Tuesday, August 21, 2007
the Mind/the Soul
I read a fascinating article in the January 29 edition of TIME magazine. A doctor wrote about a patient who had cancer. The cancer had begun in his lungs and spread to his brain, and the doctor watched as the patient slowly deteriorated. His wife and three children were at his bedside every night, even when his brain was overtaken by the cancer.
"His brain had already been destroyed," Dr. Scott Haig wrote. "Tumor metastases don't simply occupy space and press on things, leaving a whole brain. The metastases actually replace tissue. Where that gray stuff grows, the brain is just not there."
During the cancer's final stage, everyone knew death was imminent. The patient had slipped into a coma and didn't speak, move, or interact in any way. But on Friday night, with his wife and children around him, the patient "woke up, recognized them, and said his final goodbyes."
Dr. Haig writes: "What woke my patient that Friday was simply his mind, forcing its way through a broken brain, a father's final act to comfort his family. The brain is a uniquely personal domain of thought, dreams, and countless other things like the will, faith, and hope. These fine things are as real as rocks and water but, like the mind, weightless and invisible, maybe even timeless. Material science shies from these things, calling them epiphenomena, programs running on a computer . . . "
I think what Dr. Haig saw evidenced was the soul. God created man with two parts--a soul and a body, and each is incomplete without the other. I know that in the intermediate heaven our souls will wait for resurrection with our bodies, but we will have supernatural bodies in heaven, REAL bodies that do not age, sicken, or die.
I also learned a new word this week--Hylomorphism. It is the belief that soul animates body, and says that mind and body are a holistic unity. Scripture supports this view (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 16:10, etc.)
I could go on and on, but this has given me a lot of food for thought. Hope it has for you, too.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my son!