2020-Oct. A Revised Edition

Where is the mind?

A hard trick set by the brain

By Shigeru Shiraishi

There is the Japanese version. If you are interested in it, please check the following URL.


There is the Smartphones version. If you use smartophnes, please check the following URL.


Chapter 4, Section 3 of this paper, "What Am I?", is explained in more detail in the paper presented at the following URL. I appreciate it if you would take a look at it as well.


Scenes of the seashore

Strange phenomena

1 Top page

On a revised edition

About one year has passed since the paper, "Where is the mind?", was up-loaded on the internet. I have received some comments about it. Some of them are, "The conclusion of the paper is impossible." Other are, "I cannot agree with the thought that the world which is seen before my eyes is not the material world, but at the same time I have come to feel doubts against my thought about the mind." In addition, I received points that "The explanation is not easy to understand".

The last paper was written about ten years ago, and some parts of it are a little out of date. So, I wished to make an effort in the explanation and rewritng it newly. It is uncertain how much it is improved, but I wish it would be.

The first part of the paper, "Foreword", is excerpted as follows.You would be able to know part of the paper's contents, though it is a little long.


Have you ever heard of the question "Where is the mind?", which might seem to be meaningless to you. Perhaps, most of you would not have heard of it.

You may have a strange impression to the question, but you will not think about it attentively. You will think, "We cannot indicate where the mind is, because it is different from matter, and too abstract and vague". It must be a common view about the mind.

It is natural that you do not have a clear idea about the place where the mind exists, because the mind is certainly different from matter. However, if you are asked, "Does the mind not exist?", you will answer, "Yes, it exists". The question would seem to be absurd to you, but it surely touches the core of the true feature of the mind.

The word "microcosm" is often used to express the mystery and the depth of some phenomena, and it is used about the mind as well, such as "the mind is an unknown microcosm" or "the mind is an inner microcosm". As known from these expressions, the mind is assumed to have a vast expanse. Certainly, we assume the mind has a vast expanse, but we think it to be so abstract as to look into a dark well or as to hold clouds in the sky. The concept "unconsciousness", which was originated in J. Freud, shows the circumstances clearly.

The mind surely has vague and abstract parts shown by such words as "intellect", "emotion" and "volition", but it is not composed only of them. The world stretching out in front of us is also the world of our mind.

Please suppose that you are in a room. When you look around, you will see a desk in front of you, a bookshelf and walls at your sides, a ceiling above your head, a floor under your feet, and your body in this side. They all are not existences in the material world but psychological phenomena in the world of your mind.

Of course, I am telling it to you based on the assumption that there exist a room constructed by concrete and lumber, furniture made of wood, and your physical body in the material world. Based on the assumption, I am telling you that the world which is seen before your eyes is not the material world but the apparent material world, so to speak, and the objects which are seen before your eyes are not real objects but apparent objects. In addition, even your body which is seen before your eyes is not your physical body existing in the material world but an apparent physical body existing in the world of your mind. All of them belong to the world of your mind.

You would think that the view is impossible and is more absurd than the question "Where is the mind?" However, what has been told to you now is true. The mind consists of not only abstract elements such as intellect, emotion and volition, but also of concrete elements such as a desk, a bookshelf, a wall, a ceiling, a floor and your body, which you can see and touch. The mind surely has a vast expanse, and it is suitable for the word "microcosm".

Some philosophers already noticed the true feature of the mind hundreds of years ago, and the mystery of the mind seems to have been motivating them to study it eagerly. However, they do not seem to have been conducting an educational campaign to explain it for the people whose specialty is not philosophy. Or, they might have been doing, but unfortunately it must have been ineffective, because the true feature of the mind has not yet been known to us today.

There are some tricks set by the brain which make us believe that the world which is seen before our eyes is the material world, and because of the tricks, it is exceedingly difficult to realize the true feature of the mind.

The modern natural science started in the 17th century, and has been developing greatly up to now. There is a view that the development of science is partly due to Descartes who separated matter from spirit. Namely, it is said that scientists have been able to engage in the study of only physical phenomena since then. Though, it has become taboo to study mind and consciousness in the field of natural science because it seemed impossible to study them in science.

As the research on the brain has advanced, the number of scientists who study the mind from the standpoint of science has been gradually increasing. However, the scientists' view about the mind has been the same as that of common knowledge, and it is not correct. If they are going to study the mind, it is necessary to dismantle the common knowledge about the mind and newly restructure it.

The common knowledge about the mind is not correct, and as a natural result, there are many contradictions in itself. If we carefully examine it, there appear some strange phenomena which cannot be explained by common knowledge.

The first step to dismantle the common knowledge about the mind is to clarify the contradictions which are being accepted as a matter of course. If we notice the contradictions lurking in the common knowledge, we will feel some doubts against them, and the doubts will motivate us to study the contradictions. Through the process of the inquiry, we will be able to clarify the real feature of the mind.

The purpose of this paper

The purpose of this paper is to plainly explain the true feature of the mind, which is sometimes described as a "microcosm", from the standpoint of not philosophy but science. Therefore, this paper is based on the assumption that the material world exists first of all, and the subject will be pursued based on it.

Any preliminary knowledge is unnecessary for you at all. All that is required to you is to be ready to accept the results which will be led by a logical process, without being caught by any preconception. There are some hints for seeing through the tricks in our daily activities, for example, "I am looking at a coffee cup".

This paper is not light reading. It expects you to challenge hard tricks set by the brain. Therefore, it might ask you a little patience to keep reading. But, please do not worry. It is arranged so that you will be able to understand the real feature of the mind by only tracing the story.

This paper does not contain anything religious or moral. However, if you come to understand the true feature of the mind, your outlook on the world and your view of life would change in no small way. You would realize that each human being has the world of mind whose expanse is infinite. As a result, you would come to realize the dignity of each human being once again and have respect for all of them.

I hope so.


You might think my story is pseudo science because it seems to be far different from common knowledge. Therefore, please let me introduce myself briefly. 

My name is Shigeru Shiraishi, graduated from Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) graduate school doctoral course (psychology), and had served as a part-time lecturer at a university in Tokyo, Japan for a long time.

I know well that even if a person has received a professional training in his or her study, it doesn't necessarily assure that his or her idea is scientific. However, I have confidence in my logical pursuing of the question "Where is the mind?", though it might be boastful. 

I would appreciate it if you would read the paper critically. 

n.b. The pictures of the left column are related to the text.

The whole paper is up-loaded in PDF file. It is possible to see the whole paper by clicking the following URL.

Link to the PDF-file: "Where is the mind?"


The paper "Where is the Mind?" is about 110 pages in A4 size, which is a bit large. Taking account of it, I have prepared a shortened version of it, "What am I?" Though it is a shortened version, the necessary contents are summarized in about 33 pages in A4 size without omitting anything important. So, I think it is easy for you to read.

Also, the basis of understanding of “the Mind” is to know what it means to “being visible”. There is a paper "What is being visible?" that emphasizes this point, and it is about 10 pages in A4 size. I think it is recommended that you read this paper first, and then read the paper "What am I?" The URL are listed below.

Address of Papers

What is "being visible"?  A hard tricck set by the brain


What am I?  A hard tricck set by the brain


Return to the top of this page

Copyright(c) 2020 Shigeru Shiraishi All rights Reserved