Then they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him (Jesus) and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see men - they look to me like trees walking." [Mark 8:23,24]
These two verses have always interested me. They feel pregnant with more meaning than I myself could ever gather. I've read theological interpretations, basically all agreeing that the man's sight was initially healed in part (seeing men like blurry trees) so that his own faith would help bring about his complete healing. This could be true, but after reading a book called "Who Switched Off My Brain?" by Dr. Caroline Leaf, I have another interpretation.
This book is revolutionary in proving the Proverb that states "For as he thinks in his heart, so he is." Dr. Leaf discusses the notion of epigenetics, which simply put, is that our perceptions of life shape our biology. I did a little more studying on the concept of the epigenome to find that it is basically cellular material that will tell your genes how to express themselves and their resulting appearance. When we consciously use our free will and utilize our ability to think, we are making the determination of which genes will be expressed, and which genes will not. What we think about shapes and forms the appearance and function of our genes, which in turn, tells our bodies how to maneuver, and what its overall health will be. The manner in which our body acts is all due to the fact that our thoughts are either healthy or unhealthy.
So it's easy to then add that our behavior, along with our genes, follows our thought life. We all know that already, don't we? The way we believe things to be is our filter for everything else. We react out of those filters and produce either healthy or unhealthy reactions. If our minds are negative, we will react being fear-based and insecure. If our minds are renewed, cleansed, and focused upon what God has called us to think upon ( whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praise-worthy) then we will have a more peaceable nature. Whatever we act on originates from what we think and believe. Actions are simply reactions to thoughts and belief systems.
It's no coincidence to me then that the thoughts in our brain look like little trees. They are electrical impulses that grow stronger and have more interconnectedness the more you meditate upon and believe in them. Where something has been a source of focus, the connections are deeper and more difficult to override. While this man was born blind, he couldn't have begun to fathom the beauty of sight. As he was being revealed this new truth, his entire life and it's belief systems were transitioning also. At first, when he physically only saw in part, he was shown a much deeper truth - that men are walking thoughts, acting out of their beliefs, and that those beliefs, regardless of accuracy or truth, have the potential to root us down with great strength. As the blind man chose to believe the new reality that Jesus was gifting him, his sight appeared, and his life was revived.
We are called to renew our thoughts daily, momentarily. We do that by meditating upon the Holy Scriptures, upon His truth, not what we see before us right in this very moment. When we consistently have our thoughts on him, our hearts can hope, and our brains are hard at work creating new and healthy branches that can tie our entire network of thoughts together, re-creating our lives entirely.