Oh, the Power of prayer,
That’s right, take it from me; probably the least religious person you’ll ever meet.
~But I pray~
Some men of Science take an adamant stance against something like organized religion, and everything surrounding it. And naturally so; being that they’re the philosophical nemesis to the world of belief at large. They feel the pressures of religious restrictions on a daily basis. But in their great haste to push aside all that is religion, is it possible that they might be missing out on something good?
There is great merit in what i know of the Bible’s teachings, and it doesn’t take a devout to benefit from some of its lessons, and it’s habits. Namely: prayer. Trust me, your brain will thank you.
If you’ve ever read this blog before, you might know that I’m obsessed with the brain.
It fascinates me to look at the daily operating of my body as resulting in part from the fantastic mix of cocktail drugs that my brain has cooked up in order for me to get through the day. That pint-sized thing between our ears is simply amazing, and it’s true modus operandi is likely to elude our prodding of its secrets for years to come.
However some of its behaviors are already known…
One important thing that you might want to learn about your brain, and anyone more versed on the subject should feel free to add in a comment here , is that when you are building a skill, i.e. walking on your hands, hustling in cards, doing math, playing a video game — really when you are doing anything that you can learn, and get better at — a new “Neural Pathway” is being built within your mind.
Imagine it like a paving a road through a sprawling jello landscape. This “road” is really just a system of beefed up nerves running through the brain, but they are important in that all the areas all around it will also benefit from the newly improved infrastructure. So all around the nerves that carry the very thing that you are actively learning, while you’re “Doing it”, new connections are being forged, and your capability to deal with the task at hand simply get’s better and better.
I ran into an old buddy, Charles on set this week and he kept talking about this book, “Conversations with God” he’d recently read (I’d never heard of it). It is… Well basically what it sounds like: Conversations with God. I would imagine some throwaway protagonist meets the Almighty in his fortress of solitude hovering above the house of the Jersey Shore, and he proceeds to spill out the elegantly simplistic truths of Existence.
Turns out, at least according to Charles (who is not to be confused with Scott Baio),
every one of your waking thoughts is somehow tied into this giant karmic energy, which he referred to as “The Universe”. From what i could tell, the Universe is God, and the God is the Universe. I say pick one . Anyway what it implies is that if you have something now, anything, it’s only a result of your own past thoughts and actions which led you to it, and if you want something new, well then you have to think about it; thus putting your energy towards it. Thought and energy put toward something will lead to the manifestation of an opportunity, the universe, he says, wants to see you do well and is always ready to proffer one. When this opportunity is matched with action on your part, it can lead you to realize your dreams.
However, he mentions, thought projection is a double-edged sword. You can just as easily project a negative opportunity through unguarded negative thoughts. Basically don’t think something’s possible if you don’t want it to be. When projecting future events only project things you want to happen, as the projection is the way things will inevitably play out. Again I’m not sold on the religion behind this, and it’s always prudent to think about things thoroughly; so I’m at odds with some of its basic philosophy, but some of its ways, much like prayer, are sound.
To teach yourself something new, to do it well, and to become in essence smarter — you need only to do it. Doing something not only entails physically moving, it also entails thinking, namely projecting for future events. That’s common sense (Catch the ball. Where will it land?). Thinking, therefore, is one half (at least) of the critical process of doing, and an important step toward talent, progress with the skill, and eventually: skill mastery. Things i believe everyone can value, Science and Religious worlds alike. And remember, all this personal betterment starts with the new neural pathways within the mind, and benefits not only its own region of the brain but all the others around it.
Through both prayer, and the power of intention, things begin to happen. literally. Like vines climbing a wall these new and powerful pathways crawl through your mind, making it more efficient, more active, and happier…
A normal prayer, from what i can remember… can be rather formal.
I’d always start mine with a good ole casual, “Dear God”;
As if God were the writer behind a “Dear John” column in the Daily post.
“Dear God”, I’d say, “Awesome job on the universe, and mankind, and existence and all. It’s freaking amazing. I sure hope that mankind wasn’t too much of a hassle for you today. Hopefully not to many people were killed, and less bad things went down than normal. We can really be a bother i bet. Hopefully you had some time to kick your feet up too!”
“Anyway, i won’t take up too much of your time cause I’m sure that you have to help people in Japan right now and all… Did you know that the initial title-wave traveled at 500 MPH ? Do you know how quick I would poop my pants if I saw that coming at me on a beach somewhere? That’s awesome! Woh, sorry big dude, I kinda ran off on a tangent there, anyway to get to the point, thank you for my Mom, Dad, Step-Dad, My mom’s brothers, Uncle Barry, Uncle Jeff, Uncle Dave, and their kids (when i had the energy, I’d list everybody one by one. My whole family! Everyone I know!)… I really hope that i land a nice commercial Principal so that I can have more free time to create and experience life… Maybe it would be nice if I went and visited grandma. I hope that I can be strong enough to properly edit this novel of mine, and one day green-light its inevitable movie!… Etc… “
Regardless of how you pray, the process still follows a format; “Always be thankful, Love, Wish well, Spread good will, Imagine Hopes and dreams,” and personally “Never ask for anything materialistic”. If focusing our thoughts on these things systematically creates new pathways, which in turn becomes the basis of possible things we might “Do”, than just by thinking about them we make them more likely to happen.
In my prayer I thought about my grandma. If this is something that a pray about often, it’s likely that I’ve forged a neural pathway about the subject. A Pocket of clipped facts now lies in one of my brains folds: “I Love my Grandmother. She lives alone. I should visit. I should bring flowers and the makings of dinner. I need to be nicer to her. All older people in general actually…”. Come tomorrow, with my Friday still not booked, and being faced with the legendary “Day off”, I might not order that pizza and kick my feet up, I might go visit granny. Because I thought about it, it became more likely to happen. Now that i think about it, Duh…
But how revolutionary…
If we remove the stigma associated with prayer, (as if we do not believe in something how might it do us harm?) it can obviously be quite beneficial.
It can center you. Focus you. Organize you. Prepare you. Enlighten you.
Just a new thought on an old habit
Perhaps a moment of “Prayer” might not be the worst thing for our kids in school after all. I only must advocate that they know what is happening. Call it Prayer, call it thought time, or call it honing the cerebrum, whatever you please, just make sure that they are told the truth, and levelly. Let them decide. Prayer, or active thoughts as I’m coining it, will eventually make them smarter, and hone them all to better equipped to deal with this ever-changing world. And in this time of immense pace and ubiquitous attention thieves, what better idea is there than to stop — and simply think for a moment?