In the January 19 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Sharon Begley, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Power to Transform Ourselves, describes how the Dalai Lama is working with neurologists to try to answer the question of how the mind shapes the brain.
Neurologists know that the our mental experiences are created by chemical and electrical changes in the brain?but can our mental experiences, in turn, change the chemical and electrical signals inside the brain? Zen Buddhist meditation says this is the case, but Western science hasn't proved it yet. Begley's book discusses this topic.
Placebos provide evidence that this may be true. These are "fake" pills that the patients who take them think are real, and they often work. If physicians could figure out how to prescribe placebos in place of "real" drugs, they would never have to worry about side effects.
A recent breakthrough shows that attention is a major component in learning and keeping our brains young. Begley quotes researcher Michael Merzenich as saying, "We choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves."
This goes along with the concept in quantum physics that we "create our own reality" and that something does not really exist until it is observed. Are ETs quantum time travelers? One way to investigate this may surprist you--it be through religion.
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