Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Placebo Effect & the 3lb Universe

My dear friend Rahul got me thinking of the placebo effect today (thanks Rahul). I've written about this before. The more I think about it the more I think that we have very little knowledge of how the mind really works. Every study that is done is still a reflection of human factors. Studying the brain using the brain we have as humans seems like a vicious circle. And yet it's all we have. Unless some alien life form steps in to analyze us and study us, our perspective is the only one we have.

It seems that we go through life seeking chemical fixes, whether outright as in drugs, prescription or otherwise; or the chemical fix we receive as a result of our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. As much as I'd like to think otherwise, some days I feel no more sentient than the cat sleeping on the floor next to me. I am a product of and a slave to my 3lb universe. If the neocortex is what separates us from the "lower" life forms, it seems obvious that we don't know what the fuck we're doing with all this brain power. Evolution my ass.

tall penguin


Rahul said...

TP: Have you seen the movie "What the bleep do we know?" I strongly recommend it. It is the first time I have seen, in terms the lay person can understand, a combination of modern technology, old and new world philosophy, psychology and spirituality, used to understand how the mind, body, brain and personality can be studied using the limits of our own, current and historically defined, perspective(s).

So we know that a lot of the time placebos work. Which means that the power of positive thinking can affect our universe in ways we have not yet conceived. I think our frustration comes more from not knowing what we have not yet conceived more than not knowing how positive thinking can affect the universe.

Rahul said...

By the way, I love reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your mind.