There aren’t really more neurons in the human brain than stars in the Milky Way. The actual number is closer to 86 billion – less than half the number of estimated stars. Hyperbolists like to reuse this analogy to give a sense of enormity and awe at the vast complexity of the mind, but I don’t need a number to be perplexed by my own brain chemistry.
It is quite amazing how everything that we think, feel, and do fits neatly inside a folded pile of mush. That’s right, everything you are and ever will be can be reduced to about three pounds of brain tissue. If I have a soul I imagine it’s tucked away somewhere up there, too. Yet somehow, among all of the billions of electrical synapses that are currently regulating everything from my heart rate to my liver to whether or not I decide to wash my hands after using the restroom, exactly zero of them allow me to control my chemical impulses toward you.