Mind over matter

From http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/magazine/lives-a-failure-of-happiness.html?partner=rss&emc=rss:

“Cocaine reconnected my mind to my body, and I felt tremendously alive, hypersexual and hopeful once again,” he wrote. “At least I had a new God to believe in, even if I knew all along this was a false God, a deceitful God, one who always promised misery and defeat. So, I choose this God of intense extremes over the monotony of everyday life.”

I am often left wondering: how strong is this control of mind over matter? Rather weak, it seems. It appears that we feel our way to a decision, and then attempt to substantiate it with reason. The disagreement of reason and heart, if it happens, remains unresolved because no matter how logical reason is, it is hard to deny feeling. It seems that the ability to identify the sources of one’s discontent does not lead to resolution; rather, one overwhelms the original feeling with another, through several distractions or the passage of time, and only after the original feeling dissipates can one come out with reasons for its termination.

There is a certain trend in society that exalts in experiencing all that life can offer, just so one doesn’t regret never knowing a sensation. In this there seems to be an implicit assumption: that after experiencing all these sensations, one can rationally choose between which sensations are desirable (and wise) to continue enjoying, and what should be discontinued. How reasonable is this assumption though? Is the risk of sensation overwhelming mind a justified risk to take when you consider the possibility of regret?


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