Ritual

Posted: 01/15/2014 in Screwed

Life is full of decisions.  One of the most interesting things about the human brain is how it compartmentalizes the work it has to do.  As far as the brain is concerned, job number one is staying alive.  The more of your brainpower you can devote to that task, the more likely it is that you’ll survive another day.  So, how can you free up brain cells from normal activities so that they can be used for survival?  Easy: ritualize everything.  The more things you do by rote (walking, breathing, riding a bicycle, driving a car, etc.) the smaller the area of your brain that is used for those activities.  And that, obviously, leads to more cells being freed up for concentrating on things that are important to your survival.

Unfortunately, the very rituals you devise to free up brainpower can come back to bite you on the ass.  For example, if you believe that washing your hands keeps you from getting some dread disease by keeping you germ-free, you can wind up spending all your time washing your hands.  And if you believe that your religion keeps you safe from nameless evil, then you can wind up spending all your time ensuring that your religion survives — even to the point of deciding that anything (or anyone) that’s not part of your religion is in and of itself, evil.  At which point your brain is starting to lose ground instead gaining it, as more and more of your mind fills up with all the minutia that religion tends to gather around itself.  Sooner or later, at some point in this quest, your mind will insist on boiling everything down to its essence.  You’ll decide on just a few rituals as the important ones, and then you can go back to concentrating on the big worry: the actions of people who didn’t choose the same rituals that you did.

Life is full of decisions.  Hope you make the right ones.

Be seeing you.

 

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