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April 2, 2020

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Note: This brief essay is a summary of the longer essay that describes your human consciousness with more details including embedded references at the "Details About Your Consciousness" link on the homepage Index of this website.

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At the fundamental biological level, your brain is the real cause of your conscious self-awareness and your mind is the real cause of your adaptable self-identity.

Now there is valid new evidence that your enlightened self-awareness is really your self-constructed educated perceptions of reality. In other words, your conscious awareness is based upon a combination of instinctual internal biological causes and learned external cultural causes.

The basic presupposition of this website is that your conscious self-awareness and self-identity are true facts and not illusions. This means that your perceptions are just as objective as the earth and the sky even though you experience them as being the subjective core of your existence as a person.

Your brain and body are made up of the same kinds of chemical minerals as everything else on Earth. However, they are in different combinations with special new chemicals and organ systems that have evolved over millions of years and especially during the past 300,000 years to produce complex human intelligence.

It is important to understand this basic assumption in the deepest positive emotional way, because there have been so many false ideas about the real characteristics of your brain and your mind that have been built into the structure of the American English language in the past few hundred years.

The ancient political process of keeping obsolete ideas alive today as though they are still relevant, makes communication about the brain structures and mental functions difficult due to cultural taboos.

Therefore, it is imperative that the new scientific insights about the description of your brain's true structures and mind's true functions need to replace the ancient obsolete ideas about the so-called "spiritual" or "mystical" nature of mental functions. For example, modern science has proven beyond any doubt that the ancient assumption that you have an "immortal spiritual soul" is untrue.

Unfortunately, that ancient faith-based belief was and still is based upon ignorance and misconstrued feelings. Simply it is not a true fact about reality. But it is a true fact about your imagination! For example, you can imagine being a "spiritual" anything, which has been proven by billions of human beings for hundreds of thousands of years.

There are all kinds of gods and godesses and all kinds of definitions of heaven or the afterlife. This is a fact about the ability of the human imagination. But none of them are "real" in the perspective of modern science, which is based on reason and the logic of the scientific method.

The second basic presupposition of this website is that, humanistically speaking, the source of your conscious self-awareness is your brain-centered emotion-driven secular self. In addition, your physical brain produces your mind's mental functions, which you can manipulate with your language skills and semantic knowledge.

This is the most important liberating fact about the world today.

Just like implicit gender biases or implicit racial prejudices can interfere with trusting relationships and opportunities for success in life, merely having opinions about brain functions instead of real knowledge scientific evidence about brain functions can limit your full potential as a human being. If you feel limited or not as self-confident as you would like, your decisions and behavior may be controlled more by ignorance than by enlightenment!

Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of Americans (and billions of humans living today on Earth) are ignorant of the way their minds work and how their brainpower (mental force) can be improved. Thus, most of the nearly eight billion people living today on our planet Earth have foolish ideas about the purpose and real value of their brains.

Historically, the Ancient Egyptians (2,300 B.C. to 32 B.C.) drained the brains (through the royal noses of the dead pharaohs and the social elite) before their bodies were mummified. Other major human organs were preserved in canopic jars placed next to the sarcophagus.

Also, the Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle (c. 384 B.C. to 322 B.C.) famously assumed that the functions of the human brain originated in the stomach. This incorrect assumption stalled the development of medicine in the Western world for more than 1,100 years.

During that whole time, ignorance caused immense amounts of misinformation (false ideas), since words were created to name human emotions such as "heart" to explain the source of romantic human emotions. This historic fact amplified ignorance about the human brain, body, and behavior for more than 1,000 years!

Even today, their is vast ignorance about brain functions and brain chemistry. The dismal ignorance of simple brain facrts is universally pervasive in spite of the fact that the most important "brain-facts" (physical structures) and "mind-facts" (mental and emotional functions) can be understood easily by any person with an open mind who has the opportunity for secular humanistic education. Fortunately, all human beings can learn to manage their mental functions more intelligently for better results, if they are properly educated with the new scientific knowledge.

The third basic presupposition of this website is that the brain and mind can now be understood as being two different living things. They are inseparably connected together in your human body. They must be interconnected in order for you to be alive.

This new scientific distinction can now be described accurately without being obfuscated by foolish ancient ideas such as the separation of the mortal brain and immortal soul.

Such ignorant assumptions have been held by the vast majority of people throughout the ancient world, from the end of the last Ice Age (Typically defined as the Pleistocene Epoch that began about 2.6 million years ago and lasted until about 11,700 BC); which was the beginning of farming and the invention of cities in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt; to 3,200 BC, which was the beginning of Ancient Egypt. From that time to the death of Cleopatra's in 32 BC, which is considered the end of pharonic Ancient Egypt to the end of the Roman Empire in 450 AD; and throughout the middle ages from 450 AD to 1450 AD just prior to the beginning of the Renaissance, there was total ignorance of human brain functions, except for a few independent thinkers out of more than one billion people living at that time!

During this long period of time, many different words were used to describe many different foolish ideas about the imagined causes of human behavior.

Even during the past 500 years --- up until now --- virtually all humans have been ignorant about the complex structures of their brains and the specific manageable functions of their minds. In spite of the Renaissance of the 16th and 17th centuries, and the Enlightenment of the 18th and 19th centuries --- which produced the modern Scientific Method; and the 19th and 20th centuries when the scientific method was perfected, vast numbers of people have believed in myths and fallacious reasons to explain the real causes of human behavior.

To repeat for clarification, it is important to not be confused by ancient ideas about brain structures and mental functions. The ancient ideas about human behavior come from ancient times, long before there was an English language and long before the invention of modern science. But cultural knowledge was begining to change by the late 19th and 20th centuries when a robust experimental enterprise was beginning to produce useful scientific insights into how human brains actually work.

However, the discovery of neurons and their critical functions in human consciousness and human memory functions were spectacular landmarks of human achievement worthy of several Nobel Prizes by the early 1900s and especially later in the 20th century.

Nevertheless, there was still very little reliable brain knowledge accessible to everyday people. Intelligent but brain-ignorant individuals had little knowledge to understand how they could control their own behavior and mental functions until the end of the 1990s, after the U. S. Decade of the Brain, and the beginning of the 21st century. Now, however, with social media and many books and magazines and DVDs available to everyone online and in books and school courses, from kindergarten to college, anybody can learn how to control his or her behavior and emotions more effectively and more efficiently.

In addition, now scientists are using computerized microscopes and laser beams to "see" how human brains actually function at the nano-microscopic level. They can identify and measure brain functions and brain health as well as explore other issues related to the brains and behavior of all kinds of animals and plants at the tiniest levels of perception.

Also, the new technologies can help doctors "look" at neurons and their connections to learn how patients with brain disorders can be healed. This helps medical scientists discover new brain information so victims of brain diseases or disorders can learn how to live longer and better.

Remarkably, a new pivotal understanding of the evolution of consciousness has resulted from research using the fossil record of the existence of ancient single-celled and simple-celled plants and animals. The new evidence provides a fascinating timeline of the development of conscious life on Earth.

Later in the timeline, there is evidence of the emergence of “distance vision” in many marine animals such as squid and octopuses. This discovery involved the use of conscious decisions --- "strategies" --- to locate and capture food using the evolving visualization abilities of animal eyes. Thus, some species did not have to eat only what they unintentionally bumped into.

Now, in the early 21st century, you can learn what is true and what is not true about your mental functions. You can choose to learn the new brain vocabulary, which was invented by professional brain scientists working tirelessly for more than a century (from the late 1800s to the early 2000s) . Today, it is known that your brain makes possible your own enlightened consciousness based upon modern scientific understandings about evolution with no need for traditional explanations of magical powers of supernatural beings or things.

When children and adults are properly taught about deep history in a secular humanistic educational setting, they can grow up with the scientific language they need to thrive in a multiplicity of ways. That is because human life itself is multi-dimensional, depending upon the extent of the language (words) people learn to use to describe the complexity of nature and human nature.

You can think about your own resilient adaptable self-identity as craving consilience with all of nature and the universe. "In science and history, "consilience" is the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can converge on strong conclusions." For example, the idea of consilience is now an active principle in neuroscience. [Source of definition = Wikipedia]

Also, it is essential to remember that when you optimize your brain knowledge and focus your curiosity, you will be using 100% of your mind's ability to imagine, reason, and remember. You will be activating and engaging the specific cause of your self-awareness. It is the interaction of your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system in new synergistic ways to fulfill your most passionate plans for achieving meaning in your life.

At the highest levels of intelligence, the three major brain functions --- imagination, logical reasoning, and lomg-term memory --- can override and control your unique hidden preprogramed primal primitive biological urges to satisfy your immediate desires.

Your free will (mental force) or conscious willpower can change what you are feeling and thus help you postpone instant gratification long enough to see the big picture of future possibilities. In other words, your behavior can be managed better when you understand how your brain's physical structure makes possible your mind's mental and emotional functions.

It is especially important to learn how the executive function of your prefrontal cortex interacts with the dopaminergic neurotransmitter circuit in your limbic system (reward center) to motivate you to choose altruistic social behavior and also provide you with pleasure and satisfaction.

The philosophy behind this new educational approach to explaining the importance of understanding your brain's structures and your mind's functions is called the "whole brain" model of cognitive training.

You can learn how to optimize the functions of your mind and be more focused on your most important personal values and social goals. Then you will be able to avoid useless social behaviors and dangerous addictive habits.

Today, a science-oriented way of thinking can be the basis for establishing a rational method for increasing trust in democratic principles, rather than relying on the mistaken obsolete religious ideologies of the unscientific primitive past.

It is time to replace obsolete spiritual and economic ideas with informed reasonable democratic programs that foster equality of opportunity and lifelong learning about the functions of consciousness and the meaning of life. This must include intellectual freedom and the right to read for everybody.

Empowered by secular science, children can grow up to be responsible people with rational altruistic utilitarian social values. There is no need anymore for superstitious thinking to explain human brain functions since we now have genuine knowledge to share.

Then you can delete the false memories related to the imaginary magical mythical religious word, "soul," from your long-term memory's database. Then you can start thinking about more constructive rational scientific humanistic ideas, such as whole brain cognition, enlightened reasoning, and creative imagination.

In this new context, certain economic policies should be abolished, which favor only a small percentage of our American society, and which give economic advantages to only a small part of the population of the rest of the world.

The 15 brain flash cards, which introduce the 15 major brain ideas, all have quick links to files, which are named DETAILS and SOURCES. Also, essential QUOTES from the perspective of science concerning the sources of human consciousness and free will are documented with references to neuroscience, biology, and psychology books. The quotes are directly accessible from the Quotations about Human Consciousness link on the homepage of this website.

To conclude, the text on the 15 brain flash cards promoted on this website, with the 15 brain diagrams, provide an easy way to learn the basic details required to understand your mind's interactive functions and your adaptable self-identity.

They provide you with a sensible and comprehensible semantic context for managing your new brain knowledge and your new brain vocabulary. With the new knowledge and skill-sets, you can re-define yourself and your infinite human potential: one idea at a time!

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Printable PDF Form

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RECOMMENDATION: You can re-read this summary according to a reinforcement schedule, such as a few hours later and a few days later and then several times in the next week or two. This strategy can help you take advantage of the power of the spaced-repetition method of memorization. Such deep introspection can change your adaptive self-identity and increase your self-esteem.

Remember always:
You are your adaptable memory!

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