by Lizzie (’14)
What, in fact, is the difference between the mind and brain? If all our thoughts and feelings are controlled by our axons firing or not, do our thoughts go beyond the chemical? Is visceral even a real thing when all that there is, what feels visceral, is a direct link to neurotransmitters breaching the synaptic gap?
I have no opinion either way. You could convince me that all mind is brain and I would accept that and be very sad because even if what has been said to me is true, the fact that I am nothing but a victim to neurons and brain tissues invalidates all that I’ve ever felt. Yet, I could still be convinced other wise. The brain is just the oil that keeps the machine running but it is not the machine, the mind is. Neurotransmitters are the space where the intangible becomes a bodily function and thus interpretable. It is not what makes up a mind but it is the mind’s access to the physical world and nothing more than that.
However, the logical part of my brain is moving toward the former conclusion. I know that even as I am writing this, my fingers pressing the typewriter keys, words forming and thoughts becoming coherent, it is only the work of millions of neurons firing. My excitatory signals are surpassing the threshold of my nerves and thus action potential has been created. Am I nothing more than that? But if that is all I am aren’t I not still a person who can feel and love and hate? Yes, there are chemicals that dictate these feelings but they are still feelings, perhaps even more real because science can prove them chemically.