Is the mind part of our spirits or physical body?


jerfore

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6 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

No.  I'm simply referring to human existence.

Since you say that carnality is a mortal construct and that you don't mean carnality results from the earthly environment, then should I take it to mean carnality results from human existence?  Then help me because I don't understand what you mean by human existence, either.

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Just now, Mike said:

Since you say that carnality is a mortal construct and that you don't mean carnality results from the earthly environment, then should I take it to mean carnality results from human existence?  Then help me because I don't understand what you mean by human existence, either.

I was only referring to carnality of the human condition... not any other non-human creation on earth.  Carnality is part of the mortal phase of the Plan of Salvation.  It comes with the mortal body that was created for our spirits in this estate.

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1 minute ago, anatess2 said:

I was only referring to carnality of the human condition... not any other non-human creation on earth.  Carnality is part of the mortal phase of the Plan of Salvation.  It comes with the mortal body that was created for our spirits in this estate.

Alright, then it seems to me that if carnality comes with the mortal body (created for our spirits), then it is accurate to say that carnality comes with the earthly environment because our mortal bodies are earthly material.

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22 minutes ago, Mike said:

Alright, then it seems to me that if carnality comes with the mortal body (created for our spirits), then it is accurate to say that carnality comes with the earthly environment because our mortal bodies are earthly material.

I'm not sure I understand carnality and "earthly environment".  I associate carnality with the flesh not the environment.  But it might just be that I'm not understanding what you're trying to say.

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6 minutes ago, Mike said:

Alright, then it seems to me that if carnality comes with the mortal body (created for our spirits), then it is accurate to say that carnality comes with the earthly environment because our mortal bodies are earthly material.

What are your thoughts on D&C 67:10?

It's referring to both a natural/carnal mind and a spiritual mind. Would this be a "state of mind" (mindset I guess you could say)?

And when Joseph refers to our mind as intelligence / co-eternal with God, how would you tie it into the above scripture? Could the word "mind" be one of those terms such as "soul" which has different meaning in various parts of the scriptures?

Here's a possibility that I'm trying to wrap my head around:

- The mind (our core / eternal identity which existed before spirit formation) doesn't have two versions but is simply at our core. It's actually us, not something we "have" (the absolute center / the "I AM")

- The mind, as with anything else, can be limited or blinded, etc. but again we are dealing with only 1 mind.

Scriptures to go along with this:

D&C 110:1 “The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.”

Alma 19:6 “…he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness.”

2 Cor 3:14 “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.”

Ether 4:15 “Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you.”

....Assuming this is correct, I have a couple more questions:

1. How does agency tie into this? We know agency is a gift, so was it given to us after the formation of our spirits? Before being formed as spirits did our mind simply possess consciousness or self-awareness but not agency? 

2. What are the key differences between our state of mind in the pre-existence and the present mortal existence? We speak of the "veil" but could there still have been some sort of veil or "blindness" / limitation going on in the pre-existent state due to the opposition and "war in heaven"?

 

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First off – I have no idea what a “mind” is.  We know and understand from several accounts that the spirit of man, looks like that man.  In fact, I am led to believe that without physical contact it is impossible for a mortal physical human to distinguish the human spirit from a human soul comprised of a physical body and spirit.

Now I am going off into the weeds because there are things that I do not understand concerning the experiences I have had with myself that relate to my “mind”.   I believe that most of my thought that enter into my mind are not mine at all but come from somewhere else.  I seriously doubt that even when I experience thoughts of remembrance that such thoughts are under my complete control – I believe that the Holy Ghost plays a critical part in my personal thoughts of remembrance.  I do have some control over my thoughts in that I seem to be able to choose and concentrate on thoughts I want to keep and act upon.   But I do not seem to be able to conger up new ideas and thoughts even though I experience a lot of thoughts; especially concerning things I am interested in myself.

Going farther into the weeds it seems to me that our human brain is some kind of spiritual filter that allows connections to anything spiritual – good or evil (light or dark).  That our spirit operates through our brain to connect the vast variety of physical things that comprise our bodies.  It is interesting to me that our eyes collect data but our brain determines and organizes the data into what it is that we “think” we are seeing.  The same seems to be true for all our senses.  For an example, I do not believe that I experience pain the same as my wife (and as it would seem that most others) do.  I am aware of pain and even different levels of pain but pain is not much of a big deal for me to endure.   When I go to the dentist I refuse Novocain because the discomfort while the dentist is working is for me much more endurable than having half my face dead for the rest of the day.  

In summary I am open to the idea that our experiences with the divine is, in essence; all in our heads and that the reason some cannot experience the divine is because they do not recognize (a kind of belief that requires thought development) that we must engage our brains to experience spiritual things.  The idea that people with divine connections have slightly different brain development is something I would expect – the same for those that develop physical skills such as playing the violin, piano or other skills.  In essence, that we wire our brains to develop our mind’s skill set.  That atheists or unbelievers do not seem to make certain spiritual connections – not a surprise to me any more than someone sitting down at a piano and having no idea how to make music come out.

But I would go even farther in that I believe we develop, by engaging, our spiritual and religious ideas.  Because I see spirituality as a true skill set I am very skeptical of those that are converted to any skill set in an instant – and spirituality I do not believe to be the great exception.  I believe we develop who we become by the very process of engaging the thoughts we prefer – and in so doing we come to think or not to think we have experienced a spiritual connection to the divine.

 

The Traveler

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34 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

I'm not sure I understand carnality and "earthly environment".  I associate carnality with the flesh not the environment.  But it might just be that I'm not understanding what you're trying to say.

OK. I'll try to explain what I'm trying to say. When I think of carnality I think first of any kind of violation to any degree of the Law of Chastity along with the ugly results. I suppose we can expand on carnality to include everything else that is evil, for the sake of discussion. 

I use the word environment thinking of the object lesson often utilized in our Church that a human hand placed inside a glove is analogous to a spirit body placed in a mortal (human) physical body. In other words, my physical body is the environment in which my spirit finds itself. And by extension the rest of the mortal physical world including the Earth itself (elements, chemicals, etc.) and all the influences resulting from other people's choices are also part of the environment in which my spirit finds itself. 

Thus, I conclude that carnality in all its manifestations results from the influences of the environment in which our spirits find themselves. I suppose we could take this further and say that our bad choices become part of this environment--we perpetuate (and cause the expansion of) carnality by our choices, our actions, and the ensuing consequences which in turn become facets of the environment that influences the next spirits who come to Earth. 

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1 hour ago, jerfore said:

What are your thoughts on D&C 67:10?

It's referring to both a natural/carnal mind and a spiritual mind. Would this be a "state of mind" (mindset I guess you could say)?

I will start with this question. Taking into account the limitations of our language combined with Joseph Smith's vocabulary and meanings of words in his era I tend toward understanding this verse as contrasting the way we typically see and understand against the way Moses and others saw and understood. Looking at verse 11 pushes me further in this direction. The way I understand the phrases "state of mind" and "mindset" I don't think that's what the scripture refers to, 

I say this because of the limitations a physical mortal human body has in seeing, understanding, perceiving God and things of God, if that makes sense. It seems to me that the verses promise a change that God is willing to make happen on a given individual contingent upon stripping one's self of jealousy and fears, and becoming humble, as verse 10 states. 

Edited by Mike
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29 minutes ago, Mike said:

OK. I'll try to explain what I'm trying to say. When I think of carnality I think first of any kind of violation to any degree of the Law of Chastity along with the ugly results. I suppose we can expand on carnality to include everything else that is evil, for the sake of discussion. 

I use the word environment thinking of the object lesson often utilized in our Church that a human hand placed inside a glove is analogous to a spirit body placed in a mortal (human) physical body. In other words, my physical body is the environment in which my spirit finds itself. And by extension the rest of the mortal physical world including the Earth itself (elements, chemicals, etc.) and all the influences resulting from other people's choices are also part of the environment in which my spirit finds itself. 

Thus, I conclude that carnality in all its manifestations results from the influences of the environment in which our spirits find themselves. I suppose we could take this further and say that our bad choices become part of this environment--we perpetuate (and cause the expansion of) carnality by our choices, our actions, and the ensuing consequences which in turn become facets of the environment that influences the next spirits who come to Earth. 

Okay, I understand you now.

I didn't assign an evil connotation to carnality.  English is not my native language so I learned the word carnality as simply "of the flesh" without any moral assignation.  So basically, what I'm trying to say is that carnal desires - hunger, thirst, sex, etc. - are mortal conditions and do not extend to pre- nor post- mortality.

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2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

Okay, I understand you now.

I didn't assign an evil connotation to carnality.  English is not my native language so I learned the word carnality as simply "of the flesh" without any moral assignation.  So basically, what I'm trying to say is that carnal desires - hunger, thirst, sex, etc. - are mortal conditions and do not extend to pre- nor post- mortality.

Oh, I see. Isn't it interesting how two people such as ourselves can use the same words and be talking about such different things?  I'm glad we were able to come together. 

Edited by Mike
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3 hours ago, jerfore said:

1. How does agency tie into this? We know agency is a gift, so was it given to us after the formation of our spirits? Before being formed as spirits did our mind simply possess consciousness or self-awareness but not agency? 

It's difficult for me to wrap my brain around agency being a gift. Would that mean I had no choice to get a spirit body back when I was an "intelligence"?  (Not that I can see how anyone would choose to forgo that privilege, but for discussion sake). 

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3 hours ago, jerfore said:

2. What are the key differences between our state of mind in the pre-existence and the present mortal existence? We speak of the "veil" but could there still have been some sort of veil or "blindness" / limitation going on in the pre-existent state due to the opposition and "war in heaven"?

I have wondered about this, too. It has always seemed absurd to me that anyone (including Lucifer, himself) could entertain the notion of even a possibility of "winning" in a rebellion against God, Himself. 

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

 We know and understand from several accounts that the spirit of man, looks like that man. In fact, I am led to believe that without physical contact it is impossible for a mortal physical human to distinguish the human spirit from a human soul comprised of a physical body and spirit.

I'm hoping you'll talk about this with me, and perhaps help me to get on board because currently I don''t see how I should believe that my spirit body looks like my mortal body. 

 

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Just now, Mike said:

I'm hoping you'll talk about this with me, and perhaps help me to get on board because currently I don''t see how I should believe that my spirit body looks like my mortal body. 

 

 

I would point out that after his resurrection Jesus appeared to his apostles behind locked doors.  At first blush the apostles thought that they were seeing the spirit being of Jesus but Jesus assured them that they could touch him and know that he was not a spirit.  I would also point out that when the brother of Jared first beheld Jesus – he saw his finger touching the stones that had been prepared.   It is my understanding that when the brother of Jared saw the finger of Jesus (who at the time was spirit only) he thought he saw a physical being.

If you have other questions – I will do my best to answer.

 

The Traveler

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15 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I would point out that after his resurrection Jesus appeared to his apostles behind locked doors.  At first blush the apostles thought that they were seeing the spirit being of Jesus but Jesus assured them that they could touch him and know that he was not a spirit.  I would also point out that when the brother of Jared first beheld Jesus – he saw his finger touching the stones that had been prepared.   It is my understanding that when the brother of Jared saw the finger of Jesus (who at the time was spirit only) he thought he saw a physical being.

If you have other questions – I will do my best to answer.

Thank you, I do have questions. But let me make clear that I'm not having trouble believing the spirt body and physical body have the same general bi-simmetry. What I'm having trouble with is whether we ought to conclude that they have the same features such as eye color, hair texture, body parts size ratios, and many other details. I think your examples so far don't require that conclusion. Or, do you and I already agree on that part?

Edited by Mike
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4 hours ago, jerfore said:

Here's a possibility that I'm trying to wrap my head around:

- The mind (our core / eternal identity which existed before spirit formation) doesn't have two versions but is simply at our core. It's actually us, not something we "have" (the absolute center / the "I AM")

I think I can accept this. It seems reasonable that whatever we want to call or describe *me* I existed eternally and at some point God organized a spiritual body, subsequently united *me" with it and later placed (me in my spirit body) into a physical mortal body. I control my spirit body and together with it I am learning to master (among other things) my physical body. 

So, if you want to equate *me* and "my mind" I think I'm good with that. 

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44 minutes ago, Mike said:

Thank you, I do have questions. But let me make clear that I'm not having trouble believing the spirt body and physical body have the same general bi-simmetry. What I'm having trouble with is whether we ought to conclude that they have the same features such as eye color, hair texture, body parts size ratios, and many other details. I think your examples so far don't require that conclusion. Or, do you and I already agree on that part?

 

Obviously, I cannot give you an empirical example.  But it is interesting to note that Jesus had white hair as did the Father when they appeared together to Joseph Smith.  But when Jesus was first resurrected it would seem that his hair and eyes were the same as prior to his death.  I have always assumed that the difference between when Jesus appeared to his Apostles and then later to Joseph was that the changes were a reflection of spirit changes.   It is my understanding that if we could see a person’s spirit that it would indeed look that same as our physical body. 

There claims among my family members that think to have seen the next life and recognized those spirits that had passed before because they were the same as they passed.  For example; my father claimed that his mother and father appeared to him shortly before he died (more than once) and he described them as they were when they died.  So clearly did he think he saw them that he pointed to where he thought they stood and asked me (as well as other family members) – “don’t you see them right over there?”

What is even more interesting is that he claimed an Elderly Lady also visited him from upstairs and he described her.  His home was in a retirement community and did not have an upstairs.  My sister who is a geriatric Nurse and very inactive suggested we find out who owned the home before my father bought it.  It turned out that the previous owner also died there and a picture indicated she was exactly as my father described her right down to eye and hair color and very much overweight.   My sister said this seeing of those that have died is very common when the elderly pass to the next life.  But for me, I can only go on what I am told.  But I do look forward to the day I can check this out myself.  :)

 

The Traveler

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51 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Obviously, I cannot give you an empirical example.  But it is interesting to note that Jesus had white hair as did the Father when they appeared together to Joseph Smith.  But when Jesus was first resurrected it would seem that his hair and eyes were the same as prior to his death. ...

There claims among my family members...

 But for me, I can only go on what I am told.  But I do look forward to the day I can check this out myself.  :)

Why do you say that it would seem the Lord's hair and yes were the same after death and resurrection? I would be crass to dispute or criticize your personal or family spiritual experiences, so I suppose our "analysis" is complete. I'll save any counter-views for another day. :)

 

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6 hours ago, Mike said:

Why do you say that it would seem the Lord's hair and yes were the same after death and resurrection? I would be crass to dispute or criticize your personal or family spiritual experiences, so I suppose our "analysis" is complete. I'll save any counter-views for another day. :)

 

Mary was the first to encounter the resurrected Christ.  Had his hair been white like the snow and his eyes like fire I do not believe she would have mistaken him for the care taker of the garden.

To be honest I do not know what to make of all the witnesses that I have heard concerning those that have seen or thought to have seen spirits.  I cannot myself give a personal witness and my individual inquire in to such things have not resulted in clear understanding.  If someone has other ideas – I can entertain ideas.  If someone has other witnesses – I would be most interested.

 

The Traveler

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9 hours ago, Traveler said:

Mary was the first to encounter the resurrected Christ.  Had his hair been white like the snow and his eyes like fire I do not believe she would have mistaken him for the care taker of the garden.

So let's agree that His hair wasn't white like snow, nor his eyes like fire. The fact remains that she didn't know who he was. I submit that she didn't know because his resurrected body didn't *look* like the man she knew. Can we agree on this single point?

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On 2/9/2017 at 11:48 AM, anatess2 said:

The mind is part of the physical body and is controlled by the Spirit.

This is apparent in people with mental health challenges where the Spirit has to navigate the mortal challenge of a mind that does not respond to Spiritual instruction with ease.

My grandmother was a great and valiant person who endured to the end in her love for Christ and obedience to His commandments.  She contracted Alzheimer's disease in her old age that caused her to attack everybody around her because she thought they were Japanese soldiers in WWII.  Surely this is apparent that my grandmother's mind may have been broken but that doesn't mean that her Spirit is.

As reality seems to stare back at me I’m having difficulty believing that (as a part of the physical body) the mind is controlled by the Spirit. It seems to be quite the opposite in cases like your grandmother. 

I can relate to your experience with your grandmother. Today I was with my mother who is hospitalized. She has behaved in ways that “just aren’t my mother.” And I wonder where does my mother “go” when she behaves in these ways? Where does your grandmother “go” when she behaves in the ways you described? How is it that the person we know sort of goes away, sometimes temporarily and sometimes for longer periods and sometimes for the rest of the physical body’s life? Or, is it that my mother doesn’t go anywhere--is it that conditions both inside and outside her physical body actual change her or switch her channels and the strange behaviors (on the various channels) really are the person after all?

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I offer this possibility without scriptural support or suggesting that it is what I believe in – its just something to think about.

I believe that we began our existence as an intelligence, that through means unknown, gradually acquired a sense of self awareness and capacity to choose. By repeatedly making a certain type of choice, some intelligences began to progress, to the point where their capacities began to increase. This intelligence is the core, and the beginning of our being, and existed entirely independently of God.

Some intelligences progressed to the point where, without further assistance, they could progress no further – they had reached the limit of natural capacities. Or perhaps they had reached the point where they were able to be joined to a spirit .At that point, our Father, through means unknown, combined us, as a limited, independently existing intelligences, with a spirit that He had made, and we changed from being an intelligence, to becoming a soul. As before, by making certain choices, some of us continued to grow and progress and expand in capacity. I suspect that by this point, our decision making ability, and the decisions we were making, were being influenced by the spiritual component of our being, and our proximity to our Father.

Once again, many souls progressed to the point where they were no longer able to progress any further. To progress further, we needed something else, and this something else was made available to us in the form of a body. This body is a carnal creation, created by the reproductive activities of our parents. Our Heavenly Parents added to this body a mind. I believe that our mind is the interface between our physical brain and spiritual stimuli. I think that spiritual promptings come from the Holy Ghost, to our mind, which then processes or transmits those promptings into our brains. I believe that our mind is equally susceptible to “promptings” eg, thoughts, feelings, desires, from Satan, and in the same way as promptings from the Spirit, these promptings are also passed from our mind into our brain where we make a conscious decision on how to respond to these promptings. To tilt things in our favour, we were all blessed with the light of Christ. I believe this light acts in our minds in such a way as to make us more receptive to promptings received from the Spirit rather than from the devil.

I don’t have any references, scriptural or otherwise, to support these views. These are just some ideas I have come up with after giving the matter some occasional thought over the years.

I suspect that further understanding of the differences between mind and brain can be obtained through a study of decision neuroscience which studies the physical processes that our happening in the brain while a decision is being made.(eg http://dlab.unimelb.edu.au/home) If our decisions are influenced by spiritual promptings, there is likely to be a point in our decision making equipment - our brain - where this influence occurs, and since our decision making process is a physical process, there is also likely to be some sort of interaction between the physical and the spiritual, along with a place of interaction, and observable evidence of that interaction. One theory that I vaguely remember reading is that during the decision making process, the neurons in the decision making area of our brain are initially in a state of flux, and as they begin to line up in the same orientation, our decision is made. I remember thinking to myself at the time that maybe all the Spirit has to do to prompt a certain decision is to change the orientation of a few neurons in our brain at the right moment. If this idea is correct it would give some insight into where and how the Spirit interacts with our physical bodies. 

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On 2/6/2017 at 0:02 PM, jerfore said:

This is my first post. I created an account here just so I could ask this question:

Is the mind spirit?

I've been reading a lot of success books lately (7habits, etc) which have lead me to think about both the conscious and subconscious mind in particular. The information I'm learning regarding the mind has been very helpful in my life but I still don't know exactly WHAT the mind is.

I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the body and spirit, but I am not sure whether or not the mind is physical or spiritual, or if it's possibly something separate?

David O. McKay taught that we are dual beings of dual natures while in this life.  Reading through this thread it is difficult to sort through the discussion of what the spirit mind is from the carnal body mind in these posts because the posters are not designating whether they are talking about the condition of the mind during our current state or pre-mortal life or after resurrection.  One has to designate what condition one is talking about to really have a discussion about it and make sure that quotes or comments are clearly designated as to what condition one is talking about.

I am assuming you are talking about this mortal existence, as is referred to in the scriptures as "in the flesh".   While "in the flesh" we have a veil that covers our spirit mind of this dual being.  We hardly remember anything our spirit has developed to become a matured spirit that lived with Heavenly Father prior to this Earth.  Our current mind is made up of influences from the spirit that is difficult to quantify but we know it is described as being a very subtle influence that takes a lot of practice, spirituality, prayer and humility to access.  The default "mind" that takes over in life is the brain, the physical mind.  This is what is called the natural man.  We can overcome the natural man and let the spirit be more influential by becoming spiritually minded.  To become spiritually minded is difficult and requires constant action but even then the influence is described as a small voice.

I would therefore say that in this life the "mind" is made up of influences from both the dual beings, spirit and body but mostly body - the brain. Most people in this world are carnal and fleshy, 99% of their thought pattern and drives are from the neuroanatomy of their brain.

Part of the test we face is to see what influence we follow but that requires first a seed of faith to even have a slight influence from the spirit and then over time one can learn how to have the veil thin that otherwise doesn't allow us to have access to our pre-mortal spiritual mind.

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