I have been asking about the nature of mind a lot, recently. I have become more and more aware that the way we habitually think and believe and behave IS who we are….who we become……or don’t become.
I am aware that we cannot function in this physical, material world, without the brain. But I have seen dead people……they have ‘gone’, somehow. You can see the body, but yet the essence of that individual is absent. I watched the last minutes, on TV, of Ayrton Senna, and sobbed uncontrollably. Even as I type this, I can feel the tears welling. His body appeared to be so vulnerable, but yet the spirit of that man had been more than immense. Don’t leave us! Your life force is so great, so purposeful……but seeing your body, so still, immobilised, inching out of this world……leaves us raw, afraid…..if YOU go, what sense can we make of life? I talk to him sometimes, as I do to Jimi Hendrix ……and I cannot absolutely say that they respond to me, but I feel that their essence is still alive out there….that the passion, the talent, the desire, is still a tangible force for us to draw upon. I don’t want only the soggy bread of everyday, security – based life to be all I can call upon…….I want to be blown away, mesmerised, humbled…..to learn from those who are not afraid to stretch and snap the boundaries of acceptable and do – able.
And it seems clear to me that the brain and the mind are not one and the same thing. One impacts upon the other, one evolves and develops the other. The brain of a physicist is not likely to allow him/her to become a couch potato who never learns anything new, never asks massive questions, never pushes boundaries. But this compulsion to go beyond what can be ‘seen’ cannot come purely from brain function. The brain alone can’t be responsible for the individual’s creative and responsive evolution. I have met people who are clinical in their approach to everything. I once asked such a woman if she had ever seen a sunset, and found it to be so beautiful that merely seeing it was not enough…..if she had experienced the desire to BE a part of it? She had no idea what I was talking about…..her mind was not programmed that way. She struggled to feel something that could not be rationalised, and had nothing to do with physical and material comfort. Intellect comes from the brain……but the experience of experiencing something, at a ‘feeling’ level, comes from a different place. Ayrton Senna had to have an intellectual understanding of the mechanics and dynamics of motor racing…. and he possessed that, but also something else…..an emotional, intuitive intelligence, spiritual connection to something greater than himself……and on the day he died, he was afraid. He knew, somewhere within him, that something big was coming. As did Niki Lauder, the day he had the accident that almost killed him. Observing their thoughts, their actions, over the week – ends in question, caused me to believe that they instinctively ‘knew’…..but still, decisions had to be made. One lived and one died. But both will always be spirits I cherish and give thanks to…..they operated from the state of ‘mind’ I aspire to. One came from a wealthy family, but worked his way through Formula 1, earning his accolades. The other came from a financially comfortable family who disagreed with his choices, leaving him to make his own way, almost bankrupting himself in the process……but his mind was set……and even severe injury was not enough to cause him to concede. The mind IS who we are, and who we become…..and our programming begins very early in life. Only the most determined, the most passionate, the most driven and visual human beings will ever really scale the heights of life. Many of the most financially successful people do not have much in the way of formal education…….qualifications have not been the secret of their success. One individual can break an ancestoral line……..can be the strong, rather than the weak link, in a firmly established chain that will resist non – conformist behaviour with every ounce of its being.
If you have the ability to recognise your own programming, if you can develop the capacity to see your own mind, to feel its essence (which is not the same as intense, analytical brooding), to realize where your beliefs, ideas, motivations and driving forces, come from…..if you can pick yourself out of the jumble of everything that is actually OTHER people who are living in your mind, along with their philosophies, instructions, attitudes, fears and prejudices, and if you can decide for yourself what you are aspiring to, what you will put your own neck on the line for, you will be coming from an immensely powerful place……..a place at which a highly active brain combines with a consciously defined mind to make something truly great happen……something so meaningful it is likely to outlive you!