Why do we need a brain?

If the spirit survives the death of the body and has recollection of personality and memory, why do we need a physical brain to store memory?

Can the human soul do anything without a body? Perceive, remember, communicate, reason, love? If I had to guess, I would say no. A human being is a union of body and soul. A disembodied human soul is not human, a contradiction. However if we are united with Christ, perhaps his body keeps our souls until the resurrection.

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Are you implying a kind of sleep before the resurrection? Cause that ain’t right…

You’re definitely going to be cognizant of what’s happening and where you are. There have been more than a few saints that have interacted with the Holy Souls of Purgatory or those in Heaven.

The brain also has functions such as running the mechanical aspects of the body, allowing us to move and breathe and that sort of thing.


Could the parts of the brain that we think store memory actually be channels to deeper soul memory.

When I wrote above, “perhaps his body keeps our souls,” I meant that he shares his body (again) with us, his body becomes our body, so that we are fully human and capable.

I got this idea from an essay by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI. It’s possible that I have overextended the idea, but you can decide that after reading the quoted passage in this post:

Body and soul are associated somehow. I certainly don’t understand the details. In this life, memory storage appears to be biological. What then does the soul do?

I remember my pediatrician for my son when he was born discussing what instincts babies are born with. At one point he made the comment that their brains basically kept their ears from rubbing together! :joy::joy::joy:

He was also a very good pediatrician…with a good dose of humor thrown in.

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because that’s how brains work
that is the physical function of our brain
to make sure we run and have intelligence and know to face the sun in the morning
without our brain we are not human

My question deals with why are we designed this way. If the souls has memory why does the brain need it? If parts of the brain ca be identified with memory and the brain dies, yet the soul still remembers, it would seem that the memory potion of the brain is not needed.

I guess that for God we are best this way. We are crown of all his creations. I find human body fascinating.
Even though there are physical disabilities, disorders and genetical mutations we are still perfect. God created us exactly how he wanted and we are beautiful. So if something looks strange or useless to us it is because of our limited knowledge and view.

I heard an analogy once of the brain being the TV set that captures the ‘signal’ of the soul. But that was a new age source that thought of the body as a machine to be discarded, not very Catholic.

Maybe it’s similar to how the spirit has some kind of ‘active’ and ‘creative’ characteristic, so we might ask why we still need physical feet and hands to move and make. Well, because those are the parts of our physical bodies that correspond to and channel the powers of the soul. It’s just part of the human body expressing characteristics of the soul, making visible the invisible? Maybe we should be more surprised if God wrote any special characteristic into the human soul that he didn’t connect with the physical human body too.

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I like that. Also it must be important to experience the full limitations of being in human flesh. It sure can be humbling.

How about these crazy motor proteins. It has something to do with memory in neurons.

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