Monday, November 16, 2015

Your mind is your temple.

People seek self improvement in all forms when it comes to their own bodies. They take extensive measures to enhance its appeal and prolong its longevity through myriad diet and exercise programs. But what of the mind? The brain has to be the most important organ in the human body. When it fails or falters, we simply cease to be and another version takes our place. This happens all the time, even without escalation via head trauma or debilitating disease such as Alzheimer's. We just fail to notice it because change is a gradual process and one we often take for granted. We'll look to our past self and say things like "I was rather stupid as a kid" or "man, that thing I did sure was stupid", however, in the moment, it never occurred to us that we were being stupid at the time.  For that version of our self, in that moment, we were right and our actions were justified because our brains deemed them to be sound.

The brain however, is not a perfect organ. Through simple imagery, one can illustrate its failings so how exactly can you ever trust what your brain is telling you at any given moment? It's only through trials and experience that people adapt and change their perceptions of reality. Science is the ultimate result of this. A collective understanding that's been accumulated throughout our history by challenging, proving and disproving anything and everything. There are however, individuals out there in the majority, that still subscribe to the idea that their brain is infallible. This ignorance is the true epidemic of our time and precisely why the problems of today seem so insurmountable. As a species, we need to become ultimate observers of ourselves and become aware, not only of our thoughts, but the reasons we're thinking them and that those thoughts, like many others we've had in the past, can be wrong.

The greatest obstacle to our evolution in modern time, is religion.

Religion introduces a very dangerous way of thinking into our psyche which is that irrational beliefs have weight and merit. Opinions and actions no longer have to rely on facts and reality to be justified. The concept that one's own fallible brain is the very thing constructing the missing pieces of one's reality is now washed away in a sea of misinformation and falsehood. Irrational beliefs lead to irrational actions and conclusions. This is the reason for the recent atrocities in Paris as well as the countless others which are carried out in the name of a collective imaginary friend. In the Milgram Experiment, we've seen what lengths people will go to when subjected to an authority figure instructing someone to shock another human being. What happens when that authority figure, in the mind of a person, is the creator of the Universe as they know it?

What happens is that people die, for no rhyme or reason other than the ones created by those who have let their brains run wild. What used to be a free thinking person is now a prisoner of their own mind, or worse, a prisoner of another's manipulations. See, because you're no longer relying on facts, you're that much more susceptible to suggestion, especially if there's a collective that's providing the pieces for the gaps in your own brain. We see this phenomenon in Asch's conformity experiment. All of a sudden, guys like this, merely make a statement in the name of an imaginary friend they share and people start stabbing each other. This is the extreme, yes, but how many other practices, policies and laws are now cemented in our societies due to the fact that irrational beliefs are tolerated and humanity refuses to evolve? Or better yet, grow up?

Behaviour like this can no longer be tolerated. We have enabled a world full of grown infants clinging to figments of their imagination. It's only through healthier minds that the problems of our world will disappear as our ability to picture reality isn't obfuscated by irrational thinking.