The treachery of open-mindedness (part 1)

An open-mind is unmistakably a beautiful thing, an empty beach awaiting for the waves to fill it with their repeated newness.

An open-mind, free from the shackles of time, from the conformities and regulations of existence, permanently searching for ways to open itself even more, even further.

How is an open-mind quantifiable though? How do you measure it or evaluate it? How do you really know if what you’re dealing with is an actual open-mind or a fake attempt at belonging, coming from the depths of limited perception.

What is an open-mind? And how can we even begin to answer that when the matters of the mind are still so far from our capacity of understanding.

It makes sense after all: not even an open-mind can provide the answers for all the questions tormenting all the minds out there. In fact, if anything, an open-mind is probably more able to produce even more questions of the like, rather than think about the answer.

But practically speaking, how did we get to the idea of an open-mind anyway? Who introduced the concept of open-mindedness and to which purpose? Was there ever a moment in time when our minds were closed, were forced shut by some outside intervention? Was there some extraordinary event which transformed the way we perceive our own minds? Doubtful.

I wonder how many people have ever used the concept of “open-mindedness” when relating to other people, when comparing, accusing or providing advice, without ever having given a thought to their own personal thought process, to their own intricate collaboration of neurons, to their own minds, be them open or not.

It is very tempting to think that not so many people do that. Blame it on superficiality, blame it on the vulgarization of words, on the disappearance of meaning from our lives.

And still open-mindedness occurs everywhere, as the norm, which no one actually follows because to have an open mind, I believe, firstly requires a slightly more in-depth analysis of the self than most people engage in.

The popularity of the term, the way it seems to have become the mainstream rule for dealing with all the contradictions we are facing, I feel only takes away the magic and the real from the whole story.

Like with many other abstract concepts, this one too has been dragged through the deep mud of our shallowness, smeared with the grease of starving ego’s and forever exposed to competing for the title of ‘the most open-mind’.

The way I perceive the mind, its mechanisms and processes, for as much as I can imagine it, since I cannot talk about something so very abstract and mysterious and pretend to know for sure what I’m talking about…so, the way I see it, in theoretical terms, our minds have been always open, by default, openness being one of the greatest qualities the mind possesses .

But how then are we facing such torrents of contradiction? How is everything still so difficult to grasp if our minds, all our minds, are actually open and eager and this epidemic of open-mindedness seems to have reached and infected everyone?

As mentioned just before, I wonder if it’s not a matter of where we’re looking. I wonder what’s the use of an open mind if it’s not accessed at any time, if it’s not turned and twisted around in a cascade of always new questions, if it’s only brought to light when we need to compare it with the open mind of someone else.

‘- Hey! My mind is more open than yours! – Open your mind!’

Right! I’ll do just that. Let me just instantly adopt this abstract concept and apply it to my own thoughts, with no deeper understanding of any reasoning behind why I’m doing this and no questioning of whether or not I should be doing it at all.

Preaching open-mindedness must be a new type of religion, based on disconnection and I believe it can never come from an actual open-mind.

 

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