How do I get healthy? – Eat better and exercise more.
How do I become successful? – Work harder and smarter.
How do I find happiness? – Be grateful for what you have, pay it forward, and take a vacation occasionally.
It all seems pretty easy to grasp, but then why are two-thirds of the United States obese, success is hard to come by, and more people seem to be caught up in all the negativity which surrounds them instead of enjoying the beauty in life? We visualize who we want to become, and yet, the circle of misery continues – even news channels fill our minds full of terrible things happening all over the world. We have all fallen prey to these jaundiced conditions.
But yet, something is missing, isn’t it?
Are we all just governed by an unconscious process? I’d like to think we were more complicated than that… What’s the connection between mind and brain?
While it is clear that we are inescapably tied to the three pounds of peculiar computational-material which is found between our ears, the brain is extra-terrestrial to most of us. So how is it that our hopes, fears, personalities, and aspirations can all rely on the purity of our biological tissue matter? How do we know this, anyway?
Well, I’d bet it is because when our brain changes, we do too. Suddenly, our decision-making skills, personalities, fright or flight, the capacity at which we are able to name animals, or see colors – it all changes. The brain can be altered by drugs, tumors, strokes, trauma, or disease. As much as we would all love to live in separate existence from our mind and body – mental and physical separation are not possible. Let me clarify what I mean, all while strengthening and deepening the mystery and awe of it all.
Our brain is usually associated with our mind – but they are far from the same. Your brain is a part of your body, but your mind, well, that whimsical creature lives in its own world of unparalleled wisdom and reflection. While it is true the brain does function as a guide through our consciousness, it is not what controls the mind. Your mind can take you anywhere – every cell in your body, every social journey, even your worst nightmare.
The brain acts as a connection between your body and your mind; if you burn yourself, you feel pain; when someone breaks your heart, you feel suffering – as long as you are neither a zombie nor a cyborg, that is. Every human is able to feel these connections. I will be content with sharing this information with you as long as I won’t find you trying to chew off my leg, while you are foaming green ooze from the mouth – we can continue.
You have a conscious, mental life. As you read this, you have a clear range of mental thought, a cyborg or zombie do not. Doesn’t that mean your mind contains features which your brain does not?
Let Your Body Speak To You
It is clear that we humans are thinkers. Our thoughts are bound together by affiliations which are rational. If you are hungry, and you believe you can control your hunger with a flame-broiled masterpiece, you are going to get to that meal whether you have to skip, run, or jump to get there. Do you think these thoughts and actions just happened out of mere luck? Think again. This sequence was a rational chain of controversy within. What if they weren’t though?
What if that cash you just handed over was the only money you had, and you needed to call a cab for a ride home? If you eat this burger, you may end up walking home from a bad area in town, only to be dragged into a dark alley somewhere (not by zombies), and become the next days headline in some mass-murder case? I guess your rational thought had better kick in, avoid the burger at all costs, and call that cab, huh?
So, it seems true that these rational orders rely purely on your mind – what in your brain would correspond to that? We know that the brain operates in a network, but where lies the rationality in these said networks? Your thoughts have to make sense – which most often do, thanks to our minds. Our brains on the other hand, simply are.
If Stress Was A Diet, We Would All Be Super Models
Stress… when you wake up screaming, and then you suddenly realize you haven’t even fallen asleep yet. Stress is basically disconnection from earth, a forgotten breath, an ignorant state. It believes that EVERYTHING is an emergency, yet NOTHING is important; the inability to differentiate between what is happening, and what you THINK is happening. Sound familiar?
There have probably been a few times, at least, when a negative response made things ten times worse, right?
Let’s say you are working on a project, a very complicated project, for months on end. You’ve done all your research, spent hours unearthing details which have now spilled into your ‘me’ time. Great. Basically, this project has consumed you. Just when you think you’ve got all your ducks in a row, your boss mentions in passing not to forget something you had (prior to this moment) been completely oblivious to… All your hard work, everything you have done up to this point – a complete wash.
It takes everything you’ve got not to go ballistic, not to go gangster on him, not to scream, yell, or throw things. You can’t afford to, you would just make things worse, because then, you would also need to find a new job.
Your brain is all about dopamine. It does not have its own panoramic vision of your mind, like you do. It can mess up; get hooked on pills, develop eating disorders, or even get sucked into weird porn, but hopefully not. The point is, without first consulting with your mind, your brain doesn’t possess the capabilities to understand when enough is enough. It just knows when something is good, or even great. Ask Tiger Woods, his mind doesn’t matter, and he doesn’t mind!
Okay, no more stabs at pro-golfers.
Bottom line is this: If you are not making this world a more wholesome, compassionate place, your mind is not satisfied. If you find yourself separating from others – your mind is craving more. You can’t starve your mind by feeding your brain — so start satisfying your mind, and your brain will follow. Your mind is your door to the universe; the harder it is to love someone or something, the more you must focus on actually loving it. Giving and receiving is an important part of neurotransmitters functioning correctly in your mind. All of this reflects the comprehensiveness of philosophy, where you will find nearly all problems overlap themselves. Perhaps we should only expect this as the minds investigation of itself and its place in our natural world.