February 29, 2024

How does the ego come into existence? Science is trying to solve the greatest mystery of all

It’s one of science’s toughest mysteries: How do the neurons in our heads produce a conscious mind, an intelligent self that understands itself as a person — and is even able to question its own existence?

If you look at it realistically, things in our heads are fairly monotonous: countless electrical impulses rushing through a jumble of cells – sometimes more, sometimes in less rapid succession. It is continuous sending, receiving, forwarding and linking. Simple signals, as if generated by a computer. However, something quite new and quite miraculous arises from this apparently banal dialogue between cells: conscious impressions and sensations arise.

It is as if a film of breadth and depth is constantly opening behind our foreheads, in which the smell of coffee beans, scenes from our childhood, feelings of ecstasy and pain, sounds from the next hallway, and the green of the maple leaf appear. The gentle touch of the hand. This film is our stream of consciousness: the subjective experience of our minds and the world. The essence of our lives – ourselves.

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