If there is a metaphorical throne for the human soul, it would reside in the seemingly innocuous organ we call the brain. Creased and bulbous, almost like a gently pulsating mass of coalesced flesh, it is the engine of the human body, and the architect of all our perceived reality and emotions.
This is not to be contested – whether it be the unspun yarns of love, the putrescence retch of disgust or the brief shimmers of optimism, all that is and will be, have been unanimously proven to originate from the brain.
We are who we are because of the collected experiences and memories that reside in our brain. A single powerful memory – of person, place or trauma – leaves an indelible scar that molds and stretches our behaviour with indiscernible subtlety, and very often, its lingering effects last for many years ahead, if not for life.
The brain may seem feeble at times: a computer solves a mathematical problem with glided ease and deserving arrogance, while most human brains will slave away, fatigued, and eventually produce results that are usually rife with inaccuracies.
Yet a computer can no more tell the difference between one mammalian expression from the next, nor can it extricate meaningful sense from contexts dependent on inferences – here the human brain excels with preternatural agility.
Our brain is a remarkably complex organ, and understandably, we are yet to piece together a complete theory on how different parts of the brain come together to communicate and create a coherent reality. Such is the sophistication that underlies brain circuitry.
But it’s incredible that all our memories, habits, tendencies, expectations, extremities of emotions and darkest thoughts are all birthed in this sentient organ.
What are we?