“Here is a separation. Your heart, the park of you that feels. Your mind, the part of you that thinks. Your soul, the part of you that is. I almost never hear neuroscientists speak about the soul. Because of our work, we are often given to thinking about the part of humans that is the vital, inexplicable essence of ourselves, as the workings of our brain– mysterious, elegant, essential. Everything we don’t understand about what makes a person a person can be uncovered once we understand this organ. There is no separation. Our brains are our hearts that feel and our minds that think and our souls that are. But when I was a child I called this essence a soul and I believed in its supremacy over the mind and the heart, its immutability and connection to Christ himself.” ― Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

“Recent brain scans have shed light on how the brain simulates the future. These simulation are done mainly in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, using memories of the past. On one hand, simulations of the future may produce outcomes that are desirable and pleasurable, in which case the pleasure centers of the brain light up (in the nucleus accumbens and the hypothalamus). On the other hand, these outcomes may also have a downside to them, so the orbitofrontal cortex kicks in to warn us of possible dancers. There is a struggle, then, between different parts of the brain concerning the future, which may have desirable and undesirable outcomes. Ultimately it is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that mediates between these and makes the final decisions. (Some neurologists have pointed out that this struggle resembles, in a crude way, the dynamics between Freud’s ego, id, and superego.)” ― Michio Kaku, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

“Our spiritual traditions have carried virtues across time. They are tools for the art of living. They are pieces of intelligence about human behavior that neuroscience is now exploring with new words and images: what we practice, we become. What’s true of playing the piano or throwing a ball also holds for our capacity to move through the world mindlessly and destructively or generously and gracefully. I’ve come to think of virtues and rituals as spiritual technologies for being our best selves in flesh and blood, time and space. There are superstar virtues that come most readily to mind and can be the work of a day or a lifetime—love, compassion, forgiveness. And there are gentle shifts of mind and habit that make those possible, working patiently through the raw materials of our lives.” ― Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

“When phobia starts to build up in the psyche of thinking humanity against a part of its own kind, there is nothing more primordial and gruesome than that, especially when we are talking about a species that is supposedly the most intelligent one on Earth. Phobias recorded in DSM do not make a person lesser human, but Islamophobia does indeed define whether a person is really a thinking and sentient sapiens or an ignorant caveman.” ― Abhijit Naskar, The Islamophobic Civilization: Voyage of Acceptance

“When we help someone with genuine concern for her well-being, levels of endorphins, which are associated with euphoric feeling, surge in the brain, a phenomenon referred to as the helper’s high. In studies in which participants were asked to consciously extend compassion to another person, the reward centers of the compassionate brain were activated – the same brain system that lights up when we think of chocolate or another treat…The fulfillment Mother Teresa derived from her selfless service was a by-product, not the goal. Her primary motive was to bring help and solace to the destitute. This is the catch – a happy catch – to compassion: The more we are in it for other people, the more we get out of it ourselves.” ― Thupten Jinpa, A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives