The Prison of Mind

The idea of a prison of mind has been sloshing around in my
head for quite a while now, I think it’s only appropriate that I articulate what I’ve come to discover.
What is a prison of mind? What does mental imprisonment
entail?
 
Of course, far be it from me to pontificate on philosophy- I
am by no means a philosopher- but I’ll define it the way I see it. I would
define it as anything that shackles free thought; any deliberate untruth that
changes our perceptions of reality, what we hold to be true. Any dogmatic idea
that causes us to -knowingly or otherwise- act in accordance with others’
interests, and against our own. A prison of mind is one that stops you from
forming coherent thought, forming genuine opinions, unpolluted by pernicious
influence. Most of all, it can be characterized by its causing of great
detriment to the sufferer. All this decidedly constitutes mental imprisonment.
To be mentally imprisoned is to be incapable of controlling one’s
actions and thoughts, because they are controlled by others. It’s a case of
abating of will. And, in that sense, it’s a disease of both the body and mind.
All this, in a remarkable way, harks back to the recent Arab
revolutions.
 
When you consider the mass mental conditioning dictators
enforced –and imprudently, daringly continue to- on their countrymen, the
similarities become flagrant. Making us think –mendaciously, of course- that
they are both intent on our benefit and are all-powerful and omnipotent, in equal
measure, proved very potent – we kept them in office for decades!
In fact, mental imprisonment is, in all likelihood, culpable
for most every injustice in our world. Thoughts à la “you’re too insignificant to change anything “
and “what difference will you little old you make?” relieve the righteousness
we should rightfully feel. Evil thrives when good men do nothing.
 
Advertising is another startlingly widespread example of
mind imprisonment. Every day we are bombarded with advertising promising us the
illusion of happiness; asserting that if we buy, buy and buy, we will be
complete, happy and content. We’re stuck in a
vicious cycle, endlessly pursuing a facade. Thinking that maybe, just maybe,
it’ll make us happy. It never will. It entrenches us in a culture that
is unimaginably detrimental to us. We find ourselves willingly following the
self-destroying herd, spending every waking moment in a futile pursuit of
satisfaction.
 
Racism and intolerance arise from mental imprisonment. Both are a direct result of believing in falsehoods and acting upon those, resulting in the deprecation, mistreatment and vilification of segments of society. Not to mention viciously eating away at society itself.
 
The examples are endless.
 
Mind you, we merit our equal share of the blame. For
foolishly lazing and accepting whatever we are maliciously presented with as
unequivocal truth, for, in the case of dictators, keeling over to the
threatening, seemingly unchangeable –the key word being seemingly- status quo,
for not seeking the true nature of things, we are equally liable.
 
A quote from Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’ comes to mind
as very befitting. While sword fighting an amateurish Bruce Wayne, Liam Neeson’s
character, Ducard, roars “Will is everything!” and elaborates with a restrained
“The will to act”. The infamous “open your eyes!” also comes to mind in exactly
the same vein. A pragmatic, objective look at everything we hold to be true is
desperately needed.
A prison of mind is the most confining prison of all.
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