The History of Psychology plays a big role in the interest of Psychology and Philosophy today. Several theories have been developed and refined over the hundreds of years of history in Philosophy and Psychology. Included in this report will be the discussion of the realm of the mind and consciousness, the mind and consciousness in relation to the physical body, and the independence of physical functions of the body through the central nervous system.
The Realm of Mind and Consciousness
It was believed at one time that the mind was a product of the brain. The mind is a collection of thoughts and knowledge based on influence or life experiences. The Idea that we are born with our mind as a piece of white paper seems to be not far off from the truth. In order for thoughts and ideas to be brought about the human consciousness, there would have had to have been some sort of influence or exposure at one time from the moment we were conceived. Consciousness is the state of awareness by sensation, emotion, and thought.
The Realm of Mind and Consciousness is Awareness
We live in consciousness at all times, whether we are aware if it or not. Life happens around us and whether we pay attention to our surrounds or not, we are aware and conscious of our surroundings. Consider sitting in your living room and you are reading a book. Your children are playing outside and you have your windows open. You may be engrossed in your book, but you can still hear the children even though you are focused on your story. In other words, you are still conscious of your surroundings even though you are focused on your book.
Relation to the Physical Body
The idea of Dualism, the idea that world consists of Mind and matter, would suggest that there is a separation. The body takes up space and has movement and is simply a machine. The mind possesses neither space nor movement and comes to conclusions based on reasoning. Descartes believed that nerves were hollow tubes in animal spirits and were the driving forces that resulted in the movement of muscles in the human body. If one were to stick their hand on a sharp object, the mind would trigger the animal spirits to perform.
The muscles and nerves in the body were triggered by stimulation that caused the brain to open up and allow the spirits to move through the nerves involuntarily. Thus the mind is what triggered the animal spirits to perform. Of course, after Descartes, the microscope was discovered and used to determine that indeed the “tubes” were not hollow and were indeed controlled by the brain. Our mind receives information and processes same. There is only one area of our brain that when the body dies, the brain dies with it.
Where there is no thought there is no mind. It is proven that the mind controls by the body. The mind is dependant on the Nervous system. An example would be the eye. In looking an object, the eye itself, the nerves and the light are all physical parts of seeing the object. However, seeing the actual object is subject to consciousness. Our mind must be conscious of the object in our view. If the eye is closed, the object is no longer visible. Therefore, the mind is dependent of the Central Nervous System.
The Independent Mind
Calmness, peace of mind, freedom from anxiety and worry, inner strength and happiness are some of the by-products of becoming conscious and aware of your inner consciousness. These though processes are not controlled by the Mind, but controlled by the consciousness. We have the ability to subject ourselves to a state of subconscious that allows us to control our own feelings, emotions, and physical actions. Our awareness is a separate state of mind. Through upbringing and social influence we are given the opportunity to mold our consciousness.
We all have minds, its how they are molded, taught and guided that make up our human awareness. Taking a look at Yoga, meditation allows our mind to be an instrument of thinking and sensation on various levels. By teaching yourself to be aware you can control your thoughts and emotions through meditation. Through several years of study of the mind and consciousness, many have found that there is evidence of a separation of mind and body. Even though the Mind cannot function without the body, they are separate but need each other to function.