An edited extract from the course ‘Developing Spiritual Thinking’
MODERN SCIENCE generally believes that thinking is actually going on in the brain and that the mind resides there. They say that thinking and the mind are products of the brain, products of chemical reactions and processes. Modern science now knows which part of the brain is involved when we see, hear, touch, taste and smell and where other functions like language ability, planning, memory etc. may take place. They admit of course that much of the function of the brain and the mind is still a mystery.
Esotericists say that the brain does not think, that the brain does not contain the activity of thinking. They agree with modern science in that the brain does do something when we think but that what it does has nothing to do with the content of thinking.
The esotericists say that everything to do with the life of thought, the knowledge producing work of the soul, does not go as far as to the physical body, but is done in the three higher aspects of a person, known as the etheric and astral bodies and the spiritual ‘I’. So the brain cannot produce the content of thinking. But as was said earlier neuroscience can show that some sort of activity goes on in the physical brain when we think. The esotericist answers this argument by saying, yes, the brain does do something but nothing of the actual content of thinking resides in the brain.
The esotericist sees the work of trying to find the source of thinking in the brain as being as futile as a person searching for their real self in a mirror. There is just as little thought in the brain as there is real person inside a mirror.