Mind-Body Speed Control
Our body and mind have a mutually exclusive relationship: the body is slow when the mind is fast, and vice versa. We move less when we think much, and we think less when we move much, except at times of full rest and full alert, as in sleep when both body and mind need to rest, and in dangerous situations when both need to be fully alerted.
There are five basic modes or speeds for the body and their equivalents for the mind, that, when mastered, give maximum control over one's thoughts and actions, speeding up the rhythm of life and steering it in the right direction. Those speeds are "still, slow, fast, tense and loose," that we can effortlessly reach and shift from one to the other by simple easy-to-learn control techniques.
Most self-control techniques depend largely on the ability to efficiently use both body and mind, because we carry the same genes in the same bodies we've had for millennia, that we can neither change nor escape: we are not yet "walking brains" or light ethereal life-forms, or angels, fairies, ghosts ... mythologically speaking.
We vitally need both at the present stage of our evolution, as one completes the other. However, the mind is superior to the body, and the former is better qualified to control the latter. While the brain is evolving fast, more physical functions are slowly, unnoticeably passing into obsolescence, and their related organs into atrophy.
Self-control takes four forms:
We always use one form or the other of the above, alone or in combination:
Some doubt the power of self-control believing it's an unnatural intrusion diminishing the joy of living and spoiling its simplicity, spontaneity and element of surprise. There is no need for such fears because self-control only completes pleasure: it is a medium, not an aim—our aim is maximum happiness. Self-control is not absolute either because there are different degrees of control, and many times life can be enjoyed with minimal or remote control, that doesn't interfere with or decrease pleasure.
"Full" self-control, however, is only needed at stressful or dangerous situations that we cannot leave for chance to control. Contrarily, there are times when we almost use no self-control at all, giving free rein to our desires and simply following our heart. Such times are better controlled in advance instead, by choosing to be at places, in times, and with people we already know or trust enough to give ourselves to. Otherwise, to live always without self-control is like driving a car without a gearshift or brakes.
• For the body to be slow or fast, we use inner and outer organs: muscles, joints, heart, lungs, etc. To make it tense or loose, we use them in a slower rate and an inward direction.
• Our vital inner organs can be controlled with practice, to speed up and slow down too: heart, lungs, alimentary tract, glands ... and brain. Although invisible, they are the primary cause of change in our mood, metabolism, movement, and well-being.
• Body tension and relaxation are both types of physical speed, directed inward, causing stress or relief, instead of outward speed which causes actual movement from place to place.
• Both physical tension (inward speed) and physical swiftness (outward speed) are forms of body speed, having an opposite effect on the mind, because of the mind-body mutually exclusive relationship we mentioned. Thus, they cause the mind to slow down, inward and outward, i.e. slowly imagining and slowly arguing. The same with physical slowness and looseness, where either causes the mind to speed up.
• Fast movement and tense organs naturally cause unnecessary stress and slow down higher brain functions, when used for a long time. Thus, they are in less contexts:
• Physical "lightness, slowness and stillness" should be favored by civilized people who want to enjoy a safe, happy and meaningful life, as all three modes stimulate the higher brain and improve its functions. The sight of a still or slow person (not necessarily old, disabled, depressed or apathetic) watching the tone of their voice and rhythm of their movement, lest it cause the slightest tension, shouldn't be surprising. Rather, they should have our respect. The lower brain had done its primary job, long ago, at earlier stages of evolution; but now, we only use it for basic physical needs—until further notice from technology, when we might do away with it altogether.
• Any speed applies to the body as well as the mind independently, consecutively, or simultaneously together with other speeds, depending on circumstances:
• Any body speed can be applied fully or partially, i.e. to a certain body part, or to the whole body. For example, sitting in an airplane, one can stretch their feet, arms and fingers, without leaving their seat (i.e. without moving their pelvis). The same applies to car-driving, except when you are the driver, not the passenger, more responsibility is put on your brain. (The problem with car-driving is one can never expect what could happen next—on the road, or to your own body or mind—even if you've been driving all your life.)
• Any of the five speeds applies to brain functions too, independently, consecutively, or simultaneously with one another, depending on circumstances. We use our mind only to imagine or argue, slow and fast, or to give it a "still" break. There's a variation of when to use which, and the combinations between different modes of body and mind:
• We need to master each speed, because self-control isn't an innate behavior. Other animals do know some of such speeds by nature. Their instinctive knowledge helps them enough to survive and satisfy their physical needs, but they cannot compete with humans in diversifying or refining their pleasures; and, with the simple brains they have, they cannot have a civilization.
We apply the different speeds according to our different pleasures and needs. There will always be one speed or another to use (of the 10 mentioned: 5 for the body & 5 for the mind), even when we are dead (still mind + still body). For the matter at hand, there's no need to consider the jumpy electrons in a still skeleton as a form of motion!
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Body balance or harmony between its moving, still, tense and relaxed parts is one of the senses added by modern scientists to the traditional five ones. Without balance, we can neither move in the right direction, nor stay firm in place, when we need it: we'll act like a mass of meat and bones gone out of control. Even the most primitive organism has some instinctive sense of balance teaching it where/when/how to move. It's nature's roadmap, inner guidelines and laws, imprinted in our genes, that every creature follows.
Following a pattern of movements, postures and speeds, without making mistakes requires a keen sense of balance, more than just thinking, where thinking can actually be disruptive, doing more harm than good.
Physical balance is not one speed; it's a combination of many, working in harmony together: