Thread: Science and Enlightenment

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    Science and Enlightenment

    There was an interesting article in the New Scientist of 8th September this year which concentrates on 'The You Delusion'. The one titled 'The why of me' talked about the sense of self, levels of consciousness and self-awareness as 'just a hall of mirrors'. Consciousness (or rather I would say self-consciousness) becomes a by-product of "information rushing through the closed loop of connections that is brain" and that it "can't help existing despite serving no particular purpose".

    If this is the case then it is intriguing as to the kind of glimpses that meditation gives us into what underlies our assumptions about ourselves and the world. The self-conscious 'you' may be a by-product of the brain, but it is nevertheless still part of the brain and as such can bring about changes. Maybe the more we know about what is really happening in the brain the more we can refine our practice. How do others see such research affecting them?

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    There was an interesting article in the New Scientist of 8th September this year which concentrates on 'The You Delusion'.
    Yes. Just completed two six part series on Amazon.com / Amazon Prime, which discusses the building of neuron connections in the brain from the time of conception to the current moment.

    The brain's neurological connections are what give rise to mind, which is derived of self consciousness, subconsciousness, and sapience, also called the awareness of "self". Neurological science now recognizes that this consciousness of a self resides in the brain and is comprised of not only the current near moments of awareness, but also of an integrated variety of past memories, which are constantly under construction, rearrangement and marriages with new memories including those which remind us of other memories as we become aware of their previously un-thought-of connections with other experiences which reside in our conscious and unconscious memories.

    For this reason the brain is now understood to be much more flexible and resilient to the point that sections previously thought to be reserved for certain senses have been found to be capable of providing facilities for almost any other sense as the need requires. For example those blind all their lives due to damage to vision centers can now be equipped and trained with technologically provided sensors leading to their hearing or feeling centers, which then in turn can result in these repurposed neurons providing vision for the first time in their lives.

    This neurological flexibility is due to the fact that all neurological connections operate on the same principals of electro-chemistry. Once a new sensor is provided the neurological connections are simply (or complexly) rerouted to brain centers available for the new purpose and they learn to reprocess and make use of the incoming information.

    The same kind of work is being done with artificial limbs, where the brain can now learn to control these technological devices, replacing arms, hands and even legs, which was previously thought impossible.

    If anyone is interested I can provide the names of the series for your viewing pleasure if you have access to Amazon / Amazon Prime.

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    The name of the six part series is : "Neuro Science - Understanding the Brain"


    Available also here: https://www.ambrosevideo.com/screening-room/100-NEU

    Another very good series regarding the human brain: on PBS: The Brain with David Eagleman:


    Which can be viewed here: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...n%22&FORM=VDRE



    Would also like to add that the flexibility of our brains to make veritable unlimited connections is called "Neuro Plasticity" , the concept of which can be reviewed here:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

    I got rather heavily involved in the neurological discoveries after my stroke in 2012. Thank "evolution" that our brains are made with the resiliency that they currently possess!

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    Quote Originally Posted by philg
    There was an interesting article in the New Scientist of 8th September this year which concentrates on 'The You Delusion'
    Yes, I bought that copy myself, Phil. Unfortunately I haven't found time to read the article yet!

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    I read it for free with the library service, downloaded onto my tablet.

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    In the series regarding the human brain: on PBS: "The Brain with David Eagleman" (Cited above.) it is pointed out that our brains are modified neuronally by the new connections it makes with each and every significant experience, thought, sensation, and emotion. We are literally and physically modified by our experiences and our brain has an effect upon the way we experience our lives. This is modern scientifiic validation of Buddha's teachings regarding impermanence reported over two thousand years ago. Through these neurological interactions we experience and create our realities, changing with the passing of each mind moment, experience, feeling, emotion, thought and breath. Each of us are therefore as unique as our experiences and mental factors. The human brain has been found to be not only the primary initiator of our individual perspectives and realities, but both the determinant and residence of our delusion of self in the interactions of all of its neronal connectedness.

    Another factoid I found interesting is our delusion of "the current moment". Since our neurological communications within the brain and nervous systems require time to produce the electro-chemical transmissions which sense, transmit, and respond to our experiences, we are literally always operating in the past. Our brains need time to process experience, check-in with memories, and consider the appropriate response from all neurological inputs and outputs to the musculoskeletal system. For example, when a baseball player sees the pitch coming at him, he has to determine the appropriate responses to hit the ball, run to the base, and at the appropriate time, slide into first base. Each of these actions: seeing the pitch, sending electrochemical messages to the musculo-skeletal system, and determining when to slide into first base takes time. We are always operating and responding to experiences that occurred in the past. So, living in the moment is truly a fallacy. We are always responding to events from the recent past.
    Last edited by Olderon; 09 Oct 18 at 18:38.

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