Linking Mind and Matter


For hundreds of years, humans have been split in two.

It all started with 17th century philosopher, Rene Descartes. He’s the one who presented the idea, “I think, therefore I am.” His focus was on the rational mind.

This idea was revolutionary at the time. And its influence continues to this day. It permeates most of scientific thinking.

Descartes’ aim was to make the world rational. As a result, he only included ideas he could verify through rational means. He measured, compared and innovated ways of understanding the world with mathematics.

This was a major change from previous world views based on feeling. After Descartes, those feeling perceptions were relegated to the realm of religion. This marked the separation of mind and matter.

There were a number of outcomes from this change in how to view reality.

On the positive side, this rigorous focus on rationality became the foundation of modern scientific thinking. And this has led to many of the incredible advances we enjoy in modern times. Everything from space flight to modern building techniques owe their very existence to Descartes.

But there are also several downsides to this idea. The primary one is the separation of feeling from thinking.

This has caused all sorts of unintended problems. On an individual level, many people struggle with conflict between their feelings and thoughts. That struggle also caused for many, a very strong sense of being separate from their bodies. Their body is viewed as a kind of alien thing; a mysterious and complex machine.

In a broader sense, things that are mysterious or non-linear – emotions, intuition, imagination, etc. – have, since Descartes, been looked at as inferior by the rational mind. But are they?

Not if you believe the emerging evidence of modern research. And nowhere is this more apparent than in studies of the mind and brain.

Many kinds of mental processes cannot be explained by standard physics. But they are quite consistent with quantum physics. The irrational processes of intuition, emotion and imagination could well be explained in quantum terms.

Dreams might have a basis here as well. Even Descartes valued his dream time.

At a deeper level, this means there is support for the idea that our brains are able to operate outside of the limits of time and space.

But what about the mind and matter? What does this mean for things like healing disease?

Healing due to belief and expectation is commonly called the placebo effect. The most recent research on the placebo effect point to the likelihood that it is a quantum phenomenon.

In other words, there is ample evidence that your thoughts have a very direct effect on your health. And this means that the apparent separation of mind and matter may become an outmoded idea. When you can perceive things this way, you will have linked mind and matter once more.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

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