"Mind" and the individual

People living in America seem to place too great an emphasis on the “mind” in the life of the individual. I have made this statement several times to many people, and especially the younger generation seems to object with varying arguments. Perhaps those who have the most future left to them want to imagine that future as highly controllable. This control is meant more in terms of inward condition than of external events. After all, how is an individual to find happiness? If happiness is truly an obscure state arrived at by non-intellectual means, then to an intellectual it appears vague and unattainable. But if it can be imagined as the logical result of a cognizable sequence of steps, there is at least some hope for the future even if the present does not share in that future state. The cognizable possibility of achieving the state of happiness appears to be paramount; unless it is rationally foreseeable, life transmogrifies into something too haphazard to be manageable.

This, I feel, is a naive attempt to reduce the true complexity of life. We as a species have merely begun to live. There are countless thousands of years of development ahead of us, and how can we imagine to have completed most of it with the remainder just a refinement of already-discovered processes? I believe that there are critical, basic elements to the understanding of our selves which we have not yet even discovered. These elements will be viewed in the future as requisite to a proper understanding of the human mind. But at the present time we possess only a handful of insights; what is most important for us now is that we view these understandings in the appropriate light, otherwise we allow our own immaturity as a species to hold us back from further development.

One philosopher stated that the fundamental flaw in any over-intellectual thinker is that he comes to conclusions too rapidly and finally. If our tendency were to hold off conclusions until the last possible moment, it would afford our thought processes a much needed flexibility. The core premise is that we are like children, and furthermore that thought is not the foremost faculty of human experience.