Saturday, February 10, 2018



D. R. Khashaba

Neurologists and neuroscientists are constantly announcing some new advance or some new discovery in their field of study. As far as it goes that is all right and all for the good. But underneath the legitimate pride and jubilation there is always the hardly veiled promise that we are on the verge of explaining the mind away, of doing away with this trouble-maker that refuses to submit to the scientific methods of examination and verification.

Let me first bluntly state, for the nth time, my conviction. Even when we have amply shown that all thought, all emotion, all feeling, down to the minutest flicker of the mind, is bedded in the brain and is shown to takes its rise in and from the brain, even then we will not have done away with the mystery of the mind. Again, even when we make an intelligent machine that is self-conscious, even when we make a robot that has emotions and can speak of its own ego — even then we cannot say that we have understood the mystery of the mind.

To my mind, all being is two-sided, is bidimensional, is subject and object at once, is eternal noumenon and evanescent phenomenon. We cannot be immediately aware of both subject and object at once except in one place, within ourselves. But I cannot conceive anything existing as sheer object. All things outside ourselves can only be known to us as objects, but I find an object existing all by itself to be unintelligible: being essentially transient, evanescent, it cannot support itself. Of course I cannot imagine how mind is connected to a stone, but my mind tells me that without mind a stone cannot exist. Thus for Spinoza the world, all nature, is natura naturata inseperable of natura naturans.

You might say, what is the point of all this? If we can only know all things, including ourselves, as objects objectively studied by the methods of science, why bother about the unknowable subject/ My brief answer is that all our values, all that we treasure, all that constitutes our specifically human character, is in the subjective realm: even all science has no abode, no fount, other than the mind. Science studies all objects objectively, but science itself, as an intelligent activity, has no place but the mind: physics, mathematics, biology, even proud IT, where would all that be without the human mind?

When we forget about the mind and be immersed in the gifts of the mind – science and the conveniences and facilities of our material civilization – we are rewarded with the ailments of our present day: consumerism, competetiveness, greed, animosity, overproduction coupled with poverty and hunger within and without. I apologize to the reader for this gloomy ending which I tried to put in as few words as possible.

D. R. Khashaba

February 10, 2018

Posted to xnd


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