Mind and Body: A Fifty-Fifty Game



At conception, a human seed is sowed. That seed, a throwback from the ages, will grow into two structures: the visible body with eyes, ears and limbs, and the invisible mind with butterfly wings and a dog strap.

The body does not need any introduction. Everybody knows where to find it, through handshakes, hugs and kisses. Defining the mind is hard; locating it is even tougher. Of the many thoughts that go through the mind, only a fraction make it to the verbal word, slipping out when we talk or give speeches.

Though we cannot touch or see the mind, we know it is there, all the time, fleeting and shifting, sometimes quietly hidden in the shadows.

The mind is used for thinking and for conjuring up memories. The mind is the part of us that fights the battle the body lacks the courage to take on. It is the domain of play when we think of all the responsibilities of the day and how to relate to friends, family and foes.

Body and mind resemble each other in many ways. Both are present at birth, and both are descendants of our forebears.

Unfolding from a coded past both realms grow infinitely, the body becoming a domain of trillions of cells and the mind a fortress habited by palimpsests of data.

Food and water are the fuel of the body. Knowledge and awareness are what the mind needs in order to grow. The mind expands through the portal senses of vision, sight, smell, hearing, and touch. Through eating and drinking, the body increases in bulk and size.

When both realms achieve dependable maturity, they wander off together, extricating themselves as predetermined from a society that is bent on restricting revelation.

In the course of their lifespan, both the mind and the body will discover the need to flourish together, and to endure together. They will be hurt and triumph as a partnership. Conjoined in spirit, one cannot let the other go - at least not without a fight. Harmony between the two conquers all adversities. Discord between the two conquers self.

Human bodies have types, and so does the human mind. Ectomorphs have bodies as lean as a wooden bench, and tend not to gain weight no matter what they eat. A chiseled V-shape, top-heavy with broad shoulders, broad chest and trunk, hoisted on a constricted waist, is the build of a mesomorph. People who are plump and round, who tend to gain weight rapidly, are known as endomorphs.

Varieties of the human mind range from feeble, through roving, tough, cunning, shrewd, courageous, devious and sharp, to outright wild.

Discerning what kind of mind inhabits a particular body type is guesswork. A feeble mind can inhabit a powerful body, creating a coward out of someone who appears to be strong, while a tough mind can inhabit a skinny frame, making an unlikely hero out of them.

Mind and body like to swap leadership positions. Sometimes the body leads the mind and at another time the mind will lead the body. Once a leader is identified for a particular purpose, the other domain joins in seamless synchrony.

Like the body, the mind goes through developmental milestones. Stages of purity, naiveté, agitation, sophistication, encumbrance, attrition and demise are demonstrable in a person's evolving mind trajectory.

Explaining these milestones in mind maturity is as fickle as the mind itself.

Nonetheless, apart from the very unfortunate Adam incident, it seems clear that we were born with purity of mind, together with our unblemished baby skin. It's only when we are let down by those taking care of us that we become conscious of our naiveté.

Childhood attempts to reconcile purity of mind with the consequences of naiveté in today's world produce agitation.

In the sophistication stage of mind, adolescents learn that manipulating the environment increases reward, which relieves the agitation.

Using this new-found formula, young people continue to accumulate wisdom and materials through their twenties and thirties and on into middle age. But eventually wisdom and wealth wear down the mind, crumbling it into old age and void.

Born together, the body and the mind will finally die together. By the time death comes, piles of intellectual wisdom weigh heavily on the mind, toppling it over and bringing it to its knees. The body is not spared. It falls under the weight of protein, carbohydrate and fat.

But forecasting which of these two domains will lead the other to surrender by giving up the soul to the majestic power of the source is a fifty-fifty game.

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