Living and Learning. (iii) (Continued from previous blog)

Having read the latest posting, think about its contents in relation to whatever is going on in your life right now. You may wish it hadn’t happened or that it would go away; but if you can ‘stay with it’; keep a ‘handle’ on it and control what is happening within your reach, you will cope with it. Remember, “Control is the key”, not over all your future days, or even the next fortnight or week; only over “today”. Moreover, it is not infrequently the case that the road to success often turns out, in practice, to be far less onerous and more manageable than any of its resource-sapping and inferior alternatives.

It requires of you and me that we live in the “now”, or the present, because in reality, “now” is all we ever have. We cannot retrieve the past; the future has yet to unfold and it is this moment by moment control that provides the key and which shapes and promotes the kind of confidence and order required to make sense of our present awareness of the world. Such control – whatever it touches and influences in terms of experience and consciousness – both sows the seed and harvests the fruit of whatever we come to make of it (however lofty or lowly, right or wrong, good or bad, that may be adjudged or prove to be). And so the question now arises; does knowing about the brain – that is, in the sense of at least possessing and increasing awareness and appreciation of its history of development and enormous potential as a coping resource – help at all on the operational and day-to-day management side of things?

Most people nowadays own a motor vehicle, which in this country (UK) at least, is subject by law, to satisfactory annual inspection for roadworthiness. The MOT Test, as it is known, covers everything, which is perceived to relate to and determine safety on the road, e.g. bodily condition and the absence of corrosion to key body parts, condition of tyres, suspension, exhaust system, windscreen wipers, seat belts etc. Printed on every certificate received, on successful completion of inspection, are these words, “Please remember that this test does not cover the condition of engine clutch or gearbox”, in other words, its entire power unit. You may already know that humorous, if by now rather hackneyed story, of the kindly but somewhat ingenuous motorist who stopped to help the driver of a Volkswagen “Beetle”, which had broken down by the roadside. “My engine has packed up” exclaimed its distraught driver. “Then your luck’s definitely in”, replied the other. “because I would appear to be carrying a spare engine in the back”.

What defines and delineates a motorcar is not its alloy wheels and “low wall” tyres, any more than does its sleek silver/grey body or black leather interior. What defines and determines – in operational mode that is – every single feature of the motorcar, is the quality and condition and above all, performance of its power unit. Of course, the analogy breaks down, the moment we actually attempt to apply it. In the event of a puncture, the removal, repair and return of the wheel and tyre is unrelated in any direct or meaningful way to the engine. Come to think of it however, we are sometimes inclined to regard and treat the malfunctioning limb somewhat similarly, that is until perhaps, pain or paralysis in the leg of a referred nature, i.e. caused by damage of some form, to the pathway of communication from the brain in the spine, dictates otherwise. Even so, it is by no means unknown for a hospital patient to be referred to as, “the fractured femur in the four bedded unit” or “the prolapsed disc in the third bed on the left”.

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