Philosophy Tuesday

August 23, 2016

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Our brains are pattern making machines.  Remarkable, amazing, pattern making machines.

And they are always reading between the lines.

That which we experience, that we hear of, that we notice, that we observe, that makes it through our filters, gets broken apart and flung into the vast machine to create a blueprint of reality.

Of our personal, individual, reality.

As Carl Sagan intoned in Cosmos:  “But the brain does much more than just recollect, it inter compares, it synthesizes, analyzes, it generates abstractions. … The brain has its own language for testing the structure and consistency of the world.”

If it the brain notices something occurring over and over again, boom, a pattern is created.

If the brain notices that A is usually accompanied by B, that the two are usually correlated, boom, a pattern is created.

If the brain experiences something heavy or intense – emotion wise, sensation wise, injury wise, or success wise – boom, that gets fast tracked towards patternville.

This activity is always going on, behind the scenes, automatically.

And this is much of where our views of the world come from.  From the background patterning.  From cross-linking and reading between the lines.

We don’t need to be told.  It doesn’t need to be explicit.  Our brains will pick up on it.

We inherited it.

This is why people of either side of an arbitrary country (or province, or county, or property…) border can behave so differently and can believe quite different things.  What’s right and proper and good and even possible in one place is just not the same over there.

It’s why our cultural, social, and relationship environs as children shape us so much.

It’s why our stories are so important.  What we see and what we hear and what happens in those stories becomes so much a part of our worldview.

Even in, and especially in, fiction.  Fiction lets us explore things outside of our ordinary experience.  It gives us a window beyond our immediate vicinities.  And when the fiction consistently shows something being a certain way, that quickly becomes part of our reality. *

And our reality is, well, reality.  A reality no different than our reality of gravity – gravity operates a certain way.  It doesn’t deviate.**

And for our safety, security, and success, we’ll play inside of those rules.

There’s a lot of juice available in examining these automatic realities from our pattern-making-machines.  Both for ourselves, and for society at large.

Examining these automatic realities is vital to finding the barriers that hinder our freedom.   Again, both for ourselves***, and for all the members of society at large.

The way to shift realities is to prime the automatic-pattern-making-machine with the kinds of patterns we want it to pick up on.

This includes our actions.

This includes the conditions that surround.

And, especially, this includes the stories we tell.


* Yes, even when we ‘know’ it’s fiction.  The background processes of our brains still is operating and isn’t turned off by the ‘knowledge’ that it’s fiction.  We may not think we can fly like the hero, but there’s a lot more patterns that can and are pulled out and used to create our model of the world.

** Except when watching a Cirque Du Soleil show.  They seem to have a special deal with physics…

***  Individually, mindfulness and transformation can let us wipe a pattern clean.  Get it ready to be written anew.


  1. […] us.  They come from what we’ve heard.   They come from what we’ve observed.  We read between the lines and make decisions.  We take it in and, like the good social animals we are, we mould ourselves to […]

  2. […] born into a social world and inherit all this ‘common’ knowledge and ‘truths’, and we decide many more things as we go along, and soon things are chugging away quite handily on […]

  3. […] righteousness buttons.  We have our biases and our views.  We have our pithy sayings.  We have our stories, both personal and those we’ve heard from others.   We have brains that automatically […]

  4. […] brains are pattern making machines.  We take what we experience and turn it into reality.  We inherit what we see and hear and […]

  5. […] sometimes we are admonished to “read between the lines,” our brains are always doing just that.  They take all the vast amounts of information that comes in, parses it, organizes it, and looks […]

  6. […] good or bad, right or wrong, it’s just something we do.  We create our reality, out of the many fragments that surround us, forget that we did, end up with biases, and then, in the immediacy of our lived experience, not […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: