“A Private Universe”
Each mind inhabits a private universe of its own making. Diane Ackerman
“The mind has a mind of its own,” Old saying.
Probably the greatest asset I have lies right behind my eyes, my mind. Therein lies my own “private universe” — a place where the way I see things and do things is created. My mind has a mind of its own. This blog is a refresher for me, and maybe an interesting reminder for you. It is me getting reacquainted with my mind.
The mind is called a scientist:rational, logical, experimental, and an artist: intuitive, imaginative, creative. I think of the mind as a magical, malleable, multi-faceted personal resource. It has been referred to as a smart computer, a good magician, a library, a dream factory, an adaptive tool box, an enchanted loom, among other metaphors. Notice that there is actually no agreed upon scientific definition of the mind. Another name for the mind, human consciousness, is called the “hard problem” of science. Do you have a definition of your mind?
My mind can remember, imagine, dream, fantasize, intuit, create, think, interpret, etc. My magical, personal resource that I possess right behind my eyes, is capable of empowering me to try to influence my future direction. It is my most valuable resource. The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha
This magical resource of mine will need some training from my inner wisdom. The mind has been referred to as a “wild elephant” that needs to be trained. Is the way I use my mind an asset or a liability? This “private universe” I possess in my head is an asset only if I use it wisely.
My understanding of my mind is handicapped because I have to use my own subjective mind to gain understanding of my own subjective mind. As a perceiver, understanding the way I see things becomes circular. I become both the subject and the object of my investigation The biggest problem in understanding my mind is that I have one.
Metaphor might help. How about: The Mirror of A Compassionate Partner?Maybe for my mind to see itself it needs the aid of a “mirror”. Since we know that beliefs become behavior, it might help to have someone else look at my behavior (as my mirror) and give me reliable feedback about my beliefs. For this kind of skillful reflection I need a compassionate, but honest, partner. I need to ask: “What beliefs do you see behind my behavior?” I might ask myself the same questions and see if my answers differ. And if so, why? How else do we know our minds? What is your understanding of your mind?
We often hear the word mind, yet rarely do we notice that it lacks a clear definition. Daniel Siegel, in his 2016 book: mind