THE MIND OF A FLY
THE MIND OF A FLY
D. R. Khashaba
Neuroscientists will stop at nothing in their Holy Grail chase of the mind. Now we are told that neuroscientists have found a way to read the mind of a fly (The Independent, December 17, 2015). Even if we allow that the fly has a mind, how do you read that mind by observing changes in the colouring of neurons? The mind, dear sirs, is not a thing, not an object that can be observed objectively.
My mind is not the mutations that take place in my brain or in any part of my body. My mind is the experience I live, the thoughts and feelings that I subjectively experience, and that can neither be observed, nor exhausted, nor explained by any objective methodology, however sophisticated.
I will readily allow that the fly has a mind, but its mind is the experience of the pulse of life in the fly, and only an individual living fly can know the mind of that individual fly.
The brain of Einstein was extracted and preserved: have scientists found the mind of Einstein in that brain? Suppose scientists re-activate that brain, make it work and even come up with new theories, all that the scientists can then observe are chemical and physical motions, but not the active, creative mind giving birth to those theories.
Dear neuroscientists, be sure you will never reach the mind by your empirical methods and approach. You are doing good work, brilliant, marvellous work, but let us call things by their name. You are researching the brain, not the mind. What harm? When we believe you are dealing with the mind we negate the being of the mind. With due apologies to immortal Shakespeare, there is a lot in a name: a mind is not a mind by any other name.
Cairo, December 17, 2015.