Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Chicken or the Egg.

Even the smartest people, those with a string of PhDs to their name, do not pretend that they are computers. They might sit in front of one for hours waiting for it to provide them with an answer to some enigmatic question, alas, to no avail. Unless they punch some keys, which will stir the hardware and software into action, nothing much happens.
And yet, those very same self-confessed savants claim that their brain acts on its own, without the intercession of their will—their intangible, elusive, impalpable ‘Self’. They simply cannot accept that that which cannot be seen, felt, measured or even recognized by any of their increasingly complex electronic machinery seems to control that which is measurable, tangible, palpable and equally as complex.
They can accept that it takes ‘them’ to drive a car, to operate a computer, but not to operate their brain.
“Au contraire, they announce in a loud voice filled with self-righteous self-importance. “We don’t think”, they say. “Our brains do.”
If that were true, they would forever remain in a reactive mode. They would respond or react to the dictates of their brain and genetic makeup—as does the rest of the animal kingdom.
Fortunately for the human species, we are capable of being proactive.

The eternal question for people steeped in scientific fundamentalism is whether brain produced mind, or did mind produce brain. The chicken or the egg.
There is one other problem.
Expecting our brain to upgrade itself with new information is like waiting for your car to fill itself with gas, or your computer to design it’s own software. If we do not introduce new software into our biological computer particularly in our older years, our biological computer cannot handle the feedback from our senses and incorporate it into its data storage.
Hence, it is up to us to continue feeding new information to our brain, to analyze it, process it, and enrich our data storage with the new facts, no matter what age we are. Otherwise a disorder like Alzheimer might set in. We never reach an age when our brain can work by itself. It needs continued upgrades with new data, which adjust the software to handle new input.
Billions of years of evolution equipped us with a magnificent computer that enables us to transpose ideas into symbols we call words, and arrange them into a system of communication with others. One day we shall learn to communicate our thoughts directly. It is the method that most animals have retained, while we have lost it somewhere along our arduous materialization of our illusory image of the world. It is high time to reverse this foolhardy predilection.
Our minds created a magnificent instrument. We must use it the way it had been intended to be used, and not blame it for our inadequacies.

Marvin Clark called this apparent enigma Chicken Omelet. See if you agree with him.

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