It is here that our decisions are made, our battles are fought, and our lives lived. It is our native habitat. Everything we do is filtered through the mind. Psychologists and neurologists have debated for decades on precisely what “the mind” actually is – but it takes only a little bit of calm observation to realize our “control tower”, so to speak, is in control in more ways than just neurologically.
Take stress for instance. Once it sets in, it reduces full performance, and yet it’s “all in the head”. What about relationships? We don’t attribute this department of life to the heart or any other vital organ – relational interaction is planned out initially in the mind first..
So what, you say, nothing new here right? Well, maybe so. If our whole lives are lived in our heads, what goes into our memory affects things like our reasoning. Emotions a attached to memories in our past play into what decisions we make at home, school, the internet, the job site, the grocery store, and the battlefield. Our moral character is the last front for liberty. What happens when relativistic mindsets blur the lines so much that we can’t discern which direction to go? What happens when truth becomes an elusive myth? What keeps us going if our minds cannot conceive of some glimmer of hope to move us forward, to “keep our heads in the game”.
All kinds of expressions come to mind here, but the point is, just because we may physically be somewhere, what’s more important is that we are mentally present. Its becoming a problem to the point where traffic laws have to point out “mental distractions” specifically. Classrooms have “no cellphone policies”, and fortune 500 companies have procedures in place to reduce or remove detractions. Because if our mental focus is comprised, what’s left – a biological shell? It was intended to be a raw mental image. Books we read, whether fiction or nonfiction, captivate our attention with either immersive mental imagery, or intriguing new intellectual content. Some have minds that can track multiple things in almost real-time (commonly referred to as “multitasking”). But while the complexity of the computational abilities of our minds are extraordinary, it must likewise be acknowledged the precious fragility found here as well. If the comparison of the brain to the mind is difficult, the comparison of the mind to the soul is exponentially more so. But we as people are mysteriously aware of “something” beyond what empirical science, psychology, or even philosophy can predict. We see it the eyes. Perhaps there is some physiological explanation for it, but we likewise can tell when someone “isn’t there”.
So it is the responsibility of each mature individual to tend first to his own truth-driven reasoning faculties, but then also for those he loves. Because in the end, we live, and die for the intimate relationships in our lives right? But what about other things that “keep the wheel turning upstairs”?
Dreams, passion, vision, ambition, or inspiration are all elements that will override our normal physiological restraints, foregoing food, water, sleep, dismissing pain, heartbreak, or despair, because there is a glimmer of hope.
Our minds can be “pushed” past thresholds like no piece of mechanical apparatus made by man. And these factors cannot be measured empirically, yet they are responsible for so much, even our continued lives in many cases.