In thinking about the mind, there is often a sense that the mind and brain are two different things. The thought may be that the mind is somehow an ethereal private world that is cherished or is perhaps a tormentor - while the brain is often ignored as having anything to do with the mind. As an example, a friend recently made the statement, “I’m going to sell everything I own and move into my mind - since I live there anyway.” The mind gives us a sense of place, whereas the brain just appears to be an idea in the mind.
We know of course that the brain is storing information and carrying on bodily functions. But this is really more of a belief than a true knowing because we can’t see or feel the brain carrying out its functions. There is no sensation of the brain sending a signal to blink the eye, no seeing of the brain storing or retrieving information from memory, or even translating these words. If something is touched with a finger, there is contact with that something, and it is known. But, trying to make contact with the brain seems impossible. Therefore, the idea of a mind receives the attention – contact is possible with thoughts and feelings and they become the focus. The mind appears to be active – in the head- while the brain appears to be silent. Perhaps the two different labels of brain and mind appear to mean something different, but are, in actuality, referring to the same thing. Perhaps if we got square with the facts things would appear differently.
Is there a mind separate from the brain? Is what we refer to as the mind just the thinking process of the brain? Perhaps, if we dropped the label of mind and just saw the brain for what it is, a complex network of cells that make up a limited, habitual, machine type organ, the mind would loose some of its seeming authority. An analogy has been drawn from the computer function of “garbage in garbage out”. The brain is truly no different. In regards to what we refer to as the mind, all the brain is doing is organizing information, combining information, and bringing ideas and behaviors back out. The brain is a conditioned organ. It is nothing but a machine. The conditioning that it has received was started millions of years ago and through a seeming series of events, is what it is, right now, down to the last cell, memory, and thought.
There is no mind.