PAIN AND SUFFERING IN LIFE:

PAIN AND SUFFERING IN LIFE: –

There is a difference between physical pains, which is a physiological process, and suffering, which is our mental and emotional response to the pain. So the question arises – can finding, an underlying purpose and meaning behind our pain modify our attitude about it? And can a change in attitude lessen the degree to which we suffer when we are physically injured?

There is no doubt that our attitude and mental outlook can strongly affect the degree to which we suffer when we are in physical pain. Let’s say, for instance, that two individuals, a construction worker and a concert pianist suffer the same finger injury, while the amount of physical pain might be the same for both individuals, the construction worker might suffer very little and in fact rejoice if the injury resulted in a month of paid vacation which he or she was in need of, whereas the same injury could result in intense suffering to the pi- anist who viewed playing as his or her primary source of joy in life.

Pain begins with a sensory signal – an alarm that goes off when nerve endings are stimulated by something that is sensed as dangerous. Millions of signals are sent through the spinal cord on the base of the brain. These signals are then sorted out and a message is sent to higher areas of the brain telling of pain. The brain then sorts through the prescreened message and decides on the response. It is at this stage that the mind can assign value and meaning to the pain and intensify or modify our perception of pain.

We convert pain in to suffering in the mind.

To loosen the suffering of pain, we need to make a crucial distinction between the pain of pain and the pain we create by our thoughts about the pain. Fear, anger, guilt, loneliness, and helplessness are all mental and emotional responses that can intensify pain. So, in developing an approach to dealing with pain, we can of course work at the lower levels of pain perception, using the tools of modern medicine such as medications and other procedures, but we can also work at the higher levels by modifying our outlook and attitude.

 It is our suffering that is the most basic element that we share with others, the factor that unifies us with all living creatures.

THOUGHT POWER

THOUGHT POWER: –

All that we are is the result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts.

Thoughts are ink in the pen with which we are writing our destiny.

As you think so you become. By changing one’s thought pattern, one can change one’s life.

Thoughts are things, thoughts are forces, and thoughts are the building blocks of life.

Destiny is not matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.

A thought if it is constantly held in mind, will drive us to action, if it is a thought of service, it will lead us to an act of service, if it is a thought of impurity, it will lead us to an act of impurity.

Thoughts take more time and space in our lives than actions.

Thought creates an action: –

An action, which is repeated, creates a habit and a habit is a terrible thing. The sum total of our habits makes our character. It is character that determines our destiny. If we wish to change our destiny, we must begin to change our thoughts. We must change our pattern of thinking. Our minds need to be cleansed of thoughts of lust, hatred and greed, passion and pride, selfishness and miserliness, greed and arrogance, envy and jealousy, resentment and ill will. There are those who nurture thoughts of hatred, envy and jealousy in their hearts how can they ever be happy?

Hatred and happiness can never dwell together, even as darkness and light can never live together.

Thought Control: –

So many of our ills would be cured, if only we could change the pattern of our mind. Change the mind and you change the world. The modern world has gone astray, because it lays undue emphasis on the “work” side of life. Work has its place in life, but more important than “work” is “Thought”. Take care of your thoughts, because every thought is a force, which we generate for our good, or evil.

Positive and Negative Thinking: –

It is not that the man with a positive attitude refuses to recognize the negative side of life. Life has a negative side, a dark side also. The pathways of life are strewn with difficulties. But the man with the positive attitude refuses to dwell on the negative side of life. He looks for the best results from the worst conditions. Surrounded by the trials and tribulations, he looks for some place to stand on. Conditions may be adverse, yet he continues to expect good things. It is an inviolable law of life, that when you expect good, good will comes to you. There are people who always think negative. Speak to them of something and they will tell you “It can not be done! It is impossible! There are people who always think of diseases and death. Those are the ones who, through the magnet power of their own thoughts, draw disease to themselves. They are their own enemies.

MIND AND BRAIN

MIND AND BRAIN: –

Since the human nervous system is the most complex piece of hardware on the planet, it’s no surprise that the most complex form of consciousness accompanies it. Though still eschewed by most mainstream philosophers and scientists, this view is gaining ground, particularly among the alternative intelligentsia, in large part because it provides a potentially non-reductionist framework for understanding the relationship between the mind and the brain (even if some of its proponents, like Chalmers, use it as an argument for the possibility of conscious machines—if all matter is conscious, after all, why couldn’t a super-complex computer be as conscious as you or me?).

GOD versis NEURONS:

Still, in the face of such multilayered complexity, one can’t help but feel compelled to reach for synthesis, whether it’s God or the Neurons that are doing the compelling.

I find the materialist notion that the mind is an irrelevant byproduct of brain function about as plausible as the dualistic idea that consciousness is some ghostly ethereal substance that exists entirely independent of the brain. The truth, it seems, must lie somewhere in between. But where exactly?

Just how the brain’s neural network could function as a “tuning system” for consciousness, however, is still something I’m struggling to visualize. But as one philosopher pointed out to me, “Until someone explains how emergence occurs, we might just as well say GOD did it.” Where mind and brain are concerned, however, even the most integral theories have thus far been unable to explain how the two interconnect, leaving the mind/body problem a mystery for another day.

CONSCIOUSNESS:

Think about it—this whole three-dimensional experience of sound, color, thought, feeling, and movement all somehow arising out of the organic functions of this wrinkled slab of tofu-like substance in your head. It seems hard to imagine, but if it were true, what would that say about the nature of matter itself?

The great specter of brain science is that it will demonstrate that we are merely conscious organic machines, that all of our experience and behavior originates in the brain. Based on the evidence from frontier science alone, it doesn’t seem likely at this point that it will quite be able to do that. But let’s say that it were able to show that most of our behavior and experience is rooted in the brain. What would that mean? Well, for starters, we’d have to come to terms with the fact that we’re a lot more organic machine than we’d like to think.

And this leads us to what may be the most interesting point of all. For as Newberg’s research demonstrates, there is little doubt that the brain is at least a big part of what is enabling us to perceive that higher order. This means that, in what may be the greatest miracle we know, life somehow managed to evolve an organ capable not only of reflecting on itself but of perceiving something higher than itself—perceiving, even, that which many believe to be the very source and creative driver of the cosmos. Looked at in this way, the brain suddenly starts to seem a lot less like some frightening organic computer that we’d do well to distance ourselves from and a lot more like a rather mysterious and even spiritual event in its own right. After all, if it can do all that, who knows what kind of genius and untapped potential live within its folds? Given that human evolution is still in its early days, it in fact seems likely that the awesome powers of the human brain have only begun to reveal themselves. If we can use our gray matter to avoid destroying ourselves, we may find that the story of humanity’s higher potentials is just getting started.

NATURE vs. NURTURE

Nature vs. Nurture: –

Is this a religiosity, a function of environment of how we are brought up, or as many neuroscientists now believe that it is a function or reflection of brain ac- tivity. In other words we are hard wired for GOD.

The relationship between brain chemistry and consciousness is one that, in the neuroscience age, is hard to get away from. As neurobiologists have deepened our understanding of the powerful neuro-chemicals that underlie our moods and motivations, words like adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin have become part of our vernacular. And for those who have spent any time studying the field, it has become increasingly difficult not to think of human behavior in chemical terms.

Discovering the biological basis of speech and perception is, however, just the beginning. With experimental methodologies improving by the month, even the more complex aspects of our experience, such as emotion, reason, motiva- tion, and will, are beginning to give up their secrets. In Mapping the Mind,science journalist Rita Carter writes: “It is now possible to locate and observe the mechanics of rage, violence, and misperception, and even to detect the physical signs of complex qualities of mind like kindness, humor, heartlessness, gregariousness, altruism, mother-love, and self-awareness.”

The profound implications of these findings are not lost on the neuroscience community. Indeed, one of the more interesting new areas of discussion is what has become known as neuron-ethics. According to psychologist Martha Farah, brain imaging in particular has opened up an ethical can of worms with its un- precedented ability to peer into the previously private reaches of the individual mind. For instance, with neuroimaging, it has now become possible to tell when someone is being deceitful, or even when he or she is deceiving him or her. Enter lie-detection 3.0. Scientists can also discern whether someone was involved in a crime by showing them objects from the crime scene and seeing how their brain responds. Welcome to the new forensics, as marketed by Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Inc. It is even possible to tell whether someone is an illegal drug user by showing them photos of drug paraphernalia and see- ing whether the brain enters a “craving state.” Meet the new war on drugs.

Then there is what Farah refers to as “brain typing.” Using these same methodologies, neuroscientists can now look behind the scenes of your per- sona and find out what sort of human being you really are. Do you secretly harbor racial prejudices? By watching your brain while you look at pictures of racially diverse faces, brain scanners can provide an answer. How about sexual preferences? By showing you a variety of erotic imagery, we can see who or what turns you (or your brain) on. (And don’t bother trying to suppress your response. Your brain looks different when you do that too.) Are you a risk-taker? A pessimist? An introvert? Neurotic? Persistent? Empathic? Even such core personality traits as these are now laid bare before the new neuron-interrogation.