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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The premise here is based on a very shaky link between quantum mechanics and the mind. It's an attempt to smuggle Cartesian dualism back into the world through the back door of physics. Most neuroscientists dismiss the quantum brain theory which boils down to the following claim: the mind is not produced by the brain but by quantum states. This borders on magic. Apart from the first couple of chapters on mindfulness and attention, which I found interesting, the author creates an argument that is a huge stretch. He delves into enormous and unnecessary detail, like an account of animal cruelty in a lab. I don't recommend this book. Another Audible book - The Ravenous Brain - does a great job debunking the quantum mind theory, and that's where I would direct other Audible clients.
If you have no 'agenda', i.e. if you are open, repeated reading or listening will reveal deeper meaning, greater significance. If you think not, do it then, just to prove you are right.
The very long human history of retarding and destroying discoveries is objectively documented by many. Evidence in fascinating detail: "The Mind and the Brain" provides an insiders experience of a scientific revolution and the human causalities perpetrated by scholar denialism. One isn't required to have formulated a 'better' model before revealing the intellectual corruption of the existing one. Humans suffer and die when the various but small 'information mafia' succeed. This work points to objective data/findings from which rational and I would add, obvious arguments are made.
Arthur Morey's delivery is most agreeable for me. In fact, the best I've experienced so far.
The Scholars Holocaust
Do not permit any reviewer to pursuade you that this work has anything whatever to do with religion or your constructs of it. I would say, one who suggests so has (a) not read the book or (b) has made 'enemy' with what is, and conjured supporting attributes upon it.
great book with enough voice to keep an uneducated listener from dropping off. the audio chapters are different, and that is a little disappointing. but, I will need to listen and pay more attention when I listen to chapter 10 till the end.
"In the end it doesn't go far enough"
The authors certainly do the groundwork for their proposition, most of the book is spent explaining (clearly and engagingly, admittedly) aspects of neurology and psychology that are not even cross-referenced with the authors' theory until over half way through the book.
The idea of conscious free will as mindful attention is as old as recorded history, present to some extent in almost all (if not all) religions, most obviously Buddhism, and spin-off writings of spiritualists and mystical teachers, Gurdjieff being IMO the best example (he is not mentioned in the book). The authors make an evidential and compelling link between attention and neural plasticity in the brain but this is as far as they take it. What exactly IS will if it is not, as the authors assert, just another brain function? Where did it come from and how did it evolve? I was left wondering if the authors had fallen into the religious trap of assuming humans are somehow special in the general natural scheme, as there is no mention of will existing outside of the human condition. If this is the case then will logically cannot be an external force as the authors claim. This contradiction is not resolved in the book.
A truly scintillating, intellect discourse on the case for Mind over Matter! A patient and articulate argument put forth with Clarity. Wonderful 'read!' Confirmation that the Mind runs the Show, and that the Brain is subject to the Mental Force (wow! What a phrase!) of the Mind! Awesome read!
Proof positive that Success is an Inside Out Job!
"food for thought.. inconclusive in its assertions"
I found this an interesting attempt to do away with materialism. Within is a hypothesis of a mechanism that attempts to establish both mind body dualism and free will utilizing quantum mechanics . Unsurprisingly it falls short and fails to deal with the seemingly intractable problem nicely elucidated by Schopenhauer as "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills."
Beautiful explanation of differences of mind and matter. And still unproven hypothesis of mind controlling the brain plasticity.
Report Inappropriate Content