Some people think that the mind is the brain or some other part or function of the body, but this is incorrect. The psychiatric, mental health and medical professions each have their own functional definitions of the the Mind and the Brain. It is a common belief that the mind is the activity of the brain. The mind’ most often refers to as human consciousness.
Dan Siegel, a professor at UCLA medical school, states the brain and the mind obviously have an intimate relationship, but the mind is different: it is a collection of thoughts, patterns, perceptions, beliefs, memories and attitudes. As Siegel explains, “The mind can use the brain to perceive itself, and the mind can be used to change the brain.”
Ancient philosophers and modern psychologists share the concept of a three-part mind with separate domains for thinking, feeling, and doing. These are also known as cognitive, affective, and conative. The cognitive part of the brain has to do with intelligence, the affective deals with emotions and the conative drives how one acts on those thoughts and feelings. The conative, or doing, part contains the striving instincts that drive a person’s natural way of taking action, or modus operandi (M.O.). Conation is a psychological domain of behaviors or mental processes associated with goal-directed action.
The Kolbe Concept® holds that creative instincts are the source of mental energy that drives people to take specific actions. This mental drive is separate and distinct from passive feeling and thoughts. Creative instincts are manifested in an innate pattern that determines an individual’s unique method of operation, or modus operandi (M.O.). Understanding and exercising control over this mental resource gives people the freedom to be their authentic selves.
Buddha says “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
Recently, scientists identified a key chemical in the brain that allows us to suppress unpleasant memories, a finding that may pave the way for treating patients of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or schizophrenia who experience persistent intrusive thoughts. A region at the front of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex is known to play a key role in controlling our actions and has more recently been shown to play a similarly important role in stopping our thoughts. The prefrontal cortex acts as a master regulator, controlling other brain regions – the motor cortex for actions and the hippocampus for memories.
This latest finding may answer the question: Where is the conative mind located?
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