Sunday, June 8, 2008

Making New Connections

A direct link to this video is at

In "Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse" (a book of interviews conducted by David Jay Brown which I've quoted from a number of times already), neuroscientist Candace B. Pert, famed discoverer of the brain's opiate receptors which bond with endorphins, had this to say:

...we are making new neurons every day in our brains... now it's accepted as a fact, but for a long time it wasn't. Two long-term colleagues... great scientists... were poo-pooing the actual biological importance of it. They were saying... we have no evidence that it's important...

I'm getting ready to give a lecture...I'm going to talk about the implications for our own mind, body, health, and how we can utilize this discovery. I mean, it's no longer just a truism to say think positively, choose positive thoughts, and to make an effort to not put negativity into words. Every time you repeat something, you're stabilizing this neuronal network that's forming. There's always a nascent network that's forming, and there's a constant living and dying of neurons. And what lives and what dies depends on how often it's used. So the more negative things you think or say about yourself, you're just reinforcing those circuits. So to me this is huge. I still can't get over it!
In the same book, well-known author, computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil had this to say:
Am I the same consciousness that Ray Kurzweil was a year ago? And you say, Well, Ray, you're the same stuff. It's the same arm and the same face. But actually, no, I'm completely different particles than I was a year ago. Virtually all of my cells have been replaced. Now you say, Well, okay, but, Ray, most of your neurons haven't been replaced. Some of them have, but neurons tend to last longer than most of the other cells, which get turned over. But even those neurons that existed a year ago actually were made of different particules. The actual physical atoms and molecules making them up have been replaced, so nothing is the same as it was a year ago. Actually, the only thing that's the same is the pattern.

There's a certain continuity of pattern, of how all these atoms and molecules are put together, that does have a continuity between between myself today and myself a year ago. So that means what we are is a pattern, and the pattern persists. I draw an analogy to the pattern that water makes in a stream, as, say, it darts around some rocks. If you look at a stream going around some rocks, you see a certain pattern, and that pattern can look very stable. It can stay the same for hours or even years. But the actual water molecules making up the pattern changes in a fraction of a second, because water's flowing by... And we're really pretty much like that pattern of water, because this stuff is flowing through us, and we're not the same particles at all.
My song Change and Renewal is about these ideas as well. In fact, the connections between my lyrics and what Kurzweil says may make it seem like my song was written as a response, but in fact the song was written years before the above quote was published. It's yet another demonstration of the fact that a lot of people around the world have been thinking about similar things, as we start to understand the underlying patterns that create our reality.

A direct link to this video can be found at

This is what our brains and our consciousness are made to do: constantly making new connections, creatively stringing together a "chain of attention" one planck length after another to create an observed reality from out of all the possible universes that exist within the multiverse our universe is a part of, and, ultimately, within the omniverse.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Other blogs related to this:
Everyone Has a Story
Crossing Your Arms to Change Your Trajectory
The Fifth Dimension Isn't Magic
Song 24 of 26 - See No Future
I Remember Flying

Coming up next: The Tenth Dimension Polls Archive, questions 11 through 15


Anonymous said...

I read Fantastic Voyage, The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near, and they changed my life. I even found some of his lectures on Itunes and I find myself impatiently awaiting his next book.

Recently read another incredible book that I can't recommend highly enough, especially to all of you who also love Ray Kurzweil's work. The book is ""My Stroke of Insight"" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. I had heard Dr Taylor's talk on the TED dot com site and I have to say, it changed my world. It's spreading virally all over the internet and the book is now a NYTimes Bestseller, so I'm not the only one, but it is the most amazing talk, and the most impactful book I've read in years. (Dr T also was named to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People and Oprah had her on her Soul Series last month and I hear they're making a movie about her story so you may already have heard of her)
If you haven't heard Dr Taylor's TEDTalk, that's an absolute must. The book is more and deeper and better, but start with the video (it's 18 minutes). Basically, her story is that she was a 37 yr old Harvard brain scientist who had a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, and thanks to her amazingly loving and kind mother, she eventually fully recovered (and that part of the book detailing how she did it is inspirational).

There's a lot of learning and magic in the book, but the reason I so highly recommend My Stroke of Insight to this discussion, is because we have powerfully intelligent left brains that are rational, logical, sequential and grounded in detail and time, and then we have our kinesthetic right brains, where we experience intuition and peace and euphoria. Now that Kurzweil has got us taking all those vitamins and living our best ""Fantastic Voyage"" , the absolute necessity is that we read My Stroke of Insight and learn from Dr Taylor how to achieve balance between our right and left brains. Enjoy!

Rob Bryanton said...

Absolutely, anonymous! Coincidentally, I just started reading My Stroke of Insight a couple of days ago and I agree completely. Anyone who has been following my project should see strong connections to what Dr. Taylor is portraying: I have been talking a lot about finding ways to quiet the "narrator voice", and how that might be connected to the Julian Jaynes concept of integrating our minds back into purely just being in the "now". I too would recommend reading her book, there's a lot of important truth in there.

Thanks for writing!

Rob Bryanton

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