How Mirror Neurons Help Us Find Answers

There is a ‘tipping point’

Within us and between us

Where efforts become effortless

Where conscious mind let’s go

And unconscious mind hears your voice of Oneness

Where we take a step deeper

It is, at times, long time coming

It is, at times, not recognized and opportunity passes

It is, at times, let go and opportunity passes

It can come and go, or go and be over

It takes time and commitment to return

It can take a lifetime

It can happen at your time

Recognize your ‘tipping point’s foot steps

A crescendo of pleading

A begging to stop...and not stop

A look of desperation

A loud cry “Please!”

Answer softly, of course!

Answer knowingly, “I'm with you”

Answer with Oneness

And return home.

How We are Wired

It is so helpful to know that each of our brain cells (nerves) lives or dies based on the activity of its connections with other neurons around it. The activity is based on the nerves connections and their usefulness to the system as a whole. Our nerves connect with others and grow like a giant tree in a forest, spreading branches and leaves, not to mention roots, in ever more complex patterns, to form circuits across our entire body. These again join with other large circuits in ways that optimize personal survival, growth and compassion for others.

Mirror Neurons, Love and Compassion

Empathy and compassion are real neurobiologically. They helps us discover the root of the answers to seemingly unanswerable questions. Mirror neurons allow us to look into another’s eyes and sense what they are feeling.  These mirror neurons allow the joining of our two minds in a way that creates the potential to survive and grow more assuredly than either by themselves. Our mind is capable of incorporating this ability to connect with others into a wholistic view of all people. This optimizes the potential for growth and survival for everyone. This last ability is found in the Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC) where we are able to reach out for the answers to life’s unanswerable questions.

The Role of the Orbital Frontal Cortex

Circuits involving the left brain reach out for what we find like ourselves and what we enjoy. The right brain notes differences we like in things and people, and when these differences are extreme, warns us of potentially dangerous aspects of the environment. The OrbitalFrontal Cortex (OFC) is responsible for optimizing all other circuits of the body. As such it organizes itself by creating a relationship between ourselves and the universe i.e. a connection with our spiritual source or something else we can work with. From this perspective it can meet its obligation to provide an answer to any question life may pose. It is able to focus deep within our unconscious mind and discern who we are...with practise! This function of the OFC allows us to sense in a Wholistic way, ourselves and others. When we listen to someone deeply the OFC seeks to understand what the other person is feeling by literally mirroring the activity of identical circuits throughout our brain. When a person has pain in their right index finger, the pain circuits of our right index finger activates in kind. There are also circuits in the OFC that are able to discern our reality from the reality of others allowing us to ground even with those we love.

The Importance of Clarity

The result of the above is the creation of a unique being able to optimize our lives and the lives of those around us. The function of maximizing is born of the rules of engagement of each of our nerve cells whose mantra is ‘be a part of the Wholistic answer to the system or die'. This mantra spreads from cell to circuit to system to body to others and finally to the Oneness of our spiritual source and back.

In the body, communication is nearly always a two way street. A finger sends a message to the brain about a particular pain. The brain sends back a message that either increases or decreases the acuity of the message based on other needs we may have at the time. This two way ability is again generalized to any community as a single complaint is either attended to or set aside for the moment as per the community’s needs. Just like our internal systems, when we struggle to have our concerns aired, we tend to diminish another's voice all in the service of the organism or culture or spiritual community as a whole.

As with any system, there are ‘nodes’ where confusion can take place. Communication may be difficult in one part of the system that functionally separates it from other parts of the system. For example, when sympathetic innervation is cut off from the brain to an arm, the arm becomes extremely painful and if left unchecked shrivels and dies. It’s called Sympathetic Dystrophy. When we think, feel and act in ways that disconnect us from each other the results are very similar. Severe pain, and if left unchecked... Buddhists call this the ultimate delusion, ‘the delusion of self’. It’s not the negation of the existence of each of us. It’s the awareness of the undeniable ties we have to each other.

Much like the Buddhist concept of ‘emptiness’; emptiness isn’t empty. It is empty of the distractions from clarity they call, ‘The Three Poisons’. So empty really means, ‘seeing things as they really are’. A spiritual person might say, “Seeing things as your spiritual source sees them.” For more on this consider Thich Nhat Hahn’s, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering Into Peace, Joy and Liberation.

Member Question: Neurobiology and Anxiety
Overcoming Delusion with Therapy
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