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People often say that the inner workings of the mind are complex. But then people tend to use ‘complex’ to describe things they don’t understand.

In that case, ‘complex’ says more about the person making the doing the describing than it does about the thing being described. Complexity is like beauty; it’s in the eye of the beholder.

In any event, complexity need not be a barrier. We all make regular use of complicated things without understanding how they work, including our minds. We don’t need to understand something in order to make use of it.

Understanding how to use something is usually much simpler than understanding how something works. That goes for our minds too. We shouldn’t be put off learning how to use and control our minds, just because we don’t understand fully how the mind works.

One Response to “Using the Mind; Understanding is Optional”

  1. Ironically, ‘complexity’ is more complex than it sometimes seems.
    While it is sometimes true that we may perceive situations or problems as being so complex that we ‘can’t cope’, it is not always the case that we are wrong: complexity is an objective condition which exists independently of our perception of it.
    I have never bought Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time because I know that my understanding of mathematics needed to follow the argument is inadequate; the thesis is too complex for me but I have nothing at all to do with it – it simply is the case. Were I to spend the next decade firstly studying basic mathematics and then, assuming it were possible, progressing to advanced mathematics and physics, I might think differently. However, the core problem would still be complex.
    Perhaps, the ‘issue’ is not so much that we make things complex but that we make complex our responses; on the whole, it is good to keep in mind that ‘Tiggers don’t fly’.

    Phil

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