The sentient mind should not be underestimated

In over twenty years of training in the martial arts, specifically Aikido, the most valuable notion I have discovered is the untapped power of the sentient mind.

In general terms, how often have you felt your mind disturbed and looked up to see someone watching you. Just as in combat when we sense an opponent’s attack before they physically move, so can we sense another sentient mind’s attention on our mind.

The sentient mind is a powerful instrument and should not be underestimated

I’ve witnessed some Atheists get quite flustered and occasionally angered when other people pray for them. Although I tarried in this mindset for a short period I now value the act of prayer and meditation. It is a conscious act to extend positive energy to another being or set of beings.

I don’t believe in an interventionist God. But I know darling that you do – Nick Cave (Into my arms)

This is as good a place to start to describe my viewpoint on prayer. We are not products of the environment we exist in but we are influenced in many ways by it. I grew up in a staunchly Catholic family and school system but I was encouraged not to limit my viewpoint to those taught by religious leaders, or held by the society of the time. The most profound influence however was reading The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (2006) by Dr Carl Sagan based on his Gifford Lecture under the theme The Search For Who We Are.

Dr Carl Sagan is known to have said that there is no scientific evidence that God exists but he also acknowledged that neither has evidence that God doesn’t exist been provided.

 It is the act of prayer or meditation that adds value, not the actor’s faith in some hirsute gentleman or any other vision of a divine entity.

So I encourage all sentient beings especially Atheists to practice the art of prayer or meditation.

Communicating across time

Ice BarrierThe human mind is strongly rooted to the time of our formative years and communicating clearly with people whose mind is stuck in another time can be fraught with misunderstanding. There is some barrier that separates us and this barrier is further clouded by blind faith and religious doctrine, making the lucid transfer of ideas and concepts sometimes impossible. Even communicating with others from the same time is difficult; some unnatural barrier separates our minds.

Not everyone’s mind suffers this in a constant manner. A person’s training, whether in the martial arts, Zen, philosophy, or theoretical studies, can help to uncover a mind’s latent ability to communicate across this barrier and see more clearly. In some extraordinary individuals this ability is naturally evident and the power of their mind is perceptible through their writing alone, lingering like the low pitched hum of a bass string long after their death. Sometimes when I read I feel this sound, in the back of my head as it oscillates some hidden segment of my consciousness in attempt to release it from its binds.

I often struggle against a feeling of contempt at some people’s limits in this regard and when I find no echo or response to my attempts to communicate a sense of isolation hangs like a lead shot weight in my belly. Othertimes I find myself treating people like this in a condescending manner and avoid topics or discussions their minds cannot handle safely; just like we do with children—protecting their young minds from seeing or hearing things that could scar them. Unfortunately most people’s minds will not grow up and they will remain like Peter Pan; stuck in Neverland…and never able to reach their full potential.