Scientific-Gnosticism Memetic-Shamanism

The Brain

Published by under on February 20, 2008

In the computer age we have a perspective of humanity that has never been possible before. Advanced concepts in computing combined with an ever growing understanding of the inner workings of the brain have created a synergy and will eventually result in a convergence of the two sciences. We are already very close. Neural networks in computing are based off our understanding of the ways in which the brain works and we have had tremendous success in implantation of computer chips into human brains. Some examples of successful implantations have given sight to the blind, allowed quadriplegics to control computers with thought alone, awakened people from comas and allowed thought control of prosthetic limbs.

Even the electro-magnetic waves that emanate from our brains have been charted to some extent allowing control of flight simulators with thought alone by simply placing sensors on the outside of the head. We know what generally what chemicals equate to love satisfaction addiction happiness and where we feel fear. We can use magnets to induce states of savant-like computational abilities in normal people or cause them to sense another person in the room or even have a religious experience.

Our knowledge removes our innocence. We can no longer believe that we are magical, nor can we truly believe that we act fully in free will. There have been cases of normal individuals behaving extremely outside their “personality” because of one imbalance or another. In one particular case, a man who was a pillar of the community till the age of fifty started suddenly having strong pedophilic urges but thankfully knew to seek help instead of believing in magic. There was found a tumor in a part of the brain known to deal with “morals”.

By simply altering the existing neurochemical levels of an individual they can be made to act outside of their average norms and will act in a somewhat predictable fashion according to the alteration made. Add a little surgery and a human can be changed entirely. Anyone who has been around a person slowly declining into dementia from Alzheimer or another degenerative disease knows this to be true.

Science has allowed us to genetically determine how easily addicted a person is. The condition is known as “reward deficiency syndrome” and causes lower dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens. Most alcoholics and drug addicts have this genetic condition.

Children who have little interaction with their mother in the first few days of their life are exposed to less oxytocin and will have noticeable neurochemical and behavioral differences throughout their life from those touched, caressed and cared for. Deficiencies in copper and zinc have been shown to drastically reduce IQ in children and supplementation remedies the problem.
Extreme stress caused by traumatic experiences such as war or child abuse cause lasting changes to neurochemistry and even brain structure. Stress has been known to cause physical lesions (demyelinization) on the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) of humans and alter receptor expression in many parts of the brain including the amygdala (the fear center). These changes in the brain affect the personality in sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic ways. Omega-3 supplementation however has been shown to boost myelinization and drastically reduce the symptoms of ADHD, OCD and PTSD.

Recent advances in genetics have shown that changes to an individual throughout their life are passed on to the next generation via epigenetics. It is also well known that children copy the PFC of their mother. The PFC is widely regarded as the emotional control and conscious portion of the brain.

With these realizations we can no longer hold on to magical concepts of the brain and must face the difficult fact that we are indeed machines. We are a compilation of genetic and environmental factors. Free will is primarily an illusion and all we have in fact is a little wiggle room. However with these hard realizations come humility and compassion for those less fortunate in circumstance and genetics. We can no longer beat our chest and say, “Look how much better I am than those lowly criminals”.

With this knowledge also comes responsibility. Humanity must no longer flow in the wind and hope for the best. We now know where war and peace resides. We know how to change ourselves. Each individual must now look inward and accept what is currently there as not their own triumph or failure but simply what is. Only through acceptance can an individual gain control. There is no “heart” there is only the machine we know as the brain and that machine can be tuned and greased. If a person chooses to believe there is only magic under the hood of their car they relieve themselves of worry because they embrace their own helplessness. Unfortunately one day much sooner than it should that car will break down and perhaps even catch fire.

True freedom comes with responsibility. So long as a person does not consider what influences their brain they will be wholly controlled by their environment. There is safety in doing as everyone else does and ignoring dangers. Those who trade freedom for safety deserve neither and will lose both.-Benjamin Franklin

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