The Talking Stick can help you to release tensions and to alter your mind. But what is mind? In Swedish the correct translation is sinne, but in English it gets confused with Analytic Intellect. The English expression ”What´s on you mind?” is in Swedish ””Vad har du på hjärtat?” which literally means ”What´s on your heart?” A ”No Mind Festival” would to us literally mean a ”No Heart Festival” but we have got so influenced by American English that we do not notice it. The sense of heart is more in line with the old meaning of the word. Mind does not equal to head.
Talking Stick "Prince of Hearts" by Viveca Lammers
I listened to a film with JP Sears and he really did a god job in explaining how the difference between ”following the mind” or ”following the heart” is experienced in daily life. Yes, I klicked Like on it and I shared it on facebook!
But... he is using the word ”mind” in a way that has become popular, and I wonder how ”mind” has got this meaning. Is it from having been filtered through the American New Age movement?
The word mind has been taken from the genitive (possessive) form of the Latin mens, which is mentis. Mentis (ment-is) has given us the word mental (ment-al) and if we say that a person is mental we usually mean that she thinks a lot or is "thought-oriented in his approach to everything. Here is already some confusion” because with that word we also mean ”windy”, in the sense of having a lot of thoughts and opinions, talking much and moving quickly. It means ”interested in new ideas” rather than just being interested physical pleasures. We have the word ”mental hospital”, which is a place where psychotic people get locked in, not intellectual people. Something has gone wrong with the mind or psyche. Not necessarily with the intellect, but rather with energy and emotions. You can also be well functioning without being analytical and intellectual.
How is the mental person thinking? Is that person windy, with quick thoughts that ”follow the wind”, often in new and unexpected directions? In that case the emotions are also windy as emotions follow the thoughts. Emotions are water, but water comes in the form of rain from the clouds. No cloud no rain! No thought, no emotion!
Or is a mental person strictly intellectual? With no emotions at all? Can be, but doesn´t have to.
Such a person with a windy mind might not at all be very reflective, analytic or intellectual. The word mind means to think, bur one of the earlist meanings is to remember.
It is the same word as the German Minne, which means memory, loving memory and love. This is not intellectual analysing – it is a state of mind, which is state of emotion. The Protoindoeuropean root men- is translated with think, but it seems more to refer to the quality of the thought and then it is more what we would call the state of the psyche and then the emotions are also included. The Latin word mens, mentis corresponds to the Greek word Psyche. If you are filled up with a memory, this memory has a certain effect on your emotions and the quality of this effect must be the real meaning of this way of thinking that we call mind. The word ”think” can be used for many different ways of thinking and mind then would indicate ”the status of your focus” and that is what New Age would call ”vibrations”. It is not ”analytical thinking” - it is the quality of the thought, which is the quality of the psyche.
So mind can be intellectual analysing but it can also be heightened emotions of love and beauty among red wine, red hearts and red roses, it can be what the German Minnesänger were expressing. They focused on the love-state of the mind, of the mens, of the Minne. A single song was called a Minnelied.