All in the Mind (1)

3 02 2008


Is there any experience that we can have that doesn’t involve the mind? I don’t think so. In that case the mind is incredibly important when thinking about experience. The mind is capable of deceiving us and so everything may not be quite as we might like to think. The whole of the Matrix films are based on this premise – that actually it’s all in the mind and nothing is real. Shades of Hinduism I seem to remember. Also shades of the stuff that students discuss; is this world real or are we dreaming it all.
There are certain people who espouse this unreality and try to kid the rest of us that they genuinely believe this, but I notice they always enter rooms through doorways and never walk through walls. I also notice that they still use lifts or elevators and don’t fly down. I notice they still get ill or have accidents and then groan and moan about their condition. It may be a dream but a dream with very fixed rules and those rules are quite different from the ones we find when we do genuinely dream.
I’ve also noticed that we CAN control our minds. Yesterday I went to write a blog and felt quite unhappy about what I had written and so changed my mind and went back and wiped it. It was a conscious decision based upon rational thoughts.
The apostle Paul wrote to his young associate, Timothy, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  (2 Tim 1:7). I find that interesting because it suggests a blend of spirit, mind and behaviour. A timid person is one who is “easily alarmed or shy”. Timidity, therefore, starts in the mind. It is about what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general. What we think then translates itself into retiring behaviour.

So I watch as a person becomes a Christian and God unites His Holy Spirit with their spirit, and suddenly there is an assurance that feels strong, feels full of love, and feels completely in control. (Well that’s how it should work!) The transformation of the mind that has been impacted by Spirit, results in a transformed life.
Book shops have shelves filled with self-help books, and those that deal in self-esteem start by addressing the way we think. We’ve learnt a lot in recent decades about the mind. I’ll talk about this in the blogs each day in this week ahead. In these sorts of books there is always a blend of truth and deception, and I’ll explain that as we go through the week. May it be a good week! It’s a fun area to think about.





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