Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Complexity, Change, and Unpredictability"

     Complexity, change, and unpredictability (CCU) are surely the buzzwords of our time. Meanwhile, the reptilian portion of our brains continues to function in the same old very simple binary yes-or-no fashion: yes this (one) thing in front of me is good, I'll eat it (or mate with it) OR no this (one) thing in front of me is no good, I'll bite its head off (or run away from it). 
     CCU is clearly completely beyond the scope of brain stem reflexes, which nevertheless continue undaunted to color (prejudge) all our perceptions and urge us toward reptilian reactivity. We daily observe simple reptilian responses to complex issues: uneducated poor people in crime-ridden neighborhoods with high unemployment become addicts and or drug dealers, so money pours into capturing and incarcerating addicts and dealers; peoples with ancient cultures are "bombed back into the stone age" for their oil; all evidence shows that industrial pollution is destroying our environment at a critical rate, but world leaders remain fixated only on profit. 

     “Recognized in all cultures of the world for its intrinsic and transformative qualities, mindfulness is a universal human faculty that is not limited by cultural boundaries. It has acquired a fundamental place in behavioral medicine, which explicitly recognizes the interconnection of body and mind in its scientific understanding of disease and health. ...
     In cultivating mindfulness, we learn to shed light on the unconscious, integrate conflict, go beyond contradiction and embrace complexity, so that we begin to experience a sense of wholeness. We thus discover deep realms of equilibrium, calmness and insight within ourselves. The resulting experience of inner peace and acceptance lies at the heart of both health and wisdom.

Homer Simpson, created by Matt Groening

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