Let me visit my mind

Noel Manuel

The most beautiful organ gifted to us by God, is undoubtedly the mind, synonymously known as the brain. It is a gift like no other. It is the major organ of the central nervous system and the control panel for all the body’s voluntary and involuntary activities. It is also responsible for the complexities of thought, memory, emotion and language.    

From behaviour and emotion, speech, hearing, balance and muscle coordination, vision, sensation, visual recognition, basic and skilled movements, everything takes place in this marvel of an organ.    

No wonder, the popular adage, ‘A teacher, if indeed wise, will lead the student to the threshold of his own mind,’ clearly vindicates the significance of discovering this organ. 

Every system that needs to function normally has to be regulated by a control panel, supervised by a hand of experts. Be it the road traffic system, air traffic system, wind turbine system or for that matter our very own nervous system; a control panel regulates them all. In addition, we also need to know how to adjust our control panel and the sensitivity of each component in this system. When we understand how the control panel works, we start taking charge of the system and gradually things start functioning the way we’d like them to. While some of our decisions result in success. At times, it may also end in disaster.

It was in the fall of 1995 and a pacific airliner was making its way to the Gulf of Mexico. There were altogether 650 passengers and 10 crew members on board, and the flight was steadily cruising to its destination.

The ATC tower at the Mexican airport was busy as usual and the crew were preparing for a shift change. Mr Lopez, the person, to take charge of the tower, had been performing this ritual for the last 23 years. His knowledge of flights that landed and took off from the airport after midnight was precise and each scheduled with pinpoint accuracy. But, unfortunately, all this was about to change. Mr Lopez was about to experience the most horrific incident in his career that would haunt him for a lifetime.

The Pacific airliner had come into radar contact with the ATC tower in Mexico and was expected to touchdown in ten minutes, when something tragic happened. The ATC tower gradually started losing contact with the pilot and within no time the airliner with all 650 passengers and 10 crew on board disappeared. Frantic SOS messages relayed by Mr Lopez revealed negative results and then the most tragic news followed. The plane had crashed killing all the passengers and crew members on board.

Investigations later revealed that the pilot had indeed made contact with the ATC tower for an emergency landing, due to some technical problems. But was denied immediate grounding on account of a congested runway. Finally, comprehending the gravity of the situation, the pilot was left with no alternative, but to direct the plane to a nearby field, which ultimately ended in a major catastrophe. A decision that cost 650 passengers and 10 crew members their lives.

We all know that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower is a vital relay system that navigates aircrafts for take offs and landings. There is no room for mistakes. For the slightest of errors can result in the worst of tragedies. Similarly, our mind is nothing short of an ATC tower. It is hoisted in the upper most part of the body, akin to the ATC, which is the highest building in the airport, overlooking the runway and aircrafts. Careful maneuvering of gadgets within this tower enables aircrafts to land and take off every ten seconds, successfully. Apparently, when we are able to take control over the different senses in our mind, we can also skillfully maneuver each organ in the body towards a more meaningful, organized and purposeful objective. But when we take the wrong decisions, as we sometimes do, we, like Mr Lopez, lose contact, and eventually control, over the nervous system, resulting in irreparable damage.

We have all heard of transplants. Kidney transplants, liver transplants, heart transplants and so on. We also hear about different types of surgeries that offer a new vigor of hope in looks, weight, height and other medical ailments. But, despite a breakthrough in several transplants and surgeries, we never hear of a successful brain transplant. And this perhaps, may never ever be possible. The brain is a unique, yet powerful organ. It is a delicate control system that needs professional handling. We need to discover the controls of this system, which is mandatory to keeping our sensory organs in good working condition. And I believe, that this can be made possible, only when, we pay regular visits to the mind and discover how each of the systems function. 

At busy intersections in the city, we often see how traffic personnel holed up in a booth at one corner of the road, is able to control the flow of traffic. The traffic policeman is in full control of the switch panel and he very well knows how it works. He is aware that an error can lead to chaos or even an accident. The vehicles on the other hand do not break the rules, probably because; there is a heavy price for doing so. When we take control over the sensory panels in our mind, everything remains in control and our social, physical and spiritual responsibilities become more apparent in everything that we say and do. 

When we fail to visit the mind, our lives become meaningless and we keep moving around in a shroud of uncertainty with no specific responsibility and purpose. Our sensory systems succumb to peer pressure and the surroundings, eventually making us lose out on the ability to reason or think of what is good for us and what is bad. Without any regular visits for servicing or conditioning, the nervous systems in the mind, similar to that of the ATC Tower or the Traffic Control Systems in the booth, would wean out and gradually go out of order. To prevent this from happening, you may have probably seen how ATC towers and Traffic Control Systems work round the clock to avoid any major disaster.

Our mind, too, needs regular visits and round the clock functioning, so that we can discover the art of controlling the sensory panels within and subsequently our mind would take direction to the valley of success and happiness.

noelmanuel@rediffmail.com

The writer is the Coordinator of the Northeast Region (Poetry Society of India) and Life Member of the Poetry Society of India. Journalist and Correspondent Eastern Panorama (News Magazine of the Northeast) etics Teacher.