Just as a radio picks up the signals that transmit music, so the brain functions to bring mind into everyday reality. If the radio is smashed, the music goes away. If the brain is ill, defective or damaged, some aspect of mind will go away. But to use this reasoning as proof that the brain is the mind or more real than the mind, is utter folly. Would you believe it if someone claimed that World War II was caused by Germany and Japan having something wrong in the brain? Would you believe it if you were told a spouse you deeply love and trust only appeals to you because prehistoric man needed to bunch up by the fire in order not to freeze?
Throwing mind out of the equation is done for only one reason: it's useful in the short run. Science takes messy, complex reality and steps outside it, turning experience into elegant numbers and manageable data. That's quite practical. There's a lot of knowledge to be gained by looking at data. But when science holds out numbers to claim that they are reality or that ordinary experience is an illusion, a huge mistake has been made.
How will this mistake be reversed? It won't happen by calling religion back into the picture. What people need isn't a divine mystery; they need knowledge that accepts science while going beyond it. So, what does "beyond" mean? It means returning to messy, complex reality and understanding it more deeply. Science has always been a tool, not an end unto itself. When technology is allowed to trump morality, horrors like the atom bomb happen. When genetics is allowed to wipe out spirituality, a mass sense of futility and emptiness occur. Science can't give life a purpose any more than a reality television show set in Samoa can substitute for going out to the beach.
Ultimately, the current brain fetish will reach a dead end, if it hasn't already. Society will return to the concept of the mind, and something startling but obvious will emerge and become accepted. Consciousness is primary, the brain is secondary. This is like saying that music is primary, the radio is secondary. Whatever is primary comes first and holds the essence of life.
It's my personal conviction that the brain was created by consciousness. There is no other viable explanation, because our current explanation, that the human brain evolved through random mutations, simply doesn't hold water. Our brains are the single most complex structures in the universe. To say that they were randomly created is a million times more unlikely than having 10 monkeys sitting at typewriters produce all of Shakespeare. But that's a topic for deeper thought. It will be good enough if coming generations turn back to the mind and stop reducing the richness of experience to a mushy machine made of meat.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.