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The Mind and the Brain

By Karen Vally on 29 Mar 2023



Most people speak about the mind and the brain as if they were the same thing. They’re not. They’re very different, but there is an intriguing connection between the two and both are essential to our functioning as human beings.

“The mind is energy and it generates energy through thinking, feeling and choosing. It is our aliveness, without which, the physical brain and body would be useless. Your mind is how you, uniquely, experience life.”

Although the mind is separate from the brain, it works through it. The mind uses it, and the brain responds accordingly. When we think, we feel. When we think and feel, we make choices. These three aspects of ourselves work together.

Knowing that our minds and brains are separate is empowering, because it means that we can learn how to manage our thoughts, feelings and actions more effectively.

If these two entities are so different, what exactly are these differences and what role does each entity play in the integration of the functions with which each one is assigned?

The brain is situated inside our skulls and as a vital part of our central nervous system, its main function is to regulate all the physical functions of our bodies, both voluntary and involuntary. It does so through a network of neutrons and nerve cells, which convey information to it, via our senses.

The mind, on the other hand, is an abstract, intangible and complex network of thoughts, consisting of three layers, the conscious (the immediate thoughts, feelings and actions), the unconscious (our basic impulses) and the subconscious (an accumulation of our habits and memories.) It is with our minds that we develop a certain level of understanding and discernment using our ability to reason.

The mind makes us who we are. As we journey through life, the brain processes the feelings and memories that arise from the experiences we encounter. These experiences have a major impact on our identity, the person we become.

The mind is responsible for a state of awareness in which we are able to interpret and evaluate our thoughts, feelings and actions and, as a result, respond appropriately to others and the world in which we live.

One of the most exciting aspects of being human, is that by learning new skills, the capacity of our minds can be greatly enhanced, especially in the areas of decision making, creativity, innovation and communication. The sky truly is the limit when it comes to developing our infinite potential…

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