HUMANITY SHARES EVERYTHING in planetary terms. We share the air that we breathe, the ground beneath our feet, the water that we drink, the food that we eat. In short, we share a planetary biosphere and all that goes on in that biosphere as living, sentient creatures, especially in terms of our survival.
If we look a little closer, we see that everything in the Earth’s biosphere is made up of atoms, molecules, cells and genes.
Deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, is the informational molecule at the heart of our shared cellular existence. DNA instructs and impels protein molecules to build organic structures. Among those organic structures is the human body.
Within the human body, there is an organ known as the brain, which scientific materialists have concluded (without proof to date) that this is the organ that generates “consciousness” and “thought”. They say that consciousness is an “epiphenomenon” of brain function.
The brain, of course, is a pulpy cellular structure engineered by nature to indulge in electrochemical activity in conjunction with the autonomic nervous system. It does undoubtedly impel the body to take action, so that the body can keep itself alive.
This does seem to imply that electrochemical and neuronal activity is primary and consciousness a secondary phenomenon.
Yogis, meditators, psychics, sages and those who practice what is called “shamanism” disagree with that conclusion, however. These practitioners of higher levels of perception believe that consciousness is primary and brain function secondary. They believe that consciousness sends signals to the cells within the brain and those signals are what activates the brain and causes it to utilize its electrochemical and neuronal networks.
Epigeneticists are cell biologists who have come to the conclusion – based on experimentation with cells – that the surface membrane of the cell is the cell’s brain. Why? Because it reacts to the environment when signals from it are received on its surface membrane. This is true even if the cell is denuded of its core machinery, DNA. That signal (or vibratory signature), epigeneticists say, originates in the planetary biosphere. When a cell reacts to such a signal, it sends a message to its interior instructing it to act in a certain survival-conducive manner.
If a cell’s surface membrane is its brain, then the DNA within the cell is its fingers, arms and legs. DNA doesn’t think. It instructs RNA to build protein structures. The cell membrane is what does the thinking and what makes the big decisions. Among those decisions are ones like “What shall we make this time around? A human being, a lion, a rodent, a mayfly, a worm, a bacterium?” For all of these things are made of the same stuff. They are just configured differently.
Scientists like to think that life sprang up spontaneously on this planet, but why then did this particular phenomenon only occur once in 4 billion years?
And did it really only occur on one planet in the entire cosmos?
If consciousness is primary, definitely not. If consciousness permeates the planetary biosphere, then consciousness is literally all around us as it would be on other planets in the so-called “Goldilocks zone” that exist around other suns.
And consciousness is not even just all around us, but infuses us at a cellular level. We are like fish in an ocean of water, only for humans, air is the oceanic substance that surrounds and permeates us.
Air, of course, is comprised of oxygen and there is oxygen in water as well, permeating the seas and perhaps powering the planet’s aquatic creatures. It also works its way into those creatures that inhabit the Earth’s soil. Oxygen, of course, is also a factor in the fueling of fire.
Earth, air, fire and water… Many an ancient sage postulated that physical life was essentially made up of these four elements or, more correctly put, physical life is powered by the forces that these elements represent.
Today, we know that these elements occur in nature thanks to one thing: stellar activity. They come from the heavens, from exploding stars, and once a planet is formed from the heavier elements spewed forth by an exploding star, in due course, over billions of years, those elements generate a planetary biosphere which can subsequently create and sustain life as we know it. We ourselves are the proof.
At root, then, our whole world is made of stardust and powered by sunlight.
So where does consciousness come from if not from the brain?
One can only speculate about that. People say that it comes from “God” (by whatever cultural name), from the “Akasha”, the “Tao”, the “Matrix”, the “Zero Point Field” and so on.
Whatever it is and however it originated, it just may be what triggered the whole process that formed the universe in the first place.
The argument in my mind goes like this: Something cannot come from nothing. This is impossible. What, however, is more “nothing” than consciousness itself? One cannot see it, touch it, smell it, taste it or hear it. Yet, it irrefutably exists.
Without consciousness, we humans could perhaps be and perceive things, but we could “make” nothing at all of what we perceive. We would be just another animal wandering about with but enough awareness to fight for our survival, not reflect on it.
Yogis, meditators, psychics, shamans and near-death returnees, tell us that consciousness can exist without a body, which may sound miraculous, but it is quite possibly our most totally natural state.
By the way, if being alive and aware of our own “aliveness” is not miracle enough for us – if we need our miracles to defy the known laws of physics – then maybe we are far less grateful for, and impressed with, the life we experience than we think!
And speaking of “thinking”… Which is primary to your way of thinking? The brain or consciousness itself?
Maybe the answer is literally blowing in the wind.