Conventional science has long held the position that 'the mind' is merely an illusion, a side effect of electrochemical activity in the physical brain. Now in paperback, Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley's groundbreaking work, The Mind and the Brain, argues exactly the opposite: that the mind has a life of its own.
©2002 Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Sharon Begley (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
This is not a throwback to the old mind/matter dualism of Descartes, though it does decidedly (and, I believe healthfully and rightly) break with some of the tenets of hardcore behaviorism and inflexible functionalism. In short, the authors do view the brain as the seat of thought and emotion and all lower and higher cognitive functions, but they view the mind as something other than "byproduct of a dynamic, like the noise that is emitted by a lawnmower," as some radicals have asserted. Rather, the mind is a Gestalt, a whole greater than the sum of its biological parts, a living dynamic with "a life of its own": and that Gestalt is something special and real--the minds, the personalities, the psychic beings that we are.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Most of this book (the actual science) was very interesting, with a lot of valid and important ideas about neuroplasticity.
If you have OCD or know someone who has read the same author’s Brain Lock (which has much of the practical information without the metaphysics). This book is good. the narration excellent and there is a short PDF is available with diagrams of the parts and uses of the brain and nerve cells if you are not already familiar with these.
The book is largely conversational and easy to listen to, but from time to time drops into metaphysical discussions. The last third the book takes off to a somewhat unscientific path attempting to demonstrate that the soul must exists and connects to the body via quantum effects. Having such ideas is not inherently unscientific, but, to be science a clear hypothesis should be stated along with an experiment differentiating the cases. Here the book is quite weak. The logic seems to be 1) We don’t understand consciousness 2) We don’t understand quantum effects 3) Quantum theory has elements of consciousness and randomness 4) The author’s religion (Buddhism) supports the idea of a non-brain mind learning to control the brain. Thus) mindfulness must control the brain via quantum effects through randomness. Now I believe consciousness is a product of quantum effects (as is everything else) but that does not imply the mind is separate from the brain. The brain seems quite capable of changing itself and capable of all the practical aspects of OCD treatments without resorting to magic.
I love this book because it's so mentally stimulating and so well written. The book covers a broad range of topics in it's quest to describe neuroplasticity. This book gives an in-depth account of how scientists discovered neuroplasticity, the current theories about how neuroplasticity can be used in treatment, the concept of neuroplasticity and its connection to quantum physics and Buddhist meditation practices, and more. I find this book really intriguing, exciting, and interesting, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone curious about neuroplasticity and the biology of changing bad habits.
Brilliant, thought provoking, a bit wafty
A wonderful book that will change the way you look at the world both inner and outer. It is heavy going at times and the writer sometimes seems to go on and on a bit, but overall I really loved it and have recommended it to my friends. If it gets a bit boring, stick with it because there are some really fabulous chapters.
I love books that change me- this did
I learnt a lot
Mind body Spirit brain correlaries and the use of Intention and Attention to change intranced patterns and to creat altrnate results and states fof mind adn thus reality
I thought his reading was clear and insightful and well tempered
the last 1/4 Changing reality andinner and outer states thorugh the use of will and attention .
Excellent science but most of all the proof that we co create our reality and that reductionist materialism is aremnant of old non science.
the practical uses of intentional focus and willful use of dynamics to create alternate results and reality.
If you ar into the mind body spirit movement and or the brain sciences this gives you a great amount of ammo to prove that our intentions are powerful if we use various techniques.
Although this book is full of great material increasing non-brain-scientists knowledge about what can go wrong in the brain and why mental disorders are,in fact, physical disorders, the audio version is not good. It sounds like the computer voice on my Kindle.
Sharon Begley has written a lot about brain/Mind science, and she is extremely good at articulating issues that might leave us scratching our heads. I have enjoyed her other works that cover nearby areas very much. The information in this book is so important for therapists to know. It really is the century of the brain, and if we don't understand why things go wrong we will never get better at treating them. The research is piling up day by day, but its not getting into therapist training programs or continuing Ed. This book explains in detail how a person develops OCD and would be useful for people with this diagnosis, and for family members trying to understand the constant checking and washing. In addition, his truly helpful information about mindfulness in therapy could benefit anyone. Learning how to manage our thinking (thinking about our thinking) may be the most important mental wellness thing we can do for ourselves. And why aren't we teaching Mindfulness Meditation to our children???
Monotonous voice, flat affect and very little variation, really almost a computer-like reader.
Hmmmm. Fantastic Voyage II - Into the Brain. Tag line: This time, its about the neural networks!
So much amazing information for the public to educate themselves about Brain Disorders. This is a really important book. Too bad the reading detracts from it.
I love (audio)books.
When I started reading this book it didn't ignite my curiosity, so I stopped it and listen to some other books. After 5 months, I came back to the reading and noticed that the book is full of information, great ones indeed, about the brain/ mind. When I was liking it, the author started talking about quantum physics-- for more than an hour-- well, I thought this book was about brain science!!
My opinion: a good red pen could cut many hours of this book, leaving the "MEAT", the real stuff, the motive why we listen to the theme in the first place.
For my taste the book could have been shorter. More research than I needed, monkey experiments were tough to get through, theories from many other sources to back up the premise that the mind can change the brain. I did get a great deal out of the book and was then inspired to get a hypnosis book about the Mind changing the brain, by two different Doctors. It is good to know we are not "stuck" with the brain we have, we can make improvements.
Buyer beware, this is not an easy "read". The author uses a good deal of analogy to represent his subject matter, which I found helpful. He also uses a great deal of description, which added interest and humanness of the subject while at the same time added to the complexity of the book. But if you like science and medicine, as I do, this is an interesting read. The author provides insight and description on many medical problems which are affected by brain function, but from a neurological perspective only. As far as usefullness of the information in the book, to either my practice or personal life, the book leaves a lot to be desired. I've listened to it once, and am currently going through it again to try to get more understanding of the information. Morey does an amazing job making such a complex subject interesting, but his speed was too fast for me due to the complexity of the book.
This book explains the connection between the mind and the brain. It's full of information about how the brain functions.
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