Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thought for the day.

A thought, a simple innocent thought, think about it, where does it come from? Did you create it or did the world around you create it? Isn't it amazing how we think all day and yet the very origin of thoughts remains a mystery.

What do you think? Chemical reactions or not? 

What is a thought? This question came about in one of the recent conversations with my dad.  Some of you might say "let me think,"or "its an idea" and the english majors will say "its past tense of think." I have even been told they are just random "hallucinations"that cross our mind.  And if you research it, you will be surprised to find that all of these definitions hold their merit. 

The word "thought" as we know it is typically an idea, a notion or maybe it is the process of reasoning and imagining. Either way, the question still remains and more importantly where do they come from?  

Quite a bit research has and will continue to be done on this topic. The human brain continues to mystify the most brilliant scientists. The more we discover, the more we realize its just the tip of the ice berg.  Its actually quite interesting, a scientist asks the question "what is a thought?" The same person creates an experiment to understand this process, as he does this, he gets another thought and another that generates more questions and experiments to answer them.

It's almost as if the more stimuli the brain gets the smarter it gets and the more confused it leaves us.  

The advent of the simple telegraph in 1844 was a huge leap for humanity. The notion that messages could travel through a wire was an idea as new as a freshly minted coin.  Little did they know that this invention will trigger thoughts in the minds of scientists and create experiments to understand how the human brain processed stimuli. German scientist Hermann Von Helmholtz experimented on dead frogs to assess the speed at which the electric signal travelled. This led to more thoughts and more research and today the common theory that emerges is that thoughts are nothing but simple chemical reactions. 

Now put all this in perspective, we have a brain and billions of nerve cells. When you break these down it's all organic material that is stimulated with the charged ions that float around it. Yes, its true the uniqueness of YOU, all that creativity, the brilliance you shine with is nothing but a series of chemical reactions that your brain processes swiftly and efficiently.

As I read more on this topic, It made sense. I can fathom the fact that thoughts are chemical reactions. But then how does one explain the more complex emotions of love, anger, jealousy and the like? How does one explain the the brilliance of Mozart or Picasso?  Why were they so different than the ordinary man?  And how would you explain sixth sense?

Sixth sense and thoughts is a rather interesting combination. If thoughts are chemical reactions and sixth sense is essentially predicting an event that is yet to happen, then does that mean that those who do have a strong sixth sense is their brain in over drive?  Trusted Google came to the rescue and I came across this very interesting series Through the Worm Hole that talks about the fact that thoughts can cross a room. And its true, thoughts can go across. A happy person makes others happy. A grumpy colleague can ruin the work atmosphere by just being there. Scientists believe that sixth sense works in a similar way. It is the collective assimilation of thoughts that goes across the globe and results in sixth sense for those of us who are more sensitive and emotional. Very rarely will you see an extremely logical and pragmatic person believing in sixth sense. It is usually those of us who are sensitive to the softer sides that experience sixth sense and deja vu. Takes me back to the fact that Juggling the Quotients is all so important.

To further confuse us, we have all heard the statement "you can control your thoughts, think positive" or something similar. Well if that is the case, then we can create thoughts too. Right? actually not quite. If it was so easy to create and control thoughts, we wouldn't be struggling to learn the "art of meditation." The premise of meditation is to teach us how to control and separate our conscious from the subconscious and thus control our thoughts.

It's amazing, the more I read, the more I realize how little is in our control. 

Questions raised above and more continue to stay a mystery. I have complete confidence in the human race. Its collective brain is always thinking. We dreamt of flying, we did it. We wanted to reach the moon, we did that too. We wanted to clone ourselves, we cloned humans and more. We are successfully Erasing Death, so it should be no surprise that we will soon unravel the mysteries of the brain too.

Soon, we won't have to move a finger.
Today we have games that challenge us to use our mind to control the ball, tomorrow we will use our thoughts to type, day after tomorrow we will be able to communicate with our thoughts. No need to talk anymore.  If years ago, they could predict teleporting in Star Trek, then today telepathy should be an easy feet.

It all sounds very exciting and yet there is a scary side. If communicating with thoughts does become a reality; I am afraid the world will become extremely quiet.

Coming back to the fundamental question, What are thoughts? I am going to accept the fact that they are chemical reactions, though quite honestly I would prefer saying that all the thought that went into writing this blog post was my creativity and hard work :).

Thinking is something we take for granted. I hope you will put more thought into it now. Thoughts are powerful and if the scientists are correct than your thought can and will span the globe, try and make it a good one.

Until we meet again... Ciao!