Have you ever wondered why individuals raised in the same home, with the same caregivers, and virtually identical environmental stimuli develop such disparate interpretations of the world in which they live? Undoubtedly, as individuals, we have a myriad of genetic and biological influences in our lives. We are also susceptible to various stressors that are unique to the lives we lead.
However, to what extent may the lens through which we view our lives be contingent upon the aforementioned factors? Why do we process data so differently? We often hear terms such as, “Science says… ” In reality, Science speaks via the interpretation of data by scientists. These scientists interpret data, albeit unintentionally (in the vast majority of cases), encumbered by their biases, prejudices, lack of sufficient data/knowledge, etc.
To ask the question stated in our title, assumes there exists congruity in the use of the term “mind.” This is an assumption that is readily challenged.
There are researchers that assert that mind does not exist, certainly not the conscious mind. Others assert that mind is nothing more than neuronal activity emanating from the brain. Others assert that mind is spatially limited to neither the brain nor the body.
For the purpose of this discussion, we must assume that mind does exist. Tyranny is defined as a situation in which someone or something controls how you are able to live, think and act in an unfair way.
Is the mind being impacted by tyranny? In considering this question, we must first determine whether, if tyranny is extant, is it being imposed altruistically, selfishly, sadistically, out of necessity, etc.
“For I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” (This quote appears under the dome of the Jefferson Memorial in D.C.)
You should permit no one to force their opinions on you. If we avoid that pitfall, we are capable of seeing more clearly and addressing issues more efficiently and comprehensively.
We frequently parrot the talking points reflecting our partisanship. When we do so, we cease to participate in society as we should. We surrender a great deal of our personal freedoms when we either allow others to think for us or adopt their views uncritically. The only tyranny which exists is tyranny of the mind – a tyranny to which we slothfully surrender.
Avoidance requires diligence, perspicacity, and a steadfast demand for truth. Freedom cannot exist in the absence of truth. (The existence of “truth” will be discussed elsewhere.)
Victor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl stated, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
It appears self-evident that “mind tyranny” is a fact. Obviously, much remains to be discussed regarding who and what are responsible for such impositions.