In the last blog, I told you a story from a neurosurgeon, Dr. Paul Francel, my brother-in-law. I’d like to continue this month with another. This one takes place when he was mapping a patient’s brain. The patient is awake during these kind of surgeries—even though the top of the skull must be temporarily removed. Paul, during this procedure, was using an electrode to touch the various places in the man’s brain that would cause him to move certain parts of his hand. Paul was electrically stimulating one, tiny, specific part of the patient’s brain that made him want to move his left thumb up and down. The conversation with the patient (we’ll call him Mr. Jones) went like this:
Dr. Francel: Are you moving your left thumb up and down, Mr. Jones?
Mr. Jones: My left thumb is moving; but no, Dr. Francel. I’m not moving it up and down. You are.
Paul said to me, “Think about that, Mike. I’m touching the place in his brain that tells him he wants to move his thumb—but he knows it’s not him. He knows that he did not will it to happen. So where do decisions like that come from? They come from the soul. The brain is the interface between your eternal soul and the temporal world. It’s the transducer between the spiritual and the physical. In times past, we doctors thought we knew where memories were stored—in the frontal lobe of the brain. We’d remove parts of the frontal lobe and thought we were, thus, removing certain memories. But the memories came back. What does that tell you? It says that all of our memories —from birth to death—are stored in your soul. You could call it, “the cloud.” The brain is the hardware that brings those memories into our everyday lives. When Jesus says, ‘I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken’ (Matthew 12:36) it’s because every single thing we have ever thought, said, or done is stored in our souls.”
Paul told me that sometimes, when blind people are near death, they tell stories (later) of being able to see what their loved ones look like. He believes this is because their souls began to leave their bodies and were momentarily unencumbered by that physical disability. For Dr. Paul Francel, the reality of our immortal souls is a rock-solid truth which makes medical sense.