Mind-study, and its impact on health, has become an intriguing enterprise as the psychological age of the last century joins forces with the information age of today. With the aid of technology, information on mind-study has proliferated, stacking up reams of data in favor of a mind/body connection. Admittedly, interpretations of the information are multifarious and ominous when it comes to its impact on health. Controversial vagueness surrounds mind's power to heal the body. However, the collective human consciousness is transitioning into an acceptance of a connection between mind and well-being. Mind and health are being redefined to accommodate the new consciousness.
Mind activity has been observed for thousands of years. Commonly, the subject of mind includes the study of functions not obviously visible to the physical senses, such as mindfulness, awareness, intellect, reasoning, and other mental capabilities. However, technology has allowed mainstream science to provide evidence that biology and culture are synergistic. Therefore, the subject of mind now also includes the study of functions obvious to the physical senses, such as nervous systems, physiological reactions, mirror neurons, and microtubules.
For example, brain-imaging data, such as fMRI readings, has been interpreted to verify an unbreakable relationship between the human mind and body, which in turn has led to the theory that mind can be reduced to chemical and electrical brain activity. Not surprisingly, mind-healing techniques, in the context of a reducible mind, are also reducible, or weakened, by the ever-changing menagerie of brains in the world. Beside the fact that a standard chemical and electrical brain activity will not be found, there is also the detail that reducible mind-healing techniques are short-lived, sometimes dying before the brain, or vice versa.
Taking an about turn, mind-study data is also interpreted to hype the longstanding theory of Cartesian dualism, marking a clear distinction between mind and body, but with a mind capable of evolving into more control over the body and its health. However, the theory of a human mind as able to control a body, or bodies, is disquieting. Not only are mind-healing methods as developed, or undeveloped, as the human minds involved, but the dualistic theory also leaves the door wide-open to manipulation, a loss of self-control.
An interesting side-note to the dualistic theory is the common presumption that mind is irreducible. Granted, a mind separate from the body is plausible, however, if the mind is being reduced to a human personality, it is reducible.
These analyses are not to say today's popular mind-study theories are wrong; that is not a point. Theories are falsifiable and will continue to be modified as new data and discoveries emerge. Human knowledge is evolving and will adjust to less restrictive mind-healing methods as the classical worldview of both mind and health adjusts to a paradigm shift away from incomplete knowledge. Basically, in rethinking mind-study, and its impact on health, it is critical to understand the importance of abstract interpretation.
For instance, reducing mind to the brain, or even to quantum physics, is as unconvincing as reducing rhythm to an exquisite piano player. An exquisite piano player represents rhythm, but the piano player isn't necessary for rhythm's existence. Likewise, the human mind/body or even a human being (personality) is not necessary for the existence of mind. Pushing the fact further, human beings are not even necessary for evidence of healing. Mindful-healing is noticeably evident in the Mount Saint Helens region of Washington State, which is beautifully recovering after a volcanic eruption thirty years ago.
Granted, these examples also do not explain mind or mind-healing, but they represent a radical break in human consciousness which in turn can develop an effective conceptual interpretation, even to the consideration of a statement by 19th century mind-healer, Mary Baker Eddy who, speaking of existence, wrote, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation." (Science and Health)
Although the existence of an infinite Mind, necessitating the manifestation of health, runs counterintuitive to the widespread interpretation that health is a state of matter, it posits a basis that can unite theorists, researches, and lay-people alike, can cancel disagreements, and settle the question.
Is mind and body connected? Yes, when the mind being classified is the human mind, its interconnectedness is such that the mind is one and the same as the body it embodies. Evidence shows, that as the human mind improves, the body improves also. But not always. Because evidence also has it that humanity is meandering through a complex, convoluted, tangled network of mutating and ephemeral connections and experiences. Therefore, the question is asked again.
Is mind and body connected? No, when the mind being recognized is the infinite Mind. The human mind/body, as we know it today, is not even a product or manifestation of infinite Mind.
So, where does this leave the human mind/body? Exactly, where it is found, evolving out of itself. The human mind/body must improve, but not because it eventually evolves into infinite Mind, or a manifestation of divine Mind. That won't happen. The improvement, not the human mind/body, is the reality of our existence. Expanded consciousness symbolizes Mind and health.
This fact, or conceptual interpretation can affect the human situation. For instance, after a terrible accident, I had second degree burns on half of my face. I did not tap into restricted human mind in order to fix my body. There was no brain or skin manipulation. I didn't even need pain relievers. The humane nurses cleaned gravel out of the burnt skin as gently as physically possible. My appreciation was my experience. New skin started growing within two days and within three weeks, my face was completely normal, not a scar. The human mind, embodying damaged skin, pushed itself into non-existence, while infinite Mind and health remained intact.
Mind-study, and its impact on healing, is effective as the human mind admits that its only significance is to recognize divine Mind and its impact on health. Undoubtedly, a Mind beyond the human mind is difficult to perceive. But then we don't perceive the fact that earth is revolving around the sun at a rate of sixty-seven thousand miles per hour.
Mind-study, not the study of human mind, but of infinite Mind, offers a promising countercosmology to the human centered universe. The view of divine Mind, and its impact on health, anticipates an experience void of limited, restricted, morphing, re-wiring, disintegrating, measurable minds/bodies, classified as healthy, sick, human, animal, or quanta. Mind-healing techniques no longer suffer the consequences of manipulation or dualistic conflict, but are practiced on the basis of infinite Mind and its healthy manifestation.
Cheryl Petersen advocates spiritual thought before action. Her website Healing Science Today offers "21st Century Science and Health," an eBook that explains a practical metaphysical approach to everyday human situations.