Tuesday, May 22, 2007
[What?! It's tired I'm late & I can't even remember where I got this link...all I know is my blog is done for tomorrow so I can sleep in if I want to... :)]
Neurobiologists are working on how perception, cognition, and memory are coded and stored within the brain. Recent studies are based on simultaneous monitoring of the activity of hundreds of associated, localized neurons. The functional properties of these groups of neurons have been identified. These studies seem to indicate the theory of distributed coding is the operable methodology.
Two theories of brain function currently hold sway. One, the "Grandmother cell" theory states that the brain contains a single cell which recognizes your (or its) grandmother. When this happens, the cell "fires" a set of synapses which send electrons speeding to a series of specific locations, identifying for your conscious your grandmother.
The other, the theory of distributed coding states that a group of cells, one hundred or more recognize grandmother and other similar humans, sending signals out in the same manner as the single cell. This theory has gained favor in the Hippocampus and the cerebral cortex studies.
Grandmother cell theory seems to work best in the area of the inferotemporal cortex, the higher visual area of the brain. Some studies of the hippocampal regions seem to indicate single cell storage of memory. To date, this divided view has not been reconciled.
Present studies agree that the brain is highly specific and divided. Some areas handle speech, others visual, others touch, etc. Most of the brain works automatically outside of the ability of the individual to control the process of cognition. Research has shown that the brain has grown larger from the tiny reptile brain by overlaying each previous brain set with a new brain capable of new abilities. This is done much like building a house. You may start out with a one room house. As you add on, the one room is not stretched and made larger, more rooms are added and each new room has a specific function such as kitchen, bedroom, playroom, den, etc. Scientists have identified eight such layers, each containing specific capabilities and characteristics. The capability of each brain segment has been mapped and identified.
Various other groups have mapped these segments and published their findings. A summary of these maps is included in this text. Please notice the similarity of these findings, even in such a brief summary.
Research into brain circuitry through circuit-specific drugs has been spearheaded by Dr. Timothy Leary. This research has shown eight brain circuits. These eight circuits are the same as those discovered by scientists.
Philosophers study the functioning of the human brain from the outside. This is a cause and effect system which is slow and imprecise. Currently, philosophy works on a broad mind set and has not identified brain segments. Techniques for input and mind control exist but do not specify brain circuits.
Psychologists have worked long to understand the functioning of the human brain. These researchers lead the way to modern knowledge of brain circuits. They identified individual brain circuits prior to their discovery by Neurobiologists. Psychologists discovered as many as seven individual brain circuits but most only found four or five.
Psychotherapists also mapped the function of each circuit and reported of these discoveries. These functions are similar to those found by scientists and drug gurus.
This group of people includes a broad range of characteristics and include such disciplines as shamans, priests, pastors, enlightened gurus, body workers, holistic health workers, and more. Studies are as varied as those of scientists and, indeed, tend to parallel scientific endeavors.
Studies of the brain are based on yogic techniques, meditation, focal point studies, and many other methods which focus part or all of the brain onto a chosen path. Of all these, the oldest, the Tree of Life is the one that most completely agrees with modern studies.
The Tree of Life contains ten levels, the first eight of which exactly (97 percent statistical) reflect modern knowledge. Perhaps modern science will catch up and finally identify all of the brain circuits noted in the Tree of Life.
The language used to describe the brain and its functioning may be so technical that only a highly trained neurobiologist will be able to understand what is said. At the other extreme, the language can be so simplified that it no longer conveys the meaning and message needed for imparting information. Thus, although you may have to look up a few words and some concepts will be made too simple, a middle ground for the language of brain chemistry, research, circuits, and concepts will be used.
The language of spiritualism is as technical and specific as that of neurobiology. With this in mind, a middle ground in the language of spirituality will also be taken.
Science generated knowledge
The eight circuits discovered range from primal and instinctive to highly advanced and out-of- body only circuits. The first two or lower circuits are automatic and not controlled directly by the individual. Above these two is the rational mind, the only brain circuit a human has direct control of. One more circuit makes up the normally functional brain circuits of the average person and is the fourth, the sexual circuit. The next three brain circuits are those of our higher powers and are not normally used by any except highly trained yogis and spiritualists. The last brain circuit discovered by scientists is only encountered in out-of-body experiences and is used only by those humans practicing special forms of Tantra. The text will now give a summary of the scientific description of the known brain circuits. Please understand that much of the descriptive phrases have been simplified and the concepts also condensed for understanding.
CIRCUIT ONE. Instinctive Biosurvival circuit.
This brain circuit is the oldest in terms of evolution and is the one we have the least control over. When this circuit takes charge, all other brain functions are over-ridden. The physical body is made safe by this circuit and it will run away from danger unless otherwise trained.
Mothering the newborn and the child in its first year of life imprints this brain for flight or fight. Since this is the only brain circuit functional during the first year of life, virtually no one can remember any portion of this time. Fear imprinted during this vulnerable year may be impossible to remove from the individual. This circuit is unconscious.
CIRCUIT TWO. Primitive Ego.
Your response to territory, domination vs. submission, top dog/bottom dog status, and other Ego associated emotional defenses are controlled by this circuit. Becoming functional at about age one, you find your place in the pecking order from how this circuit is imprinted in its most vulnerable years from age one to three. During this formative time the impressional mind is locked into a mind set by events and attitudes around the child. This circuit is sub-conscious.
CIRCUIT THREE. Rational mind.
This circuit constitutes the logic demanding and rational aspect of our mind. It is the one which demands that in the sequence of 1,2,3,4,... the next number must be 5. When things don't happen logically, this circuit gets confused. Imprinting this portion of your brain begins at about age three or four and continues to about age seven. The child begins to want to identify everything, label everything, and ask why all the time. People who enjoy science, math, debates, and other academic exercises are strongly imprinted in this circuit. This circuit is conscious.
CIRCUIT FOUR. The sexual circuit.
This circuit begins to activate in a child at about seven years of age. During this time and until past puberty, the child is learning their sexual role and their role for their gender. The boys become macho or learn friendly strength or other male role models. The little girls learn feminine role models of various types. Parenting is learned during this time along with the rules of society. The sexual circuit carries a large energy potential and is the source of the energy of artistic endeavor. This circuit is normally super-conscious but may be made conscious with effort.
With these four circuits, the normal personality is completed. Circuits five through eight are available to those lucky enough to open them or to those willing to work on the techniques needed to make these higher circuits available to the functioning mind.
CIRCUIT FIVE. The enlightened Ego.
This is imprinted by ecstatic experiences. Some of the experiences which open the bliss of this circuit are found in the old-time religion "born again" revivals, during orgasm, during intense and complex music, when you focus your mind on the patterns of eternity, when you make a new discovery, find new ideas, etc. Faith healing starts out of this circuit. Opening this circuit is fundamental to all higher spiritual endeavors. This circuit is super-conscious.
CIRCUIT SIX. Enlightened instincts.
Usually only awakened by advanced yogis or Tantrics, this circuit along with the fifth circuit brings faith healing into reality. When focused internally you can use this circuit to heal your physical ills, and when focused outward to an individual, can heal others. When opened and unbalanced by the fifth circuit can lead to mental illness such as paranoia, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
CIRCUIT SEVEN. Enlightened intelligence.
A realm of pure idea and intelligence, this is your intuition area. This circuit knows what is going on and makes you uncomfortable when you don't follow its suggestions. Few people open this circuit to full consciousness but most have it fully functioning and acting as a kind of conscience and voice of god. When most people pray, this is where they are praying to.
This is as far as even the most unusually adept and hard working, dedicated spiritualist or yoga can reach. Tantric methods will reach the eighth circuit with relative ease when the practitioner is capable of using the methodology. No other method known will reach the eighth circuit with any assurance of attainment.
The next circuit found by scientists is reached only in out-of-body experiences, near-death episodes or other life threatening occurrences.
CIRCUIT EIGHT. Transfiguration circuit.
Only during out-of-body experience is this circuit directly experienced by the individual. Scientists suggest this circuit communicates with a greater realm of knowledge from whence comes E.S.P. experiences. The circuit has been suggested as being a "non-local quantum communication system."
The Tree of Life notes that this circuit can only be reached during out-of-body experience and that it is actually divided into a ninth and tenth circuits. Science ends at the eighth circuit at this time.
BRAIN CIRCUITS AND THE TREE OF LIFE.
The names may be weird and the spiritual nomenclature may sound odd to you scientists but you'll see that the system is the same as that of the scientific discoveries. Tree of Life descriptions of the brain circuits are different from those of scientists because the use of the descriptions are different.
Scientists attempt to describe function only. Tree of Life describes function and how the individual can utilize these circuits. The Tree of Life also describes how the individual can learn to access these circuits and how to successfully link the circuits up for a greater level of usefulness.
SEPHIRAH ONE. Malkuth.
This sephiroth or circuit is the lowest and most primitive on the Tree of life. Malkuth operates on a primal level and affects the whole physical body. An action made by this Sephirah is an action on the physical plane. Activity within Malkuth is felt physically throughout the body as physical phenomena.
Malkuth represents the primal "I", the very base of personality. Ones very life force is held and protected here. Within this Sephirah only symbols are understood. Logic is not a part of Malkuth. The organization of Malkuth is based on a strong body awareness and protection.
SEPHIRAH TWO, Yesod.
This Sephirah is described as the engine room of a great ship. This is the unconscious driving force of Ego. It is the realm of the subconscious. Yesod connects with Malkuth through identification of the identity of the individual. The name Yesod means "foundation" and it is a proving and testing ground for information coming to the individual. Decisions are made in Yesod as to the usefulness or "rightness" of happenings to the person. All information received in the higher circuits must be tested for survival by Malkuth and for Ego-status by Yesod. These two circuits are said to make up the basic foundation of the human personality.
SEPHIRAH THREE, Hod.
The sphere of Hod has been called Perfect Intelligence, absolute intelligence, the sphere of form. It is the discriminating power of the intellect, the concrete mind. This Sephirah is the rational mind and the image making consciousness. Hod uses and develops information and patterns into concrete form and ideas. Hod is the scientific mind of the Tree of Life.
SEPHIRAH FOUR, Netzach.
This is the "sphere of the desire nature" which means the sphere of sensuality. "Contacts to Netzach are made by feeling with." Thus rational and logical thinking won't function here. Sexuality, sensuality, morality, parenting, and the arts are found here. Hod is the concrete mind and Netzach is assigned to Venus, the goddess of sexuality.
Dion Fortune says "Netzach is the artist in us, Hod the scientist." She further notes that the science will be sterile without influence of the fourth circuit. Netzach brings a dynamic and vitalizing force through the Venus influence.
According to all studies of the Tree of Life, these four sephiroth make up the complete personality of the average person. With Sephirah 5, we begin higher spiritual levels called adepthood or other special attainment names.
SEPHIRAH FIVE, Tiphareth.
Enlightened Ego could well describe this Sephirah. As Jan Kennedy says, "In Tiphareth, the human Ego is a direct expression of the One Self ..." This is the Christ center, the ecstatic religious experience. This circuit produces an exaltation of consciousness and a quickening of life, and an intensification of awareness. Sometimes called the bliss or ecstasy Sephirah, this sphere must be awakened for the success of all higher spiritual operations.
SEPHIRAH SIX, Geburrah.
Geburrah has been called the sphere of the catabolic expression of the metabolism. This Sephirah aims at the production of change and results in action. Called the Celestial Surgeon, Geburrah wields the pruning shears to trim out useless aspects of our personalities. Faith healing is done from here. From this sphere form is controlled and direct healing takes place.
SEPHIRAH SEVEN, Chesed.
Chesed has been described as the Cosmic record of every event. Called the Receptive Intelligence, a Measuring Intelligence, and a Sphere of Intelligence, Chesed is the basis for all adjustment, measurement, order, and adaptation. This circuit organizes resources into a whole for the individuals good. Dion Fortune says "When the abstract principle that forms the root of all new activity is formulating in our minds, we are operating in the sphere of Chesed".
When unawakened, we hear this intelligence only dimly and, if we listen at all it is to the tune of "hunches", "lucky guesses", intuition, conscience, etc. When awakened we see clearly the relationships between all things about us.
Between the seventh sphere and the eighth Sephirah the Tree of Life describes a great abyss. The Tree of Life states the eighth sphere can only be approached during out-of-body experience. This last triad of circuits or spheres of influence is called the Supernal Triangle. The intelligence represented by sephiroth eight to ten are those of highly esoteric, near-god, extreme awareness experiences.
SEPHIRAH EIGHT, Binah.
Binah is the source of intuitive knowledge of spiritual truth. It is the receptive feminine energy of form. It is the syntheses or penetration into the significance of relationships and patterns. Binah is named Understanding in the old texts and called the foundation of primordial wisdom. In Binah is the power to perceive. The essence and interrelation of ideas, matter, patterns, and form.
SEPHIRAH NINE, Chokmah.
Called the illuminating intelligence, Chokmah is the male sphere of highest penetrating intelligence. Wisdom is assigned here and understanding to Binah. The intelligence here is not organized and passes pure knowledge to Binah for such organization.
SEPHIRAH TEN, Kether.
According to the Tree of Life, the manifestation of everything on earth comes from that which is not manifest on earth. This is the great white light, the source of all knowledge past, present, and future. Kether is as close to god as the human can presently get. Called the Hidden Intelligence, access to this sphere brings all knowledge.
This completes the comparison of the scientific and Tree of Life descriptions of the brain circuits. Next we'll discuss some physical aspects of brain power and limitations.
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