The brain is three-pound super computer. It is the command & control center running our life. It is involved in absolutely every thing we do. Our brain determines how we think, how we feel, how we act & how well we get along with other people. Our brain even determines the kind of persons we are. It determines how thoughtful we are; how polite or how rude we are. Our brain also influences our emotional well being and how well we respond to the opposite sex.
The Power of Brain: Peter Russell says in his book, “The Brain” that t he brain can receive the visual image of a person’s face in less than a few hundredth of a second; analyze many details in a quarter of a second and synthesize all information into a single whole, create a conscious three dimensional full colour experience of the face, recognize this face out of thousands others recorded in memory and recall from memory details about that person and ideas, associations and images about him, all in less than a second. At the same time interpret messages it gives and read ideas in his mind, react to them by sending appropriate messages to the nervous system for instant reaction.
To understand the functions of the human brain
To highlight the characteristics of Right brain & Left brain
To learn the skills of enhancing the functioning of our brain
Dr. Herbert Benson in his book “Your Maximum Mind” describes brain as follows:
The basic building block of the brain is the brain cell or neuron. On one level, these cells may be viewed as living factories, which utilize blood transported oxygen & sugar as fuel. This fuel, through well defined bio chemical steps, produces the energy that makes possible a vast number of biological tasks required to maintain the life of the cell, for example, each cell interacts with other cell, plays vital supporting goals in networks that produce thought and action. It is important to remember, that each of these brain cells is really alive, with all the potential for power & weakness that this condition entails. If the brain cell is deprived of its fuel which comes primarily from the food we eat and the air we breathe_______ it will die. In other words, if the blood supply which carries fuel to the brain is blocked as happens with the swear hardening of the arteries, the brain and those cells supplied by the blocked arteries can seize to function, which may lead to a shock or stroke.
The human brain contains more than ten billion neurons. Neurons unlike other cells in the body do not reproduce. While neurons do not degenerate they do die, at the rate of one thousand a day. Typically human nervous system contain about 28 billion neurons. Neurons are in fact the most well-known brain cells designed to conduct impulses. Without neurons, our nervous system would be unable to interpret the information we receive to our sense organs. A healthy brain cell stores and transmits information which ultimately becomes what we know as thoughts. It is very difficult to describe exactly what happens in the process because the whole act of thinking is so complex, with a large number of brain cells interacting in our mental processes. With this incredible complexity, it is understandable that we may never be able to comprehend the full range of possibilities inherent in each of our brains. In fact the more research that is done, the more awesome we discover the whole process of thought to be. What a magnificent brain is that Nature has given to man. Realize that our brain awaits not only to instantly respond to every command we give to it ________ it virtually accomplishes every thing we desire. The brain’s capacity in unfathomable.
Doctor Herbert Benson goes on to define and explain the “Properties of Mind” as follows:
The mind is independent of brain _____ the brain is a computer programmed by something that is outside itself ____ the mind. The mind somehow is more than some of the physical mechanisms and component of the brain. In other words, just as hydrogen and oxygen combine to produce water, which is quite different from the component parts, so the parts of brain combine to produce mind which transcends its purely molecular foundation.
Barbara B. Brown in her book “Super Mind” defines some terms we may be using frequently, she says: “ Words describing mind and consciousness can have many meanings. The following short list describes what I have intended as the meaning of such words: Mind: The operational system of interacting processes within human beings that produces thought, perception, feeling, memory, imagination and intention. Mind-brain: It is used to indicate the idea that mind represents the product of activities occurring between mind and brain, I.e. , the idea that brain effects mind and mind effects brain. Consciousness: A state of recognition of one’s own existence, sensations and thoughts____ a product of mind-brain activity. Awareness: Recognition of things and events in a way that can be communicated either to one’s self or others. Consensual Consciousness: It includes both conscious and unconscious awareness shaped by one’s society and culture. Super-mind: It means the complex of innate capabilities of mind-brain to appreciate, organize, understand and control both body & brain.
When we consider the function of mind, we examine two functions it performs, namely the conscious and sub-conscious functions of mind. Now, we will study how our mind actually functions. The conscious and the sub-conscious minds are not two compartments of mind, in fact the are merely two functions of the same mind _____ the conscious mind ___ the rational or the objective mind and the sub-conscious mind ____ the subjective or the irrational mind.
The Conscious Mind: This part of our mind’s function, perceives the world through the five senses. The conscious mind maintains contact with reality. The conscious mind has four functions:
Perception: It involves gathering information through the five senses. Perception means the way we see the world around us. Our perception is not always accurate and complete.
Association: Whatever we perceive, we associate with our memory or past memory or past experience _____ the data bank stored in our sub-conscious. We say “Have I seen anything like this before?”
Evaluation: After we associate what we perceive, we evaluate in the light what we need to do. We want to know: “How does this information compare with what we already know?”
Decision: We decide upon the course of action, reaction or inaction.
Conscious-mind is the source of all thought, it gives the sense of awareness of all that exists around us, in our normal working life; the knowledge of our existence; the recognition of our environment and provides us the power to decide how to employ our mental faculties in the best possible way. It enables us to have a logical, rational and appropriate understanding of persons, objects and situations around us.
The Sub-conscious Mind: The sub-conscious mind is the more versatile, resourceful and ingenious function of mind. Simply stated it has following functions:
It controls the automatic functions of the body, such as our heart beat, breathing, digestion and our physical development, etc,.
It controls all our learned functions, like habits and attitudes. The way we program ourselves to behave.
It maintains our memory and records all our experiences of life.
It controls our extra sensory perceptions like telepathy.
It has links with the unknown ______ the spiritual being.
It controls our body language.
It controls our personal power such as energy and creativity.
It solves our problems and achieves our goals. It operates as our guidance system.
It controls our instincts and intuitions.
It controls our entire behaviour.
Our sub-conscious is often referred to as subjective mind. It takes cognizance of its environment by means independent of the five senses. Our subjective mind perceives by intuition. The sub-conscious mind sees without the natural organs of vision. Our sub-conscious can not reason or argue controversially like our conscious mind.
The Brain Hemisphere In 1981, Roger Spender, a psychologist at California Institute of Technology, won a noble prize in psychology for his work on functioning of the two hemisphere of the brain. The division of the brain into two parts is nothing new. Once the skull is removed we can see its two physical parts apart _____ what is interesting is that each half seems to have developed specialized functions. The most oblivious difference in functioning is that the left side receives sensations from the right side of the body and the right side controls the left side of the body. The left brain is the logical side______ it is engaged in reasoning, evaluating, criticizing and analyzing. The right brain hemisphere works with initiative creativity, ingenuity and innovation.
Controls the right side of the body.
Processes one piece of information at a time.
Works in logical sequence.
Controls speech, grammar and word order.
Governs mathematical information.
Analyzes, evaluates and criticizes.
A memory center for words, things and numbers.
Controls the left side of the body.
Thinks in pictures___ visualizes.
Works with wholes, not with details..
Governs body language and physical activity (Sports, etc.)
There are two ways to bring about the balance and to ensure maximum use of the two brains:
The meditation _____ which integrates the two brains and brings about the balance.
The educational approach that focuses on developing actual skills associated with the right brain.
In order to help the natural potential of brain to unfold itself ____ there are two things we must do:
Use our brain.
Care for our brain.
1. Using Our Brain: One of the principle reasons that mental faculties appear to drop off after the age of twenty is that formal education ceases around this age and we do not provide the brain with so many challenges and exercises. After leaving school or college, many people stop learning any new skill and with this comes an apparent decline of the brain’s potential. There should be continuous learning, continued mental challenges and continued mental exercises.Learning enhances blood flow and activity in the brain.
Caring for Our Brain: Regular exercise is of great value in caring for your brain. In short term it increases the oxygen supply _____ the brain in any case uses almost 25 % of the entire intake. In the long term it keeps the arteries clear. Exercises also directly effect the personality. Exercise not only keeps the body fit, but it also results in increase stability and increased imagination.
Regular rest is vital for mental functioning. The human nervous system works on regular alternation of work & rest and is regularly attuned to this cycle. During sleep, particularly during dreaming periods, proteins and other chemicals in the brain which were used up during the day are replenished. Taking regular rest during reading improves comprehension and memory. Relaxation exercises such as in meditation on regular basis improves mental abilities. A well balanced diet is essential for good brain functioning. In particular vitamin E, which increases cells oxygenization, helps nerve cells (the best source of vitamin E are wheat, grains and vegetable oils such as sunflower seed oil). Vitamin B & C can increase mental alertness and vitamin D helps the assimilation of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iodine, which in turn increases alertness. Most vitamins can be obtained from fresh vegetables and fruit. Optimizing our brain’s function is essential to being the best we can be, whether at work, in leisure or in our relationships. We should be very careful about the ANTs that invade our brain. ANTs stands for Automatic Negative Thoughts. They just happen. But they can ruin our whole day may be even our life. We can train our thoughts to be positive and hopeful or we can jut allow them to be negative and upset us _________ choice is ours .
The study of brain power is what makes the difference between excellence and the average. It is a way of discovering your own genius to get to where you want to go. We have seen that our conscious mind is limited. Our sub-conscious by contrast is a life giving process to our body ______ it is much wiser & versatile. To live the life you want, you should know what exactly you want. Think of the out come as specifically as possible. By setting an out-come in the future, you have in a way created a problem in the present ______ every problem of the present can be changed into an out-come. When you want a change, you are identifying a desired change which is an out-come. We use senses outwardly to perceive the world and inwardly to reconstruct or represent experiences to ourselves. Our behaviour is generated by the mixture of internal and external sense experiences.
Our sub-conscious mind is a goal seeking servo-mechanism consisting of brain and nervous system. Feed your sub-conscious mind with success goals and it functions as a success mechanism. Feed it with negative aims and it operates as a failure mechanism. Like any servo-mechanism, it must have a clearly defined objective towards which to work with. So many people became victims of their own destructive mind power yet they remained unaware of their own development _______ they never really had a choice. What was programmed into their sub-conscious, they conducted themselves accordingly. Your successful use of mind power depends on your belief and confidence in yourself. On the contrary, fear of failure is the core of destructive mind power that generates failure.