Friday, July 24, 2009
I have just finished reading a really interesting article by the philosopher Roger Scruton published in the Sunday Times magazine on the 5th of July regarding how we view neroscience and the subject of consciousness. Beginning the article with his understanding of the smallest word in the language which is "I" and what does "I" mean, am "I" seperate from my body or a part of it and how that reflects on our understanding of the self has the "I" been reduced to a function within the brain. He describes the advances in medical science which can capture the activity of the brain on an MRI scan and show which part of the brain is responsible for moving an arm and the belief that amongst some neurosurgeons and pyschologists that the self is "located" in the "mirror neurons" which fire when people instinctivley imitate the expressions and gestures that they observe . The neurons responsible for intentional activity trigger before we are conscious of "making up our minds" therfore there is no free will. He goes onto discuss that it assocciates ideas with parts of the brain but says nothing about the self about free will,about spiruality or the magnificence of the world around us, it just tells a story of neurons!Brain imaging or neuroscience will not help to understand the emotion surrounding a beautiful piece of music or a tragic event in our lives, it will do nothing to lead to a better understanding of personal accountability and the ability to change our behaviour, it will never give us what it means to be truly motivated which is why I am so curious how altered states of consciousness,through hypnosis and timleline therapy can have such a positive effect on our lives.If you are reading and would like an appointment to see us our practice is based near Kettering Northamptonshire.