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Thoughts on Thoughts

posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:54 PM by Eric Banks   [ updated Sep 3, 2011, 4:56 PM ]

It is sweet to let the mind unbend on occasion.

~Horace

 

Please allow me to twist, contort and bend your mind as I get a little philosophical.  I often like to sit and think about deep things, interesting and off the wall topics, imagining the “what ifs” and the “why” and “hows” of science and existence, so, if you would, join me on a brief mental journey and let’s see where we end up…

 

Cognition.  I’m quite fascinated by the fact that we can think about and question our thoughts.  Think about that.  You can think about, examine, observe, and study your own thoughts, pick them apart and scrutinize them as if they were not a part of you…as if they were actual “things”.  That strikes me as odd, but important.

 

We hear the phrase “mind over body” all the time, but if I said to you “mind over mind”, what would that mean to you?  Does it mean to control or subdue your mind with your mind?  How is that possible?  Doesn’t it take something higher or stronger / separate to control another thing / something lesser?  So…you control your mind.  Then…that means you are higher than your mind.  And therefore…you are not your mind?  Then, what is “You”? 

 

Some believe the brain and mind are not equal or the same.  What are the implications of that?

 

Can you pre-think a thought, hold a half-thought in your mind, but not really think it? 

 

Can you nourish two or three thoughts simultaneously?  Can you picture one thing or event in great detail while thinking of a song and solving a math problem or making up your shopping list? 

 

What would happen if we were really, truly able to give one thought our full, undivided attention?  How would things be different?

 

For the most part, most of the time at least, the mind doesn’t act independently and you can call thoughts and images, memories and even feelings to be at will.  It’s like the mind is a computer and I’m sitting at the keyboard operating the system… Does this mean “mind” and “you / I” are separate and distinct?  If so, what am / is the “I / You”?

 

Why is it so difficult to keep out negative thoughts and ideas that you just don’t want hoppin’ around in your head?  Is “keep out” even the most accurate phrase to describe this, since these negative thoughts start on the inside?  And if they don’t start on the inside of “you”, your mind, where do they come from and how do they get there?

 

Instinct and thought are not the same.  One is better than the other, in some situations, but acting purely on one or the other can get you in trouble.

 

Thoughts are very complex when you are learning a complex thing (i.e. driving, calculus, a new kata).  Once you’ve reached a certain level of understanding and comfort with that thing and move by feeling instead of thought, are there still complex thoughts taking place below the surface that you aren’t even aware of?

 

Thoughts in the form of visual pictures and mental images affect your body, and of course, vice versa.  Thoughts affect your emotions.  Change your thoughts, you change your emotions, and you change your life.  Thoughts, ideas, these immaterial, non-corporeal generations, are extremely powerful.

 

Proverbs 23:7 says “…as a man thinketh, so he is…” and according to Romans 12:2, transformation comes by the renewal of the mind…

 

If it’s “all in your head”, shouldn’t it be easier to control since whatever “it” is, is without weight or dimension, or physical force?  Or, by that definition and description, does it make it even more difficult to control?

 

If we are what you eat, and we are what you think, shouldn’t we be just as, or even more concerned about what we allow into our minds as we are with what we put into our bodies?

 

Just what are babies and cats thinkin’ about when they look at you that way?

 

That’s all, I think.  You may now unbend your minds.

 

EDB

12.07.10