Philosophy of the Arts


The brain and the mind

Sometimes, the brain is in charge in my mind, though mostly, thank God, it isn’t. This morning I lay awake for an hour with a phrase in my mind from a tune by Krezip (“Does it never get any better?”—from All my life.) It just kept repeating—in the background, in the foreground. And it is not that I am particularly fond of that line, nor was I able to add the next lines, and finish the song. How did it get there? Why did it pester me like this? I think it was merely a brain wave, nothing else.

…beware when the brain takes over from the mind…

Normally, my mind is in charge regarding my thoughts and feelings. I think through a certain problem, arguing to and fro. And when something unsuspected kicks in I follow it up by locating it in my memory and by expanding it into a short story. Or I set myself to a task: like getting to London: when to leave, what to pack, which bus to take, how to get to the airport, and so on. These are all meaningful considerations. That is how the mind operates: the mind’s logic is semantic. The brain’s logic in contrast is … unfathomable to the mind.

Dreams are mere brain work, too. And that is about all the brain has to say—needless to add: I do not think that is much “saying” to begin with. When the brain finally takes over from the mind we call it dementia.

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