Saturday, October 17, 2009

A few Notes of Interest

First, I'll start off on a happy note: I have Jell-O! It is delicious.

Second, no doubt many others have seen this, but lately it's been particularly apparent to me that people really hate it when you question their lifestyle. I mean, who wouldn't? On the receiving end, things you've been taught; your thought process; things you've known to be true or false, are suddenly being interrogated under a spotlight. Daunting, no? It's a threat to one's method of living. I highly sympathize with reactions of confusion, frustration, sadness, anger - because it is natural to feel that way. I know this all too well.

But even though it hurts, I will be blunt: this is no excuse to disregard inquiry.

I'm speaking from my own stance here. If I question you, I'm doing it to not only understand you better, but to make you understand yourself better, to make you understand what you sound like to me. I ask out of personal curiosity. Yes, I acknowledge that it can and likely will boil your blood. If and when you do the same thing to me, my blood boils as well!

However, there are two different ways a person can take questioning. When I discover something about myself or the world around me, I can fully realize it. I can integrate it into my being. I can learn from my mistakes, and move on, and life can - and usually does - turn out for the better. Like the scientific method, even if I am deeply rooted in my knowledge or opinion, I must always be open to inquiry: mostly and especially towards that which makes more sense. Instead of pouting stubbornly, I take it into consideration.

Call me cold and logical and rational, but allow me to explain. Recently, I was re-taught the three basic functions of the human brain: the "Old" brain, the Limbic system, and the Cerebral Cortex.

The Old brain (also known as the reptilian brain) holds simplistic, primal instincts. Hunger, fear, lust, pugnacity, physical reflexes, etc. This is the animal in every human.

The Limbic holds the emotions. Love, sadness, anger, longing, happiness, etc.

The Cerebral Cortex is where higher cognitive thinking occurs. Rationality, consciousness, logistics, ideas, etc.

Whilst talking about these functions in my Dangerous Ideas course, people in my class tried to put them in order of importance. Although they made good general sense, I proposed that none of these are more important than the next. To make my point more clear, I gave examples. A person who lives only within the reptilian functions obviously lacks in higher understanding and sympathy. A person who relies purely on emotions will forget about their basic needs, and make irrational decisions. A person who only thinks about life and doesn't act is lacking in emotions and basic needs. This applies to all levels between the three functions.

Limbic + Cerebral = repressing deep desires
Cerebral + reptilian = absent of emotions
..And so on and so forth.

When a human is dysfunctional, these three features are not on the same level, or not close to the same level. The more the levels fluctuate, the more dysfunctional the person. A person is at their best when they take care to fulfill all these attributes. The Cerebral checks and balances the Limbic and reptilian so they don't go too far. The Limbic gives personal meaning to the Cerebral and reptilian. The reptilian feeds the pure instinct of the body - to satisfy the animal in all of us, to make our bodies content so they we may focus on other things.

I hope I've covered enough to make sense out of this outlook of mine. I try to balance myself between these kinds of thoughts. So far, it's worked pretty darn well!

To leave on a happy third note, enjoy arts!

Drawings for my project in Game Design class:

And, my kitty:


  1. Very well thought out. I feel like there's a lot of people in the world that would benefit from being conscious of those aforementioned factors.

  2. Very interesting. I like the info about the parts of the brain, usually people try to break it up into dichotomies, like right and left, and emotional and logical. But I like the balance of the three.

    I think there's a few more reasons people get angry and hurt when you question their beliefs. 1) They are unprepared to change themselves in light of new data, 2) They don't know enough about their own beliefs to truly justify them.
    So, your questioning is entirely right =) I had to question my own beliefs a couple of years ago, and in my quest, I asked many other people I knew and loved questions. I received many different responses, angry, sad, mean, etc. I sort of stumbled upon what you've explained here so succinctly.

    I also believe in probabilities. That is to say, my beliefs are expressed as probabilities of the different conflicting possibilities that I've discovered about life. When either one thing or another thing can be true, I can express my belief best in a percentage of which thing I think is most probably right, based on every related experience I've had.

    Cool post =) I love thinking. Hey, check out my blog too!