Brain surrounded by connected dots

Masterminds: The Anthropology of the Human Brain and Strong Minds

The brain is such a fascinating topic. It is very interesting how powerful this organ is, more especially when used the right way to reach its full potential. The brain is a complex organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body. Together, the brain and spinal cord that extend from it make up the central nervous system or CNS. Our brains are an incredible creation. I like to differentiate the brain and the mind. The brain is more of a biological science term which is used to describe all the biological responsibilities that the brain physically carries out. While the mind has more of the metaphysical responsibilities, such as feelings, thoughts, emotions and understanding.

Once you have mastered the art of understanding your brain and controlling your thoughts, you become unstoppable. It’s true what they say, you are your brain. Basically, this takes us to a philosophical concept that states, I think therefore I am (Cogito, ergo sum). A concept that should be used when in doubt. This basically means that, because you still think this means you are still alive and are valid.

I believe the strongest people in the world are those who have dominion over their minds. Those who are able to control their emotions and have the ability to resist temptation.  The most successful people in the world are those who push their minds to reach higher highs. Here we are talking about the elite group of people who have taken the ability of the brain to a whole new level. These are the people who went out of their way to challenge their mindset and challenge their way of thinking. The game changers, the creative thinkers, the critical thinkers, the observer.


A painting of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is, no doubt, a master of the mind. He has successfully changed the narrative of literature. In fact, he is the definition of English literature. The key to communication is language. We understand each other through the use of language and spoken word. This is why I believe the essence of our being is through universal understanding and communication. To be able to master the arts of language means you are indeed a mastermind. This is why our conversation takes us to no other than the Literature god himself, William Shakespeare.

He was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. Shakespeare is best known for his incredible works, such as “King Lear”. In his lifetime he wrote  37 plays. His work was so influential to a point that it has been added to the school’s syllabuses and tertiary institutions.

One thing we have to understand is that he was not the only literature writer of that time but he was able to unlock a level of thinking that allowed him to advance more than his peers and fellow writers, making him stand out from the crowd. Some call it talent, but I call it intellect. A writer is a reader. Therefore, this means he must have read so many books in order to be where he was. The brain is like a muscle. Once you feed it knowledge, it becomes stronger and fitter.


A picture of three heads covered in paint
Source: Yoair

On the topic of thought and mentality, we have specialists who take their time to study the study of psychology. Mastermind,  Jordan B  Peterson, is a clinical psychologist. He is a Canadian professor of psychology, YouTube personality, and author who began to receive widespread attention in the late 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues, often described as conservative. Peterson is the author of several books, namely, 12 Rules for Life, Beyond Order, Maps of Meaning, Political Correctness Gone Mad, Political Correctness and Peacemaking. Well, I am not going to be talking about his bibliography but rather what I think qualifies him as a master mastermind. There is a very interesting topic Jordan B Peterson once lectured in 2005, titled Slaying the dragons within us.

Here this mastermind gives a lecture on a children’s book about a dragon that was in the house. Every time the dragon is ignored, it will grow bigger. It grew to a point where it was harmful and dangerous. After acknowledging that it was in the house, the dragon began to decrease in size. He brought in additional information about different situations that needed to be dealt with. Implying if we leave certain situations without dealing with them or postponing them for later, they would end up being bigger problems. Jordan opens up so much room for thought when giving out his lectures, allowing us to think further. He is not a motivational speaker but he rather opens up your mind to greater possibilities.

Some refer to him as a ‘meninist’, because he is for men. Others criticize him for his approach and views on political matters. He is a mastermind, because I assure you after watching one of his YouTube podcasts, you will become touched. One is often left with questions that require you to think deeper. He challenges social contracts and questions existing structures.


This print by M. C. Escher shows staircases that all seem to be going in all directions imaginable, defying gravity and the laws of physics, and are connected to one another in a single infinite loop.
Source: Yoair

I  am not very passionate about this body of work, but it is no secret that each and everything begins with an atom. Therefore, science is essentially the beginning of life. Science is everywhere and science is everything. In the end, I lost confidence in science simply because there are many questions science can not answer because of the lack of proof. Dispute that Albert Einstein is amongst the greatest thinkers. He was a German-born theoretical  physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. This mastermind is known for developing the theory of relativity but he also made an important contribution to the development  of the theory of quantum mechanics. He was awarded  the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his service to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

This mastermind is a type Five personality, meaning he tends to be curious, independent, and observant. Albert generally loves to pursue knowledge and seeks a deeper understanding of the world. As an introverted intuitive thinking perceiver (INTP), Albert tends to be extremely analytical, objective, and logical. His love for discovering and inventing puts him amongst the greatest people to ever live. He has pushed himself into an iconic figure.


The silhouette of a Socotri against the outline of the blue sky in the Hoq Caves
Source: Yoair

What is philosophy? Let’s start there. Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. It is also a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior. Whereas philosophy as a way of life implies living your life in a philosophical way. Whereby you abide by certain philosophical principals. There are many definitions of what philosophy is.

According to the Oxford dictionary, “Philosophy is the investigation of the basic idea of information, reality, and presence, particularly when considered as a scholarly control”. While Miriam Webster, “philosophy is a control containing as its center rationale, tastes, moral power and epistemology”. According to Mr. Monnard “philosophy is a perspective on the world and gives it meaning. It can give an excellent technique for looking at our convictions”. This is why Hadot says the possibility of theory as a lifestyle, and not similarly as philosophical talk.

Plato and his right-hand man, Socrates, are masterminds simply because they refused to look at the world the same way everyone else. The book, The Allegory of the cave or Plato’s cave. Plato was a Greek philosopher, in his work Republic, to compare the effects of education and the lack of it on our nature. He highlights the importance of perspective and how our view point is the foundation of everything. Plato challenges us to think further and to reach our comfortable zone of thinking. He gives an example of a cave and he asks us the question of what if we are living our lives through the cave and all we can see is a mere representation of what life could be. This means he encourages us to question everything and go beyond given social constructs. This is what makes him a mastermind.


Frescoe of Apostle Paul wearing blue clothes with a red cloak in front of a golden background.
Source: Bethesda Lutheran Church

Matters of the spirit do in fact need conscious attention, they involve a level of thought. I believe in God not because of how I was raised, but rather because it is my only way of survival. Sarah Jakes Roberts, the daughter of bishop JD Jakes. She is redefining what it means to be a modern woman of faith. Her message spreads throughout the world, defying cultural, religious, gender and socioeconomic boundaries. Whether it is through her bestselling books or her viral messages, she is a mastermind because she is able to change the narrative of the gospel, increasing its potential from the traditional way of church to a more conventional way. She has made the word of God accessible to everyone and her message is free from judgment, free of discrimination.

This mastermind was able to use her personal story to change the lives of others. She became a pioneer for women alongside her husband, Touré Roberts. She co-pastors The Potter’s House at One LA and the Potter’s House Denver. Sarah has a very unique way of reaching people who are seeking to make peace with their past, maximize their present, and deepen their relationship with God. There are thousands of testimonies from women who underwent trauma and were saved after encountering Sarah’s teachings.


Four different skin-tone women stand and look in the front
Source: Artem Varnitsin

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. Without wasting any time, this brings us to the wonderful, extraordinary, powerhouse, game changer and literature guru Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Author Chimamanda uses the term “single stories” to describe the overly simplistic and false groups, or countries. Here she is basically referring to stereotypes, the danger of a single story. Let us bring it back to her book We Should All Be Feminists, published in 2014.

Feminism was deemed un-African. This is why Chimamanda is a game changer . So she decided to call herself a Happy African Feminist. Then a fellow friend told her feminists hated men. This meant that she had to call herself a Happy African Feminist who did not hate men. Who wears High Heels for Herself and Not for Men (Chimamanda, 2014: 3). Here we find Chimamanda experiencing great trouble with identifying as a feminist simply because feminism was something that did not exist in our African cultures. Women are often thought to be submissive to men and they should always respect males in all conditions. Indeed, from birth, our younger brothers are given a chair to sit on while our mothers rest on the floor.

So in her book she addresses such social contrasts and issues. She focuses on the subjection of women and African expectations of African women. We see how she highlights the limiting bounds women are given in Africa. Women are thought to aspire to marriage, yet we do not teach boys to do the same. We are  told to be successful but not too successful, otherwise we reflect the man. So you see how she has pushed her level  of thought. In a limiting environment. This is why she qualifies to be called a mastermind.

Cultural Studies

Group of ethnic multicultural students in sitting at table library. Students are talking and reading.
Source: yoair

Here we are talking about a field of theoretically, politically and empirical engaged cultural analysis that concentrates upon the political dynamics of contemporary culture, its historical foundations, defining traits, conflicts and contingencies. This is indeed a complex field of study and anyone that is able to master it is indeed a critical thinker. This is why, in this regard, I will reference my former Cultural Study contemporary A and B, Professor Adrian Konik. Professor Adrian Konik , DLitt et Phil (2007) in Religious Studies, University of South Africa, is a Senior Lecturer of cultural studies at Nelson Mandela University. He publishes regularly in the South African  Journal of Art History.

He is a mastermind due to his views and knowledge of cultural discourses. I believe having the ability to teach junior university students such a complex field of study needs a level of patience, knowledge and complex explanation skills. Bearing in mind, that this study has its own vocabulary that is composed of complex words and structures. It is not an easy module to learn. Yet to him, it is an everyday culture, a lifestyle. He is a mastermind because he is intelligent, an author and lecturer. He has trained his mind to function on a higher level of thought and grammar. I am sure he has read the entire dictionary if you may ask me. Quite frankly, I would read anything that he writes, even his grocery list.

The Laws of Nature or the Universe

Natural Theology.
source: Yoair

It is a regularly occurring or apparently inevitable phenomenon observable in human society. These are those things that happen because they are supposed to happen. Here we are talking about the laws of attraction, karma, polarity, rhythm, cause and effect, the laws of Gustation and Perpetual perfusion of energy. If you believe in the universe and its powers, then it hits home to you. One understands that these universal orders provide us with guidelines for our behaviours and more.

This is why we have taken this topic to the author The SecretRhonda Byrne. This is a self-help book that is based on a movie that had the same name. It is based on the belief of the law of attraction, which claims that thoughts can change a person’s life directly. She highlights the importance of thoughts and how they can become things. This means thinking positively and good will happen in your life. She speaks about the most basic things that people take for granted about how they can improve our lives. Things such as make-belief, daily affirmations. This mastermind uses her own life as an example. On how to generate wealth and a prosperous life. If you are desperate enough, this book can change your life.


A money note with a emoji
Source: Yoair

Jeff Bezos is the founder of both Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, and Blue Origin. With an estimated net worth of $ 177 billion, he is the richest man in the world. Need I say more? One can already see how he is a mastermind.


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