The other day we all went off to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. What a great film and what a truly brilliant piece of twaddle! Following on from its thrilling prequel Rise of Planet of the Apes, these sagas are all about ape versus man in a scenario where thanks to a genetic wonder-drug the brains of apes are tweaked to make them as sophisticated as humans, and in some cases more so.
Sadly (or maybe happily) the brain and the human spirit need more than some kind of whacky chemical compound for us and out pets to be propelled into genius mode. If that was the case, we people of the 21st century would have philosophers as inspired as Plato and Socrates, instead of being stuck with the likes of Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling. Similarly artists like Leonardo and Cezanne would be really challenged by luminary creative talents; instead we have to put up with the derivative nonsense served up by Damien Hurst.
The brain and what makes it brilliant is a tricky little thing. Child prodigies like Mozart can be transformed into fabulous talents, but we seem to have a deadening effect on our wunderkinds in 2014; our era is obsessed with money, genius, fame, personality, success and growth. The actual art takes second place. It doesn’t look as though our nurturing techniques are coming up with the goodies at all.
It might help if we understood the human brain and its counterpart, the mind, a bit better. Added to all the unsolved mysteries of the brain, a growing number of scientists are now saying that we may have to give some sort of scientific credence to something called ‘the human spirit” or “the soul.” That said I reckon that the two previously mentioned living philosophers (who are currently enjoying amazing levels of popularity) would not agree, and that mindset is possibly holding us back.
Whether they agree or not, some things remain unknown, like:
- Where is consciousness based?
- What proportion of the brain is dedicated to conscious thought, and what proportion is run by the subconscious?
The Amazing and Incredible Power of Brain Editing
Apparently a massive part of the subconscious mind is dedicated to just editing out information – background stuff, noises like seagulls screaming, footballs banging, pogo sticks twanging and a zillion varieties of sound, smell, sense and bits of information that I don’t even want to think about. It must be said that I do urgently need this brain-editing faculty right now that we have hit the summer holidays, and my next-door neighbours’ children are seriously committed to kicking a football against a noisome and noisy wooden wall. Their busy sporting programme begins at 8.30am and goes on until 9.30pm with minimal breaks for ice cream. However the heat is considerable, so sometimes they have to cool down with another sporting activity – jumping up and down on a pogo stick. I don’t know who invented the pogo stick, but I think he should be congratulated for devising an activity that involves so much mindless movement, i.e. jumping up and down. It occurred to me that it might have been invented by an ape, who was keen to see the brains of young humans bounced into a state of mixed porridge and muesli, but maybe this is another episode of the Planet of the Apes saga yet to come.
It’s true to say, if you live in the second most popular holiday resort in the UK, you have to learn to love all manner of noise, screamy voices, pogo stick jumping records (running into thousands) police sirens, ice cream vans, wailing babyoids and rock music. I would just like to say that I give thanks to the subconscious bit of the brain that enables us to edit out all this kind of stuff. Around 70 per cent of people are troubled by noise in our City; I myself have been known to help people with noise problems in Brighton by providing hypnotherapy, which is truly needed in some cases. Most certainly if we didn’t have the ability to edit out external information attacking earoles, eyeballs, nostrils and sensory things, we would probably all be dead… but then when we are dead, apparently the limitation of the senses is not needed, and we can take everything in… and hereby hangs yet another tale, currently being researched by many people wiser than I.