Yesterday’s post, which briefly touched on the symbolism of the Tower of Babylon, got me to thinking more about how humans seem to like to convey human attributes onto the Gods they believe govern their existence in the physical plain and the afterlife. (This statement, of course, presumes there is both a limited physical and eternal Spiritual existence for us.) And, this train of thought led me down the path of pondering just what are emotions, what are thoughts, and what is consciousness???
Three questions get three question marks. 😊
To add to this thought-wave pulsing through my brain, I remembered a response I received to a post I made on another social media platform recently. The post was this well-known quote:
“Holding onto anger is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Author Unknown
The response I received was something along this line. Anger is an emotion given to us by God, and therefore, it is supposed to be experienced and is not detrimental. That’s my summation of the response anyway, and I may have actually given it more meaning than what the author intended, but that’s the way my brain interpreted it. I can happily extrapolate further if you like by placing it in the context of current world events.
Ok, maybe not. 😊
Now, I’ve heard many other claims of things or feelings or “rights” that are supposedly “God-given,” such as for possessing guns, but this comment on anger was a new spin for me.
BTW, I really don’t think an omnipotent being thought up the idea of a right to gun ownership that then spontaneously worked its way into the American Constitution. That type of “law” is man-made, as is the weapon itself. But I digress . . .
What this is all about, of course, is anthropomorphism.
We are bestowing human characteristics upon other members of the animal kingdom or upon Gods or even upon other objects – animate or inanimate. As a literary device, anthropomorphism may make sense because we usually need some descriptive or comparative form in order to carry on a conversion about some things – to visualize them. It’s also fun.
But utilizing projections and metaphors and analogies is not necessarily the same, nor could it be, as capturing a clear, unfiltered, objective, tangible observation of something in space-time reality. I mean really, why would an all-powerful being be a slave to human infirmities, passions, and prejudices?
I guess that makes four questions. 😊
Now those of us who are not science-deniers, and who have even marginally read about the magnificent machine the human body is, know that a great deal, if not all, of the functions of the body are chemical-electrical in Nature. If you prefer big words, these functions are neuroanatomical, neurochemical, neuralhormonal, and neurophysiological.
There is no dispute that messages in the brain are tossed about by electrically charged neurons, and as these messages jump from gap to gap between neurons an electromagnetic filed is created around those neurons holding the same information that is being transmitted. This has been confirmed by electroencephalograms (EEGs) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) and has served as the basis for the theory of “CEMI” – the Conscious Electromagnetic Information Field.
Neuroscientists argue over what this exactly means in terms of consciousness. And I got to tell you that reading through the scientific journals and news reports, this is some pretty tough shit to conceptualize. But I’ll try to summarize this in a way we can understand it.
Traditionally, philosophers have argued that there is a mind-body dualism. This philosophy is a step beyond materialism as it implies consciousness is occurring beyond the physical realm. Free will is supposed to fit in here somewhere, although there are still debates as whether the mind and spirit are different, or the same, or if the entire “mind” concept should be discarded as being superfluous to a body-spirit duality.
Classic scientists advocate their own monotheism that consciousness is generated by the physical brain itself and its network of billions of neurons. This is not to say automatically that they disbelieve in the Spirit, but rather that consciousness is distinguished from Spirit.
But the neurobiological dualistic theory being advanced most recently is that we have physical matter, our brain, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that compose our consciousness. In other words, the difference in the dualistic theories of the philosophers and the neurobiologists is the distinction between matter and spirit versus matter and energy.
Physically speaking, our brains have some “5 million organically-formed magnetite crystals per gram;” each with a north and south pole, “serving as in/out information channels, the basis for awareness,” forming a complex network to broadcast information at “a fraction of the speed of light, unifying conscious experience.” Whereas the monistic physical model argues integrated information is physical, the dualistic model argues:
“ . . . that nearly all examples of so-called ‘integrated information’, including neuronal information processing and conventional computing, are only temporally integrated in the sense that outputs are correlated with multiple inputs: the information integration is implemented in time, rather than space, and thereby cannot correspond to physically integrated information. . . .
. . .only energy fields are capable of integrating information in space.”
Ok then, if we can wrap our heads around this so-called measurable scientific standard, we not only have to contend with the concept of consciousness not being integrated in physical structures or physical space, but also with the concepts of sentience, awareness and emotion. All of which can be considered part and parcel of consciousness.
Maybe we just have too many words here trying to describe the same thing. One could simply argue that the EMFs created in, or associated with, our brain are the equivalent of what many refer to as the Spirit.
Energy fields, like Spirits, flow through space and are not bound to physical structures or to time.
Now, sentience is defined as “the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively” and is distinguished from thought. Awareness is having “knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists.” And, emotion is defined as “a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.”
If the existence of EMFs equals consciousness, and consciousness embodies thoughts, sentience, awareness and emotion, then Mother Earth, with its magnetic field, is indeed a sentient living entity. As are rocks, plants, and all other forms of life on the planet for that matter. Maybe we just haven’t learned how to fully measure consciousness in other entities or bridged the communication gap.
Ponder that for a bit . . .
That’s why I personally find Naturalistically-oriented Spiritual beliefs, such as the ones that First Nations Peoples have adopted, to make so much sense. Everything is part and parcel of the Source. “All My Relations” are alive and deserve my recognition and respect.
If we accept that energy fields compose our consciousness, and then add a bit of deductive reasoning, this may very well answer other questions for us and give us a scientific basis for understanding such things as extrasensory perception, telepathic communication, and even how artificial intelligence can transfer to sentience.
Think of the future of robots.
And we should also think of the consequences and effects on our own consciousness that creations of ours that emit EMFs may have. They could be enhancing or very, very destructive.
So, perhaps this is a scientific quantification of Spirit of sorts. Science and Religion have always been compatible, so I’m unsure why some try to differentiate them.
But, getting back to “anger” for a second. I still believe this powerful emotion is detrimental to us both physically and mentally. And if you wish to believe it is God-given, then perhaps the Source gives us this emotion as a challenge to discipline our brains and for controlling our thoughts. After all, traditional dogma tells us that the Source challenges us in many ways to develop and live a spiritual existence free from judgment and the inferior human emotions.
And no matter how much some people might wish their God was as racist and bigoted and judgmental as they are, I don’t think Gods work that way. 😊
Photo: This is an actual image of my brain from an MRI I had. I darkened it a bit so you could see the contrast better of my blood vessels being lit up by the contrast die. Not to many abnormalities present – LOL! I used this image in a bit of prose of mine titled “Neural Roadmaps Revisited.”
Interesting enough, my very first on my blog was titled, “Consciousness.”
Disclaimer: I do not profess to be an expert in such matters as neurobiology, or theology for that matter. I am, however, reasonably educated and enjoy pondering complex questions about the nature of our existence. :-0 I am also open to any other insights or perspectives anyone else may have.
Remember also: the first law of thermodynamics, energy is neither created or destroyed, it merely changes form – thus, it’s eternal in Nature.
Past Blog Posts of Mine on Brain Stuff:
Sources and Further Readings: