The human mind and brain (1)

The original human brain seems to have been little different from the brains of our animal ancestors. Then, a cosmic catastrophe may have triggered, through mutation, the addition of that extra layer our brains now possess. Alternatively, those extra-terrestrials who allegedly created ‘the Adam’ (refer Christianity’s Bible) may have lifted us to the top of the totem pole of life forms.

Our impressive capacity for conceptualisation, manual manipulation, and cultural expression is evident, in spite of the reality that human greed and the associated accumulation of material far exceeding normal need display our collective ‘clay feet’. The human mind obviously requires some quality ’re-boring’ (so to speak).

Is intuition an extension of experience?

During my study of psychology, I learnt that intuition is an ‘ah, ha!’ event; that this event Is an insightful glimpse of the past, or the present or the future; and that this glimmer of understanding would have been drawn from accumulated knowledge.
Since I had no background experience of reference to my ‘gut feeling’ about my bowel, is the human mind able to tap into, or draw upon, a warning in ‘cloudland’ saying “There be crocodiles lurking here”?

Knowing intuitively

Is this what some of us refer to as a ‘gut’ feeling? About 25 years ago, while waiting for a gastroscopy, I had a persistent feeling over the waiting period that I should also have a colonoscopy; that is to have my bowel examined as well.
The surgeon found a pre-cancerous polyp. It would develop into cancer. I have had 5 such polyps, found through 17 colonoscopies. These were carried out every 2 years; sometimes more frequently.
Was my ‘gut’ feeling evidence of intuition?

What one knows (Part 3)

How about study and direct observation? As for study, how does one filter out any egocentric defence of a prevailing but challengeable explanatory position? With observation, are the human being’s five senses and their processor, the brain, even when assisted by equipment which can register forces operating beyond human perceptual capabilities, able to perceive and measure all the forces and influences ‘out there,’ including acquiring (perhaps) the maths needed to manipulate this potential ‘evidence’?

An example is consciousness. Neuroscientists rely on neural traces established in the brain through experience to explain the workings of the brain, but cannot pin down the location of consciousness, or the sub-conscious, or even the mind which told them about such matters. Hinduism’s Upanishads claim, on the other hand, that the mind is not conscious; and that it is only an instrument of consciousness.

This suggests that consciousness is outside the physical operation of the brain. Is it a force, or facility, or an ‘atmospheric’ influence?

What one knows (Part 2)

Knowledge can hit one on the head (usually the brain) in the guise of a conscious intuition; does it originate inside or outside the brain? Knowledge can be imposed upon one through a dream; who has not experienced that when seeking to solve a significant problem? Confusingly, knowledge can be imparted through a psychic phenomenon, such as a dialogue with the spirit of a dead person (through a clairvoyant) or through a near-death experience (n.d.e.) or through a spiritual experience. The usual path to knowledge is, however, through study and observation (including measurement).

Anyone who has had first-hand exposure to these paths will be the first to admit that psychic and spiritual (including n.d.e.) experiences are personal, non-repeatable, thereby non-verifiable, and possibly unreliable. But then, how reliable is the human brain? As the evidence from neuroscience is not encouraging, what reliability can one place on intuition and dreams?

What one knows (Part 1)

To want to know is ubiquitous. Yet, mankind may be the only species in the animal kingdom whose wants exceed its need – to know, that is. Like all animals we seek to know where to find sustenance, security, and peace; but we also seek to know just for the sake of knowing.
To know just for knowledge brings forth those who want to know how we know (a most complex issue), and the reliability of such knowledge. The path to knowledge is, of course, multifarious.

Creating the Creator

Those who believe that there has to be a Creator of the Cosmos –because of the complexity of all that is, their inter-relationships, and the beauty of it all – can be challenged by some as to who created the Creator. To me, this is a semantically meaningless question. Would we then be looking for a creator of a creator of a creator, ad infinitum?

To me, the Creator is a pre-existing, ever-existing essence (but not an entity), from which everything arises, flows, materialises, effervesces, distils, is projected, and so on. This concept had nothing to do with Creationism (as traditionally expounded); one cannot also seek to specify whether what was created was in its final form or capable of evolution from simpler structures (self-improvement). So, accept – or reject!

Dispensing with the concept of a Creator could lead us to a belief that everything that we know exists, or has existed, without being created. Things just happen – then change – and then vacate the scene. There would then be no point in looking for meaning in existence, especially human existence, would there?

While Stephen Hawking has recently stated that there is no need for God, because everything has been explained; and there are other operational scientists seeking a Theory of Everything, we cannot explain black matter/black energy, and the mental and ephemeral realms. Our knowledge is restricted to the material realm operating in a mechanistic manner.

Yet, even if the material realm is only a projection from an ethereal realm, the latter can be construed to have existed beyond all time, without having been created. Is this any more than the other mysteries of existence?

Is this to suggest that we will never know about origins – ours and that of everything else in existence?