domingo, 29 de septiembre de 2013

166.) The Mystery of the Mind

The Mystery of the Mind

 "Human experience is determined by the nature of the mind and your senses, as well as by the external objects which the mind reveals to you.
To put it another way, it is very clear that in fact, I have no other self than the totality of things which I am aware of. Carpe diem." 

I hope you didn’t take the title to your heart, but do you know it’s possible to lose you mind?
Come to think of it, is your mind a thing or an object that you can conveniently drop off and pick up any time you like?
Your mind isn’t anything like your temper that you can lose any time, as I don’t think the mind is made up of emotions. Or is it?
But then people also say that you can be as you “make up your mind to be”. This signifies that you can create your own mind!
Some suggest that you should “change your mind” to change yourself or your life. It definitely implies that the form of the mind is moldable.
Besides losing your mind, there are other phrases like, to apply your mind, free your mind, bear in mind, and peace of mind that you frequently use in your daily life.
Interestingly, mind is being referred to differently in all of these phrases.
With so many adages and characteristics attributed, doesn’t the mind seem intriguing enough?
I must say that there’s surely something quite magical about the mind.
Having said all that, I think you’d like to know how to control your mind so you don’t lose it, so as to say.
Well, for that you need to try to understand your mind and unveil its magical power.
“Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.” ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
Mystery of The Mind
People including philosophers, psychologists, and scientists differ in their definition and explanation of the mind.
Since it is actually a complex and controversial issue, I’m not going to deal with it in depth because there will still be a lot left uncovered. But let me try and explain it the best way I can.
Some consider the mind as a distinct and separate entity, whereas others regard it as a part of the body.
Further, some say that the mind is localized in the brain, while there are some who believe that it’s not assigned to any particular part of the body.
But one thing you can be sure of is that the mind is not the brain, and the brain is not the mind.
However, many people believe that the mind is surely connected and related to the brain in some ways.
What’s your view about the mind?
Generally, people relate the mind to their thoughts and opinions, which are generated from the brain.
On the other hand, some say that the mind is the “consciousness”. Well, consciousness is known as awareness or an alert cognitive state, and some term it as a state of mind.
Many religions have different views about mind and consciousness. Some of them also use the concepts of “soul” and “spirit” to define and differentiate them.
However, I want to be as simple as possible to define the mind, so you can know it better and learn how to control it too.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” ~ Buddha
What is the Mind
Going by the present modern day assessment, Wikipedia defines mind as:
The set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory.”
In fact, some consider mind as the seat of the faculty of reason, which is responsible for one’s thoughts and feelings.
If so, then mind would be considered responsible for your intentions, desires, wants, and expectations. It may be defined as a way of thinking and an attitude or outlook of life.
Here’s another popular definition of the mind:
The collective conscious and unconscious processes in a sentient organism that direct and influence mental and physical behavior.
I do believe that the mind is also a collection of different processes of your brain and its form or state depends on the “Self”, which is again the core person that you are.
The mind is a complex process in itself that is in a state of flux, and it can be changed, controlled, and harnessed by yourself.

Actually, I’ll draw an analogy to understand brain, mind and the self.
Consider your brain as the computer (hardware), your mind as the program (software), and the Self as the operator (user).
The mind uses the processes of the brain to carry out various functions of the body as desired by the Self.
As part of its function, the mind also controls the senses.
And, because the senses are sometimes under the influence of external factors and conditions, they in turn impact the mind, and the functions of the body.
The mind is just like software, it has no physical existence. But, it cannot exist without the computer or the brain in the body.
However, the good thing is that you can re-program your mind, and it only requires some skill and effort. Once you do that, you can control your mind and bring it in your favor.
I understand there might be a difference of opinion about this topic and I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions in the comments.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Lao Tzu
What Happens When You Lose Your Mind
You feel that you lose your mind when you’re confused and troubled. You either lose touch with the reality of life, or aren’t able to cope with your unrealistic expectations or traumas.
You feel you’re entangled in the web of life, have no control over yourself, and are not able to find any way out.
You lose your mental balance because you lose faith in yourself and your abilities.
Since the mind is continually changing and is unstable in nature, it maintains a very delicate balance between the state of an organized and disorganized brain.
If you lose your mind or if it changes its focus, then various processes of the brain are affected, including perception, thinking, judging, and memory, which might lead to disorientation and disorganization.
Therefore, the personal output and efficiency will be adversely affected.
The person can become depressed, mentally ill, or start behaving in a silly or strange way if the mind loses its orientation and control for a long time.
It is said that losing your mind is close to becoming crazy.  You might do some one-odd crazy act but that doesn’t really make you lose it. :)
However, sometimes people use the term “lose your mind” to mean that you should drop off all your worries and tensions, forget yourself, and just enjoy life!
“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
How to be Yourself and Never Lose Your Mind
Well, it isn’t difficult to remain sane and be yourself.
All it takes is to follow certain principles in life and have requisite qualities in yourself.
• Believe in yourself
• Accept yourself
• Think Positive
• Don’t be judgmental
• Validate before you accept
• Be realistic in expectations
• Think before acting
• Have patience
• Motivate yourself
• Educate and change yourself
• Be focused
• Be fearless and stress free
• Control your mood and temper
• Let go!
This is only a part of the magic potion your need to get hold of yourself.
I’d suggest you read the above post and know all these points in detail.
One thing that will help you live a happy life is to get control of your mind, because that alone will take care of most of the above mentioned qualities.
Sometime you need not control your mind, especially if you’re a creative person or involved in a creative process. But you still need to define its limits.
However, as it is, controlling the mind does not mean that you stop living freely and make your life dull.
It’s about making optimum use of yourself and your life, and back it up with the power of your mind.
A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.” ~ Wayne Dyer
What Is the Need to Control Your Mind
Your mind is quite powerful, whether you control it or even otherwise. It has the capability to learn and develop on its own.
The mind feeds itself with all the internal and external information you directly or indirectly provide it with.
Even a little child has a mind of his or her own. The child gets deeply associated and involved with the developing mind, and begins to believe and obey it.
If ever asked, the child says he or she will do what the mind says. Not to mention, the adults also do that!
In most of the cases, your mind loves to indulge in the senses, derive pleasure, make least efforts, resist change, and remain in a state of inertia.
This is the state when you can say that your mind is working on its own, and rules over YOU. And we make the mistake of equating and identifying mind with the “Self”.
It’s a lot like the situation where you’re the President of your country, but the government doesn’t obey you and prefers working on its own whims and fancies.
Can such a government or a person ruled by the mind ever be successful? I don’t think so.
To be happy and successful, you need to control your mind like an ideal operator. You need to keep it within limits and make it obey your orders, and work as per your instructions.
The mind is like a wild horse. It is very powerful, but to use that power, you got to tame it. Control it with the reins, and teach it to be calm and silent.
Don’t let the mind take you for a ride, instead put a saddle on it and ride it towards the direction you want to go.
Remember that great saints and people have blamed an uncontrolled mind for the sufferings in your life.
“All problems are illusions of the mind.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
You’ll never lose your mind if you’ve control over it. You’ll always remain sane, oriented, and organized if you know the techniques to control your mind.
The mind is not bad or useless. It performs useful functions that are essential for your day-to-day living as well as to be successful.
It just has a wild nature and likes to be free and uncontrolled, and makes you do the wrong things.
All you need to do is educate your mind continuously and constantly.
Make your mind your best friend, and you will never fail to achieve happiness and success.
In my future posts about the mind, you’ll know how to do that.
Till then, don’t lose your mind and keep it intact. :)
Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Over to You -
How would you define the mind? What could make you lose your mind? Why do you think you need to control your mind? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Some expressions with mind:

"Are you out of your mind?"  = Te has vuelto loco?
"Don´t mind him"  = No le hagas caso
"He has a mind of his own"  = Hace lo que quiere
"What´s on your mind?" = Que te preocupa?  / Que estás pensando?
"Bear in mind" = Tener en cuenta
" I had it in mind to go to the cinema tonight"  = Pensaba ir al cine esta noche
"I´ve changed my mind"  = He cambiado de pensar
"Make up your mind"  = Decídete
"He has lost his mind"  = El ha perdido la razón
"Never mind"  = Da igual / no importa
"You blow my mind"  = Alucino contigo
"That never crossed my mind"  = Eso nunca se me pasó por la cabeza

Here is this fantastic song with the lyrics by The pet shop boys " Always on my mind"

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