Overcoming the Amygdala Part 30
Here’s an analogy which might help your understanding of what happens in the mind/brain.
The Vaccination Analogy
Vaccination has developed over the last hundred years or more as a safe way to protect ourselves against several infectious diseases. At this writing, the world is scrambling to put together such a thing against Covid-19, because once someone has been vaccinated, they should have the ability to fight off the disease if they come into contact with it. They will have a level of protection, or immunity, against the disease — and that means human society can work as it has done for centuries. There’s a parallel here with what we have been looking at in terms of amygdalic responses and cognitive distortion, but to understand the parallel, we need to grasp the basics of vaccines.
How does vaccination work?
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to help fight off infection from harmful bacteria or viruses. When a disease-causing agent, such as virus or bacteria, invades your body, your immune system recognises it as foreign to the body and potentially harmful and triggers a series of responses to destroy it.
One of these responses is to create large proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies hunt down the infectious agent, and mark it for destruction by the immune system. Each antibody is specific to the bacteria or virus that it has detected and triggers a specific immune response. Moreover, these specific antibodies remain in the immune system after the infection has gone. This means that if the same disease is encountered again, your system has a ‘memory’ of the disease and is ready to quickly destroy it before you get sick or even get any symptoms.
The immune system doesn’t always win this initial battle against the harmful bacteria or virus and a person can become very ill or even die. Vaccination is the safest and most common way to gain immunity against a new or unfamiliar bacteria or virus. Vaccines contain a harmless or even dead bacteria or viruses or fragments of the same, killed, greatly weakened, or broken down into small parts so that they can trigger an immune response without making the person sick. The immune system still attacks the harmless form of bacteria or virus from the vaccine and will produce antibodies to fight it off. It then keeps a memory of the disease, so if a vaccinated person encounters the same disease years later, their immune system is ready to fight it off and prevent an infection from developing.
How does this mirror the mind’s systems?