- Religion and Philosophy
How To Know The Difference Between The Real & False Self
This article demonstrates the possibility that all existences depend upon the mind. If the mind is enlightened to the truth, the beauty of truth is manifested in one’s existence. If the true mind is partially obscured, one will be challenged to an existence within the World of Sensual Desire. And, if dark clouds of delusion obscure the mind, one will suffer an evil existence, all according to Divine Law. The responsibility for our thoughts and actions rests within ourselves.
Realization of the Essence of Mind means to transform the mind from a deluded being into an enlightened one. When one realizes the Essence of Mind, he (she) is free from delusions of thought and view.
Free from delusions you are no longer controlled by the five desires, the seven passions and the ten evil deeds. We are free of the three poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance and are liberated from attachment to the phenomenal world.
Your essence or self-nature is the real ‘I’, you are ‘One’, you have never been, nor could you ever be, two. Nothing exists outside the mind of God. Since the beginning of Creation you have been One. The illusion of separation is just that, an illusion, created by our deluded mind. We are the Buddha. There are no Buddhas outside of us. The only difference between a Buddha and a sentient being is that a Buddha realizes his self-nature and a sentient being does not.
The real ‘I’ is your original soul. It has no characteristics that are describable, except its nature is the nature or light of God. It is the real ‘I’ that exists within all of us. Ever since our souls first descended to the Earth we have taken on the myriad forms of creation. The real ‘I’ is that which is undifferentiated. It is like the flame of a candle. Though the candle burns itself out, the flame can be transferred endlessly from candle to candle. The flame remains a flame regardless of what form the candle takes.
The real ‘I’ is the majestic being within us all. It is who we really are. It needs no name and has no ego to separate itself from God, or other sentient beings. For those who have found and understood the nature of the self, there is absolute freedom and bliss.
It is interesting to note that we perceive the false ‘I’ or the Named, as the real self and the real self or the ‘I AM” as the false self. If we are ever to understand reality, we will have to shatter the shackles of illusion and overcome delusive thoughts and views. The real ‘I’ cannot be comprehended with the intellect alone. It is beyond the boundaries of thought.
Only through intuitive insight can your true nature be perceived. The real ‘I’ is the Essence of Mind. It is you, without name, gender, or personal history. Free of ego, unencumbered by illusion and delusions, it is the ‘I Am’.
Realization of the Essence of Mind enables the unfettered being to move anywhere within the triple world. The aware are not hindered by time, space or dimension. The enlightened mind can transform the universe. It possesses the five deva eyes, the eighteen unsurpassed characteristics, the six transcendal, supernatural powers, the ‘Dasabala’ or ten fearless powers and the seven degrees of enlightenment. When a sentient being realizes his Buddha -nature he is immediately transported to the Western Buddha Land (The World of Truth) and attains oneness with God. Oneness with God is the ultimate quest of the real ‘I’. Realization of the Essence of Mind makes the goal attainable.
The false ‘I’ is self-created. It is a product of karma, genetics, environment and life experience. We are complex biological organisms who owe our sense of self to electrical stimulation and chemical actions and reactions generated within the brain and body.
What we experience and the environment in which we find ourselves, are to a large degree, dictated by the karmic debts incurred in the past. Karma and affinity have placed you into your physical body and into this world and time, just as it has placed you into other bodies, worlds, dimensions and times in past lives.
Karma is therefore partly responsible for the formulation of the false ‘I’. It is only partly responsible, because how we perceive our environment and how we act and react in any given circumstance is not dictated by karma alone. Medical science and modern technology have established that perceptions of self and conceptions of reality are to a large degree based upon life experiences within our environment.
Especially important to the development of our false self is our early childhood environment and experience. To comprehend how our environment and experiences impact the mind, we must first look to see how the brain functions and how its functions affect our idea of self.
The brain is a marvelous mechanism, perhaps, the most incredible creation in the universe. Our knowledge of the brain is however, still limited, and as of now, many of the brain’s mysteries eludes us.
We have nonetheless, solved many of its secrets. These recently revealed secrets have forever changed our view of the world and of ourselves. Today, medical technology has finally reached a level of sophistication that enables us to see and grasp that which was once invisible and incomprehensible. Now, through the use of the M.R.I., or Magnetic Resonate Imager we can literally see how the brain operates.
If we are to understand the false self or the so-called ego personality, we must ask; “Where is the mind, and when did it first appear?” It is difficult to accuratelylocate the mind within the brain or for that matter within the body. We generally accept the notion that our mind exists somewhere within the brain, but where in the brain is still unknown.
Perhaps, we may consider our mind to exist in all places or in no particular location at all. At this time no one can say for sure. Thanks to the M.R.I. we do know that the mind allocates particular functions and processes to very specific areas of the brain and that these areas control much of our mental processes. The brain, as we know it, is in geological time, relatively new. Popular theory states that approximately five million years ago the brain weighed about half a pound. It took two million years for it to develop and grow to one pound. Gradually it again doubled in size. It would take another three million years of evolution to finally reach the weight of three pounds. The brain is constantly growing and evolving. Still and all, evolution is a long, slow process.
So slow is the evolution of the brain that since the arrival of Homo Sapiens 60,000 to 100,000 thousand years ago, the brain has undergone no discernible physical change. If it were possible to time -transport a baby from 60,000 years ago and place it in our time, it would have the same capabilities as any other modern child.
The false self or ego personality is called false, because it is dependent upon the functionality of the brain. We perceive the false self to have inherent existence because most of our perceptions and conceptions of reality come from the information the brain has amassed in this lifetime.
To better understand how the mind works, let’s look at how the brain functions. Much of what the brain does takes place in its outer most layer called the cortex. The cortex is approximately 1/4 of an inch thick and lies on the outside of the brain just under the skull.
The cortex filters and orders our world. It is the cortex that allows us to see, hear, touch, and speak. The cortex is also the area of the brain where all of our plans and ideas emanate The structure of the cortex is arranged in thousands upon thousands of columns. These columns are less than one millimeter wide, yet together they house billions of neurons. As the brain developed, the neurons multiplied and swelled the cortex creating mountains and valleys.
During millions of years of evolution these so-called mountains and valleys folded in upon themselves and the resultant creases formed a brain uniquely human. Each column is the residence of the building blocks of the brain. These building blocks or neurons store all of our memories and experiences. Neurons make it possible to learn and plan for our future.
Neurons form neural- networks that are comprised of thousands to millions of neurons all working together in harmony accomplishing whatever task is assigned to them. Within the brain there are literally trillions of neuron networks.
Amazingly, these networks provide the framework necessary for the mind to create new ideas without regard to outside influences. Without this impromptu ability, man would find it impossible to progress. At birth we have as many as two hundred billion neurons. However, approximately half die off soon after birth. Having two hundred billion neurons insures that at least one hundred billion neurons survive. In order to pass and receive information, each neuron processes and links up with as many as fifty thousand other neurons. Neurons communicate with each other though electrical and chemical signals. Communication is possible because of the gaps between the neuron branches called the synapse.
These signals are transmitted through an electrical charge that induces chemicals to be released from the small sacks that store chemical molecules. The small sacks cross the cell membranes into the synaptic gaps that open their special gates. Every neuron is compelled to communicate with other neurons within the vast neuron forests because of these electrical and chemical signals.
When the special gates open, the chemicals bind with the molecules in the receptor sites. As they bind, sodium and potassium ions start up new electrical signals in the receiving neurons. The electrical saps induce a chemical change, which in turn produces a chain reaction of neuron activity. In a millisecond the brain is able to translate the electrical and chemical communications into useful information.
The messages that travel through the brain do not instantly change into information. Rather, they are stored until the neural transmitters receive an electrical message. In order to be conscious of what we see, a group of neurons must fire simultaneously electrical impulses to each other at forty times per second. These neural transmitters must stay in phase for a particular time for us to visualize the world.
It is theorized that this simultaneous firing may be responsible for other sensory perceptions. Medical science has recently identified the neural transmitters that transmit messages about pain, pleasure, sadness, joy, stress, and relaxation. So far fewer than fifty neural transmitters have been identified. Research is in its infancy. We are just beginning to identify, catalog and discover how neural transmitters function.
No one knows yet how many neural transmitters there are, there could be hundreds. As research progresses, it is hoped that the mysteries of the neural transmitters will be unraveled.
Of the known neural transmitters, three are especially important in the study of the real and false self. The first is Saratonin, the so- called workhorse molecule. Saratonin has many roles; one of them is to inhibit our violent tendencies. The second is Noradrenaline, often called the ‘fight or flight’ molecule, and the third molecule is Substance P, which carries messages about pain.
Neuron networks develop as we experience life and as we grow up. Everything around us guides us. Our brain is constantly evolving and growing because of our experiences within our environment. As we experience life our brains create neuron maps. These maps are the directories that make it possible for us to see, hear, speak, smell, feel and think. It is interesting to note that our brain puts time limits on our development in areas such as language, vision and hearing. If we do not use these neurons within the time limitations, then the neurons are assigned other jobs and hearing, speaking and sight will be lost forever. The brain also weeds out neuron networks that prove to be unnecessary and eliminates these networks when experience shows they are inefficient.
Different areas of the brain are responsible for the various functions of the body and mind. Some areas have very specific functions such as the motor cortex, which is the sensory area where we experience touch. Or the primary visual cortex located at the back of the brain that allows us to see.
Other areas of the brain have no particular functions, but together form association zones. The association zones communicate mostly with other parts of our brain within the association zones and do much of our classifying, ordering, and distilling of information.
You may have wondered why it is easier for the young to learn and retain information. The reason for this is because the young brain is much more resilient than older adult brains. Children are able to very quickly create an incredible number of neuron networks, whereas older people develop new networks much more slowly.
During the first ten years of life our brain is molded and shaped by our experiences. In fact, our neural architecture and the chemical levels and chemical balances of the brain are determined by environment and experience.
Although it may be argued that our karma dictates our environment, we are not predestined beings. Both change and evolution are possible for us as we grow and experience life. It is true however, that we are somewhat prisoners of our environment. Our environment actually physically affects our brain and the development of our neuron networks is dependent upon environmental experiences.
Our perceptions are uniquely our own. No two beings can see the world in exactly the same way. Even though we look at the world together, we view the world differently because of our brains. Perception is the result of the brain taking in the information of the world and ordering that information in the mode that it perceives will be the most beneficial for us.
The brain takes in the world through the left and right fields of vision and reads them separately. The information our brain receives from the right visual field is reflected on the right side of the retina and is conveyed on the left side of the brain. For the left visual field it is just the opposite. In the event that the left or right side of the brain is damaged by accident or disease, the incoming signals will then have no where to go. In this case vision will be restricted regardless of whether the person has 20/20 vision. It is not the eyes that see, it’s the brain. The fact is, only the center of the eye sees clearly, the rest of the eye sees only dots of light.
As our eyes move the brain interprets the light, thus giving us image and perception. The accurate perception of depth requires the vision of both eyes. When we focus on an object or image near us we also see things in the distance. What we see in the distance through the left eye appears slightly to the right of us. And our view from the right eye makes objects appear slightly to our left. The brain compensates for both eyes and perceives depth for us.
In order to see, the brain takes incoming light and changes it into electricity for the devices called rods and cones. This light information is first flipped upside down and then the information is broken up into fragments. When it reaches the crossroads of the visual field it splits. From there the fragmented pieces make their way to the primary visual cortex at the back of the brain. This layered region filters and codes this information. The coded information is parceled out to as many as thirty-two different locations for finer processing. In reality, it’s not our eyes that see the world; it’s the cerebral cortex.
The cerebral cortex consists of tightly packed columns of nerve cells, and contains countless complex webs of neurons. It is here that we actually see the world. Inside each column, neurons form networks of incredible activity. Each neuron through its many branches sends and receives electrical messages from other neurons through the synapses. If not for these critical links the brain could not send out messages to its different parts. A single neuron may have thousands of synapses and a single column may have millions of synapses or transfer points.
The simplest object or image provides millions of bits of information that continuously bombard the cortex. The only way the cortex can manage this information is by dividing up the labor into a large number of columns. Each column has a complete set of neurons and every column is designed to look for a specific angle from 0 to 180 degrees. This information is processed astonishingly fast. The information travels through the neurons until something or someone is recognized.
Eventually the outlines of the object or person appear to us. The brain selects all these bits and pieces of information and assigns neurons to code it. While one set of neurons reads one bit of information, other neurons process their bits of information simultaneously. Because all this takes place in a millisecond, we are able to recognize people, places and things that we come in contact with.
Today, many experts theorize that as we go through life the brain is building on what it learns while processing simple shapes, thus enabling it to see ever more complex shapes or other forms of information. Time and research may one day validate or reject this theory. At this time we do not have enough knowledge to make any final conclusions. Nonetheless, we do know that if parts of the brain are damaged then certain aspects of sight recognition may be affected. The affected area of the brain may cause elements of sight to become invisible or unrecognizable.
From the moment of birth to the time of our last breath we need to be held and we long to touch. Few would argue that touch plays a pivotal role in our lives. Writers, poets, philosophers, lovers and kings have written volumes on the subject of touch. Language is filled with words and phases whose very mention stirs the mind. However, the scientific explanation of how touch is converted into thoughts and feelings is anything but romantic.
When we come in contact with people or material things, special cells in the skin convert touch into electrical signals that are sent to the spinal cord and from there up to the brain. Just as it is with our other senses, it is not the sense organ, in this case the skin that feels, it’s the brain. In a split second, all of the information regarding touch is sent to a thin strip of cortex. This area of the brain is in actuality a map of the body. Although our body map is incredibly detailed, it is also distorted.
The brain gives some parts of the body priority. The hands, tongue, lips and face have priority because of their importance in daily life, whereas other areas of the body, which have lesser responsibilities, are not as perceptive.
It is impossible for two neural maps to be identical. Our neural development reflects our individual growth and experiences. Only you can know the taste of water or the touch of silk. The maps in our brain construct a personalized view of the world. Because of this, everyone perceives the world differently. The brain takes in the outside world with its particles, light waves and matter and orders it. How the world is ordered, is simply a mirror of your own life.
Sounds are physical vibrations. We hear sounds when the outer ear gathers and funnels sound waves into the eardrum causing it to vibrate. The vibrations rattle the bones in the middle ear, which are connected to the cochlea. It is here that the vibrations are translated into electrical impulses. The impulses journey along a number of interwoven pathways to the auditory cortex. Within the auditory cortex there are special cells that respond to discreet features including pitch, tone, volume and direction. The brain translates sound into information in the same way sight is translated.
Immediately some of the assigned neurons begin to code and recode all the bits and pieces of information from the sounds we hear. Similar processes are underway to make sense of other information the ear gathers, such as determining the distance and direction of a sound. The brain then identifies the information and we react. Just how we react is dependent upon our current state of mind and upon the circumstances and conditions in which we find ourselves.
Our ability to smell is dependent upon odor molecules. Odor molecules are sniffed through the nose and pumped up to the tongue and cheeks into the nasal cavity. Here tiny hair like projections of the olfactory neurons called cilia pick up the odor molecules and translate thesemolecules into electrical signals. These signals are sent directly to the olfactory bulbs. Because there is only one synapse to cross, the path is almost a direct route to the brain. Olfactory neurons are spread throughout the cortex and have particular circuits wired to the limbic and endocrine systems. The limbic system is the area of the cortex where our emotions are created and the endocrine system is where our hormones are produced. It is little wonder that odors invoke passionate responses within us.
The physical body needs certain foods to survive, but we tend to choose the foods we eat mostly because of learned conditioning, tradition, culture, and environmental availability. As our preference for tastes develop, we store them in our neural networks within the cortex. These memories are activated every time we taste.
If the memory is pleasant, then a positive emotional response takes place. Just the opposite occurs when we taste something we dislike. Despite all the possible combinations of taste, the receptors on the tongue are geared for picking up just four basic qualities; sweet, salty, bitter and sour. All the other qualities of taste are largely just a function of smell. Like the other sensory organs, it is not the tongue that discerns taste; it’s the brain.
Perception is no more than bits and pieces of information sweeping throughout the cortex. A large number of neural scientists believe that perception is based upon harmonic conversions within the many different neuron networks, acting on line together. These harmonic conversions bring into being simultaneous perceptions of sound, touch, taste, smell and sight. As the information is transformed into electrical and chemical information a clear perception of the world emerges.
Sensory data continually flows into the brain creating associations and memories that allow us to make sense of our sensory perceptions. No one knows just how or where this information gets assembled. Our perception of the world as a constant unified place is possible only because the brain acts as a filter. This means that each of us exists in our own particular world and that no two worlds are exactly alike.
Our perceptions are based upon our sensory organs, genetics, environment and experience. The factors that determine our reality are themselves affected and reflected in our values. Values are added and subtracted from our brains as we go though life. It is impossible to determine weather one value system is inferior or superior to another.
Memories are the dreams and nightmares of life. All that we appear to be and all that we become is memory dependent. Memories become part of our awareness when the brain sends chemical and electrical impulses through neural transmitters. Neural transmitters transmit chemical signals through an immense network of neurons or nerve cells. These chemicals control the way we learn and store things in our memories. This process is the beginning of memory.
When the mind communicates, it does so through neuron networks. Each network is interconnected to other networks and this enables information to pass from one neuron to another. As information is fed into the brain the neuron transmitters at the end of the synapse bombard neuron receivers with ions that open the receivers and change the chemicals into electrical signals. Consecutive bombardment of the neuron transmitters is the brains method to strengthen the signals. As stimulation is repeated, the receivers open wider which lets in a rush of calcium ions. Calcium ions activate enzymes. The activated enzymes move on every side of the cell setting off a chain of reactions mediated by other enzymes. The enzymes cause a change in the structure of the receptors that ease the passage of the electrical current across the synapse.
Because the electrical current is unobstructed a stronger signal can flow freely. This process is called long-term potentiation and can last up to several weeks.These connections, which are made stronger by the increased activity of the enzymes, are newly created memories. Memories are not stored intact; instead they are broken down into small sections and disbursed though out the cortex. Activating just a few of these areas of memories can activate a chain of communication. When memories are activated they retrieve a host of related and non-related memories.
As a memory is brought to bear it creates activity. This action takes place in a deep layer of the brain called the hippocampus. Inside the hippocampus there are about 40,000,000 neurons all lined up to store information into memory.
The hippocampus processes, then evaluates. Then it waits for more information from the senses to see if the information should be stored into memory. Memories are able to invoke great emotional responses in us because the hippocampus forms part of the limbic system that is responsible for all of our emotions.
In due time, the memory needs to be moved into its permanent storage area. Short-term memory and long term memories are stored in different places. Short-term memories remain in the hippocampus for varying lengths of time. A memory may stay for as little as a few minutes or for as long as eighteen months.
When the hippocampus consolidates its information it shifts it on to the cortex. Any thoughts and experiences that are fated to become long -term memories are carried to their final destination via electrical signals. The only memory capable of development without the aid of the hippocampus is skill memory. Skill memory calls upon other parts of the brain including the cerebellum to retain information. Because of this, some skills can be learned without the need for short-term memory retention.
Memory retention is vitally important. Without this ability we could not live a normal life. However, as we grow older we lose brain cells because blood vessels, which carry the oxygen and fuel, become less efficient.
As we age, the diameter of blood vessels shrink, thus reducing the quantity of blood cells and producing a decrease in the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the blood cells. The reduction in oxygen and nutrients to the blood cells creates a blockage to the nerve cells. When nerve cells are cut off from their supplies, then one by one they die.
Fatalities are very high in the acute hippocampus area of the brain. No one can produce new neurons. What we loose we loose permanently. As time goes by, most of us will loose approximately twenty per cent of our one hundred billion neurons. Fortunately, this loss can be as mild as occasional forgetfulness if the neuron connections stay intact.
Although neurons die constantly, if the mind is active it will continue to form new neural connections by replacing old ones and filling in the gaps. Age is therefore not the cause of dementia; rather it is disease. Keeping the mind stimulated on complex issues and subjects along with physical activities can make it possible to enjoy a healthy mind into advanced age. By developing an active mind when we are young and pursuing activities that will develop the mind throughout life one can actually slow the effects of Alshimers Disease and its symptoms.
It is difficult to picture ourselves devoid of personal identity and history. Still, when the brain suffers injury or illness, fundamental changes often take place. Damage to the brain can partially change or completely destroy our functions, abilities, and personality. When illness or injury occurs to the brain, neurons are damaged or killed. This causes a disruption in the electrical signals making it impossible for them to communicate to other nerve cells. Although the damage caused by the illness or injury may be severe, the brain will still try to repair itself by regenerating connections and neural networks.
In the event that the neural connections become crossed, the brain through continual repetition and stimulation can disengage the incorrect neurons and rebuild the correct connections. Often, reestablishing the correct neural connections results in the regaining of functions, abilities, and personality.
It is important to note that the power of the will plays a significant role in how well we recover from injury. The area of the brain that is in control of attention and motivation, or will power, is called the locus ceruleus. It appears in a tiny space in the brainstem and consists of approximately 30,000 neurons clustered together into a tight bundle. Although there are only a limited number of neurons in this region, they have long fibers that construct looping filaments of communication that extend throughout the brain.
The locus ceruleus uses its neural streams to draw out noradrenaline. As the noradrenaline rushes into the neural system it induces the yellow astrocyte to release nerve growth factor. This compels the neurons to increase their creation of neuron connections. When noradrenaline enters neurons it fortifies and strengthens the cells that are responsible for restoration. Will power can mean the difference between success and failure when one is recovering. Will power not only affects change in our mental attitude but also in our physical healing.
It is likely that from the very beginning of human existence we have had an insatiable drive to seek out higher levels of consciousness. In most cultures there are people who have experimented with various methods to attain knowledge and wisdom. Those who have achieved the higher states of consciousness are called mystics, shamans, witch doctors and a variety of other names that denote the same meaning.
Within most cultures there are many who believe that shamans can cure disease and illnesses by altering their consciousness with a hallucinogenic. When people ingest drugs they physically affect the brain by changing its systems. Often, those who partake in these drugs report that in this heightened state of awareness they are able to contact spirits from other levels of existence.
Furthermore, it is reported that these spirits can be called upon to use their powers to assist in curing illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately, the scientific world finds it difficult to believe in shamans because the data and empirical evidence to back up these assertions is difficult to document. Nonetheless, the adept believe that modifications in perception can aid in reaching the deeper mystical side of the mind.
LSD, magic mushroom and peyote have similar molecular or chemical structures. Each of these chemicals alters the systems of the brain. The same kind of chemical structure is created in the brain when we engage in sensory depravation. The only important difference between ingesting chemicals and taking part in acts of sensory depravation is that sensory depravation slowly increases the chemicals to the frontal lobes, whereas ingested chemicals are released in large amounts very quickly.
This nearly immediate reaction to intense stimulation can overload the brain’s systems and cause temporary or permanent brain damage. Despite the dangers one encounters in the world of the mystic, many people believe the risks are far outweighed by the benefits of experimentation and exploration. Sensory depravation and hallucinogenics act like neural transmitters. Neural transmitters can modify and shape human behavior. They are responsible for our emotions and affect their intensity.
One of these neural transmitters is called saratonin. It has special purposes in the brain, and may affect the brain in different ways depending on which part of the brain it is engaging. Among other things, it controls appetite, learning, memory and mood.
Hallucinations are experienced by the manipulation of the saratonin system. Saratonin is remarkable in that it can function as an inhibitor and as an amplifier depending on its location in the brain. In the matter of hallucinations, saratonin acts in at least two important areas, the thalamus and the frontal lobe.
The thalamus is located approximately in the middle of the brain. The thalamus is the entrance for all sensory information. Everything we see, hear, or touch comes here before moving on to other regions of the brain. The thalamus acts like a valve directing the sensory information to the rest of the brain. Once the information is filtered through the thalamus it travels to other sections of the cortex for final processing. A considerable portion of that information makes its way to the frontal lobe, the brain’s intelligent parts.
The frontal lobe is where we make our decisions and plans. Saratonin can affect the frontal lobes decision-making process. How it affects the process is dependent upon whether it helps or hinders the thalamus.
When the chemicals in psychoactive drugs are released they have the same effect as saratonin. Psychoactive chemicals found in hallucinogenic drugs are similar to saratonin and bind well with the saratonin receptors. Once the receptors bind with the psychoactive drugs they release the valve at the thalamus.
However, psychoactive chemicals bombard the brain with too many electrical signals reaching too many parts of the brain at the same time. This barrage of chemical and electrical stimulation distorts sensory information and causes hallucinations. Although sensory depravation creates the same affect over time, the adept has more control over the intensity of the hallucinations and can lessen its effects by ending the sensory depravation meditation.
Blood cells have receptors for saratonin which double in number with drug inducement or during religious fasts. (One method of sensory depravation) No one knows how, but sensory depravation inhibits the ability of the thalamus to restrain the flow of saratonin.
In addition to saratonin, dopamine, which is another neural transmitter, controls activity in our brain. Similar to saratonin, dopamine is an inhibitor, restraining activity so that we are not overcome by our senses; otherwise it would be impossible for us to remain anchored to our reality.
Like all neural transmitters, dopamine journeys along specific pathways in the brain. Dopamine adjusts the flow of information coming into the brain, particularly to the frontal lobe. When the stream of dopamine is compromised it is believed that it may cause disruptive or disoriented thought. If your system has too much or too little dopamine it can alter your personality considerably.
Dopamine is also thought to be the pleasure chemical, because it produces feelings of bliss. It is widely believed that dopamine helps regulate feelings of pain in the body. Dopamine also plays a part in love. When we fall in love there is a chemical and electrical reaction. The body discharges high levels of dopamine into the brain and it flows together with noradrenaline. This causes the release of substantial levels of adrenaline into the body. This is why we feel an increase in the speed of our heartbeat and an increase in perspiration. To this already potent brew we add one more chemical, pheneletholamine. (The active ingredient in chocolate)
Dopamine, noradrenaline and phenoletholamine working together bring into being a feeling of total bliss. It is a love potion so powerful that it occasionally prevails over brain activity. This causes us to make decisions that are not always wise. Love can indeed blind the eye.
As time passes with our new love, the infatuation ends as the chemical reactions lessen. Our chemically induced passion or chemical event is replaced with a different chemical called oxytosin.
When the love potion has terminated its assault on the brain we often understand that the person we were infatuated with is inappropriate for us. Sometimes we look back at past infatuations and question what we ever saw in the person in the first place.
These three chemicals affect the limbic system, which is the site of our emotions. Stop the flow of chemicals and the love we feel that was affecting the limbic system now is transported into the cortex.
Dopamine activates the release of oxytosin into our system. Oxytosin is termed the other love drug that bonds us together. Oxytosin is the chemical responsible for the feeling of love felt between family members and close friends. When women give birth oxytosin is found in their systems in very high doses. Often termed the cuddle drug, oxytosin makes mothers want to cuddle their babies.
It has always been the position of the great sages that the ego has no inherent existence. Today medical science has arrived at the same astonishing hypothesis. There is now ample evidence to prove that the existence of the ego personality cannot be substantiated. The false self is completely dependent for its existence upon genetics, environment and experience. Furthermore, the ego personality is affected by electrical and chemical balances, which are themselves dependent upon internal chemical fluctuations and external conditions and circumstances.
When we seek deeply into the nature of the true self, it becomes obvious that the ego personality is fundamentally unreal. The value of the ego personality or the false self is as a vehicle for the transportation and cultivation of the real self. Without our name and ego personality we have no opportunity to become enlightened to our self- nature. Our false self enables us to fulfill the destiny and karmic obligations of the true self. Accepting the reality that our false self is dependent for its existence is difficult for us to accept. The ego screams out demanding our attention. Desires, passions, delusions and phenomena cry for recognition and satisfaction.
We will remain attached to the notion of the false self so long as we fail to realize the Essence of Mind. It is nearly impossible for most people to accept the fact that the false self is merely a product of the brain. We are not the body, we are not the mind.
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