Christina Reeves and Dimitrios Spanos – The Mind is the Map
The Mind is the Map: Awareness is the Compass and Emotional is the Key to Living Mindfully from the Heart, co-written by Dimitrios Spanos and Christina Reeves, is an invaluable contribution to the ever growing library of self help literature available for readers. It captures much of the current zeitgeist surrounding “mindfulness” philosophy and testifies, in its own way, to the ever present influence of Eastern thought on global culture. It is not a spiritual tome in the traditional sense, the specter of religious thought does not haunt its pages, but it is an intense testimony to human possibility and asks its readers to make a careful, thorough appraisal of their lives so they might understand more about the energies locked inside our experiences and minds.
I found the discussion regarding how childhood shapes our reactions and experiences especially illuminating. Modern psychology has made considerable inroads in our societal understanding of how those formative years shape so much of what follows in adulthood, but Reeves and Spanos examine the subject from a slightly different angle. Much of what we learn during those early years is helpful, but a lot of it undermines our potential and tearing down some of those conditioned responses, they believe, is key to setting our lives on a different path. Self-awareness and expanded consciousness are a significant foundation for their observations and the writing sets forth this argument in plain, yet intelligent, prose accessible to readers of every stripe.
This is a truly collaborative work. Reeves and Spanos mark for readers where one writer takes up the “conversation” and the structuring of the book as a sort of dialogue between the authors helps, along with their talents as writers, bring the book’s themes into sharper focus. Their use of technological terms referring to how we process experience gives the book a modern sheen that I believe many readers will respond to. It is far from gimmickry. The mind is a computer of sorts and understanding how we assimilate data into larger contexts is critical for understanding what the book outlines as possible for us all.
Their system oriented approach to increased self-awareness gives the book further structure and makes their ideas easy to follow. They do not spend countless pages citing other works to make their point but, instead, present their theories and beliefs to readers grounded in the reality of our waking lives. There are some points, as mentioned earlier, where they discuss ideas like life energies and other ephemeral qualities, but such high flown concepts never subvert the book’s intentions.
The Mind is the Map is, ultimately, a work where you don’t know need to take everything from it to find some use in its ideas. You can cherry pick what you need from these pages, leave what isn’t useful behind, and perhaps revisit it at a later date. This is one of its core strengths. Unlike other books on this subject you may read once and then shelve indefinitely, The Mind is the Map is a book you can return to numerous times and likely discover something different corresponding to your own growth as an individual. It’s a successful book well worth the reader’s time.