Why You Naturally Think About Sex and Food (and How It Can Be Changed): The Ritual and Habit of Your Mind and Thoughts
Synapses and neurons fire constantly in our brains, carving out pathways in which electrical impulses surge through out minds to access stored information and gather thoughts and images for our ritualized behavior. The science of the brain and the way we think is foreign to most (including me). And while much of this incredible data is mysterious, one things seems clear: Our habitual rituals are made more easily accessible by the thoughts we choose to indulge.
Like a well worn road, the more we walk down a certain path, the more clear and easy it becomes to return and traverse it once again. A person who watches copious amounts of television will continue to do so otherwise great discomfort will befall them. The ritual is intoxicating and addictive. One who eats certain kinds of foods, sleeps at certain times, or needs that cup of coffee in the morning from the local shop does these things habitually because the brain is patterned to want and desire them though patterns we have created. The more we indulge, the more we become “dependent” and the behavior becomes more natural.
So too is the case with the more grievous thoughts and actions we take. The rageful thoughts and images of sex and porn become well worn roads in our minds the more in which they are indulged.
One thought is not just a single stray thought. It is an pathfinder and trail-maker cutting through roughage and forest to create a path. If more thoughts were to follow, the tiny trail becomes a road or a super-highway of traffic. Every image and every thought is locked away in the mind to be accessed at a later date. And the more worn the path, the more easily accessible those thoughts and images become.
The human mind, though an incredible engine, is depraved and corrupt. It is diseased and sick.
Despite the surface appearance of altruism, well-mannered conduct, and seeming innocence, most have rotten minds and puss-filled infected thoughts—rageful, murderous anger bubbling to the surface in traffic jams, burning lust and a wandering eye that indulge in fantastical fantasies about the grocery store clerk, or simply grandiose and prideful daydreams about how society will suddenly awaken to how awesome you are and worship you with gushing adulation.
One hope exists: a new mind.
In the jungles of Cambodia ancient cities once dwelled, home to thousands of people. Massive and elaborate buildings and well-worn highways lined the landscape. Eventually, those cities and paths were abandoned as its inhabitants moved on to new cities and communities. In the absence of continual traffic, the cities and paths were swallowed whole by the jungle. Well-worn paths disappeared and creeping vines and jungle overgrew the once great cities now scarcely recognizable.
They serve as a vestigial reminder of what happens when human action and activity ceases.
Such rebirth and renewal is promised by Christ and encouraged by Paul, the early follower of Jesus. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
It is through Christ that our rituals and patterns of thought and behavior can be made new. And without him, we are left to our own devises attempting to pump-up our self-control and reform our rituals.
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