How to Relieve Suffering

I wonder how many of you recall Roy Scheider, who played Brodie in the film Jaws, the big summer hit film of 1975.  He said, when he saw the size of the man-eating shark of the film’s title, ‘you’re gonna need a bigger boat’.  It occurs to me that a similar expression might help us when confronted with the size and endurance of human suffering. ‘You’re gonna need a bigger brain’.

There are said to be about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) in the human brain and each makes about 7000 chemically mediated connections (synapses) with other neurones so that the number of synapses in a human brain is estimated to be a staggering one quadrillion (1015). Our Christian culture is also centred on making good connections, but between people, not neurones. This suggests to me that, if every human acted as a mobile neurone and made functional connections, mankind could come together to produce a form of higher order brain.

An early example of this can be found at  Through this network people with an interest in Parkinson’s disease can interact, learn and share research, knowledge and hope.

In his book ‘Fractal Brain Theory’ Wai H. Tsang, who studied Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at Imperial College, London, finds that there is a hierarchy of nerve connections in the human brain with emotions at the top, powerfully driving us to satisfy our needs. The power of emotions can feel as though it grabs our sense of life or death. Could we form a higher order brain governed by creative and life giving motivation? For me that means the dominion of Jesus Christ.

Carl Jung (1875-1961), who was a practising psychiatrist and a polymath, wrote extensively on psychology. Jung thought that humans need to develop through life to reach their full potential, otherwise mental illness occurs. Could a higher order brain allow the whole of mankind to reach their full potential and consign mental illness to history?

Individually we are not fully conscious. In her book ‘Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction’ Susan Blackmore, who is a visiting psychology professor at Plymouth University, concludes that: ‘Consciousness, then, is a grand delusion.’

In conclusion, could mankind develop into a higher order brain which, beyond meritocracy, gives its members equality through full consciousness? Would sin then be impossible and could you say to anyone; ‘you exist, therefore I love you’, and mean it?


Peter Coates,
Linden, Bircham Rd, Stanhoe, Norfolk, PE318PT.
01485 518191.

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