Why the mind isn’t in your head

 This century will see an explosion in our knowledge about cellular
intelligence. And we will come to realise that Mind isn’t just in the head.
It’s in the body, in the brain, in the heart, in the hormones, and in
the cells. It’s also out there in society, in our culture, in our schools, in our legal system and in the media we watch, read and listen to.

Much of what we think of as ‘mind’ isn’t personal. Our thoughts are mirrors of the ideas transmitted to us through the systems we encountered in earlier life: the family system for one, and the educational, employment, legal, marital, cultural and media systems we were introduced to later on. To a large extent external ‘mind’ is
about knowing how to work the rules.

Here are two illustrations:

What would happen (to you) if you went into a supermarket, filled up
your basket with groceries, went to the check-out counter and then, one
by one, offered to haggle for each item? Or if you stopped at each
broken road sign, pulled out some tools and then started to repair each

You’d typically expect to be treated as crazy. That’s because ‘the
right way of thinking’ is based on the implied social rules we are all
expected to know. People who don’t seem to know the rules are assumed
to have something wrong with their minds.

Looking inside the human being we notice that mind is distributed
over different places there too. The so-called emotional brain (limbic
system) follows one system of rules based on Bodymind evaluation of the situation. The Heart, too, has its own ‘brain’, as is shown by the fact that it can ‘remember’ feelings associated with other people and alter the heart rhythm when you meet them again (which is why our heart races when we fall in love).

We also know that the nervous system, the immune system, the gut, and even the muscles each have miniature brains that make decisions independently of the brain in
your skull. Going further on down the chain, Candace Pert has shown that every cell in the body (and there are at least 10 trillion of them) has a consciousness of its own.

Taking both external minds and internal minds together then most of the decisions we make are neither personal nor conscious. Instead, we are like a theatre audience watching a play – constantly trying to make sense of changes in the plot, without necessarily being a party to it.

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