The Mind & the Brain, co-written by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. and Sharon Begley, is subtitled Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force. Dr. Schwartz, unlike your average Ph.D., is one of those doctors who can do you some good, especially if you happen to suffer from OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. He is a research professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine. Ms. Begley, unlike your average person whose last name begins with a B, writes fancy prose and knows where to put commas and semi-colons. She is the award-winning science columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
In a mere 375 pages, Dr. Schwartz proves that people and laboratory monkeys have minds, not just three pounds of grey gelatin called a brain. Apparently philosophers and neurologists have long been skeptical on this point. It is important that we, and presumably our pets, have minds, says Schwartz with the help of his award-winning co-author. Otherwise we would be automatons and life would be an illusion. We would not have free will, with the result that we couldn’t achieve our goals. I, to use a ready example, could not thing of running for president. My wife, who in her pre-coffin days suffered from OCD, could not have been cured of her habit of making me take out the trash every hour on the hour.
The proof of this strange theory that people have minds is that the theory of quantum mechanics is true. The devil is in the details.
If you have half a mind, you will want to read this book.