Mind has remained a metaphysical riddle for centuries because it inhabits the physical world like a ghost. But that’s a Western perspective based on our bias for solid, tangible things. We insist that the brain must be the source of mind because the brain is a visible object.
The Vedic rishis adopted the opposite perspective, insisting that visible objects couldn’t be the source of mind since the physical plane is the least conscious of worlds.
Mind will only be proved to exist outside the brain if it leaves some kind of footprint, a visible sign that is as convincing as the MRIs that provide concrete evidence of neural activity.
One such piece of evidence is information. If information permeates the entire quantum field, it can bridge mind and matter in terms more acceptable to a materialist.
Right now you are a bundle of information in mind and body. You have unique memories; your cells have undergone chemical changes shared by no one else in the world. When you die, none of this information will vanish, because it can’t. There is nowhere for plus and minus, positive and negative to go since the field contains nothing but information. Therefore their only alternative is to recombine.
The mind has always been able to change the brain. Reacting to bad news is a mental event. Indeed, the entire world we inhabit of words and thoughts creates infinite brain changes in all of us every moment.
If mind comes before brain, then what if mind belongs to all of us? There is growing evidence that in fact we do share the same mind field. The brain belongs to “me,” but if ideas belong to “us,” then we are participating together in a field, sometimes quite mysteriously.
Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).
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