The human mind, spirit and thermodynamic time

Most scientists will tell you that the human mind is the outcome and byproduct of physical microscopic events in the brain—an epiphenomenon. Since our individual thoughts and feelings have duration, one would logically assume that they must partake of thermodynamic time and are thus purely physical processes. The problem with that notion is, time, space and measurement involve irreversibility. In other words, you can’t un-cook a cooked egg.

But you can change (reverse) your mind before a measureable action is taken. You can decide not to cook the egg. Physical matter and process cannot make this turnaround. But it is a fact of everyday experience that the human mind can easily transcend these restrictions placed on terrestrial matter and the one-way-ness of the “arrow of time.”

Since consciousness is the most fundamental aspect of human existence this suggests that reality may have its origins in a non-material realm. This is the claim of most religious theologies—that we have non-physical souls capable of living forever in a non-physical world (i.e., the Spiritual World).

While such a statement is counterintuitive to a mechanistic and material view of the universe, it would have real scientific merit if it could be shown that coherent process, action and dynamical magnitudes can occur outside of time and space.

I am personally excited that some physicists are actually attempting to move in this direction, which they call pre-space (or pre-Planck realm) and pre-geometry. The non-locality of quantum mechanics may require such bold thinking.

Ironically, these cutting edge approaches were all anticipated by the 18th Century scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg. His scientific models offer valuable clues for how today’s scientists can make progress in formulating theories of causal processes removed from any involvement with time and space.

It was from this unique scientific background that Swedenborg was later able to construct a novel systematic theology, which harmonized with lawful scientific reasoning.

I have attempted to explain these challenging (but not well-known) concepts in my book Proving God. You will never think of the world in the same way after you’ve read it!

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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2 Responses to The human mind, spirit and thermodynamic time

  1. Adri says:

    That is just cooking an egg.. what about the ‘discovery’ that the brain is ‘plastistic’ that it can change itself?? (Dr. Steve Doidge) Someone has brain damage because of an accident and cannot speak. Now the brain finds ways to use other parts of the.. well, itself, the brain and learns to talk again.
    I strongly believe that there is no physical substance or organ that can change itself or its health. To me this is proof that the mind stands above the brain and is what handles the brain, and its health.
    What do you think?

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Adri,

    I agree.

    My recollection of brain “plasticity” is that it embraces just one substrate – the brain forming new “horizontal” connections between neurons and groupings of neurons. Swedenborg augmented this idea by suggesting that the brain had a “vertical” plasticity. That is, it contained deeper and discrete levels of cognitive structure capable of responding to higher operations of the mind – according to the quality of one’s LOVE. Increased health (spiritual harmony) can be obtained as we open up these vertical and more interior functionings of heart (will) and intellect (understanding). The mind (human spirit) produces real changes in the brain (which reacts), including a re-ordering of our knowledge and belief system during the process of spiritual regeneration. Since this is a big and complex topic I will stop here.

    Spiritually yours,

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