Inertia and the Mind

Inertia and the Mind

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As our minds continuously focus on the externals, we might end up feeling empty. This emptiness deepens with time as relationships fail and there is emotional trauma. The mind is in a state of inertia.

Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state unless an external force is applied to it; this is Newton’s first law of motion. This law explains the resistance to change that a body goes through with initial application of force before settling into a renewed state of inertia or acceptance of status quo. An application of this law to the working of our attitudes and behaviors directs our attention to the comfort zone that we allow ourselves to stay in.

We see evidence of this law in our day to day lives. A petty thief who finds it easy to escape without notice continues on the same path unless an external force (a law enforcement agency or a larger cartel) forces a change in ways. A depressed person meets an external force in the form of a therapist and weaves a way to a new form of thinking. An addict meets someone who helps to get life back on track. The external force may come in different forms; our own thoughts or an observation of the actions of another person can act as the route to a change.

We learn new attitudes, come across new events and thoughts that impact us in different ways. The good thing is that we have the option of choosing the forces that we will accept. We have only to be alert or mindful when taking a choice about the option. Unlike an object that has no option but to respond to the forces that work on it, the human mind has the capacity to step back from the situation and gauge what is really happening. This is theoretically feasible but the reality is that a large portion of the populace accepts thoughts as they enter the mind, react to events as they occur and undergoes troubling reactions. The mind remains in turmoil and the body reacts in accordance.

We are products of the cultures we come from. Focusing on the external persona is a universally accepted norm. Yet, the sign of a refined mind is one that is able to reach the realm of thought without giving credence to the physical appearance. We are continuously exposed to visuals of smart looking personalities whose lavish lives seem to be under control. Books guide us about the use of body language and power clothing. We see advertisements of brands that will enhance our looks and attract attention to the worldly, savvy image we wish to portray, though we are internally unsure of ourselves. As our minds continuously focus on the externals, our vision is distorted as is our sense of reality. This is akin to our view of a coin in a cup of water; we miss the actual trajectory of light and view the coin along an altered path.

In order to view the coin along the correct path, the viewer would have to enter the medium in which the coin lies. So it is with altered impressions. We read about lives and follow paths others have laid down without considering what we are all about. We form relationships with popular people, hope to be seen with the right types of people and reject those who do not ‘fit in’. The acceptance of others determines acceptance of the self. At some point the external view leaves us feeling empty. This emptiness deepens with time as relationships fail and there is emotional trauma. The mind at this point is in a state of inertia.

A slight external force can tip the mind into a state of disequilibrium. Rejection by a loved one, the loss of a friend, business losses, work place issues and a host of events that make us question our worth lead us into a confused mental frame. Since acceptance and popularity are commonly synonymous with success and power; the realization of dependence on others causes internal disturbance. Attachment to work is another example of such dependence. Most of us define ourselves and our worth by the work we do. An alteration of this perception is required. The acceptance that we are but the perfect energy behind the work and that the final outcomes are dependent on factors outside our control helps create a sense of controlled attachment. Doctors and scientists are found to possess this attitude. There is a

It is difficult to consider a paradigm shift to an internal focus. Instead, the mind prefers to remain in the present state by focusing on the search for a new set of relationships that foster the feeling of acceptance. The sensitivity of the individual and the extent of mental dependence on external acceptance are factors that determine the pace at which the mind accepts a shift to a different focus.

An application of the laws of physics to our mental state can open up a fund of information and understanding as we see that reality is continuously under pressure of different forces. The more we strengthen our opinions of ourselves, the less the external forces can affect our state of equilibrium.


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