Back Goldfinch looking backwards

Endnote 2 to Mind-Matter Argument 1

Larry Dossey gives many instances of consciousness without mind actually present in the problem-solving and creative processes. This is from page 33 of Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Search:

The evidence suggests that even for creative scientists, physicists, and mathematicians, language is overrated and is not essential to creativity. In 1945 the mathematician Jacques Hadamard conducted a survey of the most eminent mathematicians in America. He wanted to find out about their working methods. In response to his questionnaire, Albert Einstein replied,

The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought.... Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage.... When words intervene at all, they are, in my case, purely auditive.

Einstein’s case was by no means unusual. Hadamard concluded from his 1945 survey that practically all the mathematicians born or resident in America avoid not only the use of “mental words” but even “the mental use of algebraic or other precise signs.... The mental pictures [that they employ] are most frequently visual.

Dossey continues for two more pages with evidence from a variety of equally high-flying sources. But if we examine just our own minds (consciousness streams) in the process of solving problems, we will, just like Einstein, never find the mind that is doing the solving. Instead, solutions just pop into our stream of consciousness. People often speak of the importance of sleeping on a problem, and they know that after a good night’s sleep they may awaken with a solution to some problem they were facing. Sounds like the same thing. Trust Mr. Sandman.