C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.

Fifty years ago, Vernon Mountcastle, the great neurophysiologist, and I had a lengthy discussion about the seat of consciousness. At that time we were discussing just the concept of being humanly aware, without all the philosophical nuances of the word. From the point of view of a neurosurgeon, my view has not changed. Somewhere in the depths of the brain, there is a tiny area which, when damaged, leads to coma. Theoretically we could remove the entire right hemisphere and all of the left hemisphere except the speech area and the individual would still be “conscious.” We use all of the cortex particularly to integrate and correlate our perceptions about the world and it expresses our personality.

There is another aspect which I did not recognize clearly until about 40 years ago—this is the ago old debate about purpose and meaning in life. The Church has, of course, attempted to control and manipulate this aspect of consciousness throughout all time. Simply put, I believe that the only “purpose” in life is to learn to follow the greatest basic instinct—to help other people. If we felt adequately nurtured as children, then our need is to do good to others, to nurture and help them. Unfortunately a huge number of people felt either abused or abandoned in childhood. Thus, they have a conflict between their need for nurturing and their instinct to nurture others. Many years ago I asked my Guide “What percent of people are “conscious.’ The answer: “Six percent.” This suggests that 94% of people did not get enough nurturing in childhood!

Obviously, there are more existential aspects of consciousness—those of the spiritual nature of life and the question of life after physical death as we know it. On the other hand, to be 100% Unconditionally Loving, desiring to do good to others, one first has to be :
100% forgiving
100% tolerant
100% at peace with the world

How conscious are you and how conscious do you want to become?

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