Friday, August 31, 2012

Memory of the body, mind and intelligence

     Memory of the body, intelligence and mind.

The recently concluded Olympic games was a window into mans determination, perseverance and quest for perfection. Those perfectly sculpted bodies, those precision packed performances, the grit, the competitive spirit, all very awe inspiring. The performances at times reflected a sublimation of effort that invoked an inexplicable celestial intervention.
Perfection was probably this connect with divinity at will.  An incredible coordination, that had to synchronise with a timely burst of energy, based on an intuitive assessment of the competitor.
 A masterly control  over the mind and  body. 
When the legendary Carl Lewis, who relived his heroes accomplishments of four golds ,in the Moscow Olympics was asked the secret of his success, his answer sounded deeply spiritual. He said " I have mastered the art of self denial" , a yogic discipline so to say.  
Discipline, sincerity,hard work,   develop a memory of sorts,  of the body, intelligence and the mind. 
Aptly put by  the Indian wrestler, a silver medalist  in the recently concluded games, the body seemed to forget it's training if he skipped  exercise and practice even for a single day.  The memory, generated by such dedication and discipline is quite  short lived . It needs continuous reaffirmation to function with a perfection. The body, as in the muscles and the cardio pulmonary system might have a memory of  a week or two at best. After which, the memory drops , as does the performance, and one had to restart all over again. 
Rigorous discipline, dedication, and hard work, seems to generate an acquired ,peripheral intellect and memory in each muscle and joint.  What might be referred to as the sub- conscious. Once this peripheral intellect and memory kicks in,  it no longer needs to depend on the central control station (the conscious intelligence and memory) for instructions. This decreases response time drastically, the crucial few milliseconds , that separate the gold from silver, ecstasy  from despair. If this memory is lost, it is retrievable albeit with renewed efforts and vigour.
The intellect, that is razor sharp, too needs constant sharpening and reaffirmation. If ineglected, the blunted intellect drops its surgical precision and can make a messy , decision, that grossly lacks timing with disastrous consequences. The memory of the intangible intelligence is certainly shorter than the memory of the more tangible body. The memory of this intelligence is called discrimination. (Vivek buddhi)  This memory of the "intelligence" can be infected by  a host of viruses of the mind.  It needs to be regularly updated by  an antivirus software of rationality and pragmatism . Failing to do so , the intellect can malfunction totally. To the point of acting as if it were non existent. 
The shortest memory of all is the memory of the mind. In a flash, the mind can forget that the outcome of ones efforts is not in ones control.. This amnesia is the ego. The memory that we do not have "doership" needs to be reaffirmed every moment, with each breath. Doership  , as in the ability to effect a desired outcome by ones own effort. A momentary lapse of memory, and the ego takes charge of the self.  Amnesia of this type initiates a tirade of self glorification, self indulgence that gives a high.  Till it remains in the domain  of the favourable,  one still enjoys this high. If , however it results in an unfavourable outcome, the ensuing self persecution, despondency  and frustration can adversely affect  the "Joy de vivre" of existence. A constant reminder and awareness of this truth  at a subconscious level  effects detachment, a state of liberation.  This memory and awareness that "I" am not merely the body, needs to be developed by a discipline and effort . The memory that we are not immortal, the memory that we are fallible, the memory that the transient form is merely a manifestation of the eternal formless.
The irony is that once  the memory of the mind is lost,  the sense of doership reigns.  The ego perpetuates itself,  and  becomes  all pervasive,swinging the consciousness from pleasure to pain,. It may at times take a lifetime to recover,  or, may be lapse forever. 

Dr. Deepak M Ranade
(the author is a consultant neurosurgeon-

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