The end result of these two approaches may appear similar, but different personalities emerge. In the first case, I remain a disorganized person who now uses new tools and habits to support a complex schedule in an otherwise disorganized life. In the second case, I have developed a natural attention to organization so that I am able to lead an organized existence without relying on tools or ritual. I become attentive to scheduling and develop a memory for details. If I become a naturally organized person, then it will be difficult to return to a disorganized life.
Do you want to retain your lifestyle and develop new management skills, or do you want to become an organized person to whom it comes naturally? Both have their attractions.
8 - How It Works
Neurofeedback is simple in practice: 3 to 6 small leads are attached to your scalp with a sticky paste. These leads connect you to a small amplifier that's connected to a computer. The computer screen displays selected aspects of the electrical signals measured from these locations. As you change your mental state the computer screen immediately displays the result.
We can modulate the signals coming from our brains to a surprising degree, even though the signals are not obviously connected with, or responsive to any of our senses, faculties, or movements. Through various tricks of focus, relaxation, and imagination "” or the lack thereof "” we are able to change our brain waves, and the process is engaging. It's often said that the brain loves to look at itself.
We are pattern-oriented creatures, and new cognitive patterns make lasting impressions. Perhaps this is because neurofeedback leads us to new states of mind, rather than trying to break us of habits based upon memories. We're making changes at the source of our identity, where fewer habits stand in our way. Whatever the reason, the changes we make tend to "stick," and they do so fairly easily.
9 - What We Are
Each of us is an energetic work of art, a system of spontaneity and mechanism in a dynamic balance that wanders around points of equilibrium. We are a tall and sensitive structure whose parts are at rest, under pressure, or in tension.
Physiologists and psychologists agree that one of the main functions of our mind is to filter out disruptive signals. We protect ourselves by being discriminating. Few people are aware of how damaging it could be to lose control of the filtering of our perceptions. Too much "noise", as the say goes, and we can't hear ourselves think.
As we tinker with our "filters" in our endless efforts to improve ourselves, our actions are overseen by the many unconscious "guardians" that reside within us, and who prevent us from doing ourselves damage. And this brings us back to consider just how safe it is to be disturbing the fundamental regulatory processes in our brain.
10 - The Promise, the Risk
We watch the accelerating chaos in the world and we know changes are needed: changes in collective consciousness and changes in individual consciousness. Change is being forced on states and individuals confronting dire situations. Many feel, myself included, that we must be proactive if we're going to survive and prosper as a race. If we accept this challenge, then we must accept the risks that come with attempts to change.
Unsuccessful attempts to change our situation can result in our collapse. We have only to look at the consequences of a few of the common aberrant behaviors: addiction, eating disorders, chronic anxiety, and violence. Each of these is or is related to an attempt at fomenting change. The question is how to recognize opportunities, assess their risks, and skillfully apply ourselves.