Friday, October 22, 2010

Mind and Body in Chunks of Twenties

As I am around the forty mark, I find myself enjoying doing more and more of the intellectual things – learning music, going to a symphony, going to a museum, reading, writing, doing photography, etc., etc.  I find people who challenge me intellectually (without insulting me of course!) very attractive.  To be sure, in the context I am talking about, the attractiveness is not a physical attraction or an attraction that would make me be unfaithful, but rather an attraction to the person because of their ideas and ideology.  That person could be a world-figure like the Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela, or figures from the past like Mother Teresa or Mozart, or just a really good friend on the same intellectual wavelength.

 

This realization has caused me to come up with a theory (a non-scientific one at that, but one that I hope sounds plausible at the very least). 

 

We go through life being constantly reminded that we should have a good balance between our minds and our bodies.  By and large, there is a fluidity between the two as one cannot exist without the other.  However, I believe that at various stages of our lives, the balance shifts in favour of one over the other and back.  My thought is that these shifts occur every twenty years, starting with the mind, then to the body, then back to the mind, then to the body again, and finally slowly giving both mind and body a rest.

 

During the first twenty years of our lives, our mind-body balance weighs more towards the mind.  This is  evidenced by the fact that during the first twenty years of existence, 17 or more years are in formal schooling.  This intense learning period vastly favours the mind.  Although we are encouraged to stimulate the body through sports and physical education, the vast majority of the activity such as reading, writing, drawing, calculating, performing, etc. provide stimulus to the mind, albeit not by choice at this stage.

 

But then, during the next twenty years, the balance shifts towards the body.  This is the primary stage wherein we prepare our bodies to be attractive in an attempt to find a life-partner.  This is also the stage wherein we work, which for the most part is a physical thing, whereby we do use our brains but this is not necessarily our minds.  I would contend that our brains are the physical manifestation of our minds and therefore I would consider it to be more body rather than mind. 

 

Between forty and sixty, although the fluidity of body and mind will continue to exist, I believe the balance will again weigh towards the mind, but this time by choice.  We start to  find ways to fulfill our intellectual desires.  We want to absorb big ideas and see beauty in even the most insignificant things.  We try to find meaning in reason, and raise questions about the very existence itself.  We find ourselves wanting to connect to the intellectuals of past and present.  We see more and more attractiveness in mind, perhaps even more so than in body.

 

From sixty to eighty, we find ourselves conscious of our bodies more than ever (I deduce this through pure speculation as I am not there, and through observation of elders that are or have been around me).  This is the stage wherein we find ourselves feeling we are at the mercy of our bodies.  We attempt everything possible to strengthen our bodies at this stage.  We are essentially forced to listen to and focus on our bodies once again.

 

Finally, if we are lucky enough to survive past eighty, we will focus either on both body and mind, or on neither.  We will either be conscious that both body and mind will soon come to an end, or we will focus on neither mind nor body because we are consign to the fact that the end is inevitable.

 

4 comments:

Jingle said...

reflective post,

Jingle said...

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Hello,
I invite you to participate at our Monday potluck party,
Link in a poem to share, or write a poem fitting our theme of love and romance, thanks for the attention,
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Happy Monday!
Happy Poetry Writing and sharing.

Jingle said...
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Jingle said...

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Hope to see you at our potluck tonight.

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Happy Writing.