Germs and Brains

Before the discovery of germs and bacteria, people believed that IMG_0761physical illnesses were caused by wrathful Gods, spirits entering their bodies, the evil eye and a variety of other fantastical interpretations. They then attempted to “cure” the illnesses in some pretty strange and sometimes barbaric ways, such as using bleeding cups to take blood from a patient’s part of the body that was diseased.  Eventually people learned that disease was caused by germs and bacteria, and they gave up their irrational beliefs and began treating illness much more effectively.

Today we have this same situation in our attitudes and judgments about our own and other people’s emotions and behaviors.  We are so quick to dismiss people as lazy, cheap, bad, wrong, irrational, etc., without having the slightest idea what may be motivating their behaviors.  We make these kind of judgments dozens of times every day, without giving a second thought to the possibility that there may be a perfectly reasonable psychological or neurological underlying cause which we don’t understand.  Just like in the past with physical disorders, our ignorance of the machination of our brains leads us to attribute our own fantastical and erroneous interpretations.

Our judgments arise from our own psychological and neurological biased lenses that cause us to form some ideal sense of how people “should” behave. We are now at the cusp of a breakthrough in human understanding of how our minds give rise to our behavior which will have even greater impact than the discoveries leading to our understanding of germ pathology. These scientific breakthroughs will give us the knowledge to understand ourselves and each other in a way which will render these harsh judgments obsolete. The more we learn and apply this new knowledge to our lives, the more compassionate, patient and kind we will become, with ourselves and each other. When we do, a whole new life is waiting for us.  And just like we view the medieval medical practices in the past as barbaric, we and future generations will view our current harsh and ignorant attitudes and behaviors toward ourselves and others as barbaric.

My mission is to bring awareness of this knowledge to as many people as I can, and to provide the tools needed to begin applying it in our day to day lives.  I need your help.  Please share this blog with everyone you know.

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