The right arrangement of one's thoughts

When there are a few items to pick up at the store, it's likely you will get into your car, or hop onto your bike, arrive without having taken any wrong turns, pay the person at the cash register, and find your way home free of any major incident. Why is such a simple little trip usually not chaotic? Because of the orderliness of your thoughts.

You recalled where the store is, you remembered to bring some cash, you knew where you parked, and when you got home you knew to go to the kitchen and put food into the refrigerator so it wouldn't spoil. Most people probably assume the brain kept this sequence of actions in relative order. Others may describe the source of this order as the human mind. Either way, quite a few events in the lives of most people unfold with reasonable harmony.

But what if thoughts of the human mind are not arranged in a very systematic way? What if you couldn't find the keys to the car, and what if it didn't occur to you that you would need some money to buy the groceries? To take the example further, one human mind may even be afraid to leave the house; another may be confused over how to get to the store. Enough turmoil in thought may lead society to slap the label of mental illness or a deranged mentality on the individual who feels so troubled.

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July 14, 1997

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