Mel Schwartz, LCSW

#134 The Power of Mind

In The Possibility Podcast with Mel Schwartz episode 134, let’s revisit the difference between our body, our brain, and our mind.

Are you your thoughts? Or are you your mind?

Can you learn to see your own thoughts in the nano-second before they become your reality?

Is there really a mind-body connection, or is the concept itself based on a flawed assumption?

All this and more in this episode! I’d love to hear what you think! Be sure to leave a comment with your own thoughts and questions!

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Transcript of The Possibility Podcast with Mel Schwartz #134

Hello everybody and welcome to the Possibility Podcast. I’m your host Mel Schwartz. I practice psychotherapy, marriage counseling, and I am the author of the book The Possibility Principle, the companion to this podcast. I hope to be your thought provocateur and I’ll be introducing you to new ways of thinking and a new game plan for life.

Hello everyone. I want to speak with you today about the concept of mind, this word mind. As with so many words, we don’t really have a shared meaning. What does the word mind actually mean? You know, if we don’t come to a shared meaning about something, we’re speaking in a fragmented, incomprehensible way. You must stop and ask each other, what do you mean? A room full of people, even a room full of consciousness scientists probably couldn’t agree as to what they mean by the word mind. This concept of mind remains vague. We receive no education about it and so it remains elusive.

And this, which is arguably in my opinion, our most precious gift, our mind, it kind of lies fallow, uncultivated, because we don’t even agree as to what we mean. Mind, I believe, and all of my thoughts from here on in are my thoughts, mind is a magical vessel through which we shape and then form our identity, our own identity. And mind sets up our experience of other people and all that surrounds us. We take it all for granted as if it all exists independent of mind.

I propose nothing exists independent of mind. You know, the absence of an awareness of mind is like you’re born with your eyes shut, that we never knew those eyes could open. And so we went through life without seeing because we didn’t know our eyes could open. So we remain illiterate and unschooled in harnessing the power of our minds because we don’t explore the concept of mind. And as a result, our struggles with self-doubt, fear, frustration, anger, conflict, it all damages our ability to experience the serenity, the love and the harmony that could be our birthright because we have not come into a harmony with mind.

Living without a proper appreciation of mind leaves us shackled by ignorance. Mind constructs hatred, violence, failed communication, conflicted relationships. Mind created global warming and on and on.

What do I mean by that? Well it’s mind that conceived of exploiting resources in a grossly imbalanced way that would lead to climate change, to global warming. Mind creates war. Mind creates hatred. Mind creates love. Virtually every challenge we face in life is informed, influenced and impacted by our mind. The mind is the heartbeat of awareness and without a healthy understanding of mind, your mind, my mind, we simply cannot live life to its fullest. Learning to know and master your mind opens the gateway to navigate and thrive in your life.

So we begin with a shared meaning, a subjective description of what I mean by the words and terms that I’m using.

Let’s begin by my stipulating what I don’t mean by mind. Many people equate mind with your brain. I see your brain as biological organ, not the source for your potential wisdom from which you can navigate the course of life. The brain is where your thoughts and feelings leave their mark. The brain is not the source of your awareness. In my book, The Possibility Principle, I wrote, imagine walking at the beach, barefoot in the sand and looking behind you and seeing the imprint your foot left in the sand. Now think of the sand as the brain. The brain didn’t create the footprint. Your foot left its impression in the sand. Your thoughts and feelings leave their impression on your mind, on your brain. But mind is much more than brain. Mind is a biological organ which processes and gives us capacity for intelligence, for communication. Many people confuse mind with being the same as our thoughts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many thought leaders, motivational pundits, and best-selling authors offer little distinction between thoughts and mind, or even between thoughts and thinking. As I have pointed out many times, thoughts happen instantly beyond our perception. Without our perception, they inform us falsely of truth. Thoughts trick us in that they’re telling us the truth. They’re just thoughts.

Thinking is the ability to step back and see your thoughts operating, see your feelings operating and that allows a sense of me that is more than my thoughts and feelings. That’s a portal and an access to mind. How can we possibly move forward in pursuit of enlightenment and personal growth without actually clarifying what we mean by each of these words? It’s kind of like if you’re playing a game of Scrabble without agreement as to what letters constituted the word. That game wouldn’t go very far. It would get all scrambled up and lead to incoherence. That’s what happens with our thoughts and with our shared meaning.

Thoughts happen to us. They are impressions made upon our awareness that we may or may not be aware of. They are ancient in our own being. They are habitual. We have had similar thoughts thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps millions of times. We have thoughts nearly every moment. Most of them seem similar and if you really consider them or try to note them, you’ll find they appear commonplace, often repetitive. Thoughts tend to be old, even habitual. You may have a new twist on an old thought as circumstances change, but thoughts tend to tunnel in a common refrain.

Want to see your thoughts? Okay, pause and ask yourself, what is the thought you’re having right now? As I’m speaking in this moment, what is the thought you’re having? Notice what your thought’s telling you. Don’t judge the thought, just note it. Write it down. Come back to it later and see what the thought was telling you. Now thoughts and feelings are part of a continuum. One washes on to the other, like a wave unfolding onto shore and then tucking back in and out and unfolding as it goes back out to sea. Picture that imagery, the wave coming into shore. It becomes manifest. What David Bohm spoke of as explicate, explicate and manifest are the same. Then it tucks back in and unfolds and goes back out to sea and it’s implicate and unhidden. There’s a dance between the implicate and the explicate.

I believe the thought ordinarily precedes feeling. But of course the feeling slips right back in and then forms the next thought. They work as a continuum. And this pattern explains why we get stuck in particular moods. Learning to see your thoughts is a crucial first step in this journey toward the mind.

You may wonder where do these thoughts come from? They come from many places but in particular they come from your life experiences and your beliefs. They are the source of your thoughts. These beliefs, though so critically important in framing your personal reality, for the most part go unexamined and unquestioned. How often do you ask yourself, how did I come to this belief? Why do I believe it to be true? That is the essence of critical thinking. Once we step back and evaluate our beliefs and thoughts, we open to new experience, to new awareness. We can rise above the dictates of beliefs and thoughts, which then frees us to become the masters of our mind.

So mind lies well above thoughts and feelings. The difference again between thoughts and thinking. Thinking speaks to my learned ability to step back and see my thoughts occurring, to see what they are telling me. Thinking allows for a sense of me to arise that is larger than my thoughts and larger than my feelings. Learning how to see your thoughts and feelings frees you from becoming reactive. Thinking creates a space between your thoughts so you become sovereign above thoughts and feelings.

Some of you may appreciate what I’m describing right now as you notice your thoughts, but those of you who don’t, don’t worry, this is a process. You’ll get there. Our change process, real change, generally springs from thinking. Thinking activates new insights and deeper levels of awareness. As a culture, we have been trained since 17th century to see and think in a very fragmented way, seeing only small bits of the big picture.

For example, we speak of what people call the mind-body problem, which in recent times has evolved into the mind-body connection. Although this advances our understanding that separated parts, mind and body, are connected, we still see them as separate. But why would we think of mind and body as separate? You see the word connection, taking two things that are not separate, that we severed and split off, but we now found a connection that limits our mind’s ability to see wholeness. When our thoughts only see the separate, fractured parts and not the whole, they construct false truths and that blocks our innate, deeper understanding, our spiritual quest, our innate intelligence and our connectivity to other people. Thinking from wholeness is the portal into your higher mind. Your mind can then access the field of wisdom, which interfaces with innate connectivity. When you activate the power of mind, you tap into oneness with everything, with the universe and all of its infinite resources.

Mind describes the integration of our entire being, the eyes through which we see, the heart through which we feel, the wisdom that flows from joining with the universe and the innate knowing that awaits us. This is a journey into the power of your mind.

In our next episode, I will dive deeper into how to defragment your thoughts, defragment your mind and come into a coherence or wholeness, which is ultimately the most valuable quest that we can experience in my not so humble opinion. And that’s where love resides, romantic love, love for ourselves, love for nature, love for the planet, simply love.

Until next time, look at those fragmented thoughts that are desultory and trick us into false realities. Get to your thoughts, say shh to those thoughts and try to access a higher mind. We’ll go further with this in our next episode. Wishing you well-being and access to your higher mind. Bye for now.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Possibility Podcast. I welcome your feedback on this and any episode. Please send me an email at mel at or leave a comment in the show notes for this episode at If you like what you’re hearing, please take a moment to rate and review the show at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Your reviews really help boost the visibility for the show and it’s a great way for you to show your support. Finally, please make sure to subscribe to the Possibility Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts and that way you’ll never miss an episode. Thanks again and please remember to always welcome uncertainty into your life and embrace new possibilities.

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