Neurological process for superior emotional intelligence

“Forgive them, for, they know not what they do” – these are the famous words of Jesus from the Cross asking for forgiveness for those who crucified him. Of course this is also his plea for forgiveness for the entire humanity. Majority of us are in the same state of being UNAWARE of what we are doing to various degrees. And this is the origin of conditioning / addictions / habits etc and the consequent miseries.
I must caution at the outset that neurology is not going to offer any magical formula or a short cut for getting rid of our addictions. It only makes us aware of certain processes and possibilities. If being unaware is the origin of addictions, then, obviously the opposite state of being aware should lead to freeing ourselves of addictions. Right? And as I had mentioned in previous posts, the centre of awareness lies in our Frontal lobe or more precisely Prefrontal Cortex of our Frontal Lobe. On the other hand , the centre where activities take place without our awareness is our Midbrain. Psychologists refer to these two centres as Conscious self and the Subconscious self respectively. Let us now examine the neurological processes involved in de-addiction.
As I mentioned in the previous post the neurological process of mental conditioning involves first the conscious part of our brain learning new ideas or thoughts and then copying the same onto the subconscious part of our brain, governed by our midbrain. Once this process is complete,the new idea or thought becomes a mental conditioning, which gets recalled instantaneously without any effort whatsoever on the part of our conscious brain. Now the question is how do we get rid of such acquired conditionings. It is the reverse process. That is , we need to first bring the deep rooted conditioning out into our conscious brain from the midbrain where it is residing. This process involves accessing our subconscious and making it conscious. In the second step , we need to throw it out consciously from our system , while simultaneously replacing the same with agreeable / positive thoughts or ideas or sentiments. This involves repeated mental rehearsals. The most difficult and the trickiest part of the whole process is accessing our subconscious. There is evidence to show that this can be done during meditative state (when the brain is in the so called ‘theta’ state’).
The neurological process involves the following steps:
Subconscious negative emotions / conditioning —> Conscious negative emotion —>Conscious modification of negative to positive emotion —> Transplanting the new positive emotion to Subconscious brain.

Let me try to illustrate the above process with a specific example. Let us suppose that we want to genuinely get rid of our addiction to , say , our unruly behaviour caused by anger and jealousy. How do we tackle this? First of all we need to understand that this is our subconscious behaviour in the sense that in spite of our best intentions and resolve at the conscious level to behave in a normal way , we succumb to different situations in a spontaneous manner resulting in angry outburst. Why is it spontaneous and uncontrollable? Because its root cause lies at the subconscious part of the brain which in not in control of our Conscious brain. Then what do we need to do to access the subconscious? Go into deep meditation wherein the conscious brain becomes quiet and almost merges into the subconscious – that is,we become conscious of our subconscious thought patterns. Under those conditions it would be possible to modify the pattern of thoughts into positive ones. Mental rehearsal could be the key in achieving this modification. For instance,we could visualize ourselves alternately in anger and in peace in response to a given situation. When we watch these contrasting responses to a given situation with genuine awareness , we would instantaneously see how miserable we look when we are angry and agitated. The contrasting picture of feeling great when we visualize ourselves responding in a peaceful manner to the same situation would instantly compel us to change ourselves for the better. Repeated mental rehearsals, putting into actual practice what we had visualized mentally and copying the same into our subconscious behaviour would ensure that we reverse our behaviour pattern to the positive.

In other words, once we access the subconscious, we apply the principle of THINKING – DOING – BEING to change ourselves. Neurologically,it is all about interplay between the Conscious brain controlled by FRONTAL LOBE and the Subconscious brain controlled by MIDBRAIN.
‘THINKING’ refers to repeated mental rehearsals, ‘DOING’ is actually practicing the chosen behaviour and ‘BEING’ involves a process by which the newly practiced bahavioral pattern gets integrated into our personality. That is, the new positive behaviour pattern would show up without any effort since it has become part of our Subconscious system.

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Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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