Mind and brain

Faith & Inspiration

". . . the mind is what the brain does; we just don't know how it does it" (Myers' Psychology for AP).

I read this statement in my daughter's high school psychology book and it brought back the memory of my college epiphany.

I majored in psychology, and the professors were telling us the same thing: The brain explains the mind. Then one day in class it dawned on me that that was ludicrous. With a certainty that transcended articulation (the Holy Spirit?) it was suddenly quite obvious to me that consciousness is consciousness, and matter is matter: There is an unbridgeable gulf fixed between them. To presume to exhaustively explain the immaterial in terms of material is like a tale told by a child, a story full of gaps, an illicit slip from one dimension to another that they hope we won't notice.

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I am not saying there are not correlations between mind and brain, but that is not the same thing. I am not denying that if a scientist in some lab stimulates one selected part of the brain he will not produce a reliable response of a certain kind. I am not denying that if you drop LSD you may see pink elephants.

But to try to foist the idea that something that belongs to one realm is explainable in terms of another realm is a swindle and a cheat, and beneath the dignity of a scientist. I put it on a par with the sweeping under the rug of profound biological complexities by adducing the claim of millions of years for evolution to accomplish this. With that trump card in his hip pocket, the scoundrel thinks he may state all manner of nonsense with impunity.

Once one has been enlightened to see it, there is no turning back. I could not reprogram myself to forget the truth even if I tried.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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