neuroplasticity analogy

Neuroplasticity refers to the changeable-ness of the neurological structure (so-to-speak) of the brain – achieved (among other things) through focused mental activity/experience.

In terms of mind/body discussions – there is a key distinction between the idea of neuroplasticity being the mind changing the brain, or the brain changing itself.  The side question of how the human brain-and-or-mind developed is not the question here.  Rather it’s the question: does ‘mind‘ = brain?

A simple analogy comes to mind (err… comes to brain… or… comes to mind+brain)… Continue reading “neuroplasticity analogy”

the groaning language of prayer

The other day, a friend of mine at Carey college was sharing with me and a few others how grieved he’d been lately (due to various tragic things happening to people close to him). He mentioned lying in bed and trying to pray, not knowing what to say, and eventually just offering an extended, rumbling, inward groan to God…

Now, prayer is both a simple and mysterious thing. It’s simple – in that it is simply a giving-sharing-offering of one’s thoughts, concerns, feelings, stresses, hurts, anxieties, etc. to the One who we believe ‘hears’ prayer (more on ‘hearing’ in a moment). But it’s also a complex and mysterious thing, complicated by various (mis)understandings about both God and prayer (not least the popular ‘magic genie’ [or fairy] idea of God). Continue reading “the groaning language of prayer”

embodied souls

soulBody?

…soul?

…or both?

Some hold to the idea that there is no ‘self’ or ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, so to speak, but rather than we are complex biological organisms with complex biological functions; including complex mental processes which have caused some to imagine that we have a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’.

At the same time, there are those who hold to the idea that ‘they’ are primarily not their body, but rather their ‘soul‘ or ‘spirit’ or ‘self’. This spiritual entity is said to be the essence of who ‘you’ are, and is often said to be ‘immortal’ or ‘eternal’.

Varying views on this topic are not new. In the ancient world, the two main views we know of were either that humans were endowed with an immortal soul, or that they… well… were not so endowed. Continue reading “embodied souls”