Psychological View On Mind In Buddhism

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In Buddhism, the study of the mind is classified as an internal science. Psychology (the study of what the mind is) and cognition (the study of how the mind works) are important aspects of the spiritual path. Although medicine and logic are considered external sciences, and more importantly, they are given less importance compared to internal sciences. Because everything that the Buddha taught, everything in the Buddhist canon, helps to get rid of suffering and attain happiness, it only happens with the mind. Medication can heal the body, but it cannot make us happy. 

According to Buddhism, physical health is also linked to mental states. Therefore, the real threats to our well-being are the three basic deceived minds of attachment, anger and ignorance, which can lead to all other suffering, both mental and physical. Only by fully understanding the mind and its functions can we overcome the confusing thoughts and emotions that plague us. 

While the ultimate goal of studying the mind is complete freedom from suffering, we can also study the mind for more immediate therapeutic reasons. Investigating the mind by analyzing our thoughts, emotions, and so on is the first step to alleviating all manner of mental illnesses. In his first teaching, the Buddha compares the stages of freeing the mind to recovery from an illness: if we don't first recognize that we are ill, we won't seek help, and if we don't know the origin of our illness, we cannot choose the most effective therapy.

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