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The Deepermind Belief System
Finding a Fulfilled Life
The real purpose of life is to live life fully, to be happy and fulfilled and help others do the same. A positive attitude is catching.
The best way to be happy is to will yourself to be happy. Exercise and good friends help. If you have the essentials, more money can make you happier, but it does not last. These ideas are backed up by psychological research.
Another popular way of finding happiness is entertainment, but it often is more of distraction from life and is often shallow.
To be really joyous, one has to incorporate meaning and purpose in their lives.
Building My Own Theology
I questioned everything I was taught. Just because some ideas were as old as dirt, that alone did not make them true.
I wanted to believe in something that worked and produced good results. It not only had to feel right, it had to align with science.
Brain Science Produces New Insight
To be alive and conscious, at least in this world, we need the brain. The brain is our interface between the outside world and us the experiencer of life.
Before we examine how brain science contributes to my theology lets examine some of the basic features of the brain.
Basic Building Blocks of the Brain
The brain is made of neurons that connect to each other through the synapses. The brain is estimated to contain 100 billion neurons and over a 100 trillion synapse. Thus there are about 1,000 synapses for each neuron. The electrical inputs to a neuron are called dendrites. The electrical outputs neurons are called axons.
Connecting the output of one neuron (the axon)and the input of the next neuron (the dendrite) is the synapses.
Sandwiched between the axon of one neuron and the dendrite of the next axon is the synapse.
Synapses produce a chemical massagers called neurotransmitters. Thus communication between neutrons is chemical, and not electrical.
The brain much more complex than any computer. Let me explain some basic facts.
The PC computer is based on high-low binary information. Either a signal is high (perhaps 3 volts) and or it is low (nearly 0 volts). Within the microprocessor, the heart of the computer, about a billion transistors serially process information. AND gates look for all high signals at their inputs. OR gates look for any high signal at their inputs. Connections are made through shared bus lines.
The Brain Compared to a PC Computer
The brain is based on both chemical information as well electrical information. Electrical pulses from other neurons are counted and when enough pulses arrive the neutron fires. After the neuron fires, the electrical signal passes to a synapse. The synapse is activated when a neurotransmitter is produced.
The PC computer is a serial binary machine. The brain is a pulse counter, chemical machine. Big difference.
The wires within us, the nerves are not time shared and are task dedicated. The bus lines wires in a computer are time shared. The brain probably has synapses and neurons dedicated to specific tasks. Sometimes the specific tasks are located in specific areas of the brain (e.g., speech production and speech recognition.)
Further, the synapses and neurons each work as a team to take care of the body and help us experience life in all its complexity.
The PC computer has at maximum 10 billion transistors. The brain has 100 trillion synapses. That is a ratio of 10,000 to 1. More importantly synapses and neutrons themselves are complex and there are chemical paths between neurons and synapses which are physically located close to one another. One neuron has between 1,000 to about 10,000 inputs, whereas a transistor has just one input and one output.
The neocortex in the brain processes language, abstract thought, imagination and consciousnessthe. The limbic system within the brain is respnsible for emotions and unconscious value judgements. The reptillan brain is responsible for our heart beat, breathing, body temperature and balance.
Most importanlty the brain has to present its findings (senses, thoughts, etc.) to the brain owner through processes that we currently do not understand.
Brain Cell Death
Up to 90% of the neurons made during fetal development commit suicide before birth. Neuron suicide is called apoptosis. Apoptosis is the fading away of neuron as opposed to ordinary nectrotic cell death where there is a severe and sudden injury assoicated with an inflammatory response.
More synapses are present in the brain by age 6 than at any other time in life.
Hierarchies in the Brain
The brain must have a hierarchy as it has billions if not trillions of parts such as neurons and synapses. (Information is generally understood to flow from one neuron to another neuron though synapses.)
The brain cells at the top of the hierarchy must direct the parts of the brain to work together for a common purpose less the brain goes to war with itself.
More so, the true beliefs we hold, serve as a reference within us and are very difficult to change and more likely impossible to do so.
So the strong beliefs that some of have a purpose that is also biological. They act as a reference similar to a government's relationship to a constitution.
There is yet another force within the brain which allows the brain to inspect itself and make modifications. We can and should examine our own thoughts. Indeed the brain clears it house. About 80% of the brain cells die before we reach our twenties. Our power to forget what is wrong or not important to us allows us to continue to grow with deeper insight.
Many believe that if we have a good belief system (in whatever brand of religious belief) they are happier and at time joyous.
At the center of most religious systems is a belief in God
The definition of what God is, varies across religions, and across the same religion in many cases.
If God made everything, then God must know everything and be as smart as smart can be.
From this definition, then we are forced to believe not only in God but what God has created. And God's creation is best explored though science and mathematics wherever possible.
We have coupled science and belief together.
There are also facts that the brain assumes through experience to be true and gives us the common sense we need to live a good life. A fact by itself is like a number. There are 26 types of bread at a supermarket for example. Which do we pick? The type of bread we love. The 26 types of bread are like scalar numbers. They are just numbers. A vector number has direction. Thus the bread we pick has a direction, from the self to our basket.
Love gives facts direction and purpose. Most of what we do is based on love. We want to please others, we want to protect our family, and we want the best for our nation.
A brain that lies to itself, is most likely in conflict with itself. A person with conflicts has more than one agenda. Since the brain has three areas as we have discussed, one side of a conflict is probably originates in a lower area than the other.
Motivations that stem from the lower parts of the brain, many people call "evil". Thus raw sex is raw because it is connected with raw instincts from our animal nature. The lower parts of the brain can become disconnected from the brain cells at the top of the hierarchy. If raw sex or raw rage takes over the individual, then the person is labeled as a pervert or sociopath.
Our brains need an internal government, so entire brain works together.
So we have tied together love, truth, science and belief and that I see as a very good thing.
Like the study of geometry, we can try to connect a series of postulates together. A postulate is a statement that is assumed true without proof. From the postulates we generate theorems that help us live a good life.
It is hoped that these postulates and theorems about life may prove helpful.
It would be difficult to know which ideas are postulates and which are theorems, so perhaps I should refer to them as ideas.
Our first Idea is: One should always treat everyone with kindness and love.
In Sunday school I like to ask this question, "Is there anything better than the truth." Nearly everyone will agree there is nothing better than the truth.
But if you meet someone that is ugly, I mean really ugly, you do not say "You are the ugliest person I have ever seen." This might be your truth, but your truth leads you down a path. Here you might have to run away, with the ugly person at your heel.
But if we not impeccable with your word, you can also get into trouble. If you lie, then no one will trust you. So the trick is to always tell the truth, or elect to keep ones mouth shut if the consequence dictate it.
So the second Idea is: Always be truthful, knowing we have the option to be silent.
We can also be truthful and kind at the same time. We can pick our words for best effect keeping to the truth, but giving our listener some inspiration and affirmation. If I know someone believes that the Bible is the word of God, I could say, yes, The Bible is a love letter from God. Saying this, I am also saying that anything in the Bible that is not a love letter from God, is not as I define the Bible to be. Instead of being nasty and pointing out all bad things in the Bible (the contradictions, places where God kills everyone except those on Noah's Ark, that slavery is acceptable and women are less equal than men and so on) we can pick our words and gradually make our points.
What we say should promote the good in others, and be useful in guiding others and ourselves to better ground. This is one of the missions of love. This leads us to the third Idea: Love gives truth, direction and purpose.
The words of love triumph over words that burst out with anything that is true. If we tell a white lie, yet save someone from being hurt, we are still doing the right thing.
But if we are working in science, love is not as important as finding out the truth about nature. Love is very important in using science. Just because we might have learned how to blow up the world, love says don't. Our fourth Idea is: In the material world, scientific method is our source of truth.
How can we work with people of faith, and help them understand that science is part of the truth too. In the USA, about 70% of the people are Christian and most believe in the Bible. One way to bridge the gap, is to use the Bible to promote scientific understanding. We could point out that in the very first words of the Bible (these come first and are important), God made the world. Many other religions have similar beliefs.
This is a powerful introduction to the idea, that direct revelation from God is the Natural World. The revelations in the Bible come through people, but the natural world is the direct outcome of God's creation.
Thus to study science, is to study the works of God's creation. To ignore science is sinful, as you are ignoring the works of God. The words of God can be distorted though time, changed by people and can be mistranslated. The world of nature is the same for people around the world. There is no conflict with the laws of nature like there is between people of different religions.
From science we learn that God makes laws in the form of equations. So you have to learn mathematics to learn more about God. By understanding these natural laws, engineers have made all the gadgets you love, from cell phones to computers.
God created the most perfect system of natural laws that allows man to live on earth. These laws are always there for us to learn. Using the laws we can make ourselves feel comfortable with new inventions.
But science does not have answers to everything. We are far too complicated to use the laws of physics to find love and happiness. We need beliefs that go beyond what is known by science. For example, science does not know what consciousness is and how it works in any detail. But believing in high consciousness may not make scientific sense, but we can experiment with it and know its effect. If we are in low consciousness we tend to get into trouble. If we are in high consciousness we tend to suffer less and things seem to go better. If we believe that we are good, that good things will happen, that people love us and so on, we feel better. Thus the fifth Idea is: Our beliefs are our personal truths developed through experience and contemplation.
Science has showed us that our brains are made up of about 86 billion neurons. These neurons are somewhat independent, analyzing hundred, to many thousands of inputs from other neurons.
But we are more than a mechanical system of brain cells. These brain cells need prospective and purpose so that they can do their jobs. The brain has some type of overall government. This overall government has not been observed, but without it we would not be sane.
We also have consciousness, a feeling of being alive. We work our brain to serve us and what we believe... our purposes in life. What is this "we"? I call it an old fashion word "the soul".
The sixth Idea is: Beyond matter, energy, time and space, people have souls and souls enable consciousness.
In science we find the idea that everything in the material world is made up of atomic particles. For example, the brain is made up of these particles, which build up atoms and molecules. The molecules build up brain tissue.
But atomic particles have no feelings; no consciousness. Have you ever heard of an atomic particle that was happy or sad? Is there a particle out there that has feelings or consciousness? But everyone has feelings and consciousness. Hey something is missing.
Consciousness has been called the crack in the cosmic (scientific) egg.
Since consciousness exists, there must be a mechanism causing it. I will define this as the soul. The soul allows us to experience life. It is the mechanism that allows consciousness. Without a soul there could be no science as there would be no consciousness.
How the brain interfaces with the soul and consciousness no one understands. But it does.
The seventh Idea is: The brain and the soul work in hand in hand. What we do and think is reflected in both the soul and the brain.
The reason for the Idea above, is we can see the brain causing us to (1) lose consciousness, and (2) we can also lose consciousness through the soul.
(1) If the brain is physically damaged we can lose consciousness. A head injury can knock us out.
(2) If the soul is damaged we can lose the will to live. A sick soul can cause us to be depressed or cause other mental health problems.
When we sleep, both the brain and the soul seem to go into repair mode. During sleep we dream in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
During non-REM sleep, perhaps the brain slows down and almost stops, but the soul remains, keeping us alive.
The eight Idea is: The brain has 100 trillion brain cells and something needs to manage all these cells.
In addition to producing consciousness, the soul may be responsible to the organization of how different parts of ourselves work together. It may be the central organizing factor that help produce an overall government of these 100 trillion brain cells.
Without an organizing factor the brain would immediately fail. There would be no overall purpose. Different departments of the brain would fight. Barriers would be created making some departments walled off from others. Wars between departments would be common. People would have many personalities and the left hand might beat on the body while the right hand would try to stop the left hand.
There has to be something that is the head of all these cells. With this many brain cells, something has to keep all the cells to work together and not fight (conflicts within the mind) or isolate themselves (multiple personalities).
There must be a government of the mind to keep it working together. Otherwise some lower departments who only know one aspect of life would try to take over the brain. We see this in deviant people who only think about drugs or sex.
The ninth Idea is: There must be brain cells who are top managers in the government of the brain. These top brain cells must have simple basic standards to govern the brain.
In any government there is a president, CEO or top manager and so there must be top brain cells. These top brain cells must have a reference or set goals.
For any complex system there must be a loop between what is being done and the controls for the operation. There must be a reference that sets the standards.
A car on cruise control, has a reference speed. If the car senses it is going too fast, it will reduce the gas flow to the engine. If the car sense it is going too slow it will increase the gas flow to the engine.
Brain cells lets us know if we need water by telling us that we are thirsty. Somehow the amount of liquid in the body is measured.
In a similar way, the top brain cells need to measure the progress of the person. The top brain cells reference a standard of what is good and what is bad. This is our basic belief system. If this is taken away, we become aimless.
Each brain cell in the brain has a support network. The top brain cells are remote from the day to day activities of complex activities that occur in everyone's life. Exactly how to we wash the dishes. We just get the job done. It is done by lower brain cells.
So at the top, the top brain cells have to keep things simple. For example love and service may be our top purpose. Each organized religion has a small collection of simple beliefs that define the core of the belief system.
For example, the Unitarian Universalist Church has two main beliefs and those are love and service. Christians believe in love and the ten commandments. The newest world-wide religion, the Baha'i Faith believes the essential unity of all great religions, that we have an immortal soul, and the equality of men and women. Buddhists believe in prajna (discernment, insight, wisdom and enlightenment). Hindus believe that truth is eternal, Brahman is truth and reality. Hindus also believe that the Vedas are the ultimate authority, and that dharma must be observed.
About this site.
There are about twenty web pages on this site. This first page contains my most up to date ideas. Other pages may not be as current.
Feel free to write me if you have questions or
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