Tag Archives: brain

My Three Brains

Hamlet

Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet”

THOUGHT and consciousness itself is assumed by most neuroanatomists to be created by and located entirely in the physical brain, neatly tucked away inside our skulls.

This insistent worldview is only reinforced by our body language when we always describe thinking by pointing to our heads.

But native cultures never engaged in such assumptions. The traditional Native American view always considered the heart to be the center of thought and motive, pointing to it when referring to thinking.

Then there are those familiar ‘gut-feelings’ we often have. Those compelling instincts, studies show, are more often than not, intuitional signals, even so far as foretelling of some future event. “Two brains may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they make literal and evolutionary sense,” NY Times writer Harriet Brown says. But three brains? That does seem a stretch.

Yet in Theosophy brains can number into the billions. Every cell and organ has a consciousness of its own. The physical heart  also functions as a powerful “brain.”

As stated in The Secret Doctrine (1:274): “Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is consciousi.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Universal Atom

And in her article “Kosmic Mind” H. P. Blavatsky wrote:  There is “consciousness in every universal atom . . . every atom is a little universe in itself; and every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers.”

“Groundbreaking research in the field of neurocardiology has established that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “heart brain.” (Neurocardiology-Anatomical and Functional Principles, by J. Andrew Armour, M.D., Ph.D.)

“Heart-Brain”

Confirming this triune constitution Mme. Blavatsky explained “there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme . . . or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and inter-blended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. . . . Each of these three systems has its own laws.” [Corresponding to heart, brain and gut] (The Secret Doctrine 1:181).

[Like the heart], “the enteric nervous system [the gut] must assess conditions, decide on a course of action and initiate a reflex.  And does all this on its own, with little help from the central nervous system.”

Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung

Undeterred, most neuroscientists continue to diligently barrel along cataloging what they insist are ‘the neural correlates of consciousness’ in the brain, and seem determined to prove that these neurons are the sole authors of our thoughts and feelings, isolated exclusively in the fatty workshop between our ears.

This consensus view dictates that when we die everything we are or learned disappears forever — including our soul and our individual ‘I am I’ consciousness. But this reductionist view of mind and consciousness is losing favor with many research scientists on the leading edge today, and may be about to radically change.

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The Lucid Zone: Everyone Has Their Own

LORD Krishna the famed deity of Hinduism, pegged the complex duality of our human minds more than five thousand years ago.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the paradoxical nature of the mind and senses — all while the pair were in the middle of a battlefield with arrows flying.

The “Self is the friend of self, and in like manner, self is its own enemy” Krishna cautions the reluctant warrior Arjuna in Chapter Six.

The ancient wisdom-teaching of dueling human selves was much more than a symbolic morality play. And the unavoidable reality is preserved in our own living flesh, dynamically channeling through the dual hemispheres of our physical brain.

One of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in The World,” neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, describes the phenomenon in what she calls her “Stroke of Genius,” her book with that title. The story of her life-and-death ordeal dramatizes the paradoxical psycho-physiological puzzle of spirit, mind and physical brain.

As Jill recounts her experience, in a brief interview, we get a picture of the two physical halves of the brain, and how each is called to be a unique vehicle  expressing the Yin-Yang of “self.”

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Synesthesia: The Brain Made Porous to the Soul’s Recollections

Daniel_Tammet_THERE is an incredible story of an out of the ordinary human being Daniel Tammet.  A thirty-something with extraordinary mental abilities!

Tammet is one of fewer than a hundred “prodigious savants” according to Dr. Darold Treffert, the world’s leading researcher in the study of savant syndrome. (See:Wikipedia)

He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. Tammet holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes on 14 March 2004.

Tammet has reportedly learned ten languages, including Romanian, Gaelic, Welsh, and Icelandic that he learned in a week for a TV documentary.

He also met with the world famous  “megasavant,” Kim Peek (November 11, 1951 – December 19, 2009), the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film “Rain Man”.

Below is the complete original 47 min. documentary which follows Daniel Tammet as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in others.

“The brain is only the focus through which the forces and thoughts are centralised that are continually coming in through the solar plexus of the heart. Many such thoughts, therefore, are lost, just as millions of seeds in nature are lost. It behooves to study them and to guard them when there…”

 – William Q. Judge
Letters That Have Helped Me II, Letter 8.

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This is Your Brain, Infinitely Elastic

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good?

Challenging the cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, neuroscience now confirms that, in fact, adult brain cells can regrow after all — they can and do replace and even increase themselves as necessary!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

neurofeedback

She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

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Evidence of an Afterlife, the Science of Near-Death Experiences

WHEN a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, the medical doctor experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife.

“Dr. Eben Alexander says he’s not the first person to have discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body,” notes Newsweek Magazine in a feature article.

“Brief, wonderful glimpses of this realm are as old as human history.”

“Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided,” Dr. Alexander wrote in the Newsweek October 15 2012 cover story.

“Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference,” he writes, “science tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.”

“In some sense man is a microcosm of the universe,” wrote David Bohm — legendary American quantum physicist known for his theory of an Implicate Order,” a universe of undivided wholeness—”therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe.”

cropped-lotus-in-the-pond.jpg

“We are enfolded in the universe,” Bohm says. Theosophy agrees. “We know of no eastern philosophy that teaches that ‘matter originated out of Spirit,’ Blavatsky wrote:

“Matter is as eternal and indestructible as Spirit and one cannot be made cognizant to our senses without the other—even to our, the highest, spiritual sense.”

Theosophy also asserts what neurologists and physicists are now beginning to verify — that there is no special location of consciousness in the brain. Consciousness exists throughout the brain, and the body.

The mind actually lives independently with its own energetic matrix interpenetrating the physical body, using the brain, heart and other organs and cells as its toolkit on this plane.

“Spirit got itself entangled with gross matter,” Blavatsky wrote in The Theosophist, “for the same reason that life gets entangled with the foetus matter. It followed a law, and therefore could not help the entanglement occurring.”

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Dreaming is a Crucial Mental State

WHEN our thick brains get all heated up worrying about life’s complexities, that’s often  the best time to kick off our shoes, and give it a rest.

Faced with a critical decision, or stuck on a complex problem, researchers have discovered that sleeping or napping on them often lead to a right direction or decision.

“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die,” Lewis Carroll wrote of children:

“Ever drifting down the stream— Lingering in the golden gleam — Life, what is it but a dream?”

As adults the notes of a song, the smell of burning leaves, the babbling of a mountain brook, a day-dream — all may open doors to another realm of poetic mind. They also arouse unexpected emotions and reminiscences.

In Wordsworth’s haunting poem “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” reveries opened for him an unexpected awareness of past lives, the realization he had lived before.

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“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar …”

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There is “a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy,” the poet Edgar Allan Poe wrote in Marginalia, “which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language.”

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Our Three Brains, a Mind of their Own

Microbiology Lab

NEUROSCIENTISTS  have been busy for years attempting to establish and finalize the proposed “neuronal correlates of consciousness” originating in the brain.

Modern science seems determined to prove that consciousness, our thoughts and awareness, must somehow originate in the gray matter between our ears.

This mechanistic view was assumed as fact by the Human Genome Project, established to catalog the complete human DNA and identify specific cures for all diseases, yet has failed to do so.

It is held that genes carry information about how we look, how well our bodies metabolize food or fight infection, and can determine even how we behave.

It was thought, therefore, that researchers would easily be able to identify specific genes underlying specific diseases, and then all diseases could be eliminated by manipulating the related genes.

But it was discovered that the seemingly simple concept was much more complex than expected.

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Just as the origin of consciousness cannot be tagged to specific neurons in the brain, genes are not easily pigeonholed to one disorder. It was found that they function in complex, and frequently changing teams.

Now science is edging nearer to Theosophy, looking closer at a long-neglected area called the microbiome — researching how hundreds of different species of living microbes, inhabiting the human body and outside, are responsible for our health and behaviors. They even discovered a second brain, in our gut, known as the enteric nervous system!

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