I've been on an organizational rampage lately, and recently came across an article on hypnosis I had cut out and saved a couple years ago.
What fascinated me about the article was not so much the hypnosis element, but what it had to say about how we interpret our world, and how our reality is what we see, not necessarily what really is:
Bundles of nerve cells dedicated to each sense carry sensory information. The surprise is the amount of traffic the other way, from top to bottom. There are 10 times as many nerve fibers carrying information down as there are carrying it up.
These extensive feedback circuits mean that consciousness, what people see, hear, feel and believe, is based on what neuroscientists call "top-down processing." What you see is not always what you get, because what you see depends on a framework built by experience that stands ready to interpret the raw information - as a flower or a hammer or a face.
The top-down structure explains a lot. If the construction of reality has so much top-down processing, that would make sense of the powers of placebos (a sugar pill will make you feel better), nocebos (a witch doctor will make you ill), talk therapy and meditation. If the top is convinced, the bottom level of data will be overruled.
"If the top is convinced, the bottom level of data will be overruled." In other words, what you believe, you see. That has so much potential to be either an amazing asset, or an excruciating obstacle.
Take a look at your life. More specifically, take a look at the idea of creating a life that feels fun, meaningful, and fulfilling. How do you see it? Is the top convinced that it's possible, or a pipe-dream? With a 10 to 1 ratio of information going down as coming up, you can see why - however you see it - you're probably right.
The good news is that even if your top-down perception is negative, you can reprogram it. When you recognize it, you can start building a new reality. But that's fodder for another post on another day.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst.
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