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Showing posts from March, 2009

Self, Others and the Inbetween

In 2005 Scientific American ran an article called "The Neurobiology of the Self" by Karl Zimmer which investigated how we create a sense of self at the level of the brain itself. Here are two interesting quotes from that article:

1. Several brain regions have been found to respond differently to information relating to the self than they do to information relating to others, even to very familiar others. For instance, such regions may be more active when people think about their own attributes than when they think about the characteristics of other individuals. These regions could be part of a self-network.

and

2. The sight of someone being touched made her feel as if someone were touching her in the same place on her own body. She thought everyone had that experience.

That last one is a real kicker - apparently our brain has to learn how to differentiate what is "self" and what is "other", and some people get it wrong!

Of course, as a Buddhist, I am convinced…

Purification & Detirmination

Monday, March 9th

PERSONAL
Purification and Determination - two things that usually occupy my every Monday morning.

The purification part starts with cleaning my office and, while I do that, thinking about things I regret and would like to do differently. From impatience with my two little girls, to one too many days sipping wine. I'm by no means a slosh, having only 3 to 4 glasses of the red on average in a week, but still I grabbed for a bottle last Tuesday much to the disdain of my 6 year old:

"Daddy - what are you doing? This isn't Daddy day or anything!"

Don't you love 'em? No beating around the bush. 6 years old and full of wisdom. So that gives me pause, I wonder. Hmmm - maybe getting tooooo carried away here? Nothing to be alarmed about, but Monday's the day to catch things before they get to crisis stage. To look at my life again and ask: am I still going in the direction I want to be going?

And then comes the determination - setting goals, both valu…