You may have seen the story coming from the University of Texas and the mystery of 100 missing brains. It seems they were destroyed in 2002. They were getting rid of “biological waste” either due to lack of use or no longer needed for neuroscience research. Regardless of the reasons, it started my brain to think about other “missing brains” in people who are still living. I won’t name anyone in particular as you can make your own list of whom you think may not be using their brain any longer. It might be an interesting exercise to make a list of the top 100 “missing brains” personalities.
The evidence of “missing brains” can be found in numerous places in our culture. Politics, health care, education, entertainment, food production, transportation, and sports are just a few areas where there are signs of “missing brains.” Early brain research indicated that we use about 10% of our brain and the question remains whether or not the majority of people use even that much. More recent research has indicated specific areas and locations of brain functions from speech to memory to psycho-motor skills to higher level thinking, executive functioning, problem solving activity and measurable emotional responses.
The main point is that our brain is the control center for our bodies and minds where the neural network communicates both internally and externally. There are now all kinds of brain training exercises designed to postpone senility and keep this three-pound mass of grey matter in better shape than previously thought possible. It starts to become obvious that there is a keen relationship between mind and body and I would add spirit to that triangle to make it compete. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA has a different triangulation with Mind, Body and Relationships being the three points.
Perhaps we should be thinking about missing opportunities to learn something, whether from history or from current events and activities. When we fulfill the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results we are clearly brainless, or mindless. Here is Dan Siegel on the topic: “Mindful awareness can be considered as a way of being, more than something that involves our “doing” something. Engage a certain “state of mind” that has the range of qualities we have heard repeatedly even though there is no fixed and final definition…How we pay attention (different from awareness), on purpose (but it doesn’t have to be done with active effort, it can in fact be an intention that happens “automatically” as a habit of being, not a consciously thought out plan of carrying out a way of focusing attention) to the unfolding of present moment experience …with a sense alertness, attention to detail, and with kindness and compassion.”