The brain itself has no pain receptors.
A colleague of mine recently told me about a conversation he had with a doctor who is Indian. He was asking the doctor what he thought about identity, consciousness, and mind.
The Indian doctor said that people in the West have a different way of thinking of such things than people who have been brought up with Eastern philosophy.
If you believe that we are all a part of a larger MIND that extends beyond mere individuals – that MIND is really a property of the universe at large, or some larger system, then many of our more puzzling mysteries dissolve away.
New philosophies that bring together neuroscience, quantum physics, and theories of emergence are providing explanations for phenomena that scientists have traditionally considered to be imaginary, metaphysical, or unknowable.
Bucky Fuller once said: “I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe.”
Up until recently, I thought of “my mind” as something non-physical that emerged only from my brain’s activities. But, after learning how intimately linked human brains are to each other, and to the culture that is evolving in the context of all the brains that exist and that have ever existed, I have started to see “my mind” as inseparable from the matrix.
Here the cool part: my mind is not only being created from my own brain: other brains are also creating it.
Unlike my brain, which has a container called “skull”, my mind has no boundaries – there is no membrane that separates “my mind” from the aggregate of all minds.
And why should there be a membrane? The mind is not physical.
The Indian doctor told something to my friend, who had been brought up with Western philosophy. My friend had an epiphany – a miniature jolt from a Western perspective to what he described as a Taoist moment.
Paint a picture in our mind of your brain inside of your skull. Now: outside of your skull, add some color patches, images, words, and connections. This represents something that has no physical place, no physical time. It can traverse space and time without effort. It is not “owned” by you or me or anyone else. It is the emergent information aggregate that got its real kick-start when Earth’s biosphere began to self-regulate, billions of years ago.
We are Nouning the Big Verb that is Mind.