptions of mind through vocalization and writing.  If you consider for a moment, why do we have the ability to vocalize?  Why do we have the ability to write?  Isn't speech just a form of song?  Isn't writing just a form of art?  We've merely standardized music into speech and art into words.  But behind it all is the thought that created it and is able to interpret it.  When we see a painting of a house, we know it is a house.  If we see the word HOUSE, we know it is a house.  Think about that.  The only difference is one expresses much more than the idea of a house, while the word house only conveys the concept itself.  It has no sense of color, depth, size, shape, texture, etc. and thus no sense of emotion.  So in essence, vocabulary has reduced our ability to communicate images into sentences and paragraphs.  We must use a string of words to communicate the same thought as a picture.  Not only that, if you add sound to the picture, you have introduced a whole new set of thought.  Add the sense of touch, and again, more information is sent, all at the same time!  This is what it means to have multidimensional senses!  You can sense multiple bits of information at the same time, which is not possible through single words such as "house".

So what is the point of this?  If I use my mind to convey thought and feelings using words and speech, then why is it hard to believe that the world around us is not also a conveyance of our thoughts and feelings, but using imagery, sounds, touch, smell, etc.?  On top of that, what if thought is more than just some nebulous concept?  What if thought itself is energy that is transmitted (we sense this energy just like everything else but we recognize the pattern as thought)?  Then it would be obvious that the world around us is the manifestation and expression of our mind; and not only our mind, but the minds of all who are experiencing this same reality.  If you understand this point, then it's easy to see that the mind is not within the body, but rather, the body is the expression of the mind.

There is no form resembling a human that is distinguishable during the initial embryonic stage of a newborn.  It is not until the newborn has developed features that it distinguishes itself individually.  Until then, the new person has no unique identity because the mind is what creates that identity.  The body cannot be the identity.  So for the newborn, the mind does not exist in the body until it "enters" into it.  The mind is an aspect of our soul.  The soul incarnating into this realty merges with the body consciousness either in the womb or at birth, thus giving the newborn independent identity.  Until the newborn is separated from the mother, the body consciousness will assume it is still a part of the mother.  Because it must become separate, the soul personality that is incarnating will enter and, over the next 6-9 years, will "merge" with the body consciousness into a new personality-identity that will live and experience this world.

Since there isn't really space or time outside of this reality, then there is no "there" for the mind.  The mind and physical reality are in the same "space" and yet, the mind does not have to be in the same dimension.  So when we say the mind is "higher", it is only in reference to its state of energy or vibration or consciousness, not location.

In conclusion, the mind is the most important aspect to understand.  It should not be looked at as a part of this reality, but rather, the creator of this reality.  If you see it as a part of the reality, then you'll never be able to understand why things are the way they are.  It is only when you recognize that the mind cannot be a part of this reality that you will see the truth in all experience and yourself.  The mind is the beginning and the end of all experience.

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