The Empty & Idle Mind Society

At the beginning of the record breaking recording by Earl Nightingale “The Strangest Secret” he relates Albert Schweitzer’s response when asked, “What is wrong with men today?” His reply, “Men simply don’t think,” is a caveat for our times.

Not only do we not think, we often actively avoid thinking. A young man told me yesterday that he had a full length movie stored in his cell phone. When asked why he explained that during slow times he gets bored. Upon my comment that when time drags I reach for a book, he said “Movies are my books.” A sad commentary on our times.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – TV & movies KILL thought. I love a good movie, and some not so good ones. But having the story, action, etc. spoon fed to you forces you to turn your mind off. There is no thinking; the mind simply becomes a passive receiver, like a radio. When you read the mind is quite literally turned on and operating at full capacity.

Reading activates the creative centers of the brain: imagination is engaged, both visualization and vocalization centers come into play as we “see” the story unfold in our mind’s eye and “hear” the sound effects and dialogue. This occurs as the reader mentally becomes an active participant in the book. In the mystery, we are solving it, in the horror story we are living the adrenaline surge, etc. During a movie we watch others efforts to solve, fight, flee the circumstances. Why imagine what that beast or individual looks like? It is portrayed to you. We exist merely as spectator rather than seeming participant.

A favorite quote of mine, “Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books for to you kingdoms and their armies are mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned by the flicking of a finger,” accurately portrays the total involvement of the mind through reading.

Also note that the ‘moral of the story’ in a movie or TV show is only observed, while the moral of the book being read is absorbed. Not becoming a part of you but bringing the mind into play as it ponders logical or ethical information. New ideas rumble around in our subconscious for hours, days, even weeks, and become part of the world info that we use to ‘compute’ our personal approach to life & the philosophy we live by.

The mind takes it all in, stirs it together and out of that process: through both conscious and unconscious thougtht we arrive at our conclusions. People do not change through external influences, we change from the inside out. Books change people. Movies entertain people. Both have their place but when thought is replaced by putting your mind into neutral, we are in trouble.

For additional thoughts on this subject you may want to read the article at

Is it any wonder that there is so much social trouble in the USA today when not only our youth but much of the adult population is actively ‘tuning out?’


Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Wikio
  • Ask
  • Squidoo
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! Or to subscribe via email enter your address in the box on the top right of the page!
This entry was posted in Common Sense, Rights and Responsibility, Truth and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Empty & Idle Mind Society

  1. C says:

    As an addendum, I recently saw a news story about the Public Libraries in Camden, New Jersey. According to the report, the budget shortfall in that municipality was causing them to seriously consider actually closing ALL the Public Library Branches in the city. As of now I have not heard a follow up story.

    Frankly, I was incredulous. Since I volunteer at a local Library I had a chat with the main librarian there and he told me that there was concern in our area too. Apparently drastic action had recently been held off, but narrowly.

    Of course better the Library than the Police or Fire Departments but are you telling me that there is NO WAY to make any adjustments in the budget of a city that large that they have to START talking about cutting there?

    As an aside – or maybe not – President Obama has gone on record as pushing Broad Band Internet as a newly discovered RIGHT of the people. Perhaps it’s me, but there seems to be a huge disparity here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *