As before, I recommend you purchase your own copy of the book Super Brain by Chopra and Tanzi.
Intellect is the primary way that your brain has evolved to counter obsessions based on fears and desires. Rational thought allows you to strategize on how to obtain what you desire, and activity that dominates everyone’s life. But it also acts as a counterbalance to reign in your emotions. pg. 149
At the level of personal experience, the never-ending interplay between emotion and intellect creates a running internal discourse, which is broadcast in our brain during every waking moment. …. The discourse is more an internal dialogue, where old and new ideas contend. The person must decide which to favor, the brain’s wired-in reactions or new and unknown responses. That can be a problem. pg. 150
It comes naturally to our intellect to ask questions and look for answers. The human mind has an endless craving for knowledge. We live on two parallel tracks. On one track we experience everything that happens to us, while on the other we question those experiences. pg. 151
Despite the notion that we are driven by lower impulses like sex, hunger, anger, and fear, the higher brain dominates everything. …. The higher brain marks the arrival of self-awareness. Every example we’ve given uses the word I as part of the thought; I is the conscious being who is using the brain. The instinctive and emotional phases of the brain dwell in the world of the subconscious. pg. 152
In humans, the intellectual phase of the brain blends instinctive drives and emotions with knowledge gained from experience. … “Man is the only animal who has to be encouraged to live.” There’s a more positive way to say the same thing: humans refuse to be dictated to by our lower brain, even when it comes to survival. ….. The intellectual brain uses logic and rational thought in order to deal with the world in a mindful manner. ….. Responding to any situation requires understanding, while reacting doesn’t. Understanding isn’t an isolated event. There’s always a social context. You must empathize with others; people must communicate and make meaningful connections. pg. 153
Human society depends on teaching, which requires a special kind of brain, one that instantly turns experience into knowledge. … We don’t teach just by example, either, but by talking. Complex language accelerated the evolution of the brain, because it allows for a more sophisticated mode of communication. It also allowed us to be capable of symbolic thought. pg.154
Dyslexic children, for example, have learning difficulties with reading due to a defect in brain development in the womb. Their brains put words and letters in reverse order. pg. 155
In truth, we are constantly making reality, a process that embraces every region of the brain in a constantly shifting interplay. …. As with any phase of the brain, intellect can go out of balance. If you are too intellectual, you lose the grounding of emotions and instincts. This leads to overly calculated actions and castles in the air. pg. 155
Essential points: Your intellectual Brain – books lists 5, here are two. pg. 156
- Intellect never operates in isolation but is blended with emotions and instinct.
- Responding to the world implies being responsible for the world.
The Intuitive Phase of the Brain; pg. 156
Your intellect is part of your birthright, which includes and insatiable need for meaning. …. Right and wrong, good and bad, are so basic that the brain is wired for them. ….. helping is a built-in response. pg. 156
Balance and harmony are the keys to a successful brain, just as they are for the stability of the universe. pg. 160
A curious irony of the brain is that the intellectual brain is that the intellectual brain can dismiss the intuitive brain as mere superstition. …. Whole areas of your life depend upon intuition—empathy, for example. When you walk into a room, you can sense if the people in it are tense or have been fighting before you arrived—that’s intuitive. pg. 160
Empathy is defined as the understanding and sharing of others’ feelings. … empathy became a critical component for social survival. …. More broadly, empathy has paved the way for moral reasoning and altruistic behavior. … Empathy is different from sympathy, which does not involve sharing another’s state of mind. …… The empathy-associated regions of the cingulate gyrus are larger in females than in males and are generally smaller in schizophrenic patients, who are often tragically isolated in their emotions and delusional about what other people are feeling. pg. 161
Empathy has also been associated with mirror neurons, a class of nerve cells that are known to exist in lower primates like monkeys. …. The pernicious side of mirroring may be that when a young child witnesses negative behavior, such as domestic abuse, a brain pattern may be triggered. It is known that abused children often grow up to become abusers, so imprinted are they with such behavior. …. No one knows the full functioning of mirror neurons, but they seem to play a key role in social attachments, the process by which we attain security, nurturing, and alleviation of distress from our relationships. pg. 162
We are confronted with the riddle of where mind ends and brain begins. Anyone who has ever fallen madly in love will testify that this mystery gets very personal. …. from the super brain point of view, we can argue that the brain is an incredibly fine-tuned organ that produces the emotions we need at any given moment. ….. Despite their undeniable power, our emotions are generated to serve us. pg. 163
This is where the intuitive mind enters the picture. It rises above emotion and intellect, giving you an overall picture of things (which psychologists call a gestalt, (the image of reality we assign to various situations.) pg. 163
All of the following things fall under the category of intuition: here are two of the 5 on page 163
- Knowing that someone else is lying.
- Using irony, which says one thing but means the opposite.
First impressions, made in the blink of an eye, are the most powerful. What has emerged from recent studies is that first impressions and snap judgments are often the most accurate. pg. 164
Essential Points: Your Intuitive Brain. Here are 2 of the 5 listed on pg. 166
- Snap judgments are accurate because intuition doesn’t need processing by the higher brain.
- The intuitive brain has no limits that are foreseeable—everything depends on what the mind wants the brain to do.
Putting It all Together
Having taken apart the fourfold brain, what do we get once it is put back together? A superb tool for reality making, which has infinite possibilities. The best way to achieve health, happiness, and success is by balancing all four phases of your brain. Your brain goes out of balance when you favor one part over another. … with enough repetition, the favored regions of the brain gain an advantage; the un-favored regions start to atrophy. pg. 167
But your true identity isn’t found in any of these separate regions (emotional brain, intellectual brain, instinctive brain, & intuitive brain). You are the summation of them all, as the mind controls them. …. You have trained it to use you. It’s hard to really absorb that every thought is an instruction, but it is. pg. 167
Holistic mode of the brain pg. 167 the book gives 7 things, here are two
- It remembers what you like.
- It makes a note to repeat the same pleasure in the future.
Putting it all together is the human mind’s single greatest achievement. …. Our aim is to expand the brain’s holistic mode. …. But to expand the brain’s emotional centers is threatening. We typically identify with people who are most like us (in race, status, education, politics, etc.) and feel alienated by those who are most unlike us. ….. As you grow older, your tendency is to narrow your likes and dislikes, which means that you are denying your brain its ability to be holistic. pg. 168
If you examine its physical design, the brain is a highly integrated organ in which various regions and their resident nerve cells are constantly communicating with each other. …. We are evolving as a choice, not as nature’s necessity. The brain is moving in a more holistic direction. … Our favorite phrase for this trend is “survival of the wisest.” If you choose to, you can evolve through conscious choices. pg. 170
WHERE THE BRAIN IS GROWING – How to become part of the Next Evolutionary Leap – The book lists 12, here are four of them. pg. 170
- Don’t promote conflict in any area of your life.
- Value compassion.
- Try not to feel that you are always right.
- Show genuine concern when someone else is in trouble.
If you use the whole brain, the universe certainly does have a purpose, to foster life and the experiences that life brings. When your own experiences become richer, the universe gets better at serving its purpose. That’s the reason why the brain began to evolve in the first place. pg. 171
SUPER BRAIN SOLUTIONS – Finding Your Power” pg. 172
Reality making should lead to a reality you actually want, not the one you find yourself in. But that can’t happen until you find your power. … A powerful person is the combination of many traits, each of them trained into the brain:
What’s In Personal Power? the book lists 8, here are 3 from page 172
- Optimistic outlook
- Ability to overcome obstacles
Whenever someone feels powerless to change a situation, whatever it may be, one or more of these elements is missing. …. The difference has to do with feedback. Each started at a point not very different from anybody else. They internalized every small success and reinforced the next opportunity. They trained the brain by absorbing experience and pushing the bar higher. pg. 172
People who feel powerless, on the other hand, have trained themselves by absorbing negative experiences. The process remains the same so far as the brain is concerned. Neurons are neutral about messages of success or failure. …. Its crucial to find your power, all the more so when the world’s wisdom traditions keep repeating, age after age, that infinite power is hidden inside every individual. …. The issues of power are all “in here,” where you relate to yourself. pg. 173
Now that we know what personal power isn’t, we can list the five steps that bring true power: pg. 173
- Stop giving away your power.
- Examine why it’s “good” to be a victim.
- Develop a mature self.
- Align yourself with the flow of evolution, or personal growth.
- Trust in a higher power that transcends everyday reality.
Each of these points depends on a single thread that ties them all together: the reality you see all around you has been constructed from individual currents flowing in, around, and through you. “”pg. 173
1) Stop giving away your power.
Becoming powerless doesn’t happen in a single dramatic stroke. …. It’s a process, and for most people, the process is so gradual that they don’t notice it.
You are giving away your power when you please others in order to fit in. Or when you follow the opinions of the crowd. Or When you decide that others matter more than you do. Or when you let someone who seems to have more power take charge of you. Or when you hold a grudge. pg. 174
All hidden power is self power. If you chip away at your self-worth, what replaces it is a series of compromises, false gestures, habits and conditioning. Your brain gets trained to view life as a gradual decay in exciting challenges, and without such challenges, reality making becomes a routine affair. … The next time you feel a threat, ask how you can turn it into an opportunity. pg. 175
2) Examine why it’s “good” to be a victim.
We define being a victim as “selfless pain.” … Most victims sacrifice themselves on the alter of worthless causes. “Good Suffering You don’t Need: The book lists 8, here are 3 of them. pg. 175
- Taking the blame for someone else’s mistakes.
- Letting your children disrespect you.
- Not speaking the truth.
Victimization, once it becomes a habit in the brain, restricts your responses. … Victims always find “good” reasons for their plight. ….. A victim is always being done to. pg. 176
Breaking out: First and most important, realize that your role is voluntary. You are not trapped by fate, destiny, or the will of God. …. Don’t procrastinate, and don’t rationalize, get out. pg. 176
3) Develop a mature self. pg. 176
Human beings are the only creatures who do not mature automatically. The world is full of people stuck in childhood and adolescence, no matter how old they happen to be. To Mature is a Choice. No project is more decisive for personal power—and happiness—than the project of become a mature adult. … There is a sharp divide between seniors who have aged to be regretful, unfulfilled, and depressed and seniors who look back with contentment and inner satisfaction. … The maturing process starts with a vision of the goal. To us, the goal is embodied in the phrase core self. This the part of you that shapes your reality, placing you at the center of experiences you personally create. pg. 177
How It Feels To Have a Mature Core Self pg. 177 – 9 are listed, here are 4
- You don’t feel controlled by others.
- You don’t live for approval; you aren’t crushed by disapproval.
- You give respect and receive it from others.
- You feel safe in the world and like where you belong.
To have a mature self is to be the author of your own story; it is the exact opposite of being a victim, who must live a life authored by others. … In truth, your life journey becomes far more exciting if you are following a vision that inspires you year after year. Visions create the opportunity for fulfillment; therefore the core self is the source of enormous power, from which your future grows. pg. 178
Breaking out: To being, shift your allegiance away from superficial activity, and toward the deep project of become a completely authentic, mature person. …. Aim for the highest goals you can imagine that would bring fulfillment. Seek out people who share the same vision and are achieving success. Once you know where you are headed, the path unfolds with its own inner guidance. Allow this to happen; your unfolding potential need reinforcement day by day. pg. 178
4) Align yourself wit the flow of evolution, or personal growth. pg. 178
Future evolution is a choice. …. Your survival isn’t at stake; your fulfillment is. …. Desire is the key. … If what you desire is likely to help others, the odds are higher it will be attained.
What Makes A Desire Evolutionary? pg. 179 – 10 are listed, here are 5
- It doesn’t repeat the past but feels fresh and new.
- It brings a flow of contentment.
- You don’t regret it.
- Fulfilling it will serve others as well as yourself.
- It expands your awareness as fulfillment grows.
Breaking out: Honestly look at your everyday life and the choices you are making. Ask yourself how to increase the better choices and decrease the bad ones. Step by step, follow up your conviction to evolve. pg. 180
5) Trust in a Higher Power that Transcends Everyday Reality. pg. 180
Nothing that we’ve described so far will come true without a higher vision of reality. …… Whatever is holding you in a powerless state, if you are destined to be stuck there, you aren’t going to regain power. … When you ask to be connected to a higher reality, the connection is made. pg. 180
Glimpses of Higher Reality pg. 181 – 10 are offered, here are 5
- You feel watched over and protected.
- You recognize blessings in your life that feel like acts of grace.
- Your feel gratitude for being alive.
- You’ve experienced moments of pure ecstasy.
- Miracles seem possible.
Breaking out: Escape routes exist everywhere in consciousness. All you need to do is be aware of the potentials hidden in your awareness and latch on to them. Ask – “What are the possibilities in life that you hungered to fulfill but never did?”… If you pursue something you deeply cherish, higher reality will reconnect with you. Read the last paragraph on page 182. I found it powerful.pg. 182