"Understanding the memory, emotion, thought connection and how it effects our lives"
Where Do Thoughts Come From? Who Is This "I" ?One of the things that has crossed my mind recently is the question of who I am. This question is very interesting to me. I don't know what the answer to the questions is. I don't know how I would know some answer was the answer if I get an answer. One thing that popped up in my viewer this morning was the idea that we don't want to be anyone else. We may want what someone else has. I wish I had his luck, wife, money, looks...That may be, but there's something about actually trading places that just isn't OK. You be me and I'll be you doesn't appeal. We know intuitively that we don't want to do this. Why? Sometimes we're so unhappy we think it might be better to die. But we still don't want stop being us.
I'm not talking about trading lives. Not positions in society. That's OK for some. But actually not being us anymore is a no go. I see something very significant in this. It may be the only evidence I can find for eternal life. Some say that life arose from, what physics calls, the singularity. Are we singularities? Born out of oneness and formed through some universal process to become seeds for other universes? Are we life's bloom?
What would we loose if we really became someone else? Would we know we were someone else? We don't know what we were before we became what we are. We don't remember ourselves before birth. At least the brain doesn't. Is there some other kind of memory? Another source of thought? Lately I've been considering the possibility that the brain doesn't think. One might say that all it does is think. Aren't we bombarded with the brains chattering all day? It's definitely chattering, but is that thinking? I've given my brain assignments. It doesn't do well with them. I've told my brain, in the most reasonable way I know, that we could be happier if it would only think about what I told it too. So far, my brain hasn't paid any attention to me at all. You would think, that if it thought, it would see my point and cooperate. Wouldn't you? If it was really thinking wouldn't it realize I was on to something?
I've given my brain assignments. I said, "all you need to do is relax the neck". Either it doesn't want to, which implies not only intelligence but the ability to decide for itself what is best. Or it isn't really thinking. It doesn't hear. It doesn't decide, consider, contemplate and so on. This other possibility implies that it isn't intelligent. That it isn't thinking. I have found no evidence that it thinks. This is not to say it isn't active...hooo Doggies...it's active. I gave it a problem to solve when I went to bed the other night. Next thing I know I'm coming back from a cartoon polo match where I was a player with a mallet that seemed to wilt and dressed in some sort of inappropriate clown suit. I looked at this and looked at the brain and said, "you...are completely useless...". Not only useless and uncooperative but downright detrimental to everything I'm trying to achieve. I spend my time searching for answers to the questions of life and it wanders around making noise and distracting me until I fall asleep. Then it takes up where it left off, fighting creatures that won't die and playing clown polo. Two things it isn't even good at. It used to try and fly. Or maybe that was me.
Anyway I have spent the last several years finding out how to get my mind off my brain. I saw that it wasn't helping so I decided that if I could learn to ignore it I'd be better off. I have been and I continue to get better as I practice. The more time I spend with my mind free of my brains...silliness...the better my life goes. I see things clearer. I have even started to recognize another aspect of what is me: an intuitive connection. When the brain tries to examine life it does so from what it understands. In this it doesn't stand a chance of gaining any understanding at all. I found out, once I stepped away and looked closely that it really doesn't know much. In the same way that it doesn't really think, it doesn't really know either.
The brain is the main obstacle to understanding. It's basically a library. In the same way we discovered the facts about DNA, that DNA isn't deciding anything for us. We can learn to see the brain for what it is: an organ. With the function of an organ. People may say, "I know that...". If we know this, why do we spend so much time on the wrong end of the leash?
There are a few things I've been using to get the brain healthier.
(1) Meditation obviously. This more than anything has helping me gain the position that is most beneficial for me and the rest of life.
(2) Brain Wave Entrainment: alpha, theta beats for entrainment purposes.
(3) First and foremost, food. You can eat things that will drive the brain crazy and ruin your whole day.
We can look at the parts of the brain and the specific functions carried out by those parts. We can enhance the performance of the brain - and these specific parts - by increasing the nutritional balance through diet. This should be done first before we decide we're crazy and go see a physician. If I were not able, or willing, to do this investigation and maintenance on my own, I'd go visit a nutritionist. The very last thing I'd do, and only on my way to the mental institution, is allow someone to give me drugs. We can start a study of the brain here and there is no shortage of good resources available.
There is also a part "in" the brain that has been all but forgotten. This forgetting has been intentionally brought about by people who "don't want us remembering". The forgotten part is the pineal gland. Is it our connection to life itself? The organic aspect of intuitive knowledge and perfect memory? Does it know what you are? I've been focusing attention on this region (where I imagine it to be). I want it to be as active and in tune as possible. So far I've just been doing it. I'd like to give a report and say, "As a result of, this or that, I have achieved, noticed, experienced these specific things...". But I can't. I really can't tell what it is I'm doing that's responsible for the life improvement I experience. So I keep doing it all. And it keeps getting better. I found this website (cited below) and it has some stuff on the pineal gland. Plus a load of other stuff that, if I ever slow down, I'd like to look at. Maybe you can look at it and get back to me.
Brain Structures and their FunctionsCerebrum, Cerebellum, Limbic System, Brain Stem
The nervous system is your body's decision and communication center. The central nervous system (CNS) is made of the brain and the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is made of nerves. Together they control every part of your daily life, from breathing and blinking to helping you memorize facts for a test. Nerves reach from your brain to your face, ears, eyes, nose, and spinal cord... and from the spinal cord to the rest of your body. Sensory nerves gather information from the environment, send that info to the spinal cord, which then speed the message to the brain. The brain then makes sense of that message and fires off a response. Motor neurons deliver the instructions from the brain to the rest of your body. The spinal cord, made of a bundle of nerves running up and down the spine, is similar to a superhighway, speeding messages to and from the brain at every second.
The brain is made of three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. The forebrain consists of the cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus (part of the limbic system). The midbrain consists of the tectum and tegmentum. The hindbrain is made of the cerebellum, pons and medulla. Often the midbrain, pons, and medulla are referred to together as the brainstem.
The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections, called "lobes": the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. Here is a visual representation of the cortex:
What do each of these lobes do?Frontal Lobe - associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solvingNote that the cerebral cortex is highly wrinkled. Essentially this makes the brain more efficient, because it can increase the surface area of the brain and the amount of neurons within it. We will discuss the relevance of the degree of cortical folding (or gyrencephalization) later.
Parietal Lobe - associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli
Occipital Lobe - associated with visual processing
Temporal Lobe - associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech
A deep furrow divides the cerebrum into two halves, known as the left and right hemispheres. The two hemispheres look mostly symmetrical yet it has been shown that each side functions slightly different than the other. Sometimes the right hemisphere is associated with creativity and the left hemispheres is associated with logic abilities. The corpus callosum is a bundle of axons which connects these two hemispheres.
Nerve cells make up the gray surface of the cerebrum which is a little thicker than your thumb. White nerve fibers underneath carry signals between the nerve cells and other parts of the brain and body.
The neocortex occupies the bulk of the cerebrum. This is a six-layered structure of the cerebral cortex which is only found in mammals. It is thought that the neocortex is a recently evolved structure, and is associated with "higher" information processing by more fully evolved animals (such as humans, primates, dolphins, etc).
The cerebellum, or "little brain", is similar to the cerebrum in that it has two hemispheres and has a highly folded surface or cortex. This structure is associated with regulation and coordination of movement, posture, and balance.
The cerebellum is assumed to be much older than the cerebrum, evolutionarily. What do I mean by this? In other words, animals which scientists assume to have evolved prior to humans, for example reptiles, do have developed cerebellums. However, reptiles do not have neocortex. Go here for more discussion of the neocortex or go to the following web site for a more detailed look at evolution of brain structures and intelligence: "Ask the Experts": Evolution and Intelligence(I stopped linking directly to the articles because websites change links without adding redirects. These should get you to the main pages...)
The limbic system, often referred to as the "emotional brain", is found buried within the cerebrum. Like the cerebellum, evolutionarily the structure is rather old.
This system contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus:
- a large mass of gray matter deeply situated in the forebrain at the topmost portion of the diencephalon. The structure has sensory and motor functions. Almost all sensory information enters this structure where neurons send that information to the overlying cortex. Axons from every sensory system (except olfaction) synapse here as the last relay site before the information reaches the cerebral cortex.
- part of the diencephalon, ventral to the thalamus. The structure is involved in functions including homeostasis, emotion, thirst, hunger, circadian rhythms, and control of the autonomic nervous system. In addition, it controls the pituitary.
- part of the telencephalon, located in the temporal lobe; involved in memory, emotion, and fear. The amygdala is both large and just beneath the surface of the front, medial part of the temporal lobe where it causes the bulge on the surface called the uncus. This is a component of the limbic system.
- the portion of the cerebral hemisphers in basal medial part of the temporal lobe. This part of the brain is important for learning and memory . . . for converting short term memory to more permanent memory, and for recalling spatial relationships in the world about us Brain Stem:
Underneath the limbic system is the brain stem. This structure is responsible for basic vital life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure. Scientists say that this is the "simplest" part of human brains because animals' entire brains, such as reptiles (who appear early on the evolutionary scale) resemble our brain stem.
The brain stem is made of the midbrain, pons, and medulla:
Midbrain / Mesencephalon - the rostral part of the brain stem, which includes the tectum and tegmentum. It is involved in functions such as vision, hearing, eyemovement, and body movement. The anterior part has the cerebral peduncle, which is a huge bundle of axons traveling from the cerebral cortex through the brain stem and these fibers (along with other structures) are important for voluntary motor function.
- part of the metencephalon in the hindbrain. It is involved in motor control and sensory analysis... for example, information from the ear first enters the brain in the pons. It has parts that are important for the level of consciousness and for sleep. Some structures within the pons are linked to the cerebellum, thus are involved in movement and posture.
Medulla Oblongata- this structure is the caudal-most part of the brain stem, between the pons and spinal cord. It is responsible for maintaining vital body functions, such as breathing and heartrate
When we begin to wake up, as we are doing this instant, we will be able to reconnect with our memories. We will reestablish ourselves and our minds. We won't be confused by the brain. We will stop being confused about the brain. We will get our minds off our brains like they are now off our lymph glands. Which are probably, as organs go, of more consequence.
The Pineal GlandThe symbol of the All-Seeing-EYE, has always been part of Earth's creation mythologies and mysteries. In Ancient Egypt, is was symbolized by the Eye of Horus. The symbol was passed down, through the ancient mystery teachings and and can be found on the American dollar bill. Why the symbol of the EYE?
The eye is the observer of reality - or the illusion of reality. In the physical body, your eyes look outward - though it views objects upside down. It next sends the message of what it observes... to the brain, which interprets the image and makes it appear right side up to us. But the human body has another physical eye, whose function has long been recognized by humanity.
It is called the 'Third Eye' which in reality, is the Pineal Gland. It is the Spiritual Third Eye, our Inner Vision, and it is considered the Seat of the Soul. It is located in the geometric center of the cranium.
The pineal gland is cone - shaped. The Pineal Gland is about the size of a pea, and is in the center of the brain in a tiny cave, behind and above the pituitary gland, which lies a little behind the root of the nose. It is located directly behind the eyes, attached to the third ventricle.
The true function of this mysterious gland, has long been contemplated by philosophers and Spiritual Adepts. Ancient Greeks believed the pineal gland, to be our connection to the Realms of Thought. Descartes called it, the Seat of the Soul. Read more... strayreality.com
Right UnderstandingFrom Buddhanet... The first element of The Eightfold Path is Right Understanding which arises through insights into the first three Noble Truths. If you have these insights, then there is perfect understanding of Dharma - the understanding that:
"All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing."
It's as simple as that. You do not have to spend much time reading "All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing" to understand the words, but it takes quite a while for most of us to really know what the words mean in a profound way rather than just through cerebral understanding.
To use modern colloquial English, insight is really gut knowledge - it's not just from ideas. It's no longer, 'I think I know', or 'Oh yes, that seems a reasonable, sensible thing. I agree with that. I like that thought.' That kind of understanding is still from the brain whereas insight knowledge is profound. It is really known and doubt is no longer a problem.
This deep understanding comes from the previous nine insights. So there is a sequence leading to Right Understanding of things as they are, namely that: All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing and is not-self. With Right Understanding, you have given up the illusion of a self that is connected to mortal conditions. There is still the body, there are still feelings and thoughts, but they simply are what they are - there is no longer the belief that you are your body or your feelings or your thoughts. The emphasis is on 'Things are what they are.' We are not trying to say that things are not anything at all or that they are not what they are. They are exactly what they are and nothing more. But when we are ignorant, when we have not understood these truths, we tend to think things are more than what they are. We believe all kinds of things and we create all kinds of problems around the conditions that we experience. read more buddhanet.net
Scientists Identify the Brain's Activity Hub
Posted by Maria Tassopoulos on 07/03/08
The New York Times
The outer layer of the brain, the reasoning, planning and self-aware region known as the cerebral cortex, has a central clearinghouse of activity below the crown of the head that is widely connected to more-specialized regions in a large network similar to a subway map, scientists reported Monday.
The new report, published in the free-access online journal PLoS Biology, provides the most complete rough draft to date of the cortex's electrical architecture, the cluster of interconnected nodes and hubs that help guide thinking and behavior. The paper also provides a striking demonstration of how new imaging techniques focused on the brain's white matter - the connections between cells, rather than the neurons themselves - are filling in a dimension of human brain function that has been all but dark.
In previous studies, scientists have used magnetic resonance imaging to identify peaks and valleys of neural activity when people are doing various things, like making decisions, reacting to frightening images or reliving painful memories. But these studies, while provocative, revealed virtually nothing about the underlying neural networks involved - about which brain regions speak to one another and when. Previous estimates of network structure, based on such imaging, have been sketchy.
The new findings, while not conclusive, give scientists what is essentially a wiring diagram that they can test and refine