I am not my brain. By meditating one can learn to go to the within inside of one’s self and as that experience grows it becomes quite clear that you are not your brain.
But I like the little zen story that tells it best:
The little fish went to the queen fish and asked, I have always heard about the sea, but what is it? Where is it? The queen fish explained, You live, move and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you. You are made of sea and you will end in sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being!
Science would rather have us believe that consciousness is merely one of the functions of the physical brain and therefore should logically cease to exist when the brain stops functioning.
However, I feel it rather demeaning of myself to believe that my self is just the gray matter within my physical body. I feel that my existence can not be limited to or confined within my physical body that I own, control and direct to work towards the fulfillment of my aims and desires. I am this owner of the body as well as the aims and desires and hence I must have an existence beyond the physical self. In other words, I would rather prefer to believe that consciousness is beyond and above the physical existence, a spiritual entity that gives life to matter and energy.
The statement that: “Consciousness exists within the brain.” is a physical analogy. It is similar the statement: “Sharks exist within the ocean.” There is a container/contained physical analogy that underlies that statement.
What do we learn about the mind from that comparison? What connection do we get, that is a knowledge candidate, or potential truth?
Well, we know that consciousness and brain are causally connected, by looking at certain specific cases. But, what cash-value do we get from conceiving of consciousness as an abstract physical thing like the brain? To go so far as to reduce consciouness to the brain is to believe in a fantasy – an intellectualist delusion.
There is a quality to the purely mental. My emotions are purely mental, and even though I may make a statement about emotions using physical analogies, that doesn’t mean that I meant that statement to be true like a specific factual statement is true – My statement is useful in a specific situation, a specific communicative context, which allows me to draw a relevant meaning in some setting, maybe the context is NOT a serious philosophical debate!!