The Home Page Table of Contents

hapter One:
Life Sciences
and The Power of The Mind

"As time changes, so do the thoughts of humankind. Understand you are one step ahead of time. Do not allow time to control you. As you control your thoughts, recognize humankind is maneuvering time."

Life in general is fast becoming too complicated for humankind. Isn't it time to no longer complicate your existence? Multiple opinions and theories abound on the origins of life and humankind. To not complicate life begins with the interpretation of how our minds work. Philosophers and scientists readily admit there are colossal difficulties in unraveling the complexities of the human mind. The mind, so they say, is hard to define. Hard to explain. Hard to research, but the attempts in doing so always lead back to one key question. Are the mind and the brain the same or is there something else within us, apart from our brain, which explains our mind?

The issue whether the mind acts alone or whether something else plays a role has a long and controversial history. Over the centuries there have been two main streams of thought about the brain and our minds. The main view is that the mind is nothing more than the workings of the brain. In the scientific communities this theory is called materialism.

A noted Philosopher, John Searle, of the University of California, summarizes a view point by stating, "All mental states, every mental phenomena is caused by neuronal-biological processes in the brain. Everything you have, from the desire for a cold beer to feeling a headache or to remembering your childhood, all of those are caused by variable rates of neuron firings in specific neuronal architecture. There is a straight causal relationship. So I summarize by saying, mental processes are caused by brain processes, but the mental processes are the features of the brain. They are realizing the brain".

So as far as a majority of the scientific community is concerned the mind equals brain and everything about mind can be adequately explained by the brain mechanics alone. However, there are a number of those who say the mind is different from the brain, that mind and brain are two sciences and this scientific theory is called dualism.

The dualism view holds that the mind, those qualities that make us what we are: consciousness, thought, emotions and will cannot be explained by materialism alone. With dualism in mind, it is believed there is something non-material and non-physical present within the brain that produces mind, emotions and consciousness.

One noted scientist who holds the dualism point of view, is renowned brain researcher, Sir John Eccles. In an article entitled "The Mind-Inside The Hidden Universe" published in the magazine Plain Truth, he states, "It is a mistake to think the brain does everything and our conscious experiences are simply a reflection of brain activities."

He further stated, "If the brain accounts for everything, then we our conscious selves, are nothing more than passive spectators of the performances which our brain neurons actually carry out."

He then concluded; "If in fact the brain accounts for everything, our beliefs that we can really make decisions and all of us have some control over our actions, would be nothing but illusions."

Dualism the mind science and materialism the brain sciences are general terms and within each of these sciences are various theories and philosophies. However, the terms dualism and materialism can be used to differentiate the brain and the mind sciences.

The real argument is whether our emotions, thoughts and minds are simply the firing of the neurons in the brain, or does the mind act on it's own with a non-material view which controls and reacts with the brain? If the brain and mind components are separate, the question than to ask is how do they relate to each other? Do the brain and mind interconnect to form our emotions, thoughts, imagination and create visualizations? Do the three in conjunction initiate the ability to change reality?

Brain researchers have difficulty explaining the origins of thought and the power of the mind over the brain. The authors of the book, "3 Pound Universe-The Brain" stated, "How can a thought which has no mass, no electrical charge, no velocity, no material properties at all, act upon a physical organ, the brain?"

One of the early scientific front runners, Doctor Wilder Penfield, a noted researcher in epileptic seizures at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, brought a new understanding to the mystery of the mind.

Doctor Penfield is often cited for his research and surgical treatment of epileptic patients who remained conscious during their surgery and were thus able to report what they were experiencing when part of their brains were stimulated with a mild electrical current. Penfield started his research as most scientists do, trying to explain what the mind does on the basis of the mind alone. Penfield was a materialist for the majority of his career. In a book published in 1976 entitled 'The Mystery Of The Mind', Penfield wrote, "Throughout my own scientific career, I like other scientists have struggled to prove the brain accounts for the mind."

But, the longer Penfield studied his patients the more it appeared to him that the mind had to be more than just brain activity.

Penfield further stated, "To me, it seems more and more reasonable that the mind may be a distinct and different essence from the brain. It is time to consider other possible explanations."

During Penfield's career he operated on hundreds of people who were victims of epileptic seizures. He sought to find and remove brain scars. The finding and removal of brain scars would lessen or eliminate epileptic seizures without adversely affecting other brain functions. During the remarkable operating procedures, where the patients remained conscious during their surgery, Penfield discovered things that helped convince him brain activity and the mind is two separate identities.

He discovered that the mind could operate independently from certain brain activities. Penfield learned that stimulating the brain, even interfering with it, did not affect the emotional responses. The mind could think even while the brain was partially inactive. What he found was that even though he short circuited the brain thought still prevailed although his patients were not able to come up with the concise definition or word. Hence, he concluded that thought prevailed over brain. He and his colleagues felt there was something at a level higher than just brain function. They felt there had to be something directing brain functions.

On a recent television program, "Search For Tomorrow", Doctor George Stanciu co-author of "New Story Of Science" stated, "In some ways Doctor Penfield's research boils down to a fairly simple question. Is all of our life really directly physical and material or is there a non-material part of our life? If we look at that, we see everything we call human is really non-material. Sensation; power of choice; feelings; emotions; so all of that is non-material. Now for many of those things like perception and emotions, you need a physical component but that is not sufficient."

During surgery Doctor Penfield concluded that his patients used something else other than their brain to pull out words and meanings. Penfield also observed the process was also not automatic, but was determined by the patient's emotional will. Penfield's conclusion as stated in his book, "The Mystery Of The Mind" was, "Here is the meeting of the mind and brain. It is not to be accounted for by any neuronal mechanisms that I can discover."

Penfield further concluded, "Since every man must adopt for himself, without the help of science, his way of life and his personal religion, I have long had my own private beliefs. What a thrill it is than to discover that the scientist too can legitimately believe in the existence of spirit."

Doctor Penfield felt that he found evidence of a spirit in humankind that accounts for the mind's higher powers. Is the spirit in humankind characteristic to our emotions that allow us the opportunity to create and think independently from the contamination frequencies of the brain? Is science now forced to re-evaluate concerns that the brain is solely a materialistic tool that acts alone and is responsible for all thought?

Does limiting our thought processes to materialism and not taking dualism into consideration reduce the brain's capacity to see beyond our physical realities? When we venture into the confines of our spirit mind and delve into the intricacies of creation; thought; and emotions; is it possible to develop a sense of spirituality?

Must mind, body and spirit perform together to cause a harmony of self-worth and self-respect that may reveal a sense of the purpose of life? Will life itself become rewarding and purposeful as we learn to optimize the mind, body and spirit in blueprinting an inherent positive coexistence? The answers may be found in penetrating the full potential of "The 21 Emotions Exercise".

Library No EGC-2-811992-B

Copyright Earl Gordon Curley 1981.

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without prior consent of the author is an infringement of the copyright law and will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

FIRST EDITION August 1981.

The Home Page Table of Contents

This incredible web site was created and is maintained by:
7257 Delmonte Cresent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4T 3L4
Tel: (905) 673-0656
Copyright 1995-1997

Please mail all comments to: Earl Gordon Curley