3 Brains and Why We Resist Learning Something New
Learning something new is difficult, we all know this. But why? What is actually happening in our brain, scientifically, when we learn something new? What makes it so uncomfortable or annoying, or even terrifying?
Of course, the answer is complicated, but also pretty simple if we understand how our brain works. Our brain is a complex system of neural networks. Our deepest patterns, tendencies and hardwired responses connect to the deepest levels of our brain, to the reptile brain. That reptile level of brain governs responses such as survival, aggression, fear and anger, and other primal instincts to keep us alive. It is also wired to our nervous system and physiology directly – including our heartbeat, respiration and autonomic functions.
When we learn something new, something that will hopefully inspire us, we are looking to activate the “human” part of our brain, the cerebral cortex, the abstract-thinking brain. We use this brain to derive meaning in life, to ponder our purpose and to evolve beyond just the conditioned responses of the reptile.
Between the reptile and human brain is the mammal brain, the brain of stimulation and socialization and curiosity about all things. In many ways, it is this brain that does the learning and the information gathering. Eventually, the learning and gathering of data (much like our hunter/gatherer past) leads to wisdom, purpose and meaning.
Inner Brains and Inner Conflicts and Giving Up
Along the way, our more primal and instinctive brains resist. We experience frustration and stress on the primal level, when our preconceived ideas clash with the new information we are learning. We compare new information and data, with our existing beliefs and see they either support and expand them, or perhaps are in conflict with them.
When we find the information and teachings we agree with and believe in, the brain is getting rewired. The neural pathways are getting reformed. This process of reforming these neural networks can be exhilarating, as if we are being cast into the unknown for a while. But even in the best case there is difficulty, and at times we need a break. This is why it is often encouraged to “get away from it” for a while when we are learning something new, so our values can catch up with the new information, and certain pathways can be reset.
However, there is also a danger when we are learning something new, when we “get away from it” for a while, that we never return – and instead we return to our previous tendencies. As these neural pathways are getting redirected toward the new knowledge, they are still very fragile, and if they are neglected we will simply snap back into our old ways.
Repetition and Staying on the Path
It is like a group of people walking through the woods. If they all follow each other, their footsteps will cumulatively create a path on the ground. If we have five people following each other, the path will not be as noticeable. If we have 100 people following each other, the path is much deeper and ingrained. If we have thousands of people, all following each other, a path is automatically created.
Eventually, if someone wanted to pave a cement road through that same section of the woods, they would already have a path through which to pave the road. But they would need act while the path is still fresh. Let’s say 100 people walk through that path everyday for weeks, then never return again or pave over the path, then what will happen? The path that was once clear and noticeable will eventually disappear and be overtaken again by nature’s course, weeds and inertia.
This is how the neural networks operate in your brain. There are stages of neural responses. Some are very new paths, others have been walked over for a few weeks or months, and others are hardwired, with decades of conditioning behind them.
Those decades long hardwired pathways are instinctive, but not necessarily beneficial. Again, when we learn something new, it is usually because were trying to shift some of the difficult instincts and responses, to something more enlightened.
Teachings That Stick – The role of Teachers and “Satsang”
This is why it is crucial when we are learning transformative information to be aware of simply returning to our comfort zone after a stage of learning and transformation is finished. What do we do once we return home from the Yoga retreat or the time spent with our Guru? Although we may “need a break from it” sometimes, we always need to be careful not to revert back to the negative tendencies we were trying to overcome with the new teaching. We need to examine our fears and frustrations during this transition process, to make sure we are not simply reverting back to our comfort zone.
As we are learning something new, especially “life-changing, transformative information” we often need more than the information itself; we need emotional support. This support can come in many forms. Of course, a good teacher understands the need for both information and support. Hopefully he or she knows when to push the student forward and when to comfort them as the student and their worldview changes. But in addition to the teacher, the community of fellow students is also invaluable in offering the necessary support as we integrate life-changing information and teachings.
Full moons create a dynamic tension between two different life lessons, represented by the Sun sign and the moon sign.
This full Moon in Scorpio will be opposite the sun in Taurus. This will create some dynamic tension between those things that are stable and solid (Taurus) and those things that are more emotionally dangerous and transformative (Scorpio).
If you want to know what the FULLMoon in SCORPIO means to you and your sign, you can get access to my member site – the Vedic Astrology Training Lab, where I describe this for your sign and all others as well. You also get daily forecasts for 2 weeks and 3 master classes when you register.
Click Here to Learn how this SCORPIO Full Moon will affect you and your sign. This is how I use astrology in my life, day to day.
The Big Scorpio Problem (Full Moon in Scorpio continued,..) The biggest problem with Scorpio energy is the tendency to project negativity based on our imagined fears and losing our mental peace to these fears.
We do this as a way to try to stabilize our own emotions. Scorpio gives us the emotional courage to go deeper into our hearts, rather than stay on the surface, tossed about by surface emotions.
In Scorpio we will feel that emotional disturbance, and be challenged to go deeper and connect to transcendent love. If were not able to go deeper, we will generate a lot of emotional turmoil for ourselves and others.
Jyeshta Nakshatra This full moon happens in Jyeshta Nakshatra, ruled by the god Indra, the god of the sky and the king of the Gods. This is a section of Scorpio where we ay wage war with others over these emotional fears and issues.
The creative option is to do war with our own weaknesses and insecurities, not others who we perceive as being the source of our problems.
Full moon in Libra Wednesday, May 10, 2017
On Wednesday there’s a full moon in Libra. This full moon is a balancing point to the individual willfulness of the current Aries cycle. The last couple weeks have had a lot of individual opportunities, and the desire to strike out on our own. But in order to have that individual purpose and mission be meaningful, we need to connect it with others. That is the essence of this Full moon in Libra.
If you want to know what the FULLMoon in Libra means to you and your sign, you can get access to my member site – the Vedic Astrology Training Lab, where I describe this for your sign and all others as well. You also get daily forecasts for 2 weeks and 3 master classes when you register.
Click Here to Learn how this Libra Full Moon will affect you and your sign. This is how I use astrology in my life, day to day.
The Big Libra Problem (Full Moon in Libra continued,..) The biggest problem with Libra energy is the tendency to compromise too much, then feel cheated and abused later.
Understand this: Most of our compromises are for selfish reasons.
We mainly compromise because of what it gives us in the short term, happiness. Think about it, the fast track to happiness in the moment, especially with other people, is just a give them what they want. It’s difficult to assert your individuality and willfulness in response to what another person wants from you because it breaks the connection, and we all want connection because it makes us happy. So typically, when were faced with a situation where we are in rapport with another person, then they ask something of us, our first instinct is to try to get along. This is why it’s so important to check in with those “no compromise zones”, especially in any sort of intimate relationship or friendship. This fine line between compromising with others, and holding our own ground, is the big Aries/Libra (apparent) conflict. Of course, romantic relationships bring this out in dramatic fashion.
Vishaka Nakshatra This full moon happens in Vishaka Nakshatra, ruled by the gods Indra and Agni, the gods of the sky/ lightning and the God of fire. This is a section of lever that is much more interested in social justice and crusading for larger purposes, rather than personal relationships and enjoyment. There is a sense of something high, mighty and purposeful in the air now.
Now is a great time for astrology students to study relationships. If you’re interested in that, look over the special that I put together this week on relationship astrology.
Full Moon in Libra – Video
Relationship Astrology Course Special
This Full Moon in Libra is a great time to study Relationship Astrology. If you are interested in that, I have a special for you for this week. Check it out here
May 2 – 3
The Moon will be a cancer now. It is the time when we can connect to our heart and sink deeply into the truth and power that lies within. Usually we are riding up and down on the waves of emotion. Now is the time to crack the surface, and dive deeply into the heart. Connect to the source of love that is your true nature.
May 3 Mercury in Aries turns direct after being retrograde. Now is the time to start moving forward on some of those things/ideas that you have been stuck on or confused about lately. The last few weeks may have been frustrating intellectually. You may need to do a little “apology tour” if you let your frustrations get the best of you recently.
May 6 – 8 The Moon will be in Virgo with retrograde Jupiter. Look up in the sky now and see this beautiful light show! Jupiter is very bright, and the moon is also close to full. This is a great time to connect to what inspires you and take it deeply into your heart and mind. Also, because they are in Virgo, you may actually take some practical steps toward bringing these teachings into your daily life, habits and routines.
May 10 The Moon will be Full in Libra now. This full moon in Libra is opposite the exalted sun, and Aries. This is a time where a powerful and inspired self (Sun in Aries) is being harmonized with the reflection of others, who we must respect as equals (Libra). It’s been important to express your big bad self for the last couple of weeks. But now you need to pay attention to others, those you wish to serve and love.
This full moon happens in Vishaka Nakshatra, which is a “Star of purpose”. This star is related to the gods Indra and Agni, the gods of fire and lightning. It is a place of inspiration and purpose, as well as devotion to larger, social causes.
May 14 – 20 On these successive days, the Moon is joined Saturn, then hemmed between Saturn and Ketu, then joined Ketu. We have been experiencing this each month since January of this year. There’s a feeling of constriction and inhibition, as well as karmic pressure and consequences now. In addition, we have the opportunity to align that pressure with our teachings toward higher, social causes. You may find your teachings and beliefs are requiring more effort to maintain. Yet, if you’re willing to do that work, a new richness is available. That newfound power can benefit not only you, but can help you shape the change you want to be in the world.
May 17 – 19 Venus in Pisces aspects retrograde Jupiter in Virgo now. This connection between mysticism and practical effort is being lit up now. This is a great time to create music, art or just connect with the sublime beauty of the universe, not only emotionally, but tangibly and practically. Jupiter in Virgo brings wisdom through details and daily habits. Venus in Pisces brings a desire for otherworldly beauty. You can be the bridge between those two things, in word and deed. Look for a higher, inspired purpose now.
May 22 – 23 Moon and Venus join in Pisces now, aspected by Jupiter. This is a great time to bask in the beauty of nature, spiritual teaching, romance or just the beauty of life. For spiritual seekers, it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn and study with your favorite teachers, and the subjects that inspire you. This is a great time for devotional practices, like bhakti yoga.
May 25 The New moon happens in Taurus today, beginning a 30-day cycle where Taurus themes predominate. Get ready for a month of enjoying life, finding beauty and comfort, and sharing it with your loved ones. The deeper lesson underneath it all is “contentment”, what we call in yoga “santosha”. It is easy for Taurus energy to get bogged down in the forms of our enjoyments, and just want pleasure. When this happens there is a craving and a lust for objects and even people. Instead, enjoying what we have and sharing with others is important for the next 30 days.
This new moon is joined Mars, bringing some power struggles.
This new moon is in Rohini Nakshatra, which is related to growth and creativity of all sorts. The driving force of creativity is beauty and happiness.
May 31 Venus leaves Pisces where it has been since the end of January, and enters Aries. You may notice a drastic shift in your desire and willingness to compromise with others now. Venus was in Pisces, the sign of accommodation and tolerance of others views for four months. Now, the jig is up with “trying to please” other people. Be very careful about a vicious backlash against those who you have been tolerating. This is the big mistake of Venus. We are not meant to tolerate the intolerable. We are meant to establish a paradigm of “mutual respect”. If you have been confusing these two ideas, there may be a strong snapback now. If you snap back like that, it will be your fault.
Today is a special day in Hinduism. It is a day for prosperity – and the best day or the year to make an important purchase.
Like everything in Hinduism, it revolves around the astrology/cosmology.
It is called “Akshaya Tritiya”, “Tritiya” Is literally the third lunar day, after the new moon or full moon.
You can tell by the headlines on google today, for Akshaya Tritiya, that much of it revolves around money and wealth.
Sadly, when it comes to wealth, we often focus on money, rather than the highest wealth there is, “knoweldge or wisdom”. Notice the headlines urging people to purchase gold and silver.
Of course, investing in a prosperous monetary future is important, but what about our spiritual future?, Or the future of our understanding and awareness of life? This is the most special day of the year to make an important purchase. If you are an astrology student, that also includes purchasing astrology classes. So, in that spirit, I have opened this special deal on astrology classes. I usually only offer this for the holidays, but in honor of Akshaya Tritiya I want to offer it to astrology students now.
Sun and Moon – Cosmic Lovers
The reason this day is so special has to do with the exalted sun and the exalted moon on the same day. Of course, the sun and moon are the two main forces in astrology. The sun is the power, and the moon is the feeling and the creative principle that brings that power into form.
In Hindu culture, the interplay between the sun and the moon is shown by the male and female deities. Shiva and his wife Parvati, Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi and Brahma and his daughter Saraswati represent this interplay between power and creativity.
Today has to do with Vishnu and Lakshmi, the god and goddesses of wealth, abundance and love. On this day we feel that full power, and were able to bring it into an abundant form.
Retrograde Planets and Exalted Venus
We also have three important retrograde planets now, and exalted Venus. Those retrograde planets, which will be influencing us for months, show a great time to be reflecting and internalizing our studies (Jupiter) and deepening our commitments (Saturn) to what is most important to us. In addition, Mercury is still retrograde, showing the need to internalize information and the inner dialogue.
FOR STUDENTS – AKSHAYA TRITIYA SPECIAL
You can get any of my most popular course at 50% Off. As many as you want.
I only do this every once in a while, on special occasions, and for a limited time.