Living and Learning. (iv) (Continued from previous blog).

Another reminder that the brain is the locus of feeling and control is provided in instances of “phantom pain” where a limb has been amputated. The simple but remarkable and indisputable truth is that you and I have, sitting on our shoulders, so to speak, the most incredibly powerful, tried, tested and ingenious coping resource imaginable, both in terms of what it offers in the present (which is our ‘handle’ of control) as well as in its potential for future achievement and growth to maturity. Every item of use and adaptation, from the simple wood screw, to the latest and most sophisticated jet engine or nuclea device: from the safety pin to the …’.whatever’… is due and down to the human brain. Every instance of invention, adaptation and/or advancement revealed in the shaping and/or management of available raw materials to serve a given need or purpose, can similarly be so attributed. Whether it be our knowledge of the “Wheel” or of “Wind Farms”; the brutality and bestiality of the “haulicaust” or the glory of Handel and the “Hallelujah Chorus”; all are down to the miracle of man’s crowning glory; namely, the human brain.

Ought we not therefore to be drawn toward greater self-interest (in the best sense of the use of the term) assuming ever more responsibility for the manner in which we have become and are becoming who and what we are moving toward? Might it not just be so very much in our own best interests, to increasingly explore a proactive approach to the shaping of life, rather than lurching – as not infrequently we appear to do – from one crisis in life to another, often blaming others, be it God, fate or “circumstances” for whatever ill befalls us? It is interesting is it not, how, in the eventuality of some difficulty in handling one’s present circumstances and environment, we so frequently rush to ‘trawl’ through the psyche, for an alleged “cause” of what we are being required to negotiate and endure: not infrequently seeking the prescription of some external pharmacological antidote, or similar well advertized controller of temperament or mood in the form of a “magic bullet”?

What then in reality, is there that we could and should know – could and should do – which, far from further confusing and confounding us, might well supply that longed-for, firmer, more settled, more meaningful grasp on the state and direction of our lives, as they unfold and manifest themselves, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day onward and upward? ©SB.

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