Exploring the Networked Brain

Excerpt: © Copyright, Julian Gresser, Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorer’s Mind (Bridge 21 Press March 2013) All rights reserved.

What then of the mind? Is mind simply an artifact of the brain, an uber-computer; or is it something more? In his book, The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil engages in an imaginary debate with the philosopher, John R. Searle, around the key issues of reductionism and materialism. Kurzweil points out that the potential of the brain’s computing power is vast, largely untapped, virtually unlimited and—odd way to put it, sufficient. The implication of V.S. Ramachandran’s observation, “your body is a phantom, one that your brain has constructed purely for convenience,” extrapolated is, perhaps, that all of our fancied reality is no more than a contrivance of our brains, and even this “our” is our creation. Yet if this is so, then the mystics and sages and the scientific reductionists may both be making the same point when they suggest that everything that exists, or may ever exist, lies dormant and possible within “us.”

Yet suppose the story does not end but rather begins here. What if the brain is a step-down transformer in physical form of something far more subtle and profound? What if the brain is a part of, but only a subset of Mind? (Here “mind” is capitalized to suggest the interpenetration of energy field(s) larger than our individual brains.) How does Mind enhance brain function? And what are the implications for the survival, or the next stage of evolution of our survival or the next stage of evolution of our species, if our brains and minds should decide to transform themselves?

The Human Connectome Project is mapping the interconnections among neurons in the human brain. Explorers’ Wheels are designed to enhance the creative powers of their participants and in theory will stimulate neuronal development. The following notes are designed to suggest the relationship of the Connectome to Explorer’s Wheels.

Human Connectome Project

Some Other Entertaining Questions


Is there is a biological basis for enlightenment? In other words is it possible brain cells can, or some day will, communicate by light? Further, can inter-cellular communications by light increase with a deepening of compassion, altruism, and empathy? Will the actions of millions of participants who are dedicated to compassionate and altruistic work actually induce neurological changes in these participants brains?; Might some of these changes reflect DNA changes involving an enhanced capacity to process information in the cellular reception and transmission by light? See Stanford Center for Compassion, Altruism, Research and Education–http://ccare.stanford.edu/

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