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Friday, August 17, 2012

Hard Wiring Issues

Popular 'mythology' tells us that many of our perceptions are 'taught' or 'nurtured.'  Social scientists of the post-modern strain like to think that matters like gender roles are strictly a cultural phenomenon, and if we do not teach gender roles, we can achieve 'equality' or whatever the latest social engineering goal is these days.

Sure, society plays an important part in self-perception, but we cannot use our minds to become whatever we want.  There are certain aspects of our perception that are utterly 'natural' and cannot be avoided.

A simple example of this can be found in this story about 'phantom limbs':

This story mentions Dr. Ramachandran, who's brain research at UCSD has been the subject of several popular books.  Phantom limbs are one of his specialties, and he has dome much to help us understand the neurological implications of body-to-mind relations.

Why is this important to addictions?  Because addiction arises when the human being fights his own nature, part of which is the neurological system which, in the case of the phantom hand, expects for things things to be a certain way and goes haywire when they aren't.

If the lower brain expects ten fingers and ten toes, what else does it expect?  Companionship, love, kindness from fellow humans?

If we cut these off, should we not expect problems with our entire personhood?  Part of what it is to be happy is to allow ourselves to leave unnatural restrictions and return to our true nature.  Our 'fallenness' is precisely the opposite: it is the inclination or ability for us to think we can successfully will ourselves out of our own nature.

Our destruction as persons comes when we go against who we really are, and this fight begins within ourselves, the battle between the 'will' or our reason and the totality of who we are as persons.  We are not 'all will'.  Rather, we are a composite, which the will is part of.

We must be cautious in making our decisions as persons to accept who we are as humans and not try to will ourselves into a condition or situation which is unnatural.  To do so creates suffering, like the 'phantom limb' described above, and this suffering often leads to addiction.

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