You talk about depression and people start citing studies on the brain. In fact, whenever you talk about emotional or mental issues people start talking about brain. Because it perfectly suits our materialistic beliefs, after all we live in an utterly materialistic society; if something has an existence it must have a material proof. This is the reason why things like mind and consciousness have remained outside of the confines of “science.” Brain is the closest milepost science can reach. Consequently, science and the scientific community act as if the mind is a fiction, something like a soul or god. But the fact is: what shape your life takes depends a great deal on how you use your mind, and very little on whether or not you miss mind for the brain.
When researchers correlate depression with the presence or absence of some chemical secretions and claim that they have found the root cause of it, it is illusory. It is as if you point to a TV and declare, “See, this box is responsible for the picture and sound. Let’s forget the nonsense of channels and broadcasting.”
Why it’s important to put the mind in the picture
The TV box only presents whatever is transmitted from the studios. Likewise, the brain only conveys, through the activities of neurons and their impact on chemical secretions, whatever the mind brings into reality. If the TV set is thrashed, the picture vanishes. If the tissues of the brain get sick or damaged, some feature of mind will disappear. The brain, along with billions of neurons covering every square inch (or shall I say every square nanometer) of the physical body, in only an apparatus, a medium for the mind to operate. It is the mind that has the faculty of consciousness which is the live force in the body as well as in the universe. Therefore, to equate the brain with the mind is simply to much oversimplification of the reality. The complete picture is obtained only when we go beyond what the brain signals say.
The mind is kept out of the picture for only one reason: it simplifies the picture. But it also leads to erroneous conclusions. There are tools that can transform any emotional experience into some electrical signals or chemical secretions and produce numbers and handy data. There is of course knowledge hidden in the data, but asserting that the numbers are the reality or that the emotional experience is an illusion, is misleading.
So what can be done about it?
What is needed is the realization that science has a boundary and going beyond it. It must be realized that “what is science” is not the ultimate truth; it is merely conclusions drawn after number crunching. And also that science is badly handicapped dealing with non material things like mind or spirituality. The danger of distortion is very real. For instance, look what happened when genetics was allowed to interfere with spirituality; it generated a sense of futility and emptiness in life.
Sooner or later people will say the right things: mind is primary and the brain is secondary. It is the primary that holds the essence of truth, not the secondary.
It is more logical to assert that the brain is the child of mind or consciousness. The commonplace belief in science that the human brain evolved through random mutations appears highly unlikely. The human brain is the single most complex structure in the universe and to assert that it was created through some random phenomenon is more unlikely than the probability of my pet dog being able to solve middle school algebra.