Within the Joyous Gard Cycle of Days, the subject of emotion begins the plunge into the “Inner Mind.” And it truly is within the intricate structures of the inner brain that the cellular processes produce emotion. Anatomical structures with odd names like hippocampus, hypothalamus and cerebellum regulate the release of hormones and other signaling proteins responsible for maintaining general health and a sense of well-being.
Scientists have at times argued the similarities of the brain and the modern-day computer, both of which rely on signals in order to function: the computer, electrical, and the brain, electro-chemical. They both (brain and computer) process information in a digital vs. an analog fashion, using discrete signals that are either present or not, on or off. In the brain, as on a computer chip, there are no faint or strong signals, just signals.
But how, you might ask, does cerebral digital-processing account for the full range of feelings which vary in intensity — the emotion of sadness, for example, which can range from being almost unbearable to just barely noticeable? To help understand, think of a compact disc (CD) player. Even though it operates by reading digital bits (information) burned on to a disc, the information itself can represent the full range of sounds and colors.
Day 16 Guide
Because so very little is actually known about the human brain, we don’t know how best to protect it. Adequate sleep and the freedom from drug or alcohol abuse are the two most oft mentioned prescriptions. But in my opinion, you’ll do well to keep it occupied also. Read books and keep your mind focused on something. Change up your thoughts, and push yourself to feel the range of emotions. Don’t spend your life chasing euphoria and hiding from sadness. To feel anything, it helps to have felt everything.
© 2006, Levi Hill