Duality of the world vs intelligent people

2020 is not over yet. But we can state with a degree of certainty that this year as never before an increasing number of highly intelligent people who succeed professionally and financially in their respective areas are facing a mounting mental pressure associated with the duality of the world, subject of lesser concern in the past. Let's dissect what's going on here and how we can deal with the matter.

Firstly, we must remember, that our mind is always keen to optimize its operations. As we grow our process of judging between the good and the bad becomes nearly seamless and effortless. We usually say: "I feel that...", "I think that...", or "That's according to my values". This "judgement" or "sorting" process is run on an auto-pilot most of the time thanks to the neuron connections or patterns established through various routines in our daily lives.


The invention of the smartphone and our rapid transition to becoming recipients, consumers of information, impacted the formation of new connections among the neurons in our heads. What we are being left with today - existing connections, existing patterns that define the same old "good" sorting process.


In today's coexisting generations we observe an evolving disability to interact with the reality as a complex phenomenon (we, the humans, are feeding ourselves and each other with easy dopamines of scrolling, likes, advice of quick - very important attribute QUICK - steps to find a professional calling, ideal partner, to get the perfect body, to create financial wealth, of cause in just 3 easy steps).


Secondly, have you noticed in 2020 the majority of the population, irrespective nationality, religious and cultural backgrounds got divided, deeply divided not leaving a safe space in the middle? "You are with us, on a side of righteous, or you are against us" (think of travel and vacation goers amid the pandemic and what kind of reaction of the "general" public they receive, think of the dogma of 5G, vaccines and pandemic conspiracy).


With that, people with "thinking on auto-pilot" probably feel at ease this time. You take one side and you just let your mind (effortlessly) find all the needed evidence to reaffirm the one-sided conclusion or opinion. - Oooph... You are in a safe place, you KNOW HOW the world works.


The situation is very different for intelligent people. Intelligent humans are not the superhumans who cracked the code of how conscious and subconscious parts of their mind operate (the best Stanford neuroscientists are still in the very beginning of this process, yet with lots of progress attained in the past few decades - must be noted). However, they have a greater degree of reflection and are prone to work with complex concepts and phenomena while being more self-aware.


In 2020 for many reasons including and stretching beyond the new social norms, questioned political governance, the convergence of technology and human brain and body, it is futile to try to hold for the old good, new bad, it is energy-consuming to try to take a stance on a subject quickly (and anticipate you would be able to hold that stance with thought-through arguments long-term), it is dangerous to attempt change other people's mind and appeal to them to take the middle ground, where things are neither bad nor good, they are just complex.


The mini (far from quick and easy) survival guide which you could refer to if the above resonated with you:


  • Consume real mental food, not mental chewing gum. Read long complex texts, that makes you draw the relationships, make you visualize, synthesize and analyze facts and figures. It can be specialized scientific texts (physics, astronomy, mathematics, biology, or on the potency of medical micro-robots), philosophical texts, history of cinematography - the list is long.

  • Introduce to your routine the MIND-maps. Recently I've learnt that there is dedicated software available, while for me a piece of paper or iPad with a pen will do. Practice mind-maps just as you do regular physical exercises or brushing teeth. It supports health in the long run.

  • Do not try to change other people's mind. You can suggest them an alternative view, but do not waste your energy or time of changing others' minds - at minimum, they will fight you, dragging you into conflict with their view of the world.

  • Hold your middle ground. Continue to treat life in its all appearances. Avoid assumptions that if A leads to B it is good and if A leads to C is bad. Because.. There might be an intricate contingency between B and C and the whole alphabet behind them.

  • Audit your surrounding, take out of your network people who are living the world of extreme duality, converse more with those who are not afraid to deal with complexities. Always operate from the notion that others won't ever change. Select carefully, look within.

Stay healthy, enjoy the ride.

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© 2020 by Natalia Sycheva