Posted by: Dahni | February 7, 2011

An Open Mind

By Dahni © 2011

No one wants to be thought of as having a closed mind. If anyone were to ask most of us if we have an open mind, we most assuredly and whole heartedly would answer, YES. But what exactly is an open mind? Is an open mind the sole realm of higher education or a highly evolved intelligence? Is an open mind the product of stature, wealth, years of study, privilege, and genetics or any such variable or quantifier? The answer is either not necessarily or absolutely NOT. It’s your choice and that is the point. We each choose to open our minds to new and different ideas and possibilities or keep them closed.

Our minds are full of information and memories. Being less than perfect, not all of this information or the memories are accurate. We each have beliefs and systems of beliefs. Many of these are formed when we are just babies. We learn love and compassion, mercy and freedom, liberty and how to win. We also learn hatred and greed, cruelty and slavery, tyranny and how to lose.  We are creatures with the twin natures of reason and emotion. Though the heart, a physical organ, which represents our souls or the seat of our emotions, may just be approximately six inches away from our brain, indicative of our mind’s reasoning, in practice it often seems like there are thousands of miles in distance between them.

We often speak or act before thinking. Then unkind words or deeds leave our lips or our hands and great damage can be the consequences to us and to others. Our minds, filled with such voluminous and often contradictory information, responds like a hair-trigger. Instead of acting we often react. In many respects, each of us must face the possibility that at times we are closed-minded. We hold to beliefs we may have long held, without questioning them and especially when other information or persons seem to contradict them. But what is then, an open mind? A simple and familiar tin can offers an appropriate analogy.

By appearance, this can seems empty or at least we can see that it is not full. This could represent you and I as babies or young children, just starting out in life. Our cans or minds can become filled. This tin-can could also represent any adult that still has plenty of space or room to learn. This is an example of an open mind. But there are two others.

What if our tin-can or our minds are open, but they are full. Look at this like having a brain cramp or studying or cramming for some test or examination during the course of our education. We grow mentally, emotionally and even physically tired from the exhaustion of over-exercising or overuse of our mental faculties. Some call this, information over-load.

Simply stated, we just can’t think anymore. We need rest. We need to sort. We need to decide what is truly important to us and what is not. Usually, most of us cannot recall most of the information we crammed into our heads, as soon as the test is over. But this too, is an example, of an open mind.

Usually, this example of an open mind or a full mind dissipates after some time. Get a little rest, relax, have some fun, empty out the stuff from our can not needed and we find that our minds have been stretched or our tin-cans have become enlarged to receive even more stuff. But there is one final example of an open mind that becomes a problem for all of us and should be avoided at all costs.

Our physical brains and our mental minds have enormous capacity. But if we do not filter the information that comes to us or research the why-s and wherefore-s of what we believe, if anyone or anything challenges those beliefs or seems to contradict them, we usually will negatively react. Have you ever held a can labeled one thing and opened it only to find something else jump out, fly out or burst from the can?

Those of us that have experienced this novelty gag item, usually first react by shock or fear or are just startled and then this is followed by at least a little anger that we were deceived. No one wants to appear foolish anymore than anyone wants to admit that they have a closed mind. By the way, if you were to admit to having a closed mind that would be impossible. Why, because your mind would be open to the possibility that it might be closed.   🙂

Most of us have at times heard, thought and said to others something like the following –

“It sounds too good to be true.”

This is usually followed by –

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Both of those statement are really false. If something is good and true, it cannot be “too good!” But the habit of thinking this way builds mistrust, unbelief and leads to false judgments. For example, since A. was a scam and B was a scam, surely C must be a scam as well? Maybe this would be true for C. and maybe not.

Some of us cut out coupons to save money on either something we want and need or just because we can save money on the item(s). But usually while at the store, we may purchase other non-sale items as well. These are called ‘loss-leaders.’ The store discounts the items and may raise the price of other items to offset their loss or bank on the idea that you will probably buy more stuff while you are there. To this many seem to think that the word ‘save’ really means spend more. So if someone or something comes along that will really save money or help people, we often assume that it really going to cost us. Maybe this would be true for and maybe not.

An open mind is a mind that is open to the possibility that new information, even if it seems to contradict what you may believe, could in truth be accurate. An open mind is a mind that is open to the possibility that some or many things that it holds to being true, may contradict what is really true or accurate. Ask – think – question – research everyone, everything and even the contents of your own open, tin can, your own mind.

Oh, and by the way, just because all the cans labeled ‘peas’ that you have opened in the past turned out to be something else, does NOT mean that the next can you are offered that is labeled ‘peas’ won’t be ‘peas.’ And just because your tin can (your belief or beliefs) that’s labeled ‘carrots,’ does not necessarily mean that’s what inside.  Keep your can open to possibility and be ready to empty it’s contents if it’s not what you need. But sort, filter and research, before your tin-can explodes.   🙂

Just Imagine,

Dahni


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