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What is the mind?
1969 Maharishi Interview
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What is the mind?
Science, philosophy and religion have been trying for centuries to answer this question, but the proposed solutions have been partial and in contrast with one another:
no explanation has turned out to be valid and exhausting.
Even psychologists are not much satisfied with the theories and the techniques developed by their discipline.
We should find a firm point where we can start from.
Beyond the personal and religious convictions, nowadays science informs us that the process of thought is due to chemical and physical phenomena that happen in the brain and in the nervous system at microscopical levels, that are molecular and atomic level.
The activity of nature at atomic and sub-atomic levels is governed by the laws of "quantum mechanics", a theory of physics that was developed around 1900-1930. This theory is very valid and precise in explaining atomic phenomena, but it introduces paradoxical implications.
At sub-atomic level the matter loses the familiar "material" property and shows itself, instead, as a set of forces and waves. Who knows chemistry, knows that the atom is much stable and can be considered as a small "solid" ball. But this model, based on "hard" particles, fails when the inner structure of the atom is examined: the "solidity" of atom is actually created by a set of forces between electrons inside the atom.
This behavior is not the same as so-called "material particles" "little objects". These "particles" are spread out in specific "electronic" or "orbital" clouds.
The issue is more complex than this simple description: such orbitals are "resonant waves" that are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, which introduce several paradoxical aspects.
What has the mind to do with this? May the mind be described at this, quantum mechanical level?
The "whim" to approach the explanation of activity of the mind through quantum mechanics seems a kind of "new age mania".
However, there are several scientific tips in support of this possibility.
If the human mind is really able to act at quantum levels, it may have many unexpressed potentialities.
Hundreds of scientific researches (published since 1970) have shown that a simple mental technique, called Transcendental Meditation, is able to "clean up" the nervous system from stress, causing beneficial effects benefits on the organism, both at physiological and psychological level.
Some scientists believe that Transcendental Meditation (TM)acts on the nervous system at quantum levels and is able to bring it down to the state of "minimal excitation".
TM would of a "jewel-technique" that implies and reassumes in itself the acquaintances of several sciences, from physics to psychology, from neurology to philosophy. Therefore, it also supposes an integration and synthesis of several disciplines, beyond giving an extraordinary practical usefulness. Moreover it involves the existence of more extraordinary (and controversial) phenomena, such as the sociological "Maharishi Effect".