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Thinking is done by and in the mind. The mind is not the brain. The mind is a communication and control system between the spirit (soul) and its environment. In order to achieve this, it uses the brain. One way in which this is done is by thinking. Thought has no mass or energy --so it is not part of the physical universe-- but it can produce mass and energy. This mass and energy is transmitted as signals and/or waves to the brain. The brain then process them and according to their kind, it sends itself signals and/or waves through neurons to the remaining body or as feedback, back to the mind.

This is how the system mind-brain-body works in general. It is of course much more complicated than it sounds!

I give a simple example below. Before that, I have to clarify one thing: When I say "you" I mean YOU as a person (spirit, soul), yourself, YOU as an awareness unit, who can be aware of being aware. You can think of it simply as a point of view (not "viewpoint"), a point from which you can be aware, observe, communicate, etc.

You are looking around in a park and you put your attention on a tree. You observe that tree. In order to do that, you need to use your eyes. You do that via your brain (communication system). Automatically, an image is formed in your mind. This image is also automatically compared to other similar images of trees. If you have seen this kind of tree in the past and/or you have some knowledge about that tree, you will recognize it as something familiar. If you have never seen that tree, it will be added to your "group" of known trees. This is one way of how knowledge is created. The process that the mind used for comparison, etc. is thinking. It may be very simple, i.e. it may end just there and you continue your walk in the park. But it may develop to a more complicated process. Examples:

You might not be sure if you have seen or know that tree. You might start thinking "This tree reminds me of something", "Where have I seen this tree before? Think! Think!", etc. And then you start a whole process of trying to identify that tree ... And, if the tree were something more important, e.g. a person, it could even become on obsession and you get stuck with thinking about it, trying to remember where have you seen that person atc. We know that well!

Now, if the tree is very familiar to you, you might remember that you have fell from such a tree when you were young, and start feeling some fear or other unpleasant emotion, pictures coming to your mind, and so on. On the other hand, that tree might remind you of a romantic place, a time you were in love, etc. which will create pleasant emotions.

This what one of the things a thought (thinking) can do. It can create energy in the form of emotions (waves) that you can feel in your body. The more "negative" these emotions are, the more dense is the energy felt in the body. It can be so dense so as to create a mass: intense anxiety produces adrenaline.

On the contrary, the more "positive" emotions are, the more fine the energy is. When you are happy, you feel very "light", even as if you are "flying". Yet, this is still an energy.

These energies are created my thought, which is created in and by the mind, which is part of the spirit, not the brain.


This is how I view and can explain what thinking is, how it us created and works and where it takes place. But if you want a more "standard" view, I will refer you to Descartes' and dualism. I use him as a reference because he is well known in here. (I could use philosophers and philosophic systems that are much nearer to my views, but they belong to the Eastern philosophy, which does not belong in here, as I can see from my 2+ months experience with TPF.)

Note: I am not a follower of Descartes or cartesianism. This is only a second view, in which mind is separated from the body-brain. These are not my views, which I have already described.

I include below just a few of quotations regarding Descartes, which I find representative of the subject of "thought".


"Initially, Descartes arrives at only a single principle: thought exists. Thought cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist (Meditations on First Philosophy). Most famously, this is known as cogito ergo sum, (I think, therefore I am)." (https://grants.hhp.uh.edu/clayne/HistoryofMC/HistoryMC/DescartesI.htm)

"Descartes defines thought (cogitatio) as what happens in me such that I am immediately conscious of it, insofar as I am conscious of it." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/René_Descartes)

"And so something that I thought I was seeing with my eyes is grasped solely by the faculty of judgment which is in my mind." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/René_Descartes)

"Descartes tries to give a definition of thought in his Principles: By thought he means to refer to anything marked by awareness or consciousness. This does not just include reasoning or other such intellectual activities but also imagining, sensing, willing, believing, doubting, hoping, dreading, and all other mental operations." (https://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/principles/section3/)

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    What do you imagine is happening in split-brain patients? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-brain "After the right and left brain are separated, each hemisphere will have its own separate perception, concepts, and impulses to act." How could that be, if the mind is a unitary non-physical entity?
    – causative
    Commented Feb 10 at 15:33
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    I have voted to close this question because it appears to advance a personal position with no question but an invitation to debate. Several of the subordinate points are worth asking about (as opposed to telling about), but not all of them belong here. For example, "What, physically, are the signals that cause the chemical changes associated with emotions?" has an interesting answer, but it belongs on Physics SE or possibly Biology SE.
    – g s
    Commented Feb 10 at 15:41
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    @g s, of course it's a topic for debate. And of course I describe my position. What should I do? Describe the positions of other people (scientists or philosophers)? And what difference that would have? It would be still a topic for debate. And what we should do if we cannot advance personal opinions and theories? Advance common positions? What interest that could have? Philosophy has been advanced in the ages based on different opninions and theories ... If Descartes had not advanced his mind-body theory, his dualism will never come to light?. I really don't see what is the problem.
    – Apostolos
    Commented Feb 10 at 16:36
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    @Apostolos -- it would be useful for you to visit the help center, to understand what this site is for. Here are a few of the useful guidelines: philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask Note this is NOT a discussion site. Comments are not for dialog, they are to help improve questions and answers. One CAN end up getting useful dialog here from good questions and answers, but discussing both is to be done in side chats.
    – Dcleve
    Commented Feb 10 at 19:50
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    1) That is not a question. 2) I think you are misguided and lack philosophical education to realise to how much depth these things have been discussed much more philosophically sound time and again through the centuries. 3) You might find Plessner's Levels of Organic Life and the Human an interesting approach, as it raises the problem of positionality of thought. There, the felt/lived body is posited (as representation through neurons) into the physical body while reflection is posited into nothingness.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Feb 12 at 6:47

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