The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging says the brain does a lot of chatting throughout the day averaging about 70,000 thoughts per day for the average person. This chatter, expressed as views, judgments, opinions, beliefs and feelings, comes from a mass of approximately 100 billion brain cells that weigh on average 3 pounds and stops growing at approximately 18 years of age. The forebrain, which controls higher intellectual functions such as thinking, planning, and problem solving is the part of the brain you are currently using as you process this information. Your left hemisphere has 186 million more neurons than your right and the longest the brain can survive without oxygenated blood is 4-6 minutes before the cells begin to die. We lose consciousness after 10 seconds. I know something about that.
I remember waking up in the hospital after losing consciousness on the sidelines of a high school football game I was to play in. Doctors told me a type of viral meningitis is what dropped me. I had gone from standing to kneeling to getting the shakes to lights out. During lights out the convulsing caused my tongue to belly flop into the back of my throat and clog my airway. I became Blue Man. My gnashing teeth sliced and diced the fingers of our team trainer as he struggled to open my airway. By the time he did most everyone thought it was too late—tap out--game over. Didn’t remember the ambulance ride to the hospital but mom sure did while riding shotgun next to me.
Those who know me say this explains everything.
Still feeling thankful to be alive and relatively normal, I am trying to elucidate the beauty of a brain, the marvel in a mind, the surprise in a cell; the transformational power that can be generated from just 3 pounds of thought matter—how far and where it can take a life, for good or bad, to better or worse.
In his book “As a Man Thinketh”, James Allen writes,
“Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:
— He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.”
He says, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts” and “Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.”
II Corinthians 10:5 says we are to “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
This past week I’ve been trying to capture my thoughts, take them into account, record them as either a credit or debit (good or bad), and then tally the difference as a balance—a sum—to get an idea where it is taking my character. Subtle changes are hard to notice along the way to anywhere.
What I desire I again find in the words of James Allen who writes, "Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built."
Perhaps now is the time to play a full version of the mental slideshow your brain has, and continues to produce, each day of your life and consider the galleries of thought flashing before your eyes. The essential question is, what is its sum and where is it taking your character?