Imagine a TV or a radio. The television does not create the images it shows and the radio does not create the music it plays – they are just machines projected to capture the waves that are passing through the air.
If you destroy the radio device, you won’t be able to listen to music, but you haven’t destroyed the music, it exists independently from the machine that captures it, right?
According to some schools of thought of the eastern world, believing that the human brain creates the thoughts is the same as believing that the TV or the radio create the waves. But if the thoughts are not located in people’s brains, where are they created?
The Seven Levels of Consciousness
Ancient eastern philosophy divides the human experience into seven levels of consciousness. The physical body and all its functions correspond to the lowest degree in a hierarchy in which the highest level is the most subtle, and the lowest is the most material.
The three most subtle levels, correspond to the world of ideas, where all archetypes, all truth and all knowledge is. These three realms are immutable and eternal.
Nothing is ever created in the world of ideas, because everything is ready, all that ever existed and will ever exist, stay there awaiting the opportunity to be manifested in the matter, which corresponds to the other four levels of consciousness.
In order to be able to capture the information that exists in the world of ideas, nature designed a device capable of receiving this information and translating it into thoughts in a person’s own language and according to each one’s cultural background. This magnificent device is called brain.
Philosophy of Mind – Is the Brain a Data Processor?
From this perspective, the brain is a data processor, it does not create anything new, it just captures something that already exists. Some philosophers oppose to this idea claiming that if truth exists independently of the brain, then what would explain the differences of thought and world views?
This is a question which is hard to answer as it is necessary to know the principles of eastern metaphysics in order to understand how each person influences the way a certain information is going to be understood and processed.
In fact, the foundations of the eastern philosophy are based on the idea that all diversity that exists in the world is just different facets of the same reality and come from the same source. So, people access different “channels” or “stations” according to the capacity of their equipment (the brain).
The brain, due to all mechanisms it possesses, is able to transform an information received into a logical thinking, so what makes great philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, artists and so on, is the ability to decode an information and make it logical.
What Are Thoughts and Where Are the Thoughts?
According to this theory, the thoughts are then, the “final product”, it’s whatever information a person can perceive from the world of ideas transformed into images by the mechanism of the brain.
But the brain, of course, also stores data and and experiences and it uses the content of the stored memories in order to form the thoughts. So, the shapes and forms of the thoughts will vary from person to person, since each one has gone through different experiences and have different memories stored in the brain.
This means that the mind exists outside a person’s brain, and does not need the brain to exist. Even if humanity was completely extinguished, the mental sphere would still exist.
This is why ancient eastern traditions believed that the physical realm is a result of the mental realm and not the opposite. The world of ideas contain all information and therefore, all the latent potential to recreate the physical world over and over even if there are no inhabitants left on the planet.
It is said that it is an illusion to believe that by destroying the bodies, life is also destroyed. Just like electricity continues to exist even if all light bulbs break, life as a potential, exists without the bodies, and the mind exists without the brain.