1. What is a Mind?

This is a work in progress. Come back in a couple of years.


Evolutionary theory does not apply to the mind.

True knowledge always helps us survive.

Philosophy is no longer relevant to the pursuit of science.

Emotions are the opposite of rational thought.

Values can be known objectively.

­­­We remember all experience.

Memories are just recollections of past experience.

Consciousness applies to a single ego.


How do we generate behavior from conscious perception?

However, success is not necessarily the same as truth; survival is no guarantee of truth. For example, convincing a population that heaven will be the reward for good behavior, will make them less violent and more law-abiding whether heaven exists or not; successful behavior is not necessarily based in a true grasp of reality. This point has been somewhat belaboured because, for reasons that will be explained later, using our flawed concept of sight perceptions provides a basis for choosing successful behavior, but, as will be proved, it is a false conception. This would not much matter and we would not have noticed this mistake, except it hides the true nature of sight from us. That makes no difference to the pursuit of the physical sciences, they are another example of success based in a false belief, but, after several turns, our false sight concept hides our basic psychology from us. In fact, it has misled us about the basic components and operations of our nervous systems. In these first few pages, a radically different concept of consciousness will be presented for your consideration. In this case, the words radically different mean that some of our most trusted assumptions will be challenged.

Despite philosophy’s appearance of triviality in comparison to modern science, philosophers have been making progress on the perspective problem for several hundred years. Here we will try to synthesize their thoughts into a coherent explanation of our sight relationship with reality. This will allow us to use all of our conscious perceptions to observe our behavioral selection system in operation. From those observations, we will deduce the nervous system’s components and the rules that govern their operations. In short, we will explain the psychology of conscious animals.

Our behavioral selection system takes in perceptions from our sense organs, associates meaning with those perceptions from memory, and triggers life promoting behavior according to the evolutionary developed, genetically programed rules of operation. These rules are dictated by the biological operations of our nervous systems in the same way that acid and bile are produced according to the biological operations (genetically programed rules) of our digestive systems.

The first and primary rule of our behavioral selection system is that survival depends the self-interested meaning of our perceptions. Like others, I once believed that meaning could be looked up in a dictionary, but how surprised would you be to look up a word like ‘afferent’ only to find: afferent - adjective, afferent. Yet such a dictionary entry has correctly identified the word you looked up. The real entry: afferent - adjective, bringing to, tells you no more in that the two identities are equal unless you know why you looked the word up. Perhaps you came across the word and confused it with the word, efferent - adjective, conveying out-ward or away, and needed to know whether something was going away or coming towards. The meaning of any word is more than the tautology of identification: this equals that. You didn’t look up the word out of idle curiosity; you looked it up out of self-interest. It mattered to you whether something was coming or going. The dictionary only supplied the identification meaning of the word, which allowed you to communicate the concept, but didn’t add to your knowledge of the concept. However, while you may not have noticed doing it, you also interpreted how that concept affected you. The real question was not, “What does afferent mean?” but “What does afferent mean to me in this situation?” Any answer to that question can only be a self-interested, evaluative meaning.

It makes no difference which word means coming or going, you only care whether something is coming or going, and you only care because it affects you. It is good news, if the pandemic is efferent; bad news, if it is afferent. On the other hand, afferent progress towards a vaccine is good news and efferent progress away from a vaccine is bad news. The motive for looking up which of the words means which is to determine whether the identifying meaning is good or bad for you – that information will determine your behavior. The identifying kind of meaning does not determine behavior, the evaluative kind of meaning does.

I can only take partial credit for noticing the distinction between the two meanings of identity and evaluation because the initial distinction was made by a famous American philosopher. Robert M. Pirsig wrote the best selling, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book no one, not ever Pirsig, appears to have understood. His conclusion, the main point of the book, is that Quality (his capitalization) gives rise to all reality. My reason for thinking he didn’t understand his own thesis resides in his refusal or inability to define Quality. However, he offers a clue. In what he calls his “Chautauqua” or monologue, he points out that the only difference between a tuxedo and basic army fatigues is Quality. I noticed that if he is correct about the difference between formal wear and basic clothing, then the difference between basic clothing and nothing must also be quality, value, evaluation, self-interest. Self-interest is the only motive for noticing clothing or anything else. Self-interest provokes and guides our consciousness. Just like the motive for looking up the word ‘afferent’, the motive for wearing any kind of clothing is self-interest. Are you going out for the evening, taking a hike, or going to a nudist colony? Your self-interest, your ability to fit your clothing to the situation, will determine your choice of outfit.

Consider the alternative, plants are living beings without self-interest and have no behavioral choices. Wheat cannot avoid the harvest, in fact, wheat is not conscious of its impending fate. The improved animal evolutionary process selected for consciousness of threats to and opportunities for life as defined by pain and pleasure. Self-interest as defined by punishment (pain) and reward (pleasure) is a standard for a system that selects the best behavioral option known to prolong life. Self-interest is a single standard for choosing behavior that works for insects, humans and every other animal between. Every other standard quickly leads to mass extinction.

The act of denying that evolution has programmed self-interest into our very genes suggests and leads to the belief in a false relationship between each of us and the rest of reality. We are not, in fact, in-the-scene like the rest of reality. Rather, like a submarine or spaceship, we are separate from the scene and can only perceive and act on our environment from within our skin. Evolution has promoted our chances for survival and reproduction by giving us a bubble of self-interest – contra mundi. Individual animals act, behave, to promote their own survival and reproduction because they are separated from all other animals, plants, and things by self-interest. Evolution has separated living beings with behavioral choices from each other and the rest of reality by making each conscious of their self-interest.

The previous belief, that identity meaning alone determines behavior, assumes that we all have the same self-interest, that interest is objective and one behavior suits everyone and every situation. None of those are true. For example, cattle, pigs, and chickens do not share a carnivore’s interests, and would run from us, if they knew what we are up to. We haven’t noticed before because the evolutionary process misleads us into falsely accepting the possibility of objective truth. Not just us, many animals are misled in this way because their survival chances are improved by a mistaken learning that takes place in the first few days and weeks of life.

At an early age we learn our first false ‘fact’. We learn a lie about sight that must be adopted and relied on by all animals with two front-facing eyes because it facilitates our ability to exploit the environment. While it seems obvious that the data from four of our five senses can only be known through our sense organs, practicality enforces the idea that sight must be an out-of-body experience. We know that we feel heat, cold and rough on our skin, smell scents and odours in our noses, taste in our mouths and hear in our ears, but, in order to accurately touch, grasp or aim, we must learn to believe, not that we see things in our eyes, as would be the case with all other sensations but, unique among all organs, we believe that eyes perceive things where they exist. We must use cues like size and clarity to compensate for the distance between eyes and their object because, as with other sense organs, we can only perceive in the organ, see in our eyes. Life is easier, if we pretend that we see things and reach for them in the same place because that is where they exist. Otherwise, every reach for a coffee cup would be an adventure. To survive we must learn hand to eye coordination, that is, to visualize things where we would reach for them.

We don’t notice our mistaken concept of where we see for two reasons. First, there is great usefulness to believing that we see things where they exist because that belief lets us grab things without doing the calculations necessary to adjust our muscle movements to compensate for the distance between our eyes and their object. Just seeing the object of your desire allows you to walk over and grab it. Second, we have no choice: our memory’s have evolved to just edit the calculations out.

Consider the alternatives. We could have, like plants, failed to evolve a nervous system that determines behavior, but then we would be surrendered to fate without any response. Given consciousness and the ability to store a record of our conscious perceptions, we must wonder what rules govern our learning and recollection. Random memories would be totally ineffective; any response that stands some chance of helping also stands the same chance of hurting. We could have evolved to learn and remember everything, but that would overwhelm us with lengthy chains of memory that postpone action. Depending on a book length series of memories to settle on responses would delay timely reactions to immediate opportunities and danger. In fact, the evolutionary process has selected to learn and remember based our body’s evaluation of self-interest as defined by the pain and pleasure components of our emotions. Pain and pleasure motivate us to associate cause with effect. Imminent danger is associated with (provokes) fear and an almost immediate response; the hard-knocks lessons of in-between memories have been edited out. You don’t need to remember how you learned this association. On the first day of a new job you may need a map, but by the end of the week you can get there without the map. By the end of the second week you can barely remember the drive. Finding yourself buffed, polished and ready for work is directly associated with your workplace. The drive or bus trip can be done on autopilot. Evolution favored a nervous system that jumps directly from problem to solution based on self-interest. Editing chains of association so that first becomes associated with last is another genetically programed rule of our nervous system.

Here is as good a place as any to reveal how and why we learn and remember. It is not the case that memories are just recollections of past events. They are that, but more generally memories are brain stored instructions that return a conscious organ back to its remembered condition or state. To remember your mother’s face, close your eyes and think of her face or say, “mom’s face”. Your brain will send a signal to your eyes that returns them to the state they were in when they last saw her face. Your eyes now see her face as it was. You learned a picture of her face in the reverse process. Then, your mother was visible to you and the state of your eyes, while looking at her, was stored in your brain. Unless the other sights of that time were important to your self-interest, they were not learned, have been edited out, or cannot be remembered. All three options depend on the primary rule, self-interest selects for learning, storing, and remembering. Evolution has selected to have every organ connected to the brain by nerves work the same way eyes do. When we are conscious of either pain or pleasure our brains store the current settings of each of our organs. At future time, a match in any organ to such settings, sends all settings back to their organs of origin recreating the learned settings. If you successfully jumped out of the way before, the sight of approaching danger will recreate jumping settings in your leg muscles. There is not a how or why, this is the best so-far-evolved system for selecting behavior that favors survival and reproduction. These are the genetically programed rules for selecting behavior. We will return to this topic many times to flesh out the details.

The rules as explained so far would have been obvious to everyone, if we had not been misled by learning hand to eye coordination. Believing that we see things where they exist falsely convinces us that others can see what we see. We don’t make the same mistake with our other sense organs. Did you hear that? Do you like that taste or smell? How does that feel to you? Experience has taught us that others sometimes experience sound, taste, smell, and touch differently, but we are incredulous when others claim that they cannot see what we see. It’s right there for anyone to see! The belief that we share a vision jacks up its creditability. If we all saw it, it must be true. This universally learned lie forms one of the foundation stones of our belief system before we have learned to speak. As reason now tells us, we do not see out of our self-interested bubble; light reflects in from the rest of reality.

By now the reader should be wondering why I’ve been banging on about this learned sight mistake for so long. Well, it’s important because it is about to flip all of science pole over pole while maintaining what is known about the physical sciences and opening up a legitimate way of observing our psychology. It isn’t that agreed on sights aren’t more reliable, it is that believing that we share sight discounts the reliability of other individual sensory experience. We believe that measuring speed with a stopwatch is more reliable than observations of our emotional states, that sight is objective while other conscious senses can only produce subjective observations. We have believed that, “Seeing is believing.” However, we forget that using a stopwatch to measure speed is an accurate way of measuring nothing more reliable than imagination. Miles and kilometers, hours and seconds are no less products of imagination than leprechauns and fairies. We base time measurement on the assumption that the earth revolves around the sun at a consistent rate and distance on the length of an unusually long human foot or the distance between the equator and the poles. One wonders, what ultimately reliable units the initial measurement was made before that distance was divided into meters. In fact, all experience is personal, subjective, and equally reliable or unreliable. Science’s insistence that other sensations are subjectively unreliable and must be ignored depends on our having not yet imagined units of perceptions like color, emotion, or temperature or a means to measure those units. Yet, lie detectors depend of measuring physiological changes like skin conductivity and heart rate. Can instruments that quantify perceptions of emotion be far behind? The general agreement based on our faulty sight concept limits the kinds of experience we can use in observations to sight, but it is only by observing all of our conscious feelings that we can deduce the genetically programed rules of behavior and how they select for self-interested behavior.

The mistake about where we see wasn’t the only flaw in our concept of our behavioral selection system. The reader may have noticed the absence of the word ‘mind’ from this work. I have avoided it because it implies a single executive. Kant believed that he had proved such a unified mind, but it is another mistake. If you ask a clever brain surgeon to remove your mind. She or he will knock on your head three times and send you a big bill. The mind is a concept not an organ. Mind has become a catch all for our ignorance. Questions like: “Are you thinking with the little head not the big one?”, “Are you cranky because something is bothering you?”, and “Is that the booze talking?” point to separate executives. As you will later be able to observe for yourself, each unit of knowledge (memory) includes its own executive. Each conscious perception taps into its own behavior and in each case that executive acts in your self-interest and feels like you, but you can easily observe for yourself that the executive of one’s sex organs (reproduction) has different goals that the executive of one’s stomach (survival) – little head, big head. Yes, that’s millions of knowledge units carrying all kinds of instructions. Like the mouth secreting saliva according to its rules and the stomach secreting acid according to its rules the operations are independent, but usually cooperative. Each and everyone of our memories has its own executive evaluation and power to execute using the same standard or goal – survival long enough to reproduce.



I want a self-driving car that will not drive over my neighbors or their children or their pets. Artificial Intelligence should be at least that smart - right? I want to walk any street, day or night, without fear of attack, robbery or murder. Why do some people become criminals? We've been at this a long time, why can't we make a dent in this question? I want to understand the aging process, so I do not have to die. Computers are many times faster than us; why can't they solve our most pressing problems. All these problems and many more besides would be solved by understanding how our minds work. If you knew how you now, so often, make the best choices you could teach a computer to think like a human. Computers process faster than humans; with terabytes of information, access to the whole internet and human thought processes, they would drive better than us and could bring both speed and unsurpassed resources to bear on medical, and other, scientific research. Artificial, human-style intelligence would make better informed choices than we do. Understanding our thought processes would improve us too. Psychologists would be able predict criminal tendencies and fix them before either perpetrator or victim suffered. Faster, safer cars, a law-abiding population and accelerated, accurate scientific research would revolutionize our lives. And, that would just begin the benefit list.

None of this is new. Philosophers and scientists have been making the effort to understand thought for thousands of years exactly because they grasped the positive effects that would accrue, but their own universally believed observations have misled them. Despite how it looks, the sun does not circle the earth and the earth is not flat. Like Columbus, who sailed west to go east, we must deny our sensory observations to get where we want to go. Our minds do not function, even remotely, as we have collectively believed.

The behavior of humans, and all other animals with brains, is selected and controlled by data that is experienced internally as feelings. Eight kinds of data/feelings identify, evaluate and act in in four kinds of organs, which are identifying (five senses), evaluative (pain or pleasure producing organs), acting (muscles) and storing (brain).

These feelings automatically select, engage and control the behavior most likely to favor survival and reproduction. All organs connected by nerves, however indirectly, have an equal potential to play a role in that selection process. Anyone with a grounding in biological principles hears a ring of truth in these words, if only because the concept meshes with what we already know about biological systems. However, the idea that the brain is not 'solely in charge' is not only counter intuitive, it also denies our daily experience. The operations of our nervous system hide the operations of our nervous system. For that reason, the fully developed adult nervous system presents an intricate and complex knot to unravel.

What do we need to observe in order to understand our nervous system? A Neanderthal finding a corpse with a small hole in the forehead and larger hole at the back of the head cannot guess a bullet caused the death. The result only suggests the cause to those already familiar with both. No knowledge of bullets existed in cave dweller's times, so the Neanderthal could not suspect that a bullet caused the hole. We face the same kind of puzzle. What causes our behavior? Looking at behavior does not help because behavior is the result, not the cause. The cause of our behavior is as unlikely to present itself from our brains as a bullet is unlikely to be an answer in the memory of a Neanderthal.

The unlikely source of our behavior is feelings. Our feelings cause our behavior, but before we can explain how, distinctions and classifications must be made. For example, we can only experience sight as pure feeling, if what we see is totally unfamiliar to us. (David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739 was, I believe, the first to call sight, sound, taste and smell - feelings.) We experience the sight of colors and shapes that suggest no object, situation or process as the pure feeling of sight. What am I looking at? As soon as we identify something, the sight feeling becomes the object or situation. For reasons that will be explained in the next part, our experience changes from form, a feeling, to content, a fact. Oh, it is a tree. The sight feeling of a tree immediately becomes the identified tree to us. We do not say, "I feel a sight experience that represents a tree." We say, "That is a tree." In the same vein, when asked, "Why did you kick the dog?" We explain, "The dog bit Jimmy." We do not stipulate, "My sight feeling of the dog biting Jimmy triggered my behavior." If we did, we would know that our feelings cause our behavior. Likewise, recognized sound feelings quickly become words, ideas and knowledge. Again, we miss the feeling (the cause) and focus on the factual content (the result). Feelings, like sight, sound, touch, smell and taste (as will be explained in the next paragraph) have been edited to register as their content, for example, objects, words, surfaces and foods. Properly interpreted, consciousness gives us full access to the causes of our behavior through the awareness of feelings as they are created and traffic along our nerves between organs. We have never looked at conscious feelings as the cause of behavior before for two reasons.

The first is biological, in a process that speeds up our best current responses, all memories are reflexively re-recorded with any discovered updates whenever we remember them. Each cycle edits out obsolete steps and calculations leaving only the most recent answer. This explains why we jump to "tree" from the sight feeling and to words from sound feelings. Editing improves function at the cost of simplicity. Those lacking this evolvement had to stop and wonder each time, from scratch, how to handle a second or third charging lion. They failed to reproduce. We survivors must puzzle through first encounter but can deal with repeat experiences using the most highly evaluated answers, which is usually the latest. (For example, most of us can easily solve the math problem, five times fifteen. Take a second to "do the math" for yourself. Now that you have the answer, you can respond to the same question without "doing the math". You need not rework the result; your brain jumps past the calculation to seventy-five. We do not do "the math" unconsciously; the calculation is sequestered, no longer quickly available, ignored because seventy-five has replaced it as the most recent answer. Seventy-five is now directly linked to the question, "What is five times fifteen?" Editing promotes survival by saving time and pre-selecting the best current response. Sight of a second lion quickly prompts survivors to climb.) While such revisions improve efficiency, they edit out the feeling parts of our behavioral selection process, which make the results appear mysteriously spontaneous and convinces us that facts and reasons, rather than feelings, cause our behavior.

The second reason is the inevitable consequence of the above-described, biological substitution of facts for feelings. The edited version dictated the historic development of our scientific method, which led us to assume that observations could be objective because we consider minds to be mental rather than physical entities. That belief is based on the supposition that we are our brains and they see the world where it exists. Consequently, while scientists claim that our behavioral selection system is physical, our current scientific assumption is ambivalent about which reality our system occupies. Our brains appear to be in control because the editing process described above misleads us about which parts of us see and which parts understand. We mistakenly believe that our brains are our thinking and command organ. This conceptual mistake is the natural result of learning depth perception. Each child reflexively learns to visualize the world through a distorting lens in order to accurately touch, grasp and aim at things. You could not easily pick up a pen from your desk without three-dimensional vision, but this sight skill requires that you learn to believe that your brain looks through your eyes to the object. Learning to coordinate a single view from two eyes gives us depth perception, a single picture of things where they exist, but at the expense of a newborn's pure but less useful twin, two-dimensional views. The improved utility of stereoscopic sight misleads us about what parts of us see. Adult eyes can feel that our single, 3D view is sourced from the brain, which convinces them that our brains see through our eyes. We do not realize that it is our eyes that see because reflex editing hides any record of our brains learning to produce depth perceptionThis is the source of our conceptual mistake. Based on both reflex editing and the thought of early Church leaders, one of the first philosophers and scientists of the modern era, Rene Descartes' (1596 to 1650), believed that our behavior selection system is a single organ that exists in an inaccessible mental reality. Later, this history will be explained in more detail, but here is the bare-bones introductory version. He explained our single view of things, where they exist, and our pre-edited, magically instant answers (75, climb) as the result of minds (souls) existing in a mental (spiritual) reality, where physical laws do not apply. That theory used religious dogma to explain our apparently magical, mental system, which allowed them to believe that our brains share an objective view of physical reality from a mental reality vantage. 

At the time of this writing, science's reality-based explanation has prevailed over the mental (spiritual) construction. Educated people now believe that our physical brains do our thinking. Science has repatriated our minds to this physical reality but has maintained Descartes' conception that we have a single thinking and command organ. Descartes cannot be blamed, as we will see later, the origins of this idea are not only grounded in biology, but also lost in prehistory. Almost everyone still believes that their knowledge and its meaning exist in mental reality; while, at the same time believing that our brains exist in this world. This mishmash of scientific and religious ideas keeps us from seeing the obvious: we are mistaken. Our nervous system remains a mystery because editing and the mental/physical reality confusion lead us to believe that on some level our control system is a unified whole, both aware of and able to draw on all knowledge contained within. However, that implies a series of ever-diminishing homunculus minds that, at the end of infinity, have a godlike, complete awareness of our knowledge and mastery over our behavior. As we will show, it does not work that way. Instead, just as teeth and colon obliviously cooperate to digest food, our behavior is the result of a collection of components that work together, while unaware of each other's existence. They select behavior most likely to favor survival and reproduction. Stubbing your toe only hurts your toe. Your ankle and knee are just fine, but stubbing your toe affects your whole-body for reasons explained below. This whole-body effect leads us to believe in a single controlling brain, however, while the effect is universal, it has multiple sources. Just as connected organs digest our food, connected organs select and implement our behavior. Each organ in both systems chugs along in oblivion, collectively producing nutrition or behavior because they live in the same skin bag. 

This introduction exposes the causes of our mistake. Our eyes appear to see things where they exist because depth perception depends on picturing things where they exist. Our eyes do not see things where they exist. They use the feelings from each eye and compensate for distance, which leads us to believe that our brains see and, logically convinces us, that others' eyes can objectively see the same things our eyes see. Depth perception tricks us. In fact, we feel sight in our eyes. Every eye that has learned depth perception compensates for distance from their unique perspective. Each eye's view is private, subjective. As Edmund Husserl (Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology, 1913) noted, we cast our mistake in concrete by thinking and talking about the feelings in our eyes with word symbols, which barely stand in for our richly detailed, sensory feelings. Sparse as language is, sharing labels reinforces our mistaken belief that all our eyes feel exactly the same sights. Our automatic editing jumps our conscious feeling past the sight feeling and substitutes the sound feeling of the word label. The combination of editing, depth perception and language lead us to mistakenly believe that our brains experience the world from a perspective that is exempt from scientific laws. If that were true, our brains could be neutral observers, unaffected by this world or the observers' self-interest. That mistake logically followed from learning depth perception, which convinced scientists to demand objective observations, and in turn, stopped any real progress in psychology. 

We started to recover from our mistake when, Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason, 1781) realized that we had put too much trust in Descartes' heavenly perspective. Kant's argument implies that the observer, in fact, has biological sense organs with physical limitations. Without realizing it, he had pulled the sensory parts of the nervous system into physical reality. For reasons explained below, he had unwittingly stopped doing philosophy and started doing science. His insight does not much affect the physical sciences because they depend on observations of things outside our nervous systems, where the substitution of facts for feelings does not affect the result. However, to understand our psychology, we need internal observations of our feelings, which is the data that traffics between organs in our nervous system. None of us have a perspective from which they can objectively observer another's feelings. We can only experience the two aspects of our nervous system separately - one from outside and the other from inside. We can identify the components of a nervous system (brain, nerves, muscles, eyes, etc.) in anyone, but we can only experience the feelings in those organs for ourselves. The nervous system's physical organs can be observed from outside, but to limit ourselves to those observations would be like studying the digestive system while ignoring the effects and affects of food and water. For that reason, the approach must change. Using internal feelings with external observations, other philosophers/psychologists like, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Husserl picked up and advanced Kant's point. Of them, only Husserl noticed that philosophers had been doing science in a new way. He called his subjective observational method 'Phenomenal Science'. A correct understanding of where eyes feel sight and where evaluative organs understand self-interest adjusts the scientific method to reflect the idea that minds are a collection of physical organs that cooperate, and while we can observe the hardware externally, the software can only be observed internally. That is, we can take advantage of our inside perspective; like a stubbed toe, mind components can feel themselves. 

Here we will show that nervous systems, reasoning, ideas, judgements and knowledge consist of mass or energy, and all can only exist in conscious beings. Books reputed to hold knowledge, in fact, consist of ink on paper that scarcely represents symbolic knowledge. Physical feelings can only exist in the minds of writers, readers then construct their feelings based on the written symbols. We call it the reading skill. Writing is barely adequate to transfer author's feelings to their readers and is always open to interpretation. Consciousness evolved as a number of homeostatic, feedback loops; a feature of some parts of our nervous system that allows awareness of threats, opportunities and movement. Like other life-support systems our conscious organs evolved for survival and are, therefore, not neutral observers but self-interested. They make us self-interested by defining our relationship with reality as helpful or harmful to the evolutionary goals of survival and reproduction. We will argue that anyone who understands 3D sight, hand/eye coordination, automatic editing and the language illusion can discover our nervous system's operations by observing their own consciousness from inside. Our confidence in this subjective method is guided by the answers to four riddles. Are our sense organs reliable? What part of you is reading this? Where does it see these words? Does our ability to communicate mean that we share experience objectively? Do not respond too quickly, what you have just read only foreshadows the evidence-based answers. These first few pages will alert the reader to a new concept of science and an evidence-based method for answering all four questions.

A Note on Language: Our languages were developed while assuming a brain or soul centered executive. The use of names and pronouns (Sally, Joe, you, I, me etc.) assumes a single decision maker. The concept described here does not, and requires naming the specific organs responsible for identifying, decisions and actions. (Freud was right, three organs (stomach - ego, brain - super ego and sex organ - id) make most decisions.) Every attempt has been made to use logical language, but, much as we use I or me to refer to our whole body, here proper names and pronouns to refer to the contents of our whole bag of skin - especially where the exact organ cannot or need not be identified or several organs determine the action in question. Old habits die hard, I expect that several mistakes of attribution linger in the text. 


Four Riddles

Are our sense organs reliable?

If you try to imagine how any mouse, trout or sparrow might view the world, you could assume that they see it much as you did when a child. That is, a child assumes that they see and sense an accurate and complete picture of reality. Edmund Husserl called that view the "natural attitude". Any animal intent on surviving the day would naturally assume that their view was the only possible view. Adult humans grow suspicious of that theory when confronted with color blindness and myopia. Immanuel Kant argued that data from our sense organs is not a thorough nor a true report of reality. The problem is not the odd illusion; mirages rarely fool us. The less obvious problem rests in the fact that no sense organ can directly experience, what Kant called, "nomenal" or absolute reality. It is the underlying source of, what he called our "phenomenal" (five senses) observations. Design limits the reach and grasp of all sense organs. They evolved to help us survive, not find ultimate truth. For example, our eyes interpret light as motion, color and shape. We focus on our feelings of color and shape because they represent things that might help or harm. If current science's theories are correct, our sight feeling is the response of light sensitive cells to some frequencies of electromagnetism, but Kant tells us, in an early hint of postmodernism, that no final answer is possible. We can only sense the feelings produced in our sense organs; we do not directly sense or comprehend the true nature of energies like light or sound, nor is the result anything but the feeling of nomenal energy affecting our sense organs. Before Kant's insight, we innocently believed that our senses reported a true view of the nomenal world. After Kant, we realized that, that belief was naive. Our sense organs are purpose built for survival and cannot be trusted for scientific work without understanding their inherent limits.


What part of you is reading this?

Almost everyone would assume that our brains do the reading. The accepted theory, the basis of psychology for hundreds of years, holds that a sensorium or screen in the visual cortex 'sees' through our eyes. The half-understood Latin jargon sounds impressive, but, as we will soon show, the real answer is simpler: brains get a form of the data, but they do not see the letters, nor, as we will show later, do they understand the words. Our brains match the patterns of what eyes see from the page. They reflexively produce matching data along with other linked feelings. These linked feelings make the system successful. Other body parts feel them as meaning and/or motion. Eyes read the fridge note, "Fresh grapes inside." The words trigger our eyes to visualize grapes from memory and memories linked to that visualization prompts our mouths and/or stomachs decide on action or inaction in patterns dictated to muscles by linked memories. We guessed wrongly that brains see and understand because 3D sight and hand/eye coordination mislead us. 

Adults no longer see and hear raw feelings the way that babies do. All animals with two front facing eyes naturally benefit from learning to use their crude two-dimensional perceptions to see depth. We do not notice this acquired skill much as we do not notice reversing our reflected view in a mirror, that is, we do not notice until we cannot easily read the reflection of written words. We use 3D sight for the depth perception that guides muscles while touching, grasping and aiming. Our nervous systems naturally use 3D sight with hand/eye coordination unquestioningly because, without them, we would find life nearly impossible. We know that learning edits our raw perceptions because when impaired we forget how to see in 3D and how to control our muscles. If you have ever experienced drunken double vision, reason will tell you that each newborn starts life with double vision, seeing two views - one from each eye. Drunks also forget how to walk efficiently. An adult's drunken sight and movements are impaired; a baby's sight and movements are raw and uncorrected. Within six weeks of birth, the mind's algorithmic learning rules (see chapter three) naturally coordinate the two pictures, merging two views into one that provides depth perception. You can prove this to yourself by straitening up your fingers and holding them against your nose between two open eyes. Your fingers nearly disappear. Yet, closing either eye proves that each eye sees your fingers fully but ignores that data when both eyes are open. This effect is due to the learned skill of 3D vision. (For many more examples and experiments see Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, 1813). Babies learn to merge our two eye's current data, and thereafter we (as explained above) skip "the math" needed to re-see (explained in the next paragraph) a single, 3D view a fraction of a second later. Even with effort, sober people cannot revert to double vision because reflex editing skips over the double vision to 3D vision, and we cannot re-do "the math" again. Unless impaired, our two eyes only see the single 3D view for the rest of their lives. Although it takes years instead of weeks, the same algorithm teaches muscle control, and thereafter, desire is all we need to guide our sober actions. Again, because we skip "the math".

3D vision would just be another helpful childhood learned skill except that it misleads us about which part of us sees. Seeing one picture persuades adults that our brains look out through two eye windows. Scientists now believe that the visual cortex end of the connection sees the single view. As might be expected, we assume that closing one eye forces the brain to look out through the other eye. In these brief periods, we do not notice that using one eye limits us to 2D vision. We also overlook the experience of seeing memories in our eyes. Remembering your mother's face is easier if you close your eyes. Closing our eyes makes it easier to remember because open eyes tend to override memory with a flood of current sight. Only eyes, not the visual cortex, have the light sensitive cells to feel the sight of both current and remembered data. We identify by remembering past feelings. Our minds feel discomfort when memory does not confirm current sight. We easily spot the miss-synchronization of movie pictures with spoken words because our brains constantly bombard our sense organs with synchronized memories. While visual memories are brain data, we see it in our eyes; light does not affect brains. Brains are blind to sight feelings because they have no light sensitive cells that feel light. 

If eyes see, where do they see these words?

Most readers will assume that our eyes see these words in the place where they exist - on a page or screen at some distance from their eyes. However, as a result of our brains' learning algorithm, perception and muscles to work together, hand/eye coordination compensates for depth. The ability to accurately touch and grasp installs the belief that we see things where they exist. 

Any sighted person with a coffee cup in front of them emphatically believes that they see it in the place it exists. It is right there, on their desk! They can confirm that by reaching out and touching it. Things exists where we touch them, but we do not really see them there. Learning hand/eye coordination usefully but falsely convinces us that we see things where they exist. Every first-year physics student can tell you that we cannot project sight. Blocking all light sources convinces us that we are completely blind to anything beyond the surface of our eyeballs. Nothing comes out. Sight is one way. Our eyes are cameras, not flashlights. All light reflected from things enters our eyes. They absorb reflections, and then, memory compensates for the distance. While our brains do store memories, only our eyes can see current sights or memories.


Does our ability to communicate mean that we share sensory perceptions objectively?

Edmund Husserl proposed a ground-breaking answer to this question. He was a German Jew, who came into the full prime of his career in the late 1930's, so the Nazis made sure his phenomenal approach did not get the timely publicity it deserved. They forbade him teaching or even speaking in public. After WW II, his so-called "Existentialist" followers, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre, got the attention and fame. They used his new scientific method to delve into the philosophical mystery of consciousness. Why are some groups of atoms conscious while others are not? Their focus on the nature of consciousness missed the big-picture, psychological science that naturally follows from using Husserl's method. The nature of consciousness does not concern us here. Our interest is psychological. We will use the science of phenomenalism to investigate how consciousness helps us survive and reproduce. In other words, how our nervous systems work. Like all animals, you the reader, took your natural experience at face value. You believed that your brain "naturally" saw the world, as it exists, where it exists. As if that were not enough to mislead us, as Husserl discovered, the three illusions explained above gain even more creditability by our use of language.

The eyes of two people sitting across a table at breakfast see completely different colors and words from the front and back of the same cereal box. As Husserl said, we see different views of the same thing because the reflected light comes from different perspectives, but that does not fool us into believing that we see different boxes. Husserl missed the inherent deceptions in depth perception and hand/eye coordination but did notice that our brains edit raw sensory perceptions by skipping "the math". We jump over taste, sight and aroma to the word symbols "cup of coffee" (his example) that labels and identifies each individual's perceptions. (This is another example of editing down to the useful essentials. Later we will see how it tends to make our thoughts rigid.) Husserl noticed that individuals, seeing the same object, like a cereal box, from different sides, still use the same word label to identify it. We taste, smell, feel, hear and see differently from each other because each of us has exclusive sense organs that sense from our specific perspectives. Nevertheless, we have all learned to label our own perspective on taste, aroma and sight with the same words "cup of coffee". That is the essence of learning language. Husserl held that while each person's five senses give us a private (subjective) view of reality, our brains edit out that basic, raw feelings leaving the universal concepts (facts and reasons) labelled by words. Speakers of any one language use the same words to describe their feelings; using the same labels appears to confirm that others see exactly what we see. We assume that our brains see what other brains see in the places that others see them. In fact, we only share a label for the shape and color of light entering our eyes. We can only experience raw sight feelings from our own perspective. Even when alone, we jump past the phenomenal view and substitute the word label. Unless specifically mindful of raw feelings, we ignore the sight and aroma feelings by jumping to "cup of coffee". (Freud also noticed the effect of this edit, and called the original, later forgotten, thought steps between stimulus and response, the "unconscious". He guessed that our brains repressed these in-between thought steps, rather than abandoning access to them because they were no longer useful for survival.) We cannot directly share our feelings with others, but we share the same language. Your eyes might see a boat from an airplane above; mine might see it from a submarine below. Our eyes experience vastly different sights from each perspective but brain, ears and mouth (muscles operating lungs, throat, jaw, tongue, etc.) share the same word label "boat". While we share a universal language, our sensory experience remains subjectively personal.


Innocently trusting depth perception has formed the premise of a logical chain that leads us, deduction-by-deduction, further from raw sight feelings and their response to reality and naturally results in a mistaken distinction between kinds of observations. It convinces us that outside observations are more dependable than inside observations. We assume that inside observations only reflect our private thoughts, emotions and other bodily conditions. We call them subjective observations because we observe ourselves. They seem unreliable because only one bewildered witness exists. On the other hand, we call our outside observations, objective, because we mistakenly believe that if our brains see the things outside our bodies where they exist, other brains must be able to see what we see. We trust these supposedly shared observations because using the same words convinces us that we share experiences, and so we assume that others can confirm them. While we share the word "blue", we can be no more certain that we share the same color feeling than we can be sure that we share the same emotional experience. All observations take place inside our sense organs. No one is directly privy to another's feelings.

Some readers might object. They will say that we share more certainty in, "The sky is blue." than "I feel angry." However, while all English speakers call the color of the sky blue. We cannot see through another's eyes. Others may feel what I call "blue" as what I would feel as red, green or yellow. That is why colorblindness is not obvious. Regardless of what color we experience, English speakers have learned to label the color of the sky, "blue". As has been explained, this misunderstanding is the result of the brain's automatic editing feature that jumps over the current phenomenal experience to the word label.

Scientists have dismissed the use of subjective observations as unreliable and unscientific because, based on Descartes religious belief, they have mistakenly assumed that outside and inside observations have different degrees of credibility. We do not see things where they exist; we feel them inside our eyes, so all observations are internal and subjective, and have equal creditability.  Despite starting out as an honest attempt to weed out dubious "unconfirmed" knowledge, the four mistakes explained above have cumulatively led science to the false, objectivity rule. Husserl called the objectivity illusion, the "defect of science". Learning hand/eye coordination has taught us to fabricate objective observations. Knowing that depth perception and hand/eye coordination depend on interpreting raw sight feelings reveals that all sight is subjective.


History, Objectivity and Science

The objective/subjective distinction distorted the rules of science from the outset. The Christian laity already had their faith tested by the fourteenth century outbreak of the "black death". The clergy's deaths and their sensible avoidance of sick parishioners caused suspicion about God's power to protect the faithful. Medieval Church leaders saw that budding science would only add to this crisis. A scientific understanding of our nervous system's operations would contradict freewill. Psychology would allow men to look into their own 'souls' and, finding them predictable, could only undermine guilt for sinful behavior and, thereby, destroy the authority of religious leaders to damn them to hell. Psychology was a threat to their theological worldview and their power to rule, and they had the means to protect themselves. Centuries before, the Church had taken on the task of keeping knowledge and educating each next generation. They founded, owned and taught in the first universities where they used the naturally mistaken distinction between subjective and objective perceptions to protect freewill as a religious idea. As we will examine in more detail later, men like Bacon, Galileo, Descartes and Newton used rationalism to find a "scientific method", but while the Church allowed scientists to use objective observation to look at the outside world, they forbade the use of so-called, subjective observations. Churchmen used their teaching monopoly to allow the supposed objective physical sciences to proceed while misdirecting the subjective sciences by insisting that minds existed in a 'mental' reality. As we have seen, the hard sciences, believing the illusions already explained, have mistakenly called their subjective perceptions, objective observations. As a result, psychologists trying to "objectively" observe our 'mental' operations find themselves looking at nothing.

Now that we know that no difference exists, we realize that labeling subjective as objective could make no difference to physics. Where we see things does not affect physics. Physics is about what we see; where and how we see affect our concept of psychology. Objectivism perplexes 'mental' psychology because our nervous systems do not exist independently of our physical bodies. Only our organs can experience their own feelings. To advance our grasp of psychology we must abandon our belief in observational objectivity. However, history shows us (Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962) that all attempts by innovators to move to any next kind of investigative approach finds resistance from those making a living from the previous one. Now scientific journal editors and university professors have taken over the Church's teaching monopoly. They now own the knowledge and educate the students, and they too will not endure deviation. Like the Church, they will not publish or teach subjective observations. Realizing that all observations are equally subjective and equally creditable gives us license to scientifically examine our subjective observations with the same confidence we have previously given to what we mistakenly believed were shared observations. 

While observations can only be subjective, by using language we can share the results of our observations. As the old joke goes, one man calling you an ass, expresses a personal opinion; ten men of the same opinion should prompt you to buy a saddle. General agreement turns subjective observation into shared knowledge. At sea level, we, fairly-confidently, act on the assumption that water boils at one-hundred degrees Celsius.



How do we proceed?

Only now that we have cleared up the confusion about subjective observations can we talk about method. This work will proceed using Husserl's method. After a brief outline of the theory, I will describe my subjective experience while challenging the reader to observe their own feelings to test my observations. (Every reader has the access to observe their own nervous system as a scientifically interesting object.) I will then use logic and generally confirmed facts about anatomy to build a model of human (and other brained animals) nervous systems and their operations. It is the same process followed by all scientists when publishing their experimental results while challenging others to duplicate those results. No doubt, much room for advancement exists, and others will take up my invitation. This method can take advantage of our ability to experience our minds from the outside as well as from inside. A second step can confirm or deny our internally observed feelings; others, with biological, especially, physiological expertise, are, following the method of Ivan Pavlov, (Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes, 1928) invited to use externally focused, surgical experiments to confirm our subjective insights. Just as with our Neanderthal, we find it easier to observe when we already know what to look for. Cutting nerves that carry the traffic between parts of our behavior selection and control system will verify or disprove our observations. I double dare you, because proving my observations wrong would also offer insight into how the system works. 

We will now undertake a general discussion of consciousness, its components and their operations. This introduction is intended as a preliminary tour to acquaint the reader with the terms and concepts used in the more detailed analysis that follows. We will describe our conscious feelings, identify their source and discuss their functions in the behavioral selection system. Then we will show briefly how learning and remembering algorithms select current behavior while setting future behavior in memory. Finally, the basic reasons for our human advantage over other animals using the same behavior selection system will be introduced.  


What do We Observe?

The sum-total of our consciousness consists of eight kinds of feelings. Energy (light, heat, electricity, chemical, mechanical and etc.) creates them by affecting our sensitive organs. Each conscious feeling is a response felt by and in the sensing organ. Each kind has a separate function in our behavioral selection system

First, we generally accept that our five externally focused senses naturally and directly experience energy as feelings of sight, sound, scent, taste or touch. Their feelings identify the sources of their perceptions. Tree sight feelings identify trees. Car horn sounds identify cars. 

Secondly, most of us admit that our stomachs feel hunger, our skins feel cold and injury and etc. Any feelings of pain or pleasure evaluate all coincidental, conscious feelings. Annoyance (pain) evaluates car horn sounds.

Thirdly, it would be hard to deny that muscle organs also naturally and directly feel themselves in use as sensations of tension and relaxation. Otherwise, how would your arm know it had moved and has stopped? Muscle feelings reflect the actions anticipated or taken. We turn and look for the car responsible for the honk because we are annoyed.

These first three feeling types are current perceptual feelings.

Under specific conditions, the brain learns coincidental, currently perceived feelings together and under other conditions weaker versions (David Hume, again) are felt in the same organs and generated from memory data. Identifying and evaluating current feelings are x and y coordinates that select the learned action feelings that constitute behavior. Let us be clear, the brain cannot attribute meaning to the data it learns, stores and remembers, but brains are aware of both learning and remembering because these two actions generate distinct feelings in the brain. Learning and remembering are the fourth and fifth kinds of conscious feelings. The weaker, remembered (identity, evaluation and muscle) versions of current perceptual feelings constitute the sixth, seventh and eighth kinds of conscious feelings.


Memory Units

Brains are not magical thinking organs. Whatever their ancillary roles, they mainly function as a store for memory units. Any current or remembered evaluative feeling triggers the learning of all other perceptual feelings currently active in the nervous system, including themselves. One rule for all feelings. A memory unit can include current and remembered perceptual feelings, in any number felt in coincidence over a short time. Roughly, the time it takes to read a verse of poetry. While these feelings are individually ineffective, when combined they form a system that identifies, evaluates and responds to current reality. Identifying any one element prompts remembering all feelings in the memory unit into consciousness simultaneously. Action feelings are triggered by identifying feelings and controlled by evaluative feelings. Feelings that identify the situation automatically produce linked feelings from the same memory unit that evaluate it and select, start, control and stop the known behavior most likely to favor survival and reproduction. Learning and remembering are two sides of the same coin. We cannot remember without a triggering evaluation and learning is triggered by that evaluation, which forms a new memory unit that includes past and current coincidental feelings. As explained before, the nervous system edits by updating on the fly. The system is fairly simple; we learn and update successful behavior associated with specific things and situations and then remember it when prompted by matching our perceptions of those things and situations. No one should be surprised to find that we use learned knowledge to control current behavior. 



The brain's ability to feel the learning process misleads us. We feel the learning of data, which convinces us that eyes pitch and brains catch and comprehend the data. Comprehension is an assumption too far. The brain is just a hard drive, storing and retrieving matched data. Just as eyes re-see; ears re-hear; stomachs re-feel hunger and sexual organs re-feel arousal; arms, legs and fingers re-act their previously learned motions, brains only feel the learning and the matching/remembering of data. (Remembering automatically follows matching, and the two feelings are indistinguishable. For instance, our eyes experience the feeling of a light pattern as sight, our brains experience the feeling of matching that data as remembering. You cannot match without remembering or remember without matching. The two feelings cannot be separated.) The brain feels every conscious feeling because, it both matches and learns every conscious feeling. (One rule for all feelings.) It does not feel the data content, only the matching and learning operations. Just as computer operators, not computers, understand output, it is our energy sensitive organs that identify, evaluate and prescribe behavior. The brain, like a computer, has nothing to say about it.

The behavioral selection system starts with recognition/identification. Perceptual organs continuously feed their current feelings to the brain. We cannot turn them off, only sleep turns them down. (We still hear a cry of "Fire" in the night.) Logic tells us that our organs can only identify current sensory feelings by comparing them to matching, remembered feelings. The speed of matching results indicates an efficient location system. Like a Calgary street address, which is both the address and the directions to the location, the data itself may well be its own address in the brain. In that case, our current identifying feelings would go to their predetermined address in the brain. A vacant address would produce no response, the current feeling would be unrecognized, but when such an address had an occupant, it and each kind of the stored data linked together in that memory unit would be sent back, each to their own originating organ. I can think of no other explanation for the speed at which our five sense organs verify that we have not felt this feeling before or identify current data and produce evaluative and behavioral feelings. 

We will use sight as an example, but the rules hold true for any identifying feeling. Matched memories of sight feelings re-trigger the originating rods and cones from the brain side. That gives our eyes a re-experience of what was learned and now remembered. (Again, close your eyes, look at your mother's face.) The originating organ experiences both remembered and current feelings at the same time. Comparison validates the identifying match. But there is more. As has been said, matching any one data type in a memory unit releases all other linked data elements, which are each sent back to their respective originating organs. Each of those feelings recreates their original feeling in their originating organ in the same way sight was re-created in eyes. The biology treats all feelings in the same way, but the data has effects characteristic of the individual conscious organ. Remembered sight identifies current sight; remembered pains and pleasures affect current emotional evaluations; remembered muscle patterns play out as current behavior. 

Now we have enough information to, as promised at the beginning, explain how the sight feeling of a tree automatically becomes the fact of a tree and the sight feeling of the dog biting Jimmy becomes the reason that causes us to punish a dog, which, as the reader may remember, misleads us about whether behavior is caused by facts, reasons or feelings. As said above, the current sight feeling triggers the matching remembered sight feeling, but the remembered feeling has now been enhanced by the other feelings in its memory unit. It is now both identified as a fact (That is a tree.) or reason (The dog bit Jimmy.) and evaluated (Trees are in the way (pain). Trees provide welcome shade (pleasure). The dog must be taught a lesson (pain).). Only an unidentified perception can be experienced as a naked feeling because it has no identity or evaluation. Matching instantly and automatically replaces the naked feeling with an identified fact or reason, an evaluative feeling and, sometimes, behavioral feelings. Unless identifying feelings have no match, the facts, reasons, evaluations and behavior in the triggered memory unit overwhelm the initial raw feeling.

Again, the editing process has also tricked us by miscasting our organs. While adult humans can correctly identify apples, our eyes and tongue rarely become aware of having remembered the matching sight or taste of apples. (The exception being a highly evaluated experience with an unusual looking or tasting apple. The use of evaluations in the brain's selection process will be explained below.) Literate, adult humans no longer normally identify apples by matching/comparing them to a sight or taste. As Husserl pointed out, learning language links the sight or taste perception to a word. Just as with 3D sight and hand/eye coordination, learning the meaning of the word 'apple' has rewired the matching memory by redacting the originally corresponding raw sensory match. The linked apple sight or taste has been replaced with the word 'apple'. Language divorces us from other animals' direct experience of original matching feelings. We see the apple with our eyes or taste it on our tongues but have learned to hear the matching memory as the word 'apple' in our ears. Editing 'matches' the sight or taste to the sound. Such editing has tricked us into believing that recognizing things must be a magical process because sounds cannot match sights or tastes. Editing helps us survive, but again, as a consequence of linking perceptions to the sounds of language, it hides the matching process, and identification appears so complex as to be unfathomable. Never-the-less, when dealing with perceptions, our brains function as dictionaries that produce the dictionary kind of meaning, which is identity. Like matching square or round pegs with corresponding holes, the only information that can be deduced from the match is that they fit. The round pegs fit in the round, not the square, triangular or other shaped holes. Matching identifies one thing as not any of the others. Identity is one kind of meaning with limited usefulness.  It does not, by itself, equip our nervous system to direct a useful response in all situations. 

The simultaneous activation of all feelings in a memory unit by a match to current feelings initiates behavioral and evaluative feelings independently. For that reason, we quickly jump away from danger. Recognition represents enough information to act. Muscle feelings expressed as movement are sometimes linked to identifying memories. Sometimes we just think about it; sometimes we keep our mouths shut and observe. The action in any given case has been learned. The sight of a dangerously close approaching vehicle is normally linked to the muscle instructions to get out of the way. The connected instructions impose themselves on our muscles, and we jump or duck before fully identifying the cause or feeling the danger evaluation. Realization of the danger comes later, with the adrenaline shakes. Using identification to directly activate muscles would appear provide all the necessary components of effective behavior, but the evaluative component is required to select and modify our response. It is not enough to identify an apple; survival demands that your nervous system take the magnitude of its positive or negative effect on your self-interest into account. Quick action, before fully feeling the evaluation, may save a life, but hides the role of emotions because evaluation does not normally change behavior. The nervous system moves quickly, as it must, if we are to survive. While reason tells us that the data in evaluative feelings must be stored by the same process as other feelings, the electrical data sent on nerves almost instantly affects identifying and behavioral (muscle) organs but takes measurable time to develop in evaluative organs. This delay suggests that, instead of being wholly electrical, emotional biology has a chemical component needing time for the organ to develop a reaction. As a result, we may even deny that some identified things have an emotional evaluation. For instance, small words like 'a', the indefinite article, appear to be unevaluated, yet we miss them, and some get angry on missing them. So, we know they have value. In routine situations we rush to the next behavior selection memory unit before taking time to let the evaluative chemical reaction fully develop, and so, overlook it. However, as the chemical reaction matures, evaluation sometimes weighs-in causing hesitation or a change in behavior. 

Pain and pleasure evaluate both the power and positive or negative valence of other feeling effects with various degrees of pain or pleasure. These evaluations sometimes affect our response. Returning feelings of pain or pleasure to their organ of origin causes a reaction between currently generated and remembered evaluative feelings. (Again, chemical reaction?) The strength of remembered evaluative feelings is initially experienced in the originating organ (hurt finger, hungry stomach) and in various degrees dictated by the extent of the former injury or hunger. However, any currently existing pain or pleasure in the organ reacts with the remembered value. For example, identifying the sight of an apple triggers all parts of the apple-pleasure memory unit. The pleasure component goes to the stomach, which is the organ that produced hunger pains. Just as with remembered/current sights, remembered pains and pleasures coexist with current pains and pleasures in the same organ. (Again, one rule for all organs.) However, evaluative organs respond differently to remembered feelings from identifying or behavioral organs. Evaluating organs add like feelings together increasing their power or proportionately cancel opposite feelings leaving a diminished result. (Again, we observe that the time taken suggests a chemical reaction between pains and pleasures.) The sum or remainder has a modifying effect. The stomach feels varying degrees of emotion between pleasure from cancelling existing hunger pains to the discomfort of bloating nausea from over fullness. Current evaluations modify remembered evaluations providing us with a flexible system that starts, controls and stops the behavior as the evaluative sum or remainder changes. We eat when hungry to eliminate hunger pains, ignore food when full to avoid bloating pains and stop eating when satisfied - neither hungry nor bloated. Pleasure and pain (motive or will) power the linked behavior by controlling the effort. We naturally eat faster when unusually hungry, but the current evaluation diminishes as we eat and that changes the calculus. We slow down and, as we fill up, stop eating. This brings the next strongest evaluated memory unit or a new stronger evaluated unit to consciousness. The behavior element of the memory unit dictates the specific action to muscle organs and the emotional element varies the intensity in execution. The greater the initial remembered pain (fear), the faster and further we jump. The greater the pain or pleasure the sharper the memory.  

​Evaluations do more than control behavior, they also play a role in initiating recognition. Any objective observer looking out over a complex landscape must wonder how the brain recognizes one feeling from the hundreds, if not thousands, available from our five senses organs. Again, the nervous system is continuous, it brings all possible matching memory units from even a complex scene to consciousness as the identifying data is received. The matching memory unit containing the strongest stored evaluation is the most important to our self-interested evolutionary goals and will initially crowd-out or shout-over all other weaker, stored, evaluative feelings from other memory units. We notice the desired object first. The units with weaker evaluative components remain in a pre-conscious or subconscious state, but the elements in these units may come to consciousness as the value of the current conscious unit diminishes or the values in these other organs increase. You stop eating when hunger subsides, allowing you to remember to close the fridge or a knock on the door may interrupt a half-eaten sandwich.

The brain does not start, stop or control behavior, various evaluating organs take control of our behavior according to the situation. Each one acts as we have assumed brains act by making decisions. Each evaluative feed-back loop is an independent sub-system that uses the brain or a subdivision of it to store memories of its feelings. The organs that detect extreme cold or heat will normally force you in or out of a building, but other evaluative organs may coincidentally produce conflicting feelings housed in other memory units with other instructions. A child in a burning building causes such a conflict between skin and (as will be explained later) stomach. Your tired body may want to lay in bed, but your full bladder will rule. Evaluation is the other kind of meaning. It defines our relationships with the various parts of identified reality. Apple taste may be expressed as sour, sweet, tart, satisfying etc., but each word label that identifies taste is linked to an evaluating kernel of either pain or pleasure, bad or good. Many descriptive adjectives imply an emotional value bias. Value, rather than identity, is their meaning. Biology stops us from acting (which includes thinking) without feeling an emotion. Only emotions can power thought and/or action. They only appear inconsistent because we have unique histories and, consequently, have learned to evaluate differently. However, all humans, and most other animals, find freezing temperatures, hunger and injury painful and sweet taste and sex pleasurable.

By leaving evaluation out, language yet again misleads us, we seldom verbalize our evaluating emotions when thinking or speaking. We feel emotions directly when thinking and our body language and tone of voice reflect them when speaking, but we do not often name them. We might say that this or that makes us angry, but we seldom feel angry when we say it. We must learn to name current emotions in our running internal narrative or conversation with others because naming is superfluous. Feelings of pain or pleasure silently evaluate our thoughts for us; others hear our emotional tone, see our emotional body language and actions, which helps them evaluate our words, but they also find it unnecessary to verbalizing their insight. Most of us are unaware of generating these emotional effects and communications, which hides their function from the thinker or speaker. Written words lack the internal feelings and tone of voice etc. evaluating cues and so seldom communicate value. Readers suffer from the lack of evaluative meaning. We do not know how the author evaluated the identified objects, concepts and situations. This leaves room for interpretation and misunderstanding by the reader. 

The obvious question left outstanding is, "If learning must be triggered by evaluation, when and how were the first evaluations learned?"     


A Priori Memory Units

A newborn's first experience of pleasure or pain is not a learned evaluation. DNA encoded reflexes recognize specific current perceptual feelings and generate the pre-encoded evaluation and action. A newborn recognizes the traditional slap on the bum as an injury reflexively evaluated by pain and acted on by crying out. All newborn mammals react to injury in this way. DNA pre-evaluates specific phenomenal perceptions with reflex feelings of pleasure or pain and prompts preprogramed muscle actions. In order to survive long enough to reproduce, all conscious animals must first be able to identify and react to threats and opportunities. Pleasure reflexively evaluates the feeling of lip contact with a nipple and prompts the sucking action, the painful chill of cold temperature and discomfort of diaper rash cause all normal babies to cry out and the pain of an injured finger causes the arm to pull away. These examples of reflex three-part feelings belong to a special class of DNA, pre-matched, identifying feelings linked to pre-evaluations and predetermined actions. Such connected identity, evaluative and behavioral feeling units constitute inherent knowledge. Philosophers have called such knowledge, a priori knowledge - start up or known-before-birth knowledge. Every baby identifies, evaluates and acts on these perceptions in the same way. Every baby that survives evaluates the sweet taste of mother's milk with pleasure and sucks when hungry. Likewise, all newborns evaluate injury with pain, pull away and cry. Basic identified feelings connected to evaluative feelings of pain or pleasure physically define the relationship between the identified situation or object and the organism and set off specific actions. All conscious animals with brains have such a priori knowledge, most have the same units as humans. DNA links feelings of injury with feelings of pain in all animals. Likewise, touching a nipple starts all hungry mammals sucking the sweet taste of mother's milk and causes pleasure. I suspect that non-brained animals use such basic reflex connections to determine all behavior. 

One last a priori memory unit develops after birth, it starts to function when biological maturation links sex with pleasure at puberty. (This causes a conflict between the survival and newly discovered reproductive sub-systems that in civilized cultures must be resolved by rules or reason.)  

All learned emotions are based in the a priori feelings of pain or pleasure generated by reflex recognition of specific perceptions, like sex, injury, sweetness, and cold. All such a priori knowledge can be classified under the headings of injury, nutrition and reproduction. They represent the sources of pleasure or pain that have evolved to guide our efforts to survive and reproduce. In brained animals, the evaluations in a priori units trigger first learning. Every experience that triggers an a priori memory unit produces an evaluative feeling that prompts the learning of all coincidental feelings. Hunger, cold, injury, sweet mother's milk and warmth are examples of evaluative feelings with a kernel of either pain or pleasure. Conditions in the surrounding environment constantly produce sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tickles and caresses that are learned because of their coincidence with an a priori evaluation. Experience extrapolates basic a priori memory units to include the learned feelings from immediate surroundings. Pleasure teaches babies to link breast with nipple, mother with breast, home with mother and country with home through our remembering and learning cycles.


Take Heart

We do not have freewill, but our behavioral selection and control system chooses the behavior we most want, which is to experience the most pleasure/least pain. We are not locked into one course of action for each identified situation. More knowledge improves our options. Those who can start a fire, need not suffer the cold. Those who can build a nuclear reactor need not put up with the smoke.


A Teaser

All brained animals use the same behavior selection and control system, so question arises, "Why are humans so effective?" The detailed answer will be provided in another place, but this brief sketch is offered here. The factors are expressive facial muscles, standing and sitting upright, lack of facial hair on females of child-bearing age, a throat and mouth arrangement capable of a variety of sounds, imprinting and a priori reflexive sub-routines that links smiles to pleasure and frowns to pain. No other animal has this combination of factors that allows a child to learn a link between food, pleasure and mother's smile and hunger, pain and mother's frown. Through this combination smiles and frowns provoke teaching/learning evaluations and the language to describe abstract concepts like mathematics. It also compels the heroic to please mom at their own expense.

This explanation is far more complex than assuming that the brain comprehends conditions and directs behavior, but it avoids using magic to justify those mysterious abilities. 



The Consciousness Advantage

The accidental mutation that included the consciousness of self-interest in our DNA provided a substantial survival advantage. Selfish animal actions counter happenstance conditions that plants can only endure. We can defend ourselves against attack and walk away from drought or cold. For that reason, conscious life-forms dominate the planet.

We base the mistaken scientific belief that our decisions are reasoned on Plato’s idealism as adopted by the medieval Church. Idealism holds that while the mind must live in this crude reality, it has access to an ideal (heavenly) world where all knowledge is perfect. German philosopher, Hermann Reimarus (Vernunftlehre, 1756) speaks for the beliefs in his time, “… and that coexisting with him (sic) was Thought, which they also call Grace and Silence. This Depth once bethought him (sic) to put forth from himself (sic) the beginning of all things and to lay that offshoot – which he (sic) had resolved to put forth – like a sperm into the coexisting Silence, as it were into a womb. Now this Silence, being thus impregnated and having conceived, gave birth to Intellect, a being which was like and equal to its Creator, and alone able to comprehend the greatness of its father. This Intellect also they call the Only-begotten and the Beginning of all things.” Such an unlimited and ideal knowledge resource would justify our confidence in, so called, 'rational thought' but in fact we are only conscious of the parts of our world that affect us, and we seldom make decisions based on the facts in front of us. Later, another German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil, 1886) tells us that while science and rationality have abandoned the belief in a Deity, they have not yet examined and rejected the premises and natural ramifications of that belief. Those, now anchorless, beliefs in the supernatural mind have kept us from examining the real source of our decisions.

Our inability to understand the source our decisions and our idealistic conviction that we think rationally (unemotionally) lead us to believe that we have always been conscious of all our personal changing conditions and all our surroundings. It seems natural to believe that we are conscious of all things within our perceptual range. Taking a moment to look around convinces us that while we may miss some minutiae, we can focus on and become conscious of any part of the scene. This appears to confirm the idealistic notion that we can ‘objectively’ observe everything, despite the legal system’s frustration with disagreeing witnesses. In fact, we could see it all, but we only notice what is important to us. How could we know that unnoticed parts were missing? We cannot expect to notice trivial things. We seldom notice an individual rock in a gravel path, but a coin becomes instantly conscious. Unless exceptional, the faces at the airport blur into the background; yet, the face of the relative we are meeting, jumps out at us. Only another person can bring missed sights to our attention. Did you see that? We can only compare our experience with that of others to learn if they see things we do not. The most striking example compares adult with newborn perceptions.

Every parent has learned to become conscious of spouse, children, home, the chair they sit in and the blue sky above, but no newborn is conscious of such things. At birth, our DNA grants us consciousness of perceptions evaluated by reflex feelings limited to specific basic things. Before beings developed brains these evaluated perceptions were our behavioural control system. Clearly, distress cries indicate that every newborn's conscious stream has identified feelings of hunger, cold and the slap on the rump intended to start breathing. Expressions of contentment indicate that they have identified feelings of support from mother's milk and the comfort of sleep in a warm bed. For the rest, a newborn will stare into space or just close his or her eyes. Adults have learned to become aware of tax returns and the other complexities of life; babies have no such concerns or consciousness. A baby's reflexively identified perceptions and evaluating feelings are, what philosophers call the a priori, basis for learning to identify and evaluate specific things and situations in our world.

Such preset DNA sourced feelings (distress/contentment, pain/pleasure), common to all brained animals, also dictate action responses. The identification of a finger or nipple at the lips starts a hungry baby sucking. Feelings of hunger, cold, heat, illness or injury automatically motivates a cry - for help. Expressions of contentment indicate that their needs have been met. These limited feelings and actions have evolved to help newborn animals survive.

Pre-set conscious feelings are evolutions’ basic survival manual that encourages the avoidance of danger (hunger, cold, injury) and attraction to support (food, warmth). By learning, we extrapolate those pre-set consciousness feelings and actions to other things and situations. Experience gradually expands a baby's conscious world to include the things and situations that affect him or her. Learning extends the comfort of mother's milk to the breast and then to mother. In time, children learn to "make strange" signaling that she or he is now able to differentiate between parent and stranger - by becoming conscious of the differences between people. This changes the reflex feeling of pleasure to the learned emotion of love. Pre-set evaluative feelings are extrapolated to evaluate associated perceptions. On recollection, the basic feelings of pain and pleasure become emotions like love, hope and hate.

Plato’s idealism leads us to believe that our various body parts form a unified being operated by our conscious brains; that our brains can self-servingly reach out and feel and control our body parts. This is called the Homunculus Theory, which posits a decision maker that lives inside our brains and another decision maker inside the first and so on. Such a theory cannot be taken seriously. It appears more feasible to believe that instructions, but not understanding or decisions, come from our brains. Understanding and decisions flow from several specific preset sensory organs that generate the DNA sourced feelings mentioned above. Have you ever felt conflicted? Having several preset feeling generators allows for disagreement and conflict (sexual excitement, cold, hunger, warmth and injury) within the same body.

Now comes the hard part: we must explain how specific feelings motivate tailored actions. Evaluation is the missing factor. Subjective evaluation, the very thing that science has reviled and dismissed, is the missing motive and trigger for action. We eat because it will end hunger feelings. We take a sweater to end the discomfort of coldness. Pleasant feelings affect our bodies in a way that encourages continuation (flavor keeps us eating); painful feelings stop current behavior in favor of change (injury changes method). Evaluative feelings mark things and situations that are worthy of note and action. We only become conscious of what affects us. We can walk down a gravel path without noticing any single stone, yet we immediately become aware of a coin in the mix. Have you ever seen something in a photo that you do not remember from taking the shot? Our consciousness is limited to original DNA identified and evaluated feelings and the feelings extrapolated from them by learning. Adults see and hear so many feelings that they believe that the sense everything when in fact they only identify perceptions linked to pain and pleasure and the emotions extrapolated from them.

We combine identification with evaluation in two ways. Our special evaluating organs can both identify and evaluate within themselves. Sweet taste is identified by the tongue and universally evaluated by pleasure. By comparison, identifying organs, like eyes, are a one trick pony; they can only identify by comparison with memory; they do not automatically evaluate with either pleasure or pain. Decisions depend on evaluation alone - whether directly from an evaluating organ or from subjective memory. Evaluative feelings not only motivate us, they also tell us how hard to step on the gas. The more the pain the faster we run away from it. Again, brains are like books, they only store information.

The previously accepted brain in control of a unified body theory assumes that each of us stops existing the moment our bodies can no longer function as a unified biological unit. Yet, a body in a coma may retain full biological function, but without awareness, lacks the will for so called, voluntary operations, which makes me believe that consciousness does not equate with a full set of operational body parts. Cripples often cannot feel someone touching their legs, which naturally leads us to think that the brain is conscious end of the nerve connection because if the leg could feel independently of the brain, it would feel without the connection. An injured nerve between brain and body part can extinguish conscious feeling in that body part because the nerve damage has isolated cause from effect. The body part still triggers the pain, but it doesn't affect the rest of the body, and so, cannot motivate it.The accidental mutation that included the consciousness of self-interest in our DNA provided a substantial survival advantage. Selfish animal actions counter happenstance conditions that plants can only endure. We can defend ourselves against attack and walk away from drought or cold. For that reason, conscious life forms dominate the planet.

Our hair and fingernails continue to grow after the rest of our parts die. We can lose a finger or arm without feeling diminished. Operating on some donor's kidney or heart does not leave us feeling polluted or shared. Any conscious being can feel that we do not exist as harmonious whole controlled by our brains. Our brains do not feel consciousness; the "I" in each of us transfers between the various parts of ourselves depending on each's strength of evaluation. The strength of directly triggered pains, pleasures and those same feelings remembered as emotions determine our priorities. A broken bone commands consciousness over a sweet candy on the tongue. Consciousness makes parts of us aware that they exist as separate, self-interested entities. An injury to my leg does not hurt in my brain. We feel pain, pleasure and emotions locally. Just as we see in our eyes, we experience consciousness in each organ. Sensory organs and other conscious organs, like muscles, (a definition follows) have their own feedback relationships with the brain. These parts take turns being the real source of our motives. Such separation lets reproductive organs evaluate differently from survival organs. These differences can create conflicting motives - especially in young men. As we will show, consciousness is the effect of the reflex, feedback loops that biologically evaluate specific genetically identified perceptions - sweet, tastes good; injury, feels bad.

Two kinds of meaning are necessary for reacting to things and situations. First, we must identify. Countless dictionaries and encyclopedia help us distinguish one thing or situation from another. We identify by matching the perception to a memory. However, reaction demands that we know another kind of meaning. The ability to distinguish between a car and a bus is not useful until we assign value to each. What do things and situations mean to us - to our wellbeing? No one can be self-interested until this question has been answered. The two kinds of feelings (pain and pleasure) in various strengths evaluate the things and situations we identify. We need to identify things so that we can evaluate their use to us. Only in combination (sweet - good; injury - bad) can these meanings (identity - evaluation) direct actions aimed at survival.

Introspective readers will find that they feel muscles in use and at rest after hard use. You feel your limbs in motion, after exhaustion and when injured. Muscles are one class of body parts with consciousness. Readers are also consciously aware of two other kinds of conscious organs. Sweet taste, some scents or smells, loud sounds, injury, hunger, thirst, sexual arousal and harsh light are examples of conscious perceptions genetically evaluated by accompanying shades of pain or pleasure. Like muscles, these combination sense organs both identify and evaluate. They biologically define a link between both kinds of meaning (sweet - good; injury - bad). These evaluation organs encourage basic survival. As the Chinese saying goes, "Eat, drink, man, woman - these are the basics of life." The basics necessary for life (harm avoidance, food and water, shelter) and reproduction are biologically evaluated. The pains and pleasures triggered by evaluation organs motivate our basic survival and reproductive behavior. They constitute inborn basic knowledge by using reflexes to combine the two kinds of meaning: identity and value. The combination gives us an advantage: evaluation without identity is useless, something is good or bad, but we would not know what. Identity without evaluation is just as useless: you would know what things are without a way of judging their usefulness or harm. Evaluation organs produce both meanings: identifying conditions (sweet taste, injury) and evaluating affect (pleasure, pain). All animals with minds evaluate certain specific conditions using the same pain or pleasure values. DNA reflexively defines mother's milk as good by its sweet taste and injury as bad by the pain it causes. Mammals, birds and fish also seek the pleasure of food and avoid the pain of injury. Given the accumulation of fifty or a hundred thousand years, humans have accidentally extrapolated such basic knowledge into E = mc2. In contrast, color, shape, touch and most sounds are examples of biologically unevaluated, but still capable of consciousness, perceptions. Babies see and hear such unevaluated sights and sounds without notice because they have not yet learned their identity or value. Muscles, evaluating and identifying, and identifying senses make up the entire list of conscious organs. Our brains do not feel.

Identity, evaluation and reaction together form a chain that helps us survive. A flame or coal near the skin is identified as injury evaluated by pain that causes us to jerk away from the source of injury and pain. This chain provides a model for learning. Seeing a flame or coal reminds us of pain and causes avoidance. The reminding comes from the brain, which matches injury, causes fear and avoidance.

Learning also misleads us another way; we "naturally" misunderstand the data route in our behavior control system. We have believed that data from eyes or other sensory organ informs the brain, which understands and directs the muscles to act. This seemingly simple explanation does not even try to account for the brain's indecipherable ability to "understand and direct". A slightly more complex account of the route avoids this puzzle. Using eyes as an example of a sensory organ, we can say that the brain matches afferent (from organ to brain) data from eyes to similar data stored from experience. As anyone can observe, what happens in muscles, and identifying and evaluating sense organs at the same time is linked in memory. Memory components triggered by matching were first linked by coincidental afferent experience. Learning sets identity, evaluation and muscle response together in memory. A match triggers the brain to send linked efferent (from the brain to the organs) data to other sensory organs and muscles. Here comes the bus; I was late yesterday; I had better start running now. We remember the injury together with its cause and our solution to avoid it next time.

Our five externally focused senses are not singularities; they combine several component receptors (skin, nose, tongue, and eyes have hundreds) yet experience teaches us to group these individuals under the general labels of touch, smell, taste and sight. Several kinds of receptors existing all over our bodies make up our sense of touch. Some just tell us we have made contact; others tell us that we have been injured or burnt. Eyes have several preceptor types. We can agree that eyes consciously detect color, shape and movement. Each type of perception points to a different class of receptor. Each perception results from hundreds, if not thousands, of receptors. We unlikely remember the sight of a school bus, more likely each of the light receptors in our eyes records a yes/no-binary position, which then becomes the address of the linked data. It would appear that the information is its own binary address in the brain. If so, it would explain our ability to instantly match a previous experience with a current perception: the new data would be sent to the same address as the old data. Such a system would trigger the linked memory components back to their originating organs, including the match confirming sight of a school bus. Such a system would also explain our hesitation and change of direction at finding that a close match is not a complete match and requires a different response.

If the previously assumed route were valid, we would only need one afferent nerve to carry data from the eye to the brain and one efferent nerve to instruct each muscle. Because the current carried by nerves can only flow in one direction, this newly proposed route needs two separate nerve pathways to connect each muscle and both kinds of sensory organs with the brain. As it turns out, afferent nerves carry data in the form of electrical pulses from the muscle or sense organ to the brain. Efferent nerves carry the same kind of data from the brain to the muscle or sense organ. Useful action only depends on the coincidence of linked identity, evaluation and action. Brains need only act as bookcases for this data.

Recognizing danger sends linked evaluation and action instructions to their respective organs, which play back the instructions - now reading what they once wrote. Efferent data sent to an evaluative organ makes us feel the memory of reflex pain or pleasure for the same reason that eyes see sight memories and muscles move action memories. By matching, remembered, efferent data sent into the back of the eyes, we identify current experience. Matching one component triggers the other linked components. We recognize physical danger by sending data to skin that recreates the feeling of injury pain. Identifying danger also sends instructions to muscles to avoid injury. This route avoids the "understand and direct" puzzle; brains need not understand or direct. Efferent data sent back to the organ recreates the experience that originally created the memory. Movements are re-moved. Remembered pains and pleasures are felt as emotions. As the great psychologist William James famously said, "I do not feel afraid and then run. I feel afraid while running." Recognition, evaluation and action occur in response, just as they were learned - simultaneously.

Muscles, both kinds of sense organs, nerves and brain are the components of our mental system. All animals with brains have these same mental organs that interact in the same way. (See chapter five for the explanation of our superior mental results from using the same biological organs as other animals. Uncreditable as it appears, somewhere between ten to twenty years of accumulated data allows humans to respond to recognition with ever more sophisticated responses including thought instead of muscle action. Brain size and operation play no role in our superior results.)



Consciousness and control reside in the feedback loop that evaluates the things we identify. Evaluating the things we identify triggers learning. Making a distinction between evaluative and non-evaluative organs allows us to grasp how our minds learn. The punishment of pain and reward of pleasure evaluate all simultaneous perceptions. So, in addition to feeling the pain of a burn on skin, we automatically link that pain to any perceived heat source. Pain also evaluates the flame or light bulb; we have learned to evaluate heat sources with pain. A baby will not understand the danger on first experience, but will remember to associate the flame or light bulb as evaluated with the same pain as a burn. Muscles and other evaluative receptors have DNA produced feelings of pain or pleasure. All other such feelings (emotions) have been generated from memory as they were extrapolated from DNA produced feelings by inference.

Only eyes can see. Getting that right expands our concept of mental organs. Brains cannot do everything. In the model presented here, brains cannot see, understand meaning or make decisions. There is a simpler, better explanation for how we use consciousness to help us survive and reproduce. We will show that our brains mainly function as hard drives. Input/output, they learn and remember. Brains are not in charge, reflexes govern the conduct of all living things. Plants and animals without brains, like earthworms, rely on them for all behavior, but animals with brains can recycle conscious reflexive feelings as rewarding or punishing emotions that allow us to escape our genetic program by learning to recognize and evaluate new threats, opportunities and responses. We can remember the pain of a burn as fear that warns us about fire. That fear can motivate our flight. We can remember the sweetness of an apple as desire. Desire can motivate a climb up the apple tree. Such remembered pains and pleasures are recycled as the evaluations that motivate recognition and action.

Reflexes were the evolutionary innovation that started the progression to consciousness. Consciousness is two, (pain and pleasure) specific reflexive responses. Actions that promoted survival started with reflexes like those of some plants that have light sensitive cells. Reflexes prompt them to turn their leaves towards the sun or other light source. Their light sensitivity has a survival value, in that more sunlight produces more sugar. Are plants conscious of light? While, for the reasons explained above, we cannot easily know what a plant feels, they are unlikely conscious. Consciousness is our trigger to learn and remember responses to new situations and unfamiliar things. The plant need not learn to turn its leaves; DNA controls that move; plants cannot learn. Reflexes also govern the behavior of animals that lack brains. Worms use them to eat, reproduce, and pull back into their holes at the feel of vibration. Again, worms have no need of consciousness. Consciousness has a survival function for animals with brains because some of our senses are general not specific. Our skin can only identify and evaluate a burn; our eyes can see and learn to identify and evaluate an unlimited variety of things and situations. These non-specific organs do not look for one thing or condition, like available food, mates and danger, the way a worm, fire alarm or thermostat does. Our eyes see all light and ears hear all the sound within their ranges. General senses would be useless without the ability to gauge and learn the effect of the different things we sense. Our eyes could see lions and cliffs, our ears could hear thunder and our bodies feel the earth quake, but without a relationship between perception, evaluation and reflex action, we would remain oblivious to danger. No gain could come from general sight or hearing, and mobility would enable a stumble into danger as much as help us survive. We could not learn new behavior from our mistakes. Consciousness triggers the learning of new behavior in response to situations unexpected by evolution. We not only feel pain and pleasure; we learn them as we feel them along with current sensory perceptions and any useful actions. We need instant learning because evolution has not had time to reshape our reflexes for new situations like driving a car. In a chain that takes humans years to produce, learning extrapolates conscious feelings of pain or pleasure produced from basic reflexive, homeostatic, feedback loops like, hunger, thirst, and sexual desire to evaluate general sense data and behavior. Animals with brains remember pleasure and pain as self-interested emotions. We remember pain as fear of its cause. Memories of those extrapolated feelings are the emotions that motivate adaptive actions in response to a rapidly changing and complex world. Finding the role of each mind part leads us to see the obvious - while we remember our emotions from our brains; we first learned them as conscious pain and pleasure produced by reflexes in other body parts. Consciousness allows us to instantly learn and remember new behavior. Our mind system operates by timely communication. Satellite sensors use nerves to store information in the brain. The brain coordinates this information, not by understanding, but by coincidence. It coordinates perception with evaluation and action. Information useful when recognition and evaluation prompts appropriate action. Sense organs reveal the world around us and remembering matches perceptions to memory; remembering self-interested emotions cast from hardwired reflexes make our self-serving decisions; and muscles replay actions from memory. Brains store, produce and match all three: identifying perceptions, evaluating emotions and muscle instructions, but are not conscious of those actions. Sense organs, reflexes and muscles are our minds' conscious organs. We could not cope with an ever-changing reality without general sensory organs and self-conscious reflexes that make us conscious of pleasure and pain and learned instructions to muscles.

Consciousness allows us to experience three kinds of organs. Your brain follows along as you read these words, but it does not understand them. It is not conscious. Only matching similar data triggers remembering. Logic tells us that in order to recognize a word, it must match the currently seen word with a known word in memory. Anyone trying to read words in a language unknown to them will confirm that we cannot parse meaning from sight alone. Recognition adds meaning to words. The data of meaning must be stored somewhere, brain surgeons have been able to stimulate memories by touching brain tissue, and so the brain is the likely candidate. As noted above, brains cannot see, so while the brain matches the data, the sight can only be confirmed in the eye. Matched word memories must be triggered back to your eyes to consciously confirm the match. Now we will have to assume information not even discussed yet because we have to start somewhere. As will be discussed in another chapter, you first linked each word to meaning (learned it) because both coexisted with a positive feeling produced by the approval of a teacher. That last sentence contained three concepts new to the reader without explaining the links between, but most will get the idea. Approval feels as sweet as the taste of mother's milk because memory links those two: mother's milk to her approving smile. When triggered by either pain or pleasure, brains link data experienced coincidentally with each other. The pain of criticism links to and evaluates the speaker. We often dislike critical people. The word read from the page can only be linked with its meaning because memory links them together. However, each word and meaning is also linked to more data. When you recall the memory of the word linked to its meaning, a painful or pleasurable feeling comes with it, but not to the eye. Words and their kind of meaning go back to the eye or other original sense organ; evaluating (pain or pleasure) feeling provides a second kind of meaning that  goes back to the gut, reproductive or other reflex that issued it. What we have been calling emotions are really the learned products of homeostats.

Sorbonne physiologist, Claude Bernard, first realized in the 1860s that evolutionary mutations that Harvard physiologist, Walter Cannon called homeostats in 1932, help to keep both simple single cells and complex animals like human beings alive by running their chemistry. These feedback loops keep us within viable limits. On the cell level, they control nutrition and division, making the difference between live and dead. They keep what should be stable, like heartbeat and blood pressure, from going to extremes. Each one uses a law of physics to produce biology. For example, the one that adjusts your breath rate uses the acid levels in blood to prompt a breath as needed. Each breath reduces the acid by increasing the blood's oxygen level, and when our bodies use that oxygen, the increased acid level will cue another breath. The more oxygen you use, the more acidic your blood and the faster you breathe. Sit or run: this feedback loop matches your breathing rate to need. Other loops match other needs to demand without producing any feeling like awareness or consciousness. Like plants we have no choice, our unconscious homeostats follow their program, we need a different kind of reflex homeostat to make self-serving choices.

 Taking a breath underwater would drown us. For that reason, we learn to control breathing, but postponement first causes discomfort and then pain. Conscious pain is the effect of the conscious homeostatic feedback in the same way that turning to the source is the effect of light on plant leaves, sound is the effect of feedback from your fire alarm, or heat is the effect from tripping your thermostat. We can breathe all day and night long with no awareness, but controlling the process long enough causes discomfort and will make you conscious of the need to breathe. The pain produced by the blood's acid level cues consciousness. Postponed hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and sexual desire also cause conscious pain. Like the need for oxygen, hunger and other demands prompt pain and desire. That conscious feedback is the basis of motive, and the learned actions to quench it are our behavior. Our brains store all-purpose conscious homeostats that create unlimited numbers of life saving loops by cuing learned acts, like ducking bullets or going to work. The brain's design forces it to identify and store all sources of pain and pleasure, and find and store any useful behavior. Conscious homeostatic reflexes are evolution's answer to ever changing threats in unlimited numbers. The brain matches identifying sensations to memory, the eye confirms the identity by comparing photo to negative and the linked emotion evaluates its meaning to you. You remember feedback feelings as emotions (pain or pleasure linked to some kind of identification) that tell you how matched meanings will affect you. Matching, not only identifies meaning it also evaluates self-interest. Right now, I hope you feel skeptical but curious. Biology must be consistent, and so behavior works the same way. Nerves also connect your muscles to your brain. If a bus had hit you before, you will remember (same rules as above) that injury and pain at matching the sight of a bus. The same match also connects to muscles. Muscle sensations remembered as actions will help you avoid danger. Learning has linked the matching concept, homeostatic value and useful muscle actions. Those are the four organs of our minds: brain, sense organs, conscious homeostats and muscles. Your brain can learn and remember connections between data from any of the other three parts at the speed of nerve impulses.

The emotions you feel come from your brain, because it stores every kind of feeling (pain, pleasure, sight, sound, muscle tension and relaxation). However, saying that your brain weighs content is like saying a DVD player sees a movie. Your brain does not see, feel pain or pleasure or muscle tension, but it will learn all three together when cued by a conscious homeostat. Your homeostats feel self-interest; your brain, sense organs and muscles are their tools.

You have spent all-your-life-so-far filling your brain with a self-focused take on events, along with the useful actions that promote pleasure and keep pain at bay. Like those dinosaurs, that we suppose had a second brain to control their tails, our single brain houses distinct self-interests. Hunger, thirst, and reproduction produce competing self-interests. Hunger prompts much of our learning of both facts and actions, but sexual desire also excites its fair share of desire. Each conscious homeostat starts a learning algorithm upon feeling pain or pleasure. In future, those learned feelings apply history to the current state of affairs. This is a variation of the homunculus theory, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus_argument) but instead of "a little person or smaller brain that lives inside your regular brain," it holds that conscious homeostats start or stop the energy to act. This avoids the infinite regress problem of other homunculus theories. We need no further back-up decision makers. Conscious homeostats use our brains like data stores, meaning caches, and action notes to promote pleasure and keep pain away. They, not our brains, trigger emotional degrees to value, desire, and prompt action. We pursue the pleasure that rewards survival and reproductive behavior. Each conscious homeostat watches like a fire alarm, and one of them, at this moment, is producing emotions that judge these words. We have thought of our minds as one thinking entity, but these homeostats take turns, sometimes two or three weigh-in at the same time, even arguing with each other. (The strongest emotion will always win.) You should be able to observe each one as they use pleasure and pain to express their own desires, demands, and solutions. Taken together, they are the core of you, me, and every other mind. Some peoples group's agree and act as a smooth team. Yes, we call these people winners, but are they? Some people’s groups conflict in goal and method - often stuck in self-doubt, but sometimes coming up with new and better answers. Conflicting equals compel choices that lead us into an awareness of freewill. Again, the strongest emotion will always win, giving you what you most want and forcing each life history to duly play out, unless self-awareness changes our values. Only understanding your mind and re-evaluation can rob fate of its victim.

These claims can be tested using Pavlov's method of cutting afferent and efferent nerves to prove the necessary connection to evaluate and effect appropriate action. Coming chapters will explain how sensations from our five senses trigger brains to remember learned emotions and muscle actions to promote survival and reproduction. It is a biological theory of psychology.

This idea is not new. Scientists were floating self-preservation as the cause for behavior more than a hundred years ago. They just could not square the like of self-harm, self-sacrifice and celibacy with staying alive and having children. This theory explains such choices as scorn for evolutionary goals in favor of finding short cuts away from pain and towards pleasure. As drug addicts, heroes, and priests prove, the donkey can avoid pulling the survival and reproductive cart, if it can already taste the carrot.



Before we go any further, some readers may need a better idea of exactly what we mean by 'emotions'. Eventually, we must explain them, and it might as well be now because they are crucial to this theory.

Emotions start out as homeostatic feelings like hunger and thirst. We experience such feelings at the various locations in our bodies that generate them. For example, we feel hunger as an ache in the stomach. We feel the pain of extremes of cold and heat on our skin. We feel injury pains at the location of the scrape, cut, or blow. We feel the pleasure of relief from thirst in our mouths and the pleasure of relief from a warm sweater or cool breeze on our skins. Our survival depends on such feedback feelings. As has been said above, "[t]he brain's design forces it to note and store all sources of pain, and find and store any useful behavior." The brain stores feelings. The pain of injury is a feeling. The pleasure that rewards useful actions is a separate kind of feeling. Later, sourcing pleasure and pain feelings from memory makes them emotions like anxiety, pride, and hope. We remember pain as fear, the promise of respite from pain as hope, and great pleasure as joy.

Let me use an example, Biff the bully punches you in the nose. That triggered the injury homeostatic reflex and produced pain. The next time you see Biff, you remember that pain by re-feeling it in your nose. You may raise your hand to protect your nose. Maybe even give it a rub.

Understand, this time Biff is still across the room. You have not been physically hurt yet, but you remember the pain of your last encounter. That remembered pain comes from a memory stored in your brain. Remembering a feedback feeling makes it an emotion. Your original hurt is now an emotion called fear.

Seeing you, Biff comes over, and says he is sorry and gives you a hundred dollars. You use the money to take your current romantic interest to dinner, who is so happy that she or he agrees to spend the night at your place.

The next time you see Biff you will remember both pain and gratitude. Those conflicted emotions will produce nervousness. You would feel pain, nervousness, and sexual arousal, and that is just the result of two meetings with Biff.

Your emotional take on Biff will develop with each meeting, depending on the result of the last one. The collective result will ordain whether you run and hide or jump up and shake his hand. Over time, emotions develop so much nuance that we can hardly follow the process. The ever-growing layers of emotion about everything affecting you, developed between childhood and adulthood, keep you from realizing that emotions trigger our responses. It feels like thinking because it comes from your brain and determines your actions, but it is just remembering.

We know that our experience comes from our brains because a current punch in the nose feels different from a remembered punched nose. To précis Scottish philosopher, David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748), "memory feels like a shadow of current events." Memory is a faded version of primary experience. We experience all feelings, either current or remembered, at their original locations. A punched nose (remembered or current) always hurts in the nose. That is how we know the nose was hurt, not the elbow. Nevertheless, while we feel memories at the site of original experience, we are also aware of the brain as their source, which distinguishes current from remembered feelings and dreaming from waking experiences. We source current waking feelings in our five-senses, but feel remembered and dreaming sensations from our brains.

We have failed to notice re-feeling memories at their original location because we feel the source of memories as the brain. That feeling overpowers and feels relatively more noteworthy than our experience of the effect of memories on the body location. It feels like the brain feels memories because the source of memory outshouts the effect of remembering. This outshouting has evolved because our ability to set apart current from remembered threats and opportunities has an obvious survival value, so much so, that it defines sanity. We experience all sensations: current, waking, dreaming, and remembered in the affected organs, only vividness gives us the source. Source tells current from remembered, sorting an immediately actionable threat or opportunity from a dream or memory. (Anyone unable to feel the difference between current and remembered or waking and dreaming sensations should see a doctor before continuing.) Paying close attention will confirm that we experience the source of memories as our brain, but the organ of origin experiences the content. We remember all sensations in the same way, so while remembering mom's face puts an image of her face in your eyes, remembering how to move a muscle moves that muscle according to the memory. This consistency explains how we so effortlessly coordinate muscles to play the violin or execute a basketball jump shot. Memory replays sights in eyes, sounds in ears and muscle movements in patterns recorded in rehearsal or practice.

So the argument runs this far, that we use memory to identify and act on current situations and that we consciously experience that from our brains. The brain matches the sight in eyes triggering our emotions and actions from memory. A tenth of a second glance at Biff prompts the brain to produce several tenths of recognizing (that is Biff), evaluating (he hurt me), and action (where can I hide) memories. Eyes were the source of only the tiny current bit of the whole experience; the brain produced the bulk from memory, which gives us the awareness that we feel most of our ongoing feelings from it. We source our decisions from the brain, but we did not make them there. We correctly feel the remembering of most currently felt experience in our brains. We remember, rather than think out, most of our current responses. The emotions felt this time make our decisions about what to do next time. We store them in the brain for that coming occasion. We react to the world by noticing the sensations echoed from memory. Any match to a sight or sound from now will reproduce the past experience with its evaluating emotion and any helpful learned actions. You run and hide or jump up and shake Biff's hand according to the learned emotional evaluation triggered by recognition. Brains store our decisions; emotions are those decisions; and we experience those decisions as feelings in homeostats. This explains the effectiveness of training, the problems inherent in misidentification, and the reason generals always fight the current war with the tactics that would have won the last war. Again, it feels like thinking, but it is just remembering (playback) from the brain, prerecorded experience played back in sense organs, homeostats, and muscles.

These memories need not be from the distant past; the rules remain the same; we constantly check the now with the just before. Remembering echoes of what has just been learned and using those memories to project a likely future gives us the pool of moments surrounding the current point of time as described by Martin Heidegger in, Being and Time (1927). Music would not make sense without the constant comparison of note-to-note and phrase to phrase. We could not "figure out" the process for meeting our goals without remembering the link between current action and future results. We use the past result to improve the next action.

The brain's ability to record and re-record current sensations in a way affected by both past and current experience makes it doubly effective, while giving the illusion of thought. Brains feel in charge because they are the source of most of our current feelings. We know that because we could not recognize Biff without a memory of a past meeting stored in our brains. We also could not feel Biff's threatening or supportive meaning to us or respond without memories of his former painful/nervous/sexual effect on us. We argue hereafter, that reflex homeostatic feelings and emotions derived from them evaluate the sensations from our five-senses and trigger all our muscle responses. The only worthwhile fact is the cause of pleasure or pain and the only reason for knowing it is to intervene. That is a predictive and testable scientific theory; it is also, all of animal psychology in a sentence.

The mind concept sketched above presents such a simple, straightforward account of our behavior that it is hard to imagine that no one else has thought of it before. Yet, it is so foreign that you read it, you cannot find anything wrong with it, but it does not change your mind. At this point just about all readers still believe that, if not their spirits, their brains are reading these words though their eyes. It is hard to give up on an idea believed by everyone since the beginning of time. Our dogged grip on that "natural attitude" has a biological/psychological proof that is hard to deny. In fact, the Church fathers probably based their religious ideas of souls and spirits on our everyday experience of the 3D illusion. Our very survival depends on the belief that we look through our eyes and see the world in three dimensions, but it is still an illusion. We have been tricking ourselves for a long time, and the cause must be exposed and corrected before we can proceed to psychology.



Life depends on the hand-to-eye coordination made possible by 3D sight. Animals quickly learn that hunting is easier, if we pretend to see in 3D. Killing a moving target depends on it. Normally, readers believe they see these words where they are, some fourteen to thirty inches (35 to 76 cm.) in front of their eyes. If we really could see things where they exist, we would not need two eyes; one could gauge the distance.

As a matter of course, our all-purpose homeostats (brains) learn all useful behavior. If you find boring math hard to learn, you may only reluctantly accept that the learning of painful or pleasurable things (things that matter to you) are a biological necessity. Every reader can remember what she or he last ate because our brains retain that fact without any effort to learn it. We cannot help ourselves; our brains learn without trying; biology dictates that we learn every fact and action that has proved a benefit.

While still in our cribs, biology teaches us that it helps to decode our 2D sight as if we could see things where they exist. We coordinate sight with hand, arm and lip actions to touch a toy or suck a teat. Anyone, seeing a baby in a crib stare at its hands and fingers or find a nipple, will understand the learning process. Babies learn to coordinate their movements with their sight. The world exists away from us, so cues such as the size and clarity of objects help to judge the gap to distant things. Anyone who has studied art knows the tricks that put an object in the background. At close range having two eyes helps establish the exact remove. All babies who survive learn this illusion within six weeks of birth. By the time they grow into young children their self-deception makes the adjustments so quickly, they are not even aware of doing them. The 3D illusion lets us easily hunt and kill, touch and grasp things. If we, like a drunk with double vision, always saw two scenes, one in each eye, touch would depend on integrating them. Hawks and foxes would starve. Driving a car, even at five miles an hour, would be a nightmare, which is why we never want drunks to drive.

Interpreting our sight in 3D naturally leads us to mistake where we see things. We must trust that we see them where they exist in order to snatch them. That, and the closeness of the eyes to the brain, convinces us that the eyes just connect the seen object to the brain. The verbs look, peek, gaze, leer, ogle, stare and listen suggest voluntary action. Most of us imagine peeping out through our eyes, when in fact; sight is passive. We say and believe that a hand in front of our eyes blocks our sight, when logic tells us that sight is like hearing. A wall blocks noise, just as a hand blocks the light reflected from objects into our eyes. The light reflected from objects enters and affects our eyes; our vision does not travel to the object. Our eyes are cameras, not flashlights. If it were the other way around, we would see in the dark.

We misjudge the sites of hearing and smell for the same reason. We have learned to interpret the loudness of a sound in each ear to find direction and guess our distance from it. Likewise, we can smell scents from elsewhere and automatically look into the breeze for the source.

For these reasons, the 3D illusion is thoroughly convincing. As our most used sensory organs (eyes and ears) pierce our skulls, it seems common sense to view them as the brain's view on the world. As a result, we believe that our brains see, hear, taste, smell, and touch, the world through our senses, in spite of the need for brain cells to have magical or super-computing powers to do that. From the beginning of records, this paradox has lead people to create myths about how our minds work.



The earliest recorded guess about our minds comes from Egypt. James Breasted tells us in The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912) that, based on his readings of their tombs, they too believed in a central mind. They guessed that the heart made decisions, a mind-is-heart theory, and did not even bother to mummify the brain because it was useless. They also had concept of soul, called the Ka. Their Ka differed from our modern soul idea. While born with the person, it quickly went to wait in the afterlife. Funeral rites made their body recognizable to its Ka. Someone, somewhere, had either (depending on your beliefs) dreamed up or found the afterlife: a nonphysical world, and so, split reality into two dimensions. Egyptian priests could offer real estate in their nonphysical world to believers in this world. Obeying here calmed your fear of death by earning your place in the next world. Accepting blame implies a belief in freewill.

The Egyptians' soul and mind concepts spread beyond their borders. About three-thousand, five-hundred years ago, around 1450 before current era (BCE), Pharaoh, Thutmose III, conquered and, for two or three hundred years, Egyptians ruled parts of the Mediterranean shore, north over to, what is now, Turkey. That introduced their mind, Ka, freewill, and afterlife concepts to those new subjects. The idea of pleasant afterlife proved popular, and would not quit even after the Egyptians retreated. Trade may also have spread it along the shore.

What is now Israel (Palestine on the map provided below) lay next door, along the same coast. The Jews developed their own soul concept. It inhabited the body until death, and went on to the afterlife leaving the body behind.


Eastern Mediterranean


The Jesuit philosopher and historian, Friar Frederick Copleston, History of Philosophy (1962), tells us that a thousand years later, further along the same coast, Greeks pondered minds and souls. Around 600 BCE, Anaxagoras, teacher of Socrates, noticed our power to think and called it nous. Socrates’s student, Plato, combined soul with nous. He noticed that when asked to think up a thing like a horse or boat, not a specific one but an example of the whole class, we depict them as perfect. Envisioning gives us one without the rough edges that set the real thing apart from the idea. Mental circles are perfect; no perfect circles exist in the real world. While today we might credit that to the ease of idea over the grit of really making it, he concluded that nous or thought must come from the soul. Therefore, thoughts must come from a mental world. Plato had combined the Egyptian mind and soul - a thinking soul. Others continued to use these mind, soul and nonphysical world concepts to explain psychology.






Hippocrates of Cos


Friar Copleston's exhaustive research tells us that we have inherited two concepts of mind from Greek times: (1) Plato's mind concept existing in an ideal mental world, and (2) the scientific physical mind ideas of Aristotle and Epicurus. Based on this division, two schools have evolved - idealism and materialism. Two beliefs, two paths, both alive and well in modern times.

On the materialistic path, we find Hippocrates of Cos, the father of western medicine and author of the Hippocratic Oath. He came up with the idea that physical brains were the seat of thought and action - the mind as brain. This, of course, is the modern medical model taught to each generation of healers, but it miscasts the brain as mind, sense organs as spies and muscles as minions. The top down account sounds very normal because it fits with our view of how the leaders of family, work, and government make decisions. It assumes that the brain holds the power and, like a parent, boss or prime minister, makes the decisions.

When you think about that arrangement, you will realize that it made perfect sense according to the facts at hand. Brain injury does affect behavior, which seems to confirm it as the source. The world bombards our eyes and ears with sensations that we remember. The fact that we base our decisions on such data implies the brain's capacity for decisions. We also feel the sequence for voluntarily actions coming from our brains. Hippocrates' explanation seems to fit perfectly! However, he used some shady logic in his reasoning; he deduced too much from the fact that brain injuries impair the mind: strict logic dictates that the premise only proves that brains are a part, not the whole mind. Not the whole pipe, any small blockage will stop the flow.

His model presents another problem: it places a perplexing burden on the brain. His idea that the brain takes charge colored his guess about the role of sense organs and muscles. The difficulty results from how we must process data. The sense organs must take it in, each in its own form: sight from eyes, sound from ears etc. The brain must translate those kinds of inputs to something it can work with, and then translate it again to muscle action. It seems a bit much to expect from brain cells. Whichever language we have learned as children just happens to be the language of thought? Our brains just happen to be able to translate sights, sounds, smells etc. into that language. The brain, a flesh and blood organ, would have to deal with every kind of sensory input and minutely control every muscle, on top of adapting known facts to each new situation. No ten-story computer could do as much and crediting such powers to flesh and blood makes trying to explain how it works futile. Burdened by demands for objectivity, neuroscience has made progress and asks for time, holding out the promise that the brain’s magic will eventually be dissected, neuron by neuron, but not until we invent better computers and not in the foreseeable future.

On the idealistic path, some seven or eight-hundred years later, we find the Roman, Christian philosopher, Plotinus, Enneads (200 – 270 CE). He joined Plato's mental mind to the Jewish soul. The result put Plato's mind into the soul, and then, like the Jews, placed the soul into the body. Mind, soul, and body were a kind of turducken (a chicken stuffed into a duck and then stuffed into a turkey). In his concept, the mind was a part of the soul, as a thumb is part of a hand. Christian bishop, St. Augustine of Hippo, (354 - 430 CE) (On Marriage and Concupiscence) described the soul and body as a marriage like that between a man and a woman. Death could now naturally divorce the thinking soul from the body. The mind in the soul could jump the line between life and death easily because neither was physical in the first place. That meant the soul had a memory of this life after death. Thinking souls promised believers an endless life but with the threat of everlasting misery. This new Christian dogma (truth from authority) gave Church leaders land and political power.

On the other hand, the Romans were materialistic Epicureans. They built their empire on hard-nosed math and engineering. Idealism was lion food, and not useful nor wise until the Christian conversion of Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great (313 CE current era). His switch to Christian beliefs was enough to insure that the idealistic view of mind ruled western thought until the Renaissance. However, by then budding science had become a threat to the Popes and their Holy Roman Empire.



The Greeks had been the first to write the knowledge of pre-history, Babylon, and Egypt, along with their own. Their books fueled European rediscovery two-thousand years later. Excepting for Roman soldiers and builders, the years between had been a dark age for materialists. We can imagine the humbling of medieval monks and priests reading ancient texts plundered from Arab libraries by crusaders. The Romans had exited Europe long ago (410 CE) leaving it to survive an economic and cultural crash. Rude shacks could not compare to Greek and Roman ruins like the Parthenon and the tombs that pilgrims viewed along the Appian Way. Those far finer buildings mocked them with high taste and lost skills. The Bible and surviving Greek and Roman works on math and science inspired wonder. Before moveable type, naive readers would tend to overrate such precious, hand-copied books. Hundreds of years later, Shakespeare and Goethe still portrayed such books as the source of the magical powers wielded by their sorcerers, Prospero and Doctor Faust.

Churchmen were both awed and aghast by what they read. Some of these books held useful secrets; they loved Plato. His belief that all our ideas came from a perfect place sounded very much like heaven to them. He confirmed that view in his dialogue Phaedo. There he tells us that Socrates expected to continue existing on a pleasant isle after his death. Other books by other authors went against basic Christian beliefs. Church fathers buried or banned the works of materialists for denying the freewill and afterlife concepts. They damned the unsafe works to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1559 CE) "to prevent the contamination of the faith or corruption of morals". We would be fools to overlook the fact that a physical view of mind was never in the Church's best interest. Minds forced to follow the laws of physics cannot have freewill and that seems to rule out choice. Without freewill we cannot be responsible for our actions, cannot sin, and should not be accountable to God, the Church or anyone. That robs the Church of the hook that made it rich and powerful. Those prone to believe in plots (like Nietzsche, The Antichrist - 1895) might suspect a plan to control the laity, but it could have been a mistake based on faith. No one tests religious beliefs with the peer review process that drives modern sciences.

Church leaders saw science as a real threat to their authority. Early researchers could not fight back. The Church had used its power to burn their own friar, Giordano Bruno at the stake. They had put Galileo Galilei in jail until he promised to conform. Then they threaten Rene Descartes with the same fate. Wanting to pursue his scientific work and avoid jail, Jesuit instructed Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650) came up with the Cartesian compromise. He proposed splitting the subject matters of materialism and idealism, "the res extensa or matter and the res cogitans or spirit." (History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Volume 1, Eolss Pub. Co. Ltd. Oxford, UK. 2010, Pg. 161) Doing so created a line along the skin of every human being. What was inside the line was 'spirit' and the realm of theology; what was outside it was 'matter' and the world of science. Fear enticed the Church to accept his plan. They were safe for as long as no one could question that the mind was spiritual. (Medicine, being a hard science that probes under the skin, has over the years, shrunk the spiritual realm until now only the brain houses our magical minds.) The new science conformed to Church dogma. Authority, beyond that of any King of the time, enabled them to enforce this limit on science. Fear of prison or death obliged acceptance by the scientists. The way the 3D illusion works seems to confirm a central mind. For that reason, the Church plan offered no obvious hardship to science. They had lost the right and power to examine our minds with no prior precepts, but the rest of reality was wide open. Our hero Descartes had saved the Greeks' kind of rational science for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. However, leaving our minds in a now mental dimension puts psychologists in the impossible position of studying something that has no place in reality. In 1991 an autodidactic scholar like, Charles Van Doren (Yes, he of the Sixty-four Thousand Dollar Question fame.) was still able to write, “But we cannot sense minds, other persons’ or our own. Minds are immaterial things.” (A History of Knowledge - 1992)

Mental is the word that science has used to replace the religious word spiritual. Both words describe how our minds work. Using "mental" allows us to keep the spiritual mind idea in science by hiding its religious source. Church used words like soul, spiritual, afterlife, and freewill to describe their mind concepts. These words have vague meanings most suitable to religious beliefs. Spiritual ideas correctly rely on faith not evidence. Today the concepts have not changed, but we use scientific sounding proxies for those religious words. Mental means the same as spiritual. Motive includes freewill, and even psychological is the opposite of physical. The concepts represented by modern words like mind, mental, motive, and psychological are no better defined than their old religious counterparts are. They have no valid physical objects. There is nothing to see, hear, or grasp. We cannot use science to test such vague concepts because no one claims they refer to anything in our physical reality. No one trusts modern psychologists. They cannot reliably cure the problems of criminals or addicts, and defense psychologists stump our law courts by strongly denying any testimony by equally qualified prosecution experts. They cannot talk about psychology in concrete terms.

Plato had invented a mind in an ideal, perfect place that supplies this world with its ideas. Plotinus's take on Plato's idea led to a dead-end because you cannot explain how a spirit affects the physical world. Descartes found a way to save the spirit idea by putting it beyond rational probes. His plan suggested that the soul looked out onto the physical world from the spiritual world. He guessed that the pineal gland, housed in the center of the brain, provided the contact point between the two worlds, and no one wondered how the souls of blind people could be blind. The Church founded and owned our first universities at places like Bologna, Oxford, and Paris, and, in laying the groundwork of modern scholarship, would exert power over science far beyond their lifetimes. They carefully organized their universities to stave off any conflict with their beliefs by using the Cartesian compromise to detach Science from the Humanities, the hard from the soft and the social from the physical sciences. Classifying psychology as one of the Humanities lumped it in with Philosophy and Poetry, which cut it off from the more serious Physics and Math studies. Those two streams come to different results; the Humanities provide personal opinions, while the Sciences produce facts. With this division, science could do little to harm the Church, but it was bad news for psychology. Materialism still held and holds the overwhelming endorsement of the hard sciences; it underpins all officially sanctioned medical treatments. No alternative arrangements have gained any serious traction in the two-thousand five-hundred years since Hippocrates.



Descartes' work should have been enough to smother psychology, but by 1900, the Church had lost much of its power. Seeing an opening, the first social scientists tried to use hard science methods to study human behavior. However, the compromise had affected the sciences in way that led hard scientists to misunderstand their own method. No one could be sure whether it was the heart, spirit, mind, or brain, but all still believed that something peeped out of their skulls through their eyes. That mistake has had little effect on physics. We can put boots on the moon without fully understanding how we did it. On the other hand, trying to apply their mind view to psychology upset any attempts to study it. It seems silly to assume you already know what you have set out to find out, but with no proof that objectivity was possible, they insisted that science needed it. It is not possible and we do not need it. We will soon show, that we can only observe our own motivation by the subjective method of, Edward B. Titchener, Experimental Psychology, (1902). He called it introspection. I can almost feel any working scientist who has not read this recoil in horror. "Sure," I hear them saying, "we are conscious of our feelings, but they're subjective. No two people feel exactly the same way in response to things and events." Titchener was not peeping out through his eyes; he looked the other way; he paid attention to his sensations. Descartes' model had logically lead most of the other scientists to believe that, "subjective experience is inconsistent and therefore cannot be part of an objective scientific explanation." That is what they said in Titchener's time. His introspective method was "unreliable, limiting, and subjective." The entire scientific community balked. Following Descartes' split, they completely believe that all of our brains look out through our eyes and see the same objective material world, as though we were all watching the same TV program from different houses. While no one claims to fathom how brains grasp the world, we still use the empty-of-meaning word mind to refer to our thinking ability, believe it exists in the brain and looks out onto the world.