torsdag 30 augusti 2007

Even more about the brain…

Bosch writes at page 54 in her book:

“There are several ways to deny the truth. We [PRI] define three. All of them serve to substitute another reality for what is the truth: False Hope, False Power (Anger or Denial of Needs) and the Primary Defence [they mean that all people use all these defences to different degrees, but we prefer some before others. Women usually False Hope, False Power Denial of Needs and admits more to the Primary defence. Men usually use False Power Anger, False Power Denial of Needs and, without admitting it, Primary Defence]. All three defence-mechanisms helped the child we were to survive childhood, and all three continue to operate when we are adults. However, when we are adults we don’t need them anymore. The past is over and knowing the truth isn’t life-threatening anymore, although it was when we were children [and although it still feels life-threatening, when we really are confronted with these feelings from past events we couldn’t process then].

Unfortunately our mind doesn’t recognize this. Every time we come across a Symbol (anything that reminds us unconsciously of the past) our consciousness shifts from the adult state to the childhood state.

LeDoux’s brain research explains how this mechanism works on a neurological level. A part of our brain, the amygdala, has a special function concerning threatening events [and they trigger the defence mechanism we used as children]. When something threatening happens the memory of that event is stored in the amygdala. The amygdala is able to operate independently from the part of our brain that is more rational and so memories of threatening events are stored in the amygdala without our rational brain necessarily being aware of it. The amygdala functions as a storage place for strongly loaded emotional memories. This storage process has an explicit survival function /…/

… many events the amygdala still has ‘on file’ have become outdated, since they were threatening to us when we were children, but are no longer to us as adults [and thus cause unnecessary problems, sometimes causing us great troubles]/…/

Everytime the amygdala sounds alarm it is because something is working as a Symbol (it reminds us/our amygdala of something threatening in the past), and as a result we go into Childhood Consciousness: reacting to the present as if it were the past [and reacting in a ‘childish manner’, as the child reacted then!?].”

We have learned to switch so immediately between Adult and Childhood consciousness that we are often not even aware of that's what’s happening.

What was life-saving then has become a problem now. We are more or less unable to process difficult events in the present properly, and some of them not at all... With all what that means for our life now...

About neocortex, hippocampus, and the amygdala in English. Brain-info here.

Om neocortex, hippocampus, reptilhjärnan och amygdala på svenska.

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