Friday, 30 September 2016

Don’t be a slave to your brain





Our brain is our main computer for navigating the world. It tells us when we are hungry, when we need to urinate and also makes sure that other automatic processes of the body go on.

The brain is truthful most of the times except in cases where certain systems are compromised. We can continue to rely on the brain to guide us through life reliably. There is only one area where sometimes we will have to override the natural functioning of the brain, which is when it comes to all that which is not directly related to our physical survival, and that is when it comes to our emotions or how we feel.



The reason why I always emphasize that our identities are outside our brain or if they are in our brains, are deep within the organizational hierarchies of the brain beyond the neural networks, and probably down to the level of microtubules and neurofilaments is that we can override our emotions.

The brain is truthful and will remain so as far as it is functioning healthily, but sometimes we do not need this level of sincerity to function in life. If the majority of events that are happening in your life are not happy events, the brain will acknowledge this truthfully and will make you feel bad.

It is clear that life is mostly made up of unhappy events and if we allow the brain to rule us, it will keep on telling us to follow life as it is. The brain will report the facts, life is sad. If we hear of terrorists’ bombings, the brain will tell us to be scared. This is the way it has evolved to guide us safely through life.

But if the brain tells us to be afraid, then where do we find things like courage. If a soldier is going to war to defend his country, where is the fear there? The fear might be there but the soldier’s intention to replace it with courage because he has a higher purpose beyond his survival and propagation of his genes, for security of his nation, which includes his loved ones.

Despite the brain giving the soldier the correct signal that he is about to embark on a dangerous mission, the soldier persists in overriding this impulse fueled by a higher purpose than his personal survival.

I think this is a defining nature of being human, the ability to override our emotions at will.

If life does not seem to go in the right direction, which it does most of the time, then if we follow the true signals given to us by our brains, we will not be able to survive. We will be depressed most of the time because the world outside us will not change, it will permanently look sad, because that is how it was designed to be. It is left to us to override our natural view of the world and replace it with any other emotion we want. And as easily as that we can start reprogramming our brains to respond to even the most horrendous of experiences with a sense of purpose and not be overwhelmed by anything.

This is a deep lesson we all need to learn from our existence on earth. Imagine those inventors who fail countless number of times to realize their goals, what keeps them going? They learn to ignore all evidence of failure, they shut down the brains realistic thinking and replace it with whatever emotion they desire. They choose to interpret the observed failures in whatever manner they choose.

This is why having a hyper logical mind will merely lead to physical paralysis in the devastating world of pain that we all occupy. Our ability to ignore the reality of things and rise above the direct interpretations of our brains, and choice to feel anyway we want to feel despite apparently opposite surrounding circumstances is what makes us human.

This is a simple exercise one can use all the time to gradually start overriding the responses of the brain. One should not try to override his physical survival necessities; this would lead to real problems. The only things we should override is our emotions.

Whenever we feel terrible, we should simply just choose the opposite emotion and affirm it. This might not be as simple as it sounds. Choosing an emotion is not an easy thing, but we have one gift, it’s the gift of language. Simply state the opposite emotion you wish to feel in words. For example, when you naturally feel depressed about some happening, simply say, I feel great right now.

This is a trick to give the brain another instruction that is different from that which it is currently observing, and why should you not do this after all its your brain and you can choose to use it anyway you want.

This is how a soldier can have courage in the face of great danger, this is what is going on in the mind of those people who do extreme sports. They are fully aware of the danger they are putting themselves in and the possibility of being completely terminated is real, but despite all these cues being given to them by their brain, they still go ahead and bungee jump or skydive or whatever.

If you affirm that you feel good despite physically observing that everything is not going your way, you are overriding some neural circuitry within your brain and with time, the brain will learn to associate negative surrounding circumstances with a positive mental response. This ability can be very vital to your general survival both in mundane situations of fear and extreme ones.

We might not be able to change the physical world that surrounds us in most cases, but we have the ability to go beyond our brains and feel anyway we choose to feel despite experiencing the exact opposite.

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