Do we really live in a free country? Bob Gebelein will really make you think twice about this statement after reading his book “The Mental Environment”.
What is mind pollution? The author defines mind pollution as any thought, idea, fiction, hypnotic suggestion, judgment, etc. that makes one’s view of reality less accurate. The main goal is to try and make one’s view as accurate as possible without the influence of any polluting elements.
What is the main factor that influences mind pollution? It is social manipulation. Just think about it. In our country we have many legal laws that guarantee us certain rights and freedoms so we can express our views without government persecution. However, on the other hand, we have social laws. Social laws tell us how we must act within a certain group. These laws are unwritten but they are clearly understood. For instance, if you belong to a certain social group, your beliefs must agree with the others in the group. What would happen if you believed in something totally different from the rest of the group? You must live by the norms of the group. If a person goes along with the norms of the group, they are the “greatest”. If they do not agree, the person would probably be labeled as “weird”. So the question here is do you want to feel good by going along with the norms of the group or do you want to feel your beliefs are accurate?
Bob Gebelein talks about many subjects but the one I really found interesting is religion. The author describes religion as not just a belief but also a way of approaching a knowledge of the spiritual. Religion claims to know the ultimate reality. He makes the point that many of the Christian Gospels were written decades after the life of Jesus and not based on first hand experience but from other people’s accounts. Another point the author makes is that religion fills our social need for authorities. When we want to know the ultimate truth we reach out for something that appears to be the ultimate truth. However, if one group follows the beliefs of a certain spiritual leader and another group follows a different leader, who is to say which group is accurate about the ultimate truth if each group’s beliefs are different. Take some time to think about this and you will understand where the author is coming from.
Bob Gebelein has written a book that is clear and concise on the subject of “The Mental Environment”. This book really made me sit down and analyze everything the author is saying. I found myself thinking, “That is so true and really makes sense”. This book is easy to understand but it is not what you would consider “light” reading. The author gives you plenty of food for thought and it is up to the reader to take that information, and decipher it to think about the point the author is making and then come up with your own conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it forced me to really ponder the points of the author. There is no doubt the author is passionate about his subject. This really comes through in his writing. If you are looking for a book to read that is unique, challenging and interesting, be sure to add “The Mental Environment” to your reading list.
REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON
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