The human brain is an organ that controls the flow of information and energy in the body. The mind, on the other hand, is the manifestation of non-tangible aspects of the brain such as thought, emotion, perception, memory, imagination, and determination (Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia, 5). The brain and the mind are distinct, but they are intertwined. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the mind and the brain. The majority of the time, these two terms are interchanged. These are, however, two distinct entities, with the main distinction being that a brain is a physical object, whereas the mind is not. From the given definition, it is evident that a brain is a physical object but the mind is not. From the given definition, it is evident that a brain is a physical object while the mind is a combination of intangible aspects outlined above. As such, the brain can be seen and touched but the mind cannot. However, further premises are required to ascertain or support this analogy. It is within this context that the paper gives a detailed exposition as it tries to prove that unlike the brain, the mind is not a physical thing.
Outline of premises to be covered in support of the thesis
The psychological nature of the mind that is non-physical.
Relationships, which is the basis of the mind’s formation
The non-physical control people have over their minds.
The roles played by the mind which are also non-physical in nature.
The psychological nature of the mind
As noted by Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia, the mind is a psychological aspect. It is the psychological effect of the brain’s activities (17). This effect is non-physical. The economic grid can be used as an example to shed more light on this concept. Various activities within an economy result to social and political effects such as improved living conditions and an integrated cohesion. Such factors are non-physical but are the result of physical occurrences. Similarly, the brain is involved in numerous activities which it conducts through the channeling of information and energy. The psychological effect of these actions is the emergence of the mind. The mind, therefore, develops from the brain as a non-physical aspect. Though the mind cannot be seen, it does exist and can be developed. The manner in which the brain conducts its role determines the type of mind developed (Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia, 12). As a result, some people have a more developed mind than others. In addition, some develop a good mind whereby they always focus on doing positive things while others develop the opposite. At first, the brain determines the functioning and development of the mind. However, over time, the mind develops to a point whereby it determines the functioning of the brain. The human conscious is part of the mind attributed to this ability. It determines whether the brain will channel some energy and if so, where to.
Relationships as the basis of the mind’s formation
Another factor that supports this thesis is the fact that the mind is built on the basis of relationships (Siegel, 7). Relationships too are not physical. The brain channels information and energy differently to varying parties. This brings about the development of relationship patterns. These patterns are part of the founding base of the mind. Every individual’s brain channels information and energy differently and hence triggering different patterns. It is as a result of this that people develop unique minds based on their relationships (Siegel, 15). Eventually, these patterns get to determine the brain function of channeling information and energy. For example, an individual who grows up in a world whereby he or she witnesses a lot of love learns to reciprocate the same. As such, he or she develops a loving mind. As this mind develops, the individual makes decisions based on it.
The non-physical control people have over their minds
Further, human beings have a non-physical control over the mind. This goes to show that the mind is not physical. Human beings tend to have physical control over the physical parts of their bodies such as the hand, leg, and the brain through the nerves. The brain reacts to stimuli, and hence it can be controlled physically. The mind, on the other hand, cannot. Human beings have no control over aspects such as emotion and perception (Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia, 22). Controlling this requires a non-physical approach such as psychological therapy. Psychological therapy tries to understand the patient’s mind and then goes ahead to give a non-physical treatment that aims at tuning their minds such as individual daily sessions just to express one’s view and perception about things in life.
Non-physical roles played by the mind
Moreover, human beings are able to comprehend and understand things. This is the main difference between human beings and animals. This aspect is brought about due to the fact that human beings have a mind while animals do not. The human mind enables them to understand what is happening in their environment and to reason out logically unlike animals (Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia, 33). Comprehending things and logical reasoning are also non-physical aspects. Since they are part of the mind, this goes to prove that the mind is non-physical too.
Critique of the thesis
However, there has been some controversy over this concept with some scholars arguing that the mind is just as physical as the brain. The reasoning brought forward is that the mind is not a separate entity but a part of the brain itself. This, therefore, makes it physical too though it cannot be isolated from the rest of brain. A computer’s hardware and software have often been used as a simple example to explain the non-physical nature of the mind. The hardware is physical since it can be seen and touched but the software considered non-physical since it cannot. However, this example has been criticized with arguments that software is actually physical. The fact that it exists in the form of electrons makes it physical too. Similarly, the mind too can be considered to be physical since it is party to another physical entity.
Macdonald, Graham, and Cynthia Macdonald. Emergence in mind. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Siegel, Daniel J. The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. Guilford Publications, 2015.