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April 12, 2022


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It's even more complex than Burton writes.

The brain's conditioning affects the neurons in the senses.

When you perceive you are in the presence of a friend the neurons in your skin react differently to touch than if you perceive you are in the presence of a stranger. So the information goes both ways and alters our perception.

The brain is still, however, a great mystery, because it functions far faster than the fastest super computers attempting to model ANN, which, in scientific tests, has failed.


One second of brain functioning requires 40 minutes of time for a super computer of 700,000 proccesors and 1.4 million gigabytes of ram, simulating 1.73 billion nerve cells and 10 trillion synapses (just one percent of the human brain's neural network).

Let's do the math. One gigabyte of memory is 10^10 bytes. One million of those is 10^16 bytes of memory.

One billion brain cells is 10^9, less than the bytes used by the computer.

Ten trillion is 10^13 neural connections. Still smaller than the bytes used in the supercomputer.

The supercomputer used 1,000 times more memory than the neural connections in the human brain it simulated.

But the computer ran 40 minutes x sixty seconds = 2,400 times slower than the human brain.

Now for the mind blowing part.

The electrical signals in the supercomputer run at a speed between 360 and 670 Million miles per hour (50-100% of the speed of light).

But neuron signals in our biochemical brain run at a measly 268 miles per hour!

The computer signals run at least 360,000,000 / 268 = 1.3 million times faster than the human brain's.

But, the human brain runs 2,400 times faster than the fastest supercomputer!

How can a biochemical electrical process running 1.3 million times slower than a super computer, using less memory, perform 2,400 times more work in one second?

This is the great mystery today. Our biochemical brains are too tiny and slow to function as fast as they do. Therefore, current models of consciousness are woefully incomplete and flawed, and simply fail to explain the performance of the human brain and consciousness as it stands in research today.

Something else quite different from these models is happening, which the models fail to explain.

One more point. The models and research work of actual neuroscientists and physiological psychologists is painstaking work and moves along with evidence. Theories are tested, proven, disproven, and revised all the time.

The field is not ready yet to discuss where consciousness arises from, or the presence or absence of the human soul, but we know now a lot about levels of consciousness, sensory response, human memory and judgment. The field is a rich source of solid information.

Some writers have an agenda to promote Atheism rather than to constrain themselves to scientific fact.

The problem with this is that doing this are promoting three very unscientific practices.

1. They use limited information to draw conclusions about areas science has no data for. They over reach shameless ly.

2. They ignore data from scientific studies that disproves their hypotheseis: ANN is at best limited and at worst wrong.

3. They are satisfied with a nice sounding conjecture that meets with their personal sentiments and those of their less informed audience, but has little science to back it, implying the science is there. But there is no 'there' there.

That becomes the religion of science. Not real science, but sold as real science.

So what is this limited brain doing?
It's functioning here. It's constraining our awareness to its own constructed model of reality.

We are living in a controlled hallucination built with references to reality that are at best indirect, but generally selected around our personal interests and fears.

Take a photo of the moon on your phone and compare it to what you actually see looking at the moon.

Your brain magnifies the image out of all proportion. You can see the hallucination in your walking state directly for itself.

I never can find the link to the most recent open thread… so much to share about hoe beautiful my brother’s Celebration of Life service and burial ceremony was. So many lessons learned. So grateful. 🙏 💗 🙏

Great article, Brian. Enjoyed reading.

The human brain is PHENOMENALLY fascinating. Naturally it would have to be to process all the data it receives. But most of the data it processes is external.

I find it interesting that there are more Tech and Cyber people who believe in the possibility of a God than neuroscientists. I guess because cyber focuses so much on the human factor—the intentions of people.

Intentions are formed by thoughts which cannot be programmed entirely genetically.

We all have choices. We CAN choose. And that’s what makes us human.

That's great, Sonya, that the service/ceremony went off well, and seems to have brought you peace. Here's the link to the Open Thread, if as you've said you'd like to share: https://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2022/03/open-thread-42-free-speech-for-comments.html.

Grief is such a personal thing. Any way one can make it easier for oneself, is to that extent a good thing, a great thing. I'm very touched with how very close you'd been to your brother. It's truly a great blessing, for both of you, that you'd been so very close; unfortunately not all siblings are remotely as close or as fond of one another as that.

Sorry, link's borked apparently? Here's the link to the last comment on that thread: https://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2022/03/open-thread-42-free-speech-for-comments.html?cid=6a00d83451c0aa69e20282e14e7754200b#comment-6a00d83451c0aa69e20282e14e7754200b

What appeals to me about science discoveries is the fact that the more we learn about life the more it opens up a grandeur of life as Darwin expressed it – and Robert Burton here adds to that wonder and grandeur. For those who follow findings revealed by science it can only add to a greater appreciation of the vastness of the universe and ourselves.

What also appeals to me about science is that many scientists exhibit an almost childlike enthusiasm in their pursuit of their interest and a similar enthusiasm in conveying this to others. In my work in nature conservation I would often call upon the expertise of the scientists who worked at the nearby Institute of Terrestrial Ecology who would give their own time to help identify difficult species and give advice toward management.

Neuroscience, is a fascinating area of science as Burton and others admirably communicate it. I have been reading about ‘construction theory’ which offers some insights into emotions. The author Lisa Feldman Barrett in ‘How Emotions Are Made’ basically says that emotions are made, not triggered. It is usually accepted that emotions are generated in a single brain area but Barrett’s findings strongly suggest that they take place throughout the whole brain at once. She points out that what we perceive of the world is a simulation. “. . .your brain uses concepts to simulate the outside world. It is well known that the brain simulates our reality but she includes emotions in such simulation – fascinating.

Geneticist and cell biologist Paul Nurse who through his discipline explains his take on the geneticists’ findings in a book called ‘What is Life’, interestingly he explains life not only as being the ability to change and adapt but also (from the cell to our human brains) as having the ability to gather and disseminate information – which brings one to a clearer view of how the brain produces mind.

"...life not only as being the ability to change and adapt but also (from the cell to our human brains) as having the ability to gather and disseminate information – which brings one to a clearer view of how the brain produces mind."

Great comment, Ron. That is, that does not say anything new; but putting it in those terms does, as you say, bring one to a clearer view of how, and why, the brain produces mind.

Does the brain produce mind?

I don't think scientists can say with any certainty.

That's really the subtext to all this. An atheist perspective, but not a scientific one.

The research cited above proves the current theory cannot actually be simulated in a working laboratory model.

It sounds nice, but it's missing something.

And therefore we cannot conclude that the findings of brain research can be used to conclude where and what mind actually is.

So, let's honor the beauty of what research there is without overreaching.

When such research results in an actual working model that really does function just like the human brain, in real time, then you may conclude on scientific grounds that you have isolated what makes for a functioning brain.

Until then, it's unscientific to claim so.

Mystery is not yet solved, though parts of the puzzle are coming to light.

The reason you should honor that mystery is not actually, so you may make statements about the existence or absence of soul or God. Give that up.

The reason is to discover the amazing things that make it possible for a biochemical blob, with less memory and slow transfer speeds, to outperform by several thousand times the fastest and largest computers on the planet.

Explain that first. No, demonstrate with evidence how that happens.

It happens. There will be an answer. But it may not look anything like what we have today.

The brain might just be an incredible filter of something far larger and more interesting, something that operates even faster.

As we have begun to discover that what our senses experience is a brain constructed reality or simulation. Equally constructed are our concepts, concepts such as atheism and theism, mind terms that do not exist in nature (hence concept!). Useful as they are for explaining ideas, they carry the possibility of believing that we understand who or what a person is and what they stand for.

A moments reflection can show that our thinking processes replay our past experiences – the information stored in the brain we have accrued over the years to survive in our particular environments and cultures. All activity, all planning and navigating this world relies, is this information Whatever we think (and perhaps results as action) emanates from this information. This is the mind. It is neither an atheist perspective, or a scientific one – just a human one.

There is no need to introduce hypothetical concepts for something that is natural to the organism and available to be seen and realised in action. It is the way of science to come up with ideas such as the brain being a filter for mind and consciousness but quite unnecessary in understanding ourselves. The brain is not a mystery, it is there and functioning as the natural order of things – although the scientist at some point will no doubt tell us how it does what it does. We know for ourselves that we walk, it is obvious and natural; the scientist can tell us the mechanics of walking – interesting and valuable for injuries and illness – but walking is not a mystery to us. Neither is the mind; it is a feature of the natural organism.

Concepts such as atheism and theism just do not apply where we are in harmony with the whole human experience; they simply do not have any place in the natural persons’ mind or body.

Hi Ron!

You wrote:
"The brain is not a mystery."

Hmm. Trying to understand how that could be true. Like maybe all that exists beyond what we can see isn't a mystery. But that's only because we aren't aware of it. It doesn't exist in our conscious brain.

I would say everything beyond our daily thinking is a mystery. And even where that came from.

That reminds me of something Swami Ji wrote in Sar Bachan, that stole mystics got to a certain place and thought it was the all, the entirety of creation. And there they stayed. They thought that because that was all they knew. But they were just at a certain place or level, not the highest region at all.

Thinking that a dark room is empty is the problem.

But realizing what it could be opens the door to knowledge, but always first through the grand mystery of "I don't know."

... "that some mystics got to a certain place..."

@ Ron E. [ We know for ourselves that we walk, it is obvious and natural; the scientist can tell us the mechanics of walking – interesting and valuable for injuries and illness – but walking is not a mystery to us. Neither is the mind; it is a feature of the natural organism. ]

IMO the mind is one of the universe's ultimate mysteries. Even if science could
map every neural connection in the hidden layer and identify which inputs will
ultimately impinge on our consciousness, causal details remain elusive. This
doesn't depreciate the magnitude of such a scientific discovery were it made.
It's just a leap forward however, not a conclusive wrap-up of the mystery. What
explains why one young child is terrified of trains and his/her twin isn't in the
slightest for instance. Or why one's gifted mentally and the other not at all. The
mystics say answers are inside embedded in consciousness itself and are
found there.

@ Ron E. [ ... do not apply where we are in harmony with the whole human ex-
perience; they simply do not have any place in the natural persons’ mind or body. ]

That reductionist view would shut out the examination of one's own consciousness.
If anything's immersively bound up with the whole of human experience and thus
congruent with it, then it's consciousness. Studying it is as natural to our human
experience as walking.

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