For three weeks now the mind has been the subject of letters to the editor ("Mailbox," April 7, April 14 and April 21). It is our common denominator. It brings us together and separates us as well, on this journey we partake in. The planet is but a fleck in the universe, and on that scale we become hard to measure as individuals. Maybe that is why we look to the mind in our attempts to rationalize our existence.
And as the life changes around us, we learn from products of the mind in what Doug Ingold referred to as a classroom (April 21). The classroom is life, and we never stop learning. Not all of us will go to institutions of higher learning, but every single person receives the degrees of difficulty in this life ... where strife calls our name, and we grow from the bane subjecting us to pain. Along the way, the life builds layers like the onion and it becomes apparent that the struggle to exist is universal.
This brings us back to the molecular level which Douglas George (April 14) spoke of — the place where notions, motions and emotions come to life and guide us through this classroom of life. Control is what we usually long for, but there are times it slips from our grasp ... and from here we look to hop back in the driver's seat to regain the reins that steer us to our destinations.
Many years ago Max Ehrman wrote: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. ... In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."
Nicely said, Max, rest in peace.
John Griffin, McKinleyville
Just a quick response to Douglas George's letter regarding personal responsibility and the half second a thought takes to reach our conscious mind ("Mailbox", April 14). Although it may be scientifically true that we have no control over what we think or feel internally because of the half second it takes for those thoughts and feelings to reach our conscious minds; it is undoubtedly true that you do have control over what we do with those thoughts and feelings.
An extra second and a half beyond the experience of that thought or feeling is more than enough time to analyze how we, the conscious self, will respond to those thoughts and feelings. Just as we don't have to say everything that pops into our minds, so we also have a choice on what we will do with those thoughts and feelings. You may contend that we are ruled by "our inner robots" but I for one am not buying it.
Thoughts and feelings can be very powerful and compelling to our inner self but they don't have to define our outer self. The face we show to the rest of the world is determined by our actions. So yes, you don't have to feel guilty for what you think or feel but you do have to bear the responsibility for what you do. And yes, I don't have to hate anyone for their actions but I can hold them responsible for the consequences or those actions.
Tracy Shapiro, Redway