Your Brain and How You Could Ruin It

I seldom re-blog or re-publish someone’s work here in my WordPress account. However, this day, this very day, I have stumbled upon a great article in LinkedIn.

This very article is what I really wanted to point out with my entry last May 8.

The Worst Thing You Can Do to Your Brain
(And Vice Versa)
Deepak Chopra MD (official)
Founder, Chopra Foundation
May 15, 2014

human brain

The brain hasn’t ever been unimportant, but it has risen to new heights in an age where neuroscience and genetics are sharply focused on it. We are gaining so much insight into brain processes that it’s easy to assume that the brain runs our lives. The truth is that each of us is the user of our brain, and as with any mechanism, the user’s intention makes all the difference.

There’s no need to get mired in the contentious argument over whether the brain is the mind or a physical representation of the mind. Without a doubt every person gives their brain input every day, and in return, the brain responds. In other words, you and your brain are related in a feedback loop. This feedback loop is so sensitive that it responds to every moment of life, including every experience, thought, feeling, and sensation you’ve ever had.

Which leads to a deep question. Are you in charge of the feedback or is it in charge of you? If you let your embedded memories and old habits have their own way, you can’t be in charge. Instead, you will automatically react to a wide host of new experiences as if they were the shadow of old ones. This results in a state I call stuckness, where the most precious ability to possess – the ability of free choice – has been taken away from you.
When you are stuck, the following results build up over time:
• You act thoughtlessly.
• You become blind to new input.
• You accept old output without question.
• Your brain keeps imprinting its old wiring deeper and deeper.
• You lose self-awareness.

Getting stuck is the worst thing your brain can do to you, and vice versa. The ultimate responsibility rests upon you, because you are meant to be the user of your brain, not the other way around. When a person isn’t stuck, there is a conscious attempt, year in and year out, to renew the feedback loop. To do this, the following pointers will help:
• Question your ingrained beliefs, prejudices, and assumptions.
• Keep lines of communication open with others.
• Encourage opinions from a wide circle of people.
• Respect and understand views that are the opposite of yours.
• Be aware of your negative emotions and work on them without blaming others.
• Value self-awareness and work to expand your awareness.
• Look upon your life as a continuing process of evolution.

jump

None of this is new advice; it goes back thousands of years in the world’s wisdom traditions. The only new twist is that modern people want to see physical evidence before they accept the validity of what used to be called wisdom, and now advanced brain research has provided it. There’s no neurological term for stuckness, yet it is well established that the brain has natural plasticity – that is, it’s highly adaptive and sensitive to input from body, mind, and surroundings.
In a very real sense, you are creating the brain you are going to live with in the future, according to how you respond to life today. Stuckness represents a state of inertia; it says that you don’t value your personal growth as much as you should. The fact that the brain is crucial to a person’s evolution seems obvious, but in the past an inability to change was blamed on sin, laziness, lack of intellect, and genetic programming. In reality, volition – the ability to carry through the change you want to achieve – plays a major role. When we misuse the brain, every experience suffers, and that includes spiritual experience, which like every other kind depends on the brain to register it. No saint ever saw angels without the participation of the visual cortex.

Avoiding the condition of stuckness comes under the heading of self-care, which has become more and more important recently. There’s much to say about self-care, but the first and most important step is to take seriously your role as the user of your brain, a role with far-reaching implications.

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3 thoughts on “Your Brain and How You Could Ruin It

  1. Hey Julienne.
    I totally agree with this article. The brain is fascinating. It’s a gift from God. If we understood a bit of how our brain works we would be able to solve a lot of problems in our lives. A lot of the problems we face is not spiritual like this article or you may have mentioned but a lack of understanding on how our brain works and how it affects our performance on a daily basis!
    I would recommend you to look up
    The Pacific Institute. They are an organization who focus on how the brain works but not only that they interpret the information in a way an ordinary person can understand. I have done the course and I teach it as well. Since I did the course, my life has changed drastically because of it.

    Thanks for sharing that information though. It’s right on point!

    Rolain

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on The Think Tank and commented:
    This post speaks about each of us and the role we have in who we are, what we have become and what we can do to change. Our brain and how our mind comprehends is based on what we feed it. Research shows that what we knew or thought we new is continously changing, being modified, substantiated, and refuted. If we allow ourselves to remain left behind by locking in our beliefs in any subject and not opening up our mind to possible change, we miss the chance of becoming all that we can be. I have always said that one is never so smart that they can’t learn something from a dummy. I trust I will always ask those questions, listen to what I hear and continue down the road of an enlightened life. God gave us this brain and mind to think with. He gave us the ability to think and reason and make choices for ourself. We should do just that! We should never allow ourselves to lock into what someone else wants us to believe until we look in all direction even if it make us uncomfortable. Think on!

    Like

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