The ethical discipline®



What Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza and Leibniz said on Mind & Body:





CA 800 BCE


Body is only an instrument used by consciousness, while consciousness is not the product of the body.


Body and mind are one vital unity – they are a whole but at the same time unchangeably different – each is acting on the other, but not derived from each other.


They recognized a close connection of mind and body - A psychophysical phenomenon.1


1596 – 1650 CE


In his book “Meditations”, he wrote, “the act of understanding is distinguished from that of the imagination. 


The human mind is shown to be really distinct from the body, and, nevertheless, to be so closely conjoined therewith, as together to form, as it were, a unity." 


According to him, mind is diametrically opposed to body. Mind is active and free though the mind influences the body and the body also influences the mind, i.e. they interact with each other.


These two substances mind and body are created by God.


1638 – 1715 CE


Malebranche wrote in 1674 in his publication “De la recherché de la verite” that God is the one and only true cause. 


Not only is there no influence of mind on body or body on mind, there is no causality operative at all except in so far as God, The One True Cause, intervene to produce the regularities that occur in experience.


1632 – 1677 CE


Spinoza’s theory was based on the notion that the mental & physical are simply different aspects of one and the same substance.


For Spinoza, the single substance was god. 

Although the personal survival after death is an illusion, there is nevertheless something in the human mind that is eternal. 


The mind can only imagine or remember while the body endures, but there is in God an idea, which expresses the essence of this or that human body under the form of eternity, and this idea is the eternal part of the mind. 2


1646 – 1716 CE


The German historian, mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat presented the famous articulation of psychophysical parallelism that soul and body exist in a pre-established harmony.


Comparing soul and body to two clocks that agree perfectly. Parallelism – The Notion That Mind And Body Exist In Harmony That Has Been Pre-Established By God From The Moment Of Creation. 


Leibniz held that every soul mirrors the universe, not because the universe affects it, but because God has given it a nature, which spontaneously produces this result.


His contention that “our inner world is richer, ampler and more concealed,” was well known to the Indian writers of the Upanisads. 1


   Source: www.

1. Indian Philosophy by Radhakrishnan

2. History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell  






Life & Yoga
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1.Introduction to Yoga
1A. Yoga Origin
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2. Body & Mind
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