Why our brain is not our best friend!
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety, not to mention…the hundreds of phobias that can also take away your life.
We know so much, about so many things, and yet, we’re at a loss to explain…why we’re the only life-form on the planet that destroys itself.
Please join me as we attempt to solve this long-standing mystery, aided by this Biblical quote… “Know what is front of you and what is hidden will be revealed.”
From that statement, I crafted the following question. What’s in front of us that we’re not seeing…that causes us to be so destructive?
A simple question…in search of an answer. With that said…I decided to put-on my detective hat and set-up, in my own mind, a mental workshop to see what I could find; as if I was the famous story book detective, Sherlock Holmes who said, “There is nothing so elusive as an obvious clue.”
The obvious clue turned-out to be…the elephant in the room…our brain; that is so sophisticated; it has the ability to create on its own.
For example; did you create you…in your own mind? Did you discuss with your brain what your life was going to be like or agree on what to be afraid of… and what to be anxious about or how you’re going to treat yourself and others? You didn’t do any of those things. Your brain, without your knowledge or permission, made all the arrangements without you…and there’s more to the story.
Not only are we dealing with a brain that has the capacity to create on its own, it also takes pleasure in miscreating. For example, are you responsible for those nighttime dreams that are chaotic and nonsensical? Was it you that caused people, places and things not to appear in your dreams as they really are? Of course not…your brain did the fabricating, by taking what is true and twisting it into something of its own making.
Can you see why our brain’s ability to “miscreate” is a problem? What I’m suggesting is…our brain has created a twisted image of who our brain thinks we are…that we’ve been educated to live through, revealing a truth we have yet to embrace…our brain is not our best friend.
Sigmund Freud, the father of modern day psychology, called this twisted image the ego, which is Latin for “I…the self” that speaks to us through the… judgemental chatter-in-our-head; you know that voice, the one that talks down to you and says…“You’re not smart enough, good enough, you don’t have what it takes, it’s their fault…so why try?”
Adam and Eve were first to experience this conundrum, when it showed-up in The Garden of Eden as a serpent; duping the new patrons into believing that the forbidden fruit, the embodiment of “the self,” would add more to their life…than what God was offering.
In the story…God leaves The Garden of Eden, for a brief period, and upon returning he’s shocked to find…Adam and Eve doing business with the serpent. God wanted to know, “Why did you eat the forbidden fruit when I told you not to?” Adam’s response made it clear to God…they no longer consider The Garden of Eden a sanctuary, because their values had changed…judging; blaming hiding and not being accountable had become…more important…than truth and freedom.
Managing our thoughts and emotions… What have we learned since Adam and Eve were kicked-out of The Garden of Eden? Nothing! We’re still judging blaming, hiding and not being accountable for how-we-think, which demonstrates that the serpent is still alive and well…snaking-it’s-way through-our-psyche, delivering negative thoughts and emotions that robs us from…the life giving energy of peace, which raise a question.
How do we manage…this thing-in-our-head…that manages us? Like any organism, you have to know the means by which it operates, before you can alter its structure. What follows is a four-step process I developed called…A Better Way of THINKING…that gives you the power to micro-manage that part of your personality that longs to take you in the wrong direction that begins by…
- Being AWARE,
- Living in the PRESENT MOMENT
- Making CONSCIOUS CHOICES and
- CONNECTING to what you love to do.
Successful mind-managers are AWARE of how the chatter-in-their-head, the serpent, manipulates their thinking, unlike Adam and Eve who fell under its guise.
This beast of the field is quite, stealthy, has a forked tongue and can be deadly and will employ tactics such as weaponizing space and time in order to create…pain and suffering, for example.
Let’s say you’ve learned that another firm has purchased the company you work for…and wants to move your job to another state. Hearing the news, the chatter-in-your-head goes ballistic and immediately propels your mind into the future, where it begins beating-you-up with “what if” questions you can’t answer. “What if you can’t find another job? What if you can’t pay your bills? What if? What if?”
And when the ego tires of abusing you in the future, it will drag you into the past to criticize you for all the stupid mistakes that you’ve made, such as not having saved enough money, not accepting the “other job” that offered more security and the list goes on.
And before you know it, the ego’s venom is coursing through your body…leaving you stressed, anxious, upset and convinced…that nothing can save you, from you, but that’s not true. There is a tool that will enable you to reach the high-ground…the PRESENT MOMENT.
The PRESENT MOMENT…is a psychological/spiritual antitoxin of sorts that can neutralize your self-talk. This tactic is popular among those who practice Zen and meditation, because the chatter-in-your-head and the present moment cannot exist at the same place, at the same time, which sets the stage for making…CONSCIOUS CHOICES.
A CONSCIOUS CHOICE is more than a thoughtful decision, it’s a questioning process whereby you “think through,” as to what you might create for yourself and others…if you act upon your current thinking.
Being AWARE, staying in the PRESENT MOMENT and making CONSCIOUS CHOICES…CONNECT you to the realization…that you have the power to change your life by “bringing-out what is within you,” which ties into this ancient quote…“If you bring-out what is within you, what you bring-out will save you. If you do not bring-out what is within you…what you don’t bring-out will destroy you.”
The brain is a chaotic and nonsensical place and I invite you to learn more about this enigma…by logging-on to…www.abwot.org…and checking-out my podcast, video, blog and new book that’s listed on Amazon…Your Guide to…A Better Way of THINKING…that’s also available in a Kendal format.