Open Journal of Philosophy
2012. Vol.2, No.3, 171-178
Published Online August 2012 in SciRes (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ojpp) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojpp.2012.23026
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 171
The Science of Self, Mind and Body
Sung Jang Chung
Morristown-Hamblen Healthcar e System, Morristown, USA
Received April 30th, 2012; revised May 29th, 2012; accepted June 12th, 2012
A relationship among self, mind and body in humans is still not clearly known in philosophy and science
because of lack of human data that would enable to objectively explain it. Teachings related to their rela-
tionship in religions have been given to humanity in general in terms of subjective words. Consequently,
philosophers and scientists have been investigating to find objective proofs related to their relationship.
The author proposed a theory in his book (2009) that there are in a human individual two selves, one, the
inner self (the true self) and one, the physical self (the false self) that coexist in one individual person.
McGonigal (2012) published her book in which she described two minds or two selves in one human in-
dividual, naming them “I WILL” and “I WANT” self on the basis of extensive studies on adult subjects.
More recent researches in neuroscience using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) discovered
that the prefrontal cortex of the human brain performs self-control, emotion regulation and guiding be-
haviors with morality, future goals and rules. The author compared characteristic aspects of the inner and
physical selves of Chung with the “I WILL” and “I WANT” selves of McGonigal. There is a remarkable
good agreement between the inner and physical selves of Chung and the “I WILL” and “I WANT” selves
of McGonigal. The author proposes a theory in this study that the inner and physical selves correspond to
the “I WILL” and “I WANT” selves, respectively, and that the inner self, the true self, controls the physi-
cal self, the false self, interacting with the prefrontal cortex of the human brain.
Keywords: Self; Mind; Free Will; Evolution; Neuroscience; Prefrontal Cortex; Probacent Model
A clear relationship among self, mind and body in humans is
still not known in philosophy and science because of lack of
human data that would enable to explain it objectively (Gus-
nard, 2009; Vacariu, 2011; Dresp-Langley & Durup, 2012).
Most philosophical definitions of self (Descartes, Locke and
Hume) are expressed in the first person (Gaynesford, 2006).
The philosophy of self defines the essential qualities that make
one person distinct from all others. The self is the agent being
the source of consciousness, and responsible for the thoughts of
mind and actions of body of an individual, enduring through
time. The particular characteristics of the self determine its
identity. Descartes who has been dubbed as the “Father of the
Modern Philosophy” is best known for the philosophical state-
ment “Cogito ergo sum” (English: I think, therefore I am)
Teachings in religions concerning their relationship among
self, mind and body have been given to humanity generally in
terms of subjective words. It is taught in religions that the soul
(self) leaves the body at death and would be born on the Other
Side, the spiritual world, implicating ontologically existence of
soul (self) and non-soul (non-self, body, world, and universe).
Consequently, scientists have been investigating to find ob-
jective proofs in the realm of mysterious complex fundamental
problems and questions, using animals, especially primates
including humans. Psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscien-
tists have been recently doing researches with help of func-
tional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emis-
sion tomography (PET) to study the brain structures and func-
tions, particularly the prefrontal cortex of the brain (Sapolsky,
2004; Miller & Cohen, 2001; Greene, 2001; Banks et al., 2007;
Rilling & Insel, 1999; Braun et al., 1998; Herman et al., 2005;
Bauer et al., 1998; Gusnard, 2009). The prefrontal cortex is its
largest, in both absolute and relative terms, in the human among
anthropoid primates (Rilling & Insel, 1999; Sapolsky, 2004).
The author attended a weekly math seminar when I was a
graduate student at the Seoul National University in Seoul,
Korea. We encountered a hard and unsolved math problem in a
seminar. I continued to attempt to solve the problem after the
seminar for about a month whenever I had a free time. One
night, I dreamed about the same math problem. To my surprise,
I got a solution of the problem in my dream. I was over-
whelmed with joy to see the problem was perfectly solved. I
woke up at the moment of feeling joy. I presented the solution
of the math problem at the next seminar. It seemed to the author
that my conscious and subconscious minds were connected and
worked together in concert to solve the math problem.
One time, I encountered another difficult mathematical prob-
lem that was not solved in a dream but was solved, I believe, in
my subconscious mind. It was a hard differential calculus prob-
lem in my research that was aimed to find a general mathe-
matical formula of hazard rate of a formula that expresses a
relationship among intensity of stimulus, duration of exposure
and occurrence of response in biological phenomena (Chung,
2009). One day, I went a health spa with my family in Atlanta,
Georgia. After parking our car, we walked in yard decorated
with a beautiful flower garden. I enjoyed the beauty of the gar-
den while walking. At that moment, the math problem suddenly
crossed my mind. I started to try to solve it in my mind while
walking. I instantly got an idea for its solution, like a flash in
my mind. I hurried to the lobby of the health spa, where I got a
S. J. CHUNG
pencil and paper and wrote down the calculation I had done a
moment before. The difficult-looking problem was clearly and
correctly solved. It seems to me that my subconscious mind
continued to reason and perfectly solved the problem and then
suddenly transferred the solution to my conscious mind (Chung,
2009). I published the solution of the math problem in the In-
ternational Journal of Biomedical Computing in 1995 (Chung,
Human beings are composed of the body made of material
matter, and the conscious mind. My manifest conscious mind
while awake could not solve the difficult math problems but my
subconscious mind solved the problems. The master who acted
in the mathematical reasoning in my manifest consciousness
and sub-consciousness was a personality “I”. It seems logical to
infer that there is an independent self with self-awareness in my
subconscious mind. I name this self the “inner self”. There
seems to be another self in my manifest consciousness that is
felt as “I”, and closely associated with my bodily functions and
my brain activities, sensing the world around the body through
sense organs. The latter self is associated with the physical
body; I name it the “physical self”. The conscious mind seems
to be occupied by the physical self and/or the inner self. The
conscious mind can be abolished by anesthetic drugs, hypoxe-
mia, hypoglycemia, coma or injury.
The inner self has conscience, will power, morality, creative
power, mathematical computing reasoning, and future plan and
high goals. The physical self acts on the basis of pleasure, de-
sire, and instinct for living without future goal or plan. At death
when the brain and body deteriorate, disintegrate and return to
Earth, the physical self disappears permanently. The inner self
is considered to leave the physical self/body and is believed to
continue to live and return to the spiritual world. Therefore, the
inner self is the true self, the real self. The physical self is the
false self, the non-real self.
It seems true that a human individual has two personalities,
two selves: the inner self (the true self) and the physical self
(the false self) (Chung, 2009; Hawkins, 2002; Bailey, 2006).
The inner self is created from and by the Creator and lives on
the Earth as a co-creator. The inner self is connected through
the super self to the Creator (Chung, 2009). The physical self is
created by the Creator. An artist (the inner self) can create art
products. A composer can create music. However, the art prod-
uct or the music cannot create the artist or the composer. The
inner self can control the physical self’s behavior.
In Brad Steiger’s One with the Light (1994) and Guy Lyon
Playfair’s Twin Telepathy (2002), both authors described the
same extraordinary case of near-death experience. Both authors
described the true story of a physician. According to this
anonymous physician, shortly after midnight, the doctor was
stricken with acute gastroenteritis and apparently suffered a
cardiac arrest and unconsciousness. He was subsequently re-
suscitated by another doctor. He experienced an extraordinary
phenomenon during the period from the cardiac arrest to recov-
ery. He saw two personalities, A and B, that he felt to be him-
self: one personality, B, linked to his body and the other per-
sonality, A, free from the body. The B personality faded and
disappeared as the physical body deteriorated further. The A
personality was separated from the other personality B and
leaving his physical body. The A personality was conscious
outside the body and could observe his body lying in bed. He
realized that he could also see everything in his house. After
resuscitation with a camphor injection, the A personality re-
turned to his physical body. Once he was back, all clear vision
of everything disappeared.
In the above published case of near-death experience, it
seems most likely that what occurred was that the inner self
(the A personality) left the physical body. The inner self saw
the other part of the self, the physical self (the B personality);
this remained attached to the body and then disintegrated as the
brain and the body ceased to function; then the physical self
was unconscious in the physical world. On the basis of the
above true story, I infer that both the inner self and the physical
self are unknowably superimposed and coexist in the individual
self of a man.
McGonigal (2012), a psychologist at Stanford University
published her book, The Willpower Instinct that explains the
scientific reality of willpower on the basis of a large amount of
scientific researches on humans, and discovered facts. She
clearly described that human mind is not one unified self but
multiple selves who compete for control; our self has two
selves, that is, two minds: one wiser mind with a higher pur-
pose that controls the other impulsive mind that wants instant
gratification. She named the first mind “I WILL” self, and the
second mind “I WANT” self.
According to some neuroscientists, we have one brain but
two people living inside our mind; one person acts on impulses
and seeks instant gratification, and the other person controls
impulses and delays gratification to protect our long-term goals
Baumeister and Tierney (2011) published their book titled
“Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength”. The
authors described extensively about scientific aspects of the
will power in self-control in our lives and relevant informative
Sapolsky (2004), a neurobiologist at Stanford University re-
ported on the basis of findings in contemporary neuroscience
that the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the human brain
is cognitive control, emotion regulation, control of impulsive
behavior and moral reasoning.
Miller and Cohen (2001) at Stanford University proposed an
integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function of cognitive
control, goals and rules.
Kluger (2012) published an article titled “Getting to No: The
Science of Building Willpower” that described the willpower,
and the “I WILL, I WAN’T, I WANT” theory of McGonigal
and the role of the frontal cortex of human brain, and relevant
recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience.
The author’s scientific research in biomedicine was initiated
in Korea and its summary was published in the Republic of
Korea Journal of the National Academy of Sciences in 1960.
The research was continued in the United States. Scores of
articles were published in international and American journals
(Chung, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2007, 2011a, 2011b, 2012).
The original goal of my research has been to find a general
mathematical model of “probacent”-probability equation that
would calculate the probability of safe survival in humans and
other living organisms exposed to any harmful or adverse cir-
cumstances, overcoming the risk.
The author proposed a theory based on philosophical con-
templation and reasoning, and relevant recent scientific discov-
eries that a human individual is a person in whom the physical
self, the false self and the inner self, the true self coexist as
oneness (Chung, 2009).
To my knowledge, there seem to be no scientific articles in
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
S. J. CHUNG
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 173
the literature of philosophy and science that clearly explain the
relationship among self, mind and body in humans (Gusnard,
2009; Vacariu, 2011).
In this study, an attempt is made to propose a theory that the
inner, true self and the physical, false self coexist in humans;
and correspond to the “I WILL” and the “I WANT” selves of
McGonigal (2012), respectively; and in addition, the inner self
controls the physical self, interacting with the prefrontal cortex
of the brain.
Materials and Methods
McGonigal (2012), a psychologist at Stanford University
published her book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control
Works, Why It Matters and What You Can Do to Get More of It.
As a health psychologist, McGonigal specially studied will-
pow er in self-control to help he r students make positive c hang es
in their lives, in strengthening self-control, weight loss, stress
reduction, controlling emotion, conquering procrastination, ide n-
tifying goals, professional success and so forth.
Investigative observations were made in her studies con-
cerning presence or absence of willpower in self-control, reason,
morality, goals, plan for future etc.
She described in her book results of her extensive scientific
researches on human adult subjects and her comprehensive
review of newest relevant data from recent researches in psy-
chology and neur os ci en ce .
She discovered in her researches that a human self has two
minds: one impulsive mind that wants instant gratification, and
one super and wiser mind that does self-control and guides
behavior. She named the former “I WANT” self and the latter
“I WILL” self, suggesting the human nature of two selves.
In this study, the author did comparison of characteristic as-
pects of the inner versus physical self of Chung (2009) and the
“I WILL” versus “I WANT” self of McGonigal (2012).
In addition, a similar comparison of the inner versus physical
self with the functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and other
brain structures reported by Sapolsky (2004), and Miller and
Table 1 shows a remarkable good correlation or agreement
between characteristic aspects of the inner versus physical self
Comparison of characteristic aspects of the inner versus physical self (Chung, 2009) with those of the “I WILL” versus “I WANT” self
Characteristic aspects Inner self “I WILL” self Physical self “I WANT” self
Self-control + + – –
Reason + + – –
Morality + + – –
Willpower + + – –
Conscience + + – –
Responsibility + + – –
Wisdom + + – –
Goals + + – –
Plan for future + + – –
Creative work + + – –
Nature Good Good Evil ( )**
Math reasonin g + + – –
Response time Control timing Control timing Instant Instant
Feeling Calm Calm Restless Restless
Social rules + + – –
Sacrifice Altruistic Altruistic Egoistic Egoistic
Desire for pleasure Delay or suppress Delay or suppress Instant gratification Instant gratification
Compassion + + – –
Memory retrieval + + – –
Meditation + + – –
After death Live ( )* Disappear Disappear
Selfhood True ( )
* False ( )
Precognitive dream + ( )* – ( )
* empty space means that no description is given by (McGonigal, 2012); ( )** empty space means that the “I WANT” self behaves with
desires for instant gratification of pleasure (McGonigal, 2012). If the behavior is excessive beyond social rules, then it would become evil or even criminal
(Baumeister & T ierney, 2011; Chung, 2009). +: prese nt; –: absent.
S. J. CHUNG
of Chung (2009) and the “I WILL” versus “I WANT” self of
McGonigal (2012). Both the inner self and the “I WILL” self
have the willpower, morality, creative power and mathematical
reasoning; and controls the physical self and the “I WANT” self
that appear to act for pleasure, desire, living, and instant grati-
Table 2 shows a good correlation between characteristic as-
pects of performance of the inner self and the prefrontal cortex
of the human brain. The inner self and the “I WILL” self seem
to be able to control the physical self and the “I WANT” self by
interacting with the prefrontal cortex and then regulating the
other brain structures from the perspective of Salpowsky (2004),
and Miller and Cohen (2001) in neuroscience.
McGonigal created a course for Stanford’s Continuing Stud-
ies program called “The Science of Willpower” based on re-
sults of her researches.
Table 1 shows a remarkable good correlation or agreement
between the inner versus physical self and the “I WILL” versus
“I WANT” self in terms of characteristic aspects, respectively.
Table 2 reveals similarly a good correlation between character-
istic aspects of performance of the inner self and the prefrontal
cortex of the human brain.
The inner self seems to be the true and real self with free will
that does self-control, modulate behavior with goals and rules,
morality, creative work, controlling the physical self that is
primarily associated with the brain and the physical body,
sensing the external world through sense organs and responding
to the world. The physical self/body behaves on the basis of
pleasure-desire and for living, being impulsive (Chung, 2009).
Hsun Tzu proposed a theory of evil human nature (Hu &
Guo, 2011) that contends that the human nature is evil inborn.
Evil results from uninhibited desires for living. Selfishness is
inborn in human nature. It seems to the author that the evil
human nature is applicable to the physical self/body. Mencius
believed in the innate goodness of man. He supported the good
human nature in Confucianism (Hu & Guo, 2011). The good
human nature of Mencius seems to be applicable to the inner
self. The perspective of the inner versus physical self seems to
solve the dilemma of the two contradictive theories regarding
the human nature.
Perlovsky, a physicist and researcher at Harvard University
Comparison of characteristic aspects of performance of the inner self
(Chung, 2009) and the prefrontal cortex of the human brain (Sapolsky,
2004; Miller & Cohen, 2001).
Characteristic aspects The inner self The prefrontal cortex
Cognitive con t rol + +
Goals + +
Rules + +
Behavior c on trol + +
Emotion regulat i on + +
Moral reasoni ng + +
Control of im pulsive behavior + +
Math reasoning + +
Memory retrieval + +
published an article, “Free will and advances in cognitive sci-
ence” (2012). He thoroughly examined recent discoveries in
cognitive science. He supports free will of mind that is not re-
ducible. “Free will is fundamental to morality, intuition of self,
and normal functioning of society”. “Free will can be scientifi-
cally accepted along with scientific monism”.
It seems to the author that freedom of will is indispensable to
self-control by the inner self. The physical self/body seems to
carry out bodily reactions determined by physical and chemical
laws and so impulsive in its behavior; the physical self seems to
have no free will from the viewpoint of the scientific monism
(determinism) so that states of the mind are produced by mate-
rial processes in the brain. The perspective of the inner versus
physical self/body offers a possible resolution of the dilemma
of the contradictive scientific monism and the free will in hu-
man mind. The physical self fades and disappears when the
brain and body deteriorate and disintegrate at death.
Human actions are done by conscious minds occupied by the
physical self and/or the inner self. Therefore, it is extremely
important that the inner self controls the physical self every
moment by positively occupying the conscious mind, directing
physical self/body’s behaviors with free willpower. As Buddha
said, “One who conquers himself is the supreme conqueror,
rather than those who fight in the battlefield and conquer a
million enemies” (Buddhism, 1987). I believe that the term
“himself” here implies his own physical self as an enemy. As
the guru, Yogananda (1982) said, “You are your own enemy,
and you don’t know it”. I believe that this means that your
physical self is the enemy of your inner self. Hawkins (2002), a
psychiatrist, wrote in his book that the human ego is actually
not an “I” at all (the author’s note: “I” means here to be the
inner, real self); this illusion of apparently separate, individual
“I” ego as his real “I” is the source of all human suffering (the
author’s note: “I” ego is the physical self).
It seems to me that the relationship between the physical self
and the inner self is analogous to driving a car. The driver is the
inner self, the true self and the steering wheel and engine are
the physical self. The car structure is the physical body. The car
is in a nearly automatic driving condition. The road is consid-
erably narrow and winding, and supposed to represent the
world full of temptations and illusions. The driver (the true,
inner self) controls the steering wheel with reason, conscience,
and willpower in guiding the car. The driver is constantly
watching the car operated by the physical self. The driver (the
inner self) must be alert and careful, ready to slow down, turn
or stop the car at any moment if needed. The true, inner self is
also endeavoring to be calm and feel his total responsibility in
driving. The physical self would not be blamed for any wrong
driving or accidents. The inner self (the driver) would be re-
sponsible under the law of society.
If the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is organically and/or function-
ally damaged and so the inner self cannot interact with the PFC
and so cannot control it, in this case, the physical self/body
would not be responsible for any wrong or illegal behaviors and
acts because the physical self does not understand and differen-
tiate right from wrong (incapable of cognitive control). This
case seems similar to cases of the insanity defense in a criminal
justice system. If the PFC is normal and fails to yield to control
by the inner self and chooses anti-social wrong behaviors, then
the inner self would be responsible for the wrong or illegal
behavior or act. If someone with epilepsy strikes another person
in the course of a seizure, “it is not him; it is his disease”
(Sapolsky, 2004). The above cases seem to be analogous to the
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
S. J. CHUNG
driving a car as above described: the inner self (self of an indi-
vidual) is the driver and responsible in driving, and the steering
wheel and engine with the car body that are the physical
self/body (the PFC and other brain structures and the body) are
not responsible. This contemplation is tacitly suggestive of the
inner self (the real self) independently existing from the physi-
Baumeister and Tierney (2011), and McGonigal (2012) rec-
ommended meditation in their books; meditation (Yogananda)
helps for strengthening the willpower and health.
The inner self is believed to be created from and by the
Creator, God (Holy Bible, Koran, Yoganada), being part of
Creator, and so to be a co-creator with free willpower in the
world. The physical self/body is created by the Creator and can
be changed by His will. The inner self (soul) does not only
control but also would be able to heal the physical self/body by
his will united with the will of the Creator (Yogananda, 1946;
Villoldo, 2000; Perlmutter & Villoldo, 2011). The inner self
seems to be connected through the super self to the Creator
(Chung, 2009). Christianity teaches the doctrine of trinity of
Holy Father, Holy Son and Holy Spirit. In Confucianism, there
is a doctrine of the three origins of 10 and 5 and 1 Word in Kim
Hang’s book, the Book of Right Change, JeongYeok正易
(Chung, 2010). 10 represents Moogeuk (Wu Chi), the Non-
Ultimate, Creator; 5 Hwanggeuk (Huang Chi), the Ultimate
Emperor, Saint; and 1 Taegeuk (Tai Chi), the Great Ultimate,
Power of Creator. There seems to be an agreement between
both doctrines of Christianity and Confucianism (Wilhelm,
1967; Chung, 2009, 2010). The author believes that Jesus, Bud-
dha, Confucius, Kim Hang, Muhammad, Yogananda, Moses
and other saints in human history are saints (the super self) and
represent the Son of God. In human evolution, mankind seems
to continue to evolve from the current human stage and society
to stages of saints, the super self and an unimaginable, ideal
society, the kingdom of heaven (Holy Bible, Jeong Yeok正易),
and to be united with the omniscient, omnipotent and omni-
present Creator, God; enlightenment, the self-realization (Yoga-
nanda, 1946, 1996; Villoldo, 2000; Chung, 2009, 2010; Perl-
mutter & Villoldo, 2011).
Darwin’s evolutionism seems to be applicable to the realm of
the physical self/body and the creationism to the realm of the
inner self (soul). The perspective of the inner versus physical
self seems to provide a possible resolution to the evolutionism
and creationism regarding human history (Patent, 2001; Chung,
Current theory in the human evolution holds that the modern
human, Homo sapiens migrated from Africa to the Middle East
about 120,000 years ago (The National Geography Society,
2007). According to the Book of Right Change, JeongYeok正
易written by Kim Hang who was a Korean scholar and a mas-
ter of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, the year 1884 A.D.
was 118, 643 year (Chung, 2010).
The author had two unusual precognitive dreams during the
World War II and the Korean War. Special dreams such as
precognitive dreams that come true in reality are considered to
be the work of the inner self (Chung 2009). The author wishes
to describe his two dreams in order to share them with readers
because of their rarity and possibly important philosophical
A Precognitive Dream in Prison during the
World War II
In 1944, Korea was under the suppressive colonial Japanese
government. I was a medical student at the Keijo Imperial Uni-
versity College of Medicine (now the Seoul National Univer-
sity College of Medicine). I joined an underground organization
for Korea’s independence movement. The movement was de-
tected by the police in December 1944. I was imprisoned after
interrogation and inhumane torture in the Seodaemun Prison in
Seoul in January 1945. It was a freezing cold winter. Epidemic
typhus fever prevailed in the prison that winter of 1944-1945,
infecting many prisoners. I heard that quite a number of pa-
tients died of typhus. I was one of the patients and placed in an
isolation room without any medical treatment. I suffered high
fever, headache, malaise, loss of hearing and vague conscious-
ness. I eventually recovered from typhus fever and was trans-
ferred to a general prison cell.
One night in June 1945, I had an unusual dream. An old man
in a gray Korean coat suddenly appeared in front of me in my
dream. I fell to the ground face down and asked him, “When
shall I be released from prison?”
He answered instantly, “The day is the thirty first”. Then the
old man disappeared, and at the same time I woke up from the
dream. I believed that I had experienced a precognitive dream,
and I began to wait for the thirty first day of the next month
July. About one month later, I was unexpectedly released from
prison on the exactly predicted date, July 31, 1945 (Chung,
A Precognitive Dream in North Korea during
the Korean War
In 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, I was one
of hundreds of South Korean physicians who were forcefully
transported from South to North Korea by North Korean com-
munist agents. My group of six South Korean physicians was
sent to Hamhung, North Korea and ordered to treat patients at
the Hamhung Provincial Hospital. I was assigned to treat gen-
eral civilian outpatients. Inpatients were treated by other physi-
cians. These inpatients included North Korean civilian and
military patients .
Air raids by scores of US B-29 bombers in formation were
daily getting severe. During the daytime, whenever siren sig-
nals of air raid were heard, we had to stop medical service work
and immediately seek refuge in an air-raid shelter.
One night in September 1950, I had an unusual dream. I saw
a wall calendar with a black printed number of the date in the
middle of white paper. The number was a crystal-clear 13. That
seemed to indicate that the date of the coming thirteenth day of
October would be an especially important and critical day. The
calendar then disappeared, and I saw a night scene. In the
darkness of night, I was walking toward one direction with
other people in a line.
I looked around both sides of the road. There was a flowing
river on the left side, and a mountain on the right side. I said to
a nearby nurse, “If we pass the thirteenth day tonight, we will
survive and have good days ahead. Let’s be patient. We have
The nurse appeared glad to hear me say it. After talking to
the nurse, I woke up. I felt that the thirteenth day would be the
coming October 13. I began to wait for that day. I believed that
if I passed October 13 without any difficult events, I would
have good days thereafter. I told actually my special dream to
the other South Korean physician colleagues.
The great historical battle at Inchon Harbor involving the
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 175
S. J. CHUNG
landing by UN and South Korean forces on September 15, 1950;
recapture of the capital, Seoul, on September 27-28; crossing
the 38th parallel on October 9; and the northward advance of
UN and South Korean forces, totally changed the situation of
the war in the Korean peninsula (Gruenberg, 1959).
The long-waited day of October 13 came. An unexpected
event took place. The communist agent responsible for the hos-
pital ordered the entire staff of the Hamhung Provincial Hospi-
tal to gather at the hospital campus that evening to prepare to
retreat north. Scores of North and South Korean doctors, nurses,
and non-medical staff members then started to retreat north on
foot in a formation of lines and groups, leaving the hospital and
Hamhung City in the darkness of night.
I got out of Hamhung City for the first time. All of the hos-
pital personnel were walking in line on a dark road leading
north. I looked around at the surrounding natural scene while I
walked. The Sungchun River was on my left side, and moun-
tains were on my right side. It was an amazing event. The night
scene and the date exactly matched the landscape and the num-
ber thirteen on the wall calendar in my dream a few weeks ear-
lier. The coincidence of the dream and the reality was unbe-
lievable beyond expression and convinced me to believe that
the special dream was a precognitive dream and a revelation
I spoke to a nurse who was walking beside me, as I had in
my dream, I said, “Hello. If we pass the thirteenth day tonight,
we will be free. Let’s be patient tonight. We will have good
days starting from tomorrow”. The nurse was glad to hear me
say it. I did not tell her about my dream. I just talked similarly
to how I had done in my dream. I felt inexpressible joy and
hope while I was walking. My heart was pounding with grati-
tude, wonder, and courage. The dream helped not only me but
also other people in the war (Chung, 2009).
The above special precognitive dreams seem to be suggestive
of the work of the author’s inner self and further to reveal a
possible glimpse into an unknown, timeless and non-local spiri-
Modern physics proved that matter is composed of energy,
and form without solid matter. Matter is energy of vibrating
waves of different frequencies. It seems to the author that neu-
rons of the brain produces images composed of physical energy
of vibrations of yet unknown frequencies that seem to produce
mental-like images of unknown incomprehensive frequencies
of vibratory energy. The inner self seems to be able to perceive
this vibratory energy image produced by neurons at the end
process in the neurons of the prefrontal cortex. The inner self
also seems to be able to produce mental vibratory waves of
unknown frequencies by mind that cause physical correspond-
ing resonant-like vibratory waves of energy in neurons of the
brain. In this way, the physical self and the inner self appear to
mutually interact in the prefrontal cortex.
The fundamental elements of matter, electrons, protons,
photons, quarks, leptons etc. are particles composed of energy
and also simultaneously waves of certain frequencies, showing
dual qualities. It seems to me that consciousness probably ex-
ists, inherently superposing to dual aspects of subtle particle
and wave of each particle (Chung, 2009). Consequently, as
aforementioned, self, especially the inner self is believed to be
able to create energy and change matter.
Neurons of the brain require oxygen and glucose etc. for
their normal functions. Hypoxemia, hypoglycemia, general
anesthetic drugs, ischemic damage in stroke or coma caused by
injury or infection can disrupt neuronal functions and abolish
the consciousness. In these cases, the inner self cannot control
the brain, the physical self/body, indicating a functional dis-
connection between the inner self and the physical self/body.
In Alzheimer’s disease, if advanced and severe, the inner self
cannot interact with and/or control the physical self because of
pathologic changes in the brain (Richards & Sweet, 2009). This
suggests independent existence of the inner self being away
from the physical self/body.
Vacariu (2011), a philosopher at the University of Bucharest
proposed a theory of “epistemologically different worlds”
(EDWs) in investigating the mind-body problem in humans. He
stated that the human subjectivity, the “I” is knowledge. I may
interpret his statement as follows: the inner self seems to cor-
respond to the “I” and to have knowledge.
One case of the most famous patient in the history of neuro-
psychology, Phinneas Gage who was a railroad constructor,
damaged his prefrontal cortices in an explosive accident made
neuroscientists find enormous valuable information on the pre-
frontal cortices for human knowledge (Sapolsky, 2004; Gus-
nard, 2009). The selective destruction of the Gage’s prefrontal
cortex transformed Gage from a taciturn, reliable foreman in a
railroad construction crew to a coarse, disinhibited, unstable
individual who was never able to work (McMillan, 2000;
The true story of the aforementioned English medical doctor
who saw his two personalities in his near-death experience
(Steiger, 1994; Playfair, 2002) and the true story of two unusual
precognitive dreams as well as an unusual dream of mathe-
matical reasoning and solution of math problems of the author
seem to me to be hard to deny their truth merely because of
their rarity or a small number if we take into consideration the
case of a patient, Phinneas Gage in neuropsychology. In addi-
tion, the above findings suggest inconceivable potential power
of the inner self and further possibly reveal mysterious tran-
scendental truth with a glimpse into timeless and non-local
spirit world (Yogananda, 1946; Villoldo, 2000; Chung, 2009).
Recent researches in neurobiology and neuroscience revealed
enormous reciprocal synaptic connections between the prefron-
tal cortices and other brain structures of limbic system, amyg-
dala, hypothalamus, hippocampus; nucleus accumbens, puta-
men, thalamus, substantia nigra, etc. (Sapolsky, 2004; Banks et
al., 2007; Schultz et al., 2000; Rilling & Insel, 1999; Herman et
al., 2005). The animal’s brain has less than 100 thousand neu-
rons and in the human brain there are 100 billion or more neu-
rons (Miller & Cohen, 2001).
Neuroscientists discovered more recently that the prefrontal
cortex (PFC) does cognitive control, emotion regulation, con-
trol of impulsive behavior, moral self-control, and guiding brain
activities with goals and rules, using fMRI (Sapolsky, 2004;
Miller & Cohen, 2001; Greens et al., 2001).The prefrontal cor-
tex receives information from sites throughout the rest of cortex.
The nucleus accumbens is involved in pleasure and reward,
using neurotransmitter, dopamine signaling to the prefrontal
cortex. The prefrontal cortex sends inhibitory signals to the
limbic system and amygdala, suppressing impulsive emotion
and behavior (Sapolsky, 2004).
Results of recent researches by psychologists, psychiatrists,
neurobiologists and neuroscientists are reviewed from the au-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
S. J. CHUNG
thor’s perspective of the inner and the physical selves in human
A following theory is proposed in this study on the basis of
the author’s previous researches and relevant review of recent
discoveries brought by psychologists, psychiatrists and neuro-
1) A human individual is composed of the inner self and the
physical self/body that seem to correspond to the “I WILL” self
and “I WANT” self named by McGonigal (2012), respectively.
2) The inner self does self-control with conscience, reason,
will power, morality and creative power; emotion regulation
and guide behavior, supervising the physical self/body that
senses through the sensory organ system, and responds to the
external world, and that is impulsive, behaving for pleasure-
desire and living.
3) The inner self is the true and real self; the physical self is
the false self that would fades and disappears at death.
4) The inner self controls the physical self/body by interact-
ing with the prefrontal cortex of the human brain.
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