One might think ever since poor Phineas Gage took that railroad spike through his head people would stop thinking our minds are much more than epiphenomenon to human brain function.
(Epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon, and phenomenon is a manifestation – I paid a fortune for my degrees and I’ll be darned if I’m not going to put them to good use…)
People persist in the fond delusion we have an existence beyond our existence.
That would be okay, if sad, but then people have to go out of their way to defend this delusion with various putdowns or even persecutions of those who point out the obvious. But despite the outcry: The king has no clothes, the human is not special.
Now, I’m not a materialist, either. And I think that’s necessary to point out. If someone wants to tag me it is probably as some sort of monist. I prefer terms like nondual. Zen Buddhist and Unitarian Universalist are tags I like to associate with, if one doesn’t hold them too tightly…
But, for this small rant, I’ll leave it at a look at the mind as a byproduct of the brain.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why people want it to be something else. In my circles the popular variation on us not being us is that the brain is a receiver of some sort receiving the mind from some place.
If we want to find truths, physical, moral, whatever, we need to start with as much of the facts on the ground as we can… Knowing, of course, there are serious limitations to our knowing fundamental problems…
Still, there’s that railroad spike…
And, too many of us have seen variations on this theme, where conditions change and with that minds change.
A fact on the ground.
I would suggest rather than try to defend the indefensible, how about starting from a new ground:
Our minds are wonderful.
They even have a quasi-independence, in that while rooted within our physicality, we can watch ourselves, a miracle of sorts, don’t you think?
And, then, as we can, why don’t we just turn that mind on itself?
Don’t turn away.
In some spiritual traditions, there is an assertion this is the great deal.
Watch your mind watching your mind.
Let the short circuits happen.
And see what comes of it.
One might even find another way of living…
Two cents on a Monday morning having dug out of some big snowbanks to get here…