A Closed Mind is in Prison

What I am about to write particularly is something that got me thinking for the longest time. I did not know what to call it at first. I used to question why we do what we do, with regards to each of our social norm and nationality. For example, why women are not allowed to go up the religious Stupas while men can in Myanmar. Why marriage is officiated only between one man and one woman in most parts of the world. Why we study. Why we need a good job. Why we define money or fame as indicators of success. Why religion matters.

In a book called The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani, I found a name for it, Culturescape. It is where the concepts such as marriage, money, religion, and the laws reside. These are all relative truth for these ideas are only true for a particular culture or tribe.”

As I grew up, I notice my points of reference on any topic of the world grew. For example, I would say this or that is better based on my experience or on some religious texts or on parental teachings or on majority consensus and so on. I notice I also have my own personal opinions of the world “that I know of”. I define everything I see based on the reality that I live in. I stick up to it till it in return defines me as a person. The more you keep yourself inside your “bubble” of reality, the harder it is for you to push out of it to see how vast, complex, multicultural the world can be.

Excerpt from The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

The Culturalscape is filled with BRULES or Bulls**t Rules. Brules tell us what is the “right” way to live. Those are rules set differently by different cultures and by different time periods. Do you know soccer was outlawed in England in 1314 because people thought chasing around a ball is a distraction from a real activity, archery? Yes that is bizarre. It is only as bizarre as some old religious texts that say one cannot marry someone of same sex or women are not as equal as men or one needs a good job. Why do we reject some rules from the past, while we keep the others?

Maybe you work in a big organization like Google, Facebook, GE, Tesla, Apple. Maybe you study in top schools in FT ranking. Maybe you have perfect GPA all along. Maybe you think you are successful because you got promoted. You have checked all the right boxes. But think about it. You are not all absolutely happy. That’s why you have to let the world know all your achievements via social media or indirectly bragging in chats, to compensate for the loss of some part of your soul that wants to break out of this reality, with random congratulations. You lie to yourself so perfectly over many years that you regard one particular way of living and working is meant for you and that makes you happy.

Or you feel like you are stuck? — in slow-pace and boring corporate jobs or post-graduate classrooms, suffering from lack of motivation and being boozed up excessively in weekends just to forget how sad the week has been. And we stumble through the next week again in the same depressing fashion. We are too scared to break out because of countless reasons that we justify ourselves from money, self-esteem, time, effort, etc.

The BRULES got you stuck at where you are, mentally. Imagine a world where we float our mind freely against the backdrop of BRULES — in which we do not enclose our minds to one single reality or prison, that we ourselves constructed via our own culturalscape. Would we see that nobody, after all, is “better”, “more equal”, “more worthy” than the other? It is a test of how curious you are about the world unknown and how much you could let your mind blown.