When one considers the interplay between mind and environment, one must consider a comparison of environments and the mind which interacts. Some say we are the same wherever we go, others suggest environments have "a mind of their own."
Investigate ruins on Machu Picchu. Discover headhunters in Papua New Guinea. Sit on the country porch and sip your tea. Speak with traveling tourists. Mock the so-called "city folk." Travel with the gypsies. Hike the appalachian trail. Ski the alps. Pray in the Himalayas. Freeze with the penguins. Run with the kenyans. Sweat with the natives. Swim with the dolphins. Trade with the so called "suits" on Wall Street. Command, conquer, and even kill with the soldiers.
An environment has many qualities: the weather: hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, still, sunny, dark; the life: animals vs. roadkill vs. food, business men vs. tribal men vs. laymen vs. authorities; the history: ruins, wars, cemeteries; the architecture: stables, skyscrapers, grass huts, tree homes, gothic churches, hindu temples; the music: drums, guitars, oboes, tubas, bird chirps, ambient noises.
And the human mind has a multitude of possible reactions to each of these qualities: comfort, shock, anxiety, bliss, boredom, excitement, fear, joy, hate, nausea, curiosity, disgust, etc. etc. etc....
Having recently moved to my mother's hometown, a place of many names: "The Big Easy," "The Crescent City," "Nawlins," or "NOLA," environment and its effects on the mind are considered. Possibly considered the black sheep within the American family of urban environments, New Orleans is a place of clashing cultural eclecticism. Why do so many people fall in love with the rich vibrant aroma and attitude of this place, the most delicious lifestyle of food and easy living? And why do so many others absolutely abhor the potent stench of horse urine and Mardi Gras vomit, the violence and loose morals? New Orleans is possibly a place where the extremes of mankind are learning to live next door to one another.
Is a way of life dictated by one's environment? Does the mind adjust to its surroundings? Can we be of even temper, regardless of the quality of land beneath our feat, air we breathe, and life with which we live? Where will you go today? Will you be you, or your environment?