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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Mind over matter or matter over mind?

October 4, 2011

We have heard a lot about mind over matter. But what about the other way round?
 
Have you ever seen or known any of these –

1. A crazy bunch of people laughing loud in some corner of a park in the wee hours of a lazy morning?
2. A fast bowler running up with a fake action of bowling before starting his spell?
3. A boxer throwing aggressive punches in air before starting up the real fight?
4. An author just starts writing mechanically, anything that comes in his mind, and suddenly the ideas start flowing?
 
These physical movements or actions have one thing in common. They psych up the mind to action!  They are tangible processes influencing the intangible and subtle mind.
 
First let’s take the case of the people who practice laughing loudly in a park for no reason. A grumpy person when laughs for no reason actually start feeling better in his mind and soul. And that is the idea - emulating the process of happiness physically and thereby experiencing real happiness.
 
An actor's  attempt to create a tragic scene as real with his physical endeavor pushes not only his own mind into the depths of dejection, but also millions of viewers, who watch spellbound, absorbed and hypnotized in the scene. The tragic scene gets translated in the subjective world of so many. We have matter over not single, but innumerable minds!
 
Now let’s consider the boxer who is hopping to and fro, flexing muscles and throwing fearful punches in the air. He is trying to psych himself up for that intensity he requires in the impending bout. His adrenaline starts pumping; the rush of blood apparent in his red and aggressive face. And when he enters the real fight, he is right there - IN ACTION. However visualize this - The boxer is lying on a comfortable couch, with a sweet and melodious Mozart composition playing on the background. He is in a blissful world and at peace. Suddenly the bell rings, and he gets into the boxing ring. Do you think he is in a better position to fight his tough opponent? Comes two, three punches at him and he falls flat, not knowing actually what hit him. The fight gets over before it started!
 
Well, then why do they say - 'Mind over matter' ?

Consider these cases –

1. Placebo effect – Ingestion of sugar pills curing serious diseases, including cancer!
2. Spiritual Gurus and Yogis performing magical feats like altering the normal rate of heartbeat.
3. Hypnosis, psychokinesis, memories of past life etc.
 
These are classic cases of mind over matter. Or mind dominating the physical world. In the placebo effect, the mind knows that the sugar pill is actual medicine and therefore influences the body to get cured by it. In reality there was no medicine in the sugar pill - it was only sugar and nothing else!
 
Well, my interpretation is - It is both ‘Mind over matter’ and ‘Matter over mind’. Each influences the other. None exists in isolation.
 
This is based on Newton's third law which states- ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.’ When the action is subjective, the reaction becomes visible in the physical world. When the action takes place physically, somewhere and in some state the reaction gets conceived deep in the chasm of the mind.

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