Optimal use of brain is possible.

Feb 2011
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The first step, is some understanding of how brain works.
Our brain is constantly thinking, producing thoughts. If our brain was proprioceptive, we would feel the effort. Those sensations would be chronic, (and distracting?)
We pay a heavy price for "congenital analgesia" of brain and thought. It's a 'double edged sword'. "Believing" thought, has the effect of thought functioning as (surrogate) perceptions.
Rorschach projection shows we do not (always) recognize our images as ours. That's what makes the placebo/nocebo effects possible. (and other misperceptions, we react to).
Just as astronauts are not restricted to earth; we are not restricted to perceptions of/from the environment. We 'can' "tailor" perceptions via believing thoughts we 'want' to experience. Recognize you already (unknowingly/unwittingly) do so, you can experience a more optimal life if you recognize what your doing with thoughts.
We're all familiar with the truism; "All creatures are responsive/reactive to perceptions".
"Think a thought that disturbs you". That thought, (which you chose) retrieved a image from memory that was reacted to with emotion. We can choose emotions, (if we recognize we can). When we don't recognize our ability, we do it unwittingly.
When we don't recognize believing thought, we don't recognize 'playing' Russian Roulette with thoughts either.
We evaluate sensory input, so what we deem as innocuous, we don't react to. The 'catch' is, we evaluate subliminally/automatically; so that way we are not consciously choosing.
False thought are just as easily believed as true ones.
 
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Feb 2011
1,196
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USA
The 'ability to think' is our 'operating system'; (not a replacement for instincts and 'good' habits, but as adjunct/supplement/partner.)

If you were a martial art expert, you could face any opponent.
You have the 'ability to think'; so you can face any contingency you encounter; unless you think/believe you can't. In that case, your using thought against yourself instead of to the task at hand.
When you trust your ability to think, you have the resource for any contingency.
Relying on what you already know and on your habits/instincts may not always suffice.

Neil Slade tells us how to use a thought to stimulate our amygdala; (after the fashion of Wilder Penfield), to send 'energy' to our frontal lobes to be converted into the thoughts we want to experience/react to instead of the automaticity of conditioning/instincts/habits.
 
Feb 2011
1,196
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Without getting theoretical; analytical; even hold your questions till after you DO the following A. and B..

A. Think a thought that disturbs you.
(Pause and notice the degree of emotion/disturbance you experience.)

B. Imagine tickling the front of each of your amygdalae with a feather. *
(Pause and notice any degree of emotion). The effect of thought B. is the opposite of thought A. {calm/tranquil/serene}.
B. is a "tranquilizing thought".
Practice using B. till your convinced/facile, before using it when your experiencing STRESS emotions.
(If you want to learn it 'fast', use EFT tapping and EMDR motion while thinking B.)

* Thanks to Neil Slade for B.
 
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Feb 2011
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Our nervous system evolved very efficaciously.
Don't hold it responsible for "user error".
The phrase, "Mental Illness" is 'bandied about' too freely without distinguishing structural from functional dysfunction; ('user error').
 
Feb 2011
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We see,( in post #3),that thought turns emotions/stress on and/or off. We can use thought intentionally for that purpose.
Emotions/stress are proprioceptive/sensory/visceral; but thoughts are not. How about perceptions?
Do perceptions function to cause emotion/stress the way a hot stove or sunrays cause burn blisters?

"We evaluate sensory input, so what we deem as innocuous, we don't react to."
So sensory input does 'not' cause emotion/stress the way a hot stove or sunrays cause burn blisters.
Between sensory input and reactions are 'perceptions/thoughts'.

We mistakenly believe we react to sensory input and then react to 'that' (unrecognized) believed thought.
 
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Feb 2011
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Is adrenaline efficacious against thought? When is 'thought' the enemy or dangerous?
When it is not recognized as thought; example: 'bogyman'. (when 'bogyman' was recognized as thought, it no longer evoked fear). Recognize the thoughts that evoke stress and the stress stops when you change thoughts.
Fear stops when 'bogyman' recognized as 'thought; then it's not thought per se that evokes fear, but something in conjunction with thought, and that is "believing" the thought is other than thought. The inert/innocuous pill was 'believed' to be other than inert/innocuous; and it was the belief that's reacted to.
When we 'don't' recognize 'believing', we still 'set ourselves up' to experience the thought believed.
 
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Feb 2011
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Is 'our brain' a utensil when we utilize it ?

'our brain' implies ownership, not vice versa.
We don't choose stress or fear; so the brain 'takes charge' when it perceives danger/threat; that implies partnership; (unless you regard your brain as service dog.)

Is 'believing' innate or did we learn to believe ?
Reacting to assumptions is normal but not natural.
We leaned language; we do not react to foreign language because we have not learned what meaning to attach to them. We don't understand foreign language without prior 'conditioning'
'Believing' is our means of making thoughts function as surrogate/pseudo perceptions of our choosing. Sometimes we don't recognize doing that.
"Thought Recognition" is necessary for optimal functioning/living.
Remember how different it was when you recognized 'bogyman' was only a 'believed thought', instead of empirical entity?
We believe thoughts; even if no referent, or the referent is only a mental image. (Reification).
"Believing" is the catalyzer of thought.
 
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Feb 2011
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When the trigger is 'not' in the environment

Why the emphasis on "thought recognition"?
When thoughts are being reacted to, it's a mistake to believe our reactions are to environmental stimulus. Examples: "I thought the gun was empty"! And; "I thought the hunter was a deer". These are examples of "thought recognition" AFTER THE FACT.
You were not afraid of the 'bogyman' AFTER you recognized it was only a thought.
Unrecognized believing made the difference; hence the emphasis on 'thought recognition'.
Pavlov's dogs did not have the ability to say; "Hey, Ivan, the sound of your bell is not food."
We 'do' have the ability to recognize our believed thoughts are not empirical perceptions; even though our neurology reacts to them as such.
 
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Feb 2011
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"believed fantasies" are still a problem. The 'bogyman' was just the start.
Is there a thesis about 'believing'?
What Newton did for 'gravity', we need to do for 'believing'. (soon).
Can/does a child 'believe' before learning language/thinking?

I just searched for "Thesis about Believing". One writer wrote; "As a kid, you are taught to believe in many things. Christmas; tooth fairy; Easter bunny; etc."
He addresses the 'content' of believing; which are thoughts. I'm interested in 'believing', not the content, which is variable; 'believing' is constant from content to content.
Just as there is no running without legs; there is no believing without content,(thought). There is gravity even when we do not see anything falling.
That's why I wrote; "What Newton did for gravity, we need to do for 'believing'." (does anyone know of such 'work'?)
 
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Feb 2011
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There's a crucial need* to recognize believing thoughts

Recognizing believing thoughts goes beyond therapy to empowered/optimal living.
In effect; there seems to be a unrecognized conspiracy of believing thought subliminally.
How do you recognize if your part of it? If you were inducted unbeknownst to you as a child?
It's a learned tribal custom.

*See online; "On Being Sane In Insane Places"; to see that even psychiatrists do not recognize believing thoughts; (sometimes).

(If your not interested in this topic; it's most likely because you don't recognize when your 'subliminally believing'.)
 
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