Question: How did the brain evolve?
Acharya Prashant: There is absolutely nothing. You could say, “Just material exists.” And then a few chemicals get together, a few chemicals get together, then few more chemicals, longer chains, longer polymers which are today called as proteins. These proteins get together and they form a soupy, slippery substance called the protoplasm. What do they form?
AP: Protoplasm. This protoplasm is still is inert, it has no consciousness. But given the way these chemicals, these molecules have come together, this protoplasm starts developing something which is not totally inert. It learns a way to respond to the environment. And slowly, gradually, your first single cell organism is born. Relatives of that are today called by the name of amoeba, paramecium, and such names.
This amoeba too remains single-celled for a long period of time and then it learns to multiply. More complex organisms start coming into existence. And how does it learn to multiply? By again responding to the environment. By?
The amoeba knows nothing. All that it is doing is a response to its environment. It is absorbing everything from the environment. As a result of its environment, it wants to grow bigger. It grows bigger. Complex tissues are formed then from that, as a response again to the environment, more complex creatures are formed.
Specialization starts taking place. Things called eyes starts forming, other sensory organs start forming. So much so that the organism not only responds to the environment, it also changes the environment. It starts finding safe places for itself and if it can’t find, it starts creating safe places. By hiding beneath a rock, by moving to and fro. Are you getting it? It keeps assimilating from the environment, responding to the environment and slowly and slowly, birds and reptiles, and then you have monkeys and apes and finally, we come to this creature which you today call the?
AP: Man. This story is the story of evolution. This story is the story of our body. And the most important part of our body which contains all the other part of the body is called the brain. This essentially is the story of the development of our brain. How, from nothing, it has come to this point? And how many years has it taken? How many years has it taken?
AP: Millions of years. So, the brain is nothing but the experiences gathered over these millions of years. Time. And what all experiences it is gathering, it is gathering in space, something is happening in space. The brain is, time and space. The brain is time and space.
All of you have studied physics, have you bothered to ask and you know most physical quantities can be expressed in MLT. Have you ever bothered to ask “ What is L?” “What is T?” “What is time equal to?” “What is time?”
L2: Particle of space-time.
AP: And, what is space? What is space-time? Because of course, these two are inseparable.
L2: They both are inseparable.
AP: They both are inseparable. What are they? What is space-time?
L2: Everything around us, basically each and everything.
AP: What are you then? You can’t give a roundabout answer again. What is space-time? And why do you bring yourself in between? When I ask you for example, ”What is Coulomb?” Do you bring yourself in between? What is space-time? You have just written that term. What have you written down?
AP: Brain. Time and space are properties of the human brain, or brain. It is not somewhere there (Pointing at the roof), it is here (Pointing at head). Time and space are here (Pointing). The brain itself is time and space. All that it can perceive is time and space. It is a product of time and space and it perceives only time and space. It will sound a little strange to you initially. The brain is nothing but time and space. Time fills it up. What is time? Change. How do you know time is passing? When something changes its place. That’s what we are telling you. That’s what all those experiences in time and space have made this brain, otherwise its nothing. Every single cell of the brain comes from that past. Your brain has nothing but the past.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Evolution and brain
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