Friday, September 05, 2008

Brain development

We start life with an undeveloped brain & central nervous system. For the first 18 months the brain is still evolving and we survive because of the body genetics and our parental support. We start to learn to walk and start basic speech and simple concepts. At around two years of age the brain is developed enough for more complex concepts. Perhaps the most important concept at this stage is the concept of separation. Prior to this a child will run and play. It will run from room to room and enjoy the game of hide & seek. When the child is hungry or lost it only has to cry and it's mother will find and feed it - for those of us who are lucky enough to be brought up in a healthy and prosperous family.

We develop the concept of separation, which is a wonderful and necessary occurence. We can now understand that different rooms of our home can be accessed at will; we can run from room to room with all the delight of a child. This is such a happy time. However, because of this dualistic world there is a down side. The down side is with the concept of separation. We no more feel intimately connected with our mother - the very source of survival, and so we develop anxiety when she is not in view which can lead to fear for our survival simply because we are totaly dependent on 'mother'. With this mental developement we come to understand that there are other competitors for 'mother'. There is a father and other siblings, all wanting her time. This brings in the need for competition and the byproduct of competition is jeolousy. Aloneness can at times become loneliness. And so this time of development is a wonderfull one of exploration but is a terrifying one for the individual. This intence emotional time spearheaded by the fear of our survival is the basis of the ego. The ego tries it's best to help us survive and sometimes the old techniques from chilhood carry on a few years but the ego is here to help us solve our problems. When we go too near to danger we experience fear and so it has worked but it can become too strong an emotion causing us to withdaw into a very safe 'cave like' existance.

As we travel through our lives we try to increase the pleasure while reducing the pain. There are many paths, some will try drugs, some power, some politics all in order to get along and to try to reduce the fear based feeling. For some of us we have a strong feeling that something is wrong - we are quite conscious of this feeling and we endeavour to find the cause and to put it right. We start to search for meaning, many get caught up in ideologies, many in the various new age philosophies. Some find a niche for a while, body work, meditation. Some go on to teach but for perhaps an ever smaller percentage we go on with the exploration, searching new areas on our apparent journey.

Lucky breaks, fortunate meetings, synchronicity will lead us on to the next lesson and once learnt frees us for the next step, to the next lesson. As time goes by we feel that we are learning something, achieving our goales but there is always that undeniable feeling that something is wrong, in the background, pushing us forwards. So far we feel a progression in our search, right up until the very last step when there is a sudden arrival at knowing, knowing what we are - not what we always thought we were. At this point enlightenment or what I prefer to call self realisation happens. With this understanding comes not the belief that we are enlightened but the realisation that there really isn't a 'me' or 'I' here in the first place.

With this comes the feeling that nothing is wrong anymore.

Enlightenment isn't freedom for the idividual but freedom from the individul!

It is not a sudden knowing of everything, it is an undertanding that allows a further unfolding into a deeper understanding of how this whole existence works. It's a very simple and complete understanding and fully satisfying.