Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who am I?...


…It’s a question that has bothered humanity since the time they realized they are human beings. All the advancement of science and technology has failed to give a rational answer. The first question asked could well be the last one to be answered, if at all. Are we the body, governed by our brain? Or is there a conscience that controls the brain?



Our brain is suppsoed to be the most supeiror thing in the univrese. Our brain is cabaple of redaing even this. The odrer of alhpaebts is not imoprtnat as lnog as the fisrt and last wrods are same. You picture an elongate 20cm long, 4cm in girth (not that one silly), yellow, edible, sweet fruit when you see the word ‘banana’. So much information retained in the brain associated with just a pattern of drawing. Incredible, isn’t it?

Is it just some chemicals in neurons that store the information we call memory? Are the feelings of love, hate, joy, depression, just chemical locha in our brain? Anti-depressants are chemicals that reduce depression, so advantage brains.  If all our thoughts are controlled by our brain then isn’t the idea that ‘our brain is the most superior thing in the universe’ an opinion of the brain about itself? What are the odds that our brains ain’t (sorry Chintan) aren’t biased? But that is a different issue.

We take too many things for granted, like our senses...the space around us. You might have perfect vision but no sight; you might see the words but not recognize the texts; you might hear but not recognize the rhythm of your favorite song. A condition called agnosia. The memories and experiences stored in the brain makes no sense if there is no space. But where exactly does the ‘space’ reside? Injury to a particular portion of the brain can make a person space-less (read this) (see picture above). In one particular case a person lost the sense of his left half of the world after a head injury (spatial neglect). So it is all there inside the brain, the brain is still wining. Hurt it and you hurt yourself and your conscience doesn’t come to rescue.

So what about the emotions, feelings, moralities and virtues that defines us? It’s the thyroid hormones that control your anger; it’s the testosterone that controls your urge of having sex. It is the chemicals inside the mind that made someone plant a bomb outside Delhi High Court. Same chemicals made our overstressed Home Minister declare that Karnataka and Varanasi are not his home. Our feelings and emotions are hormone driven, organic chemistry, controlled by our brains. It is the chemicals that gives signal to a person and tells him to be corrupt. It is the same chemicals that told Anna to fast. It is the same chemicals that make a candle light dinner feel romantic…how unromantic!

Very gently press the extreme left corner of your closed right eye. You will see a small halo of light without a single photon entering your eyes. The pressure in your eye creates an electric signal that is same as the signal created by the protons hitting the rods and cones in your eye. Thus, you fooled your brain to think that there was light. So, brain isn’t wining everything after all. There is something else that fooled your brain. There are people who hear shapes, see noises and feel sounds! Ever heard of synesthesia? This unification of senses is quite surprising considering the fact that there is no central control system in the brain. Each sense is controlled by different part of the brain. What then unites all these senses?

Is it conscience? Or is it my ego that wants me to be more than just organic chemistry? Is ego also just chemistry? If you have read my post God Unveiled you will remember Quantum Zeno Effect. Observe a decaying atom consciously and it will never decay. Yes, you might even stop atom bombs from exploding just by looking at it. Everything we see, feel, influence, exists only in our brain…or…there is something more powerful than the brain that can influence everything that there is. Or may be, just may be, both are true.

Ah! Why can’t I ever come to a conclusion, why is there always a loose end? So, what are we?



You React:

52 comments:

  1. Well, all I know is, that I am that I am, who ever that might be.... hehehehe... ;)

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  2. awww such a nice post..reminded me that BULHYA KI JANA MAY KON! GREAT PIECE

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  3. I like the thought that brain is feeding, it is superior,as a self promoting propaganda. Great post and left me thinking what are we? 

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  4. The shastra define us in the negative terms - not the body, not the senses, not the brain, not the memory..... "neti neti"..... until there is nothing left, and that nothing of actuality, as we know it (or is it everything of true reality) is us.

    Great post, as always thought provoking.

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  5. I
    don’t know who is controlling whom, but I know I am controlling myself with the
    help of  my conscience. Chemical would be
    same for terrorist who planted Bomb in Delhi high court or the Anna hazare fast
    and they were all listened their conscience. I give you a knife now its up to
    you, whether you want to use it for killing someone or for  cutting vegetable. Choice is your. Overall
    nicely written:)
     

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  6. eeww! now even i am confused!! so wat are we?

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  7. If we knew the answer to this, there would be no difference between us and God. So lets take it that, the creator conveniently forgot to give us the answer to this question.Lol. :-)

    On a serious note, Sub consciously, deep within, just as we grow mentally and physically, our subconscious spirit or whatever, also grows along with us, and it adapts itself to our mannerisms and line of thought. Hence the dreams and instincts.They are the result of what we actually think and feel and desire. May be it is our own will, which is controlling us.

    Did i confuse you all the more? :-)

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  8. This is not done Subh! You can not mention my name in a post to test if I read the complete post or not :P and that too with bias :D

    I knew few of the things you mentioned here, so hurray am not far from your level of IQ now \m/

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  9. there is a lot of psychology involved here along with the physiology of the brain, not to menion that off course. our left hemisphere has all cognitive abilities from reasoning to language. our emotions are spawned and controlled  too, the seat of which resides inside the brain which  controls the hormones.so  pain ad joy , all is a state of mind. our right hemisphere has the spatial abilities that you have mentioned in your post.
    having said that, it isn't as simple as a 'black' and a 'white'. and the 'why' behind it is still recondite, i guess.
    an informative and an introspective post as usual.

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  10. that's one of my fav song...thanks Mishi :)

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  11. choice...freewill...that's where the problem lies....it seems so obvious that we make our choices...but somehow we haven't yet proved it...in fact Libet's test suggests just the opposite :)...Thanks Mithlash

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  12. don't ask me...i'm confused too :p

    thanks Raniyal :)

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  13. true...and once we know we would still be confused about what next :)

    question is is it our will that is controlling us, or is it our subconscious mind?...

    thanks Ashwini :)

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  14. lol :)....why are you so happy that your IQ is coming down to my level?

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  15. i wonder how the left hemisphere talk to the right without any known central controlling system in the brain...:)

    true, nothing is black and white...that why still remains....thanks Stuti

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  16. I don't think I can give a proper answer, but In this context alone, I would say both our will power and sub conscious develop from our desires, so it all goes down to the same one thing, our desires and feelings. Don't ask me another question :-) 

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  17. i desire to ask you another question...may i?:p
    thanks for coming back Ashwini

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  18. If you are just kidding. No way. I'm already confused. If it's a question, I think I can handle one more. Shoot. 

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  19. well, i feel only brain controls it, that's it..

    ANd i must say, i 've learnt a lot after Reading ur post.. u've got just an amazing knowledge on this topic..

    Keep up the good work..

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  20. may be it does...but i just don't have enough info to conclude :)

    thanks for your comments...

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  21. It is an interesting thought that some can smell sounds and see fragrances and all. How I wish I could hear sights since my hearing is too acute and my vision is poor. Is synethesia possible to achieve or is it inborn?

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  22. it is interesting indeed...i didn't believe it the first time i heard of it ....

    i think it's genetic...but you can try hitting your head with that thing in your hand, your vision might improve :p..

    thanks for your comments Zephyr :D

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  23. Great post... our mind is considered to be one of most complicated things in world.

    Do you know a fun fact?? A neuron never reproduces itself (as ordinary cells in the body does). The number of neurons are fixed ever since your birth, it never increases (just decreases) and that's why major head injuries cant be recovered completely and the brain surgery is never a complete success.
    and yeah... do check out Schizophrenia... ;)

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  24. human mind is a circus:-)

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  25. whoa, heavy stuff sub......I think you're working incredibly hard to live up to the title of 'Baba Sub' .....good post ....

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  26. lol...so true :)...and circus is fun

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  27. true...the peak of number of neurons actually occurs before birth...but recent evidence do suggest that new neurons are produced throughout life...and still the brain size increase (dendrites)....amazing...

    thanks for your comments Madhulika :)

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  28. LOL...

    too tempting a profession... :)

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  29. great post. 
    once again, leaving with a lot of thoughts on my mind. 
    who am I !! or what am i ?

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  30. I think it's interesting. I was doing some research on the brain and found out that there is a doctor that is giving his Downs Syndrome, Alzheimer's medication. This makes her brain function normally. My sister then emailed him if he had any research if this would effect babies with Trisomy 18 (too much of the 18th chromosome).  He didn't. It was a pretty interesting study though! Then I ran across this movie:
    http://youtu.be/PnpGIgzNBJo
    I thought it was really interesting!

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  31. that's really interesting Alissa...thanks for sharing :)

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  32. Brain is a peculiar entity with 3 parts—conscious, subconscious
    and unconscious mind. It is said that our subconscious mind is capable to hold
    a huge amount of information. But sadly a rigorous practice of exercise and a
    fixed diet can resurrect it in years. 

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  33. and i am back. with the answer. 
    i am an experience :) hows that? sounds cool? hehehe i was so mighty pleased with it i had to tell you Sub :)))

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  34. exercise and diet...ahhh....*sigh*....

    :)

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  35. aa ha...Experience....cool :)...

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  36. I think there is a control center for the body- but everyone has
    a differnt one/type/name for it. 
    good question.

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  37. you might be right....it's just that i don't have enough evidence to be sure...:)

    thanks a lot Shauna :)

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  38. well there definitely exists a force that unites all that we do and feel..becoz a living being cant just simply be formed by uniting all the parts togethr!
    but then dwelling too deep into it only leads to more and more chemicals and lochas..so maybe lets wait and c science solving the mystery :))

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  39. and by the way! i have NO clue y i wasnt following ur blog yet..so here i come..ur 200th follower :) mera gift? :P

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  40. thanks for being the 200th...hav ur name on the top of the blog :)

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  41. true...lets see....thanks Sarah :)

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  42. A coincidence :) ! The chemical gocha in my brain is telling me that another good one Sub !

    ----
    www.nitinjain.blogspot.com

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  43. I am an instinct based on neural networks which allows me to start with the equation y = mx + c; but as I go along my life, I find that even a straight line cannot follow the above equation. Hence I modify / adjust myself to make the next equation for the straight line as y = (m + delta m)x + (c + delta c). I am still a neural network which "learns" as I move along - even if I move along the same straight line, the characteristics remain the same BUT I continue adjusting to bring in the 'delta' m's and c's. I am the ever adjusting neural network.

    http://ayanmajumdar.wordpress.com

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