Topics  >   The Distinction Between Brain and Mind

In the article, "Descartes' dogma and damage to Western psychiatry" (Ventriglio and Bhugra, 2015), the President of World Psychiatric Association (Dinesh Bhugra) and his colleague write:

"René Descartes described the concept of mind-body dualism in the 16th century..... We believe that his dogma has caused tremendous amount of damage to Western psychiatry. This dualism has created boundaries between mind and body but as we know they are inextricably interlinked and influence each other."

To my knowledge, Descartes never said that mind and body could not influence each other. In fact, Descartes explicitly postulated that the mind and body could interact through the pineal gland - a small endocrine gland near the center of the brain. According to his hypothesis, the mind may cause movement of the pineal gland, which in turn changes the tension of muscles, thereby resulting in bodily movement (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). We now know that the pineal gland hypothesis is wrong, but the mind-body dualism is still being debated.

Most researchers in the field of near-death experiences are in the camp of the mind-body dualism, because they have seen thousands of reports about conscious perception during brain death. Bruce Greyson concludes that “a clear sensorium and complex perceptual processes during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the brain.” van Lommel suggests that consciousness could be a nonlocal wave-like entity which does not reside in our brain.


Figure 1. The mind is distinct from the brain. It could be a Bose–Einstein condensate of GR and EM waves, also called a geon. Once created, the geon may exist on its own even after brain death.

This website will provide evidence for the mind-body dualism, namely, the mind and the body are composed of different substances: the body is made up of matter (molecules, atoms, electrons, etc.) whereas the mind consists of immaterial substances which will be identified as the electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational (GR) waves. The EM waves may influence the brain via microtubules (see Frontiers in Microtubules), but the GR waves cannot affect brain functions due to their extremely weak interaction with matter. However, the GR waves, with their strong attractive force, may play a critical role in the creation of a Bose–Einstein condensate of GR and EM waves, also called a "geon" (Figure 1). For more information, see

What is the Mind?


Author: Frank Lee
Last updated: July 2, 2020