July did not play out the way I hoped it would.
When I finally got back to the office, there were sundry things demanding my attention ahead of the EEGs. Eventually we beat the administrivia into submission and sorted out the four streams of raw data into an archive system that could be easily accessed.
We also had hardware issues with our big screen monitor. After one long month, they finally succumbed to Megan’s relentless tenacity just this morning.
So far as I know, all the preparatory work is done, and on Friday morning the 20th, I will put my pointy little nose to the grindstone and start cranking.
I have decided to use my beloved brain mapping program to track the data because its openness offers me the best opportunity to capture all the random creative ideas that don’t fit in anticipated pigeonholes. I will set that up first thing tomorrow morning then drag first EEG out of its dusty lair.
It will take me a couple of hours to review a single EEG in the raw data format and record my queries and theories. This pass through the data is designed solely to surface a bunch of questions I have not asked before.
I have found that more breakthroughs are blocked by not asking big enough questions than by any other cause, except fear. So before I form any more theories or develop any healing protocols about what is or isn’t happening with the spirit and the brain, I need to spend 50 to 100 hours looking for every possible anomaly and turning them into a question.
It will probably be months before we start to have answers, but I will share some questions along the way for your amusement.
For example, does the spirit archive stuff in the brain in a systematic fashion like the soul does? We know on the soul level that music is localized in the right hemisphere and language in the left. However, we have no such data about the spirit’s use of brain storage capacity.
The challenging issue is that the spirit does not need the brain to store any memories. Take all of the death and resurrections on the surgical table. The people who have their spirit leave the body (including leaving the brain behind, obviously), go to heaven and return, often have memory of the event.
But the memory of that event is clearly not stored in the brain, because the brain did not go with them to heaven and back. So if we liken it to computers, the brain is the hard drive, and the soul is the software. So when the soul experiences something it wants to save and retrieve, it is stored in the brain in a precise location — like a folder on your hard drive.
The spirit is like computing with the cloud. You can store your file somewhere “out there” completely apart from the hardware you are using if you want to.
In the third step of our initial protocol, we ask the soul to step aside, and we call the spirit forward, then send the spirit to the “file” where the memories of their favorite God encounters are stored.
Are those memories actually stored in the brain, or are they stored in the spirit, apart from the brain?
I have a theory. When I experience God in a manner that causes both my soul and my spirit to engage, I think the memory is stored in the grey matter.
However, there are many times when I have been so deep in the Spirit while I have been ministering to someone that I cannot remember what I told them five minutes later. That means to me that the event was not stored in the brain. Did the spirit store it in the “cloud,” in a manner that the soul could not retrieve, or did the spirit not store it at all?
Now here is another variable.
Assuming that when we do the quantitative analysis and convert the raw data into sundry maps we discover that there is a brain location for the spirit’s favorite God encounters, will that location be consistent?
Think of a house. In America, the front door always opens into a hallway or the living room. You would never have the main outside door open into a closet or a bedroom or a bathroom. There is consistency in American architecture.
On the other hand, when you go into an American kitchen, there is no telling where the silverware drawer might be. Each housewife has her own system for organizing the kitchen.
What will we find out about the spirit? Does everyone’s spirit archive their God encounters in the same region of the brain, like the consistency of a front door? Or does each spirit snag a random batch of available neurons and stake a claim to those for their “silverware drawer?”
Or, will we find that each redemptive gift stores those memories in a different area?
These are the kinds of questions I am trying to accrue as I work through the 50 raw EEGs.
Please join me in praying for an extraordinary anointing of curiosity as I make my first pass through the granular data. The questions I fail to come up with on this pass could limit the scope of the whole rest of the research project.
I don’t expect to be able to answer even a fraction of the questions I come up with, but just having a question out there causes us to be looking for salient information.
My juices are flowing. I am so glad to come in off the road. I much prefer being the anti-social, mad scientist in my lab than being the public persona I am compelled to be at times.
The next five months are going to be very special times for me.
Copyright July 2012 by Arthur Burk
From home. At last.