The human mind, the last and biggest enigma yet to be solved. What is it? How does it function? Today we will see where it is located.
The human mind is an essential, if not the key piece, in the puzzle of the Universe. The Explanation proposes to put all the pieces of the puzzle of the Universe together in a coherent complete way. That’s quite an undertaking. To do so, The Explanation started, in the book Inventory of the Universe, to define what the fundamental puzzle pieces are. Audit of the Universe explains more about how these pieces interlock and especially how humanity is affecting them.
(Audit of the Universe, chapter 9.1)
Let’s discuss the human mind. Actually that is a tautology, two terms that mean the same thing. A human is defined by having a mind and a mind is only possessed by humans. A mind makes a human, human.
Here’s a statement to think about. Everything humans do is only because they possess a mind. Everything humans do can only be explained based on mind.Here's a statement to think about. Everything humans do is only because they possess a mind. Everything humans do can only be explained based on mind. Click To Tweet
Scrutinize these 160+ following puzzle pieces. They are words that ALL have to be explained coherently and completely. Answer these questions regarding each piece: Where can you find these intangible elements in the human body? Are they part of the human body? Are they part of a member of the human body? What’s the common denominator, the curvature of each piece, that makes them all fit together in humans, perfectly?
Acceptance, Acedia, Acute stress reaction, Adoration, Aesthetic emotions, Affection, Affective science, Ambivalence, Amusement, Anger, Angst, Anguish, Annoyance, Anticipation, Antipathy, Anxiety, Apathy, Arousal, Artistic inspiration, Aversion to happiness, Awe, Biological basis of love, Boredom, Calmness, Cognitive bias in animals, Compassion, Confidence, Confusion, Contempt, Contentment, Courage, Curiosity, Defeatism, Depression (mood), Desire, Diligence, Disappointment, Disgust, Distrust, Doubt, Ecstasy (emotion), Embarrassment, Emotion, Emotion and memory, Emotion classification, Emotion in animals, Emotion perception, Emotion work, Emotional bias, Emotional competence, Emotional contagion, Emotional exhaustion, Emotional expression, Emotional intelligence, Emotional literacy, Emotional security, Emotional self-regulation, Emotions and culture, Emotions in virtual communication, Empathy, Emptiness, Enthusiasm, Envy, Epiphany (feeling), Euphoria, Euthymia (medicine), Evolution of emotion, Fear, Forgiveness, Four Cornerstone Model of Emotional Intelligence, Frustration, Functional accounts of emotion, Gratification, Gratitude, Grief, Group emotion, Guilt (emotion), Han (cultural), Happiness, Hatred, Homeostatic emotion, Homesickness, Hope, Horror and terror, Hostility, Hubris, Humiliation, Hysteria, Infatuation, Insult, Interest (emotion), Interpersonal attraction, Irritability, Isolation (psychology), Jealousy, Jealousy in art, Joy, Limerence, Loneliness, Love, Lust, Melancholia, Meta-emotion, Mimpathy, Miscarriage and grief, Mono no aware, Mourning sickness, Neuroticism, Nostalgia, Oculesics, Optimism, Outrage (emotion), Outrage porn, Pain, Panic, Panic disorder, Paranoia, Passion (emotion), Pessimism, Pity, Pleasure, Pride, Psychomotor agitation, Rage (emotion), Recluse, Regret, Regulation of emotion, Relaxation (psychology), Remorse, Resentment, Revenge, Reverence (emotion), Righteous indignation, Rush (psychology), Sadness, Saudade, Schadenfreude, Sehnsucht, Self-confidence, Self-love, Self-pity, Sentimentality, Shame, Shyness, Social emotions, Social sharing of emotions, Sociology of emotions, Solitude, Sorrow (emotion), Spite (sentiment), Stimulation, Suffering, Surprise (emotion), Suspense, Suspicion (emotion), Sympathy, Trust (emotion), Vicarious embarrassment, Weltschmerz, Wonder (emotion), Worry, Zest (positive psychology),
Yes, I’m trying to impress you. Impress on your ‘mind’ the realization that this huge diversity of emotions, sentiments, moods, psychological and medical attitudes has a specific and definite position in the billions-of-pieces puzzle that constitutes the Universe.
To understand humans and their role in the Universe you must be able to make sense out of these various attitudes. How about their opposition and intensity? In fact most of them are necessary and proper reactions at a given point in time, under particular circumstances. How do we explain that all human beings, worldwide, whether they’ve lived in tightly knit communities or isolated hinterlands are animated by exactly these same attitudes? What is the common denominator that has brought this ever-so basic observation about?
I know you’re not a doctor, psychologist or scientist–but you know where your arms are, your brain, your heart and your gut–which we talked about in the last chapter about the body. So, here’s something we hear all the time: Think! Where do these moods, sentiments and emotions reside in your body, if they’re in your body at all?
Yes, these are a lot of questions–and I will answer them but there is so much contradiction and misguided information out there, in spite of the fact, that if you come down to basics you can home in on the answer. I really would like you to come to the proper conclusion yourself. It’s there to be seen, so here are some clues to guide you.
Look at this page filled with idioms about the human mind. Can you substitute ‘brain’ for ‘mind’ in these idioms and have the same meaning? Below are a few examples from that page:
- State of mind
- Piece of one’s mind
- Speak one’s mind
- It’s mind boggling
- Be of one mind
- and on and on it goes …
- I could politely say, ‘you’re out of your mind’ if you can’t see that even colloquial language clearly differentiates the brain and the mind. It places the ‘human mind’ on a level that is higher than the physical organ we call the brain. The human mind is where the intellect, the thinking process and reasoning take place.
Here’s another list of about 100 action verbs performed by the ‘cognitive’–the human mind. Of course there’s a relationship with the brain and other parts of the body which accomplish the physical execution of these activities like writing (hands), creating (hands), explaining (mouth) but the decisions of what to write and create or how to explain are made in your mind.
The above cognitive actions are grouped into 6 categories: Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation–all activities of the human mind. Very similar to these: Believing, blaming, catastrophism, determination, egotism, imagining, judging, jumping to conclusions, negativism, positivism, stress, stubbornness… Neither your brain, nor the neuronal circuits, nor your heart, nor your gut–all organs in your body–imagine, judge, believe or originate negativism or egotism.
Robots and AI
The latest technological craze is robots and artificial intelligence (AI). Predictions are that within 5-10-20-50 years we’ll create a robot that will be able to supplant a human. In other words, humans are replaceable. There are even sci-fi movies with this theme, 2001: A Space Odyssey with HAL 9000 being the precursor.
Here’s an article that lauds the ability of computers that whop humans at complex games like chess and Go. After a month a computer had developed its poker game (mastering the bluff and deceptiveness of this game) to the point of winning 1.7 million fictitious dollars from four professional poker players.
Oh yes, computers can learn and develop better programs and methods as our poker playing computer demonstrates. What you have to realize is that it is all about computations. Whereas a human chess player can think about a few dozen moves a computer can think about millions of options. The more it perfects its computational capabilities, which it does by playing and teaching itself, the better it gets and the more easily it wins.
But, here’s the question, way beyond algorithms and computations: Can and will a robot, which is nothing more than a dressed up computer ever develop the attitudes, moods, sentiments, emotions and feelings we’ve briefly discussed in this blog post? Those attitudes are just a part of what identifies human beings (the next chapter is about the singularity of humankind). Each of our personalities, so different one from another, is a combination of all these sentiments and feelings. Can and will robots express human personality and character?Can and will the most sophisticated robot, which is nothing more than a dressed up computer ever develop the attitudes, moods, personality, sentiments, emotions and feelings we've briefly discussed in this blog post? Click To Tweet
I believe you are well enough equipped to cut through the hype and answer that question. The human body is not a computer. Brain health and that of other organs can inhibit or enhance moods, emotions and cognitive activity, but the human mind is not a body part, it is not ‘part of a part,’ it is not a combination of parts, it is not a network of parts. When we’re talking about the mind we’re including ‘common sense.’ You’re equipped with common sense, the ability to put two and two together and trump scientific jargon with right thinking.
As we develop the definition of the human mind I’ll give you quotes from open-minded scientists who have looked at the pros and cons and come to this conclusion.
I will show you WHY the human mind is the focal point of everything in our physical Universe. Its uppermost role in the drama that’s playing out on Earth. Next week we’ll see how humankind is treating this gem, this all-important piece of the puzzle.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 9.1 of the book Audit of the Universe
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