July 01, 2006

Psychology of the Mind

There have been times when I have sat and wondered what it would be like to be inside the minds of people. Is it a healthy affair? Or would it be an affair to remember? Whatever it is, it sure would be an affair that has the ability to leave you spell bound and speechless and would definitely leave a lasting impression. The mind sure plays a lot of games with the self and also with everyone around us. It is the essence of any person. It has the power to imagine, it has the power to think and it has the power of reasoning. Or wait a minute is it the brain which does all that and not the mind?
Is the mind different from the brain? Or are they the same? In the time of the great Rishis and the Munis people had the power to sit in one place and enter the minds of people. The bodies of other people and enter the body of their previous birth and live the life, live their life. Isn’t that a little too hard to handle? Would I have the strength to do something like that if I had the power to do that? The movie HOLLOW MAN got me thinking. Though it was a crappy movie, the concept of being invisible fascinated me. Am sure it is every guy’s fantasy to be invisible, at least for a day to be able to fulfill all their dreams. The most common being step into the ladies change room. (How clich├ęd does that sound) What would I do if I had the power to be invisible? Ok, am going way off target here. Coming back to the mind here. Focus Iyer, Focus.

I love psychology and I love everything that has to do with psychology. I think in life, everything revolves around people, the mind, the thoughts, the way people react to things and it is psychology all the way. A write up or a proposal that I read from a friend of mine got me thinking. She plans to do an entire photo feature on people and their psychology and relate that with advertising. Interesting. But needs more clarity for sure. She wanted to discuss the whole thing with me and this post is a direct result of the write up from her. Maybe I could answer her queries with this, maybe I could answer myself with this or maybe this could just be something that I wrote sitting in a coffee shop waiting for a radio jingle to be produced.

Photography, advertising, and psychology. Three different topics, interlinked to create a desired effect, food for thought? I wanted to study psychology when I was just about to finish my school life. Spoke to a few psychology students and ‘Elders’ from the family, the result am in advertising now, not a software engineer, not a doctor or a lawyer, but an advertising dude with long hair and weird eating and sleeping habits. It’s fun how my eagerness to do psychology quickly faded away, but the passion, the fire for the subject still is engraved in my system. Fortunately I got to do psychology in the course I did for my under graduation and my post graduation. And I loved every bit of reading about Freud and Lacan and the various other twisted, perverted and repulsively real psychologists this world has been subject to. Freud particularly caught my attention. The man was a genius. But unbelievably twisted in his brain. He has come up with startling reports about the human mind, hard to digest for a lot of people and more so for a few of my girl colleagues in college. They used to twitch and turn every time we had a discussion in class. They just wouldn’t take the ‘S’ word of the ‘G’ word. How funny is that? The oedipal journey and the electral complex, psychology students would understand what am referring to here, for the others, there is always Google and Wikipedia.

The world of still photographs- images is absolutely mind blowing. How the concept of capturing a moment of time between four frames came into life. How the photograph has a life of its own, not that of the person or the image in question, but on its own. More than abstract images captured, or more than the sunsets and the sunrise. The empty roads and the tall buidings, the distant mountains and the horizon. The beach and the boat. Its people that is more interesting. Human life forms are interesting subjects for photography. The contours of the face, the depth in the wrinkles, the smile, the eyes. It’s poetry. Real, true, breathtaking poetry. I have been working a lot with video, that I have lost out on the joy of still photographs. The way light can change the mood of a picture, the color can add beauty to the subject. I need to get back to photography. (takes the scribble pad and makes notes to self).

How can you bring in photography to describe psychology? How can you just use subjects, normal people, in normal setting, to project normal or abnormal behavior. How would a certain someone react when he is subject to different environment, under different circumstances? Would he be the same? Or would there be a drastic change in his behavioral pattern? This is Iyer the psychologist speaking here. Is it possible to perfectly blend the two – photography and psychology? If yes, then how? A silent photo feature about the activities of just one individual? His day to day activities? The people around him, what he likes, what he doesn’t, what he believes in and what he doesn’t. How do I juxtapose all this?

Maybe when I start off with something, or someone, I might be able to get answers to a lot of things, and maybe others who are put in similar situations would also get the feel of what it is like to be in their shoes. Would I react the same way as the subject? IS my life different from that of the other person in question? Clarity my friend is what is needed here. Shit loads of clarity.
I could get under the skin of people by doing this. I could understand what it feels like to be in another persons shoes. Maybe this is what the Rishis or the Munis did without the help of a Nikon Fm10. So getting into someone’s mind is not that difficult after all. We all do that in one form or the other and there is just no way of stopping us. Some do it cautiously and some without an idea.

Does that contradict everything that was spoken earlier? Does that contradict everything that psychologists have taken years to analyze, study and project? Is getting into the minds of people that easy? In a way it is like the Truman show. I know you more than you know yourself. But still knowing oneself is a whole different perspective. That is a spiritual journey. That is the search for peace, that is the search for truth and that is what we all know as Soul Searching.


Sam said...

Very interesting post. I am surprised you haven't got any comments on this one.

Done 3yrs of psyco myself. A staunch believer in Freudian theories. Have studied it, applied it & lived through it.

Your friends shied away from Freud? Lemme guess, are you from Christ? :P

arvindiyer said...

To Sam..
Thanks for the comment. Well this post was written a long time back when I had a different template. So the second I changed my template all the comments for my previous posts and the ones i wrote after this got erased:)
And no, am not from christ:)