Saturday, January 8, 2011

Brain, behaviour and experiences

I find myself at an interesting cross road, on one hand I find micro level research connecting brain, thoughts, emotions, beliefs... pretty exciting ...
On the other hand the macro level work in the community studying health economics, linking research results with policies etc, seems to be having potential for translation of lab research into real changes.
The former is almost always more attractive, ... even juicier (the term often used by psychotherapists for the real clinical work where transformation happens once in a while :), and the way neuroscience is progressing, one wonders when everything will be neatly explained 'away'!
But then another thought comes, isn't it a mirage? Isn't it true that science builds up brick by brick, and often with great effort personal wisdom can leap further much more faster! (at least in human sciences). Isn't it that a lot many times our intuitive knowledge and wisdom is just proved in technical language by these research? Are they really contributing something to the frontiers of human experiences and potential? (For example the current level of consciousness research is so very in its infancy that the hanging loose end make a maze out of it). To be fair, they do ... but only sometimes.

I wouldn't want myself to learn as slowly for my own life, as the research goes. :)
Studies might talk of trauma and vulnerability today, but by the time research reaches the level of understanding resilience, one's life would have passed away in the wind. Its good to take a leaf out of the old books of wisdom and wait for the science of the inner world to catch up :))
(Personally I am delighted to see the work in Buddhist Psychology, Positive Psychology and Neuroscience ... It always gives me a lot more hope !!! :)

Well, in the end, I am not anti-science, anti-technology or anti-research ... especially at the micro level. They are fascinating. but I agree with what one of my mentor says, it is not enough to to study meditation with all the interesting tools of science, but to practice it.
I have seen enough of mental health professionals into poor mental health conditions, even those who talk of positive mental health. (I too have had my share :) So I would want people (including myself) to have a more balanced perspective !!! :)

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