If you read the intro to my “My Brain and I” blog here on my website, you would know a little bit about why I titled my blog as such. Since I wrote that intro, I have been thinking more about this concept of “My Brain and I” and I have come to some additional conclusions that I would like to explain to you, should you be interested. If you’re not, then skip to the next thing, whatever that may be, and I won’t waste any more of your time. But if you are interested, please read on. If you have not read the intro to my blog, then it’s reasonable to assume you have no idea what the heck I’m talking about. But if you have read this up to this point, please stick around. I think you’ll find this thought provoking.
Here goes… My Brain Explained.
First the concept. The concept of “My Brain and I” is just as it sounds. There are two entities here. I mentioned Brain is my best friend and I take him everywhere. Simple enough. What might be confusing is the question, “how can my brain be separate from me?” It’s possible you may think I’m a nutcase by thinking this but I’m here to tell you that I am not. This is very logical. The concept that “my brain is not me” was inspired from the pages of a book entitled, Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat. I highly recommend this book. Mo suggests that because I can be aware of the thoughts that originate in my brain, then my brain must be separate from me. If you agree with this, then this goes for you too. If you’re like my wife, who strongly disagrees with this line of thinking, then I still think it applies to you. But whatever.
In my effort to further investigate this phenomenon and explain it to both you and my wife, I have come up with a rather simple explanation for you to consider.
I have determined that the “I” part of “My Brain and I” refers to my physical self, from head to toe. Now, my physical self can be either conscious or unconscious… as in awake or asleep. Easy enough, right?
Now, comes the interesting part. The “my brain” part of “my brain and I” refers to – that which is inside my head. What does brain do? Brain controls the “I” part of me… all my physical systems, keeps me out of trouble, etc. However, while my brain is part of me, brain also acts independent of me. Now, stay with me here... I have come to the conclusion that my brain is my "uber-conscious”. Some would call it my sub-conscious but I like the term uber-conscious because it sounds much better to think of my brain as a higher source than a lower source.
Let’s go with science and psychology for a sec. Peter Carruthers, University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, who is an expert on the philosophy of mind draws heavily on empirical psychology and cognitive neuroscience is of the opinion that there is no such thing as conscious thought1. Others, Like neurologist, Dr. David Engleman believes 95% of our decisions are made by our unconscious mind2. And research from The Max Planck Institute in Germany3 shows that even when we think we’ve made a conscious decision, our brain has already made up its mind up to seven seconds beforehand. All of this leads me to believe that my theory is correct. If you look at it my way, I, (my conscious self) only controls 5% of my thoughts at best… and brain, controls everything else. In other words, I am only along for the ride and simply provide mobility for my brain.
Now comes the fun part… Let me tell you a short story that demonstrates this concept and will therefore prove to you that “my brain is not me”.
Last night I was unconscious. In other words, I was asleep. Sound asleep. Dead to the world asleep.
While I was sleeping I had this crazy dream that someone else was showing me a book that was similar to, but different than, the book I just published entitled, Embracing Change. But as I flipped through the pages of this unfamiliar book in my dream, I saw it had a website address printed in on one of the pages and that website is one that I have not yet created but have been thinking about. I told you it was crazy. So not only was it a dream it was a premonition A message from my brain. And it woke me up! In fact, it freaked me out and I jumped up all sweaty. Had someone stolen my idea? No. Not at all. It was an epic Aha! moment that brain had cooked up for me. Of course, it would have been nice if Brain had just said, hey Rudy, I have an idea but no, brain has a sense of humor and thought it would be much more entertaining if it was delivered in dream fashion. Thanks, Brain.
Now, none of that could possibly mean anything to you as I haven’t told you what my idea is. But it doesn’t really matter – not for this story anyway. What does matter is the fact that my uber-conscious brain was up and busy working while I was completely unconscious and therefore provides proof positive that my brain is not me.
PS. If you'd like to see a video version of this please go to my tiktok account here.