Around three hundred years ago, the French philosopher René Descartes introduced the concept of dualism: body and mind. Physical and mental. Most people are familiar with these terms as the concept of dualism sneaked into our Western society. Words like body and mind, as well as physical and mental, are frequently used by people all around the world. There is only one problem. The concept is incorrect.
Fruit and apples
Just imagine someone would talk about ‘fruit and apples’. This would probably sound strange to you as apples are part of fruit. If someone would say ‘fruit and vegetables’ there will be no alarm bells as vegetables are something else than fruit. In other words, one only talks about ‘fruit and something else’ if the something else is outside the category of fruit.
Body and muscles
It’s the same with ‘body and muscles’. This sounds wrong as muscles are inside the body. If someone says ‘body and muscles’ it sounds like the muscles are outside the body. This is my body and over there are my muscles. If someone would say ‘body and chair’ there will again be no alarm bells as a chair is not a body part and therefore outside the body. In other words, one only talks about ‘body and something else’ if the something else is outside the body.
Body and mind
Let’s use the above reference to have a closer look at the concept of dualism. By talking about ‘body and mind’ what Descartes was literally saying is that the mind is outside the body. This was not what he meant to say because he located the mind somewhere deep inside the brain. In other words, he located the mind inside the body and not outside the body. Therefore, Descartes used an incorrect reference to say what he meant. The ‘body and mind’ concept is only correct if the mind is located outside the body. If one locates the mind inside the body, and in particular inside the brain, the ‘body and mind’ reference is incorrect. In that case there is only a body and not a ‘body and something else’.
‘Mental’ does not exist
The body is a physical entity. This means that all underlying body parts are also physical. So, if there is only a body (and not a ‘body and something else’) we only need the word physical. In this reference the word ‘mental’ is not necessary and, therefore, does not exist. Only when the mind is located outside the body we need a second word besides the ‘physical’ body. In that case, the word ‘mental’ would exist. Just imagine someone calls himself a ‘mental’ coach. That means this person is either coaching something outside the body or this person is coaching something that does not exist. This conclusion is the logical consequence of the above philosophical analysis. What these people are coaching in reality is not ‘mental’ processes but ‘physical’ processes. They are coaching processes that take place inside the ‘physical’ body and in particular in the ‘physical’ brain.
A thinking disease
So, the word ‘mental’ does not exist. But even in the medical world they struggle with this concept of dualism. Some people suffer from depressions. This is called a ‘mental’ disease. These people have negative thoughts and these are influencing everything in their daily life. When they go to the doctor they will often get anti-depressions. These are chemical hormones. The patient should take these hormones in an attempt to restore the hormonal balance in the body. Next, this restored hormonal balance will hopefully result in more positive thoughts. How physical/physiological do you want to have it? In other words, even in the medical world very intelligent people are still using an incorrect reference and terminology. Depression is a brain and thinking disease. A physical disease.
In football, from now on we do not talk about mind and mental anymore. It’s body, brain and thinking (amongst other things).