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 conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”
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.)
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.