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Darlene Forde's picture

And the Brain turns Dreams into reality?

I have always been fascinated by the mind-body connection. More specifically, I have been intrigued by attempts to use dreams to structure a new reality. My personal library reflects this preoccupation with books that would be classified as"motivational". Including such motivational classics as Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, David Schwartz's The Magic of Thinking Big or Dwayne Dyer's The Power of Intention. One common thread in these books is that if you concentrate on something and focus your energy on it is more likely to happen.

For example in Write It Down, Make It Happen, author Henriette Anne Klauser offers a technique which may be useful in "teaching" our nervous system new pathways. On a superficial level we may understand this as a mere visualization technique. According to Klauser, the process of writing down our goals and aspirations activates our reticular activating system (RAS)—"believed to be the center of arousal and motivation in animals (including humans)", "crucial for maintaining the state of consciousness". (Wikipedia). RAS sends helps the brain to distinguish between what is important and what is unimportant. She describes RAS as awakening the brain to consciousness as it filters input and data from our inputs.

If we extrapolate from this, we may imagine that repeatedly writing down our goals and aspirations would activate our brain on a number of levels. When we write we create a picture in our head that is visual, varied receptors (i.e. our mechanoreceptors, chemoreceptors, proprioceptors, etc) are at work during this process. They will create or reinforce certain synaptic pathways in our brain. We are in effect teaching our brains new patterns of synaptic firing which it can recognize. This leads to creative thinking as our brains "learn" to interpret new information in terms of this pathway.

For example, if you wanted to buy a home in the ideal neighborhood at just the right price, the process of writing down your goals everyday would develop a neuronal pathway pattern of house buying. Later that day when you see a newspaper, your brain might trigger your this pathway and "inspire" you to examine the real estate section of the paper or remember that you know a friend of a friend in real estate.

The long and short is that there are different ways of creating and establishing neuronal patterns. We should think of ways that we can strengthen and develop these systems to create patterns and establish behavior in the ways we want.

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