by Celeste L. Walker
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To say your mind is part of the miracle that makes you who you are is no small statement. It also happens to be true. Without your mind, what are you? How could you even comprehend yourself? It's extremely telling that Rene Descartes, in searching for proof of his own existence finally hit on what he considered the most basic possible truth: I think, therefore, I am.
It's pretty much impossible to argue with that. If you try, you'll drive yourself crazy ... and there's a delicious irony in that. Your mind is capable of comprehending even itself as well as an infinite number of things beyond itself. How close to godlike is that?
Your mind allows you to look at tangible things that exist, to recognize what they are, to distinguish one thing from something else, and on one level then to understand the physical world you live in -- populated and decorated by many other things and beings as well.
It also lets you understand words, use those words to communicate with those who literally speak your language, use those same words to formulate ideas, describe concepts and feelings -- to an astonishing degree of complexity, work with organized bodies of knowledge like science and mathematics ... and understand the same world in an invisible, valid but completely different and revolutionary way from your 'physical world" model.
It also lets you associate something abstract with something concrete -- and cross-fertilize one kind of knowledge with the other. You can look at a tree, for example, see it for what it is, correctly identify it as a tree -- and even a particular kind of tree ... and then understand how that tree relates to the process of photosynthesis ... something which is definitely part of a tree's world, but which you cannot begin to hold in your hand like a physical object ... and which you may not even be able to put in words everyone can understand. (Most, maybe, but not all.)
There are also the spiritual, poetic dimensions of a tree which occupy their own space in some corner of your mind's awareness ... that lets you see, for instance, God ... or Nature ... or the Life Principle ... in the physical existence and tangible solidarity of a tree ... and that gives you another level of understand, independent of the other two altogether.
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