Thursday, February 28

Quotes from Andrew Newberg

Our brains are instinctually prone to reject information that does not conform to our prior experience and knowledge. Simply put, old beliefs, like habits, die hard.

I would argue that much of human communication is primarily concerned with getting other people to think, believe, and behave as we do and vice versa.

Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes. Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you''re acting in an irrational way. When your frontal lobes shut down, it''s impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion. Instead, you are likely to feel self-justified and self-righteous, and when that happens the communication process falls apart. Anger also releases a cascade of neurochemicals that actually destroy those parts of the brain that control emotional reactivity.

When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which causes the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease. Conscious intention is the key, and the more you focus on your inner values, the more you can take charge of your life.

When you intensely meditate on a specific goal over an extended period of time, your brain begins to relate to your idea as if it were an actual object in the world by increasing activity in the thalamus, part of the reality-making process of the brain. The concept begins to feel more obtainable and real, and this is the first step in motivating other parts of the brain to take deliberate action in the world.

The brain is a collection of physical structures that gather and process sensory, cognitive, and emotional data; the mind is the phenomenon of thoughts, memories, and emotions that arise from the perceptual processes of the brain.

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