The narrative of neurology
28th Jun 2011Posted in: Blog 0
The narrative of neurology
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As i read more in the area of neurology i sense something starting to happen. It is as though the very dry and taxinomical content of neurological text has some relationship to the bible or to some other great human narrative. It is as though the power of narrative is so strong in a human being (me) that it can colour even the most un-narrative type of information. As i read further along the lines of what the brain does and how it evolved, i start to read a story...Neurons take on the form of individual humans, each serving a very special function. On their own individual selves they appear insignificant because the can die in droves with no remarkable effects on consciousness. In fact, if you spoke to someone who had undergone a hemispherectomy as a small child, you might not even know they had half a brain. As a group however, a bunch of neurons become meaning itself. Everything we know is in fact contained within a neural network until proven otherwise. There may be other types of cells which retain certain kinds of consciousness but they have not been found yet-to my knowledge. Once you realize that electromagnetic stimulation of the left temporal lobes can produce the sensation and perception of "otherness" and even "godness" you start to consider that maybe your experiences are more fickle then you think. When you realize that certain drugs like ecstasy can make you feel love and warmth and empathy with a complete stranger,you might start to think to yourself that maybe my experiences, my thoughts and emotions are more about neurotransmitters than they are about whatever i say they are about. Things can make me angry or sad, but what if you could redirect your neurons to do other things, think other thoughts, feel other feelings. In fact, you can, and cognitive behavioural therapy demonstrates this well enough. The fact that i can will my hand to lift just milliseconds before it lifts is surely proof that i can direct my neurons to do certain things.

So on i go, reading about neuroblast migration and i think of people marching across the desert for 40 days and nights without food. I hear of the inferior parietal lobule and it's function as a treatment center for visual, tactile and auditory senses. Then i think about the father, son and holy ghost. The father is the image of what is there. The son is what you can feel and the holy ghost is what you can neither see nor touch. It is what touches you. Schizophrenia has often been identified in concordance with a number of different types of auditory hallucinations which are sometimes god-like in nature. Many people suffering from schizophrenia have been prone to hearing the voice of god. They have also been prone to disorders of thought and language which is why it is currently held that schizophrenia is a formal thought disorder affecting primarily the temporal lobes. I hear the voice of god but it's not schizophrenia and i am not even religious. How do you like them apples?

As i read futher into the words about brain trauma and how strange events can lead to extreme outcomes,  I think of how a certain kind of knock on the head from say a sports injury can lead to temporal lobe damage in particular and produce a number of massive shifts in an individuals perception and language abilities. I think at that point about how the bible talks about godly events leading to miraculous  realities. I hear terms like transpotentiation and i think of things in the many books of the christian bible transforming into many others. I must again assert that i am not a religious man. Still, i think we created the word of god for reason. It had to have a function for us and the evolution of the human psyche. In fact, i become aware now of my bias towards Darwinism. I place the premise of evolution above the premise god. I assume that if we have a bible or religion at all, it must be because it serves some evolutionary function. Intelligent design supporters believe the opposite. They believe that if there is evolution at all, it is because god wanted it that way. It is the classic chicken and egg scenario. Speaking of chicken and egg...

It seems that this is the biggest question which a human being can face. Which came first? If it is not the biggest question, it is surely the one which gives us the most trouble. The chicken or the egg? Wordsworth said "the child is the father of the man". I think he was on to something and may have actually been Buddhist without knowing it. We have a big bang, but nothing before it. We have a consciousness with nothing before it. We have being with nothing before it. No wonder we have spent all of human history trying to get the bottom of it all! It is confusing to have an answer with no question or a question with no answer. In a sense the perpetual motion machine of  human consciousness is the question: "which came first"? Did i notice that girl on the subway or did she make me notice her? All of politics revolves around the same query.  Replublicans and conservatives believe that each individual has a choice and is born equal. The individual choses to be either good or bad. Democrats and liberals believe that somethings happened before you were born and that those things, over which you had no control, had tremendous influence over your life. In our beliefs, we are all a combination of both views. Sadly, we are all obliged to choose one or the other. It seems that permission to believe in two things is not permitted in our society. It seems that as Bush said: "you're either with us or you're against us". Our society is extreme. Look around you and tell me, do you see a tempered, balanced equilibrium within a just society?  Or do you see opportunity, motivation, quest, dominance of force over weakness?  The weak perish in the social Darwinism we have been forced to adopt. It's either you or me but not both of us. Isn't that the message we are taught? I mean sure kindergarten teachers like my wife teach us to share. But those teachers don't stand a chance against our biological imperatives for survival.  Nor can those teachers compete with the lust for love and acceptance which haunts us all. Advertisers feed on it and we are but sheep in their lairs.

I have come a long way from my original intention of posting about the relationship between neurology and the narrative we know as the christian bible. That  is only because it is impossible to talk about neurology and the bible without including absolutely everything in the universe. I hope you will forgive my digression and continue to indulge my multi directional methodology. Remember, the title of this blog is " Art Therapy and Neurology". I am thinking of adding the work "society"  in there so that the blog title would read: "art therapy, neurology and society". It is a little long but then again, it is a title that represents everything in the known universe. I have never claimed to be a specialist. I am a generalist and as all generalists do, i attempt to look at everything at least once.


Leave a Reply