First of all, modern science does not recognize the soul, but rather they are struggling with the difference between consciousness and the brain. I was just at a mental health presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, which was focusing on the use of psychedelic drugs in treatment. One of the presenters said: “We do not understand the difference between consciousness and the brain.” I asked this member: “Then how can you effectively treat illnesses of consciousness?”
The best modern scientific research on this subject is being done by the Division of Perceptual Studies – University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Greyson, who has spent over a half of a century scientifically researching thousands of Near-Death Experiences. Through this extensive research, this is what modern science is willing to say:
The seventh lesson is that NDE’s raise questions about the continuation of consciousness after death. If it is true that minds can function in extreme circumstances without physical brains, that is may be possible that minds can continue to exist after the death of the brain.
An answer to what happens after death, may be beyond today’s scientific methods, or it may be just beyond our scientific imagination, but the scientific answer, if it ever comes, will likely be through indirect evidence, like the trail of bubble subatomic particles leave in a bubble chamber. I don’t know if some kind of continued consciousness after death is the best explanation for NDE experiencers seeing loved ones that no one knew had died, but I do not have any alternative explanation for the evidence. We may eventually come up with another explanation, but until then, some form of continued consciousness after death seems to be the most plausible working model. The evidence, that under extreme conditions, we can see beyond the range that our physical senses see and hear, and that we can remember things our physical brains have not processed, comes not just from NDE’s but from a variety of research avenues. So, it makes sense to me to live our lives as if this is really the way things are. That we are more than our physical bodies, that some part of us may continue after our physical bodies stop working, and that we may be intimately connected to something greater than ourselves. And that has tremendous implications as to how we live our lives, and for what makes our lives meaningful and worthwhile.
Modern science has come a long way in the past 30 years on this subject, but practicing doctors are still being taught that a human is purely a physical being. Until doctors and researchers are taught what Greyson has discovered, those suffering illnesses of consciousness or of the soul, will not receive effective care.
Back to your original question: What is the difference between the soul and the mind? Greyson hints at this point in his NDE studies. He says that the experiences people have when their brain is not functioning are more real than normal memories, because consciousness (the soul) is not being filtered by the brain. Humans who have reached a high level of enlightenment are able to access the unfiltered knowledge and wisdom of their soul.