Inside my head lives my brain, which is both the best and the worst part of me. Or perhaps more accurately, inside my head, I live. And today I get to have a look at that place— I get to have a look at myself.
I know I should be worried -and I am, trust me. But after months of waiting and feeling worried, it’s about time as well. So in a strange way I am mostly excited. I get to see my own brain. How cool is that!
I get to see myself, in a way I’ve never seen before. Someone is going to pop the hood, and there is that thing that controls my life. I am self-obsessed enough to be more than intrigued by that prospect. And if they won’t let me see my own brain, I shall be more than upset. Not only because I don’t think I can stomach waiting much longer for the results (and of course I’ve seen enough Grey’s Anatomy to have the expertise of a neurologist and determine for myself if there lives an evil alien in my head.) But also because some good must come out of this whole situation. And I choose that upside to be the perk of getting to see my own gray matter. And once and for all settle the that ancient question of: are my frontal lobes really are unusually big?? (The answer is yes)
Which is exciting enough to let me forget that I am actually gonna get locked in a cold magnetic tube for a good 20 minutes, to see if there is something wrong with me. (Ha, that joke pretty much writes itself. Don’t bother making it. And shame on you if you already did…. too easy.)
I have always been fascinated with brains, since they pretty much run your life. I am as deterministic as one can get, without crossing the threshold to insanity. I don’t really believe in free will. How can I when looking at the scientific data— or at my own life and behaviour for that matter. For instance, did you know that before you make the conscious decision to move your hand… your brain has already fired off the neurons to your hand many milliseconds ago. All you experience is the idea of free will. You move you hand, therefor you must have decided to do so… And in a way you did, just not a you that’s conscious.
And if you think that data is skewed, or that there is no way for scientists to determine that. (Than first of all, quantum physics is definitely not for you.) If you like to believe that you and you alone are in control of your own life… Think again. Remember that time when you said you wouldn’t eat junk food for a month, and then you woke up with your face in a bucket of KFC? Or that time you bought that new outfit when you knew you didn’t have the cash for it? Or that time your friend said something and you reacted in the strangest way ever and later on you really don’t know where that came from? Remember that time you were horribly depressed, or crazily ecstatic for no reason?
You don’t control your own life. Electromagnetic pulses in your brain control your life. Hormones control your life. You mindlessly tag along, thinking you’re in the driver’s seat.
This notion, which is not as foreign as it may sound, has some rather striking consequences. Let me start of by saying that it in no way means you can negate responsibility for your own life. We can still hold ourself to a higher standard. We cannot just give in when we do something wrong, and say… My brain made me do it. We experience free will for a reason. We get to think we are in control. We get to decide what’s right or wrong, and try to avoid turning to the Dark Side (Yea, I’m talking to you, Anakin)
The fact that we are nothing but slaves to a big sack of proteins in our skull- in my opinion- should not be a notion of hopeless resignation, but one of compassion. People do horrible things. People are horrible to each other. People are horrible to this planet we live on. People are horrible to themselves. And in no way should we condone that. We should always aspire to be good and kind, and do the right thing and eat lots of donuts. We have to have a standard, and make sure as a society we set to define what’s right and what’s wrong. But when people go off the beaten track, realize that they aren’t always in charge of their own actions.
After all, we are nothing but cave people that moved into slightly more sophisticated dwellings. You could try to resist that bucket of KFC, being mean to that person you really don’t like or sticking your willy in a 12-year-old boy. You know it’s wrong, and if you don’t— it may just be because you’re brain is not programmed properly… (unless you’re just a really big dick). But when the brain misfires— because that is what happens— punishment shouldn’t be the answer. It should be treatment. Locking people away is not always a solution. In some cases it makes things worse. And realizing people are nothing more than flawed programs might actually make you a nicer person. (And you’ll feel really great about yourself. Because when every other person is a flawed program, you are definitely one software update ahead of them. You rock!)
For whatever it is worth, I am just as flawed as the next guy. Perhaps even more so. (Because why be standard when you can suck exceedingly) I am an imperfect person. Like I said, my brain is the best and worst part of me. It messes with my head, all the time. Sometimes in a good way, but more often than not (and especially lately) in a very bad way.
But I try to be nice and happy and kind. And I guess that makes up for a lot of it. Doesn’t mean I always get it right. I am imperfect. My hormones run away with me at least once a month. :) I am a fucking human being. I am flawed and broken, just like every other fucking person that ever lived on this planet. (Yea, that goes for you too, Jesus)
And if you still think I’m full of shit. Read this entire post. At no point did I think I’d write this. I have no idea where it came from…. this post is just running away with me. I do not control these words, even as I am writing them. Which you can take as, I am just mindless and should stop writing nonsense. But perhaps there is something more to it. Just have a look at the people around you. Do they seem like rational, sane people who are in control? I suspect not, and if they do… That probably only means you’re just more out of control than they are.
Think about it…
And while you do that, I’ll go rush out the door. Because today I get to see my brains, and that is amazing. I don’t have to die and my skull chopped off, for the world to have a look at my brain… and go “Oh, yea. That figures. It didn’t fit in her skull. Too big. Well, now she’s dead and it’s too late”. Because some smart people used their brains and figured out a way to use electromagnetic waves to see inside my head. And no matter what the reason may be that I actually have to let them do it, I still think that is pretty amazing and I’ll try to enjoy every second of it.
Because thanks to modern science and the awesome power of big-ass magnets, I get to have a look at me and my giant monkey brain… And that is unbelievably cool!