How do our brains work?
Why do our minds work the way they do?
Earlier this week I saw Luc Besson's new film, Lucy. M. Besson has long been one of my favorite directors. I still watch The Fifth Element and all the Transporter movies a few times a year. He has a very European way of putting a story together, a knack Hollywood would never quite understand, and Lucy is destined to maintain his reputation. The last time I came out of a cinema unable to speak was 1990 after I'd seen La Femme Nikita, another one of M. Busson's excellent creations.
"Lucy" will also reignite the debate about how much of the human brain is actually used. M. Besson has already gone on record saying he knows we use far more than the 10% mentioned in the film, but that it was an excellent premise for a movie. I agree with him completely. Much research has gone into proving how much, where and how we use our brains, and general consensus seems to be that we use quite a lot, although we don't always know what for or why.
Last year I read Deepak Chopra & Rudolph Tanzi's "The Super Brain". I bought it in an airport mistakenly believing it to be a book about how to stave off Alzheimer's, a concern fairly common to people in my age group, and was pleasantly surprised. It is about how the brain evolved, and how it can be used more effectively. Mr Chopra and Mr Tanzi tell this far better than I can, and I encourage anyone interested in this topic to buy the book. I'm mentioning it here because of its connection to the film Lucy.
Underlying both the book and film is the idea that if we could really get the hang of using our brains, we could be far more than we are now. All human beings have tremendous untapped potential.
In First World, Western society Analysis and Logic are kings. People who excel in these areas are often rewarded accordingly.
But there are plenty of ways of using our minds that go far beyond the areas of analysis and logic.
One exercise out of The Super Brain, as an example. Don't use lists. I can hear your reaction already. "If I don't write it down I'd never remember anything." "I have to have a list or I'd forget half my groceries." This was my reaction too, initially. I stopped using lists about a year ago. I moved interstate, organised all my packing and moving without making a single list and without forgetting anything. I never use a grocery list now and I rarely forget anything from the supermarket. Lists are no longer part of my life, and my memory has improved accordingly.
Another example. As you are going to sleep, tell yourself you will wake up at (say) 7 am. It may take a few days to get it working - a good idea to practice on a weekend first - but it does work. You can train your brain to wake up when you want to, and instead of being jolted out of a deep sleep by an external alarm clock you will wake naturally, feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day.
A demonstration of something that shouldn't work and does. My phone picks up my emails as well as text messages and phone calls, but I often have it set on silent as I don't like it ringing while I'm working. I regularly check my phone just BEFORE it rings or a text or email message arrive. In other words, something in my brain is aware of signals I can neither hear nor see.
I'm sure many people have examples of the brain functioning in areas where logic and analysis say it shouldn't, and I would love to hear about them.
We can ALL be more then we are now.