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Consciousness And the Bio-Computer

by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Good afternoon.

Now we have 3 brains that allow us to go from thinking to doing to being. Each brain has its own individual biocomputer, its own anatomy and own circuitry, its own physiology and chemistry; they even have their own history as well as their own sense of time and space.

Now, the first brain—the neocortex—it’s the newest brain in evolution… it’s that walnut-shaped structure that sits on the outside with all of its folds and valley in yellow there. It’s the newest, the most highly evolved and highly specialized in human beings… right under the neocortex is called the limbic brain, the chemical brain, the emotional brain, or the mammalian brain… it’s about the size of a lemon, and it’s responsible for regulating internal chemical order.

Right in the back of the brain stem there in red is the cerebellum—it’s the reptilian brain; it’s the oldest brain in evolution. It’s the seat of the subconscious mind.

Now your brain is made up of about 100 billion neurons. If you took 100 billion sheets of paper and stacked them on top of each other, it would be 5,000 miles high—that’s the distance from Los Angeles to London.

Now, nerve cells possess the unique ability to store and communicate information between each other. So your neocortex (your thinking brain) is the seat of your conscious awareness. You’re listening to me right now with your neocortex. And what the neocortex loves to do is to gather information. And every time you learn something new, you make a new synaptic connection in your thinking brain—that’s what learning is: learning is forging new connections, and every time you learn something new, your brain physically changes.

So you read a book on how to ride a bicycle, you read a book on how to build a doghouse, you read a book on how to dance the salsa, how to cook French cuisine, how to become successful, how to be a better parent. And you brain literally upscales its hardware to reflect a new level of mind.

The principle in neuroscience is this: nerve cells that fire together, wire together. And as you begin to learn new information, you biologically wire that information into your cerebral architecture. So if learning new things is making new synaptic connections, then remembering is maintaining and sustaining those connections. Just like any relationship, the more you communicate, the more bonded you become… and neurons are exactly the same way.

Now once these neurons fire and wire together, they literally form networks [which] neuroscientists call neural-networks. Now neural networks are just gangs of neurons that have fired and wired together to form a community of neuro-synaptic connections. It can be related to an idea, a concept, a memory, experience, a skill, or behavior in action.

But these networks actually have an electro-chemical component, and if you want to see mind in action, watch this: [brilliant flashes of light in the brain in the video] “That’s a thought—right there… again!” So you generate more electro-impulses in your brain in one day that all the cell phones on the planet put together.

Now the neuroscientific definition of mind is “Mind is the brain in action”… mind is the brain at work; mind is what the brain does. And because we have 100 billion neurons seamlessly pieced together, we can make the brain fire together in different sequences, different patterns, and different combinations. And whenever we make the brain work differently, we are changing our mind.

So once you’ve understood something intellectually, theoretically… once you’ve understood something philosophically… if you take what you’ve intellectually learned in your thinking brain and you apply it, you personalize it, you demonstrate it, it means you are going to have to modify your behavior in some way. And if you change your actions and you do something differently, you’re going to have a new experience.

Now when you’re in the midst of an experience, everything you’re seeing and smelling and tasting and feeling and hearing—all of your five senses—are gathering this vital information from the environment. And as you begin to process all this information and it’s rushing back to your brain, jungles of neurons begin to organize themselves into patterns. The moment those neurons string into place, the brain releases a chemical, and that chemical is called a feeling, or an emotion.

So experience then enriches the circuitry in your brain neurologically, but then it produces a chemical that’s released in the second brain, called the limbic brain, or the emotional brain. So you can remember your first kiss, you can remember graduating from college, you can remember the birth of your first child, you can remember finishing a marathon, you can remember catching a fish off the coast of Mexico… and of taking it home and cooking it, and drinking some really good wine that tastes good, and feeling the ocean breeze on your face, and seeing the sunset… and we could say that you were altered from that experience. The problem is, you can’t remember what you had for dinner the night before. That’s because routine lulls the brain to sleep.

So a great example of this is most Americans can remember exactly where they were on 9/11—you can tell me who you were with, what time of day it was, and what you were doing. You could say then when you were in the midst of that moment or that experience, everything you were seeing or hearing changed your internal chemical state… and the moment your brain felt altered in some way chemically, you perked up and you paid attention to whoever or whatever caused it, and that event—in and of itself—is called a memory.

Now, let’s say you read the book called, “From Forgiveness to Compassion to Unconditional Love” and this book had inspired you so much so that you decided to read it twice. And as you began to review this information in your mind and contemplate on it and self-reflect, you began to cause those neurons to form into networks, to reflect a new level of mind, you find yourself in the shower thinking about it… you’re driving to work and you’re contemplating these concepts. You begin to talk to your friends about what you learn, and you’re beginning to develop long-term relationships in those neurons. And all of a sudden, you’re moving around your office and you say, “You know, you need to be more compassionate, you know”… Wow! And to someone else, you say, “You need to forgive.” And everybody is impressed with your knowledge; they’re knocking on your office door and they’re asking you to administer to them, and you’re resolving everybody’s problems. Things are going really well.

All of a sudden, you’re driving home from work and you get a call on your cell phone, and it’s your spouse. And your spouse tells you that they forgot to mention in the morning that it’s your mother-in-law’s birthday. And you pull over on the side of the road and you think, “I hate my mother-in-law! She hurt my feelings 10 years ago! She tells the same stories over and over again!” And you begin to remember that you had some pretty stressful moments that branded you emotionally from your past with your mother-in-law.

Now, stress is when your body is knocked out of homeostasis. Stress is when your body is knocked out of balance. Now, when you see a lion, you begin to turn on a primitive nervous system… but it doesn’t even have to be a lion—you could see your mother-in-law and it produces the same exact effect.

Now let’s go one step further: it doesn’t even have to be the physical appearance of your mother-in-law… you can begin to think about certain things and auto-suggest, and you can turn on the stress response just by thought alone.

Now, your body is your unconscious mind. It does not know the difference between the actual experience in reality that produces the emotions, and the emotion that you fabricate by thought alone. To the body, it believes it’s in that experience. So the moment the limbic brain begins to make a blend of neuro-peptides, it begins to signal the hormonal centers, and you get a rush of energy to prepare you for this event, real or imagined. The moment that happens, you become altered in some way, fight or flight nervous system causes your pre-pupils to dilate, your mouth gets a little dry, all of a sudden your heart rate begins to change, your respiratory rate changes, blood is being sent to your extremities, and now you’re prepared to do battle with your mother-in-law, or never go to the dinner. So stay and fight, or to run.

Now what was once highly adaptive all of a sudden is maladaptive. Because when we turn on the stress response but we can’t turn it off, now we’re headed for dis-ease.

So then you’re sitting on the side of the road, and then you think, “I’ve read the book on compassion. Damn!” The moment you begin to think about what you have to do, something very natural happens—you begin to think about what you were thinking about. You begin to pay attention to how you’re reacting. You begin to notice how you’re feeling. And that concept in neuroscience is called “metacognition.” We can observe who we’re being. And because we can observe who we’re being, it means we can modify our behaviors to do a better job in life. So now the frontal lobe is the seat of your awareness; it’s the home of the “you” and the “me”. When you begin to think about who you no longer want to be, the frontal lobe acts like a volume control and it begins to lower the volume of the circuits in your brain that are connected to the old self. And as it begins to silence those circuits that are connected to the old level of mind, the old level of mind no longer fires and you’re observing it without participating in it.

And as you begin to silence those circuits, nerve cells that no longer fire together, no longer wire together… and you begin to biologically break down the circuits in your brain that are connected to the old self and to the old mind.

Now as you’re sitting on the side of the road, you think, “What piece of knowledge could I apply in this situation from what I learned in the book?” And as you begin to plan your actions, and you begin to think about new ways of being, and you begin to put yourself into the equation, your brain naturally begins to fire in new sequences, and new patterns, and new combinations.

And whenever you make your brain work differently, you’re changing your mind, because mind is the brain in action. And as the brain begins to fire in new ways, and you produce a new level of mind, nerve cells that fire together, wire together. And you begin to install the neurological hardware ahead of the actual experience, and now you have circuits in place to use when you get into that dinner.

So now, as you ask yourself, “What is compassion?” and you begin to remember all these different things that you learned in the book, the frontal lobe—like a great symphony leader—begins to synchronize these circuits… and when it begins to produce a certain level of coherence, a certain level of mind, your brain naturally creates a hologram, or an image. And that image then becomes the internal representation of what you are going to use when you walk into that dinner. We would call that “intention.”

Now there’s a very, very unique shuffle that kind of goes on microscopically between different circuits in your brain… you’re trying to fire this new thought called compassion. But remember, you’ve fired and wired all these other circuits based on the last 10 years. So as you’re beginning to fire this new thought, all these other thoughts are saying, “You hate your mother-in-law, you don’t want to go to that dinner, why don’t you start tomorrow? This isn’t a good time to do this!”

But if you persist with a certain amount of amplitude and you put your intention behind that thought, sooner or later, that thought will be the strongest and loudest voice in your head. Now the moment that becomes the loudest voice in your head, the brain has to seal that circuit more permanently.

So when the action potential is firing down the neuron from presynaptic clap to the postsynaptic clap, there’s a glue that seals the circuit called “neural growth factor”… and it travels in the opposite direction… but there’s only a certain amount of that neural growth factor to go around… so it starts to steal the glue from the neighboring circuits… and when that happens, there goes the memory of your mother-in-law hurting your feelings 10 years ago, there goes the thought that you hate her, there goes the impatience, there goes the intolerance, and the only signal that is traveling to that neuron is called “compassion.”

Now every place where one neuron connects with another neuron is a memory… when this happens, you begin to biologically and neurologically prune away the old memory of the old self… and this is the science of changing your mind.

If you want to see what it looks like in real time… let’s try that again… If you want to see what it looks like in real time—unhooking from the old self connecting reconnecting to the new self… this can happen in moments.

Now, you get back on the road, you make your U-turn; you’re heading to the dinner, you’re reminding yourself of who you no longer want to be… silencing those circuits in the brain. You begin to think about who you DO want to BE based on the knowledge you’ve learned, and you’re priming your brain ahead of the actual experience… you walk into the dinner and you get your behaviors to match your intentions… you get your actions equal to your thoughts… you get your mind and body working together, and you do exactly what the book says.

The moment that happens, all of a sudden, you feel compassion. The moment your heart begins to open and you feel compassion, you are teaching your body emotionally to understand what your mind intellectually understood. You see, knowledge is for the mind, but experience is for the body. And when we begin to experience compassion, now we are embodying knowledge.

The word is becoming flesh, and the limbic brain makes a new batch of peptides that signals the body, and you begin to literally change your genetic expression, because there’s new information coming to the gene… and epigenetically, we signal genes from the environment. And you are changing the fabric of you because you’re instructing your body chemically to understand what your mind has intellectually and philosophically understood.

But it’s not enough to do it once—you can’t forgive your mother-in-law one time, and expect to be on the stained-glass windows at church. You’ve got to be able to repeat the experience; you’ve got to be able to do it over and over again… you have to do it so many times that you no longer have to think about it. And when you do it over and over again, you neuro-chemically condition the body to memorize compassion as well as the conscious mind. And when that happens, when the mind and body are working together, where the body knows as well as the mind, you activate that 3rd brain called the cerebellum—the seat of your sub-conscious mind. You’ve practiced it so many times, you know how, but you don’t know how you know how. It’s automatic, it’s second nature, it’s easy, it’s a habit, it’s a skill, it’s an automatic behavior. And when you get to this level of memorizing an internal chemical order, a level of innate now—it’s so innate in you that it’s who you are—when you get to that point, where no person, no thing, no experience can remove you from it, because you have sustained this level of coherence, now you’re in a state of being.

And so the way we transform the world is we transform ourselves… and when we’re in that state of being, we give people permission to do the same.

Thanks for listening.

Article by by Dr. Joe Dispenza,
Source: -- Transcript by Jennifer Hughes - 10/26/14 - From "Dr Joe Dispenza- TED Talks"

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