And yet again I’m taking a stab at my blog challenge, wherein I must write at least 500 words on a topic chosen and voted on by my Facebook friends. Shit can get weird when you leave something like that up to friends that get their rocks off by watching you suffer. Sometimes the winning topic is political, sometimes philosophical, sexual, absurd, and sometimes, like today, it is something I think a lot about.
So, a big thank you to Scott, one of my oldest and dearest friends.
And now that your minds are all lubed up, let’s plunge right in.
The first thing that came to mind was brainwashing, which always gets me to think of the first time I heard the term. I was between 8 and 10. Two of my early comedic heroes, Tom Hanks and John Candy, were staring in another movie together, the first being Splash. This particular movie was about them getting roped into Green Peace, or something like that. I haven’t seen it since, and I purposefully don’t look things up when it’s for a blog challenge. That feels like cheating. Anyway, Mr. Candy gets kidnaped by locals and Hanks says that he has been brainwashed. I think there were tits in the movie too…. Anyway, it was years before I realized brainwashing had nothing to do with soap and water, and was instead a systematic conditioning of someone else’s mind.
Mental Hygiene is a bit like that, but with one’s own mind.
The “mind” as we know it, is not a singular thing. Rather, it is a conglomeration of physical parts of what we call the “brain.” Each part, or region, of the brain has a particular function, independent of the other regions. There is a region for language, for motor control, for speech, sight, hearing, anger, hunger, and they all work together to form what we know as “Me.” But really, it’s more like “Us.” Our minds are made up of multiple “Consciousness’s.” We are more than the singular voice in our heads. That “voice” just happens to be the consciousness that can think in words. Our emotional selves are separate from our logical selves, when are both separate from our speaking selves. Ever have an emotion that you couldn’t put into words? Or follow a logical path that doesn’t “feel” right? This is because the connections between regions are limited. There is only so much information that can be shared. The movie Inside Out is more accurate that many people realize, even if it is a rip-off of Hermon’s Head.
I’m not making this shit up, really. I urge you to peruse Sam Harris’s book “Waking Up.”
Anyway, the singular hive mind we call the brain, is a physical thing. And like every other part of your body, it needs rest, as well as exercise. Use it or lose it is more than a simple adage. The more you do something, be it solving math problems or reflecting on emotions, the better you are. If all you did was bench press weights, you’d have strong arms and chest, but you’d look like a bag of lumpy muscles on stork-like legs. Dude, you forgot leg day! Work on each region of your brain like you would regions of muscle. Reflect on your emotions. Practice logic puzzles. Play an instrument or sing. Juggle. Read, for the love of god, read!
We become what we practice.
If you practice thinking about all the negative things in your life, you will get really, really good at it, to the exclusion of the good. If you hide from your feelings, you will get very, very good at it, to the detriment of your happiness.
Also like your muscles, your brain needs rest. SLEEP. I can’t stress enough how important sleep is. Beyond sleep, meditation is wonderful. It’s like a warm, candle lit, bath for your mind. With proper meditation, you begin to understand that you are more than the singular voice. You are many, trying to work together as one. Give each part of you the attention it deserves. Give each part exercise, and rest. And love.
And with that, my time is up. I gotta get this posted.
Anyway, thanks for reading. As always, tell me how I got everything wrong in the comment section.