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This story truly shook my view of reality. After forty four normal years of life, a French man went to the doctor complaining of leg weakness. Eventually, his brain was scanned in an attempt to diagnose the cause of the issue. Astonishingly, the scan revealed that 90% of the volume within the man’s skull was filled with nothing but fluid.
This result makes me wonder whether the brain is the only agent responsible for our consciousness and abilities. Although I used to be a hard core materialist, and believed that who we are and how we behave is entirely due to the activity of neurons, my view has been changing. These days, I’m considering theories such as idealism, panpsychism, dualism, and brain-as-a-receiver, as possible explanations for the mystery of consciousness and behavior.
- A Scientific American article that gives a few more examples of puzzling mind-brain phenomenon: Transcending the Brain
Excerpt: “…Even more intriguingly, it is well known that psychedelic substances induce powerful experiences of self-transcendence.12 It had been assumed that they did so by exciting parts of the brain. Yet, recent neuroimaging studies have shown that psychedelics do largely the opposite.13 Moreover, “the magnitude of this decrease [in brain activity] predicted the intensity of the subjective effects.”14 In other words, the less activated the brain becomes, the more intense the psychedelic experiences.”
Post from earlier this week – 5/23/2019
- Gives some information on the controversial British writer Graham Hancock
Documentary Recommendation: Merchants of Doubt
Merchants of Doubt is a 2014 documentary film, based on a 2010 book of the same name. It brilliantly compares past corporate efforts to misinform the public about the dangers of smoking and flame retardants, with the oil companies’ current efforts to deny climate change. It’s great.
“Borders? I’ve never seen one. But I’ve heard they exist in the minds of some people.”
– Thor Heyerdahl