18 August 2007

The Seat of the Soul

Around September 1968 Meher Baba sent a November 1967 article from Look magazine to Dr. Ram Ginde in Bombay. The author, Dr. Robert J. White, an American professor of neurosurgery, wrote that he had succeeded in keeping a monkey’s brain alive outside its body by connecting its arteries to another monkey. In a talk given in New York in October 1968, Dr. Ginde narrated:

...Then there is a discussion with a number of visiting neurology associates who were with [Dr. White], and they asked him various questions. And then Dr. White says: "Well, this is it. This is the brain and that is the seat of consciousness, that is the seat of the soul."

And they ask him again: "Are you really sure that the soul is in that brain?"

Well, he then confesses: "I do not know!"

That is where Baba comes in!

At the time this article was sent, I read it and I am unable to explain where the soul is. Perhaps, it is in the brain. No doubt, as we know it is not in the hands, it is not here nor there, and the organ of the mind is the brain. So it must be in the brain, but I do not think that the soul exists in an isolated brain living separately in an experimental laboratory.

In other words, the soul works when it is in constant contact with the environment through living tissues and organs of the body, and when that brain is able to express or to give the idea, then thoughts coming into it from the external world and back to the external world through normal channels. And it is through that brain that it is possible in course of time to realize what the soul is.

Well, this is only a thought. I have not experienced it and I do not want you to take it literally, but I would like it to arouse your curiosity, to stimulate your thoughts and to channel your activities in such a way that, in the course of time, you may come nearer to the answer as regards to what the soul is and the seat of the soul.

Dr. Ginde goes on to describe how Baba sent him a copy of the latest edition of God Speaks and asked him to send it to Dr. White as a present from Baba, with Baba's compliments and with a cover letter. [See Lord Meher, 20:6649-51]

Dr. White — who has been the object of criticism by animal rights activists and anti-vivisectionists because of the cruelty of his experiments (yet who has also advised the Pope on bioethics) — is retired. I wonder if he still has that copy of God Speaks. (Lord Meher reports that there is no known surviving record of the correspondence between Dr. Robert White and Meher Baba, or between Dr. Ginde and Dr. White.)

Listen to talks by Dr. Ginde at mandalihall.org.

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All quotes of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust unless otherwise indicated. Writings by Kendra are © Kendra Crossen Burroughs unless otherwise noted.