Seat of Consciousness

There has been much debate in scientific circles about the seat of consciousness. Does it consist merely of physical brain mass, neurological pathways and electrical signals? What is experiencing the human experience we are experiencing? What is experiencing what our brains are sensing from the world around us? What is our life? Are we just chemical reactions evolved from single-celled organisms acting out of instinct alone? That’s the materialist’s view.

On the other hand, there’s the spiritualist’s view. Might we possess individual souls with free will, with our left foot in the physical world and our right foot in the spiritual? Is there anything to be said of prayer, psychic ability, supernatural experiences, a relationship with the Creator Spirit, and so on?

What about life after death? Do we go on in some spiritual sense? Is resurrection or reincarnation possible? Again, this question is divided among materialists and spiritualist, with the materialists saying that when we’re gone, it’s lights out. Period.

Here is my theory. You might want to sit down for this. I don’t recall who said this first, but it was some neurologist who said something to the effect that the brain is like a swimming pool where the water would be perfectly still were it not for the soul in there swimming around and making waves.

I mentioned the life force called “chai” or “chi” in my “Mission” statement, but there is another Hebrew word: “nephesh”, translated “soul” in the book of Genesis and throughout the Bible. But it was also translated as “creature(s)” and was used equally for animal life as well. In other words, according to the Bible anyway, humans and animals share the same soul life - not necessarily sharing oneness, but that animal soul is of the same essence as human soul. When you come to accept this, you will find that you can relate and communicate with animals better than you have before. When you look animals in the eyes, you will see their souls. But don’t stare too long, as most animals see that as a threat. But if you blink at them shyly, particularly with cats, they take that as friendliness.

Moving along, “nephesh” is like animal life which we’re all born with. But, there is that “chi” factor, or the spirit of a man, which is connected to nephesh but is something more. Whereas “nephesh” is the original spark of life, your “spirit”, if you will, “ruach”(wind, spirit), is the flame that makes you who you are as an individual.

Are you still sitting? Good. I believe it’s possible that when a human being is born, the soul he/she has as an adult was not present, or at least not recognizably, when he/she was first born. I’m not talking about the brain, I’m talking about soul. Of course the brain was not the same then, it didn’t know anything yet at birth.

Here’s my hypothesis: The brain, as it learns, grows and matures through life, this is the very thing that informs the soul and makes it change from a passive, receiving state, to a leading, controlling state. In other words, in early life, the brain leads and nourishes the soul until it is strong enough to become the spirit of the mind that then governs the brain. They switch rolls, and now the brain is more passive and receiving.

To illustrate this, picture the brain as an egg, but instead of harboring an unborn chick, it is harboring the nephesh soul, which when fully ripe becomes the spirit that then becomes the dominating force over the brain. There might be some that are in arrested development, but it is our duty to help the “chick”, as it were, emerge from that egg. Encouragement works. A little coaxing sometimes. Tough love when necessary - but the goal is to allow the spirit to dominate the brain. Only then can a human being become less of an animal and more like a fully realized spiritual being, driven by free will instead of base instinct.

And here is another theory that dovetails neatly with the above: Whatever state your soul is in when you die, that is the state it must remain in forever. You want to be a bitter old man when you die? Then you will remain such for eternity! Even if that were not true, make believe that it is, for this notion will drive you on to reaching the highest level you can reach in this lifetime.

You’ve heard it said countless times: “I will understand it all when I die”, meaning that he/she is not going to worry about trying to grasp the answers to the biggest questions now, as the answers will be magically bestowed upon him/her after death. That’s the ultimate copout. You can’t copout more completely than that! I say just the opposite: Learn everything you can possibly learn now while you are here in this body, for you may never be given another chance!

As with any page on this site, feel free to comment in an email. If it's a serious comment or question, I will post a reply.


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