But have you ever wondered what exactly is a spirit?
It turns out that it is quite difficult to define this concept. This is the center and fortress of your being, the basis of your consciousness and without it could you even be considered as really alive? I wondered what it was and where it was.
Scientists suggest that the mind is not limited to the brain:
Most scientists tend to define the mind as the result of brain activity. The brain is the physical and the mind is the conscious result of brain neurons. But more and more evidence shows that our thoughts are much more than a purely physical reaction.
Dan Siegel, a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine recently published a book entitled The Mind: A Journey to the Heart of the Human Being Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Human Being
And shared his definition, which says that our mind can not be limited to our brain or our body.
More than 20 years ago, there was a meeting of forty scientists including physicists, sociologists, anthropologists and neuroscientists. Their objective was to agree on the understanding that would allow to answer sufficiently the question, to which all these scientists were confronted. This is where Siegel reflected on the definition.
Collectively, scientists have determined that a significant element of the mind can be defined as “the process of emerging self-organization, both embedded and relational, that regulates energy and the flow of information to the inside and between us.
I find it extremely interesting that the main element of the definition implies that the mind extends beyond our physical body. It means that our brain is not only an awareness of the experiences of life, but that it is these life experiences.
Siegel has greatly facilitated the understanding of everyone by metaphorically comparing our thoughts to the coastline:
“I realized that if someone asked me to define the shoreline but insisted, between the water or the sand, I said that the shoreline was both sand and sea,” Siegel said. “You can not limit your understanding of the coastline to emphasize that it is one or the other. I started to think; perhaps the mind is like the coast, The mental life of an anthropologist or sociologist is profoundly social. Your thoughts, your feelings, your memories, your attention, what you experience in this subjective world are part of the mind. “
Much of the idea comes from mathematics, where complex systems self-organize. Siegel says it’s the foundation of mental health. Our mind meets the scientific criteria that it is open (capable of changing things), capable of chaos (randomly distributed) and non-linear (a small element leads to results that are vast and difficult to predict).
In mathematics, optimal self-organization is defined as stable, coherent, energized, flexible and adaptive. So, looking at this definition, you can see that without this self-organization, you will end up with chaos or rigidity; Siegel says this corresponds to the wide range of symptoms of mental health disorders.
Self-organization calls for the integration or reconstitution of differentiated ideas. Siegel says that integration, either in society or the brain is the basis of a healthy mind.
Siegel saw a lot of misery in society, and that’s why he decided to write his book now. He thinks part of this difficulty is due to the way we see our thoughts. Siegel spoke about his research in Namibia where the people he spoke to felt that their happiness was related to their sense of belonging.
Siegel’s answer to the question of whether he felt part of America was melancholy. “I’ve thought about how isolated we all are and how disconnected we feel,” Siegel said. “In our modern society we have this belief that the mind is brain activity and it means that the self, which comes from the mind, is separate and not part of it. But we are all part of everyone’s life. The mind is not just a brain activity. When we realize that it is this relational process, there is a massive change in this sense of belonging. “
When we consider our mind as the result of our brain, instead of perceiving it as a relationship, it can lead us to feel even more isolated. If we open our minds, we could fully appreciate the benefits of interrelations and we would have a much happier life.