Invisible structures preceded the emergence of the physical body. They also exist after the body’s death. While the condition of the body is directed by the conscious mind in life, then, the idea or mental pattern for the body existed before the conscious mind’s connection with the physical brain.
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Therefore the inner self forms, first, the “invisible” body structure which will “later” emerge in flesh. At the event of this mental seeding, the conscious mind, in your terms, is obviously not connected with the brain, which has not yet been formed in flesh. The idea of the body is held and made physical by a conscious mind.
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The conscious mind exists before material life and after it. In corporeal existence it is intertwined with the brain, and during physical life your earthly perceptions — your precise and steady focus within your particular space and time system — are dependent upon that fine alliance.
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Now it is here that the seeming division in the self occurs, for in physical life the conscious mind must be connected with the brain, and in terms of time that organ itself must grow and develop. So all of your consciousness cannot be physically aware. The portion that must “wait for” the brain’s development is the part you call in life “the conscious mind.”
The other portions can be called the inner self. Now all of this inner self cannot become expressed even with its connection with the brain, since the brain must sift perception through the physical apparatus.
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The brain with its bodily connections must deal with the time lapses that sensual perception always imply. The interior workings of the body, to be conscious, would have to deal with time sequences that would present the physically attuned consciousness with “mathematical” deductions and calculations far too numerous for it to handle. For example, it would have to keep conscious track of all the muscles, nerves, organs, cells, molecules and atoms, while manipulating the body in space and time.
Therefore a seeming division occurs, in which a portion of the invisible conscious mind is connected with the physical brain, and a portion of it is free of that connection. That (latter) part forms what you think of as the involuntary system of the body.
Again, it is important that you realize the initial nonphysical reaction to stimuli that sparks off all physical reactions. There is constant interplay and communication between the areas of consciousness that are connected to the brain and those that are not. The “deeper” purposes of the consciousness involved “circulate,” sometimes arising in the awareness that is joined with the brain. Information coming from those deeper sources of the self, reaching the areas connected to the brain, will be interpreted according to the beliefs of that most physically focused segment of the self.”
NoPR Chapter 5: Session 626, November 8, 1972