Why I Want to Retrain My Brain?
Well, Sweet Snookie, I love experimenting on myself so there is no great mystery as to why I would want to retrain my brain (and I’ve done some really interesting things with it.) They real question is: Why would you want to retrain your brain? Well, you may think that your brain is working great for you as it is, but what it is really doing is mirroring back to you the view of the world that you already hold. That may be cozy (unless that worldview you believed to be true has been shattered in some way, as they regularly are) but have you ever stopped to wonder what the world might look like if you took away the filters that you view it through? Do you even know what your filters are?
Filters? Who me?
Yes, Snookie, you (and me.) There is way too much information coming at us to take it all in, either consciously or subconsciously. The conscious mind has a really limited absorption rate and so what comes to it has been pre-screened by the subconscious mind, which, while it has vastly more processing resources than the conscious mind, still cannot absorb all the information available to it in each moment. So what filters the information for the subconscious mind? I wish I had a good answer for that, but I really don’t know. It could be that the subconscious self-selects its filters from the beginning of brain development, early in the womb.
You Mean My Reality Is Shaped By My Pre-Birth Self?
Sorry to burst your Autonomy bubble, Sugar, but in a way, yes. From the beginning of brain development, the possibility inherent in the fetal burst of brain growth begins to select what connections are important and which are not and which to leave uncoupled, as a sort of brain connection version of a stem cell, an undifferentiated possibility awaiting specialization. As they say, “what fires together, wires together” and through the persistence of stimuli and information, brain connections create the filters you learn to live by.
Then you are born, and those innate filters are reinforced (or challenged) by the world around you, and your mighty and fast-growing brain absorbs tons of new filters all the time. As filters are reinforced (that fire together wire together thing) the world that you see, the world view that you believe in, that is confirmed so convincingly as Truth in your experience, has wired your filters into place. Of course, it’s much easier to see this rigid wiring in others, especially others you disagree with, but you’ve got yours, too, Cream Puff, and I’ve got mine. Depressing, isn’t it, to be so pre-programmed and constricted when there are so many other Jungle-Jims to swing from on Life’s playground?
The Good News!
Yes, Sweet One, there is not just good, but great and fun news! You can choose to focus on something new, something outside of your filtering system and simply changing that focus can recreate and enlarge your world. You can do that figuratively, like studying a different language, culture, religion, political system, philosophy or anything that challenges your ordinary conception of the world. Or you can do it literally, which is our Play of the Day!
The way you focus in the world is also a filter. To over-focus with the conscious mind is to miss almost everything else that is available to see. This is just one of the many reasons that using your conscious mind to do things like solve problems, explore relationship issues, break through your personal barriers. Yet, we were all trained in school and in most of life that this conscious mind is, if not the only tool, then the only reliable tool, in Life’s toolbox. So not true, and our play of the day will bear this out. You may have seen the video below, or a similar one. But play along anyway. Go through it a few times, follow the instructions and on the third and fourth time see if you can notice how your brain works and perhaps feels differently using the two kinds of focus. Next time, we’ll practice more of the whole brain focus for even more fun!