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Monism vs. Dualism & Why Our Mind-Body Problem Matters.
Self-Mastery — a timeless signal to create yourself, starting from the inside out.
“Your only competition is who you could be.”
— Shane Parish
This is one of the most famous issues within philosophy. Holding great interest between many philosophers throughout history, dating back as far as 1596.
The mind-body problem is an age-old question. But why should this matter to you?
It enables you to do two great things: think clearer and deeper about your existence on a general level, and understand how you judge yourself on a personal level.
It also engages you with your deepest underlying concerns about the nature of your existence; to ask ourselves, are we physical beings inhabiting a physical world? Or, do we only exist on a mental level, where everything is but a projection of our own consciousness?
Perhaps it sounds vague and convoluted. But at its root, it’s at least one major pathway to understanding reality and your place in it. It’s to nurture the connection between mind and body; two pillars commanding all that you are.
The mind-body problem is a fundamental question of whether our two states are either separate entities, or whether they’re exact and interconnected. It’s a healthy discussion about the relationship between our thoughts and actions.
This, however, creates many other questions on top of the issue, which are integral to our concerns about our existence.
For example, what is “self”—the concept I speak here about—and how does it relate to mind and body? Do mental states affect physical states and vice versa? Are we made up of various mental physical facets?
It’s no simple matter, as it’s been tough for anyone to understand for centuries. But there are two approaches to this topic which, I feel, make great introductions.
Treating the mind and body as a single phenomenon.
There are two prominent concepts in monism: materialism and idealism. Materialism suggests that all things are composed of material (or matter) and all phenomena are the result of material interactions, with no accounting of spirit or consciousness. Idealism, however, holds the view that the most basic “unit” of reality is not material, but conceptual.
Both concepts cannot be proved or disproved—they’re unfalsifiable, though many people find materialism to make more sense because of course, everyone has experience in interacting with an outside world and believing that’s really “out there.” Meanwhile, it’s impossible for us to step “outside” our own minds, so how can we be so sure that there really is an “out there” at all?
Conversely, dualism understands that we are made up of two separate parts: one nonphysical (mind) and one physical (body and brain). They exist separately.
It posits that the mental and physical realms exist, but cannot be integrated, like two individual cogs in a machine. They work together, but they are, without doubt, two distinguishable entities.
It’s easier to understand than monism, as our mind works differently than our body.
And we see examples of this all the time; we become old and fragile, yet our minds may remain strong and sharp. Our body has a system based on autonomy and emotional instinct, though our mind works off voluntary and logical decision-making.
The point here is not to advocate for either side—because one-sided thinking is not clear thinking—but it’s to use these analogies as a means to help us engage with our own philosophy and think about who we are on a much deeper level.
“From the strength of first principles, dualism and monism enables us to go deeper into understanding who we are, and create ourselves into what we want to be and do.”
What’s on My Mind
I’ve been spending time researching the ideas of emotional branding and why it’s incredibly important to deeply connect with a reader.
As a copywriter, this is an especially important concept to grasp, because I must harness the power of emotional manipulation to persuade someone accepting what I’m writing to offer
And from the outside, this sounds manipulative and rather sketchy. But in good copywriting, it’s only done for a product, service, brand or business that genuinely will make the right person’s life more positive or generally better.
With Joxen, my offering to you is a path through the most pivotal lessons I’ve learned and that which I’m currently learning. It’s my way of helping you through the path to your own self-mastery by speaking on what matters on the way.
I deeply believe in what I write for you, and that is the best way for us to connect and for you to benefit.
Each new day in life is played as a beginner again, so keep reading on.
Have the greatest week ahead.
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