This is a simplified explanation of how we learn. The average human brain has between 90 and 100 billion neuron cells. Neurons are the brain’s messengers. Chemical and electrical signals are sent and received between neurons in the brain and throughout the nervous system to muscles and tissues. Whenever we experience a sensory input (sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or any combination of these), a pathway is triggered between neurons in the brain. When the same sensory input is experienced again it reinforces the existing pathway. After many repetitions, the pathway becomes entrenched. The brain will default to an established pathway often with only a part of the original sensory input. This is how we learn. If this did not happen, we would continually have to relearn everything. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have a buildup of plaque in the brain that prevents these pathways from becoming established. As a result, the person has poor or no short-term memory.
Defaults on a computer work in a similar manner. When I was creating this document, the program often anticipated what I was going to say and completed the phrase for me. This is based on logic and previously established patterns. I can either accept this completion or change it to reflect what I intended. I must be aware or alert however to catch subtle differences. Although the defaults can save me time it is important that they accurately reflect my intentions. The word paradigm literally means pattern. In this sense, a paradigm is an entrenched thought pattern in the brain. Our ego is a mental construct of whom we think we are based on our established paradigms. The ego however is not the brain but merely a form of programming which could have evolved in an infinite number of ways depending on each person’s life experiences.
The ego is an illusory, temporary identity but is obsessed with its perceived reality and fights for its selfish survival often harming itself and others in the process. Every sensory input is different so we must be conscious enough to ensure that our perceptions are accurate. Stereotypes, biases, and prejudices are examples of established paradigms. We have a saying in society that “Practice Makes Perfect”. I believe it should be “Practice Makes Permanent”. We can learn something completely wrong and once established it can be difficult to change. Just ask any golfer. Because our ego evolves mainly without our conscious involvement we often behave or react out of habit rather than rational thought and behaviour. The solution is to become more aware of our thoughts and behaviour, transcend our ego, and connect with our true essence, the spirit or genie within.
About the Blog
The purpose of my Blog is to communicate with my readers.