Patricia Hofer

Our conscious individuality

In “The Spiritual Brain,” Beauregaard and O’Leary write that “qualia” is “how things appear to us individually” (105). The person we know inside ourselves, the way we humans perceive colors and the world around us, is unique to each individual.

The brain is 80% water and home to 100 billion cells. And all of these cells are “replaced approximately 10,000 times in an average life span” (Beauregaard and O’Leary 111). And yet through all of these replacements, we have a “stable” and “continuous sense of self” (114). HOW CAN THAT BE?

My answer is that this individual uniqueness is our spiritual part, the part God breathed into us. This eternal part, call it soul if you like, continues beyond this life. And so how we live here matters. How we live here is imprinted on who we are. We can never get away from ourselves—or from God! Jesus says, “It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh doesn’t give life. The words I told you are spirit, and they give life” (NCV John 6:63).

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