Confession of a brain enthusiast.

As a kid I understood there was enough on the planet for everyone, and that nonviolent living should be possible for homo sapiens (Latin for “wise man” or “knowing man.”).  A candid look around showed we were operating far below the potential of our species.  Where was the wisdom we were named after?! Why did so many adults answer me with “That’s just the way of the world,” or “Chalk it up to human nature.”

Dismissive answers like those have greased the way to our current maladaptive, unsustainable moment in time.

They also agitated me enough to become an obsession.  At fifteen, I knew I’d major in philosophy — the study of wisdom — to see if I could find relief from the idealism that often drove me mad.  I did the study, and was not one bit relieved.  So, as Rilke advised, I just decided to live the questions.  Ohhhhh, talk about relief.

Living your questions turns a pebble into a planet.  With rich, nourishing ecosystems that give you more than an answer ever could.  My lifelong question about the gap between humanity’s potential and humanity’s actual behavior brought me to the fertile planet of the human brain and nervous system.  Not as a scientist or scholar.  As an enchanted lover and seer.  Appropriately outraged to learn that our noggin’ is 95% dormant!

Well, no wonder we’re so capable of greed and war.  We’re only working with 5% wisdom.

Let the awakening hasten.


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2 Responses to “Confession of a brain enthusiast.”

  1. Carolee Says:

    I’m a Nerdly McNerderson so I love Mythbusters. And thankfully, the 5% thing? Totally busted! They proved it this season. When telling a story, specifically, you use about 30% of your brain. The top percentage was 35% use during the tests. That made me feel slightly better about carrying this big ol’ head :)

    • Erika Harris Says:

      ::cracking up:: Carolee! Your head is perfect! :-)

      Mythbusters. Episode 152? ( Totally agree that there is much back-and-forth about the “actual” usage. Proven studies have been discounted… only to later find the discount discounted. Ultimately, it’s not the number as much for me (5% and 35%) as it is the expressed behavior (exploitation and ethics). Most serial killers have above-average I.Q.s. I think this calls for a redefinition of “intelligence”… one that includes higher functions like empathy and compassion… which current neuroscience is locating in the partially understood frontal lobes.

      With big respect for your nerdliness ;-)

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