Excerpt About Brain

Questioning Life as an Epiphenomenon of Matter

The scientific paradigm regarding life holds that after life began, it then developed according to the theory of evolution. At some point this development became complex enough for life to have consciousness. Physical organisms began to have senses, capable of perception as we know it. This seems to have occurred at the transition from plant to animal life. Then, at a later point of evolution, after the nervous system and the brain evolved to a certain degree of complexity, consciousness became capable of inner life, of self-consciousness, not merely of perception. Biological evolution began with life, developed into life with perception, and progressed to life with consciousness conscious of itself—subjectivity or apperception. Our understanding of the soul, and the knowledge available through her unfoldment, does not contradict this view. This view of evolution is most likely accurate; at least it is adequate to explain our empirical evidence. However, this view does not adequately explain life, even the life of the body. The knowledge of the soul brings another dimension to this perspective. It does not question the details of the progress of evolution; it does not even question that at certain stages of evolution matter needed certain conditions for life to arise, or that our brains needed to reach a particular level of complexity for inner life to be possible. It only questions the interpretation that life is an epiphenomenon of matter, just as it questions that inner experience—consciousness of consciousness—is an epiphenomenon of brain complexity. Direct experience and understanding of the soul shows us that life is not a product of matter, and consciousness is not an activity of the brain.

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