“The map appears to us more real than the land.” D.H. Lawrence
Perception is all we have when it comes to seeing the world around us, and thinking about the world around us.
Most of us map our minds according to our desires and needs, as they come.
We live in a busy world that becomes ever quicker. It is hard to stop and see properly, so we use systems of thinking to make sense of all the impressions in life.
The impressions leave their trace on our minds, our thoughts, and finally intertwine with our feelings. If we allow those feelings to increase in importance, they develop into emotions. Emotions are more solid than mere feelings — feelings are fleeting.
If we set goals it is normally done with rational thinking, taking into account our needs, our life at present, and what we want to change. It can be wealth, spiritual development, or a change of behaviour.
Our behaviour is the result of previously mapping the world around us to be able to interact with it effectively.
It’s when we have problems with the world around us, our environment, people, jobs and the task of creating change, then we encounter conflicts. So we discover that our previous ideas, and the behaviour that it causes, is problematic. So, we think of change.
Changing anything that is related to our thinking is a complex issue. We try to change a behaviour, to become more effective at the things we do, or be more sociable, adjusting to a new idea of social life online is a big change.
This means that we are thinking about our past behaviour, and future behaviour and present emotions, and we are trying to make sense of them.
When we are no longer using a part of the map of ideas, that we have relied on previously, change begins, and we challenge old ideas. When the mind focusses on a behavioural concept in the mind, we are bringing it out into the open, separating it from its supporting parts that help it thrive. Ideas don’t live alone in the mind. They are supported by other habits that lead us into old and new behaviours.
Our linguistic structures, the vocabulary that we use, help us to identify and rationalize the ideas that we think are good for us.
When we introduce new vocabulary into our ideas, we challenge the old habits and ideas.
When we do this we create a mental conflict. The mind doesn’t seem to like conflict, it’s always looking for happiness, or peace and equilibrium. So another conflict is caused when the desire to sit back and wait it out comes into play. Nothing happens, so we become frustrated about everything and either finally change course, or give up.
All of the above, depending on its intensity and the depth of desire involved, it can also be a trigger for depressive feelings, instead of change for the better.
The conflict is perceived as turmoil — movement and change that is unwanted. The unwanted turmoil creates feelings of helplessness that people have when they are attempting to do something, they discover it is more difficult than they perceived.
This is when a person falls into despair and feelings of hopelessness. Normally, depression caused by daily life being a frustrating experience can be overcome with thought strategies. These strategies should be based on understanding the self and the world around self.
Understanding self, is about understanding how you relate your mind to the outer world. And how you deal with the conflicts of mind and environment with actions.
Today, especially with Genome Project in full swing, medical authorities want to work on the basis that a depressed person is suffering from a “chemical imbalance”. So, medicine is prescribed and normally leads to an expensive course of treatment that lasts anywhere from months to years.
A depressive person is viewed as if they have a problem. The problems that a depressive person suffers from are viewed separately from the problems of the World we live in. There are no tablets or medicine for states of war, poverty, hunger and subsistence living. Just politics.
Depression is not the result of being a messed up person. It’s the result of people having to live in a messed up world.
Trying to make sense of a life where a person is constantly bombarded with news and reports that we are on the brink of catastrophes such as war, poverty and environmental disaster can quickly overwhelm a person with feelings of helplessness.
Like an animal a human will have thoughts of self-protection by separating themselves from the source of conflict. Hiding in a dark hole. Building a wall that separates them from the outside conflicts.
To hide away is not a solution, it’s a base reaction to an overwhelming event. An animal will yield, surrender, when faced with an overwhelming situation that leads to death. It knows when it’s personal power over mind and environment is exhausted.
We live in a society that allows us to plan and live according to our own views — so long as those views aren’t in conflict with society.
The map of the mind is a rough idea of what may or may not work for us as individuals. It isn’t a push button solution that somebody discovered — you can’t programme it like a computer. The mind is a mystery that still baffles us, the physical brain and the study of neuropsychology is a better course of helping us understand ourselves than is thought-psychology.
Thought psychology can give us good ideas about our perceptions, and the emotions in action, but at the end of the day, it’s as if we’ve been watching ourselves in a mirror the whole time, and maybe the mirror was warped.
Neuropsychology investigates, as far as possible, how the brain works. The attempt to understand the connections and reactions that occur in our brain is closer to understanding how to act in an environment that is confusing and overwhelming.
A mind map can often feel like it’s the reality that we perceive. Sometimes what we perceive is really just another idea in the brain.
To be able to navigate life successfully, we must always be at the helm of life, always able to connect and involve ourselves in the “real-world” of physical being.
More on Berlin Notes from Sean P. Durham