- Never. What neuroscience can only study is the brain and its mechanisms. The self is spiritual in nature and cannot be scrutinized under the microscope or neuroscience. Dr. Wilder Penfied had an interesting accounts/studies of the brain in connection with the mind through his study on epilepsy. He found out that the mind is not a product of the brain’s neuronal interactions but totally independent, distinct from it.
The person, the spiritual self is also distinct from the mind and the brain and even from the whole body. Psychology used to be the study of the self, but then they can’t locate or see the self, so it was reduced to the study of the mind. But then, the mind is very elusive and cannot be contained, so psychology was even reduced to the study of cognitive behaviors.
There was a fascinating discovery of some neurologists when they found out that some people have no brains or have very little gray matter inside their skulls. This is due to hydrocephalus or anencephaly. Only cerebral fluids fill the skull. Some lived into adulthood and only found their conditions later on.
Neurologists where baffled and declared the phenomenon a mystery. The mind communicates directly with the senses bypassing the brain (or the lack of it). These people lived normally, exhibiting normal traits like people with full brains. Neurologists were trying to locate the self in the brain. They have dissected every millimeter of it and found nothing but cells, neurons, blood and molecules. No self.
Science is not a useful tool for learning how to know yourself because you are so much more than just an Energy/matter being and Science is only a useful tool when it is restricted to Energy/matter issues!
For more than that you have to use some of the tools which are available within Philosophy, or you can learn how to access your consciousness by quieting down your noisy mind to the point where you can hear the quiet messages from the universe and its creator.
Eckhart Tolle has a free four part program on Awakening Your Inner Light which is an introduction to becoming more conscious.
While both meditation and Contemplative Prayer are useful in sufficiently quieting your noisy mind, there are many more useful techniques on the web for learning which techniques best allow you to meditation. Note that, as you grow, your best method may change significantly! In this universe, everything is changing!
- You cannot know yourself through neuroscience at all. The object of understanding in science is always an idea but NEVER a reality. For example, in science temperature is understood in science as the average kinetic energy of the molecules. This is thinking about temperature, however the word temperature represents a reality which can be directly experienced through the body sense. You can only get to know the nature of that reality by studying it directly as in vipassana. YOU consist of different realities, science only ever studies concepts not realities.
- I would throw out the ‘neuroscience’ label and simply begin the organic quest that carries one into the inner depths of their own being … for within the sacred chambers of the human heart lie riches and wisdom beyond human comprehension … and most beautiful and wondrous of all … this pristine journey is so pure, so absolutely reliable that it needs no endorsement or leverage to be qualified … one simply needs to inquire within, and there rest, sitting there in silence without presupposition bias or expectation … for within the silence the heart does speak, and ‘it’ is your best, truest, and most reliable teacher
- If you are talking about the human being not just as the body and mind but as a spiritual being, each soul is uniquely connected to our universe and higher dimensions. Therefore, it is impossible to generalize our existence (the body, mind, and spirit/soul) through science. Alexander Evens (former neurosurgeon) could give us a convincing testimony.