First of all — a little definition is probably in order…
The “mind” is (most likely) the collected experiences of the person — it’s the bit that’s aware that I’m at a Starbucks in Minneapolis right now, sitting on a kind of uncomfortable chair, checking e-mail and wondering what y’all will have questions about next in the class. It’s the part of me that loves my husband, hates mansplaining, and if that stuff was different, I wouldn’t be “me”.
The “body” is the physical stuff that can be easily seen (or, seen if I’m opened up) — I see my hands, I realize I probably need a haircut, I smell like the Gucci cologne I can’t afford but that was a wedding gift I lost for a year or so, I’m wearing a sweater, jeans, glasses and shoes… The body is what people experience about me before I open my mouth and share my thoughts… My body is the thing that still has 2 optional internal organs in it (the spleen and appendix if you’re wondering) — it’s the thing that I’ve been looking in the mirror at for 46 years.
One of the big questions is, would I be a different person if I were (suddenly) in a different body — not a morphed body, but a very different body… if I were in a cat body or something? Probably… my physical brain would work differently. I’d have new experiences going forward and the world would react to me in a different way…
Which brings us to the trickiest of questions — the mind is (assumed to be) non-physical…. it’s experiences, memories, thoughts, reasoning, moods, feelings, inclinations etc — all of which come down to non-physical stuff. The body is — clearly — physical. It occupies space, it gets damaged, it heals, it grows and shrinks etc..
From observation we know that the body and mind influence one another (ever been hangry? ever physically feel lighter when you’re happy? ever enjoy really good sex?) — but HOW does it happen. The body is all about physical cause and effect — you trip me, I fall down. The mind is all about reason and emotion — they may cause one another back and forth — but how does the mind/body boundary get crossed?
Honestly, I don’t really know — there are lots of theories… they range from claims that there are no bodies, only minds — to minds just being another body function — and everything in between. It’s a problem… duh :).
I’ll tell you one thing, this is my cat Tera — she seems to have the mind/body/nap thing down… maybe cats really are in charge of the world?