CHAPTER 8: REWIRING THE BRAIN

    The advent of consciousness in evolution bestowed upon the human species the power of conscious behavior and more intelligent action, which meant a large measure of freedom from reflexive and predetermined behavior. It meant a good deal of liberty from the bio-robotics that governed life in the earlier phase of our evolution. Unfortunately, there is no room for complacency because there are some factors that might threaten our innate liberty of consciousness.

    One factor is the restrictive nature of thought per se that operates in a narrow periphery. The second is the fact that we are increasingly submitting ourselves to habitual and fossilized patterns of mental activities and thus surrendering the precious freedom of enlightened and conscious action. We are under the belief that thought is our free and conscious action—an expression of our intelligent Choice. That is true, but not entirely! Unfortunately, our thoughts and emotions have become more habitual and have acquired a greater degree of reflex and autonomic patterns than we realize. It means that the limited periphery of our conscious thought and intelligent willpower is further curtailed.

    Our minds are fettered with numerous conditionings that are caused by individual actions, hereditary factors, and the external world, including social and cultural influences. Of course, certain reflexive tendencies are evolved to cope with the circumstances of individual life, while others are passed on genetically as the self-protective adaptations in the course of evolution. One cannot find fault with such self-protective reflexive behavior. For instance, the impulsive fears of reptiles and insects are still useful, though these were prewired in the early evolutionary phase when reptiles ruled the planet.

    Many of our social and cultural rituals and beliefs also fall into this category of outdated relics of past, which include our superstitions, hierarchical behavior, aggressive postures, the tendency of domination over others and violence. The feelings of tribalism, racial hatred, and even patriotism are also evolutionary baggage of old herd instincts. Of course, patriotism and nationalism have practical values of governance and social order. Our prejudices and social divisions that cause violent conflicts are nothing but slavery to habitual ideas and emotions.

    How do we change and create the human society that is more enlightened, liberal, and not divided? It is the discretionary intelligence of inner consciousness, which can liberate the mind from the autocratic regime of fossilized patterns of thoughts and emotions. Noble ideals and positive feelings do not easily break the old conditionings of the mind. We have to look deeper into ourselves, talk to our neurons , and refashion their old tendencies. Here lies the crucial importance of awareness meditation, which offers a possibility of breaking the old patterns of neural behavior with the power of inner consciousness.

    We should not forget that the evolutionary journey of life on this planet has been a movement from the autocratic and brute regime of the unconscious to the enlightened rule of the consciousness. Consciousness was invented by life to maximize the benefits and potential of its biological resources, particularly innate intelligence, so that it can understand better the external world and enhance its adaptive capabilities.. Read more in the book….

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