The mind and consciousness are probably the biggest enigma that the human race has ever faced.
We can ask questions, examine and philosophize, but it is more likely that we will never completely understand this phenomenon.
But although we are aware of its importance for us (obviously) and its unique structure and "methods", it seems that we forget that it is nothing but another organ. A very developed and essential one, but still an organ. And as one, we need to give it the respect and care it deserves - both mental and physical.
We need to remember to let it rest, to take breaks when working hard and to "gaze at the air" every now and then.
But on the other hand, we need to "feed" it with knowledge, and challenge it. For if we don't, it will slowly become numb. (Not mentioning the philosophical idea of gaining as much knowledge as possible in order to be a better being and understand the world better (=both society and cosmos)).
The idea of meditation is brilliant in my opinion. It is the only time we really try to understand our mind. To put it first- before our need to learn or to amuse ourselves. And as the "Sitting Meditation" reading suggests - it is not a complicated thing to do.
The main problem with this process is having the effort and will to stop the world; having the understanding that it is essential.
As I see it, it's like therapy - If only we could stop everything for one hour once/twice a week, and speak loudly to ourselves, about our problems and thoughts and desires, therapy would have a much smaller part in our world. If we could be honest to ourselves more often, and accept ourselves and our needs, without trying to suppress them (for many different reasons), our lives would be much better.
Understanding our minds better, will allow us to understand the world better, what makes us what we are, and what makes dogs or trees, and our need of religion and culture, etc.
All of this combine to my belief that we only use our "woks" as much as we allow them, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In order to really use our different optional ways of thinking, we need to understand our point of view. Then we have to devote ourself to the learning process on a daily basis. We can only do it this way.
It's like that saying - that you cannot really love someone if you don't love yourself. My home-class teacher told me this when I was a Junior in high school, about 8 years ago. I didn't agree with him then. But I do now. This understanding was a big part of my journey to get to know myself better, and it allowed me to live much more easily, and to understand others much better.
Now I know that when ever I feel lost, I have the capability of seeking deep and understand what's wrong. And it all starts with a simple self-"Re-minding".
Monday, September 2, 2013
Science's effect on my worldview
Science has always been a big and important part of my worldview, but it's especially been that way in the last couple of years.
I'd say that more than science, it has been my need to understand things to the depth.
Nowadays we are a smarter specie. We know so much more about the world than we'd ever known. Nowadays it feels to me that it is ignorant to not ask the science questions about the world. To not use its help.
About a year ago I explored the idea of the Big Bang theory for the first time. It blew my mind away.
First of all, I was ashamed of not having read about it before. I think it should be mandatory for people to know what it means, or at least have any interest in the subject.
Second, being exposed to this new information, made me question a lot of things I'd taken for granted. It has changed and shaped my worldview regarding death, religion and god but mostly it assured me that my assumptions about the huge part that coincidence has in our world, were true.
I now know that everything we do is affected by absolute randomness, that is life.
I am sure of my philosophical assumption thanks to science.
An Israeli professor called Mishka Ben-David, published a book a few years ago called "Life, Love, Death" in which he decided to examine the effect science have on philosophy. In other words, his claim was that most philosophical approaches are based on ancient ideas, and that it is important to try and develop a "New Philosophy" that is based on scientific discoveries from the last 150 years.
Although trying to prove a point about the importance of accepting death throughout the book, Ben-David also points out that science must be a fundamental part of any question asked- whether it's empiric or philosophical.
Since I believe that you can never know "too much" and that it is important to examine everything, in order to try and have a better understanding of life, I also believe that any knowledge we have as individuals or as a specie should be shared and should influence our lives in order that we could be more informed and more connected-to-the-world beings.