Saturday, 20 October 2012

It's all in the Neurons


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Mars in Sagittarius is moving into an exact opposition to Jupiter in Gemini. This is about aggressive beliefs, blustery ideas and feeling absolutely sure we are  “right’.  In keeping with the strong Jupiter and Sagittarius emphasis right now, today's post is about the science and philosophy of belief.

 I just watched an interesting video (link at bottom of page) about the neurons in our brains and how they form patterns of thought and behaviour.

 
Apparently, it is the very nature of the brain’s left hemisphere to label and box things in a linear, rational fashion. This side of our brain has a drawer for everything we experience; it needs to define things very specifically and it is hard-wired to do that. When we are in left brain mode, it is much more difficult to receive new information that challenges those logically defined set of files, drawers etc .

Because the left brain remains an inherently closed system that has been programmed a certain way, it is hard for this part of us to think creatively.

The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is designed to do just that. It sees holistically and three dimensionally, so can perceive and process data that is outside the box, enabling us to experience more than our left brain logic could allow. This intuitive part of the brain takes us beyond the file system and allows us to access new information in a new way.

The book Drawing on the Right side of the Brain applies this understanding to teaching art.  Artists who are naturally right brained may display intrinsic drawing abilities for example, yet they can be taught to almost anyone through right brain development.

Creativity, meditation, music etc all allow us to step outside our more rational and programmed reality to access alternative layers of experience. 

A key point in this is not that we don’t need the left brain.  Of course we do. Yet because the right brain is able to see more sides of an issue, accessing it can help us become more holistically attuned, and therefore hopefully more accepting and aware of difference (things or people that don’t fit inside our boxes or labels).

In contrast to the separation and division of linear thinking, creative development can increase our connection with each other by helping us step  outside the place we store judgements and limiting core beliefs to connect to the greater whole.  This right brain approach is much needed in our adversarial and war driven world.  

Especially right now, as current astrological dynamics are increasing the polarity between the rational mind and intuition, exaggerating our attachment to beliefs and causes and  increasing our judgmental, holier than thou attitudes. 

This tendency toward polarizing opinions and righteous indignation can get us into trouble, so  it is really important to be be hyper aware of how this operates (ego) and also to recognize how our conditioned beliefs can limit us from seeing the bigger picture.

Ironically, Astrology itself can fall into the category of belief system, and can easily become just another bunch of concepts and explanations; another way to define everything so we can feel in control in the midst of our chaotic lives. 

Explanations can actually deaden our inherent curiosity and openness to life, rather than expand it.

Of course that would be defeating the higher purpose of Astrological study, which is to help us see our patterns so we can become more awake and aware.

Yet the danger inherent in any form of study is that that words and concepts do have to be processed through the left brain, and it is very easy to stop there and be satisfied with what is merely a new and more exotic set of labels.

At its best, Astrology helps us step outside our existing belief systems and stretches our perception to include the archetypal patterns that underpin our very existence.

The planets are mirrors of , and triggers for , the cosmic energies that course though our very being.  The real goal here is to encourage self-reflection and self-awareness. 

Everything we are looking for is inside of us.     As within so without.




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