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August 17, 2020

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Note: This brief essay is a summary of the longer essay, which 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 mind and your mind is the real cause of your unique willpower and adaptable self-identity.

Now there is valid new evidence that your enlightened self-awareness is really your brain's "self-constructed" educated perceptions about reality. In other words, your creative willpower is based upon a combination of internal instinctual biological causes and external learned cultural causes saved in your long-term memory system.

With the invention of the newest and most powerful computerized microscopes of the 21st century, we can now "see" the physical structures and the mental functions inside living human brains at the nano-microscopic molecular level in real time. This incredible technological innovation has finally provided unassailable secular scientific evidence about how human brains work.

During the past few years, scientists have learned how human mental functions operate in the 3 1/2 pounds of soft brain tissue located deep inside our boney skulls in the most protected area of our heads. This new brain knowledge can help you learn how to optimize your mind's mental forces (brainpower) for success.

This new brain knowledge can give you a better realization of how awesome it is to be alive today. For most people at most times during the past 10,000 years of recorded human history, living conditions were much worse than they are now, even with the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis spreading around the world. Our medical knowledge and health services are infinitely better now than at any other time in the past.

Therefore, the first basic presupposition of this website is that your creative willpower and adaptable self-identity are true facts; not illusions.

This declarative statement means that your perceptions are just as "objective" as the earth and sky even though you experience them as being "subjective" because of the way that you define your core identity as a person using words from the language you were taught as a baby.

Then your language was reinforced by your family and others around you as you grew up to become an adult. Really, your thinking process has been locked into the earliest words you were forced to absorb from your family and educational and social communities. Your earliest perceptions as a child remain in your memories as an adult if you were not taught critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies as you grew up!

Nevertheless, your brain and body are made up of the same kinds of chemical compounds as everything else on Earth. However, they are in different combinations of the molecules of the basic organic and inorganic elements on Earth. Humans are made up of special organ systems that evolved over three and one half million years and especially during the past 300,000 years of proto-human evolution to produce us with our complex human intelligence.

During the past 5,000 years, since human languages have become more complex, to keep up with the increasing size of cities and the demands of trade among countries around the Mediterranean Sea, more significant ideas have been expressed based upon scientific and technological advances in human knowledge.

It is important to understand this basic humanistic assumption in the most intense positive emotional way, since there have been so many false ideas about the real characteristics of your brain and your mind that were built into the structure of the American English language in the past few hundred years by "brain-ignorant" people.

The ancient political ritual practice of keeping obsolete ideas alive, as though they are still relevant today for the purpose of keeping ruling social elites in power, makes communication about brain structures and mental functions difficult to explain because of the cultural taboos that still keep most people brain-ignorant and unable to discuss the true functions of our human brains!

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. You can shout out this premise because nobody has any authentic evidence that a disembodied "soul" exists --- anywhere!

Unfortunately, that ancient faith-based belief was and still is based upon ignorance and a misunderstanding of how human brains are influenced by both thoughts and emotions. The idea of a disembodied soul is simply not a true fact about reality!

But it is a true fact about your imagination!

For example, you can imagine being a "spiritual" anything!

This has been proven by billions of human beings for hundreds of thousands of years who have made false inferences about the relationship of human nature to the physical environment.

In the historical record, there are countless examples of all kinds of gods and goddesses with all kinds of special alleged superpowers. During the Bronze Age, the minors and metal workers had gods that represented Thunder and Lightening since they lived in active volcano and earthquake geological areas southeast of the Mediterranean Sea. Also, there are all kinds of definitions of heaven and the afterlife. This is a fact about the ability of the human imagination to fantasize (imagine unreal things) about serious topics such as the meaning of life and death and even an alleged afterlife.

But none of these religious fantasies are assumed to be "real" in the perspective of modern scientific values (presuppositions, observations, and logic-based evidence), which are based upon reason and the scientific method.

The second basic presupposition of this website is that, humanistically speaking, the source of your unique willpower is your brain-centered emotion-driven secular self. Your physical brain produces your mind's mental functions, which you can manipulate with your language skills and memory functions and creativeimagination.

Just like implicit gender biases and implicit racial prejudices can interfere with trusting relationships and opportunities for success in life, simply having opinions about brain functions instead of genuine brain knowledge based upon scientific evidence about brain functions can limit your full potential as a human being.

If you feel such limitations about your potential or are not as self-confident as you would like to be, then your attitudes, decisions, and behavior are probably more controlled by ignorance than by educated humanistic enlightened self-awareness!

Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of Americans (and billions of humans living today in other countries) are ignorant of the way their physical brains work and their minds function. They are unaware of the fact that their brainpower can be understood to be a powerful mental force consisting of creative willpower skills, imagination skills, reasoning skills, and memory skills, which all can be improved with training (systematic disciplined focus on a subject) because human brains have the quality of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change itself. The word plasticity is commonly used to describe this natural capacity of the human brain to adapt to complex factors and issues.

Regrettably, most of the nearly eight billion people living on Earth today have very foolish ideas about the evolutionary purpose of their brains and the mental functions of their own minds. This has caused extreme differences in the political power structures of countries.

Surviving and mating are just the first two purposes of being alive. The most significant third purpose is to learn how to collaborate in order to keep the human species alive on a habitable planet!

It is important to acknowledge at the beginning of your serious study of your brain that human brains have been poorly understood and treated wickedly throughout most of human history. There are many crucial examples that should never be forgotten in the future.

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 entombed sarcophagus (fancy casket) filled with a dead body wrapped in salted and tarred cloth (mummy). This ingeneous way of burrying dead leaders and their associates was believed to give them all greater chances of surviving their own personal deaths and even altering the country's governmental structure for eternity!

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 most of the 11 centuries of the Middle Ages along with the iron grip of the Catholic religion in the form of the Holy Roman Empire during that time.

During that whole time, ignorance caused immense amounts of misinformation (the perpetuation of false ideas) about human potential. For example, since words were created to name human organs like the "heart", which is now known to be a pump that pushes blood around the body and into the brain, it was falsely thought to be the cause of human feelings, especially the source of romantic feelings! It is now known that this was an historically flagrant mislabeling of a major human experience!

The tragic mistake of misconstruing the function of such an important major body part as the human heart-pump as being the source of romantic feelings has been a significant cause of the ignorance about other brain structures and body functions. This mistake has been made ever since the beginning of written human languages (over 5,000 years ago) until the past 100 years for most people who have ever lived on planet Earth!

Even today in 2020, there is vast ignorance about brain functions and brain chemistry.

The dismal ignorance of simple brain facts is universally pervasive in spite of the fact that the most important "brain-facts" (physical structures) and "mind-facts" (intellectual and emotional functions) can be understood easily by any person with an "open mindset" who has had the opportunity to enjoy a secular humanistic education.

Fortunately, every human being can learn to manage their mental functions more intelligently for better results, if they can learn how to cope with blind spots in their knowledge base. Anybody can learn to think his or her way out of being controlled by "fixed mindsets," which most children are forced to learn as they grow up in our predominantly bureaucratic puritanical American society. Any effort to change from a "fixed" to an "open" mindset about one's brainpower or mental force is strongly supported by the new scientific brain knowledge since it emphasizes the reality of a person's willpower or free will.

The third basic presupposition of this website is that the brain and the mind can now be understood as being two different living things. They are by nature interconnected in order for you to be alive and self-aware. In other words, they are inseparably connected together in your body.

This new scientific distinction can now be described accurately without being obfuscated by foolish ancient ideas such as the false assumption that the genuine "mortal brain" is somehow separate from an imaginary eternal "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). This was the beginning of farming and the invention of cities in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. By 3,200 BC. written language was beginning to be used for religious and government rituals and trade.

Significantly, Egypt had the longest stretch of royal hereditary institutions (leadership dynasties) for more than 3000 years! The Ancient Egyptian empire lasted until the death of Cleopatra in 32 BC, which is considered the end of pharaonic Ancient Egypt. From then until 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 has been total ignorance about human brain functions.

Only a few independent thinkers out of more than a billion people living during that whole long period of time could imagine the immense value of the human brain for experiencing human activities. During that long period of many centuries, many different words were used to describe many different foolish ideas about the imaginary 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 --- and the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries (when the Scientific Revolution was perfected), vast numbers of people have believed in imaginary myths and fallacious opinions to explain the real causes of their own behavior.

To repeat for clarification, it is important not to be confused by ancient ideas about physical brain structures and mental mind 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.

However, the discovery of neurons and their essential functions in human consciousness and human memory functions was a spectacular landmark of human achievement by the late 1800s and the early 1900s and then throughout the 20th century.

Nevertheless, there has still been very little reliable brain knowledge accessible to everyday people in the public education system and the mass media.

Most educated individuals have 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. However, after 30 years of focused government and private institutional brain research, and with discoveries accessible in the mass media and social media and in scientific text books and journals and DVDs, reliable brain information is now widely available. From kindergarten to college, anybody can learn how to control his or her behavior more effectively and more efficiently by learning how to turn their emotions on or off at will by learning how brain functions work.

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 human perception aided by computerized microscopes.

Also, the new technologies can help doctors "look" at neurons and their connections. The big government funded science effort to understand the brain's connectome is designed to help patients with brain diseases and disorders so they can be better treated and everybody can live longer and better lives.

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

Later in the 350 million year timeline, there is evidence of the emergence of “distance vision” in some marine animals such as squid and octopuses. This discovery showed how the use of conscious decisions --- "strategies" --- could help these sea creatures locate and capture food using the evolved visualization capability of their incredible eye structure. From then on in the timeline of history of the development of consciousness, some species did not have to eat only what they bumped into since they could strategize and think of alternative ways to catch prey up to 20 feet away!

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 now). Today, it is known that your brain makes possible your own enlightened self-awareness based upon modern scientific understandings about evolution by descent. Now there is no need for the ancient traditional faith-beliefs in the magical powers of supernatural beings to make human meaning possible.

When children and adults are properly taught about deep history in a secular humanistic educational setting, they can grow up with the scientific language that they need to thrive in a multiplicity of ways. That is because human life itself is multi-dimensional, depending upon how brain savvy people are: depending upon how many important scientific brain words there are in their personal vocabularies.

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." [Source of definition = Wikipedia]

For example, the idea of consilience is now an active principle in neuroscience, where neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and philosophers collaborate in teams to analyze new brain data, comprehend what it means, and explain it to the general public --- worldwide!

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 willpower and ability to imagine, reason, and remember. You will be activating and engaging the specific cause of your self-awareness, which is the interaction of your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system in new synergistic ways. This realization can help you fulfill your most passionate plans for achieving a meaningful life.

At the highest levels of intelligence, you have four major mental functions: creative willpower, lucid thinking, logical reasoning, and long-term memory consolidation. These powerful mental forces (brainpower) can override and control your primitive biological urges (reptilian brain) in order to satisfy your mindful intellectual and emotional needs.

For example, your creative 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 just how profoundly your brain's physical structure makes possible your mind's mental 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) in order to motivate you to choose altruistic social behavior and also provide you with pleasure at the same time.

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 use this model 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 of increasing trust in democratic principles, rather than relying on the mistaken obsolete religious ideologies of the primitive pre-scientific past.

It is time to replace obsolete spiritual and economic ideas with informed reasonable democratic programs which foster equality of opportunity and lifelong learning. The function of your creative willpower can help you understand the principles of "intellectual freedom" and the "right to read" for everybody.

Children can grow up to become responsible people with rational altruistic utilitarian social values, when they are empowered by secular scientific educations. There is no need anymore for superstitious thinking to explain human brainpower since we now have genuine knowledge about the mind's mental forces.

You can now delete the false memories related to magical mythical religious words, such as "soul," that might be in your childhood memories. Then you can start thinking about more constructive rational scientific humanistic ideas, such as whole brain cognition, enlightened reasoning, and creative imagination. You can learn to use each of your powerful mental forces to strengthen your willpower and conquer anxiety and negativity.

In this new context, certain national economic policies should be changed, which favor only a small percentage of our American society. Many economic policies give huge monetary advantages to only a small part of our population and 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 scientific 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 strengthen your willpower and change your adaptable self-identity to increase your self-esteem.

You are your adaptable memory!
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