A few days back, I was traveling with a friend in his car. He was driving and I was sitting right beside him. Apart from being a good driver, he is also a wonderful speaker. I really appreciate his ability to generate an idea and start speaking about it eloquently.
So as we drove, he spoke about how life could be difficult for a highly educated person. He meant it in psychological terms. As a person attains education, he (or she) tries to seek purpose in life and in the universe. And often times he finds his whole experience of living lacking in zest. This can be depressing.
As he said that, I added that the life of a layperson, or any person who is not as highly educated, would be better than that. This latter kind of person lives his life while being encircled by the idea of fulfilling mundane diurnal chores. I call them mundane since they might seem so to the highly educated, purpose seeking individual. But they might not really be so to our common folk if he enjoys doing chores. Consider the thrill of driving and woodcutting to someone who enjoys doing them.
My friend agreed with me in response and gave a reason for such a happy life. The reason he gave was that as the latter lives according to his gut feeling, he does not have to think too much. He simply obeys his gut feelings and lives accordingly.
He further added that our subconscious minds generate a myriad of ideas. It is more like an ocean. The conscious mind, instead, is like a pointer on that ocean that we use to choose ideas generated by our subconscious. The educated person learns to tame the conscious mind about how to utilize the input generated by the conscious mind. He goes through a process of refinement throughout his life to tame the conscious. The common folk
The common folk does not really care too much as to how to use the gut feeling. He just acts upon it. And this reduces the pain of refining the conscious mind.
As he said this, it reminded me of a mention of randomly generated ideas in our minds. It read it in one of the articles of Sam Harris. When I read it for the first time, it made me wonder about that and I was not convinced of the idea, I was rather impressed.
Much of our ideas are randomly generated in the mind. Our emotions, desires, actions, wit and sense of humor can be dependent on randomly generated ideas in our minds. Even the revelations that lead to Eureka moments in lives of celebrated scientists are generated randomly most of the times. The idea that I am going to write this post was generated in my mind randomly too. I thought about writing it around a year ago. Then I procrastinated. Eventually, it came to my mind around a fortnight ago. And finally, after postponing it again and again, I am writing this now.
This can be a good thing and a bad thing as well. It is my personal experience, that our jokes are funniest when they are randomly generated by our minds. So this is a good thing. But then our minds can generate so much stuff randomly that some of which can be diabolical not only to ourselves but also to people around us. Consider impulses of anger and rage for a couple of examples. They can be generated randomly. And if acted upon, they can produce catastrophic results.
So not all of the gut feeling is so good all the time. There are good and bad things about living by the gut. To me, this raises the necessity to tame the gut. The word tame appears simplistic to me. I wonder it would be a better idea to tame the subconscious to generate good stuff most of the times. Similarly, once the subconscious is generating nice things, it could be extremely beneficial to have a conscious mind that can choose between those ideas. A clear subconscious can make the job of the conscious much easier as the latter would not have to filter, and eventually litter, so much stuff that our minds generate.
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