Opening Of The Mind
By
Bing Escudero
An open mind begins with a closed
mouth. We can take a better view of
this with a sense of humor. Or else,
some truths can be just too crashing to
an expanded ego.
For example, when there is a
gathering of closed minds, it is easy to
find as many mouths that outdo each
other because they can hardly stay
closed. The secret of a closed mouth is
with the tongue, since the mouth has a
way of flopping open as long as the
tongue is moving.
A wayward tongue is the
unmistakable sign of the closed mind.
Sadly enough, this phenomenon can
persist from the gutters to gatherings,
from among friends to families, from
podiums to pulpits, exacerbating from
desktops to databases.
In fact, of the over 600 muscles in
the human body, the tongue is the
hardest muscle to control. Thus the
mouth closes when the tongue is held
still. As long as the mouth is closed, at
last, the mind can start to open. Like the
voice of the silence, it goes without
saying. Then the rest of the best
follows.
The discovery of truth begins with
an open mind. For an open mind is the
door to the heart. The opening of the
mind is the beginning of freedom, the
freedom to find one's own truth and to
live in accord with one's highest
conscience. It is in this freedom where
one can think for oneself and grow
towards that universal understanding
that can include all others.
We will look into the nature of an
open mind by contrasting it with a
closed mind. First of all, a closed mind
is not totally bad. Like a flower bud, it
encloses its tender potential for beauty.
The direct sunlight of those greater
selfless truths can be overpowering. It
is much easier to take on those
repetitious supplications and
affirmations that find to be self serving.
A baby ego is not to be thrown away
with the bathwater.
An infant mind needs to find its own
digestive sustenance for growth. The
high order abstractions of universal
truths are too strong for its babyhood.
The limit~d particulars of popular
beliefs and of concurrent opinions are its
natural staples. There is safety in
numbers. At the least, that gives the
feeling. It helps to fulfill the need of
finding its way first in a more familiar
environment.
No one can open the mind of
another. But it takes a closed mind to
do the closing of another mind. Usually,
the only apparent opening a closed mind
has is its susceptibility to other closed
minds. Like shells in the form of a
heap, a layer of shells are on top of
another. Those at the bottom can hardly
open up. A layer of closed minds is a
sure foundation for another layer of the
same.
Before the mind can function
towards its Limitless possibilities, it
somehow needs to Learn to function first
within its own enclosed limits. Until it
can think for itself, its growth is
dependent on being fed from the
outside.
An open mind can accept what it
approves and disapproves in the same
breadth. A closed mind can accept only
that which coincides with its own old
contents. An open mind is wide enough
to accommodate other minds whether
open or closed. A closed mind encloses
itself with another closed mind to ward
of the approach of another that is open minded.
The opening or closing of the mind
follows a series of gradual stages. A
child is born with an open mind. The
way it will be educated determines its
further opening or its unfortunate
closure. Sometimes the closing of the
mind is done under the appearance of a
better education.
An open mind, especially among
youths, is very sensitive and responsive
to the high ideals of caring,
cheerfulness, beauty, goodness,
perfection, truth, justice, devotion,
faithfulness, friendship, altruism,
goodwill, sincerity, sympathy, tact,
trustworthiness, understanding, unity,
and of course, genuine love.
Such high ideals are found in every
culture of the world. A culture is the
distillation of the ideals of a people from
a long historical passage of time. Their
aspirations for the ideals are express~d
in unique customs and traditions,
according to the creative utilization of
its local and indigenous resources,
shaped by the nature of its inherited
environment. We are born into a
culture. We learn to integrate with
others.
As the mind turns to the ideals, it
may not find its way at the level of
ideas about ideals. When it really gets
lost, it is further down at the level of
ideas alone, devoid of the ideals. And
there now is the tragic emergence of a
closed mind.
The process of integrating ideals and
ideas leads to the opening of the mind.
When the mind is imbued with ideals, it
will find its way even amidst the jungle
and jingle of repackaged ideas,
document~d and embellished by
footnote overkill, mostly produced
under the guise of higher education.
We detain higher education not by
its content but by its approach, and that
is --- higher education is learning to
think for oneself. As we start with
lower education, we are first made to
think according to the way others have
thought. It seems much more easy to
stay this way.
We are cradled and crammed with
thoughts by outside authorities who
have decided what we should think. As
these authorized thoughts become
hyperventilated and hylomorphised,
they get to be respectfully called higher
education or advanced courses. We now
have a legislate~d factory produce~d mind
that has been efficiently closed.
This is not intended to be an
indictment against our institutions of
learning. We all are a part of the
problem as we allow this to happen to
ourselves and, more importantly, to our
succeeding generations. This is that
portion of tradition which turns into
tragedy.
Fortunately, the ideals do not
originate nor reside in our Ivy League
university, Community Colleges or
prefabricated classrooms. Neither do
they mandate from the entrenched
corporate clout of committees or boards.
Our own higher mind is of the nature
of the ideals itself. The closure of the
mind can happen only to our lower mind
which is often nature of ideas.
Education for ideals will complete
our education for ideas. As long as the
lower mind is the instrument of the
higher mind, where ideas are guided by
ideals and illuminated by the spiritual
intuition or super-mind, there is hope for
all humanity.
We bring this high hope into fruition
by living the ideals to its fullest in our
daily lives. And the c1osed bud grows
forth to open its petals, a fragrant flower
of glorious spiritual beauty in the
service of humankind.
@1992v9

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