Overcoming the Amygdala Part 72

A Vaccine Analogy

We have all heard much these days about how viruses work and how they are combatted with vaccines.

Basically, a vaccine works by training your body’s biological systems to recognise and battle against foreign invaders like viruses. The vaccine is composed of bits or copies of the real peril and the body builds its defences accordingly and then forgets about it all until such a peril manifests itself in the future.

Simple, right?

Astute readers of this series might spot a parallel with what we have been discussing.

In our lives, we encounter a myriad of situations, many of which contain departures from what we would like, or prefer, or consider ideal. Over time, we develop individual responses to each of these situations. These are then ‘forgotten about’ — we don’t normally use our trained-in responses for dealing with bad traffic during rush hour, for instance, until the same or a similar situation crops up again. Next time we are in bad traffic, it’s as though we contain mental ‘anti-bodies’ which rush to our defence: ‘Here you are,’ says our inner mind, ‘here’s what kind of worked last time, try that.’ And so we launch into whatever behaviour seemed to get us through that situation last time.

We do this all the time, with traffic, with jobs, with relationships, with everything ranging from dealing with shopkeepers to dealing with friends and family. We call upon what has worked (or seemed to work, even partly) in the past, just as our bodies call upon the virus-trained antibodies to defeat the invader. Those trained-in responses are waiting to be used, below the level of our conscious mind, just as our rush hour driving habits ‘wait’ for when we are in heavy traffic before being activated.

We call this ‘Life’.

A Social Media Analogy

We’ve been looking at how human beings project their innermost dreams, wishes, images, desires and so forth onto the outer world as part of being human, distinguishing themselves from machines by painting their environments with all kinds of things, from beauty to ugliness, horror to wonder, good and bad. But that’s a difficult concept to get our heads around, partly because we’re trying to look at ‘looking’,