Science. Religion. Two sides. Same coin. They dance through the mystery of life trying to ascertain what it’s all about.
Then, there’s the mystics, Those are the ones who stand firm that all becoming is the becoming of life and all life is interconnected. The everything is everything people. Great.
If it is Wisdom to confess that all things are one then who is it that confessing that Wisdom? Where do I come from? Who am I?
“Who Am I?” is a great mantra to meditate on by the way.
HOW SCIENCE EXPLAINS THE SENSE OF SELF
It’s almost impossible to talk about how the sense of self forms without discussing the neurotransmitter known as dopamine. While dopamine obviously isn’t the only chemical at play in habit forming it is definitely one of the most well understood. Scientists can pinpoint precisely what external cue triggers a craving by monitoring dopamine spikes alone.
Dopamine plays a huge factor in shaping our desires. Essentially without it we could still ‘like’ something but we wouldn’t ‘want’ it anymore. If science has proven anything it’s that we don’t tend to take action without the desire to do so.
Flood our systems with dopamine and we’ll practically bang our heads off the wall at an alarming rate to receive our reward. Countless rehabs across the planet are filled with people who can attest to this fact without us even having to conduct scientific research. Our brains are hard wired with more circuitry for wanting things than they are for liking things.
When it comes to how our sense of self is formed or how our addictive behaviors are shaped dopamine teaches us a hard truth. It’s our desire that drives our behavior; our behavior shapes our character’ our characters determine our destiny.
Ultimately, it’s what we desire and concentrate on that shapes our lives.
The part of our brains that allow us to focus our attention is the frontal lobe. People who practice mindfulness meditation tend to have a highly developed frontal lobe resulting from their efforts to hold single-pointed concentration. This is the same region of the brain responsible for our decision making. Think of it as a really kick ass microprocessor taking in 400 billion bits of information per second, cross-referencing our memories, and shaping the world we perceive before us.
Unfortunately, a great deal of our behavior is automated. We tend to react without stopping and thinking. Consider all the various ways we respond to emotional states without giving a second thought to the consequences. I’m not talking about the obvious ones like drinking when we’re depressed, or stress eating a box of Dunkin Donuts either. I’m talking about the more difficult ones to decipher that are so ingrained in our subconscious minds we no longer register them.
Have you ever stayed in a toxic relationship for way way too long? Most of us hint at the make-up sex as the reason and it’s an easy enough lie to sell in most cases. It’s definitely socially acceptable. What we don’t talk of is how seeking solace and comforting words from friends in the aftermath is lurking in the shadows of the obvious biological release. Maybe there’s something we’ve refused to forgive ourselves for that causes us to seek punishment.
Missing these cues is often the result of us failing to utilize our power of concentration to pinpoint what we think and feel.
What if we pause and take a moment to think before we react to a situation? Chance are there is some craving driving these seemingly automated responses. If we’re addicted to emotional states then what form of self-soothing are we seeking?
There’s that word again, self. What part of me feels dejected and is being confronted with choices? Am I what I choose to be or am I a victim? Maybe the question is as ethically lazy as I am emotionally addicted.
Maybe we’ve simply forgotten that we’re all conscious observers that effect our reality. Somewhere in the mix we bought into this notion of being emotional dope fiends and missed the part where our frontal lobes give us a way out. We have the ability to catch ourselves in the moment and figure out what feeling or result we are craving. Caving in is a choice.
REMEMBER THE MYSTICS TRUTH
We were created in Gods image of mind which makes us consciousness manifested in flesh and bone. We have the freedom to interact with the physical world around us in a playful and positive way.
We get exactly what we put in without fail.
Whoever we actually are.