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Immerse Week 20 – Subtle and Gross

During this week, you’ll recognize and harness the power in your thoughts, and you will try your best to forgive the past, knowing that revenge only breeds counter revenge.

Do thoughts create the brain?

Dear friend,

My thoughts host my desires. Desires prompt seeking, which leads to actions. Actions transform matter into its more complex forms. That’s how the world changes itself. Our thoughts are thus very powerful, for they have created the present world, and no doubt they will shape the future world. No wonder, across the generations, several authors and philosophers have scribed this basic idea—the pen and the word are mightier than the sword.

Within my physical body, my thoughts are hosted by my brain. Each thought is my brain working out a particular network. The greater workout a network experiences, the more real estate it acquires—a phenomenon scientists call neuroplasticity. The changing real estate reorganizes the human brain.

When you start playing piano or violin, you thicken the areas of your brain that help with control and coordination of the hand movements, and also strengthen attention, memory, planning, and inhibitory control. When you start driving taxis (without the GPS), you thicken the part of the brain that helps you remember directions (posterior hippocampus); when you learn to think rationally through therapy, your brain’s networks involved in problem-solving, cognitive control, and emotional regulation (different parts of the prefrontal cortex) become more active. The structure of your brain tomorrow thus depends on your current choices and the quality and content of your thoughts.

The subtle organizes and transforms the gross. The gross might seem like it hosts the subtle, but it is the subtle that connects the nodes of the gross. The best way I can make my gross beautiful is by making my subtle beautiful, which translates to thinking good and wholesome thoughts.

May you create a beautiful brain tomorrow by thinking fewer, kinder, and happier thoughts today.

Take care.

@AmitSoodMD (on Twitter)

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