I wanted this to be the friendliest place on the interweb so let’s start this post by fangirling over Emma Stone. She is pretty much one of the coolest people out there and beautiful and talented. Is there anything that she cannot do? I could probably write the whole post about why I love her so much but I’m only here to talk about the new series that she narrates on Netflix called, The Mind.
The Mind is a five part series that delves into how our minds work and some of the problems that we can encounter with memory and mental illness. Now I love the sciencey stuff on brains and space because I think that they are so bloody infinite. There is no end point in what we can learn about them and I find that fascinating. So, of course, this series was a must-watch for me.
I’m a Christian girl so I believe that there is a God that has designed us and I feel like science is an exploration of what God has created so the two things actually sit together quite nicely, contrary to popular belief. He designed us to be curious so it makes sense that we should want to learn more about the way we work.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way let’s delve into the good stuff. All five parts were bloody brilliant but the last two were the ones that really piqued my interest because they could be linked to two of the things that I like to discuss on this blog: kindness and addiction.
One of these episodes was about mindfulness and one of them was about psychedelics. The first of these focused on Buddhist training and they told the story of the fox and the tortoise. The tortoise was scared of the fox and rather than fighting him or running away from him (the natural responses that we are all very familiar with), the tortoise tucked himself away in his shell and waited until the fox got bored. It wasn’t that the tortoise was hiding from his problem, rather he was making friends with the idea of it. This was such a revelation to me because feelings have always been something to be feared and combated with either drugs or withdrawing from a situation. Actually sitting with the feeling and making peace with it is so alien to so many of us.
What struck me most was that having mastered this the Buddhists didn’t use it to forge ahead with careers that would make them money or sporting feats that would earn them fame. Instead, they focused on using it to improve relationships. Without fear or hate eating away at us we are free to love others much more freely which is such a wonderful thing. We all know that love is the key to being happy and according to the Beatles, all you need is love.
And in being a good Christian you need to try your very best to live like Christ and he displayed perfect love. Jesus never pursued a cut throat career or spilled the tea on his disciples. He didn’t show hate towards the people who were viewed as the scummiest of society. He must have had o put aside his feelings of disgust and hate so many times and in its place there was love.
I remember a song from when I was young that went something like “Love is like a magic penny. Hold it tight and you won’t get any. Lend it, spend it and you’ll get so many. They’ll all roll over the floor.” So perhaps mindfulness and meditation can free up some space on our internal hard drives so that we can lend and spend some love. It sounds pretty good to me.
The episode on psychedelics also mentioned love. It showed studies that looked at what people felt when they had a trip and nearly all of them felt like there was a breaking down of the self and an awareness of an interconnection between us all. Again, it was love that seemed to hold us all together and it was a trip that was needed for these subjects to step out of themselves and see this. I’m not suggesting that we all go out and start smoking mushrooms but it makes you think that while we carry on with our daily lives down here in the physical world, there is something much stronger than money and politics that is keeping us together and making the world grind onwards.
It would be really nice if we could all experience that love without having to take drugs but perhaps meditation is the stepping stone. Interestingly, the LSD trips helped with smoking and drinking cessation if the participant had the intention of achieving that when they went into the trip. It just goes to show what we are capable of if we can tap into that higher state of consciousness that we just can’t reach down here.
I pretty much dream of a time when we are all just connected by love and friendship. I know that it can’t really happen here because society would fall to bits but I hope that at least here I can have that friendly interaction that doesn’t seem to be available in many parts of the internet. What do you think?