What are the requirements to be an expert on mind?

What should be the basic requirements to be acknowledged as an expert who can classify and communicate reliably about experiences of mind? This is an important question we do not talk about enough in our society. The answer determines what the public views as expertise and non-expertise. It determines who we qualify as "knowing that they're talking about", and not. This is especially important when we are talking about the mind, which is much more difficult to define than, say, a physical organ.


Below is a potential list to start with. Please critique with an openness to change and with the goal of helping those who are suffering.

1. Experience w navigating levels of joy, ecstasy, peace, love, fear, terror, sadness, alienation.

2. Experience w navigating "non-ordinary" states of consciousness.

3. Openness to other perspectives with a willingness to work for change.

4. Understanding of how mind & consciousness are seen in different world cultures and why.

5. Experience and understanding of introspective practices that directly influence mind, including and not limited to meditation, mindfulness.

6. Experience and understanding of exogenous substances that directly influence mind, including food, plants, meds.

7. Recognition of the discipline of philosophy of mind and what it reveals about the cognitive positions we employ.

8. Understanding of sociology.

9. Understanding of the history of psychiatry and psychology as formal disciplines.

10. Understanding of nosology.

11. Understanding of pharmacology.

12. Understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system through the lenses of different cultures.

13. Experience with integrating and applying all of the above to help those are suffering.


Note: The order of points does not necessarily reflect their importance.


This suggests to me there can be no single expert on mind because its boundaries are more nebulous than that of a "physical" organ. I'm learning that an expert on mind is in fact a diverse and inclusive collective in which each member has deep insights on each point.

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© 2020 by Anoop Kumar