Many people on seeing the title of this article will say "Oh, what an unnecessary and topic? Of course the brain is the mind" If that is what you think, then you need to think again after reading this article.
Let me begin by saying that man is yet to know a lot about himself especially what is in his head. Since man started thinking about things, it had always been a case of mystery as to whether the mind is inside the body or outside the body.
This is a complicated subject which is not helped by the fact that people use the brain and mind interchangeably. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear "It's all in your brain" and " it's all in your mind".
Is the brain actually the mind?
Even before the eighteenth century, most of the world's best brains in philosophy and medicine had tried to to differentiate between the human mind and the human brain.
Rene Descartes (1596~1650), a French philosopher, developed the dualistic theory of mind and matter. The dualistic theory of mind and matter when explained using modern words will be that the mind is the software while the brain is the hardware.
A closer observation of Rene Descartes theory of mind and matter will reveal many of its imperfections. The major one is the assumption that the mind cannot exist without the brain.
A biologist of British origin, Sir Julian Huxley (1887~1975) had this to say : “The brain alone is not responsible for mind”.
This means that the mind could still be in existence even after the brain had died. Is that even possible?
The answer is certainly yes. This is because it has been observed several times on individuals who go into trance, wake up, and perfectly describe places or people that they have not seen before.That's something, it shows that their mind could travel.
Even those who had after death experiences had reported being conscious of what is happening the whole time.
That implies that it is possible that the human mind is outside the human body.
This conclusion was confirmed by neuroscientifical experiments. These experiments which were done with very powerful brain imaging technology was aimed at establishing which part of the brain did which. And at the end, they could not find the mind.
And no, you must no think that the brain is the mind because it was observed that those with faulty brain had a very clear mind.
So if the brain is not the mind and the mind is outside the body, does the mind depend on the brain for its existence?
Neuroscientists said yes to that. According to them, the dualistic theory of mind and matter developed by Rene Descartes (1596~1650) is correct. Therefore, the mind is the brain in function. If the brain stops functioning, the mind ceases to exist.
As you might observe, this statement goes against the after death experiences being recorded on daily basis whereby the victims report feeling conscious even while they are completely dead. Also, the statement is partially implying that the mind could possibly be found in the brain with higher technology.
All these contradictions brings back the initial mysterious question which is "where is the human mind located?"