Mind as a Product of the Autonomic Nervous System

Paula and I just had an epiphany about the essential nature of mind.

Descartes stated ” I think therefore I am . This insight is expressed as “Cogito, ergo sum” (Latin: “I think, therefore I am”) in his Discourse on Method (1637) and as “I think, I am” in his Meditations(1641). Cartesians hold that knowledge—indeed, certain knowledge—can be derived through reason from innate ideas. Meditationshttps://www.britannica.com/topic/Cartesianism

I do not know about inate ideas, but Paula and I think that Ideas and Thinking in general are basic human bodily functions, like digestion and breathing and body temperature and waste removal. The ability to Think and have Ideas comes from human anatomy and physiology.

Paula and I have discovered that ” If I suddenly cannot think then I am not.”

If I suddenly wake up on morning and I can’t think….then I am not able to communicate, read, reason, do my work [especially if it involves abstract thinking or lots of communication], etc… That is what happened to Paula.

I will be able to do stand, sit, move [albeit without much purpose], see and hear….until these functions too become more and more disturbed until I may see or hear things that are not there, or simply misunderstand stuff and my field or vision may become smaller, further complicating my experience. And I will not be aware of what is happening…because that involves thinking; which I cannot do anymore.

You will think that I have lost my mind, because I have. And loss of mind has serious physical health implications, of which we seem largely unaware.

I have lost the “thinking” part of my mind. No one can possibly relate because the production of mind, in our estimation, depends on the proper function of the Autonomic Nervous System. Just like the body takes air and food and magically turns them into energy for life, so does the body take this energy to produce mind. Mind and thought and memory is part of what happens automatically, like blood pressure or rate of breathing or digestion. And we are not aware of a problem with our mind until it fails. And when it fails we will not think to tell you; because we can no longer think. And since mind, like digestion, pain, urination and defecation,etc..is private..and ongoing……felt only by one’s self….it is difficult for others to conceive of losing the ability to think or have ideas.

Mind Failure; it is a real nightmare come true. And then others must learn to recognize “Mind Failure” and investigate the autonomic nervous system in order to find out what is wrong and try to fix it. If your mind ever fails, you better hope that someone will think to check your vital signs, especially your minute volume.

Overview of the Autonomic Nervous System

By Phillip Low , MD, College of Medicine, Mayo ClinicLast full review/revision Apr 2020| Consumer edition/ Content last modified Apr 2020

The autonomic nervous system regulates certain body processes, such as blood pressure and the rate of breathing. This system works automatically (autonomously), without a person’s conscious effort.

Disorders of the autonomic nervous system can affect any body part or process. Autonomic disorders may be reversible or progressive.


The easiest way to access the workings of the autonomic nervous system is to carefully check the Vital Signs.

This is the true significance of Dr Emile Kraepelin’s findings. He discovered the abnormal pattern of vital signs underling this syndrome.

Manic Depressive Insanity is not only a “mood” disorder

[and I would argue that it not a mood disorder….I would argue that it is a form of poisoning. Poisoning involving inadequate removal of bodily waste products [including CO2] causing mild intoxication – dysphoric, euphoric, irritable, and mixed; and gradually resulting in more serious intoxication- causing delusions, hallucinations, psychosis],

…..Manic Depressive Insanity involves progressive degrees of loss of Mind and poisoning of mind due to dysfunction of the body affecting involuntary breathing at rest and the autonomic nervous system. The act of breathing provides the raw materials for cellular metabolism.

Cellular Metabolism

Every task performed by living organisms requires energy. Energy is needed to perform heavy labor and exercise, but humans also use a great deal of energy while thinking and even while sleeping. For every action that requires energy, many chemical reactions take place to provide chemical energy to the systems of the body, including muscles, nerves, heart, lungs, and brain. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/energy-and-metabolism/

The too slow breathing seen in depressive insanity will create an energy deficit. The result is a temporary “life support” requiring a slowing of many systems in order to save energy for later when things improve. It is much like what we see in movies, when a space ship running out of air due to physical damage incurred, will go on automatic pilot in order to buy time until the damage can be repaired.

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