“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” (Matt 15:19a)
I have been meditating on this verse ever since I first read it many years ago. It was truly my first epiphany in the scriptures, as it radically altered my perception of reality. For most of my life, I always thought the mind was essentially synonymous with the brain, and scientists work at length to perpetuate this myth as I see it. However, eight words from the creator of mankind alludes to the truth about how humans are wired. “Thought” does not come from the material brain, it comes from the immaterial soul.
Jesus says thoughts comes from the “heart.” By heart, Jesus does not mean the physical organ located in our chest (though the organ plays a part in all this too), but rather the very center of the human person. That is, the soul: the aspect of the human person which brings life, movement, and purpose to the body.
The relationship between the soul and brain has to do with the interior self and the exterior world. When scientists examine the brain, and they observe the activity of synapses, they are not observing the cause of thought, they are observing the result of thought.
The material brain is how we enter the external material world. Without a brain, we are unable to communicate our thoughts for we are unable to activate our mouth and other organs which can be a means of nonverbal communication. We need our brains to activate our salivary glands when we think about McDonald’s french fries. We need our brains to feel the pain of strained lacrimal glands and that lump in our throats when we suffer emotional turmoil. However, if we had a malfunctioning brain, it does not mean we would no longer experience emotional turmoil. The only difference would be that we would not experience the physical side (the material “result” or “effect”) of that turmoil. The soul would still be effected either way.
“ And in hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luk 16:23-24)
In death, though we lose our brain, we mysteriously still have a mind and retain thought (for thought has its origin in the soul, not the brain); Though we lose our eyes, we mysteriously still have sight; Though we lose our mouth, we still retain a mysterious form of communication.
However, what we do not have without a body is the ability to take these things into the external material world. That’s my theory anyway.