Thursday, July 24, 2014

Making the mind the servant, not the master

by Maryanne Comaroto

Within your body (as opposed to your mind), you have a powerful internal system for finding out who people are. This "belly brain" or "intuition" is a pre-cognitive filter for more than 90% of the information that comes in from new people you meet. Your senses and your intuition work together to measure things like body language, posture, tone of voice, and eye movements in order to make a judgement call about whether or not you are in a safe situation, and to what degree you should allow yourself to open up to this person, or close yourself off. I'm sure you've had many experiences before where you met someone for the first time, and instantly you felt your body either opening or closing toward them, depending on what your intuition told you. It's a very powerful and very accurate tool to determine just how safe or dangerous a situation is, and what sort of person you have standing before you. This initial filtering process happens very quickly, and within a few seconds you will probably already know everything you need to know, if you are paying attention.

But this is not where the information processing stops. After the intuition has done its thing, the information makes its way to the brain, where a secondary filtering occurs. Most of what goes on during this process is pattern recognition based on historical data. In other words, you have a huge database in your mind of past experiences, pattern recognition, and so forth, and when you meet a new person, your brain compares their incoming data against what you already know, and it places the new person into a category you can easily understand and respond to. Your body, in turn, will either expand or contract.

This is where the real trouble happens. Your brain's database is filled not only with your experiences, but also with beliefs it has inherited or learned, and stories that it has been told. Women who wear short skirts and have tattoos are trashy and uneducated. Men with scruffy hair and beards are lazy, unemployed losers. Our brains are littered with all sorts of information like this - some of it accurate, some of it not. While this second phase of filtering does help us, if we let it override our true instinct and don't cross-check, that's when when we set ourselves up for danger down the road.

I'm sure you've had situations where you broke up with someone, and then looked back and said, "I knew it, I had a feeling things weren't right." Because you did know it! But the brain sees pain coming in the short term, and steps in to keep you from making a smart decision that would be better for you in the long term. Because that's what the brain does - it is a pain and pleasure center, a receptor rather than a generator. In other words, it is a great servant, but a terrible master. Your intuition, on the other hand, never lies to you. Unlike the brain, the body is incapable of sending you a message it doesn't actually believe. It is connected to the larger sense of truth, and I would urge you to relearn how to connect with this truth, rather than relying solely on the brain's second-hand information, which as you have seen in your own experiences, hasn't always led you to good places.

So why on earth would we allow our flawless intuition to take a back seat, when it is the best tool we have to steer us away from the darkness and into greener pastures? Well, this has been a hot topic among philosophers, psychologists, and novelists for centuries - the terrible, ongoing death of the divine feminine in each of us. In order to stop putting ourselves in danger, it is essential that we reawaken our intuition, and learn to reconnect with our BIG brain.

You can see for yourself how your body is smarter than your brain - sit down with a pen and paper and make a chart of all the times your body has been right, over the times your brain has. Which comes out ahead? Next week in Part Two, we'll learn how to get back in touch with our intuition and regain the ability to be heart-smart! Stay tuned...

- Maryanne

by Maryanne Comaroto of Maryanne Live

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