Mechanistic scientists believe that the brain and the mind are one and the same. A 55 million $ computerized atlas of the human brain has recently been built for purposes of studying not only organic diseases involving the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism but also psychiatric illnesses such as depression that are supposedly believed to originate in the brain (“Atlas Gives Scientists New View of the Brain,” Wall Street Journal April 13, 2011.)
The atlas may have value in pinpointing organic brain diseases; however, equating the mind (psyche) exclusively with the brain and not with the whole body which includes the brain has been downright destructive because it has set the stage for mechanizing the practice of psychiatry. Through a better understanding of brain physiology, psychiatrists hope that they somehow will have a pharmacological cure for mental illnesses by altering brain functioning.
This view of mental illness has brought about the current deplorable state of psychiatric practice where the diagnosis and treatment of every patient is exclusively determined by the symptom that is exhibited. From the symptom, a drug has to be manufactured that is hoped to be “tailor made” to treat in cook book fashion the “brain disorder” that is responsible for it.
Since, however, psychic illness is the result of a disorder of the whole body and not just the brain, this pharmacological goal can never be reached no matter how well brain physiology is understood. Sooner or later the psychiatric profession will have to realize the futility of this mechanistic-mystical approach. They will have to come to grips with the enormous destructive consequences of their erroneous ways of thinking and start thinking functionally. What they must attain in order to effectively treat psychiatric disorders is not a better psychiatric drug but a functional understanding of the simultaneous identity and antitheses of psyche (mind) and soma (body) that underlies health and disease.