HOW DO WE MAKE OUR BRAINS BETTER THAN THEY ARE?
People ask this question in many ways. Sometimes the question is about how to memorize more quickly or more extensively. Sometimes the question is about how to be smarter than we are. Sometimes the question is about how to be able to concentrate better. Sometimes the question is about how to find emotional balance. Sometimes the question is about anxiety or depression. The questions vary, the pursuit is the same: people want to have a brain that is better in some way.
This quest is so recurrent that endless movies have been made about enhanced brains. In the movies it is simple: take some chemical or get some brain implant and instantly you are more than you were. Maybe someday it will be that easy. However, that journey is much, much harder than the movies make it seem. Human brains are immensely complex and subtle. You can’t just go thrashing around in there without paying a price. People take drugs to change how they feel (stimulants, opioids, hallucinogens, and others). Routinely the price is addiction and brain destruction – frequently ending in death. Brain implants have been tried for people with blindness, hearing loss, paralysis and other functional losses. Sometimes they have succeeded a little – taking people from no function to some function. However, those levels of function are much less than normal, and very far from superhuman. The microscopic subtleties of brains are profound. To be “you” many things must work they way they do. Their workings at a cellular level are intricate. It is not so simple as sticking in some electrode, stimulating something, and hoping that superhuman traits will emerge. No, not that simple at all! We might achieve some of these hopes some day, but that is not today, and not tomorrow.
So, how do we make our brains better than they are, now? The basic answer is: take the brain you have and discover strategies to make it work the best for you. In the next several posts I will help you consider memory, intelligence, concentration, emotional balance, anxiety and depression individually – discussing how each of these may be improved. In that journey there will be a kind of “zen” – a background perspective for finding tranquility with who you are and the journey of life you are taking.
I hope you find these discussions interesting.
Go HERE to visit the second page in this series, on Memory.