Email: Mind Science (15.7.2020)

Dear Gillian

A question that interests me, is the extent to which conscious awareness, if at all, affects the atoms and molecules surrounding the living individual. There is a material logic to this enquiry, which is a good place to start. The brain is a physical organ, from which consciousness emerges. Consciousness, as far as we can tell, is a product of chemical reactions which have been described as a ‘special arrangement of matter’. Oxford University carried-out research which suggested that each body-cell is ‘conscious’ in that it ‘senses’ its environment and is able to carry-out simple but essential localised tasks. Obviously, the brain remains the central core of conscious activity in as much as this is where all the bodily processes are controlled – either ‘consciously’ (as in ‘volitional’ activity) – or involuntarily (as in the greater part of the biological processes). Generally speaking, the individual body exercises control over the immediate environment through physical activity. It is this ‘behaviour’ which is the agency through which the human mind affects the environment. The mind ‘wills’ and the body ‘acts’.  The conscious mind directs and controls the movements of the physical body which communicates through verbal and non-verbal communication – all of which involves ‘touch’ and ‘sensation’. As far as we know, and despite speculation, the mind cannot create ‘change’ in the physical environment without exercising the agency of behaviour and physical touch (even the voice touching the eardrum, etc). My question is whether a conscious mind is able to ‘overflow’ in its awareness capacity out and into the immediate environment surrounding the head and body – without the need for ‘behaviour’ acting as an intermediary? I think from a scientific position, this is exactly where we must start. There must be some type of logical foundation. The brain is more likely to affect the atoms and molecules immediately surrounding it without recourse to ‘behaviour’, than it is to exercise an over-worldly influence at a distance, and even if the latter is possible, we must start somewhere if we are to avoid the trap of idealism, inverted thinking and unwarranted speculation and assumption. It certainly ‘feels’ that the mind influences the world of matter at a ‘distance’, but of course, this is not proof that it does. Even if a martial arts master, by his or her presence, literally ‘takes away’ a opponent’s ability to fight, this could be linked entirely to body-language, assumption and the unfolding of conditioned cultural norms. Such a physical ability is often ascribed to enhanced spiritual states, when in fact the physical cause and effect can be clearly discerned. Perhaps humans need to ‘believe’ that they can communicate ‘mind to mind’, or ‘mind to environment’ without the agency of ‘behaviour’ interfering.  

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