catvincent: "People tend to think of the conscious, reasoning mind as the unique, intangible essence of their own “selves”, but it is not – there is much more to a person than that. From a neuroscientific perspective, in the simplest terms the “mind” is really only a product of the neurons that collectively comprise the bulk of the brain, as well as the established neural pathways therein, constructed by learning. Moods, feelings, and attention can be observed within those structures as electro-chemical “clouds” of neurotransmitters which flow among the neurons and pathways. These physical aspects of neural structures and neurotransmitters are, of course, part of the body, and it can therefore be argued that much of the mind springs from the body. Arguably, because of its physical basis and the observable functioning structures, the mind is really a simple thing – a calculating device with which we deal with the elementary challenges that arise every day. The property of “consciousness” is actually misnamed – unless it is worked at, most people never become fully conscious – they get through life on auto-pilot, in a largely unconscious way, never needing to examine themselves in a philosophical sense. Even if some self-analysis is done, it will tend to be in terms of external bodies of knowledge, such as the social norms they’ve been taught, the behaviour of their friends, the law, and their religion. There is nothing wrong with thinking according to these established bodies of knowledge – in fact, it is necessary for society to function – but people are never told – and therefore they never discover – that there is a great deal more to life than such a conditioned existence. Those who have had a near-death experience know the difference between ordinary consciousness and real awareness. They have experienced something that was completely real and yet completely impossible to explain. Science can describe the process of brain death very eloquently, and in disarmingly simple biochemical terms, but philosophy comes to the rescue by reminding us that the objective observation of an event is not the same as the subjective experience of an event – my experience of my toothache is more urgently real to me than your description of yours!"
British pro wrestling mystery man of the 70s, and now neural guru, Kendo Nagasaki.