I frantically told someone very shortly after my brain injury "I am in here!" It was kind of hard for anyone to tell for sure because I did not sound, move, nor act like I did before, and I had the blank look in my eyes like nobody was home.
Let's see if I can even try to explain this. Even though huge chunks of my my personality were missing and my mental processes were all messed up as well as some of my physical functioning, my spirit or soul or essence or whatever you want to call it was always in tact and fully aware. It was never damaged or injured in any way and remained whole. As a matter of fact, it became stronger and more defined as my ego and physical self became less imposing.
I recall wondering to myself "What part of me is observing me?" It was as though some other me was watching the new pitiful, damaged me in a very unattached and objective manner with almost no emotional reaction, but lots of compassion. Freaky. To actually look at myself kindly instead of picking apart and criticizing my every move was totally new for me.
I was brain damaged, but in some way I was deeper and more thoughtful. The injury had actually slowed my mind which had constantly raced most of the time before like a Jack Russell forever, tirelessly chasing its tail round and round in circles. Now, it was more like the old, fat, hound dog who can barely muster the energy to get up and waddle somewhere not too far only to plop down again.
I surely would not have been a winner on "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?," but I did have the presence somehow to challenge the well known "I think; therefore, I am." While I wasn't thinking all that great, I still knew that "I" was, and that "I" was not impaired.
I have often thought that recovering from my brain injury was the painstakingly slow process of coming back into my body. I even remember telling my brother "I came back in body this week," after a week especially filled with lots of the "tinglies" of nerves coming back on board and deciding to work again.
Although it may sound kind of twilight zone-ish, I now think that I actually wasn't too far off. Traditionally, we have thought that the brain must be the source of the mind. This is similar to insisting that a radio is the source of the music which comes from it. It may seem important that the brain is active during thought, but then a radio is also active during a broadcast.
Quantum physics is confirming that there is a field of energy everywhere called "The Zero Point Field." Rather than the old way of thinking that the mind is what the brain does, now, it is more like the mind is the controller of the brain. Imagine that there is a cloud of possibilities - words, memories, ideas, images - from which your brain can choose at every moment. One of these possibilities becomes an actuality in the brain. Like the quantum field which has been scientifically proven to generate real particles from virtual ones, the mind generates real brain activity from possible or virtual activity.
Quantum physics is proving to have many new mind blowing (pun intended) discoveries which are totally rewriting our understanding of the basic principles of our world and universe. Lynn McTaggert's book The Field totally altered my perception of reality. There is growing evidence to suggest that, in fact, we do all share the same mind field. Think of prodigies like Mozart or savants who can tell what day of the week November 16th falls on in the year 2135.
No physical process has been identified through which memories are transferred from neurons which die naturally every day to new neurons in the brain. Perhaps memories exist and persist on a nonphysical level. This would also explain, how someone can relay what dead Uncle George has to say from the beyond and other phenomenon such as distant seeing and mind reading. OK, is this too far out for ya yet?
We can use CAT scans and MRIs to show the activity of the brain, but that does not prove that the mind arises in the brain. These are maps showing the terrain of the brain as a thought or emotion crosses it. Deepak Chopra says in his book Life After Death "They don't prove that the brain IS the mind any more than a footprint in the sand is the same as the foot."
I see my recovery as a matter of getting my equipment to better receive and express the signal of me which has always been there strong and clear. I have gone from a crackly, antiquated radio like Grandpa used to have to an iPod coming through some Blaupankt speakers, and I keep upgrading.