At Odds

My son’s husky joined me on a morning walk. Morning walks are a time for enjoying peace and beauty. These are a time to pray, ponder and meditate. Of course it is irrational to think that a dog would have the same perspective. Nevertheless, there was this absurd hope, if not expectation, that we might both rejoice strolling along in harmonious celebration of all that is good in the universe. Yeah, right.

Naturally, he pulled at the end of the leash, whatever the length provided. After all, constraints must be continuously and forcefully tested and challenged. Besides, there is this smell over here. And look! A grasshopper. Wait, wait, more smells. Nature seems to provide an infinite variety of temptations mandating immediate, energetic pursuit. I need to see that butterfly. Yank. Chipmunk! Lunge. I need a closer whiff of whatever that is. Pull, pull, pull.  S Q U I R R E L ! ! !

Ouch! After verifying that my arm was still somewhat attached at the shoulder, I was less than charitable in my response. Why can’t you just follow the rules? This would be so much more enjoyable if we weren’t unceasingly playing a game of irresistible force vs immovable object. Oye.

The first metaphor that came to mind was of me taking a walk in the garden with Father. Yeah, the blue eyed dog would be me.

I started to ponder again the significance of the difference between mind and heart as used in scripture. Of course we know that heart therein does not mean some romantic or emotional construct. As best as I understand, recent fMRI research demonstrates a certain duality of the brain. No, not right brain and left brain — researchers now think that is bunk, but fast brain and slow brain. I can’t say that I really understand this, but I think of the fast brain as muscle memory, fight or flight, reaction and response without the slow brain’s reason, analysis, and potential for deep thought. For example, I ask you, what is 100 + 200? As an adult, you know the answer; no effort, no thought required. I ask you, what is 57935 + 64086? You probably had to resort to a mathematical process, if you even bothered. I now wonder if the fast brain can be associated with the heart, the natural man, the so-deeply-trained and perhaps culturalized thinking that enables instant recognition and response with all attendant efficiencies and bias, and without consideration nor analysis. S Q U I R R E L !

Is this then related to the concept of “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak?” What kind of a leash exists between the slow brain and the fast brain, between the mind and the heart, between the spirit and body? If true, what do we do with “being of one mind and one heart?”

…arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things (2 Nephi 1:21)

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. (D&C 8:2)

So many examples. So much to ponder. Thanks dog.

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