Incredible advances in understanding how our brains work have been made by neuroscientists, yet the place where our consciousness is generated and our mind resides proves elusive. It’s a good guess is that it’s only proving tricky to find because people are looking in totally the wrong place.
So when it comes to finding the source of something even more ethereal such as an idea, where do you even start looking? Even an expensive MRI scanner won’t help you here as it measures the brain state after a thought has occurred. Apart from anything else, you might not have an MRI scanner handy when that idea comes along as they tend to be random in nature.
Bring in the Thought Detectives
To find the source of ideas, we have become sleuths. The first clues to pick up on can be found in our language.
It is no accident that we say things like, “Off the top of my head” and “At the back of my mind”. When something is on “the tip of my tongue”, it well be exactly where it is at that moment in time.
If you observe people when they talk, the position of their hands gives much away too. Sometimes people reach above their heads as if they are pulling an idea out of the ether. They will pat the centre of their chest if they feel passionate about something.
It turns out that thoughts exhibit properties similar, but different, to electromagnetic waves. The quantum physicists, neuroscientists and the mystics (and crackpots) are all converging on the same type of somewhat preposterous conclusion. It looks like our three space and one time dimensions sit on top of a number of other dimensions that, accordingly, sit outside space and time. Furthermore, it is in these ethereal realms that thoughts propagate from the present, past and future.
So it seems that the latest theories in cosmology are somewhat converging with those on consciousness. These theories could explain things like your dog knowing you are coming home or that you know the phone is about to ring and who is going to be on the other end of it. Da Vinci may well have had the prescience to invent the helicopter and parachute by using a similar mechanism.
Water, Water Everywhere
A similar mystery exists around where ideas and thoughts go once we had them. The search for the location of our memory in our brains has proved fruitless.
Some further illumination into this conundrum can be had from the phrase, “I can feel it in my water”. Many people I spoke to when researching my book on light bulb moments testified that they got their ideas when in the shower or when out walking near a river or waterfall.
It is also reported that people who have had transplants of organs like the heart, lung and kidney exhibit personality changes and can even pick up memories from the donor.
It appears that the water in our cells is not just to stop us drying out. The Japanese author Masaru Emoto has done many experiments with water that show its state changes with the mood and emotions of people around it.
Nothing New Under the Sun
For some readers, some of this might sound bonkers and for others, it may nothing new you may have heard bits or all of it elsewhere. Well it appears that much of what we are re-discovering was known and accepted by the ancient Greeks and civilizations that predated them by thousands of years.
There may be a benefit to those who suspend their belief and accept that some of this might be true, even if it’s not been quite ratified and embraced by the left-brained scientific community. If you accept the notion that thoughts might come from outside our brains from a collective thought pool, we must then ask the question of why we just picked up on a specific thought at a specific time.
After all, if this is all true, there’s a near infinity of thoughts bouncing around in the cracks between our neurons.
If these specific ethereal whispers are filtering through to your conscious awareness, perhaps it’s important that you pay attention to them. What’s more, as they only occur in the space between your thoughts and if you want more of them, it may pay great dividends to attend that meditation or yoga class.