Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

Below, you will find a dialogue between Justin and Justina, two unusual-yet-similarly-named friends. This dialogue finds Justin and Justina sitting together on a park bench. It is 87 degrees and sunny. Justin appears to be handling the heat just fine. Justina is having a less pleasant time. Justina thinks that she is hot and sweaty because it is hot and sweaty. As you will see below, Justin has a different explanation. Hot is a state of mind. Cold is a state of mind. Justina has a hot mental state.

Hot is a State of Mind

Justina: It’s hot.
Justin: You don’t get it.
Justina: You’re going to say something dumb like “it’s all in your head.” I know you.
Justin: Define “like” in this case.
Justina: That question was as dumb as what I thought you’d say.
Justin: You were a bit off.
Justina: Was I?
Justin: “Hot” is a state of mind.
Justina: I’m sweating.
Justin: You have a clammy mental state.
Justina: I was freezing two weeks ago. “Cold” state of mind?
Justin: You’re learning.
Justina: I’m mocking you.
Justin: Once you verbalize my wisdom on your own, you’re on the path to internalizing it.
Justina: That’s terrible.
Justin: Isn’t it?
Justina: Hot is a state of mind. Cold is a state of mind. That’s nonsense. You’re an alien. Humans feel hot and cold.
Justin: This isn’t just about hot and cold, Justina. Whole mindset-based view.
Justina: I’ll bite. I’ll regret biting, but I’ll bite. What’s an example of a non-hot and cold state of mind?
Justin: Glad you asked.
Justina: …

"Summer Flowers" by John William Godward (1903)
“Summer Flowers” by John WIilliam Godward (1903) – Public Domain. HT to Swallowtail Garden Seeds on Flickr.
The young woman in Godward’s “Summer Flowers” is maintaining a far more temperate mental state than our heroine, Justina.

The Basement is a State of Mind

Justin: Let’s say there’s a guy named Louie.
Justina: Alright.
Justin: I’m going to tell you a couple of things about Louie. Louie only has one residence. It’s a first floor apartment in his parents’ house.
Justina: Mhmm.
Justin: Does he live in the basement?
Justina: Why do you think he doesn’t live in the basement, Justin?
Justin: Quite an assumption you’re making.
Justina: It’s right though.
Justin: It is.
Justina: Right.
Justin: Basement state of mind.
Justina: Come again?
Justin: The basement isn’t a location. It’s a mental state. “That Louie lives in his mother’s basement!” See? Matthew isn’t saying that Louie literally lives in his mother’s basement, he’s saying that Louie has a basement mindset, a basement essence.
Justina: I see.

The First Floor is a State of Mind

Justin: Of course, someone can live in the basement but not live in the basement.
Justina: Is that so?
Justin: Take Tex.
Justina: Who’s Tex?
Justin: Lives in his mother’s basement.
Justina: So why doesn’t he live in the basement?
Justin: Quite an assumption there. Internalizing?
Justina: No. Pattern recognition.
Justin: Cousin of internalizing.
Justina: Right.
Justin: Different issue for different day.
Justina: Oh no.
Justin: So Tex’s physical residence is in the basement. Right? But no one tells Tex that he lives in the basement. Friends come over. No one comments on the basement.
Justina: Is there another fan here?
Justin: Tex puts the “base” in “basement.” He has has what we call a “first floor state of mind.” Tex lifts. Pretty much as bad as Proton Von. He just happens to live in his mother’s basement. His mind, however, is very much on the first floor.
Justina: Mhmm.

The Mindset Moral

Justin: So Louie lives on the first floor and is told that he lives in the basement. Tex lives in the basement but his friends never comment on it when they visit. What does this tell you?
Justina: Nothing at the moment.
Justin: At the moment? What’s special about this moment?
Justina: I’m too hot to deal with your nonsense. How do you have the energy for this right now?
Justin: Temperate state of mind.
Justina: …
Justin: …
Justina: I walked into that.
Justin: Can’t blame you. Things happen when you have a hot mental state.
Justina: I hate you.
Justin: I’ll spare you the lecture on second and third floor mental states while you cool off.
Justina: I’m going to keep a hot state of mind forever.