The level of awareness that most call consciousness is dependent on the brain and body. It would go away if we starved ourselves to death or didn’t drink anything for 10 days. That level of consciousness, which is what helps us survive and navigate through the physical world, would just vanish. When we are brain dead, we don’t know our name, gender, or any of our physical attributes.
Yet we also have a circulating nervous system, or second brain or layer of consciousness. It is called “the Enteric Nervous System.” It is located inside of our gut. It causes us to feel emotions, such as butterflies in our stomach when we’re excited or nervous. Or feeling sick to our stomach when we’re frightened or repulsed. The Enteric Nervous System is made up of more than 100 million nerve cells. These cells line our gastrointestinal tract that runs from our esophagus all the way down to our rectum.
This second brain communicates directly with the brain in our head. But it is non-verbal. This is called the brain-gut connection or gut brain link. For a long time, doctors thought that anxiety and stress were the root cause of gastrointestinal problems, but it’s actually now thought to be the opposite. Poor gut health can send signals to the central nervous system and influence our moods, and how we perceive the world.
The endocrine system, our hormones, are also another layer of consciousness within the Enteric Nervous System. Hormones and other neurotransmitters travel along the gut-brain axis to send chemical messages. So we now know that he brain is not the only origin of thinking, feeling, and the operation of intelligence. “Messenger molecules” associated with the brain circulate throughout our body via the bloodstream. They also affect our health, the way we think and perceive our environment and other people.
As I said, outside the brain, intelligence and consciousness is nonverbal. For example, the immune system can identify and fight invading bacteria and viruses, and is sometimes called “the floating brain.” Yet it does not use language to communicate. It can be influenced by our thinking but it can also influence our thinking, causing us to have moods and other reactions, inducing ill health.
Then there is Cosmic Consciousness. That is the overall, underlying organizing intelligence of the entire Universe, in which we live. We abide within this level of consciousness and it is beyond our control. Even after we are brain dead, that level of consciousness, of which we are a part, exists for eternity. That is our Soul. It is felt within our hearts as well as all around us. Most have to enter a mystical state to perceive this level of consciousness. Yet, even people in a coma exist within this Cosmic Consciousness, for it is the underlying structure of the universe and all that is.
In other words, our Cosmic Consciousness is using the physical brain and the circulating brain as processing devices, moving molecules where they are needed to create the sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell of the world. Cosmic Consciousness does not depend on the brain’s mechanics of thought, perception, and transforming raw data into the world around us. The brain depends on it.