Open your mind! Mind over matter! Certainly you have seen such slogans before. But have you
ever read ‘Open your brain’ or ‘Brain over matter’ ? Probably not. But what exactly is the mind.
Philosophers and scientists have often been at odds in regard to this topic. Many scientists say that
the mind is nothing more than the ‘living’ brain, i.e. according to them we are nothing more than the
sum of our parts. However, even if it is indisputable that you cannot survive without a brain and that
the brain is responsible for the control of the body functions science has not been able to answer
some questions such as: what makes us think and what makes us aware of ourselves and the most
important question of all: who or what controls the brain?
While scientists have been enabled to deal with the mind only a few decades ago when it became
possible to measure electric signals and waves of the brain philosophers have a much broader basis
they can refer to. Ever since we started to record history we have pondered about the question
who we are and if we have a soul. Perhaps it would help to take a look at the animal kingdom to
approach this issue. First of all, whenever we see animals we recognize that we share the same
basic ‘mind behaviors’ with them. Like us they communicate, sleep, dream, feel, love and fear.
But they do not hate – which is quite remarkable isn’t it? It seems as if none of these behaviors are
connected to brain size. Yet there is probably another behavior which would be very difficult for
scientists to explain: telepathy. It has often been observed that people are aware of others when
they are not there or even aware of coming events. There’s no measurable wave or other kind of
transmission that would explain it. Animals leaving the coast and running onto hills hours before
a tsunami occurs, dogs that sense earthquakes before they happen, people knowing that their loved
ones are in acute danger although they are thousands of miles apart – how does a scientist explain
The answer is: he can’t. But the philosopher can because he places the mind over matter. The mind
is what controls our brains as it is an independent and everlasting form of existence. It has access
to information that is hidden to any kind of apparatus. Obviously our minds – possibly all minds
including those of animals – are connected with each other. However, it may be possible that what
distinguishes us from animals, i.e. hate and ignorance, keeps us from exploring the capabilities
of our minds. Thus, perhaps we get closer to the answer of what makes us up if we lay aside all
negative thoughts and feelings and ‘open our minds’ to realize that it is indeed ‘mind over matter’
and not just matter.