The Programming of the Mind

November 7, 2012

The truth of the matter is that the programming of the human mind is far more complex than the programming of the world’s most advanced super-computer. The human mind stores innumerable “bites” of data, recalls that data instantly (in a healthy brain), and it does so with amazing speed and minute accuracy, but, just like a computer, you can’t get any more out of it than it has been programmed with. Computer programmers have an expression, “garbage in, garbage out,” and so it is true when it comes to the programming of the human mind. You can’t get any more out of your mind than it has been programmed with.

We are all products of our human experience. We are “who” and “what” we are because of our upbringing, our education, our life experiences, our mentors, our friends (and our enemies), etc. Throughout our lives we are shaped by these inputs and points of reference for learning. These points of reference for learning, which are outside of ourselves, are what determines what we believe (about ourselves, about others, about anything), and what we believe determines who we are, what we have, and what we achieve in life, and our viewpoints and perspectives on any subject.

All of life is contingent upon believing. You are where and what you are today, right now, at this very moment because of what you believe, what you have concluded, based on what you have been exposed to, what you have experienced in life (good and bad), and what you have accepted as fact. You can’t get any more out of your mind than you have, or others have, by your allowance, programmed it with. You cannot believe beyond what you know and understand, and you cannot know any more than you have been taught.

Every human individual, from the moment of birth, must have points of reference for learning that are outside of themselves. If you were to take a newborn child and from the moment of its birth place it in a sensory deprived environment, supplying only the necessary nutrients to sustain its physical life, and leave it in that condition, with no sensory inputs, after thirty years it will still be in that same state of mental infancy. It may, or may not, come to some sort of sense of self-awareness, but it would have no understanding, no knowledge, no comprehension, and no believing. This kills many of the “I was born this way” arguments, physically at least.

The life story of the stateswoman Helen Keller is a great example of this. She was born deaf, blind, and mute, and remained that way for a number of years until a teacher/nanny named Ann Sullivan began to work with her and reprogrammed her brain.

Once the mind is programmed in a particular way, once it is set on a course of believing and subsequent action, it is very difficult to change its programming. This is especially true in philosophical fields. Once the mind is set, it is extremely difficult to alter its course. This has been the cause of debate and wars throughout human history.

I listened to a lecture recently by a neurologist that beautifully exemplified this. He described how to question ‘why’ is one of the most dangerous things you can do, because it takes a person to a place of uncertainty, and how the human mind can’t handle uncertainty. He gave a great neurological example of how the human mind can sometimes violently react to uncertainty – seasickness. Seasickness is the violent physical reaction that is brought about by confusion and uncertainty in the brain because of the conflict between the inner ear and the physical sense of sight. While the sight tells the brain that everything is solid and stable down in the cabin of the boat, the inner ear is telling the brain that things are moving up and down and rolling from side to side and….hold on a sec I think I’m going to be……

It got me to thinking about one of my favorite television shows, Deadliest Catch. It’s about crab fisherman on the Bering Sea. These men fish for months in some of the roughest, most violent seas imaginable. Yet, as you watch the show, there they are sitting around eating bacon and eggs and salty pork chops in the galley, below deck, with things rocking back and forth on the walls, objects moving about on the table, and yet they are unaffected. I sometimes get dizzy just watching it on television. I asked myself how and why this could be, and the answer was programming. They have programmed their minds to not be affected by the motion, to ignore it.

In fields of science or medicine many times when something new is discovered or old theories are challenged, it can cause great controversy and debate. Scientists and doctors of equal intelligence and education sometimes are vehemently opposed in their viewpoints and conclusions. This is seen in nutrition all the time. One doctor says eat only raw foods, while another says that is crazy. One prominent doctor says run for health and weight loss, while another says not to run. It is all so confusing, and yet, people who subscribe to one see successful results, and people who subscribe to the other see equally successful results. Why? The answer is believing. On a major news network just the other day they interviewed a woman who eats nothing but junk food (potato chips, white bread, processed foods). She has never eaten a raw vegetable or piece of fruit in her life. Yet, her cholesterol levels are perfect; she is thin, fit and healthy. (Don’t try this at home folks. She is a professional).

In philosophical fields, especially religion and politics, there is sometimes a violent reaction when someone’s beliefs are challenged because, like seasickness, it takes their mind to a place of uncertainty. You can observe this throughout history. Wars have been started and millions of people throughout history have been killed because of the reaction to a system of beliefs being challenged, and the uncertainty that it brought about.

As I write this, here in the United States of America we are in the final days of an election cycle where Americans will be voting to either keep the current president in office or vote in a new individual to do the job. It is a bloody affair (figuratively speaking). Each side is vehemently opposed to the other, each having a logical (in their mind) argument why their candidate is the right person to elect, due to the programming of their mind.

Throughout secular and biblical history there are records of the mistreatment of men and women who dared to challenge the “mainstream,” and the “status quo,” and who were maligned, negatively labeled, and persecuted for doing so. All because their argument and intellectual challenge brought about uncertainty in the minds of those to whom they spoke. Historically, some of the worst persecution, malignment, and ill treatment were leveled at men and women of God who dared to speak the truth as they were inspired and directed by God.

Jeremiah was put into stocks at the high gate of Benjamin in Jeremiah chapter 20. Elijah was hounded and pursued in I Kings 19. Jesus Christ was executed by the people to whom he was sent. The apostles, Peter and John and others were examined and beaten by the religious leaders in the book of Acts. Paul was persecuted and hounded by the religious leaders and betrayers among the believers throughout his life and ministry as is recorded throughout the second half of the book of Acts and as he describes in his second letter to the believers at Corinth. And so it has been throughout history; the challenge of truth and logic to the status quo of accepted “facts,” and norms, and traditions, and philosophies in any field, creating uncertainty and violent reaction.

The truth of the matter is that just like there is a multitude of choices of software and programs available with which to “load onto” or program a computer with, so there is a multitude of choices of thought and science and philosophies with which to program the human mind, and once programmed it is very difficult to change its course or direction, therefore choose wisely that with which you choose to program your mind with. As a very wise man once said, “choose your ruts carefully. You’re going to be in them a long time.”