Sunday, February 27, 2005

You’re Out of Your Mind

For most people, being told “You’re out of your mind” is not considered a compliment. It’s the kind of putdown someone throws your way when they feel you are behaving in an irrational, reckless or destructive manner.

But being told “You out of your mind” could just as easily be the highest accolade any of us could ever receive.

We humans tend to use our minds too much and our brains too little. We analyze, strategize, romanticize, idealize, mull over and dissect almost every stimuli that we are conscious of. We add, subtract, multiply, divide, quantify and qualify the world around us. We take this digested information and collate, merge, separate and amalgamate it into a pretzel-like rationality in order to fit it inside of preconceived notions.

Yet, for all of these histrionics, our lives are beset with self-doubt, anxiety, fear, alienation and a certain amount of self-loathing. It almost seems like we simply don’t possess the necessary tools to make sense of ourselves and the world around us.

It’s so unfortunate that far too many people don’t realize we each DO possess an amazing apparatus that can synthesize far more than we could ever imagine – It’s called the brain.

Our brains are the computers that run our bodies. Our brain controls all the involuntary functions that keep us alive from minute to minute. We don’t have to think, “Take in air and now expel it” to breath. We don’t consciously have to direct our digestive system to digest food. When we suffer a cut or a bruise, we don’t have to tell the cells in our body how to regenerate themselves.

With all the amazing processes that our brains control WITHOUT our minds needing to play an active role, why then don’t we apply our brains to the everyday occurrences of life? Why don’t we encounter situations and let our brains figure out the most logical courses of action? Why must we always gum up the process by calling on our minds and not our brains?

Actually, almost by accident, we do sometimes allow our brains to take center stage. We’ve all heard of athletes being in “the zone”. Most of us have, at one time or another, been hit with an inspiration which has led us to scribble out a beautiful poem, sing a song like we’ve never sung before or spring into action to solve a crisis.

In such instances, we aren’t consciously thinking but reacting in tune with the circumstances and situation. In essence, we’ve allowed ourselves to go “out of our minds”.

This represents a key teaching of Taoism – Don’t throw a roadblock into the transmission lines by thinking. It only causes clutter. Be one with the Tao and the Tao will work through you.

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