Reciprocity of Mind

One of the most transformative realizations I’ve had is that my mind is a thing I own.

And like all things I own, the quality of goods it produces will shape my relationship with it. And since I’m talking about my mind and the thoughts it produces, the boundaries of the relationship expand to the edges of my perception of reality.

If my thoughts remain clear, careful, and sober, my relationship with the world will improve. If my relationship with myself improves, so too does my relationship with you.

What I’m talking about here is the idea that you can think valuable thoughts.

What do I mean by valuable?

Value is a phenomena, something psychological, something real. But us modern people hate subjective things. We can’t see psychology, so we pretend it doesn’t exist. Consider: you have an ugly hat. “No I don’t!” What happened there is an example of value. Your worldview informs what you value. My worldview informs what I value. I don’t value your hat very highly. You value your hat more than I do. We had a clash of values. And we wouldn’t have had a clash of values if either of us believed that value itself isn’t real.

You already believe that value is real. You just didn’t know it. And I can’t force you to think that Object A is more valuable than Object B. Yes, it’s just your opinion, man. But I do believe that you, a human being with a mind and spirit, capable of love and joy and passionate reproduction, are objectively valuable.

Consider cultivating a reciprocity of mind. Consider being highly selective of which thoughts you act on, and which thoughts you don’t. The value you allot to certain thoughts is one of your most cardinal considerations.

Of course, you can’t prevent certain thoughts from happening, but you can absolutely control which thoughts spur you to behave in a particular manner.

Cultivate a reciprocity of mind. Act on thoughts which produce the healthiest value for yourself and the people you love.

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