I welcome all questions here at my blog, so I am thrilled when I receive enough great questions to create a whole post dedicated to answering them. I will highlight a few questions from the comment section of my posts, mostly with the exact question and answer given originally. As always, I will be answering any additional questions in the comment section for this post.
Q: The study of brain may turn out to be a centuries-long endeavour. 300 years from now we might still be faced with its deepest mysteries. I am always wondering what could we possibly learn during the next 1000 years that we don’t know now, how big that difference would be and how would we perceive our present knowledge and lack of it from this future perspective. How much there is still to learn and how much more do we don’t know than we know that we don’t know?
The thing about the brain is that it is the storage space for everything that makes us human, and one of the most important things we do as a society is use a combinations of science, sociology, psychology, and politics to define what being human even is. I suspect that in 1,000 years so much will change about our perception that we will view the current humans as some sort of primitive animal. And here’s why: 1) we don’t know what consciousness is, so we can’t fully utilize our subjective intelligence, 2) we don’t know complete what aspects of our anxieties and emotions are outdated evolutionary tools that are disposable in the modern world, and 3) life will be longer, the world will be more populated, and if we manage to survive that long, the world will HAVE to be a much different place because the current trend inevitably leads us to our demise (grim, I know, but this is a scale of 1,000 years and much can happen). So, in short, the answer to your question of how big the difference will be over the next thousand here is going to either be the difference between demise and survival (think a doomed society that just barely overcomes extinction, like in Interstellar) or if we can resolve some of the issues we are facing early we are talking the difference between intelligent, sentient beings and optimally advanced cyberorganisms traveling the universe. Take your pick what you want to believe in for our future.
As for what we don’t know, we still don’t understand sleep and dreaming, consciousness, full networks in the brain, the exact mechanisms and molecules involved in learning, why the brain breaks down during Alzheimers (we are in a chicken/egg situation with this), why certain chemicals found in plants can cure anxieties better than pharmaceuticals that we think are targeting the right systems, and many more. And in learning the answers to these things, we can then cure insomnia, optimize consciousness, treat diseases more efficiently, optimize learning, reverse neurodegeneration, build stronger medications, and so on. Summarized, I would say that we are no longer evolving in our relative framework of existence and if the human species wants to thrive and survive, we must learn how to optimize intelligence, medicine, and mental health.
Q: Are the photographs on this blog yours?
This has become one of the most frequently asked questions since I redesigned my blog a short time ago. Photographs on my blog come from one of three different places: my instagram, my brother’s photography collection (which is where I got the featured image for this post), and unsplash. My brother’s photography collection can be found here, and you can follow his instagram here. He is a member of the Useful Soul Media family so I definitely recommend checking his work out, as he is also responsible for all the images I use on my youtube channel. If necessary, I will go to unsplash for images when necessary. Unsplash is truly one of the great resources for bloggers and web developers, who are looking for fair use of high quality images. The Useful Soul team backs up Unsplash 100%! I am trying to use more and more of my own/my brother’s images these days, but I really just look to find the best images for the content on any particular day.
Q: I was a lucid dreamer when I was younger, but I would like to get back into it now. What can I do to regain control of my dreams?
My lucid dream guide is intended for people who are just learning how to lucid dream, but can also be applied to those who are looking to refine their techniques. I say this because one of the most proven techniques in lucid dreaming for me (and I will continue to emphasize this time and again) is to make dreaming something you frequently think about whether you are asleep or awake. You will hear from anyone the importance of knowing what “wakeful awareness” feels like so that you can differentiate that feeling from sleeping consciousness (aka lucid dreaming). Therefore, even just rereading techniques you already know can help you. You can also ask me any specific questions regarding obstacles you face in regaining the ability to lucid dream and please share with me what works and what doesn’t. Lucid dreaming is not something that is scientifically quantifiable as we currently understand it, so all the information I provide is off of experience and anecdotal evidence.
If you have any further questions let me know! I would love to discuss any and all topics covered on my website.
Image from SentientSentry.com – Useful Soul