The brain is a social organ – Dan Siegel

Dr Daniel Siegel talking about how he started out as a scientist, trained as a clinician, became a teacher – always excited to learn as much as he could about the mind.

Dan Siegel1… of how as a scientist he came to realise we have to say:

“there is so much we don’t know”

Dan Siegel2


“for me as a scientist working in the field of subjective suffering, as a clinician it really became important to be open to everything”


… of how was using the word mindfulness in a book about parenting to talk of ideas about being intentional before discovering a whole mindfulness community that overlaps with spiritual community..

“so what’s happened for me is a dissolution of the boundaries of science and spirituality”

…how when he was taking at  conferences on spirituality he would say

“I don’t know what spirituality is because I’ve never used the term before, please teach me..”

Dan Siegel5Invariably they say would say the same thing…

Spirituality is two things…
A sense of being connected to something larger than this bodily self
and a sense of deep meaning of the purpose of life.


“I don’t see any need for separation between disciplined practice of spirituality and disciplined practise of science

Dan Siegel6The mind is within us and between us.

“This view is not embraced by the field of psychiatry, its not embraced by the field of medicine, its not embraced by the academic fields, amazingly even of social neuroscience .

For now, the classic “scientific ” statement is ‘’

When we choose to look at it this way ith this belief we get to what we have now…

Dan Siegel7“we look at someone whose mind – their thoughts, feelings, behaviour- is “off” and then we say “oooh! they have a bad brain!”



…and then

“we either iDan Siegel8solate them because we’re afraid of them, or you give them pills, or whatever you do…



Dan Siegel9“but if you don’t first start with communities of support then of course the brain is gonna stop functioning so well,



Dan Siegel‘the brain is a social organ

and that difference in how we view it is all the difference because we take responsibility for each other,

Dan Siegel11


because your mind and my mind are deeply linked ..

and that’s the nature of humanity

Dan Siegel
Clip from interview with Phil Borges for his Crazywise prohject.

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