“A piece of your brain the size of a grain of sand would contain one hundred thousand neurons, two million axons and one billion synapses, all ‘talking to’ each other. Given these figures, it’s been calculated that the number of possible brain states – the number of permutations and combinations of activity that are theoretically possible – exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe.”
V.S. Ramachandran, Phantoms In The Brain (1998)
What The …??
The need to challenge the precision of the above quote may wrongfully render its message less than true. The data may be questioned, however its accurate implication is that every event, observation, and spoken word (expressed and heard) throughout your lifetime, generates an impact inside your brain. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” (Newton’s Third Law) An event’s relative impact is recorded by how the information is both processed and stored. Together, these actions bring about perception; that which lends unique meaning to life experience. Perception of each life event will affect your overall ability to live a purposeful and meaningful life.
As humans, our brains are uniquely endowed with expansive grey matter that allows for a vast network of internal communications. From this broad foundation, problem solving, interpersonal communication and creativity are born. As the previous quote implies, we were given the awesome birthright to render the impossible, possible. While demonstrating gratitude for this legacy is primary, let us next consider how to make the most of our inheritance.
For anyone who desires a life of purpose and meaning, you will be wise to first cultivate fertile ground in the mind…
Cognitive ability; the human capacity for thought via new connections between neurons
a) Genetics – Innate
b) Animation – Applied living
Clearly, the brain of Einstein and other great “thinkers” had some superior abilities to link old and new information, enabling them to use encoded information that had been stored as a result of past learning. Along with superior genetic ability, they required intention (i.e. to devote one’s life work to the discovery of universal knowledge (i.e. curiosity) along with commitment (i.e. persistent attention to their quest). This is the formula for engaging the brain in a ritual of cultivating new neural connections (i.e. creative insight). Harnessing the unique advantages of your genetic code permits you to act on free choice. From here, you can purposefully dedicate your life to humanity, in alignment with your highest goals. One might say that brilliance lies neither in our genes nor in our tenacity alone. Human genius ultimately lies in the balanced integration of both essential attributes applied to the quest for Truth.
How is this awareness relevant to every mortal being?
There are likely few humans who own the rare genetic predisposition of Einstein or Newton. Yet, if you accept that the number of possible synapses (brain cell connections) is virtually infinite inside all of us, you are forced to conclude that each of us is heir to unspoken potential for limitless self-insight and awakening.