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Inspiring Quotes of the Week...

The Mind

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
About the Mind
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.” ~ John Milton
We interpret what we perceive, and one person may do so in a very different way from another. We create our own reality internally, and through our influence in various ways, that in turn affects the external.
“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul.” ~ Steve Maraboli
We know that feeding our minds a constant stream of television, filled with misinformation and fear-based egotism, has a harmful effect of negative conditioning. Maybe it makes us an obedient consumer, and accepting of all that goes on, but it doesn't make us much the wiser - unless we carefully filter our intake to only the most enlightened sources.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ~ Plutarch
Education may be about cramming our minds with a syllabus in order to become a viable employee, a cog in the machine, but life-long self-directed education (that includes personal development) is the opposite... it's about unlearning all of that; about opening to new possibilities; about releasing our judgments, assumptions and prejudices; about nurturing our creative flame.
“Ask questions, don't make assumptions.” ~ father of Angela Ahrendts
Questions invite conversations, stimulate thinking, break down barriers, create positive energy and show your willingness to understand and learn. Questions show humility, acknowledgement and respect for the past, and give you greater insights into individuals and how things work.
“All civilization in a sense exists only in the mind. Gunpowder, textile arts, machinery, laws, telephones are not themselves transmitted from man to man or from generation to generation, at least not permanently. It is the perception, the knowledge and understanding of them that are passed along. Everything social can have existence only through mentality.” ~ Alfred L. Kroeber
Because we communicate through words as well as pictures. The most important significance is the how and why.
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ~ George R.R. Martin
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. And as Barbara W. Tuchman said, "Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Books are engines of change, windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print."
“Minds, like parachutes, function better when open, but, like fists, they strike harder when closed.” ~ L.E. Modesitt, Jr., American Author
"Minds, like parachutes, function better when open" has long been Trans4mind's motto. As Robertson Davies said, "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." That preparation includes abandoning our fixed ideas and long-held assumptions. An open mind is - for the moment - silent, genuinely listening... Hans Margolius: "Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

The Growth of Understanding ~ by Ken Ward

A Trainee clutching a pile of books and rushing to a university class might not normally be compared with, say, a Buddhist monk meditating in a lotus position contemplating existence, or a Japanese Zen Trainee studying a koan, or even with a high magician performing a Kabbalistic ritual, yet it seems all these Trainees are progressing through the same four stages of growth and all are seeking their enlightenment. For those interested in mental development, it is no surprise to read about exotic and religious systems that claim to enlighten, but they may be surprised, or even astonished that Trainees in traditional education follow the same stages, seeking the same result. Continues...
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