Morning musings

art-of-healing_lThe human mind is like an umbrella, it works best when open.

The Persian mystic Avicenna proposed the Floating Man thought experiment several centuries ago. Essentially the gist of it is this:– Assume an adult human were to suddenly spring into existence suspended in mid-air some distance from the surface of the earth. Our floating man (or woman) is completely devoid of all access to sensory input i.e. is blindfolded, ears are plugged, etc. and since he has never existed before, has no memories or experiential learning to formulate a conception of the world. The question that naturally follows is what would this floating man actually know?

Avicenna concluded that the only awareness our subject would possess is the sense of “I-ness” inherent to mankind. This awareness of self is the primal aspect of being intrinsic to all human beings. The small “I am” if you will. So where are we going with this H3nry?

Well compadres, when people locate the self within the body, almost without exception there are two places to which we tend to gesture.  The first is the head and the other is the heart.  When we who kneel at the altar of unimpinged rationality refer to “I,” we tend to point to the temple region on the side of our heads. We have relegated the heart to some inferior capacity and our culture dismisses those who “feel” among us as weak. Think about our decision making apparatus for a second.

The costs of war are not measured from the tears shed by mothers, but by fiscal considerations. We refer to death as collateral damage. We view charity as tax write-offs. Saving too big to jail bankers is more important than a child waking on the street after entering the dream state in a cardboard box. Get the drift? To add insult to injury, our materialist society of head pointers has waged war on the heart pointing peoples of the world for the past 500 years.   Who cares about cancer clusters, or mental health needs of our communities, or help for the homeless, or death and disease endured by tribal peoples impeding the industrial charge, these are solely decided from the vantage point of dollars and no sense.

The heart is the seat of the soul.

In my humble view, a revolution of the heart is long overdue if the human experiment is to thrive. Don’t get me wrong, materialist rationality has its place and has bestowed enormous benefits upon the human experience. However, it also has its limitations. It’s time to re-evaluate and restructure our cost benefit analysis from the perspective of how do we improve the life of our brethren versus solely fiscal considerations of actions. So here’s the million dollar question – How do we as a species awaken and embrace compassion towards our fellow men? How do we rekindle a culture where self-reference is acknowledged by pointing to the heart and incorporating a consideration for the well-being of others? For starters we can eliminate the behavioral cues imparted by our dominator culture.

Institutionalized religions are also not the answer as they’ve seemingly been corrupted by gurus and power brokers more interested in organizational preservation and population control than facilitating the well-being of the downtrodden. The Primordial Om is also skewed to suit the skewers. If religion could provide a solution we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now. Ever notice that pastors often drive better cars than their “flocks” and most sacerdotals are content with people kneeling and bowing before their self-exalted beings? I must also conclude that religion provides no immunity from iconoclastic considerations. Many adherents to group dogma also often perceive those who question their practices to be guilty of heresy and are quick to relegate these infidels to the dark recesses conjured in the minds of Dante and Milton.

But do we really need group-think to facilitate a recognition that intrinsic to all there exists a yearning to strive for the higher sense of “the Good?” Our cultural cues have been designed to steer us away from this innate tendency and compels definition of the self by how high we can exalt the self over another. For those of us who still think there’s merit in mercy and compassion, this is a rather difficult thing to witness.  Blame it mirror neurons or an inherent “weakness,” the fact is, it doesn’t sit well with me.  Hence my travels through the blogosphere and the use of WordPress as an alembic whereby ideas can be distilled. I do believe that dispelling the conception of people as a “flock” of anything and adopting a view of each as a unique manifestation of life is a good start.

Blogging however is not a platform whereby definite answers can be framed. Instead, it facilitates a personal restatement of the questions requiring consideration.  So on that note my friends, I’ll leave you to ponder whatever Mindspeak constructs this amalgamation of words elicits within your respective reality tunnels.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein

One love,


Photo credit: h.koppdelaney / / CC BY-ND


About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

12 Responses to Morning musings

  1. ptero9 says:

    ” If religion could provide a solution we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now.”
    Very true. The same can be said of government (especially the US), and institutional science.
    I often feel that a first step must include the acknowledgement that many of our structures are broken, corrupt and in some cases have become run away trains. Also, it is hard for any one of us to disengage from our own prejudices and ideas of what the problems and solutions are.
    I often think that many moderns are too comfortable and distracted to be engaged at any kind of deeper level, even if comfort and distraction is killing them spiritually, physically, emotionally or in every way.
    I agree with your observations though; we are enmeshed in a system of finance and economics that no longer serves us. Perhaps though groupthink, “difficult to witness,” will ultimately be the vehicle of change. We weren’t always as driven to the accelerated pace we find ourselves in now.
    Many may not agree with me, but I think ultimately we less of everything we have right now, from institutionalized religion, corporate monopolies of any kind (weapons, pharmaceutical, food, technology production), in favor of local self-governing communities.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      So the old adage “less is more” may still hold some value for those of us engaged in the frenetic pace of 21st Century life. I think you are definitely on to something as it does seem to lend itself well to notions of humility. I also agree with you that groupthink does have its merits. The conclusions of the group should be arrived at through a process of individual reasoning however and not merely an acceptance of values merely to “fit in.”

      • ptero9 says:

        Are you familiar with David Bohm? I have been running across references and quotes of his in both Sheldrake and Hillman, so today I decided to look him up on youtube.
        I am listening right now to a great interview of his where he talks about worldviews and our modern dilemma of losing the whole for the parts.
        I think his idea of fields as informing and his understanding of language as a driver of understanding or lack there of have much to do with any reshaping of the collective to find their way to a reasoned world view.
        I wonder if you are familiar with Bohm?

        • H3nry J3kyll says:

          Only from references to his work made by Michael Talbot in The Holographic Universe. I look forward to watching this vid. Thank you for sharing. :)

          • ptero9 says:

            Sure, you’re welcome :)
            I am amazed by what I am hearing this man say. His ideas very much parallel my own barely articulated hunches, would love to know what you think Henry.

  2. David Bohm talks from a place which he sees that includes the broadest horizon possible, from the electron to the whole of life on Earth. What he speaks of in the interview corresponds with Henry’s Einstein quote fully. Bohm and Einstein are known generally as scientists, but perhaps a more correct “label” would be mystic. Great quote and great interview.

  3. We walk the same energy wind.

  4. Pingback: Peace & Justice Award « MisBehaved Woman

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