What Is A Mind?


What Is A Mind?

Your mind is where all of the problems are, learn to control your mind, observe it, study it, shape it and mold it, once you have gained control over your mind learn how to use it with your heart and you will see that most of the problems that bother you, especially all the insignificant ones, will suddenly evaporate.

And when others see a problem you will see an opportunity to further expand your ability to be grateful that you can do things which in the past were a problem.

Your mind is where all of the problems are, learn to control your mind, observe it, study it, shape it and mold it, once you have gained control over your mind learn how to use it with your heart and you will see that most of the problems that bother you, especially all the insignificant ones, will suddenly evaporate.

And when others see a problem you will see an opportunity to further expand your ability to be grateful that you can do things which in the past were a problem.

So what is a mind?

An obvious starting point for our inquiry is to ask "What is a mind?" As fundamental as this question is, though, it is more difficult to answer than we might initially think. While we all have minds, they are hidden from view and not capable of being inspected in the way that we might investigate the nature of a rock or a plant.

Knowledge about the Mind

There are three rather limited sources of knowledge about the human mind. The first is introspection, which involves you concentrating on your own thought processes, and discovering how they operate. It's as though you have an eye in your mind that gives you direct access to your mental landscape, just as your real eyes give you direct access to the world of vision. Through introspection, for example, you might explore the nature of your beliefs and feelings, or why you choose one course of action over another. This approach is sometimes called "folk-psychology" or "commonsense intuition".

Regardless of the name it goes by, philosophers and psychologists alike are suspicious about what people claim to know about their minds through introspection. There's no guidebook for you to follow when conducting an introspective investigation of your mind, and I'm forced to take you at your word for what you report, since I can't enter into your mind to confirm it.

A second source of knowledge about the mind is our behavior: How we act tells us much about what we're thinking or feeling. If you cry, that tells us that you are experiencing sadness. If you have a gleaming smile, that tells us that you are happy. What we infer from your behavior might not always be accurate: you might cry because you're happy, or smile to hide your sadness. Nevertheless, the benefit of looking at behavior is that we don't have to take your word for what we see: your conduct is open to public inspection.

There is a third and rather strange source of information about the human mind, which is popular theories that we read in self-help books and see discussed on TV talk shows. By listening to these experts, you might learn some trick for controlling your thoughts or feelings. You might try to dredge up the memory of some traumatic childhood event, buried deep within the recesses of your mind. You might learn to express your feelings rather than internalize them. Some of these techniques are grounded in scientific research, and others are pure invention. Studies show, though, that much of what we claim to know about the human mind comes from popular theories, which we quickly incorporate into our personal views of our own thought processes. As shaky as these three sources are, it's no surprise that we can say less about the nature of the mind than we'd like.

Consciousness

The mind is an intricate configuration of many specific operations, but its foremost feature in human beings is consciousness. It attends every mental experience that we have, and we typically believe that this more than anything else sets us apart from other things in the world – rocks, plants, and many animals.

Within contemporary philosophy of mind, the nature of consciousness is often called “the hard problem,” the one that most of those in the field believe must be solved beyond anything else. But when we look for meaningful definitions of consciousness, we’ll be disappointed. One possible definition is that consciousness is that which you lose when you fall into a deep dreamless sleep, and that which you gain when you wake up again. But this definition just draws attention to when we are conscious; it doesn’t tell us what consciousness involves. Another possible definition is that consciousness is the perception of what passes in a person’s own mind. This doesn’t help either, though, since the term “passes” is too vague, and thus tells us almost nothing. What both of these definitions signal is that if you’re conscious, you know immediately what it is because you experience it. Without that experience, no words will adequately convey what it is. The safest place to begin, then, is to just assume that you have a basic conception of what consciousness is from your own mental experience.

Granted that you know what your own consciousness is, there are some things that we can say about what it does. First, sometimes consciousness is directed outward towards our environment, as when I look out the window at birds flying by. At other moments it is directed inward, and this is called self-awareness.

At its most elementary level, self-awareness involves an awareness of what my body is doing, such as being aware of myself walking down a flight of stairs. At a higher level, it involves an awareness of pain, such as if I trip on the stairs and injure myself. Higher yet it involves an awareness of my history and future, such as when I think to myself “I tripped down these stairs yesterday and probably will tomorrow!”

Finally, it involves an awareness of my own mortality as when I think to myself “One of these days I’m going to kill myself on these stairs!” Whether directed inward or outward, time is a critical element that shapes my consciousness. My awareness of the birds outside is fixed on a timeline, and so is my awareness of my pain and my personal history: I have memories of a past that I call my own, and I anticipate a future that I will call my own. I thus perceive myself as a distinct being moving through time.

Michael J Robey

Psychic.gr

Psychic Medium | Psychic Investigator

www.psychic.gr

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