Updated: Oct 29, 2020
“Either there is no mind only brain”, or
“There is mind and it is brain”
Scientists conclude the above statement based on neuroscience research and brain scans which indicate that there is activity in the brain when we think and visualize. Another common statement is “the mind is just the activity of the brain”. Dan Siegel points out that mind can activate the brain’s circuitry in ways that change the brain’s structural connections. You can use the ‘subjective’ inner aspect of reality, to alter the ‘objective’ physical structure of the brain.
We can awaken the mind to move the brain in a certain direction of growth, we can then build the neural circuitry of resilience and compassion. We can use the mind to transform our brains and our lives. Imagining fear may induce the amygdala to become active as much as the amygdala becoming active gives us the feeling of fear. It is a two-directional influence of mind (subjectivity and the mental, internal side of reality), and brain (objective physical aspect of reality).
In the Indian philosophical tradition, there is the body, mind, and the intellect. The mind is the seat of emotions and desires which lead to attachment and craving. The intellect is the ability to reason and discriminate; It is different from the traditional definition of intelligence as we understand it. Intelligence is the knowledge you gain from external sources, but intellect is wisdom or knowledge that helps you make a life. You may be the world’s greatest scientist but have no control over your temper. Life’s biggest battle is to conquer your own mind, the mind is then your enemy.
The mind in Buddhism is, “the agent that has the capacity of knowing and clarity”