Descartes and the dualists were right, minds and souls are metaphysical and therefore outside the physical world.
This tree is made almost completely from air, water and sunlight. This is just chemistry in action, no “life force” is required.
Monists believe that only one type of thing exists – physical stuff. So our minds and consciousness arise entirely from physical processes in our brains.
Minds and consciousness are purely informational and entirely different from physical stuff like brains.
Language gives us an expanded thinking ability, but also the illusion that we are different from animals even at the basic level of sensation, feeling and emotion.