For thousands of years, philosophers, poets, mystics, and ordinary people have wondered about human experience: What is the nature of, and what causes, all those sensations, thoughts, feelings, desires, and sense of “me?”
Building on that foundation, the modern sciences of psychology and neurology have been slowly but surely establishing a body of knowledge about the mind and its relationship to the brain and the body.
This emerging “science of mind” is in its infancy, particularly when compared to scientific fields such as astronomy or chemistry, and a certain humility is called for.
That said, these are very exciting times, since enough information has emerged to begin connecting some of the major dots, shedding real light on questions like these:
- How might the mind and brain be connected? When the mind changes, how does the brain change, and vice versa?
- What is happening in my mind/brain when I feel upset? Or peaceful or loving or happy?
- How are the brains of people connected, in some sense, with each other?
- What’s going on in the mind/brain when a person is having a personally meaningful insight? Meditating? In a state of deep absorption or bliss? Or – if it is even possible to ask – in communion with God, or in Nirvana, or in a condition of Enlightenment?
- What is the neurology of consciousness?
- What are scientifically-validated methods for activating the brain states that support positive mental states (e.g., “flow,” joy, equanimity, lovingkindness)?
I’ve been collecting resources to help answer these questions, including:
- Easily understandable, basic information about the nervous system
- Interesting and recent news articles about the brain, psychology, and the science of well-being, mindfulness, and meditation
- Key scientific papers that are available in the public domain
- Some of my own articles on the Mind and Brain
- Links to high-quality organizations, research programs, and scholars