Friday, 28 October 2011

The Brain, Intelligence And Consciousness: The Spiritualist View by George Nicol

I have recently been sent this fascinating and well explained insight into human consciousness and the role that the brain plays - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Lionel

In truth, the brain has no intelligence or consciousness – nor is the brain the seat of consciousness, thought, memory and emotion. The brain has no more intelligence – nor does it have any more consciousness, thought, memory and emotion - than a piece of wood, a lump of metal or any other material object. Just because the brain is an incredibly complex organic machine this does not mean that it initiates and is the source of intelligence.

Complexity does not confer intelligence; rather complexity provides the means through which intelligence can be expressed. This applies just as much to physical machines as it does to organic ones.

It is true intelligence etc manifests through the brain and that intelligence is associated with the brain and brain activity, but these things in no way indicate the brain itself is intelligent and conscious. Yet people declare precisely that.

As intelligence derives from a non-physical source and as it manifests through the brain and is associated with the brain, the brain is a conduit for and is the physical counterpart of the intelligence. The brain is merely like computer hardware through which software works and operates.

In fact, the brain and the body are analogous to computer hardware, which, like them has no inherent intelligence. The brain and body provide the means through which the non-physical intelligence can manifest on the physical plane. When the individual passes into spirit at the time of death, the non-physical intelligence no longer requires the brain and body in order to express itself.

Let me assure you that although the physical is required for intelligence, consciousness, thought, memory and emotion to be expressed by those who reside on the physical plane, the physical is not required in order for intelligence, consciousness, thought, memory and emotion to be expressed by those non-physical spirit beings who do not reside on the physical plane. Communication with departed souls who obviously no longer have physical bodies proves that that is so.

Let us remember two things: 1) that departed souls/spirit people who reside in the spirit world and we human beings who reside on this earth plane are both spirit beings; and 2) that the only difference between departed souls/spirit people and ourselves is that we have physical bodies while they do not. That is the only difference between us. Yet, not having a physical brain, a physical body and the organs that go with it, does not in any way prevent departed souls from expressing intelligence, consciousness, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Indeed, departed souls can express even greater intelligence, consciousness, knowledge, memory, thoughts, feelings and emotions without having physical brains and physical bodies than they ever could when they had these things.

It is because they do not have and it is because they are not encumbered by physical brains and physical bodies that allow them to express those things better. You see, even though the brain and body are extremely complex processing machines they are not capable of expressing the full extent of non-physical consciousness and intelligence. The dulling and earthing effects of the physical brain and body - no matter how healthy, developed and refined – prevent the full expression of the non-physical vibrations. When this physical ‘interference’ is removed at the time of death, so too are the dulling and earthing physical vibrations removed, allowing a greater non-physical consciousness and intelligence to be expressed.

The disencumberment of the self from the physical vibrations of the body allows better access to memories and information, and better connection to higher spiritual vibrations. That is what allows beings in spirit to do things in spirit they could not do when they lived on the earth plane. This should not lead you to believe, however, that departed spirit beings suddenly become the fount of all knowledge and wisdom. As intelligence is a function of the state of spiritual vibrations they will know more and have access to more but they will not know all or have access to all.

The mind, soul and spirit are analogous to the intelligence provided by computer software. The brain – as we noted above – is analogous to computer hardware. Like the brain, computer hardware has no intelligence – it only and can only express the intelligence of the ‘software’ that connects to it and manifests through it. Like the brain, the more developed and advanced the computer hardware, the more and the better the intelligence it can manifest. However, no matter how developed and advanced the brain and computer hardware are, they can only express intelligence in accordance with their degree of development and advancement. Greater intelligence cannot be expressed unless development and advancement are increased. Here we see how the physical limits the expression of the non-physical.

The state of health of the brain and computer hardware and the condition of their architecture have an important effect on the expression of the non-physical. If the brain hardware suffers disease or damage, it can no longer express the desires of the mind, soul and spirit as well as it could before such disease or damage occurred - and when the hardware of the body declines to a certain point it cannot express the software at all and death must occur.

Any reduction or change in intelligence that occurs, however, is not due directly per se to damage to the brain and its structures, rather it is due to such damage preventing and/or distorting the incoming non-physical intelligence from expressing and manifesting correctly. Basically the damage does not allow the non-physical intelligence to govern properly.

Clearly then, if the above limitations and restrictions are removed, then intelligence can manifest and express normally once more. If the damage to the brain and its structures and functions can be completely healed then intelligence can manifest and express normally. As healing, normality and health progress, so too can intelligence manifest and express. As the brain develops, advances and evolves, limitations and restrictions still - and must - exist, but more and more of the non-physical intelligence can manifest.

Let me make it quite clear that the brain and spinal cord are miraculous machines but they do not have inherent intelligence nor do their incredibly complex forms cause intelligence and consciousness to come about. Such thinking derives from materialist thought; but in my opinion, it is completely incorrect. I must confess that it is a great cause of irritation to me when people declare that the brain, which is merely associated with intelligence and consciousness, is the cause of intelligence and consciousness.

It seems to me that there are many myths and misconceptions about the relationships of the body, mind, soul and spirit that are still held by twenty-first century people who think they have the correct answers for just about everything in creation but who, in fact, know almost nothing about it!

People, for instance, say that the body has a mind, soul and spirit - but it is really the case that the mind, soul and the spirit have a body. The body is actually a creation and a condensation of the mind, soul and spirit – not the other way round. The body exists because of the mind, soul and spirit. The mind, soul and spirit do not exist because of the body. They can easily exist without the body but the body cannot exist without them. When an individual dies, the body reaches the end of its finite existence while the eternal mind, soul and spirit continue to exist. At the time of death the physical and non-physical aspects of the self go their separate ways - but it is not so much the case that the body discards the mind, the soul and the spirit, but rather a case that the mind, the soul and the spirit discard the body. When this occurs the physical body is like the pupa that has been discarded by the butterfly because it has served it purpose and is no longer required.

The fact is, at the time of death, that which is permanent and eternal, the mind, soul and spirit, discard that which is temporary, the body. The former persists while the latter obviously does not and should not. This is what spirit and nature decree should happen. It is as it is meant to happen. Yet, it so often happens in this world that people will maintain focus on the dead body and discard the mind, soul and spirit. This is not what is spiritual or natural. It is akin to throwing out the baby and retaining the bathwater. It is akin to retaining the garbage and tossing out the family jewels. Such is the way of the materialist, the spiritually unenlightened and the way of those who place value on things that have no true value – or perhaps I should say have no more value. The spiritually enlightened, however, will discard the body at the time of death, dispose of it, turn their backs on it, forget about it and never give it a second thought thereafter. This is what one does with things that have served their purpose and no longer have value. Do you not do similar things and have similar thoughts when you cart out the household garbage for removal on garbage collection days?

I must confess to you that I sometimes feel I have little or nothing in common with other people – and there is nothing that heightens that feeling more than when I experience people valuing things that have no real value. Indeed, it seems to me that the less real value things have, the more the people in this world seem to value them. Yet, spirit and things of the spirit – the things of true value – they give lip service to and value not at all. Such is the way of the materialist.
It probably has not escaped your notice that most of what I have written above is very different to orthodox and conventional views. This is because the views I espouse derive from the ‘heretical’ and non-conventional views of spiritualism, which the spirit guide, Silver Birch once declared to be the antithesis of the views of materialism, the more orthodox and conventional views.

Using computer analogy, death occurs when all of the following conditions occur: a) when all the computer’s software is permanently removed from the computer hardware; b) when that software – or indeed when any other software - can no longer be re-installed on the hardware, and c) when the computer hardware and all of the components of that hardware no longer function and can by no means be made to function. When the above three conditions occur, we have a state that is analogous to the death process which we – and other living things – must undergo at the time of death.

When we die, the soul and the spirit that animate the physical body permanently depart from the body and can by no means be ‘re-installed’ in the body any more. If the soul and the spirit can be re-installed in the body then the individual concerned has not died – even though they or others later claim that they had.

Let me just remind you that dying is a gradual process that usually occurs over a three day period. However, a very sick person can undergo the dying process long before they actually pass over. Because death is a process, it is not something that is completely over in one moment of time. It is true that the soul and spirit that animate the body do depart at the time of death but all the spiritual essences that are associated with the physical body during the physical existence take about three days to completely withdraw. If it were so that all such spiritual essences withdrew immediately following death then no tissues or organs harvested from dead bodies could be used in transplant operations because they would lack the required life essences that would make them viable.

Instead of death, what we really have is a constant spiritual, mental and physical change, transformation and development and this is essential if spiritual perfection of the soul is to be achieved. Without change perfection cannot be achieved. Spirit knows the importance of change and it is the will of spirit that change must occur in life – but unfortunately people do not always welcome it and appreciate the importance of change. Many people would seek to maintain themselves eternally on this earth plane to avoid change. However, possessing such thoughts and making attempts to bring this about opposes nature and opposes the will of spirit. Their thoughts are not right as they seek to live contrary to nature and its laws. By seeking physical continuity they seek to destroy the cycles of life and death and by doing so create almost a state of stasis where there is severe spiritual retardation and lack of growth. When people seek to maintain their physical existence eternally, they in effect say that it is they, not spirit, who know what is best for them. Unfortunately that is not the case because spirit always knows what is best and therefore if the individual wants to get the best out of their existence they should attune their will to the will of spirit.

With materialism and spiritualism we have two isms that are not merely different but two isms that are diametrically opposed. They are indeed mirror images of each other. Spiritualism, the philosophy, focuses – or should focus – more on spirit and the things of the spirit and less on matter and the things of matter. In spiritualism, matter is not unimportant. Let us be clear about that. Indeed, it is very important – but it is always relatively less important than spirit. Matter is important only because matter and the things of matter promote spirit and the things of the spirit. Materialism, on the other hand, focuses more on matter and the things of matter. Materialists may not even acknowledge the existence and importance of spirit but spiritualists always acknowledge the existence of matter though they do not always give it the appropriate value. Spiritualism says that spirit creates the mind and that the spirit and mind combine to create matter. Materialism, on the other hand says that matter creates the mind and consciousness and that the mind creates – or should I say, fabricates - spirit.

I must admit it puzzles me greatly how even extremely smart people can possibly believe that matter can create and possess consciousness. I can believe that organic complexity is required for expression of intelligence but It puzzles me how people can believe that intelligence is created by organic complexity. It perplexes me that they can possibly believe such things while simultaneously vehemently rejecting and finding so utterly untenable the belief that spirit creates the mind and the mind creates the body. I can understand how materialists might place less importance on spirit but I find it very difficult to understand when they so often completely reject its very existence and influence.