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" The brain is a soft, jellylike mass of billions of cells and their connections. Weighing two-and-a-quarter to three-and-a-quarter pounds, the human brain, by means of electrochemical energy, regulates conscious and unconscious sensation, perception, and behavior, as well as the sympathetic and autonomic activities of the internal organs. In the brain stem and limbic system we experience our commonality with animal ancestors and relatives. As the 'base' of the crown chakra, the brain houses our fantasies of a 'higher' universal mind. The brain provides an internal representation of reality, and in so doing it also carries our symbolic projections of wholeness, the mystery of totality and the alchemical 'alembic'-- the distilling vessel in which the transformation of human and world takes place. . .
. . .Originally a dark rotundum, the brain, along with the cosmos, quickly became the quintessential 'black box', that we feel compelled to open in pursuit of the ancient imperative 'Know thyself'. A proliferation of disciplines such as neuroscience, neuroepistemology, and psychoneuroimmunology now seek to unlock the 'X' factor and provide access to the mystery of being. Our consequent fascination with brain speaks to its symbolic function as an imaginal container of a timeless and unbounded process, which resolves opposites and divisions. . .
. . .Observing psyche's imaginings of the brain reveals images of 'geography' and brain maps, 'centers' of emotion and memory, 'types' of intelligence, localizations, specializations, right brain/left brain splits and the like-- and recent postmodern images of 'networks' and 'fields', neural ecosystems, plasticity and 'mirroring'. In our fantasies about the brain, these complements of specialization and holistic functioning marry the perennial opposites inherent in psychological experience : fragmentation and wholeness. Subject to both brainwashing and brainstorming, our imagination about the brain is informed as much by our fantasies about our essential natures, as by scientific and technological innovation. As the terrae incognitae of the universe and the brain open to exploration, it is worth noting that as we see into images of both deep space and the brain, we also see psychic imagining as well. "
- _The Book of Symbols : Reflections on Archetypal Images_ (02010)