Sunday, January 6, 2013

Open Mind

-What the fuck does that phrase mean? No one has ever had their minds literally opened, you can only open your brain out-which doesn't help open your mind, it just exposes your brain and may result in death, or at least some gruesome injury. No, mind and brain are two different things that, despite the fact that they are essentially intertwined with each other, is still different; forget the common utterances of common people who say of idiots as having no brain; they're actually referring to the state of mind, but saying that one has got no mind is also untrue in a literal understanding, since having no mind means you're dead-but as some religions hold that your soul preserves your mind, which means that your mind is as immortal as your soul, so your death might not necessarily mean the disappearance of your mind, and it is more appropriate to say that mind is only absent when the soul is also absent, that is the state of neither living or dying, or might I say an inorganic state.

-But of course we are not entering a discussion in which people try to define what soul refers to-Leibnitz has done that in his treatises concerning monadology-, but rather I would rather talk about the openness of mind in a conventional sense; that is, a state where one is willing and able to input any information into his mind without having a preset reaction set for any information that his mind receives; or rather more simply, not having a prejudiced state of mind. Open-mindedness is a hard state of mind to perpetuate in any given setting; All of us have some mechanism that prevents us from dangerous things, be it objects, individuals or ideas; and this mechanism works as a kind of censor board, the 'self censor' that prevents us from having a totally open mind, regardless of our best conscious efforts. This mechanism is created in an early formative age, at a time when it is essential for us as children to input things into our mind, and in order to make sure we don't go against the community, for our own safety, our subconscious works to suppress our ego, and this self-censorship is one of the mechanisms involved in the process.

-Thus, by the time you're a teenager, most of the time, people are already having prejudices. That is normal, nobody will question too much; for it is safe and comfortable to be having prejudices, as you know who to love and who to fear-and hate. As we are by nature a predatory, resource-gathering species, these feelings-love and hate-are very important, as they define our behavior in a lot of ways; They make us humans. Open-mindedness is not something that comes directly out of nature ready-made; it is something that develops out of this prejudice, as we input more information into our minds naturally, to discover the world (and the discovery of the world, or the Other, lead to us discovering and defining our Selves), and it can be said that prejudice comes before open-mindedness-prejudice has to come first.

-But prejudice doesn't come as something that is a priori  either; what is first there is plain emptiness, an emptiness where even the Self is not properly developed; the Self has to acquire the essence of being Self from obtaining information from the Other (moms teaching their kids language is a fine way of demonstrating this concretely), and in this state the mind, being of a dark, formless nature (quoting from the Torah, as in the beginning of Genesis) is open and willing to receive any command from the Other (in a Quranic fashion, 'Kun fayakun', or Biblical fashion, 'Yehi Or Vayehi Or')-and thus this emptiness, being the default state, can be said of as the real open-mindedness. But nobody in their adulthood has this open-mindedness anymore, and attempts at reaching it can be disastrous, although for some enlightened minds who are able to reach it, the results are an extreme, unspeakable joy, being Heaven or Nirvana itself.

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