The power of not thinking

The intellectual mind seems like the pinnacle of human development. It is a tool which has solved important problems and created extraordinary technology. Beyond the rational world of problem solving however, the mind can often cause harm.
Runaway thoughts can interfere with the human interaction with the world. Obsessing on the future can ruin an otherwise good day. And we have all looked right past an excellent opportunity or experience right in front of us because we were fuming about some past event. If used as a tool for specific tasks the mind is valuable. When it is allowed to run away with our identity it proves that it is not the best thing to handle that job.
Technology proves this. There are many reports in the medical and psychological fields which demonstrate how multitasking, exposure to electronic media, and relying on technology changes the personality for the worse. ADD, ADHD, stress, anxiety, and anti-social behavior have been linked to overstimulating the mind.
The interest and success of trends like meditation and yoga result in large part from the abundance of the multi-tasking and mental overload of present day humans. The current evolutionary state of humans was established during a time when we were a few steps beyond cave men. The lifestyle of that being included a great deal of observation and down time. The brain has not evolved much past that, and now that the capacity is being used more the process is taking more of a toll on the human spirit and soul.
At the highest level human groups talk of their mental efforts described as “brain storming.” This process is what is used to extract the most extreme and useful ideas from the mind. Think about the term however, because it is accurate. Instead of a slow methodical mental consideration offset by a spiritual counterbalance, a brainstormer literally creates a storm in their mind. This can’t be a good idea overall. THe brain is the most important and fragile part of the human body, (which is why it is the only one encased in a solid structure), so the last thing you want to do is create a storm in it.
Now obviously the “storm” is not a physical force, but the effect is just as severe. Many of the emotional and even physical ailments of humans may be traced to the brains use being out of balance having been forced to deal with an environment which does not match the one it was made for. This cause and effect may not be visible to the human eye, however it may be made more apparent by tracking a parallel human dysfunction.
Humans in the more “advanced” modern western societies such as in the US are undisputedly becoming obese and unhealthy. Cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are all increasing. Almost all of this can be tracked to “modern” food, which in reality is not food at all when compared with what the human physiology was designed for. So the development of “food” advancements which appear to make it taste better and more readily available actually makes the body sick. Therefore why can’t it be also true that the modern information environment does not match the one our minds were designed for, and are similarly making our minds sick.
More ominous is the fact that the two may be related, creating a vicious feedback loop. There has already been medical evidence that junk food damages the mind. At the same time an overtaxed mind may be more susceptible to adopting an inferior nutritional regimen.
Let’s see if there are any developments which support this in the coming years.

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~ by Dave on January 12, 2012.

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