Recently, I’ve been pondering the mechanism that’s going on in a person’s brain and / or soul that prevents them from assimilating new information when it’s presented to them, and changing course as a result.
There’s been many prompts for my ponderings, vis:
- Individuals who frequently treat others in a very selfish, manipulative and destructive way, and who continue their behavior even when repeatedly told what the problem is, and being asked to stop. (This is one of the classical behavioral issues of people with Cluster ‘B’ type personality disorders, particularly Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Anti-Social Behavior PD)
- Individuals who continue to insist that chemical imbalances in the brain:
- Actually exist, despite there being no scientific evidence to support this conclusion; and
- That these chemical imbalances are the cause of mental and emotional issues such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia etc; and
- That psychotropic drugs ‘cure’ these pretend chemical imbalances and their associated emotional issues, again even though there is no scientific evidence to prove that, and plenty of scientific evidence proving that this is NOT the case.
- Individuals who continue to defend their position, or actions, or belief system even when clearly shown evidence and facts that flat-out contradict them. The examples of this abound, but to name a few of the more notable ones:
- Adherents of Darwin’s ‘theory’ of evolution, who continue to trot it out as ‘fact’ and ‘science’ and the ‘height of objective rationality’ when in fact (and I urge you to research this yourself) NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE HAS EVER BEEN FOUND, OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS, TO PROVE IT. To put this another way, believing in Darwinism is actually probably even more bonkers than believing in Scientology. And that’s saying something.
- People who continue to claim that yoga is ‘just exercise’ despite repeated references to the Hindu religion and idolatrous practices and texts, plus the requirement to spend 30 hours immersed in pagan texts simply to be able to teach it.
- People who claim the Palestinians ‘want peace’, and that Islam is a religion of peace.
All of us have come up against these types of people or issues over time, and probably all of us have been left scratching our heads as to what exactly is going on, because on some level we can see that the failure to integrate and to respond to information is clearly a sign of mental ill-health.
Two options present themselves:
Either, there really is some sort of cognitive impairment going on (more on this in a moment); or, the people involved are morally corrupt and deliberately going out there to hurt and mislead other people by ‘playing dumb’.
The more I’ve researched this issue, the more I’m starting to believe that the issue really is one of cognitive impairment, aka brain damage.
Here’s why: I did this infographic a little while back to show how important our frontal lobes are, when it comes to things like exercising free choice, assimilating new information, and overcoming our primitive, knee-jerk reactions to act like a mensch.
When the frontal lobes are ‘off-line’, the ability to choose how to react, to weigh out our options, to see other people’s points of view, to empathise, and to respond to new information and stimulus and really internalize it is very impaired, or even non-existent.
This type of ‘brain damage’ is caused by trauma, especially the type of trauma that results from emotional neglect and abuse in childhood, plus other more obviously traumatic experiences like being bulled, being seriously ill, losing a parent via divorce or bereavement, or experiencing a bad car crash, physical assault or terrorist attack.
To put this another way: Most people today are traumatized, and the effects of being traumatized are to amplify the influence or emotional and primitive parts of the brain, and to shut down the part of the brain that enables people to process new information, consider their actions, behavior and beliefs in a rational way, and to choose to act, think or believe different, as a result.
Here’s the good news: the brain is ‘plastic’, and new research is building up by the day to prove that the function of the brain is shaped by our experiences, and that our brains continue to grow and evolve and change until we take our last breath.
Traumatised brains can be ‘un-traumatised’, and when that occurs people regain their humanity, their ability to change and to aspire, and their connection to their souls, their higher selves, and to God.
(God willing, I’m currently pulling together a whole bunch of information on the best, easiest and most effective ways of ‘un-traumatising’, and I’ll post it up when it’s ready.)
But until and unless that happens – you’re dealing with brain-damaged individuals who really can’t process the new information or facts that potentially change the whole picture.
They really AREN’T doing it just be stubborn, obnoxious, hurtful, destructive, although of course we often still experience their behavior like that, and we have to take any steps required to protect ourselves from the fall-out.
Jewishly, this appears to be very connected to the idea of karet, or being cut-off from God and the Jewish people.
Traumatised people are literally cut-off from their frontal lobes, and their ability to actualize the higher potential and spiritual light they most definitely still contain.
But I’m optimistic that as more of the research starts to build up, and as more of the daat, or intrinsic knowledge of how the world really works, starts to flow down to us in anticipation of Moshiach and redemption, the very challenged individuals in our midst (including ourselves!) will be given all the help we need to truly start to heal, and to be the enormous forces for true spiritual good in the world that God created us to be.
Ken yiyeh ratzon, Amen.