Networks of the Mind

I like to think of the mind as a network, a web of thoughts, ideas and memories that interconnect and weave together to create one whirring system. It is a network of ideas constantly buzzing between one thought and the next. We can often get lost in our mind as an insignificant thought can take you down a long and winding path that leads to great things or maybe just a dead end. 

I sometimes find myself drifting inside my mind, thinking about a memory from years ago without the conscious decision to revisit it and wonder how I got there. I then take on the role of detective as I methodically trace my way back, searching for the thought that was able to transport me through the vast networks of my mind and place me in a memory I didn’t have the intention of remembering. 

Memory is also tied closely to our senses, making up their own network. When I think back to early summer mornings on my grandparent’s farm, I can almost smell the dewy grass that covered vast acres of land and feel the shock of cold as the wetness touched by bare feet. I can just see the ripples in the dam where the ducks glided slowly across the water and can almost taste the foggy air that rolled through the valley. These senses combine to create the network that preserves this memory in my mind. It reawakens anytime I wish to experience this moment again. 

I believe that the network of ideas that live in our head comes alive when we start to create and write new stories. I imagine millions of lines that represent my thoughts branching off from my brain, specific ones lighting up as I invent characters and exciting worlds. My mind races between ideas, picking out the best ones and translating them onto paper. As each branch lights up with an idea, several more branch off from it, expanding and building upon the thought until it is something whole and magnificent.  

The act of acquiring knowledge expands the network of ideas we keep guarded in our minds. For every book I read, podcast I listen to or class I enrol in, the information I am consuming is filed away in my mind. It is waiting to be used in a future conversation or help me remember an obscure fact or even provide the answer to a competitive game of trivia. I like to believe that everything I learn, although not retained to be remembered at will, is still developing my knowledge and contributing to my understanding of the world. Every new bit of information creates another branch of my network, filling up what I hope is an infinite space.  

The mind is a complex system that allows for our thoughts, memories and ideas to be captured and experienced. It is through these networks we are able to create what is beautiful and complicated and wholly unexplainable.  

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