A Mind of One's Own

A Mind Landscape

So - What Is IT?

THE MIND

"OK and just what is that?" we may want to know. That's logical!

I make no claim to understand it. Much research has been done and is being done by highly qualified scientists who know much about the physical makeup of the brain as well as the psychological makeup of the mind and its manifestations, both "normal" and "pathological". Their research makes fascinating reading!

But brainiacs and professors are not the only folks who have some useful understanding of the human mind. It doesn't take a nuclear physicist to grasp some things and make hay of them!

Politicians know how to align constituents and seduce detractors! PR people know how to manipulate the mind of the public to get us to buy what they’re promoting and to ignore the possible bad side-effects the law requires them to enumerate. Salespeople have learned the methods to direct our minds to "choose" between one of two things, either of which leads to the sale and they know how to disarm objections, make the close and shut up, knowing that the first person to speak at that point - loses. Teachers know how to convince students to go for the grades. Kids know how to manipulate parents to get what they want and sometimes parents even know how to manipulate kids to get them to cooperate!

We all have our own ways to rationalize TO OURSELVES our peccadilloes and to either convince ourselves we are or are not "OK", depending on what we've bought into, in spite of evidence to the contrary!

None of this thinking has anything much to do with "objective facts" or reality (whatever that is, since most everything we can be aware of is a matter of our own subjective perception!)

But let’s explore the mind from a layperson’s perspective. After all, each of us has a personal laboratory for examining at least the one – our own! Yes, folks, the mind is ever-present, inescapable and each of us has one, along with all its facets. But sometimes we don’t know to choose to turn its focus in on itself and to insist that it be truly honest with itself.

Perhaps it's that the mind is just so ever-present that we hardly really notice its workings, at least so long as things are running along smoothly. But if or when we're faced with a big problem to solve, or if we're confronted with another mind with an emphatically different view of the same things, we may become acutely aware of it!

But the good news is that we CAN become better self-evaluators on an ongoing basis - and without becoming unbalanced or too self-introspective.

The Brain

What-all Does IT Do?

So we are hit with a major awareness: The mind is many things, beginning with the actual physical brain, that "3-pound enigma" which has no sensory feeling capacity of its own such as the other organs of the body have within them for feeling pain or pleasure. Yet it's the organ which is capable of out-thinking the most sophisticated computer that's ever been devised, which quietly and automatically makes sure we breathe, that our heart beats, and that the other vital organs are doing their jobs. And it continuously helps us sort through the sensory feelings we experience throughout our bodies and to understand them and how to direct them well – and/or to quest for that understanding..

It sees to it that we can move around, that all other functions of the body necessary to life and continuation of our species are maintained without conscious thought, - even as iIt thinks, creates, motivates and seamlessly steers us through our lives here on earth.

We are living vulnerable organisms, subject to injury. The mind, however, is equipped to compensate when one limb or function is damaged, giving greater power to that which remains to fill in. Sometimes, as in the case of brilliant genius Stephen Hawking, the entire body is so misshapen and maimed - from birth - that one wonders how he even lived. Yet he did and has become one of the most revered thinkers of his generation.

An so, the mind allows us to reach for heights of enlightenment and joy, to surpass our predecessors and break new ground, to invent, build and create, solve problems, care for loved ones and even to make some sense out of chaos.

It includes an amazing sense of self and awareness of others. It's the home of compassion and generosity, perhaps of love itself, or, if not where they arise, at least it is the interpreter of these more esoteric impulses. It's the seat of memory and the ability to visualize consequences and predict outcomes fairly accurately. It's again the interpreter of Intuition, sensory and abstract perception, awareness and alertness, which are all facets of its workings and influence.

It is teamed with the amazing subconscious mind with its "wisdom of the body" (also called "gut feelings") and their interpreter when they need to be explained. When these functions work together harmoniously, the most amazing things are possible.

So "mind" is all that which comprises the most human factors and features which we simply call "intelligence", with its many kinds, facets, applications and aberrations. It includes creative intelligence along with analytical, each with their many offshoots.

Measurements of intelligence are primitive, at best, because there is such an array of kinds in any one person as well as across our species. Comparing one individual intelligence with another is rather arbitrary at best. So much depends on a person's background and opportunities, on personality factors and self-confidence.

Still we do measure the things the tests are designed to measure and they do provide some rough idea of what the person's intelligence can handle. Whether that shows that the person will apply it well, or whether there are strong abilities which are simply less measurable or whether there is an inventive or creative streak in the person which is so original that its energy lies outside of the ordinary is not measured. Being around someone with such a mind may or may not readily expose it, in fact. True creative genius surely is an island set apart. I think of Da Vinci - much too far ahead of his time to have been fathomed, much less fully appreciated during it.

I feel sure that everyone has a special unique "light". So let's peer into the human head a bit.

One can almost feel it when one’s own intelligence is at work. One is aware that It is the most effective intelligence one can apply. It feels STRETCHED and limber. It matters not what score one made on a test or whether the effort wins a prize or a hand of bridge. One is aware that it is progress or that it is the appropriate accomplishment. It feels fitting, measured upwards and well-worked-out. Even if external rewards are delayed, one KNOWS it was well-done and that results will materialize. There is a wonderful lack of ambivalence! There is, in fact, crystalline clarity. In the event that more facts or research are shown to be needed, or that more effort needs to be applied, then that too is clear and progressive. Time needn't be wasted on defensiveness.

On the other hand, attempting to mimic others’ mind-working is futile. It feels confined and uneasy. Often people seem to think the mere expression of intelligence are what intelligence is. The vocabulary used or the subjects chosen to be explored which intelligence employs as vehicles for exercising its interest and energy are not what it IS. A person is not made "smart" by using a lot of big words, even if their meanings have been carefully memorized and applied reasonably. The words that are used by someone whose thought seeks expression are simply chosen to get it said the most succinctly and effectively, rather than to make the biggest impression. It is not the words but the thought behind them that demonstrates the intelligence.

I remember hearing the description "educated fools" to describe those who only mimic what they think is intelligent and often enough they do have the diplomas and certificates of education. But if their minds are not activated to think clearly and originally, it's quite a hollow score.

Actually the simplest original thought is far superior to the most elaborate merely mimicked one. Many people with scant education do have brilliant minds with potential for greatness, even though society limites opportunities in such cases.

But when a good idea can be expressed in simple words, it should be. It's not improved by over-statement or elaborate words per se. But when an idea is so specific that just the right word is needed to fully and clearly communicate it, one will go to great lengths to find that word, even if it means consulting both thesaurus and unabridged Webster to find it! Bottom line is - one must trust one's own intelligence and resources in order to be clear and make sense. That's the only real reason to communicate beyond social "small talk", gossip, terms of endearment, or amusement. Most things, if worth saying, are worth saying well.

However, in the physical sense, all this intelligence originates within and is controlled by a bunch of busy spongy cells and electrical signals in a relatively small area of the body called a skull. Sometimes it may be called a "numb skull" when it seems to be asleep on the job! Fortunately though, as long as we live, it never is completely asleep though it benefits from regular rest periods, at which times it often accomplishes some of its best work. How many times do we "sleep on" a problem, only to awaken with the solution, as if by magic? Nope, not magic. It's part of the mind's and subconscious' jobs and when they harmonize, - they almost seem to be magic!.

When we’re awake we tend to direct our minds here and there to consider conscious matters. But when we are at rest, signals from less conscious mind/s matters gain the attention of both the conscious and subconscious minds.

Cranium

Knowing One's Own Mind - Foibles and All

Mind is one fascinating area which probably has been explored as much and has possibly raised as many questions as answers as are found in the exploration areas of ocean depths and outer space combined. Yet it's as close as our own heads, where it's provided the video of the eyes, the audio of the ears and ready access to a bunch of other antenna for testing and evaluating conditions existing beyond its own house - the body to which it's attached.

We do not always trust it and yet we accept its impressions too unquestioningly in many ways. By and large, the mind is possibly the most subjective organ a human being possesses. And with its various sensory organs, It receives all incoming information and forms its ideas and opinions based upon this subjectively-filtered information which has been received 100% through its own sensory organs. Not only is this filtering system subjective as of that moment, but it has been continuously molded by the person’s past experiences, interaction with other subjective individuals, its own assumptions, and by the shape and form of the person's heritage, education, role in the family, and all the many other factors and individual influences which happen along the way. To think for a moment that any human being possesses "objectivity" beyond the sketchiest and most limited amount and extent is the very height of subjective foolishness! So, that understood, what are we to do about clarifying our thinking at least enough to communicate among ourselves, each with his/her own perspective and conclusion about some or all of it?

The first obstacle is a tendency for the mind to be complacent about these realities, though when it is distressed, there is a tendency for it to look for comfort rather than clarification. There is very little automatic objective authority search equipment within the mind which will point out its own frailties, contradictions and absurdities. Those are skills which can and must be cultivated. Understanding this is important. That would be the first hurdle.

Training one’s mind to better recognize what is "so" and what it's simply accepted as so or what is preferred to believe is so would be a giant step in one's development. Deliberately shining the light of facts and reality is something the mind can learn to do, at least up to a level, along with developing a better inner ear for listening to the still-small-voice from our guts which tends to be more accurate and honest and quicker to clear out the debris than our conscious mind.

The evidence of external things can give clues, as well. Knowing oneself and how one thinks, whether or not one withholds judgment till more is known, refrains from "knee-jerk' reactions, carefully sifts for both good evidence and reasonable doubt in what "seems' to be so is a major step. When every thing and every one seem to be at odds with one's perception, it may be a clue that a really bright spotlight needs to be shone on one's own actions and attitudes to see if perhaps something is out of step with either objective basics or social harmony. We are not independent of our "others". We must allow for their needs, too. We certainly have no need for or real use for animosity for its own sake!

In other words, we need to train the mind to be honest with itself though iIt is not an automatic function of the mind! Of course, we need to be sure that we are comparing what we think with clear facts, not simply with another layer of distortions! That is a tendency of the mind, to latch on to its own creations and to promote them. There are reasons for this, but if they are allowed to take over the thinking, one exists in a sort of extremely subjective "Alice Through The Looking Glass" of one's own making, which must be re-established and re-boosted indefinitely to maintain a semblance of balance so long as one's delusions are held.

Looking--Glass

Focused and Global Thinking

Another feature of the higher mind is its phenomenal ability to focus, to concentrate, and to probe a specific fact or a set of facts without considering the many other things whirling about. What this means is that it can shine its entire attention on that focal point, but it must ignore all other facts or influences while focusing, which actually is its primary conscious function.

Of course, it is necessary to "block out" much that is going on or one would go nuts. In our planetary atmosphere - and beyond it - there are sounds and objects over which we have no control which also would be major distractions of our attention from the things that are ours to control and needing our responses. Along with the limitations of our awareness of most of these extra-terrestrial sounds and disturbances, limited for our own protection, are built-in limitations from full consciousness and comprehension everything in progress which surely IS there to behold if our mortal senses were equipped to do so. This is a primary reason not to claim to know much about easy, off-hand explanations and descriptions about what it all is.

But there are also inexplicables about which we can receive input right here within our atmosphere and out into our timid probes beyond it, more than we can deeply consider all at the same time, – no matter how good at multi-tasking we may consider ourselves to be! But our minds must be able to sort down on the most imperative facts to consider at any given time and then must be able to ignore the rest in order to do so.

However, ignoring all the other factors does not cancel them, and once we are focusing, we can and do miss many important other stimuli going on. But we are equipped with an ability to sense other stimuli by our subconscious, which is able to take in all that is going on "globally" even while the higher mind is focusing. But the cerebrum, where the focusing is being processed, tends to over-dominate all consciousness and when it does, it leaves us more vulnerable to other factors we're ignoring.

It seems that the development of higher cerebral intelligence came with a price-tag. It's obvious that lower animals possess and use their entire consciousness for survival and to excel at what they do, though they may lack the ability to "reason" any of it out in ways our minds can. They don't invent and build great things, but neither do they destroy their own systems. They have more limited memory and virtually no fore-view, yet they begin to store food for the winter and to build nests for their young before they've appeared. One wonders if either higher intellect or more primitive instinct is the necessary choice of state of being? Let’s think on that.

We’ve heard of "the absent-minded professor". This is a man who is so focused on whatever he’s studying that he's obliviouos to almost everything else. It may sound extreme, but the truth is that we all do it in some measure when we're concentrating, because that is a major function of the brain and its strong M.O..

But we do also have our intuition, our subconscious and our other five senses picking up all the other signals and information. However, the additional SENSE which the mind is, seems to control the keys to the parts of the brain which might receive and digest the many sources of information provided by the entire body, if they were allowed access. Consequently the dominance of the cerebrum crowds out much of our global awareness. Only by cultivating our responsiveness to our global awareness can we make fullest use of it. The good news is – we can do that!

Example: Martial arts masters practice allowing their subconscious to instantly process incoming information without needing to run it through the brain. Their overall lavel of global awareness is so keen that it alerts them immediately and directly to danger from any direction and requires no processing through their cerebrums, where it would need to be received, examined, decided and a response signaled to the applicable body part to activate its course of action. By then, the opponent’s sword would have stopped the process anyway. Yet the same martial artist who has this global awareness mastery may also be a CEO of an international enterprise. It's not either/or. We can have our focus spotlight AND our global enlightenment simultaneously if we are willing to develop them to work in tandem for the greatest application of our entire "intelligence"!

Classic Martial Arts

Using All Our Conceptual Resources

Using the entire wisdom of the body present in every cell in it is a natural ability but requires that an individual deliberately develop it in order to put it to effective use. Perhaps people happen on to it by other routes, as in the study of martial arts, but it is available to everyone. Of course if this sort of intelligence is discredited and disrespected by a person, it will be limited, if not stifled by that person. The old-fashioned dismissal of "women’s intuition" as somehow deficient, is an example of that kind of discrediting. Even when intuition is respected, it has often been at the expense of recognizing it exists alongside high intellect. If anything, it may be an indication of superior intellect when it coexists in one person!

Even those who seem to lack the ability to think globally or act intuitively, though, almost everyone responds to emergencies so quickly and effectively it may be difficult to remember much of it. In those instances, the natural awareness and response simply overrules the analytical brain. But yes, we can have both faculties at will if we cultivate the more subtle one, respect it and allow it to function for us all the time. When we do, we gain more power over our lives and environment as we become more clear and effective in our responses to what is going on and our relationships with it all.

It is enormously refreshing deliberately to look squarely into one’s own mind and give it the boosts as well as the confidence to apply itself well and realistically, being unconcerned with how it compares to others’. Learning to distinguish what is really going on in the present from what we expected or were prejudiced to receive it as 'being how it is' takes care of mountains of misunderstandings and wearisome delays in getting at the facts and dealing appropriately with them. Giving the other person "benefit of the doubt" - especially while doubt (ie: uncertainty) is really the essence of the situation, - spares damaged bridges, unnecessary hurt feelings and many other mental and emotional difficulties which are pointless and life-consuming. Attempting to impose "certainty" by one's will on a situation in which all factors are not - cannot be - fully known is to fool one's mind into accepting dubious "facts" and then to base conclusions upon them. It is a house of cards, bound to crumble. Yet it is more common than not.

Seeing clearly helps distinguish these otherwise fuzzy areas which complicate relationships and often cost oneself important progress for naught. The trite term "one's own worst enemy" comes to mind when considering how much trouble we cause ourselves by jumping to conclusions, misjudging, burning bridges, and our general failure to pick up on the real facts while busily trying to superimpose our pre-conceived ideas on situations which are relatively simple otherwise, given "benefit of doubt".

It is fascinating and it is one’s own territory to explore and to cultivate. It FEELS good! Becoming aware of one’s own mind’s functioning and applying it well is a real visceral pleasure. When one can FEEL it all working like a well-coordinated organ, noticing what matters, sorting through extraneous information to zero in on the actual pertinent facts, avoiding traps of self-delusion when considering what really is going on, sticking to the point, and all the many things which improve a clarity of thought needed in maneuvering through the myriad of situations and possibilities of each day which constantly present themselves is satisfying. It just feels good!

But lest it seem that this is a mind which is not fully challenged, nothing is further from the truth. It may not be what would be called a restless mind, however, if by restless we mean one that is constantly unfulfilled or dissatisfied. There is satisfaction with where one is, from which one naturally takes a further step into the unknown and seeks more clarity. There is no idleness in the active contented mind, though it is able to rest and relax, allowing the mind to ease tension, as well as to probe with single-minded focus . During relaxation, all resources within the person - the wisdom of the body as well as of the mind - more harmoniously blend and recognize answers as they unfold and are comprehended.

So What is Genius?

There are many acknowledged geniuses both living and passed on. Some have been tortured individuals whose abilities almost seemed to have been more than their personalities could handle. Those may have become drunkards and addicts, though they somehow produced fruits of their high intellects. Some are very serious focused folks whose entire beings were absorbed in the objects of their creativity or mental excellence. Some highly intelligent people have turned their abilities to crime and mayhem. There are the high-IQ idiots when it comes to "common sense". There are also those who went undiscovered because they hadn’t become at home in their own skins with their full potential allowed to blossom. And there are those who didn’t get it together until later in life.

Richard Feynman

There is one genius I admire and find to be a balanced PERSON, someone with whom I'd have enjoyed sitting at his feet and hearing about - maybe even discussing - heady things or just bantering humor, picnicking or enjoying a view: His personality was as delightful as his mind was amazing.

Richard Feynman, nuclear physicist, dazzling intellect and fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, irreverent man. The list of his scientific accomplishments is awesome. His personal life was joyous. Somehow he didn't take himself so all-fired seriously!

When asked if he was looking for the ultimate laws of physics, he replied that he was not, that he was just looking to find out more about the world and that if it led to an explanation of everything, so be it. His goal was simply to find out more because that’s what he liked to do and obviously – what his mind was capable of doing extremely well!

The Biography

"No Ordinary Genius"

This quote from himself in his biography sums up what I prefer to feel about thinking, exploring and being oneself, simply doing things for the pure delight and self-expression of it:

"I think I’ve got the right idea, to do crazy things – what other people would consider crazy things. There’s so much fun to be had. I must say frankly that I don’t understand myself and I don’t know why certain things amuse me. I am not going to try and figure it out. If I enjoy it, I enjoy it and I don’t have to explain it to anybody. I just feel like doing it and never mind…..I don’t care! I just do it for the fun of it, and I can’t define the fun, because fun is a different thing for different people." ____Richard Feynman, from No Ordinary Genius.

Some Feynman Titles

Feynman On the Bongos - A Joyous Genius

Contentment Symbol

                                       Perhaps

                                             There is nothing more

                                                             And nothing less

                                              Than this:

                                                             A total moment,

                                                                        Fullly lived.

                                         Perhaps

                                                Affirming life

                                                         Is the First

                                                                         And the final

                                                                                     Step to God.

   ___© Nellieanna Hay

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Comments 81 comments

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Nellieanna, I usually tend to avoid reading long hubs but I read this one right through to the end, and that's because your mind is a fascinating thing! You have the amazing ability to coherently put into words thoughts and concepts that flit through my mind without taking definite shape...and voila...suddenly it all makes sense! :)

I will have to read this again to absorb everything you've said...but meanwhile, Happy Easter to you and yours! :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

I understand that. I also find lengthy articles unnerving unless I'm really into the subject and how it's developed. I should be ashamed of myself for writing lengthy ones! Occasionally I can compact them. Obviously this wasn't one of those occasions! I fully understand your comments. I often find something expressed which I've thought but haven't been able to fully formulate & vocalize and that is truly an AHA! moment for me too. Thanks so much for your kind interest and please let me know whatever you think if you have time to ponder further.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

I agree with you that the amount of education a person has may have nothing to do with how developed his mind is. Book knowledge can be so inadequate when compared to actual experience - it's the latter that will set a truly 'thinking' mind off on its path of discovery.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Absolutely. In ways the recent generation of people have come to think of education just like any other 'thing' or possession. That is so absurd! It's merely a foundation for 'commencing' one's true education: LIFE. But that is commenced the moment one it born until death, deliberately or not! I suspect that measurements and comparisons are completely invalid. What a person does with what he has to work with is the truer measurement.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Nellieanna very interesting hub and I read to the end as well. It was fascinating and you make a good point about a persons intellect compared to their common sense. I have a daughter that is a 4.0 ever since she was in high school and now she is an English major and the girl is as smart as the day is long. But lacks common sense, go figure I guess she gets that from my side of the family lol. Great hub.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

I don't know why I do not get warning emails about your hubs. This is the secod I have missed.

As one with no brain to speak off, I find this hub to be more suitable for the lecture hall of a uivesity. One important point though that got through to me, is that "the simplest original thought is far superior to the most elaborate merely mimicked one".


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

OH my - I can't imagine why you don't get the notices of new hubs. But if you're going to relegate them the lecture halls anyway . . . sigh. You are sneaky. Your brain is ample! But you're modest. And you're correct - that sentence is the crux of the matter and what I most want to emphasize. Real intelligence is simple and effective. Everything else to do with it is just means to communicate.

In case you don't get the most recent hub I've just now posted - it's here now. ":Lightning Could Strike". There's nothing that belongs in a lecture room in it, I can promise you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

LadyJane - I have a sister like that too. Was a whiz in school from start to finish, but is so impractical it's not even funny. She's been a teacher of everything from math to foreign languages and special education. She related well to "special needs" kids - perhaps she had insight into that. Anyway - like you say - go figure. The main thing is, I think - not to compare oneself with others. Just be one's own best self and it will all come out as it should. My mother used to say that "no one gets all the squirrels up one tree" and I am pretty sure that's so. Each of us has something special and no one has it all!


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

another wonderful hub! I love the top picture! Thanks!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thanks again, Michael. I appreciate your interest and kind words. I agree - that picture is quite pleasant! :)


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

I honestly appreciate your hub on the mind. There are some days when I just have to focus on which hand I put my keys in and other days I am so brilliant that I could knock an apple off the roof with mind power alone. I love your writing and the way your words make me want to read more. Thank you for creating a truly thoughtful hub - And the contentment symbol and verse - Wow!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

What a great metaphor. ",,,knock an apple off the roof with mind power alone." I know what you mean, too! What's nice is to discover when you feel like one of the other sort of mindsets is where you are, to just sit down anyway with a virtually blank mind & find that something presentable starts to flow. Maybe it's a special reward for humility, think?

Anyway - I appreciate your reading my hub and commenting so kindly.

I've been advised by a caring friend to start dividing up my lengthy articles into separate hub segments. I had thought (slightly) of doing that too. They can intimidate even me to edit when they're so MUCH at a gulp. Must be some quirk in me that seems impelled to try to cover it all in one fell swoop. But if it works best as a sleep medicine, what's the point? haha.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Wow - what a great Hub - I'm a new fan.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is so awesome and I will have to come back to it. It's almost midnight here and I'm tired so I'm not doing it justice! Will definitely come back. Bookmarked for reading later (when I've had some sleep) and then will make a more informed comment (I hope! LOL).

Love and peace

Tony


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Suziecat - I'm your fan as well. Just had the pleasure of visiting your site and the hub on things for teens to do~ just in the nick of time for a visit from my teenage great grands from Indiana! Thanks! And thanks for this kind comment on mine!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Tony - I've been there, done that. Been taken with an outstanding hub but not up to reading it t do it justice nor to comment properly. I appreciate that you noticed it and want to revisit & comment! Thank you!!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Here I am back again, though I'm not sure the 3 lbs is quite ready even now! I really loved this Hub and spent quite a long time reading it again. There is something really awesome about a great mind at work. I have had the privilege to be acquainted with some people with really great intellects, and found the way their minds worked to be really, well, awesome!

The absent minded professor syndrome I know well also - had a history teacher in high school who was also a champion chess player. We would often see him walking across the quad to a class, then suddenly stop, with his hands making slight movements, his head to one side, and we knew that he was working out a chess game in his mind, and the reality of where he was and what he was supposed to be doing was lost to him, for a few moments! His reality at that time was the chess game, not the quad or the history lesson he was supposed to be teaching!

There seem to be many different ways that minds work. Some minds work very quickly, grasping issues and making decisions fast. Others work slowly, only coming to decisions after long sifting and juggling of facts and ideas.

I know that I don't work quickly. I set my mind a problem or a goal and then forget about it until the deadline time draws near, and then the task flows fast and almost unconsciously. The mind has done its work in the background. I find this quite fascinating. The mind has so many layers and is capable of holding onto and processing so much more than we can consciously grasp at any one time that it's almost scary.

Training oneself to be progressivly more aware of the functioning of the mind is great for unlocking the potential. I find meditation helps me to do just that (though I don't do it enough!), and the Zen masters have developed this to an extremely high level. I just hope I can get to something like that level!

Thanks for the mental challenge of this wonderful Hub!

Love and peace

Tony


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh my, Tony - I'm amazed that we think about things in similar ways, it seems. I'm fascinated with how the mind works. I had very intelligent parents and siblings, was the youngest by many years, so had opportunity to observe them in action as I was growing up. Of course I always figured I must be a dummy, since they were all so bright and articulate and I just seemed to be on the fringes and seldom could get in a word edgewise! But it also gave me opportunity to get well acquainted with how my mind works.

I love that story you told about the absent minded chess-playing professor! My George was an engineer, inventor, poet, musician of sorts, and many other things, and I'd often see him working out a problem silently, with his fingers writing in the air! Even when he was rapidly progressing into dementia, so he had limited short-term memory, he was still active mentally and tried all the harder to keep his wits about him. I miss him terribly and was far from ready for him to go. But in one respect, at least, was glad he didn't linger till he was unable to think and feel like himself and glad I could care for him and provide him with mental stimulation right up to the end.

Even when he was almost gone, after they'd taken him to X-ray for some test, when he was back in his room, though he could barely speak and no one else would have made out his words, he said, "And the net result is? . . ." So like him!

From a young age, I studied a thing, as you say, as a project, from every angle, then it became so internalized that I could perform it or have it handy very quickly and effortlessly. Interests change and one grows, but those patterns of processing are rather consistent. I also find Zen principles help keep the mind limber and expanded, somehow, though I'm not a practicing follower. I have read extensively, though, (almost everything Alan Watts wrote as well as some translated from the Asian masters) and been associated with some who are more aware than I. There are similar other approaches, as well. Do you know Abraham Maslow's works? At the end, though, I feel my own approach suits me best. Only problem, I may not live long enough to explore all the possibilities! Especially regarding how the mind works!! Even my own! LOL


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

Being a psychology student myself (working as a counselor part time) you can imagine how fascinating this was for me. Your writing and thoughts just flow so naturally that I couldn't stop reading. Took in every word of this.... and must say, that little poem at the end was beautiful too. :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - you must be very good at working with people! I feel that the technology of understanding people must be coupled with the intuition and "feeling" for it. Thank you for noticing the poem. I'm happy to have found you here. It's amazing how wonderfully this forum brings people together who might never have an opportunity to communicate otherwise! Thank you!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

This has to be my lucky day.I was much more fascinated by your hub than all my years of school put together.I really believe if they taught classes on learning all about the mind in every grade while we are in school students would understand to let your mind think outside the box.To be more creative and let your imagination go to work.I feel that students graduating today are more book smart but less street smart.I think we need the proper combination not too much one or the other.You have so many gifts that I am so proud to listen and learn.I see the excitement leap off the page when I read your words.I have seen many comments on your very detailed and incredible hub.I am still trying to appreciate all that I was able to comprehend at this time.I am not sure but I think someone said knowledge isn't power.Applied knowledge is.I hope to apply some of the things I learned here.Thank you so much.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Dream On. You're the epitome of an outstanding mindset which embraces newness with discernment! I've been to

I fully agree that education must help students open their minds to their own creative and individual analytical potential, and to cultivate their imaginations & encourage them to blossom.

One can only hope that all that excess energy applied to masterfully texting trivia among themselves will branch out to find more satisfying areas to investigate and appy itself. One sees hopeful signs, if one is open, patient & understanding of what they must overcome in a desert of inspiration they've already experienced and internalized. They're still vibrating with potential - they just haven't discovered what better to do with it, I think.

You do me great honor. Visiting your site won me and I'm a sincere fan from the word go!

Thank you for visiting mine and letting me know your impressions! :-)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

like all things the mind also decays without some form

of calisthenics. Readng your hub is giving my mind a good workwout.What your friend suggested is a good idea. I am reading this hub in small bites for better digestion.I also enjoy your poetry.Reflecting on your poem during sunrise is like bouncing light on a diamond's multi-facet surface.A KALIEDOSCOPE of expressive revelations


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Whoo hoo! That is a lovely complinent, SilentReed! It's poetry itself!

Yes, one must "use it or lose it" as they say!! And it goes for all functions of living.

I've laughed and joked that I have one foolproof way to identify which of my writings are prose and which are poetry: LENGTH! I have a few longer poems, but very few and a small percentage overall!

I took a journalism course in college and - believe it or not - I was able to summarize and encapsulate a lot into less! And I can write a brief and complete business letter. But when my mind begins to embrace and make love to a subject of real interest to me - - well, I'm too verbose, I guess. I can usually shorten it or chop it up into smaller bites, but then, inevitably, I end of thinking of another thing to add, since it then has more room for it!

So - I guess it's my "style", sort of. Even my comments tend to be lenghty!


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

This is a brilliant and deep hub - I will have to come back and properly comment as there is so much to take in. I love you poem at the end also. The power of the mine is amazing for vision, for healing, for perception, for love...it just goes on. It is also the downfall if not recognized and understood. You make all those points very concisely.


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Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Billy! Thank you, kind sir! That's high praise coming from you, with the brilliance of your mind and an incredible ability to see and to see-through the implicatons of all the many major issues you write about. Thank you so much!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Your golden fabric of "reality" is woven with silver threads of rich highlights filled in with broad strokes of "down-to-earth" REALITY and the application thereof... Enjoyed the mental imagery sprinkled with scientific facts.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Dallas. I only hope that the mental imagery carries the scientific facts. My 'facts' are less substantial than yours! But Richard Feynman is a respectable genius, so maybe, on his coattails. . . . ;-)


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

You create "substantial" into an understood idea, or concept...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah. That's a good thought! Thank you! HUGS!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Back at you! :-)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

Another work of art . I can't believe it has taken me so long to find you on here. You are so talanted!! I am bookmarking this one so I can refer back to it any time.Absolutely brilliant . Take care Nellieanna.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Eiddwen, I suspect that you and I have had some similar experiences in life and perhaps, we've overcome them in similar fashion.

As I may have mentioned, but bears mentioning again, I once read a scientific report about a study of intellect & its relation to gender. The study selected a group of young teenage boys and girls and tested them thoroughly for both mental and emotional capabilities. Periodically they were tested over the years Then, 30 years later, the same group was thoroughly tested again. What was discovered was that the boys' actual experiences had either enhanced or diminished their original abilities in keeping with their external progress. The girls', on the other hand, had not been changed by adversities, but, if anything - their abilities had been enhanced rather than stymied!

Though they had been more emotionally unstable in the beginning actually - as teenage girls often are, they were more serene and philosophical with age and their mind were sharper than at the start. They'd been either married or worked - or both - in which time they were often down-graded emotionally and intellectually as were the boys at times under stress and pressures. But the major difference was that, for guys - a steady, uninterrupted progress in their lives was essential to maintaining and/or improving their faculties, while for the girls, interruptions and backwards movement didn't seem to take a permanent toll at all. Whatever their native abilities were, they would always emerge later on! And being through adversities tended to strengthen and improve them!!

As I've observed people - including my own self and my progeny, I notice that is so. It was most encouraging for us females and also served to alert me to the importance of helping my male loved ones to keep a steady course and learn early to deal with adversity so that it doesn't get-at the core of their beings. I guess that is the difference in the genders. We gals suffer as much as the guys, but it doesn't wreck our self-esteem beyond recall and it can't "own" us to the extents it seems to own guys to falter or fail. We pick ourselves up, let go of the debris and go on. They tend to give in to it, at least deep inside where it does most damage.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

Great thoughts here. As I was getting my psychology degree I became discouraged because the mind is intricate and there is no way of figuring it all out, but then at the end of my education, I realized that's what was so fascinating about it.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh that's so true, Isettl! I'd love to have another lifetime to devote to study of the human mind - in all its forms, including the subconscious. I'm so pleased that you found and read this hub. It was among my earlier ones.


Old Pete profile image

Old Pete 5 years ago from Brighton UK

Thank you for putting into words some of my own thinking. I was reading "What does open-mindedness mean?" by Arthur Windermere and was struck by your comment.

I'm no genius but I've always been the odd one out.

I'm a 75 year old Brit so it was some 60 years ago that I got into trouble for suggesting that the British Empire had basically been built on greed and selfishness (as more recent discoveries have proved).

I have long understood some of the significance of the rise and fall of empires but when I suggest that there is a parallel with the rise and fall of Christian denominations and the Christian religion, I'm usually ignored!

As a close friend once said, "Peter, you have the knack of asking the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers". It's been a long journey and only in the last couple of years have I begun to realise the value of a contented mind.

Interestingly I recognised about three years ago that I have lived with Aspergers Syndrome all my life.

Thanks again for the help in clarifying some of my own thinking.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Pete. And by the way - we are more or less peers - with I, more and you, less. I will be celebrating my 79th birthday next Wednesday. It means I've completed 79 years on this Earth and will actually be embarking on my 80th.

I've just read your profile and it is fascinating. My own religious background is also varied, but sometime ago I realized what was to become my faith: It's summed up in 4 (or 3 if one contracts there is to there's) - and those are : THERE IS NO PROBLEM.

I realized that to have faith was to know it was going to work out as intended. OR else - in the remote chance that there is no intention, it will simply, not.

It horrified me to see people declaring their faith and then fretting, worrying, haranguing and otherwise DEMONSTRATING the exact opposite of faith or trust and belief. In fact - it occurred to me that the idea of "belief" was the opposite of faith. We "believe" this, as opposed to that, because we have DECIDED TO. Has nothing to do with faith that what IS, simply IS. And that turned out to be what I felt.

What IS - is good enough for me. It is as it IS and that is surely as it "should be" - but since it is what IS, there is really no contest. There is much to be said for truth. And most of what we opine and decide upon is not the "whole truth, the full truth, so help me, God" truth. We just cling to our delusions and conclusions because we really lack faith in just what IS and are so uncomfortable with NOT ALREADY KNOWING everything. In other words - we are mostly and paralyzingly terrified of FAITH! What, we yell? Just -admit to not knowing, to not "having 'a faith'? - oh, my, NO! Gotta have religion. And go where they believe in the same 'faith', have DECIDED on what to believe the same way and excluded all other beliefs!"

Anyway - I'm so happy to meet you and I like you already.

Thank you for your very good and thought-inspiring comments and for visiting my hub!


Old Pete profile image

Old Pete 5 years ago from Brighton UK

"There's no problem"! I like that.

I find it sad that if you asked so many who say they believe, "Will you go to heaven when you die?", you would get answers along the lines of "I hope so". They do seem to wonder if their "get out of hell free" card will be adequate. I am convinced that if there is a loving Creator nobody is going to be judged by whether they accept or reject any religious teachings of men (i.e. religion).

Look forward to getting to know you better.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes - if there is a loving Creator, - well, surely "He" is in charge, for one thing. Wouldn't be as if he needs our help or that we are here to assist a grand plan along, though it makes sense that we might be expected to attain some measure of enlightenment for our own benefit. If there were to be a judgement, it seems to me that it would be only about what is in one's heart or "written on" one's soul. And if there is no such Creator or grand plan, then - what's all the worry about? We still need to gain enough enlightenment to make it through this life and perhaps leave it better than we find it. I feel a sense of "all-rightness" and it has little to do with any religious teachings, although I've had quite a lot of them. I have no quarrel with them, either, other than when they indirectly cause people to hate and kill other people who see it differently, as all too often happens. But it is not the teachings that do it - it's the misuse of them. Most of the truly "great" religions teach kindness, love and honesty. I certainly have no quarrel with that. But I guess any time an enlightened deliverer of any better "way" tries to explain to the masses what "it" is - "it" gets lost in translation in their heads.

Sad, but true. Simplicity seems at the beginning- complications arise in the misinterpretations and misapplications. So it's been and so it obviously continues. Humans thirst for religion, if only to have some place to hide and someone to blame - and others to really despise. We are born knowing nothing but we are quickly taught to follow suit, whatever it is in our immediate environment. And along with it, come the warnings of "other" views and practices. But it needn't burden us. It's all mostly an illusion or dream, probably. If there is a grand purpose, "this" is so temporary. If there is not, - same thing. We have "this", though - to use and use as well as we can, NOW and HERE. WE are not robots. What we do with this brief side-trip or whatever it is - is all ours to do and there are only the moments we ARE alive, not the past ones or those that have not come. If we overlook that - we don't need any worse hell. And if we "get it", perhaps we need no greater "heaven". If we can't GET this, though - why would we ever expect to be able to get something MORE wonderful??? wow. Boggles the mind! LOL

Sorry - I ramble. . .

Thanks for checking back and reading my reply to your comment. Not everyone does that! :-)


Old Pete profile image

Old Pete 5 years ago from Brighton UK

I love your rambling! I've enjoyed reading "What if ..." and the many comments. "A Day of Infamy" was really interesting - I'll add a comment or two - but maybe I should write something of my own experiences of WWII living between Dover and London with all the aerial warfare going on overhead.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Pete - I wish you WOULD write of your WWII experiences. When my late husband & I visited the UK, we got to go to Dover and see the remembrances of that time. It was "goosebumpy". And I met someone in a group who was born during the London air siege. His father was quite a writer and wrote memoirs including that fateful day. The little family barely escaped being in a bomb shelter which was blasted to smithereens. It had filled with a bit of water and they didn't want to take the newborn down in it, so they hid under a sturdy dining table, which was spared, event though most of the house - and that bomb shelter - were destroyed. Horrible visuals it brings to mind.

Yesterday I got to see "The King's Speech" - and again it brought to mind those perilous times, and reminded me of how often what tenuous events have such tremendous effects on the outcomes. I was a child and only barely aware, but I recall things from news and conversations about it.

I appreciate your reading my hubs and leaving your impressions. Thank you!


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Very nice Hub and good read. :) I always enjoy a nice "abundant" Hub. :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

I burst out laughing, Lisa. You're so diplomatic! I'm verbose in prose; - but I like "abundant" better. Thank you. That was "rich", as my Dad would say! Hugs.

ps - My poems are notably stingy, though there is abundance in the quantity of them.

;->


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful. God Bless You Precious Heart.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Stars - thank you for the sweet and beautiful comment! I've visited your site and know what a dear person you are, so it means much for you to comment in such a lovely way. Also I'm pleased to be brought back to this hub, which was among my first hubs when I began on HP, a bit over a year ago - about 13 months, in fact.

Also - thank you for following me and the nice fan mail!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Nellieanna...I don't know how I managed to miss this hub before today, but I'm delighted I found it. I enjoyed reading every word. You made so many astute observations about the mind and its abilities that I can't specify just one without neglecting all the others! A truly magnificent hub, which I will read again. Voted UP and AWESOME....Jaye


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jaye - Thank you so much! I am so pleased that you found it now. Sometimes we wonder about our earlier hubs. Do they still have value, we may wonder. So it is gratifying when you come by and find that value is still here. Hugs!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...okay okay it's top ten time from the epi-man from the northern shores of Lake Erie here at 3:31 in the morning and Happy Canada day from your neighbor and friend -

TOP TEN TITLES FOR THE INCREDIBLE NELLIEANNA:

10. Poetic priestess

9. a wise professor to her students

8. a seer and a visionary

7. an investigative journalist

6. the epitome of feminity and its charms

5. a team player

4. a patron of the arts

3. world class reviewer

2. each of her hubs should be framed ......

1. ... because it is the Louvre who are asking .......


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

OH my, oh my, Colin! I'm delighted you found this very early hub of mine and bothered to read and comment on it! Now, though - I hope you realize that you are describing yourself (well, not in #6, I'll grant you, & a few personal pronouns must be switched to the masculine form) when you speak such words! Thank you, dear inspired friend and wizard!

We must be on the same time-table this night. I went to sleep here in the den right after eating my supper & awoke about 1AM. (almost 2 hours ago). I got up, opened up the windows and shut off the A/C, cleaned my face and sat down to log off the computer. DUH. I keep finding such IN-TER-EST-ING things all over the place, so here I still am, though I must finish my night's sleep in order to be up early, shut the windows, turn on the A/C before the temperature starts again to zoom - and get all my morning rigamarole done in time to head off to Plano again to remedy another detail missed the first time, last Tuesday. (pant, pant - that sentence left me out of breath over its length!) I clocked the distance Tuesday and it is 43 or so miles round-trip from my house. But my route is scenic, so I don't mind. Plano has developed into such a rich place. There's not a blade of grass out of place, lovely flowers and landscaping even in public areas! (Lots of expensive houses up for sale, thanks to the economy!)

Thank you again - and hugs from your admirer.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Nellieanna, thanks to epigramman this awesome hub of yours had appeared on my home page and I grabbed the opportunity to read it. I enjoyed the read tremendously, because it is about one of my favourite interests and written by my dearest friend in Hubland. Every sentence was a pleasure to read – you have a unique and special way of presenting your knowledge and wisdom.

And to think there was a time people believed that knowledge and wisdom were located in the heart – therefore the eating of hearts by primitive people, the removal of it before corpses were mummified and the burying of it in the walls of churches. The acknowledgment of the brain as the master of all organs and generator of thoughts happened relatively recently, and still there is a kot to be discovered about it, considering the theory that we use only ± 5% of its capacity.

I’ve bookmarked this hub produced by a genius mind, and if I may emphasise only one sentence you’ve written – and that is hard because they were all brilliant - it will be, “It is not the words but the thought behind them that demonstrates intelligence.”

It is such a privilege to read your writings!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

And Martie! What a boost to find you've also come to read and comment on this hub, among my very earliest to be written & published! I wrote it before I'd decided to even begin to share my poetry. But it also is a distillate of my life of awareness, I suppose. But a lot more verbose than my poems. I'm so pleased that you found it of value!

I have subscribed to learned periodicals on the subject of intelligence and it's been gratifying to see that I'm not alone in believing it is more than one facet, such as ability for abstract thinking, analytical probing or creativity. It's some of all of those - but the some/sum is far greater than the parts! If we continue to evolve as a species, perhaps a time will come when we are more "all of a cloth" and less fragmented into this and that within us. I think that is what Maslow really had in mind with his "hierarchy of needs" and the apex being a "self-actualized person" who is at peace with him or herself and in tune with the universe. (My interpretation of it).

Thanks so much for the visit and the focus on this, so I could edit and fix some errors which may or may not have been written into it at the onset. I am sure that many online items suffer from cyber glitches. haha. My story and I'm sticking to it. :-)


Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago

What else is there to say.... You either have it or you dont.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

You've summed it all.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

During construction of a Hub Page about learning styles, I thought of this hub and had to revisit... It is like going back for seconds at at the dinner table with your favorite "fixes" available. I too was impressed with your innate intuitive grasp of the mind. It is an abstract idea of an animate object. We get to decide what our mind is... "the simplest original thought is far superior to the most elaborate merely mimicked one" summarizes my point!

Well done, your mastery of the subject matter is superior to most of us... hats off to you and hope you are doing at this very moment what you want to do and enjoying the process!

Always your friend,

Dallas

PS

I am honered to be among those mentioned in your Bio page!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

You have to know I'm awed by your genius and honored to be among your Hub friends, Dallas!

The mind and its workings has fascinated me for years. I like to try to step outside my own kinky mind at times and think about how it works - and why. I've read about the general subject, but somehow studying one's own has many advantages.

When it's working well, it almost 'feels good', though the brain is not credited with 'feelings' in the usual manner of the rest of one's person. And - when it's in a funk, it almost 'feels awful'. Interesting 'animate object'; - and I do love that term of yours for it!

And as a matter of fact - it is a lovely day and I'm enjoying what I'm doing immensely! Hugs! - Nellieanna


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

You are a truly a "successful" person...! When I grow-up, I want to be just like you! You are inspiring, with a genuis of integrating multi-media "brush strokes" truly illustrating your inner beauty...

Your thoughtful,and at times reflective comments inspire us to be a better person.

It is not common to meet a person who really cares for others... Who is not self-serving and makes a positive difference in others lives...

Stay true to yourself and ejoy each moment!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas, you are such a sweetie. Thank you. I think - and like to think - that there are many caring people, though.

Perhaps at times, folks' own fears and thin skins cause them to be a bit self-protective, even though they care for others.

And perhaps it depends on how much interaction with others their daily lives provide. That can increase the amount of friction at times.

So many factors, and always so much one has no way of knowing about others and why they behave as they do. That's when just 'giving benefit of the doubt' helps bridge the gaps.

When one learns that someone with whom one's been associated has some dreadful situation or disease of which we had no inkling, it's a nice feeling to know we did extend benefit of doubt when the other person was irritable, - or even when he was happy, - because we couldn't have known exactly how he felt or what he had to endure or juggle in order merely to function.

People are pretty awesome, actually.

Ah - I've long-since learned that i must stay true to myself - and enjoy the moments! What a waste of precious time it is to try to be other than oneself, and we never know how much time we have, anyway!

I don't think you could fit all your big heart and mind into my little ole body, Dallas! You're much better off just being YOU! I'd be deprived if you were any other way but as you are!

I am so honored by your lovely compliments! Being successful at being a person is truly a success I can be happy about! Thank you!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

You underlined a key perspective: we see who we are in other people. Your comment, "People are pretty awesome, actually." Highlights your "goodness." Your heart generates and resonates from your mind your good intentions.

To be authentic is allmost being self-actualized. Most of us have not achieved the state of "self-actualization."

Self-actualization implies the attainment of the basic needs of physiological, safety/security, love/belongingness, and self-esteem.

Maslow sums up many of your attributes as caring, sharing, benevolet human.

Maslow's Basic Principles:

The normal personality is characterized by unity, integration, consistency, and coherence. Organization is the natural state, and disorganization is pathological.

The organism can be analyzed by differentiating its parts, but no part can be studied in isolation. The whole functions according to laws that cannot be found in the parts.

The organism has one sovereign drive, that of self-actualization. People strive continuously to realize their inherent potential by whatever avenues are open to them.

The influence of the external environment on normal development is minimal. The organism's potential, if allowed to unfold by an appropriate environment, will produce a healthy, integrated personality.

The comprehensive study of one person is more useful than the extensive investigation, in many people, of an isolated psychological function.

The salvation of the human being is not to be found in either behaviorism or in psychoanalysis, (which deals with only the darker, meaner half of the individual). We must deal with the questions of value, individuality, consciousness, purpose, ethics and the higher reaches of human nature.

Man is basically good not evil.

Psychopathology generally results from the denial, frustration or twisting of our essential nature.

Therapy of any sort, is a means of restoring a person to the path of self-actualization and development along the lines dictated by their inner nature.

When the four basic needs have been satisfied, the growth need or self-actualization need arises: A new discontent and restlessness will develop unless the individual is doing what he individually is fitted for. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write--in short, what people can be they must be.

Characteristics of Self Actualizing People


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas - ah, yes. Good food for thought!

I have to fine-tune the concept that we 'see who we are in other people', though. We see ourselves as reflections of ourselves in others, which has more to do with the others' capabilities as mirrors; and is similar to actual mirrors, some of which are clear and precise, some are a bit distorted, some magnify, some minimize, etc. So it is with others' mirror-capabilities.

One dear friend long ago asked me to "be a straight mirror" for her. She went on to mention that many are like fun-house mirrors. I think that is so. Her request set me to thinking about it - and I still do.

So there is potential danger in basing too much of our self-image on others' impressions of us, though those have value.

I like Kipling's advice in "IF", - treating both others' criticism and their praise as 'imposters'. Others' opinions of oneself are often transient and fickle, besides often inaccurate and more reflections of their beings than of one's own. But still - they have value. One can/should pause to reflect on one's own behavior or attitudes which may prompt the observations or shifts in their 'reflections' of who we are - to them.

I'm a long-standing fan of Abraham Maslow! I read it like gospel, along with Carl Rogers and Alan Watts (plus many others & kinds of reading), during the lengthy isolated time of my life during my first marriage. The goal of self-actualization became sort of internalized, though. I haven't thought much about it academically in a long time. I so appreciate your reminding me of him and his thoughts!!

I definitely see "man as basically good not evil" and it gives me hope that humanity can pause and realize that and so begin to allow it to flourish. But "humanity" as a group can't do it. It certainly cannot be 'set up' by governments or other formal bodies. It can be influenced by parents and others who care, but it must be discovered individually. Once it is, -- it is destined to begin to flourish, - one person at a time, not in mass movements (a la: Eric Hoffer) or dictums.

It's so simple, but not so easy, as characterizes many of life's most valuable things.

Someone very dear to me has endured a lifetime of 'twisting of his essential nature' and also of psychopathology/therapy. Since we've become close over the past 3 years (since his father's & my beloved's death), his outlook has changed, looked "up". He is finding & liking himself, - perhaps for the first time in his 50+ years. He's broken with things - even people, which were limiting him - including his therapist - and it is like watching a bird take wings! It's truly gratifying to see.

Tonight he will be DJ-ing a local radio show in a small Colorado community where he lives. It's a temporary position as a substitute, but I've been delighting in following each of his 'shows' for several weeks. His moniker is "Empire Mike" and it is at 6-8PM tonight, Saturday on http://www.clearcreekradio.com in case you have an inclination to listen. I'll be madly typing my impressions of his musical selections as he plays them, and then sending them to him, which has pleased him and has been a fun ritual the other two shows he's done. He was looking for some Beatles songs last week and I found them for him on iTunes and got them with some unused gift cards I happened to have, so perhaps some of them will be featured. I'm sure he'd love to have an expanded listening audience. :-)

Thank you again, dear Dallas. You always make me think and feel so good about it. Hugs -


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I am one you your many "mirors." I had forgotten how I had used this comment many times. I on ocasion, I really listen (active listening) to people and make comments that cause/creates changes... When they tell me "how great I am," I repeat what you just said, sometimes we are "mirrors."

Perhaps being mirrors for others and finding "mirors" is a process of "self-actualization." Few of us achieve it, but we strive for the goal of being aware of who/what we are...

Your friend is blessed with your "cheerleading efforts!"

With each breathe you take, feel the difference you create in other people's lives... a positive transformation.


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, you do really listen and respond with active thoughts about what is said, Dallas. That is such a wonderful trait! I suspect it is a part of self-actualization. To me, self-actualization has a lot to do with really being IN the moments and actually being able to relate to their (the moments) reality. Certainly others who share those moments are a big part of their reality. If one actually "sees" and "hears" the others - in real time, not too colored by past or present ideas about them, one is more oneself as well, and that IS what self-actualization means, I think. One is not just a creature of wispy impressions of the externals, but an actual clear observer of and participant in them. One is less burdened by past and future illusions about oneself, as well, and less swayed by those of others. As Maslow mentioned, it may even seem to others that it's being less sensitive. But it is simply being more realistic along with sensitivity. So much good emotion is wasted on things that don't really exist. But of course - if they are real to others, one must be sensitive to those feelings, too, because if it is perceived to be real, it is real for him or her. Those feelings are very real. Self-actualization is not at all just about being logical! But it is very much about being realistic. So much more effective to respond to real issues than to be fretting over things that are illusory, at best! I think it's part of developing self-actualization to know the difference.

I love that word you use: AWARE. . . the other one I associate with it is ALERT. When we are truly aware of and alert to our surroundings as well as our own inner realities, we are more comfortable in both and better able to meet the challenges of both.

Yes, feeling oneself making a difference in the lives of others is a kind of 2-way transformation. I like to think that no one can be changed by my influence, but that perhaps their own creativity might be ignited by being recognized and valued.

I forgot to mention that the Empire Mike's radio broadcast is 6-8PM Mountain Standard Time. Here in CST, it is 5-7. He is my younger step-son, by the way. So it's my Saturday night 'date', though another local friend is coming over sometime this afternoon to fold & prepare for mailing the church bulletins he writes and watch a DVD movie with me while he does. He's the son of a preacher & also in his late 50s & trying to find himself. He usually asks me to edit his bulletins while writing them. He writes well but has a low level of confidence. I'm not a church-goer but have experience with his denomination, which is quite conservative, so I can help him "stay within the lines". The church is actually the chapel at the old-folks center his dad founded, so in that little congregation, there is not a lot of room for 'new-age' thinking, which John tends toward in spite of his upbringing. :-) It's an interesting experience for me.

He was a dear friend to George and me; used to share the daily walks with George& visited with us frequently. He's a professional massage therapist and often helped George's aches. (He's too strong for me!) He loved to confide in George, getting his wise counsel; it had the advantage that George, with his developing memory loss, would simply forget all about the confidences. haha


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I strive to be aware and alert. Most of the time I catch myself when in a conversation, I am thinking how to rfespond to what is said, rather than "actively listening." To be aware and alert is a mind boggeling experience... It opens doors...

Your mind is precious. I am glad you shared your musing...

Got to go, my fiance is here and we are going to see a movie...

Your friend and hugs,

Dallas


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - yes, that can happen. In a way, being really in and with the moment at hand is a mind-set. In another way, it's a habit. And at times it's purely a discipline. I am sure, though, that it is always, when in progress, as you say: - a mind-boggling and door-opening experience! In fact, it brings such great by-products and rewards, it becomes almost an effort to NOT practice it! Perhaps it happens most easily when one doesn't actually strive for it, but simply has it in mind as the normal and best choice - and likes the thought - sort of like feeling 'in love' or at peace. Can't make it happen but can be open to, ready for and preferring it, without the tension of too much trying to bring it about.

I'm even thinking it may be a good way to ward off alzheimer's, not to mention a lot of other maladies requiring meds and other remedies. :-)

Hope ya'll enjoy your movie. I'm thinking I'd like to see the one about the dolphin.

Congratulations on being engaged!

Thank you for being my friend & liking my weird ole mind. tee hee.


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Welcome... As an after thought there is another discusion how our eyes reflect our thinking processes. Most of us are not aware, but sense what the other is REALLY saying. An example, If I were asked to respond to a question, if my eyes were raised above the horizon and to the left (future auditory sounds)... and etc...

Our eyes tend (not always) to reflect our thought processes... Past, present, feelings, visual by the quadrant (horizon - upper, lower and left-right)

Have a great day!


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

It's so. The eyes are more than windows to the soul. They're also the mind's connection with the outside, and as such, they register the connections they're in process of making. There are certain movements and directions they use in making those connections and they relate to the mind's own setup. When searching for analytical connections, they shift toward the left. The left hemisphere of the brain handles those connections. When searching for intuitive or creative connections, they shift toward the right, where those connections are made in the right hemisphere. Looking up - looking down, failing to look into someone's eyes - are all indicators of what the mind is doing with its own information or incoming information.

People who seem to have almost superhuman powers of 'knowing' are more likely to be people who have really keen observatory and awareness powers to notice these - and other - non-verbal body signals.

One of my favorite TV shows is "The Mentalist". The guy works with detectives in solving cases and it is almost obvious that he uses these observational skills and makes good connections in doing what he does.

I like your ideas on this.


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Your mind is amazing! You know exactly what I am "talking" about! I had to study this stuff and you know...

Your slowed down pace? Have other "excitement" in your life? :-)

an enquiring mind....

Dallas


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

I'm reveling in the freedom of being by myself. Much as I love people, major parts of me really blossom in solitude. Even my choice of food for just myself contributes.

I have friends and they visit and vice-versa, but truthfully am not a social gadabout. I realize it's not a plan for attracting 'excitement' in my life. hehe. But it's not written in stone! ;->

Do you 'stay tuned in' to either your left or right brain all the time &/or do you have & use a 'default' hemisphere? In tests, I've shown to be 51% right-brained and 49% left, so maybe it's why when I'm not immediately challenged or called on with analytical kinds of tasks for awhile, when they arise, I have to 'reboot' those faculties, although it seems that the older and wiser I become, the more quickly and easily available they are. Also they're more intermeshed. Each does serve and expand the other.

Maybe it is intuitive to sense when someone's words and body language don't match, but it's also rather logical, isn't it? It works in reverse too.

I can almost physically FEEL my mind switch, though, when I sit down to taxes or some legal kind of issue,or even editing written work, - things requiring deep probing and very specific, clear thought. I never really want to embark on those projects, but as soon as I'm into them, I really love them, and even my work area changes, becomes more organized and less cluttered, though always open to 'ideas' and possibilities in a radial way.

But my tendency is to dwell in the intuitive, creative sphere, though with keen antennae to pick up any factual input which matters. In creative projects, at first I thrive in an almost chaotic work area, everything out in sight, pell-mell, where all ideas can emerge. I need to see every possibility and just 'play' with them. But when it's formulated, it becomes more organized but remains open to chance inspiration. When the creative project is with words, rather than materials and media, all that takes place in my mind - and it's not rushed or pushed. It can be sort of deliberate, but I must maintain the attitude that if it happens, great; - if not - no problem. There will be other opportunities.

But sometimes, creative works - especially words, just bubble up and I must rush to capture them right then.

Occasionally, rational thought it that spontaneous. Maybe that's the way real inventors' minds are all the time.


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Our minds are like pop corn popping. While our minds "pop" and jumps from topic to topic (sometime both, or more at once)... when we talk, we reduce unorganized thoughts into the succinct, focused ideas and concepts.

Inspiration is in search of one being receptive. Our "awareness" must be "aware and alert!."

The giant step from the abstract to concrete... artistically can be blended (integrated) into our word expressions, or as you do: go another step further with multi-media expressions...

Most of us are not holistically "tuned" to listen to ourselves. We negate the process, or dismiss it as "not us."

An example is I struggle being creatiuve artistically. Yet I won first place at a local county fair with an abstract- acrylic painting. If I forced myself to be creative artistically using known restraints of mirroring something... I feel hampered.

I appreciate art. Yet, I have my "emergency brake" on in terms of experimenting and letting go. It is a process. I simply have no motivation to explore at this time.

Writing has opened up a path of exploring with/without in terms of me.

When you first read my writings, you sensed there was more than cryptic referrals to my background in my book going on.

I note your process of connecting your dots... How you are combining, exploring your past works, thoughts into a new, improved awareness of you... A completness you feel at peace with. Your life has provided a rich tapestry of golden threads and silver highlights of life's experiences...

You represent what many of us aspire to do/be... You represent a reflective, creative, and sensitive caring "being." Being as a process of evolving personage of self-actualized "awareness." A true "human being!"


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas, your ideas, as always, are intriguing and, I'm sure, well researched & thought through. I see a combination of objective and subjective probing in them here. It's good.

I wouldn't characterize the step from abstract to concrete or back as too giant. It's more like a gear shift in my own experience. As I read more of yours, I see that it could be more giant, if not overwhelming.

I can understand it - though it's not my experience. I perceive a bit of ambivalence in your feeling about it, though. An emergency brake seems a bit unnecessary if there is no motivation to explore your artistic nature; although possibly it is for braking even the motivation more than the actual exploration? Time-constraints, perhaps?

You are surely a genius. That was my impression from the first, - but a slightly 'bottled up' one. Since then, you've seemed to me to relax and blossom, plus you're so good at exploring, no doubt you'll do whatever you deem appropriate in your own time. After all, Leonardo worked through it and combined both sides of his brain nicely.

Yup. My life has been quite a trip so far! Still is!

Today I decided to organize my genealogy, both sides together, which has not been done before. My Dad's is documented in detail. He was reared a Mennonite in a long-line of Mennonites & they're VERY detailed in their records. There are two large volumes of his family descendants in my possession. Mother's ancestry was researched by my older cousin (all hand research at gravesides, etc. - before computers) in order to qualify herself and her daughters for D.A.R., which also would serve for me and mine if I use my Mother's details instead of her mother's, who was Mother's sister. It hasn't really tempted me. But with that as Gerry's motive, her research emphasis was on maternal lineage.

Our grandfather is mentioned only briefly, with his parents but no further back than that. But the maternal lineage goes back to the Revolution and a little before that. So I plugged in a bunch of generations on both sides in Ancestry.com, figuring that, with computer improvements in research, missing links on Mother's paternal lineage may turn up. I don't want to get too immersed in that, - I've enough to fill 48 hours a day going on now, but I am curious. May be a nice change of pace, perhaps. There isn't a lot to be done, really. It might be interesting to go on back to European ancestors, in fact. Dunno. I don't want to be like a potato plant,- with all the valuable parts under the ground! haha.


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Interesting... I have been researching my father's mother's (my grandmother)ancestors.. I have been told she was 1/2 Cherokee and 1/2 Choctaw... My father has had a stroke and has difficulty talking... Plus when he does, it is a challenge to understand. It is frustrating for all...

In terms of learning, or letting go in the unexplored "art department," my lack of motivation is time constraints. I feel complelled to publish my book. The process "possesses" me!

I like to think I can do anything. I have earned an engineering licensed by studying one week 12 hours each day. It is the equivilant of a 4 year college major in Electrical Engineering for a Broadcasting Engineer (FCC 1st Class License) - Not required anymore for broadcasters to have a licensed "Government certified Engineer".

However, the elements required to publish a book is a process of self-immersion - totally...

What comes natural to me is an exercise of thinking each element of multi-media, whole brain thinking... I catch myself taking "short-cuts" when the process is most important!

We could write some great hubs together! The above, although rambling has huge ideas and concepts...

It has been fun "dancing with you!"


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh - that's interesting, but it too bad your father's faculties are deterred by the stroke. He'd be able to fill in a lot of blanks otherwise, I'm sure. But you're wise to try to probe his memory while you have him at even this level. He may or may not improve in the future. My father would love to have been able to communicate more after he began to deteriorate, but soon he just couldn't. He'd always been so eager to discuss everything. Of course, both my parents were born in the early 1890s, so age was alway a factor, though they were both vibrant people even as they aged, especially Mother.

I ponder over what I've been learning from studying the records of her ancestry which are at my disposal, though, & strongly suspect that 'family secrets' played large roles back then. Plus I need to be alert & note dates so as to fill in what may not yet have happened when some of the records were written. Example: I was missing Mother's youngest sister on the 1900 census, but then I realized she probably wasn't yet born! haha. I'd been imagining all kinds of weird things till that dawned on me, - especially since she turned out to be somewhat the blacksheep of the family! Another oddity is the inaccuracy rampant in old records, which were all hand-written at the times, and in varying degrees of legibility. Spelling errors changed names, places seemed to switch around by their own accord and dates seem almost approximate in some of these old records. Some of these documents are copies my cousin sent me and some, I easily found on Ancestry.com.

This morning I was copying the obituary for my maternal grandfather who died when Mother was only 10. It was written by his eldest son from his first marriage, in those days when the first wife died young after bearing a bunch of children. This fellow was the editor of the little local newspaper in which the obit was. What a glowing report. Then another tribute by my granddad's best friend, a local doctor, also praising his character and life. Every detail of his life and final illness were covered by those two plus a 3rd account by someone else. Amazing stuff. I don't know where my cousin found that document. The paper's masthead, "The Weekly Oracle" is hand-drawn, and none too expertly, though rather charmingly. It's from Dawson County, Kentucky, dated September 10, 1903. Mother would have turned 11 in December of that year. She adored her father, so I can only imagine what a shock it was to lose him when she was so young. And reading about his interests and attitudes, I can see where I get some of my mindset. He sounds surprisingly modern and progressive.

Earning an engineering qualification in a week is amazing! My late husband was an engineer, my late brother was an engineer and my estranged son is an engineer. Those folks were/are SHARP!! But from you, not a surprising feat! You are SHARP!!

The process of book publishing is why I'm avoiding that challenge at present. But your method of thinking it through, using the whole-brain is impressive. I like the idea of taking logical short-cuts, too. Often the prescribed steps are not necessary and one can leap across and get on with the really important elements more quickly and directly in the process.

Yes - our discussion is quite charged with big ideas & concepts. And you're certainly an optimal dancing partner. I want you to know that I fully understand that it's a time-out from your project of publishing and I don't expect you to keep up the pace we've maintained, fun as it is. And when you need a change of pace - - well - I'm here.


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow! The wisdom is to know when to do each...

I have enjoyed our dialogue. Your mind is fertile ground, enriched with life experiences few can match. I will leave the light on for you!


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Dallas. Excellent. - - To which I reply with one of my favorite quotes: "Do not walk behind me, I may not lead; do not walk in front of me, I may not follow; just walk beside me and be my friend." --Albert Camus

Hugs


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Outstanding!

Hugs to you too!

I have enjoyed sharing and exploring...


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Me too! We must do it again sometime! Now - get to work!! :-)


jami l. pereira 5 years ago

Fantastic Hub ! I voted up ,and awesome ! Thanks for the read!:)


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Jami - for coming by and reading this and voting for it! I appreciate it!


writeronline 5 years ago

A very enjoyable, very informative, and above all very insightful article, imho. Too long? Why? In my view, any piece of communication deserves to be given the space it takes to be fully expressed. 'Atention span' has nothing to do with length, all to do with grabbing the reader and not letting them (want to)go.

By those criteria; job done. Masterfully.

As one whose academic learning ended at 16, when I left school to get a job washing cars for sale, and whose entire *real* learning has therefore come from the university of life, much of it spent with people who seem to feel that a formal education is a form of entitlement that both exempts them, and somehow prevents them, from recognising that the most powerful applied mental force, (imo) is common sense, coupled with original thought, I'm reassured to read an article that doesn't just talk about that reality. But demonstrates it.

And hardly any big words... :-)


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dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Have a great Holiday Season! I just got married! Life is good.

The first of the year I will schedule interviews and promote my book! I am excited. I feel it will be a home run. I have been talking to the Wall Street Journal in regard to a series about the Toxo being dumped into our drinking water...

Your advice is strong! Stay tuned! My intent is to be aware and alert!


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

WOL - I'm so pleased you came by and enjoyed this article. The mind is fascinating.

This was one of my earlier hubs. I tend to run on and on when writing prose, while my poetry is extremely economical with words. My left and right brain functioning, I'm sure.

I simply consider you an educated man and have been awed. The particulars or credentials never occurred to me to question. I admire quality, authenticity and genuine interest in what is happening. Those qualities shine clearly. As you say, it is applied common sense and originality of thought and of any creative areas being explored.

Thank you for the very gratifying compliments to me and my efforts. As to words, of course, it's usually a toss-up; but I really, really like to make myself as clearly understandable as I can, so I value words which help do that, whatever their size. Sometime a single well-chosen word can pinpoint a meaning better than a bunch of words can do. But if few hearers know the word . . . - the point is lost. Language is a wonderful tool, is all. But it's not foolproof. Subjectivity rules.

Thank you and hugs!

ps. "Demonstrates it" is one of my favorite concepts. It's the best way to avoid the pitfalls of "saying it." And if the demonstration and the saying don't match, it's a great way to identify the truth, or lack thereof.


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas!!! I'm thrilled at the news of your marriage! So happy for you and your bride! Yes - life is good!

And I've no doubt that your book will go well. The WSJ series will be of great value, too. If you can promote awareness and alertness in the people who read you, - it will be all to the good!

I'm tuned, I'm tuned! Hugs.

And here's wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season, too. Staying away from the stores is beginning to sound to me like the happiest way to have one! :-)

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