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Showing posts from July, 2017


In the 1960s Michael Gazzanega noted that: the human brain is organized in terms of a “mental society.”…alongside our verbal system, there resides any number of “mental units” [that each] have memories, values, and emotions, and are expressed through any of a variety of systems.’ What makes this process so eerie is that these systems may not be in touch with each other but rather, have their own existence outside of language and our logic.’
• reptilian brainstem: homestatic body regulation; breath, digestion, shutdown freezeautonomic systems (digestion, appetite, sleep) are disrupted; hold breath • midbrain: survival impulses that activate core emotions (amygdala); heart racing, terror, panic, addictive craving
RH/Emo mind, processes experience emplicitly; impulses lie outside of cons. control; context, connection & security. Early, pre-verbal memories are stored in oFrntl & amygdala; the emotional mind largely sends non-verbal signals • Emo facial cues: tears after loss, shame …

Nietzsche & Groundhog Day

On Nietzsche & Groundhog DayIn August, 1881, Friedrich Nietzsche, while out on a walk around a lake in Sils Maria, Switzerland, had an unusual idea, what could be called a philosophical thought experiment. It was based on the concept of ‘eternal recurrence,’ namely that in a universe that unfolds with infinite amounts of time but circumscribed by patterns and limitations, events would recur again and again infinitely…
Rather than viewing this idea as a burden, Nietzsche believed this possibility could help each of us properly analyze our decisions and even proceed through life authentically. The insight was based on a question:
Suppose a demon were to inform you that you’d have to live your life as you’ve lived it over and over and over again throughout eternity, with all the pleasures and pains, the accomplishments yes, but also the mistakes, rejections, failures, setbacks and embarrassments, not to mention the losses. Would you react with dread or with enthusiasm? This became know…

Buddhism and the Bilateral Brain: A Brief Sketch of Ideas Ranging from the Ancient Greeks, Early Buddhism, Nietzsche and a Smattering of Neuroscience

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of the reason and logic, appealing to the ideals of precision and abstract purity. Dionysus was the god of the spontaneous, the emotional, embodied, often irrational instinct. These gods were not considered to be antagonistic but rather complimentary.
Today, from the vantage of contemporary neuropsychology, especially in the works of Iain McGilchrist, Allan Schore and Robert Ornstein, we can readily note how these twin gods neatly represented the asymmetrical brain: • Apollo depicts the perspective of the left hemisphere, which represents the world in static ideas; reality is comprised of separate and fragmented objects, abstracted from their context; reality is separated into parts. The kind of attention is inherently dualistic and isolating—self versus other, me versus you, humankind versus nature; this attention tends to represent the fluid and organic as lifeless, static, in language or symbols. • Dionysus depicts the worldview of the r…