Thoughts about the mind, or the brain, or the self, that I really think are important to share:
Number one is the illusion, or this idea, this notion, this myth that we only use a small part of our brain. If only we could use all of our brain we would be limitless or super human.
That’s silly because it’s almost like saying, “If only I could rev the engine up full speed all of the time, I would get limitless amounts of performance out of the engine,” but you would blow the engine up in the process.
The whole idea is that your brain has evolved to use only what it needs to function in those moments, and so it behooves a brain to be eternally connected and amped up and running full speed ahead. In fact the brain already uses, just when it’s on cruise control, something like 40% of your basal metabolic rate.
My point is, it’s a highly expensive organ to maintain and it’s evolved to have these measures of controlling what needs to be accessed when needed, so you’re never going to tap into 90 or 100% of your brain and develop super human powers. Let’s just dispel that notion.
Another thought on the mind that I think is funny is this whole concept of the reptilian brain. Within our evolutionary past, and built into our brain’s architecture, is this part of the brain known as the reptilian brain. It sounds so derogatory we actually like to distance ourselves from it, so we call it the reptilian brain, but a more accurate name for it would be the reptilian self.
It might be a little bit more humbling to call it the reptilian self because actually we really are closer to reptiles in our behavior and our level of intelligence than we are to say some extraterrestrial intelligence or even a being that can express unconditional love. That really requires a high level of intelligence and we’re definitely still down there with the reptiles.
This whole notion of self, in itself is rather perplexing to say the least, because what is self? Where is self, actually? When you start to deconstruct or analyze the self, it’s almost like grabbing water. It disappears because, as the science shows, the self is largely an illusion. But what is important to realize is the journey.
That’s the part really worth checking out: the journey inside, the journey of discovering the illusions of who you think or thought you were, which then opens up doorways to limitless possibilities.
Brian Cunningham is the CEO of PureLife LLC, and has also worked as a personal trainer for Equinox.