“Mind” the Wonder Word – USE IT OR LOSE IT!

Modern world is zooming ahead at an unbelievable pace and we are availing physical comforts which were hitherto unthinkable. The flipside, we are trading mental peace to keep up with the pace. Does the present scenario really require us to think and understand something called the ‘Mind’. It till now remained mysterious but the hazy details about it are gradually brightening up with recent developments. There are millions of people who do not bother to explore this entity and live out their life span, thus missing the beauties of the inner world. However, it should also be made clear that people who claim not to indulge in the complexities of mind use different facets of it every minute. There is no escape, this is your tool to understand, to imbibe and to adapt the surroundings. Mind is an interface between individuals and environment i.e. the internal milieu and external happenings.

Even we, the scientists, are too preoccupied with the gross anatomy and physiology of brain. We have developed a tubular vision and consider anything out of this tube as myth. This is the opportune time to widen our horizon and to enlarge our knowledge of brain to accommodate mechanisms of the mind.

In recounting the discoveries and ideas of new era, we will attempt to bring the human conscious mind back into the physical world. I shall be accused of wanting to reduce the marvels of man’s mind to ‘nothing’, but physical and chemical processes in brain tissue. This is not degrading the mind to matter, instead it is upgrading the properties of matter to account for the mind.

With globalization life has become more competitive, values declining, morality and courage disappearing, jealousy and hatred replacing them. This reminds me of Albert Einstein who wrote: “I can calculate everything, even the velocity of light but can’t calculate the hate of the people behind their smile”. Human beings therefore appeared to be camouflaging their emotions creating an ideal setting for development of lifestyle-based diseases. This is an unfortunate example of misuse of the beautiful mind, an intrinsic human strength.

The mind neurocircuitry consists of 100 billion neurons each forming dedicated circuits with trillions of synapses. The electrical communication between neuronal networks is responsible for the rapid processes of thought and imagination. Neurotransmitters are the chemical means of communication between the neurons which are diffusely distributed.

The mind is capable of creating more connections and synapses across the neuronal fiber pathways (neuroplasticity). Research (Draganski et al, 2006) has confirmed that, the more we use the mind, the more abundant our mental synapses get; and the less we exercise it the poorer these connections get. USE IT OR LOSE IT!

The great virtues of the mind like adaptability, selective inclusion/filtration of information, priority or selective amnesia, diversion, judgment and reasoning, intuition and gut reactions are all attributable to neuroplasticity. The combination of such virtues is the reason for complex acts executed effortlessly and spontaneously.

Positive mental states lead to higher neuronal functions, richer synapses and longer lasting healthy neurons; while depressed and dull spirits cause impairment of cognitive abilities as the neuronal functions reduce and synaptic connections shrink.

When put to proper use the potential of the brain-mind axis can produce wonders as exemplified by the lives of Kalidas, Valmiki and Ashoka – The Great. My concept of using the science of mind is nothing but molding the plastic properties of mind that is the inner chemical and electrical milieu in a positive way.

Thus using the most cost effective tool lying within yourself the “MIND” for ultimate peace, a necessary ingredient of longevity and quality of life. While God created human destiny via genes, the human beings can add charm to their lives by appropriately using the mind, a soft superpower.