I did see the movie Inception. This post isn’t a review about this movie. I did like the movie and would certainly recommend it to anyone. In fact, this post can be understood better by those who have watched the movie, but not a pre-requisite.
Technological progresses have made our lives easy. At least thats what most people say. No doubt it has improved our economy, people live longer though not necessarily healthier, cures for many diseases have been found, looks like technology has an answer for everything. No not yet … wait.
I think we are nearing the cusp. Where the human being with his incredible intelligence has mastered technology to such a great extent that anything physical has been influenced by or supposedly made better by technology. The next frontier for technology is then … The Human Mind.
As Viktor Frankl mentions in his book The Man’s Search for meaning, the challenge of the future generation, as the result of technological advance, would be to combat “boredom”. “Boredom” perhaps is healthy to an extent. But what about myriad psychological problems that people would be subjected to now and in the coming years. Today, psychiatry is far less successful. The social stigma is huge. We are at a very nascent stage as far as Mind diseases are concerned.
Changes in Social fabric has put a lot of pressure and add to that the stress of job, of economy and the like. Technology lures the mind with all its offerings and the mind succumbs. Mind has so much to attend to that it gets weak, tired and for some it cracks and gives up.
In future, we would find it hard to tackle mind (or mental) problems than the physical ones. Or to put it other way, Science would advance so much that they would trace physical well being eventually to mind and start working at that. The movie Minority Report explores such a theme in the Crime prevention space (with all the dramatics).
Likewise, flexing the mental muscles would be the thing. How well guarded and trained one’s mind is ? How well it resists temptation ? How disciplined it would get ? These will be the differentiators. Mental Gyms may train people to sit in front of steaming hot, aromatic, delicious food and resist themselves from eating it … for starters!
In the movie “Inception”, DiCaprio’s plan goes haywire when the subject kind of resists the influence on his subconscious mind in his dreams. (Its another matter that Di Caprio eventually manages to have his way …)
But wait … this is what our ancients did centuries back right ? They did it in the name of religion, to “purify” themselves, to please Gods, to have self-control and so on. They went on fasting, they physically labored, some even physically tortured themselves. Were temples, Churches and Mosques mental Gyms ?
Looks like the battle with the mind cannot be won so easily !
Can technology help ?
Anyway … if you get a chance, do watch the movie. It throws open certain perspectives.