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Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted April 4, 2010

Published in Health

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Mind vs Body: What I Think Is What I Am

Read More: acceptance, body, death, ego, fear, forgiveness, illness, judgment, mind, unconditional love

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I was asked by a cyber friend to give my opinion regarding the mind and the brain, the mind and the body, and the role genetics plays in the psychological makeup of individuals.

The first point I'd like to make is that the mind and the brain are not the same. The brain is part of the body. It is an organ like other organs in the body. It is part of the material world.

The mind is not part of the material world. The mind is not housed in the brain.  The mind has no specific location. It is not confined to time or space. It is unlimited in its creative power.

Our body is limited. Our body has no creative power. Our body does our mind's bidding. It does this when it gets sick, recovers from illnesses, gets old, and dies. All of this happens first in the mind, at an unconscious level.

When our body is sick, it is our mind that has generated the problem, and, therefore, it is our mind we must look to for the solution. In other words, "Only the mind can be sick and only the mind is in need of healing." This is a quote from "A Course In Miracles," which presents a thought system I believe in.

The question you're now asking yourself is: "Where is the proof upon which he bases this belief?"

When some people who are depressed are given a placebo and told it is an antidepressant, their depression goes away, including their loss of appetite, their difficulty sleeping, their impaired attention and concentration, their loss of interest in things they like to do, and their somatic problems as well, such as headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, and other physical discomforts. How can this be?

When some people who have chronic pain are hypnotized, their pain nerve fibers in their body are still firing like crazy, but there is no perceived pain. How can this be?

When some people use hypnosis while getting root canal without anesthesia, they experience no pain. How can this be?

When some women use hypnosis to undergo C-sections to deliver their babies without anesthesia, they experience no pain. How can this be?

When some people with cancers use guided imagery to visualize cancer cells being gobbled up by an army of white blood cells, their cancers go into remission. How can this be?

When some people focus their mind using biofeedback techniques, they are able to manage their pain, lower their blood pressure, and lower their heart rate. How can this be?

When some people use affirmations and visualizations to mobilize the Law of Attraction, positive outcomes are generated in their physical world. How can this be?

The reason why all these things occur is because everything starts in the mind. The mind is the prime mover. We create our reality from our thoughts.

Everything in the physical world is an illusion generated by the Collective Mind, including our bodies. Long ago, we hypnotized ourselves into believing that we are bodies and that our bodies can be sick and die. And then we forgot that we did this.

And so, now, we identify with our bodies. And because our bodies are frail, get diseased, get old and die, we embrace fear at the core of our unconsciousness.

From that fear comes every perception we have in the world of scarcity, lack, limitation and separation, and the need for competition and aggression as a means to survive and succeed. And from all of this comes every negative emotion we experience, including depression, anxiety, and anger.

Were we to use our conscious mind to override our negativity by replacing our fear thoughts with thoughts of unconditional love, acceptance, forgiveness, and unity, all the manifestations of our fear would go away, our mind would be restored to sanity, peace and joy, our body would be restored to perfect health, and our world would reflect abundance and prosperity.

Our ego mind, that unconscious part of our mind that houses our fear, is already telling you that this is absurd and that only a na├»ve fool would endorse a philosophy that  love can conquer all the evils in the world.

It is reminding you that nice guys finish last, that no good deed goes unpunished, that survival of the fittest means an eye for an eye, kill or be killed, and that no one can defend themselves with love.

Certainly, as long we believe in bodies, as long as we identify with our ego mind, which is devoted to preserving the idea that bodies are real, and as long as we are unaware that everything we now see is a figment of our fear thoughts, it would be insane to not defend ourselves when we are attacked, and to not take antibiotics when we get sick.

The point is this: We must change the way we think. We must stop being victims of our bodies and realize the power of our minds to create reality.

The first step in this process is to heal our mind by letting go of judgments as best we can, by accepting others as best we can, by letting go of resentments and grievances as best we can, by forgiving others as best we can, by being of service to others as best we can, and by extending compassion and unconditional love to others as best we can.

As we do this, we will see gradual improvements in our lives, in the form of greater happiness, well-being, and material success.

As to the role genetics plays in our psychological makeup: As long as we believe we are bodies, genetics will be a powerful force influencing our emotional as well as our physical reality. Brain illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, and personality disorders run in families. They have a genetic component.

However, when we get real good at releasing our judgments and attack thoughts, giving no power to the illusions of fear,  and focusing instead on unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness, we will transcend genetics and all bodily limitations.


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I hate to be critical, but this is very unscientific, and it is the type of hogwash that tends to subvert vegetarianism. It makes it seem unscientific or at least not based on scientific fact or clinical experiences.

There is just too much evidence that all of our behaviors and thoughts come from brain activity, the anecdotal incidents given here notwithstanding.

One of the hurdles those who study the brain have to get by is the concept of dualism because there just is not scientific basis for it. The mind doesn't influence the body. It is a product of the brain, which is of the body.

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Thank you Dr. Jacobson for this eloquent wisdom -- it is quite a remarkable accomplishment. Your words, coming from a man who has been steeped in "science" and medicine for so many years, show you to have an admirable ability to break free of the mental prison by which we reduce ourselves to mere material entities who are born and die. This modern scientistic worldview is itself an obsolete mythology, and though it is still indoctrinated into all of us, especially those who serve as its priests - doctors, scientists, and researchers - we are seeing that it is fading as the light of truth shines more brightly, and we awaken from the illusions of materialism. Virtually all of what passes as our "scientific" understanding of the world and ourselves will be seen as primitive and quaint balderdash in the not-too-distant future.

The medical-pharmaceutical power elite would certainly like us all to believe the lie that we are mere genetic-chemical machines driven by physical forces, for then we are safely in their hands and effectively enslaved. When anyone of us awakens to the truth of our original nature, we realize that we are vast, eternal, free, and of the essence of love, joy, and peace. We are here to awaken from the dream of separation and exploitation and competition, and find our unique gifts to offer, which come from realizing our essential nature.

We live in a culture that reduces animals to meat and reduces people to meat as well. This culture is insane and destructive, and it is imperative that each of us question its underlying false assumptions to our core, for they still live, I have found, in me, and in pretty much all of us.

Thanks, Walter, for letting the light shine through you!

We absolutely can heal our physical body with our mind (or sicken it), and we do it all the time. We all know this in our bones. This, by the way, is not a theistic position (though not atheistic either). As the Buddha is reported to have said, "Do not complain and cry and pray, but open your eyes and see, for the light is all about you, and it is so wonderful, so beautiful, so far beyond anything of which people have dreamt, for which they have ever prayed, and it is for ever and forever."

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You have, in a strange way, validated much of what I wrote about in my posting. You speak from your ego mind, which is based in fear and ignorance. You call hogwash that which you don't understand, that which your fear rebels against, because it is safer to believe what you have been indoctrinated to believe.

To refer to hypnosis, biofeedback, and guided imagery as "anecdotal" tells me you have not done your research prior to attempting to invalidate what I wrote. These approaches are not anecdotal by any means. There is science behind them, there is data and empirical studies backing them up.

To say that the mind doesn't influence the body is nonsensical. It wasn't hogwash when Norman Cousins, after being told he had ankylosing spondylitis and he would be dead and that there was nothing they, the high priests of medicine, could do about it, started watching all sorts of comedies, flooded his mind with laughter, which generated endorphins in his brain, and reversed his terminal illness. He healed himself with his mind.

Just recently there have been several articles in mainstream magazines and journals about antidepressants being no better than placebos, and the power of the mind to convince people that they are taking powerful medicines which will heal them.

This is not anecdotal stuff. You should read about quantum mechanics which states that every possibility exists in a transitional reality space, and only after something is observed does one possibility versus another become real.

There is mind-boggling information out there that speaks to the incredibly primitive concepts we have about reality, the mind, consciousness, time, space, yada yada yada.

There is so much we don't know and there is so much for us to learn. But we won't get there if we close our mind and insist the world is flat and the sun rotates around the earth.

You expressed in your opening line what is referred to as "contempt prior to investigation." By that I mean, discrediting something without actually having investigated it first to see if there is any validity. The ego does this, to protect itself, to keep you believing that you are a body victimized by a hostile and chaotic universe.

As to suggesting my position subverts vegetarianism by stating that the body isn't real tells me that you didn't really read the posting I wrote, because i clearly stated: "... as long as we believe in bodies, as long as we identify with our ego mind, which is devoted to preserving the idea that bodies are real, and as long as we are unaware that everything we now see is a figment of our fear thoughts, it would be insane to not defend ourselves when we are attacked, and to not take antibiotics when we get sick."

What this means is that, as long as we believe we are bodies, it is wise to not toxify it. It is wise to not damage its immune system. It is wise to eat nutritiously. It is wise to consider vitamins and supplements.

Let me conclude by suggesting that you re-visit your comment "I hate to be critical." I would encourage you to be critical and to be proud of it. But being critical isn't the same thing as being negative and close-minded. That is what you should hate being. But don't hate criticism because it challenges everybody to look closer at the ideas they worship and it sparks innovation and creativity.

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Considering the evidence is not indoctrination, and I'm a pretty skeptical guy. But I'm willing to admit when I am wrong. My main point was that the mind is a product of the brain. Certainly, our experiences affect our behavior, but saying that the mind affects the body assumes a dualism that isn't there.

I must confess that I am confused by your use of "ego," as the way you use it sounds like the old "id" of psychoanalysis, but that, too, is something that has not held up well under scrutiny (just no evidence for it).

As for quantum mechanics, we can't measure atomic particles without interfering with them, but that doesn't mean that our mind brings them into existence. I suggest reading QUANTUM GODS by Victor J. Stenger for a refutation of that type of thinking by a distinguished scientist.

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thank you for your gracious response. i still maintain that our thoughts create our reality and that the mind rules the body....

in terms of freudian terminology: the id, the ego and the superego are three distinct forces at play.i do not use the term ego the same way freud did and i do not equate my term ego with freud's term id. my usage of the ego comes from the book i mentioned in the post, A Course In Miracles. Its concepts are not easy for most people to get their mind around. It equates this "reality" we experience as an illusion, a nightmare in fact, like any nightmare we have when we sleep. and that when we wake up from this nightmare (when we become enlightened) we will appreciate that none of the horror of our existence ever really happened....

i don't actually put stock in any book on quantum mechanics because all scientific theories, quantum mechanics included, are ultimately fairy tales attempting to explain reality in terms that don't take into account the fact that time and space are illusory constructs of consciousness which is the prime mover of all things material.

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READERS PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENT ABOVE WAS IN RESPONSE TO "dickdb" who wrote the first comment to my blog.

MY RESPONSE TO "Dr. Will Tuttle" IS AS FOLLOWS:

If I had read your comment, Will, before starting my response to "dickdb" I wouldn't have had to respond to him. What you wrote in your comment was exceptional, brilliant, poetic and inspiring. I particularly enjoyed the buddha quote. I can add nothing to what you wrote. All I can do is heartily agree, and thank you for adding your own eloquent wisdom to the conversation.

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