Having made reference to the manner in which the human brain has controlled and contributed to every aspect and facet of human functioning – conscious and otherwise – I want in this presentation to refer to another essential way in which the brain continues to bring order and ever-evolving progress to human thought and behaviour. Let me therefore commence this blog with a simple question. Assuming – let us say – you had a substantial sum of money saved and stashed away in a central account somewhere; then, somewhat ‘out of the blue’ so to speak, you find yourself facing a wholly unexpected expense and consequent debt. If it were a small “one off” debt, quite possibly you could meet it out of whatever “petty” or spare cash you happen to have lying around. We have all, from time to time, had temporarily to “Rob Peter to pay Paul”, if you see what I mean. But let us for a moment imagine that this debt can in no way be regarded as unsubstantial. Furthermore, it is also clear that for a time at least, it will be on-going. Is there not at least a strong probability that under such circumstances your thoughts might promptly turn to your “nest egg”. Moreover might not just the very awareness of its very existence, provide both solace and relief in its capacity to ‘tide you over’?
Some years ago now there was for the first time, a popular weekly light drama (I suppose is the best way to describe it) on UK “Independent Television” called, “Minder”. It portrayed – ‘tongue in cheek’ and in at times a quite hilarious manner – the escapades of an East London second-hand car ‘wheeling-dealing’ raconteur and his young, ex-boxer protector or ‘minder’. Seemingly, minders are still employed by the rich and famous. But what about you and me; do we have minders? Yes indeed, we do and once again, I can assure you that it is more potent, more efficient, more adaptable and enterprising by far than any hired or ‘bolt-on’ extra, could ever be. Moreover the “minder” to which I am referring – unlike the “nest egg” referred to above – does not sit passively by, waiting to be called into action in an emergency. Nor does or will it (other than in instances of serious injury to the brain or in the event of certain illnesses occurring) fail to function.
The “minder” to which I am referring, i.e. the human brain, provides for every aspect of individual stability and is ever on hand to make sense and give meaning to the world in which we live. It not only governs and controls all individual, social and psychological functioning and stabilizes and regulates our internal physiology; but in a series of milli-second-by-milli-second commands/ modifications via electro – chemical impulses and secretions, it provides for our on-going overall health and well-being, as well as for any unforeseen emergency lying in our path. It is the sole existing means to human division and conflict on the one hand; or to unification and harmony on the other (and sometimes both at one and the same time) within individuals and the entire species of man.
Now the problem with sentences and paragraphs, such as those occurring immediately above (as well as to and other similar references to such ‘mind-blowing’ potential as the brain possesses) is that for many people at least, they amount to one big “turn-off”. Yet why should this be? Well for one thing they deploy language and move in a ‘field’ of ideas with which we, in our day-to-day life, are wholly unaccustomed. The end result, more often than not, is that we simply “switch off’ altogether, preferring – as we see it – the customary and the familiar (and in my next communication with you, I shall attempt to provide answers to just such a question. ©SB.