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Dispelling Myths About the Brain and Consciousness

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Why do we have consciousness?   The mainstream view, expressed by Carl Sagan in 1977, is: “[The brain’s] workings – what we sometimes call mind – are a consequence of its anatomy and physiology and nothing more.”  But what in its anatomy and physiology?  Said neuroscientist Sam Harris in 2015, “There is nothing about a brain, studied at any scale, that even suggests that it might harbor consciousness.” So is mainstream science trying to find the harbor? Not very much. Said physicist Lee Smolin in 2013, “…whereas there are real mysteries about consciousness, they’re beyond what science can tackle with present knowledge.” Since they supposedly can’t be tackled?  Dr. Eben Alexander, formerly a Harvard Medical School associate professor in brain…

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Overwhelmed? Had a Busy Week? Slow Down with a Poem

in Potpourri by

When things get overwhelming and you feel knee deep in distractions, what do you do to slow things down? Some people turn to meditation. I use poetry as my remedy. As soon as I sense a whiff of spring, I dig up the first stanza of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and recite these words to whomever will listen: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. I don’t know why I memorized this part of the poem in college, but through this exercise I realized that reading and experiencing a poem can be transformative.  It takes me away from what’s happening around me, an escape…

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