A New Idea for the Mind-Brain Problem

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 5, 2003 - Pages 111-144

The new millennium has started, and science is still mired with a plethora of difficult problems to solve. One of them is the mind-brain problem, namely, the question of whether the mind derives from the brain or whether it is something that transcends it. There is also the problem of what consciousness is, which is closely related to the question of how cognition is made. From the perspective of Unification Thought, satisfactory solutions to these problems require that science come to recognize the spiritual dimension of the human being. A human being consists of both a physical self and a spirit self as a united entity. Appreciating the role of the spirit mind is essential to a proper understanding of human beings and their mental functions.

This wide-ranging paper will discuss the mind-brain problem, consciousness, and other topics in psychology from the standpoint of Unification Thought.


1.  Relationship between the Mind and the Brain

a.  Four Conventional Positions

With regard to the question of the relationship between mind and brain, there are four conventional views:

1. Idealism, which states that what really exists is God or cosmic spirit, that the human mind is a part of it, and that material things are secondary. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who analyzed mental processes without reference to any particular process of the brain, can be classified as a modern type of idealist. In particular his disciple Carl Jung (1875-1961), who expanded the concept of Freud’s libido (sexual energy) to include not only sexual energy but also, more widely, spiritual energy, recognized God as the primary cause of the human mind.

2. Materialism, which states that what really exists is material brain only and that the mind is a product or a function of the brain. Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) and modern behaviorists like B.F. Skinner are materialists. In the neurosciences, reductionist materialism reduces mind to the activity of the brain. Reductionism is represented by Gerald M. Edelman. He maintains that the mind is derived from the neurons and denied the existence of any spiritual being transcending the brain saying, “We have no programmer, no homunculus in the head.”[1] Francis Crick, who, together with James Watson discovered the molecular structure of DNA, typifies the reductionist materialist stance:

In the past the mind (or soul) was regarded as something separate from the brain but interacting with it in some way. But most neuroscientists now believe that all aspects of the mind, including its most puzzling attribute, consciousness or awareness, are likely to be explainable in a more materialistic way as the behavior of large sets of interacting neurons.[2]

3. Dualism, which states that the mind and the brain are different entities which can be separated. This view was classically posited by Rene Descartes (1596-1650). Modern dualists seek the basis for interaction between mind and brain; hence their position is also called Interactionism. They include Wilder Penfield and Sir John C. Eccles, to whom we will turn shortly.

4. Monism, which says that the mind and the brain are one and cannot be separated. The representative monist is Roger Sperry (1913-94). According to Sperry, consciousness is something that transcends the totality of physical phenomena of the brain and influences its function. However, he denied the possibility that consciousness exists apart from the process of the brain. In other words, he did not recognize the existence of soul. He stated:

In calling myself a mentalist, I hold subjective mental phenomena to be primary, causally potent realities as they are experienced subjectively, different from, more than, and not reducible to their physiochemical elements. As the same time, I define this position and the brain-mind theory on which it is based as monistic and see it as a major deterrent to dualism.[3]

Sperry is in an ambiguous midway position. On one hand his position has been used to support the arguments of dualism; on the other hand his position has been used to support the materialist philosophy that the mind and the brain are identical. Sperry’s position is called “Monism by a mentalist.”

b.  Contemporary Developments

Wilder Penfield (1891-1976), a world authority on brain surgery, had a strong material monistic belief when he was young that the study of the brain would clarify all the mysteries of the spiritual world. He painted on a garden stone in his home an illustration of the brain with an equation that “nous (mind) is the brain.” However, no matter how hard he studied, he could not find in the brain the answer to the question of self-consciousness. As a result, in his later days he gravitated towards dualism, discarding monism, and came to think that the brain is not the pivot of consciousness. And, he added a big question mark above the equation in his garden.[4]

In The Mystery of the Mind, he said, “The brain is a computer; the mind is a programmer.” Just as a computer becomes useful when it is given a program and operated by somebody outside itself, it is the mind that gives the program instructions to the brain. According to Penfield, the mind and the brain are connected but separate beings. Finally, in search for the question of “what is the mind?” he could not help accepting the existence of the spiritual energy and the existence of soul.

John C. Eccles (1903-97) insisted that the mind and the brain are different entities:

We are a combination of two things or entities: our brains on the one hand; and our conscious selves on the other. The self is central to the totality of our conscious experiences as persons through our whole waking life.[5]

At the end of his life-long fight against materialism, he wrote,

A most important programme… is to challenge and negate materialism and to reinstate the spiritual self as the controller of the brain.[6]

Eccles did research on how the mind and the brain interact, and asserted “mental events act by a quantal probability field to alter the probability of emission of vesicles from presynaptic vesicular grids.”[7] These are found the ends of neurons where they form synapses with other neurons (Figure 1).

Roger Penrose (1931- ), a mathematical physicist, tries to explain the human mind by using quantum theory and cosmology. He says, “The unity of a single mind can arise in this description only if there is some form of quantum coherence extending across an appreciable part of the entire brain.”[8] In other words, he tries buttress the materialistic position by explaining how spirit comes from matter by means of the quantum theory. He maintains that microtubules within the neuron are where consciousness is produced: “Microtubules seem to be a good candidate for the structures within which this large-scale quantum coherent activity might take place.”[9] A photon field inside these microtubules provides the possibility for non-local quantum mechanics to occur, giving rise to the human consciousness. These microtubules are illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Quantum Interaction between Mind and Brain

c. The Mind-Brain Relationship from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Unification Thought takes the view that mental activity such as cognition, thinking, feelings, volition, etc. is produced through the give-and-receive action between the mind and the brain. The mind is the unity of the spirit mind with the physical mind. The physical mind refers to the instinctive mind, which seeks sex, food, clothes and shelter. It is directly related to the physical self. On the other hand, the spirit mind responds to love and goes after truth, goodness, and beauty. The spirit mind belongs to the spirit self and it is related to the spirit world and God.

The above-mentioned views of the mind-body problem by various philosophers, psychologists and scientists are summarized in Figure 2. The Unification Thought view of the mind-body problem is similar to that of Penfield and Eccles. However, the Unification Thought view is not Dualism, as in the case of Penfield and Eccles, but “Unitism,” as explained later.


2.  How Does Consciousness Come into Being?

According to the position of modern neurosciences, the questions such as what is consciousness and how it came into being are unsolved riddles. Yet most scientists favor a line of inquiry based upon materialist reductionism, as typified by Francis Crick, who believes that consciousness will someday be explained as the “behavior of large sets of interacting neurons.”

However, let us consider this question from the perspective of Unification Thought. There are no objections to the view that consciousness comes into being as a result of the interaction between neurons. According to Unification Thought, all forces come into being as a result of give-and-receive action between the reciprocal elements of subject and object. Any give-and-receive action is centered on a purpose, while the original, causal force is working from behind. Through give-and-receive action, that original, causal force manifests itself as actual forces in various ways. The original force working behind give-and-receive actions can be expressed as the field since it is working universally in the cosmos.

For example, God’s love is given to all humans universally. The love of God manifests itself in the family as parental love; as children’s love through give-and-receive action between parents and children; as sibling’s love through give-and-receive action among brothers and sisters; and as conjugal love through give-and-receive action between husband and wife.

Figure 2. Viewpoints about the Relationship between Mind and Brain

Likewise, there exists behind the universe the original force called the Universal Prime Force, which manifests itself as the four forces such as the universal gravitation (gravity), electromagnetic force, strong force, and weak force. That means, from the standpoint of modern physics that, prior to the beginning of the universe there existed in vacuum the Higgs field filled with potential energy. The four forces came into being through four kinds of mutual interactions. Through interactions among particles having mass, gravity came into being; through interactions among charged particles, electromagnetic force came into being; through interactions among quarks, strong force (nuclear force) came into being; and through interactions between quarks and leptons (electron, neutrino), weak force (the force affecting the beta decay) came into being. In other words, the four forces are originally one but manifest themselves as the four forces through different kinds of interactions.

It is usually explained that life activity is realized through the interactions between cells, and between molecules. Unification Thought, however, explains that this activity is realized through various give-and-receive actions centered on the life field, or the cosmic life, working in the background.

Harold Saxton Burr (1889-1973), former professor of medical science at Yale University, USA, claimed to have discovered the existence of such a life field.

The life field, the invisible field of electric force, enables every living being to grow according to its design. All living beings whether fungi, plants, or animals, are born and formed according to this eternal blueprint. They constantly receive various messages coming from far away places in the universe. The waves they effect instantly cover the entire earth.[10]

The same reasoning can be applied to the problem of the consciousness. It is usually explained that mental action occurs through the interaction of neurons alone. According to Unification thought, however, the field of consciousness, or the cosmic consciousness, is working behind the interactions.

Within a TV set or a radio, various elements are connected to form a circuit. Yet, neither sounds nor pictures can appear through the action of the circuit alone. There must exist electric waves coming from broadcasting stations. Those electric waves are received by the TV set or radio and manifest themselves as sounds and pictures through interactions among various elements within the circuit. Life and consciousness also appear through the same principle. Life activity and mental activity appear when the cosmic life field and the cosmic consciousness are working from behind.

It must be pointed out, however, that mental activity involves not only give-and-receive actions among neurons within the physical brain but also give-and-receive actions in the dimension of spirit (spirit self). This is because the functions of intellect, emotion, and will are active and spiritual. Animals also have intellect, emotion and will. However, the intellect, emotion and will of humans are essentially different from animals. The intellect, emotion and will of humans are creative, while those of animals are not. In this paper I am referring to the human creative mind. The difference between the human mind and an animal’s mind is discussed later in this paper.

The results of interaction among neurons without the involvement of the spiritual being (spirit self) merely function on the level of animal instinct. In order for the human mind’s intellect, emotion, and will to function, also requires give-and-receive action within the spirit self. Within the spiritual brain, there must be interactions among spiritual elements, which we may well call spiritual neurons.

Both the physical self and the spirit self of a human being have dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang. Accordingly, the physical self and the spirit self have the active Sungsang element of the physical mind and the spirit mind respectively. In a human being, the physical mind and the spirit mind are united as the human mind. Therefore, the interaction of physical and spiritual neurons requires the active mind to integrate and govern them. The above-mentioned explanation by the Unification Thought view is summarized in Figure 3.

Here, the cosmic consciousness refers to the consciousness working everywhere in the universe. It is derived from the mind of God (the Original Sungsang). The origin and driving force of the human consciousness is cosmic consciousness. It is analogous to saying that God’s love is the origin of human love.

Human consciousness differs in each person, due to the wiring of neurons within the brain of the physical body and that of the brain of the spirit self. The physical body’s brain constantly changes during the body’s lifetime and ceases its function at the end of physical life. The brain of the spirit self, however, grows during the lifetime of the physical body and continues existing eternally after the physical death. It is by virtue of the existence of the spirit self that a person maintains his or her unchanging sense of self-identity while alive physically and also after the physical death.

In his text on creative evolution, philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) says that the evolution of living beings is guided by “élan vital” (vital impetus), which he refers to as “supraconsciousness.” To this élan vital he even attaches the name, “God.” Alfred N. Whitehead (1861-1947), an advocate of process philosophy, stated, “The Universe is made up of myriad pulses of experience that embody material aspects as well as psychological aspects as feeling and value.”[11] Both thinkers were describing the cosmic consciousness.

Figure 3. The Activity of Love, Force, Life, and Consciousness through Give-and-Receive Action

In his book The Planetary Mind, astronomer and philosopher Arne A. Wyller writes about the consciousness covering the earth by saying that “humanity and all other life forms in the past and present lie embedded in an invisible Planetary Mind Field that pervades the entire Earth.”[12]

While Wyller insisted on the existence of the consciousness covering the earth, Sir Fred Hoyle, an astrophysicist, says in his book Intelligent Universe that there exists in an unidentified interstellar cloud a higher intelligence which sends out at random snippets of genetic code fragments—partial genetic messages—in space. In contrast to them, Unification Thought posits that the cosmic consciousness fills the entire universe including the earth.

Furthermore, in order for our mind or consciousness to come into being, the existence of souls (spirit self) is a prerequisite, as Eccles and Penfield clearly insisted. Eccles says, “Reference should be made to the discussion on the creation of the psyche by infusion into the developing embryo. This divinely created psyche should be central to all considerations of immortality and of self-recognition.” [13] Penfield remarks, “From my standpoint as a medical doctor, I would like to give an opinion of mine. It is related to all the attempts to explore human nature, based on the theory that the mind is an independent existence. This view may be regarded as one that affirms the immortality of souls.”[14]

Today materialistic neuroscientists disparage the notion of a spiritual being, mocking it as a homunculus, that infamous little person inside the brain. However, these scientists are in denial or prejudiced by dogmatic attitudes. The existence of the spirit world is evident to those who have spiritual ability, even though it is not tangible to everyone. We expect that in the future, science will develop its theories to take into account evidence for the existence of the spirit world and provide theoretical explanations that everybody can understand.

Materialist scientists say that, if one hypothesizes a homunculus, it becomes necessary to also posit a “homunculus within the homunculus” to deal with information received by the homunculus. This argument by reductio ad absurdum is faulty in the same way as the argument that, if there is a God who created the universe, that God must likewise have been created at some point by another God, and so on. However, while the universe is a being within time and space, God is the being beyond time and space. Therefore, we need not propose another being as the cause of God.

The same thing can be said about consciousness. The brain itself has no consciousness, but the mind of the spirit self, namely the spirit mind, does. Consciousness has intellectual, emotional, and volitional functions, which operate on their own. In other words, there is no need to posit an “intellect of the intellect,” “emotion of the emotion,” and “will of the will” to make the functions of intellect, emotion, and will operate.

The fact that each person’s mind is unique cannot be understood, either, without recognizing the spirit self of a human being. Susan A. Greenfield, a British professor of pharmacology says, “By looking at a single human brain it is educated guesswork at best to determine whether the person was male or female. It would, however, be completely impossible to tell whether this particular man or woman had been kind or possessed a sense of humor.”[15] The individual personality of each human being is derived not from the brain but from the mind of spirit self of the person.


3.  How Do Spirit and Matter Interact?

How can the mind and the brain, namely spirit and matter, interact with one another? The Unification Thought view will again be presented in the context of brief critiques of the views of notable philosophers and scientists since Descartes.

Descartes regarded spirit and matter as totally heterogeneous, and thus was a dualist. He thought that the pineal gland inside the brain was the point of contact between the mind and the body. In response, we note that the pineal gland itself is material. Therefore, he fails to answer to the question of how spirit and matter can interact.

Bergson, Spinoza and Whitehead believed that spirit and matter manifest two aspects of the same reality. Being so, they do not explain the autonomous, controlling action of spirit. Furthermore, on their view, when the physical self dies, soul (spirit self) would also perish. Accordingly, their position denies the immortality of souls and the existence of the spiritual world.

David Bohm, a British theoretical physicist who has probed into the world of consciousness, developed a unique view of mind and matter. He thought that mind and matter are ultimately based on a higher plane of unity. He says,

If immanence is pursued more and more deeply in matter, I believe we may eventually reach the stream, which we also experience as mind, so that mind and matter fuse (italics added).[16]

Furthermore, Bohm says of the ultimate actuality, “So we are led to propose further that the more comprehensive, deeper and more inward actuality is neither mind nor body but rather a yet higher dimensional actuality, which is their common ground and which is of a nature beyond.”[17] Unification Thought would identify Bohm’s ultimate actuality with God. In that light, Bohm is correct to regard God as the common ground of mind and body, while transcending them.

John C. Eccles maintained that the mind and the brain are different beings, but that the mind and the brain interact at presynaptic vesicular grids, which are very tiny organizations of the synapse. They do so without infringing upon the conservation laws of physics. Furthermore, Eccles discusses elemental (or unitary) mental events called psychons, and basic receptive units of mental activity in the cerebral cortex called dendrons, each a region of about 200 neurons. The interaction between mind and body is to be studied based on the unitary interaction of a psychon with its dendron.

Arne A. Wyller thinks that the photon may act as a mediator between the mind field and the matter field. The mediation of photons enable spirit and matter to interact. This would require that photons have both mind-like and matter-like properties. He explains:

Within our modern scientific framework, it appears feasible to explore the possibility that the light particle--the photon that holds these atoms together and travels endlessly between them--serves a twofold purpose in the Universe. In the physicist’s material Universe, it acts as matter “glue” on the atomic level, but in another sense it may well act as a mediator between the Mind Field and the matter fields. Or perhaps it is the Mind Field. If so, then the photon has a Janus face: Facing the material world it is matter glue, whereas facing the world of intelligence it takes on the characteristics of mind glue or of mind itself.[18]

In this light, former Brookhaven Laboratory scientist Tom Stonier also makes a daring suggestion in Information and the Internal Structure of the Universe that photons are made up of two components: an energy component and an information component.[19] Since photons have aspects of both spirit and matter, they can mediate the interaction between them.

According to Unification Thought, spirit and matter are different entities, but they are one in their ultimate origin. In other words, Unification Thought regards God, the origin of the universe, as the Being harmonizing the dual characteristics of mental element and material element. This view is neither dualist nor monist. It is called Unitism or the Theory of Oneness in which the dual characteristics are united.

In the world of phenomena, the mind and the brain, or spirit and matter, are different entities. However, if they are traced back to their origin, there is no longer any boundary between spirit and matter. Both are united as one. This implies that spirit and matter although different have common elements. Accordingly, the spiritual action is conveyed to the body, which is material, and the material action is conveyed to the spirit.

Unification Thought has similarities with David Bohm’s view that spirit and matter, which are different, are united at their origin. However, in Unification Thought, spirit and matter are not completely fused, as David Bohm believes. God is the being with dual characteristics of Original Sungsang and Original Hyungsang, which are the sources of spirit and matter respectively. In God, spirit and matter are the dual characteristics of the one being. In the phenomenal world, a spiritual being and a material being are different entities. Nevertheless, every spiritual being, since it is derived from God, contains the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang (namely, spiritual element and material element). It is likewise for every material being, since it is also derived from God. The difference between them is that in a spiritual being the Sungsang element is much stronger than the Hyungsang element, while in a material being the Hyungsang element is much stronger than the Sungsang element. Consequently there are common elements between the mind, which is spiritual, and the brain, which is material. Hence they can engage in the mutual interaction.

According to modern physics, we cannot say that an elementary particle is a particle or a wave: it appears as a particle in one case, and as a wave in another. Thus in the microscopic world, wave nature and particle nature are united. But in the macroscopic world, a corporeal being and a wave are different phenomena. Here is another analogy to the relation between spirit and matter: they are different in the phenomenal world, but they are united in the causal world.

It can be said that the attempts by Eccles, Wyller and Stonier to explore interaction between spirit and matter are in the right direction. I foresee that the question of interaction between spirit and matter will be further clarified from this point of view in the future.


4.  The Problem of Consciousness

There have been various philosophical explanations of how humans perceive the world and have cognition of it: either through sensations generated by an external object (empiricism), as the subjective action of reason and innate ideas in the mind (rationalism), or a synthesis of the two (Kant), among others. Unification Thought’s theory of Epistemology has been thoroughly explored elsewhere, and familiarity with its concepts is required for understanding the discussion which follows. It will further develop the aspect of Unification epistemology dealing with prototypes, in order to better understand the origin and workings of consciousness itself.

a.  Theory of Prototypes

In order for correct cognition to be made, a relationship between a human subject and an object is necessary. They must resemble each other and form a correlative base. In other words, there must be similarity and commonness between subject and object with respect to structure and elements. It is the same as saying that we cannot communicate with one another if our languages are different. Hence, when the human subject cognizes an object, the subject must have the idea that is related to the object. The idea or image about an object within the mind of the human subject is called the “prototype.”

In ancient days Socrates maintained that such things as prototypes exist within the human subject. He taught, “All ideas pre-exist within the brain. Otherwise, when ideas enter from outside, we will not be able to recognize them.” Idea in Plato also corresponds to the prototype. According to Plato, we perceive beauty in the objective world through the Idea of beauty, and we feel it is beautiful. Nicholas of Cusa (1401-64) thought that God created the world through the prototypes within His mind, and likewise human beings recognize the world through prototypes within their minds. Those philosophers’ views are in accordance with Unification Thought, which posits the existence of prototypes in the subject of cognition.

In Unification Thought, the prototype resembles and corresponds to the objective world because human beings were created by God to resemble Him and all things were created to resemble human beings. Each human being is a microcosm and an encapsulation of all things. Accordingly, ideas and images corresponding to the objective world exist within our mind as the prototypes.

Modern science is now revealing that such things as prototypes exist within the brain. For example, Derek Bickerton, a linguist, states:

In the case of mature members of our own species, it is pretty clear that we react to our perceptions of particular objects and events by trying to map them onto some pre-existing concept that has a linguistic representation. In other words, our moment-to-moment functioning in the world relies, unconsciously but quite implicitly and completely, on our having the equivalent of a map of reality, which includes all the things that, at least for us as a species, are in it. This map enables us to orient ourselves rapidly to the fluctuations of the environment and to prepare appropriate responses to them (italics added).[20]
b.  Origin of Prototypes

How are prototypes formed within our mind? We enumerate four sources for prototypes:

1.  The human body

2.  The natural world

3.  What is obtained from culture through learning

4.  God’s revelation and inspiration from the spirit world


According to Unification Thought, cosmic consciousness arising from God’s Sungsang is active throughout the universe. When cosmic consciousness enters into cells and tissues of living beings, it becomes the “protoconsciousness.” The protoconsciousness perceives the structure, constituents, qualities, etc. of cells and tissues. The content perceived by protoconsciousness is the “protoimage.” The forms of interaction between cells are reflected on the protoconsciousness as the “image of form.” The protoimage and the image of form together constitute the “prototype” that human beings have innately. The human body is the integration or encapsulation of all things and has all structures, elements, and natures of all things compacted within it. Therefore, a prototype that is in correspondence with the human body is also in correspondence with the natural world.

Neuroscientist Antonio R. Damasio argues that the human body gives knowledge to our mind. He says that “the body provides a basic topic for brain representations”; and that “the soul breathes through the body.” By understanding those things, he says, it may become possible to solve the question of “how is it that we are conscious of the world around us?” He is describing the notion of prototype. For Damasio, people recognize the situation of the outside world and deal with it as follows:

The body, as represented in the brain, may constitute the indispensable frame of reference for the neural processes that we experience as the mind; our very organism rather than some absolute external reality is used as the ground reference for the constructions we make of the world around us and for the construction of the ever-present sense of subjectivity that is part and parcel of our experiences; our most refined thoughts and best actions, our greatest joys and deepest sorrows, use the body as a yardstick.[21]

What the brain must do to operate in this fashion is come into the world with considerable “innate knowledge” about how to regulate itself and the rest of the body. As the brain incorporates dispositional representations of interactions with entities and scenes relevant or innate regulation, it increases the chances of including entities and scenes that may or may not be directly relevant to survival. And as this happens, our growing sense of whatever the world outside may be, is apprehended as a modification in the neutral space in which body and brain interact…. The mind is embodied in the full sense of the term, not just embrained (italics added).[22]

That the cosmic consciousness enters into cells and tissues, and senses their structure, constituents, qualities, etc. can be thought as follows: When the cosmic consciousness enters into a cell and becomes the protoconsciousness, it reads the genetic code of the DNA of the cell. Then, the protoconsciousness makes the cells and tissues act according to the instruction of that code. That the protoconsciousness reads the code of the DNA means that our mind receives unconsciously the concepts and ideas coming from God’s Word (Logos), namely God’s blueprint. Since the human body is the encapsulation of all things, decoding the blueprint of the human body leads our mind understand the blueprint or the standard of all things (the natural world). In this way the innate prototypes or innate knowledge that we have since our birth originate from the human body.

The network of neurons formed naturally in the course of embryonic development bear such innate prototypes. As Harry Chugani, a pediatric neurologist, says, “Before birth, it appears that genes predominantly direct how the brain establishes basic wiring patterns.”[23] Thus, the prototypes that correspond to the blueprint of the human body form naturally within the mind of infants. At birth, these innate prototypes are still imperfect because the infant’s body and brain are immature. Accordingly, their cognition is vague. As the infant grows, the prototypes gradually develop along with the growth of the body, and hence cognition becomes clearer.

Acquired prototypes are formed as the child obtains knowledge about the natural world through observation and having interaction with it, on the basis of these innate prototypes. The same can be said when the child obtains new knowledge by learning in the family, school, and community.

According to Damasio, innate knowledge (innate prototypes) is based on dispositional representations in hypothalamus, brain stem, and limbic system; acquired knowledge (acquired prototypes) is based on dispositional representations in higher-order cortices and throughout many gray-matter nuclei beneath the level of cortex. He says, “Some of those dispositional representations contain records for the imaginable knowledge that we can recall and which is used for movement, reason, planning, creativity; and some contain records of rules and strategies with which we operate on those images. The acquisition of new knowledge is achieved by continuous modification of such dispositional representations.”[24]

There are also other prototypes that arise from outside the individual. These include revelations from God and inspirations from the spirit world. There are well known examples of scientists making their discoveries and artists making their creations on the basis of revelations and inspirations. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung postulated the existence of a collective unconsciousness. He thought that in this collective unconsciousness resided certain fundamental ideas, patterns of thoughts and images, which he called “archetypes.” He added, “Individuals receive messages from that inner world through dreams and intuitive flashes.” In his later years, he became convinced that “in this collective unconsciousness resides a God, and this God needs human collaboration to be fulfilled.”[25]

Arne A. Wyller postulates the existence of a field of consciousness surrounding the earth and calls it the Planetary Mind Field. He believes it sends messages to humankind:

The Planetary Mind Field must hope that as it sends “waves of ideas” out to billions of individual channels, a very few individuals will be open to receiving the ideas. Humans will then be inspired to make intuitive leaps that fertilize their cultural fields.[26]

The Planetary Mind Field participates in this endeavor by transmitting through our subconscious individual selves parts of the Information Field. The emergence of moral, religious, and scientific ideas into our human world has already dramatically and positively altered our human world.[27]

From the standpoint of Unification Thought, Wyller’s hypothesis of a Planetary Mind Field should be expanded to the concept of Cosmic Consciousness. At the same time, Jung’s hypothesis of messages from the collective unconsciousness and Wyller’s view that waves of ideas arise from the Planetary Mind Field can be understood as corresponding to revelations from God and inspirations from the spirit world.

Whitehead, in his process theology, grasps God the Creator as the repository of eternal forms or as the cosmic repository of ideas. Whitehead’s theory is consistent both with the notions of a universal information field with the understanding that humans receive prototypes from God or the spirit world.


c.  Prototypes of the Higher Nerve Center

In Unification Thought, the proto-image and the image of relation, formed within the protoconsciousness in cells and tissues, are called “the terminal proto-image” and “the terminal image of relation” respectively. As terminal proto-images ascend through the nerve path, they are selected or associated and united at each level of the central nervous system, rising to the cerebral cortex to become the central proto-image. Likewise, the terminal image of relation rises to the cerebral cortex and becomes the central image of relation. Here we have the form of thinking; that is, this central image constitutes the form of the prototype that operates as the form of thinking. The central proto-images and the central images of relation, as forms of thinking, together constitute the a priori prototypes in cognition. Antonio and Hanna Damasio’s view endorses this explanation:

Binding takes place in a hierarchy of anatomical sites called convergence zones. Streams of information are combined in lower-level zones and passed to higher and higher zones depending on the complexity of the task.[28]

Moreover, at lower levels of the central nervous system there are images of content and images of relation appropriate to each level, with cognition and response taking place at each level.

d.  The Active Nature of Consciousness

In the sensory stage of cognition, the content and the form of an object are reflected on the sensory centers, forming an image (representation). This is the sensory content and sensory form, and is called the “sensory image.” At this stage, the sensory content and sensory form are only fragmentary images, which have not yet become a unified object of cognition.

Next is the understanding stage of cognition. First, due to the work of the “spiritual apperception,” the prototype corresponding to the sensory image of cognition is drawn from the repository of prototypes (namely, the repository of memories). Then, the faculty of spiritual apperception compares the prototype and the sensory image. Thereby cognition takes place.

According to Unification Thought, the human mind is the union of the spirit mind and the physical mind. Its functional part is called the spiritual apperception. The spiritual apperception is a unity of intellect, emotion, and will. It has active functions including interest (attention), integration, etc. Spiritual apperception might be called consciousness. Accordingly, cognition is made when the consciousness takes interest in an object, integrates the fragmentary images into a unified sensory image, draws out a corresponding prototype from the store of memories, and compares the two elements. Thus, cognition is impossible without the active function of the consciousness.

The fact that consciousness does various active works such as attention, integration (binding) of information, sustaining and drawing of memories, comparison of ideas (images), etc., remains great riddles in the field of neuroscience. Nicholas Wade, a science writer at The New York Times, describes the binding problem as follows:

An emerging feature of knowledge about the brain is that incoming information is separated into many different strands. For instance, faces, letters and colors are processed in different areas of the cortex, the thin sheet of nerve cells that makes up the outer surface of the brain. Even for faces, special attributes like identity, expression and sex are represented in different parts of the cortex. An outstanding problem for brain scientists is to explain how these separately processed attributes are brought together (italics added).[29]

S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist, and Sandra Blakeslee, a science writer at The New York Times, illustrate the binding problem as follows:

If I toss a red ball at you, several far-flung visual areas in your brain are activated simultaneously, but what you see is a single unified picture of the ball. Does this unification come about because there is some later place in the brain where all this information is put together—what the philosopher Dan Dennett pejoratively calls a “Cartesian theatre”? Or are there connections between these areas so that their simultaneous activation leads directly to a sort of synchronized firing pattern that in turn creates perceptual unity? This question, the so-called binding problem, is one of the many unsolved riddles in neuroscience (italics added).[30]

A related problem is the sustenance of memory. Susan Greenfield says:

But common to all these memory processes is perhaps the most mysterious issue of all: We know that some people can remember what happened to them ninety years ago, but by then every molecule in their body will have been turned over many times. If long-term changes mediating memories are occurring continuously in the brain, how are they sustained? Irrespective of brain region, how do neurons register more or less permanent change as a result of experience?[31]

Also, with regard to interest (attention) in cognition, Nicholas Wade cites the example of the development of the brain of an infant:

Furthermore, new studies are showing that spoken language has an astonishing impact on an infant’s brain development. In fact, some researchers say the number of words an infant hears each day is the single most important predictor of later intelligence, school success and social competence. There is one catch—the words have to come from an attentive, engaged human being. As far as anyone has been able to determine, radio and television do not work (italics added).[32]

Hajime Matsumoto, a Japanese neurologist, says that it is emotion and love that activate the brain. In other words, “Generally, emotion is regarded as the lower dimensional function of the mind, but in reality it is emotion that serves as gasoline that makes the engine, the brain, work most.” (36)

The above quoted views of the scientists and researchers with regard to the active works of consciousness such as integration of information, sustenance of memories, necessity of having interest, activation of the brain through love, etc. deal with the active nature of consciousness. These all converge on an ultimate question, one difficult for contemporary science to answer. In Greenfield’s words:

Consciousness brings the mind alive; it is the ultimate puzzle to the neuroscientist. It is your most private place. This ultimate puzzle, the subjective experience of consciousness, is perhaps a good place for any purely scientific survey, namely one of objective facts, to cease (italics added).[33]

The question of the active nature of consciousness cannot be answered no matter how much research may be done on the wiring of neurons in the brain. In order to answer this question, we must think about the existence and function of the spirit self that transcends the brain and affects the neurons in the brain. It is the function of the mind (spiritual apperception) of the spirit self to integrate information coming from various regions of the brain. Also regarding the sustenance of memories: memories are stored within inner Hyungsang, the objective part of the mind of the spirit self. Therefore, even if the brain, which is material, has changed, memories are preserved because the spirit self itself is eternal. Having interest is also the function of the mind of the spirit self. Love is the core of the mind. Accordingly, the power of the mind, which affects the brain, becomes strong when it is centered on love: Love activates the brain.

e.  The Problem of Qualia

In the mind-brain problem, another big riddle is the “problem of qualia.” Qualia is defined as “the raw feel of sensations” (Ramachandran and Blakeslee), “the collection of personal or subjective experiences, feelings, and sensations that accompany awareness” (Edelman), or “the feelings of our sensation” (Kenichiro Mogi). How qualia comes into being through the interaction of neurons is a difficult question. Ramachandran and Blakeslee state the problem:

Philosophers call this conundrum the riddle of qualia or subjective sensation. How can the flux of ions and electrical currents in little specks of jelly—the neurons in my brain—generate the whole subjective world of sensations like red, warmth, cold or pain? By what magic is matter transmuted into the invisible fabric of feelings and sensations? This problem is so puzzling that not everyone agrees it is even a problem.[34]

Referring to the “hard problem of consciousness” raised by philosopher David Chalmers, Nicholas Wade remarks:

The hard problem is this: What is the nature of subjective experience? Why do we have vividly felt experiences of the world? Why is there someone home inside our heads? Thus far, nothing in physics or chemistry or biology can explain these subjective feelings. Dr. Chalmers said, “What really happens when you see the deep red of a sunset or hear the haunting sound of a distant oboe, feel the agony of intense pain, the sparkle of happiness or meditative quality of a moment lost in thought?” he asked. “It is these phenomena, often called qualia, that pose the deep mystery of consciousness.”[35]

Attempts are being made to explain the problem of qualia materialistically from the cluster or the pattern of firing of neurons. But, they will prove to be totally fruitless.

In order to solve the problem of qualia, we should consider that the prototype within the mind has not only images but also qualia. Since a prototype has the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, it has not only information and images, which are hyungsang, but also qualia, which are sungsang. Therefore, for example, when we see a flower, we not only recognize the image of the flower, we also experience the accompanying feeling of beauty. The Unification Thought view of cognition is illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Unification View of Cognition

f.  Souls and God

Hence we see that there are many unsolved riddles in neuroscience, such as the binding problem, the problem of sustaining and drawing of memories, the problem of qualia, and the problem of the activation of the brain by consciousness and by love. In addition, there is a question of what is the “self,” the “I” that watches the world and myself. Ramachandran and Blakeslee say about “self” as follows:

When I think about “myself,” it seems to be something that unites all my diverse sensory impressions and memories (unity), claims to be “in charge” of my life, makes choices (has free will) and seems to endure as a single entity in space and time.[36]

James Trefil, a physicist, also discusses the existence of “I” with regard to the problem of consciousness as follows:

I believe that the most central fact about my existence is I perceive that there is an “I” that observes the world from someplace inside my head. It makes no difference how many details you tell me about the working of my brain and the firing of my neurons. Until you have explained how I come to that central conclusion about my own existence, you have not solved the problem of consciousness.[37]

Most scientists try to explain the “problem of consciousness” materialistically with the interaction of neurons. However, no one has been successful in offering a clear answer to this problem based on the interaction of neurons.

According to the currently trendy field of complexity theory, consciousness is an “emergent property of complexity.” Steen Rasmussen, a Danish physicist associated with the Santa Fe Institute, headquarters of the field of complexity, suggests that “consciousness might be an ‘emergent,’ that is, unpredictable, irreducible, and holistic property of the brain’s complex behavior, just as superconductivity is an emergent property of certain ceramic compounds at relatively high temperatures.”[38] As an emergent phenomenon, the mind would be to some extent independent of the brain processes that created it, and could even exert control over those processes. Hence, it explains how we can have free will.

No one, however, has been able to show what “emergence” really means. Complexity theory fundamentally maintains that spirit is derived from matter, thus it cannot clarify the problem of consciousness.

Then how should this problem of consciousness be solved? Any attempt to solve the problem from the materialist position comes up against a fundamental limitation. The problem of consciousness cannot be properly solved from the materialist position only. It will be eventually solved when we consider another dimension, namely the spirit world.

As mentioned above, according to Unification Thought, it is the human spirit mind, which is the mind of the spirit self, that does the work of integrating information, sustaining and drawing out memories, pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness through the function of intellect, emotion, and will, and so on. Since animals do not have spirit selves, those phenomena are not seen in animals. They have only instinctive mind or instinctive consciousness.

It is the spirit self that sustains human consciousness. Furthermore, behind it is the existence of God. Accordingly, the problem of consciousness will be finally solved only after science comes to pay attention to the existence of the spirit world and God. The statement by Eccles exactly accords with this position. He says:

Since materialist solutions fail to account for our experienced uniqueness, I am constrained to attribute the uniqueness of the Self or Soul to a supernatural spiritual creation. To give the explanation in theological terms: each Soul is a new Divine creation that is implanted into the growing fetus at some time between conception and birth. It is the certainty of the inner core of unique individuality that necessitates the ‘Divine creation’. I submit that no other explanation is tenable; neither the genetic uniqueness with its fantastically impossible lottery, nor the environmental differentiations which do not determine one’s uniqueness, but merely modify it. This conclusion is of inestimable theological significance. It strongly reinforces our belief in the human Soul and in its miraculous origin in a Divine creation. There is recognition not only of the Transcendent God, the Creator of the Cosmos, the God in which Einstein believed, but also of the loving God to whom we owe our being.[39]

Penfield also says, “Scientists now can believe in the existence of souls without hesitation,” and concludes:

Here is a tremendous challenge to us humankind. It is an enormous task no less great than the challenge to the universe. When Albert Einstein found an answer to a scientific question, he said, “The mysteries of this world exist in that they can be understood!” I have no doubt that the day will come when the mysteries of the mind will no longer be mysteries.[40]


5.  Human Beings as the Lords of Creation

a.  Difference between Humans and Animals

A comparison between a human being and a chimpanzee in terms of genes shows that they are 99 percent identical. This means that there is considerable physical similarity between a human and a chimpanzee. Then, what is it that distinguishes humans from chimpanzees? Many neuroscientists and linguists think in common that “only humans have languages.”

Noam Chomsky, a linguist, thinks that all languages have a set of grammatical properties in common that constitute the universal grammar. He has also suggested that “language is unique to humans” and that “there must be a ‘language acquisition device’ that is innate to humans.” Edelman concurs, “we remain the only known systems with linguistically based higher-order consciousness.”[41] Derek Bickerton adds, “Apes lack any abstract representational system that might enable them to draw inferences merely from the signs for, or the ideas of, the objects involved.”[42] He also says, “The ‘intelligence’ of our species differs from that of other species only through our possession of language,” and concludes that “language created our species, and created too the world that our species sees.”[43]

Kanzi, a bonobo (pygmy chimpanzee), has become well known as a “monkey genius that has language.” However, anthropologist Ian Tattersall says, “Kanzi never really figured out what was going on; he evidently imitates the actions of his human teachers without worrying about the exact nature of the results he obtained.”[44] Then he concludes, “In no case could it be shown even to the investigators’ complete satisfaction that an ape had acquired any understanding whatsoever of grammar or syntax, even after the most extensive training… Apes apparently cannot plan and have no capacity for abstraction.”[45] Apparently, despite the abilities of some specially trained chimps like Kanzi who can learn to express their needs by signing, animals lack a skill that is unique to humans: they cannot express ideas.

According to Unification Thought, a human being is a being with creativity. Creativity refers not only to the ability to make things but also to the ability to think, devise, and create things developmentally. Animals show their creativity by making nests, drawing insects from holes using sticks, eating shellfish by breaking hard shells with stones, etc. However, their creativity is instinctive, and is not developmental. In some cases, where animals learn new things by receiving training from human beings, their creativity remains passive. Tattersall says:

If there is one single thing that distinguishes humans from all other life-forms, living or extinct, it is the capacity for symbolic thought: the ability to generate complex mental symbols and to manipulate them into new combinations. This is the very foundation of imagination and creativity: of the unique ability of humans to create a world in the mind and to re-create it in the real world outside themselves. Other species may exploit the outside world with great efficiency, as we saw in the case of the chimpanzees; but they still remain in essence passive subjects and observers of that world.[46]

Tattersall beautifully describes the difference of creativity of humans and chimpanzees:

It must be admitted that apes exploit their images in mirrors far less comprehensively than humans do. It has been noted, for example, that apart from the removal of unfamiliar markings, apes make no attempt to modify their images, even in ways that might make them socially more successful. There is, for example, no hint of a desire to “improve” the reflection and its subject, as humans in all societies (with or without mirrors) do—by cutting or coiffing the hair, for instance, or by embellishing themselves with jewelry or makeup…. Humans are still humans, after all, and chimpanzees are still chimpanzees.[47]
b.  From Early Men to Humans

When and how did early men become human beings? According to most anthropologists, Australopithecus evolved to Homo habilis, to Homo erectus, and to Homo sapiens (such as the Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, and humans). In the process of evolution to Homo sapiens, the size of the skull and the brain increased remarkably. Edelman says, “These are profound and largely unanswered problems in paleontology, anthropology, and archeology.”[48]

According to Bickerton, the appearance of Homo sapiens was not gradual but abrupt. He says as follows:

The suddenness of its enrichment at the erectus-sapiens interface suggests that some wholly new element had emerged. The relative absence of development during the million-year-plus erectus period suggests that this new element’s emergence was sudden, rather than gradual.[49]

He continues, “Since the power to conceive logically precedes the power to create, we may therefore assume that a radical improvement in conceptual power logically preceded a radical improvement in artifacts, rather than vice versa.”[50] Bickerton thus rejects the materialist view that “apes became humans as the brain developed in the process of using tools.” He asserts “humans who became able to think with the development of their brain have come to create things by using tools.” This view accords with the Unification Thought theory of the two-stage structure of creation, according to which thinking or planning precedes and forms the basis for action or creation.

What kind of beings were the Neanderthals, which are considered to be the first Homo sapiens? According to Tattersall, “They [Neanderthals] left no evidence of the creative, innovative spark that is so conspicuous a characteristics of our own kind,” and “Neanderthals had brains as large as ours, and probably did not have language.”[51] It is obvious that the Neanderthals are different beings from us.

Then, how about the Cro-Magnons that replaced them? According to Tattersall, the Cro-Magnons were “people of modern sensibility.” He also says, “It still remains true that the abilities of today’s Homo sapiens—and of those extraordinary artists [Cro-Magnons] of the Upper Paleolithic—represents a huge leap away from those of our precursors.”[52] Accordingly, it can be said that the Cro-Magnons were the same humans as we are, namely the descendents of Adam and Eve. Apparently, we, humankind, came into being suddenly by a leap at some point after the era of the Neanderthal men.

As mentioned above, “only humans have languages,” and “all human languages share the same set of deep grammatical rules.” As Trefil says, “What happens when language is acquired is that the baby fits the vagaries of the language he or she hears being spoken into the framework of grammatical rules that are already wired into his or her brain.”[53] We humans have language, abstract thinking, creative thinking that neither monkeys nor early men have. Furthermore, the basic structure of language and thinking are the same in all humans. Then, how did humans acquire those abilities? The reason is unknown to science. Tattersall says:

Nobody yet understands exactly why brain enlargement and elaboration has been such a consistent, if episodic, theme over the long evolutionary history of humans…. Neither do we know why, at the end of this process, the human brain had become so beautifully adapted for language and symbolic reasoning.”[54]

This question cannot be explained materialistically from the theory of evolution. It is more natural to think that the human brain was developed by creative forces. In other words, God did His work of creation, with the goal of creating human beings (Adam and Eve) stage by stage through the early men, and at the last stage He gave the spirit self to the physical early man and created the human being. The spirit mind, which is the mind of spirit self, has the functions of intellect, emotion, and will and seeks after the values of truth, beauty, and goodness. It also has the basic linguistic structure and such abilities as abstract thinking and creativity. At the same time, it has prototypes including qualia. The difference between humans and monkeys will never be clarified without admitting the existence of the spirit self or soul.

c.  Can Consciousness Be Produced by a Computer?

In the early 1980s there was much enthusiasm over artificial intelligence (AI). In Japan the plan for the Fifth Generation Project was launched; the scientists involved enthusiastically intended to produce intelligent machines within a decade. Many people thought, “intelligent machines will soon leave mere humans far behind.” However, the dream of producing a robot like a human being has not been fulfilled.

David Stork, an editor of science books, says, “In broad overview, we have met, and surpassed, the vision of HAL in those domains--speech, hardware, planning, chess—that can be narrowly defined and easily specified. But in domains such as language understanding and common sense, which are basically limitless in their possibilities and hard to specify, we fall far short.”[55] Computer scientist David Kuck remarks, “Under any general definition… AI so far has been a failure.”[56]

Robots cannot integrate information nor make decisions on the basis of the information. Furthermore, as one of the latest trends in mind-related science, a growing number of cognitive scientists, AI researchers, and neuroscientists have insisted that emotion is crucial to human cognition and creativity. Robots, however, cannot have feelings and emotions. Rodney Brooks, a researcher of AI, says, “We were overlooking some vital component…. We’re missing something. We’re not seeing something that’s there. It’s an elixir of life.”[57] Marvin Minsky, one of the legends of artificial intelligence, disparages various highly mathematical metatheories—cybernetics, information theory, catastrophe theory, fractals, chaos, and complexity theory—proposed as solutions to AI, and says, “You have to get beyond the metatheories to understand how the brain really works.”[58]

Now, let us examine from the standpoint of Unification Thought why artificial intelligence falls short of the human mind. According to Unification Thought, the mind, namely sungsang, is the united being of inner sungsang and inner hyungsang (See Figure 5). The inner sungsang refers to the subject part within the mind, namely the functions of intellect, emotion, and will. The inner hyungsang refers to the object part within the mind, namely what is being thought, being felt, and being willed. Such things as ideas, concepts, laws, and mathematical logic belong to the inner hyungsang.

Figure 5. Mind as the Unity of Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang

The functions of intellect, emotion, and will, which exist within inner sungsang, constitute the active mind. This is the activity of the spirit mind. Therefore, it can never be achieved by artificial intelligence in a robot made of matter. What artificial intelligence can do is limited within the range of the inner hyungsang, the object part within the mind. Inner hyungsang is the place, like a library, where knowledge is stored. Computers play the role of extended human inner hyungsang by such tasks as putting information in order, storing knowledge, calculation, etc. In these respects computers can surpass humans. But they cannot go beyond the dimension of the inner hyungsang. In other words, it is impossible for a computer to give rise to consciousness.


6.  The Road to a New Psychotherapy

a.  The End of Freudianism

In Europe and America in the 19th century, ascetic Christian ethics was in control and on the surface sex was regarded as sinful. Behind the scenes, however, a hypocritical trend of enjoying sexual pleasure was rampant. It was Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) who attacked it. He rebelled against Christian spiritualism and asserted that humans are originally motivated by sexual energy called the libido.

Freud studied medical science and started his career as a medical doctor. He became strongly interested in neuroses such as hysteria, an ailment that made persons ill without any physical cause. He thought that these illnesses were caused by repressing, under the Christian ethics which regarded sex as sinful, the memory of wounds deep inside the mind, particularly by sexual wounds experienced in childhood, for it is sexual energy that affects the human mind at its bottom.

Freud thought that neurosis could be healed when its cause was discovered through psychoanalysis and the patient faced the cause he or she had originally feared to do unconsciously. However, is it really true that becoming aware of the sexual wounds of childhood solves the problem? The answer is no. Moreover, Freudianism came to produce the theory of sexual liberation by the Freudian leftists such as Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse and brought about the age of free sex as we see today.

Today, however, Freudian psychoanalysis is in decline. In addition to intellectual attacks on Freud’s theories, market forces have inflicted heavy damage on psychoanalysis. Insurance policies rarely cover the long hours required for treatment as insurers favor short-term therapies that target specific problems rather than delving deeply into a patient’s past. Meanwhile, psychiatrists are prescribing drugs rather than talk therapy alone for common ailments such as depression and anxiety. Nevertheless, Freudianism as a teaching shows no signs of fading away. Science writer John Hogan writes:

Is Freud dead? Hardly. If Freud were truly dead, why would so many critics still be expending so much energy trying to kill him? The answer, of course, is that Freud still has legions of defenders; for every book attacking Freud there is another taking his part.[59]

For example, Paul Robinson, a historian at Stanford University, highly evaluates Freud, saying, “He will settle into his rightful place in intellectual history as a thinker of the first magnitude.”[60] Eric Kandel, Gerald Edelman and other prominent neuroscientists still hold psychoanalysis in high regard.

Unification Thought takes a position criticizing Freudianism. It should be noted that the truth is expressed in a distorted way in Freudianism. However, if the distortion is corrected, the insights of Freud can be resurrected in the right direction.

b.  Psychotherapy and Physiological Therapy

The history of modern psychotherapy can be understood as a history of competition between psychotherapy, represented by psychoanalysis, and physiological therapy, represented by medicine. Today, the latter is overwhelming the former with successful drug therapies. Moreover, There is a growing trend within neuroscience that asserts that the human mind is shaped by genes rather than by experiences.

Behavioral genetics has sought to displace psychoanalysis by exploring the contribution of genes and environment to various human traits and disorders. Researchers claim that they can find genes not only for relatively straightforward inherited diseases but also for much more complex and common disorders, such as schizophrenia, manic depression, and even alcoholism. Ultimately, scientists hoped, these genetic studies would yield not only prenatal tests but also better treatments and even cures. However, finding specific genes did not lead straight to treatment. Moreover, it has become obvious that finding genes is neither possible nor useful to treat more complicated mental illness.

Behavioral genetics is not the only gene-based paradigm that has sought to displace psychoanalysis as the primary explainer of human nature. Another contender that has attracted a great deal of attention lately is evolutionary psychology. However, for evolutionists who regard the essence of living beings as life force and multiplication force, it is impossible to clarify how the mind of human beings, different from animals, came into existence. For instance, evolutionary psychology offers no special insights into such issues as child abuse or killing of children by parents.

Ultimately, science is running up against the limitations not only to psychoanalysis but also to physiological therapies, behavioral genetics and the evolutionary psychology. None of them deals with the core of the problem.

c.  Complementary Approaches

From the standpoint of Unification Thought, psychotherapy emphasizes the sungsang aspect of mind, while physiological therapy focuses on the hyungsang aspect. It is the position of Unification Thought that sungsang and hyungsang are complementary, united through the Four Position Base (Figure 6). Peter Kramer, associate professor of medicine at Brown University, says, “In the future there will be something called psychotherapy that will subsume psychotherapy as it is currently practiced and psychopharmacology.”[61] That direction exactly accords with the direction indicated by Unification Thought.

Figure 6. Psychotherapy and Physiological Therapy Seen from the Four Position Base

Since psychotherapy and physiological therapy are in a relationship of sungsang and hyungsang, psychotherapy is in subject position and causal, while physiological therapy is in object position and resultant. Therefore, even if physiological therapy solves a problem temporarily, the illness will recur eventually unless its cause is completely eliminated. That is why subjective, causal psychotherapy becomes necessary. What is important is to give a right psychoanalysis and a right psychotherapy instead of the wrong psychoanalysis of Freud.

Freud thought that since human beings are moved at the root by sexual energy, sexual wounds experienced in childhood cause neurosis. From the standpoint of Unification Thought, however, it is not sexual energy but Heart (the impulse to love and to be loved) that moves human beings at the root. Therefore, what becomes a wound of the human mind and causes neurosis is not a sexual wound in childhood but rather a wound of Heart or love. Sometimes a sexual wound may be part of it, but it is not all. More fundamentally, our mental wounds are wounds of love. The real cause is a wound of love as a result of an experience of having been ill-treated by family members or others, or as a result of an experience of being frustrated by not being able to live up to the expectations of family members or others.

Furthermore, psychological problems can be derived not only from experiences in childhood but also from ancestors in the spirit world. The mental wounds of a person’s ancestors—their sorrows, resentments and hatreds, also constitute wounds or burdens in his or her mind. Therefore, psychological treatment for an individual’s wounds from childhood is not sufficient to treat mental illness. It is also necessary to solve the resentment of ancestors in the spirit world.

Carl Jung said that the conscious mind was undergirded both by the personal unconscious—repressed memories and desires from an individual’s own experience, and the deeper collective unconscious—the memories and patterns of behavior inherited from our common ancestors. This psychology of Jung can be said to endorse the view of Unification Thought.

To conclude, in solving problems in the field of psychology, as well as the mind-body problem in general, Unification Thought points to the centrality of the spiritual dimension of the human being: the spirit mind, the spirit self and the spirit world. Its theory of Unitism posits the integration of the spiritual and physical dimensions as sungsang and hyungsang: mind and brain, spirit and matter, psychological treatments and physiological treatments, for the full solution of problems of human existence.



[1] Gerald, M. Edelman, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire (New York: Basic Books, 1992), p. 226.

[2] Rita Carter, Mapping the Mind (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999), p. 204.

[3] John C. Eccles, How the Self Controls Its Brain (Heiderberg: Springer-Verlag, 1994), p. 49.

[4] Quoted from Takashi Tachibana, Near Death Experiences, Vol. 2 (Japanese) (Tokyo: Bungei-Shunju, 2000), pp. 473-74.

[5] John C. Eccles and Daniel N. Robinson, The Wonder of Being Human (New York: The Free Press, 1984), p. 33.

[6] Eccles, How the Self Controls Its Brain, p. x.

[7] Ibid., p. 69.

[8] Roger Penrose, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 152.

[9] Ibid., p. 133.

[10] Harold S. Burr, Blueprint for Immortality (Japanese) (Tokyo: Nihon-Kyobun-sha, 1988).

[11] Arne A. Wyller, The Planetary Mind (Aspen, Colorado: MacMurray & Beck, 1996), p. 187.

[12] Ibid., p. 6.

[13] Eccles and Robinson, The Wonder of Being Human, p. 176.

[14] Wilder Penfield, The Mystery of the Mind (Japanese) (Tokyo: Hosei University Press, 1987), pp. 145-46.

[15] Susan A. Greenfield, The Human Brain (New York: Brockman, 1997), p. 121.

[16] Ken Wilber, ed., The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes (Boston: Shambhala, 1985), p. 193.

[17] Wyller, The Planetary Mind, p. 209.

[18] Ibid., p. 219.

[19] Ibid., p. 225.

[20] Derek Bickerton, Language and Species (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), p. 29.

[21] Antonio R. Damasio, Descartes’ Error (New York: Avon Books, 1994), p. xvi.

[22] Ibid., pp. 117-18.

[23] Nicholas Wade, ed., The Science Times Book of the Brain (New York: Lyons Press, 1998), p. 153.

[24] Damasio, Descartes’ Error, p. 105.

[25] Wyller, The Planetary Mind, p. 234.

[26] Ibid., p. 237.

[27] Ibid., p. 240.

[28] Wade, ed., The Science Times Book of the Brain, p. 223.

[29] Ibid., pp. 108-9.

[30] V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain (London: Oliver Sacks, 1998), pp. 80-81.

[31] Greenfield, The Human Brain, p. 137.

[32] Wade, ed., The Science Times Book of the Brain, p. 152.

[33] Greenfield, The Human Brain, p. 149.

[34] Ramachandran and Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain, p. 229.

[35] Wade, ed., The Science Times Book of the Brain, p. 240.

[36] Ramachandran and Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain, p. 246.

[37] James Trefil, Are We Unique? (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), p. 184.

[38] John Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind (New York: Brockman, 1999), p. 232.

[39] John C. Eccles, Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self (London: Routledge, 1989), p. 237.

[40] Penfield, The Mystery of the Mind (Japanese), p. 149.

[41] Edelman, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, p. 194.

[42] Bickerton, Language and Species, p. 216.

[43] Ibid., pp. 254, 290.

[44]Ian Tattersall, Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1998), p. 56.

[45] Ibid., pp. 64, 68.

[46] Ibid., p. 177.

[47] Ibid., p. 48.

[48] Edelman, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, p. 49.

[49] Bickerton, Language and Species, p. 174.

[50] Ibid., p. 173.

[51] Tattersall, Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness, pp. 5, 74.

[52] Ibid., p. 189.

[53] Trefil, Are We Unique? p. 55.

[54] Tattersall, Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness, p. 230.

[55] Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind, p. 214.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid., p. 222.

[58] Ibid., p. 223.

[59] Ibid., p. 50.

[60] Ibid.

[61]Ibid., p. 119.