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The Tinkered Mind
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May 6th, 2021
Shine a light through a crystal and it’ll split in a certain way. Toss a pebble into a lake and the ripples will collide with the natural waves. Say the right combination of words to someone and the song of the mind will change it’s beat.
Generally, though, very few words ruffle the beat of anyone’s mind. Certainly those who are easily ‘triggered’ or ‘offended’ might seem as though they get ruffled, but that sort of reaction is almost always just part of the song - a chorus if you will. It’s a song primed to react in a habitual way to a verse with the right sort of content, such things are ‘hooks’ in the exact same way that a pop song might be written. And if such an idea is offensive, one might pause first to wonder: is this sort of idea a legitimate rock tossed into a placid pond, or is this just more proof in the pudding between a pair of ears comprehending these words. If such an analogy is offensive, perhaps that’s grist for the mill that proves it.
What’s more interesting than the normal fluctuations and vicissitudes of our mind’s song is when something actually disrupts the regular flow of thought. Most people don’t have a mental song calibrated to receive this kind of influence. Most are hearing out the rhythm of their own melody, on the lookout only for the notes in their environment that fit into the tune.
Think of a new musician. Getting plopped into a jazz band as a new musician would be a nervous and stressful experience for most newbies. It requires a fair amount of experience, and most importantly, a desire and receptivity to open one’s self to a new experience that does not have a predetermined outcome. There must be a curiosity about the unknown for the mind’s song to be disrupted by some arrant combination of words, some idea, some concept.
Otherwise, raw experience is far more effective. Life is constantly ripe with the opportunity to dive into something completely new, and unlike the words that we can easily fail to hear, misinterpret or ignore, the experience of reality can be far less apologetic in the way it bores into our sense of being. Any experience worth having is going to carry some sort of stress. And even the one’s that don’t seem worth having, while also stressful, can yield fruit. This is the difference between post-traumatic stress and the lesser known post-traumatic growth.
Regardless of whether it’s an experience, an idea or some words we read on twitter, the opportunity to be effected by such things is a matter of our current outlook: are we willing and receptive? Or are we closed for business? Closed for change, and closed for the opportunity to experience life in a different - potentially diversified and well-rounded way.