WHY DO I TAKE MORE THAN I NEED?
Consider for a moment that I rely on my eyes to help determine what or how much I need and yet these magnificent input devices are far from capable of seeing the whole picture and what I do see is filtered through a vast network of millions of miles of neural pathways and interpretive brain systems all designed to decide what this body needs to continue to live…“right now”.
Yup right now is all my body knows and it’s doing everything that is needed for my survival in real time. I cannot stop my teeth from growing nor can I make them grow any faster then has been determined by the design of nature. I may think that by taking a certain supplement or rubbing a potion into my scalp that I’m making my hair grow but at best “i” am influencing a function of nature and for that matter it appears that the “i” am comprised of over 100 trillion organisms so whoever is doing what “i” think I’m doing has some explaining to do.
Another part of the answer is that I’m simply another creature driven by nature to continue to live and a part of my brain governed by instinctual survival, drives me to take more in order that I might live into the next moment.
Logically it is not that I need more “right now” but a function of brain that I am now aware of continually inaccurately scans and filters all event data as if it is happening now and by default determines MORE is needed because the future is unknown.
This part of brain is quick to disrupt me with painful emotional messages to motivate me to get more now. Fear and Pain are my brain’s way of getting my attention to make something stop happening that it judges is a threat to my continuation.
I demand that we stop having less right now or we’ll die!
Disruptive separating emotions in many cases are attached to events that have already happened, those that no longer exists or about a future thought or idea about an event that does not exist.
Consider the difference between actually burning a finger on a hot stove or the image of a child about to run after a soccer ball into a busy intersection. One is about stopping the burning and the other is about an imagined idea of what might happen. Both cause a part of brain to respond as if something needs to be done immediately.
Sometimes painful emotional messages get attached to thoughts about what is imagined and or the memories of events that no longer exist…events when I “almost did not make it” (but I did make it) which inaccurately trigger me to to take MORE now even though I have more than I need right now.
The reality is that I’m alive because it is in the nature of life that I be alive. Nature would not have it any other way. When part of brain is not busy planning on how to get more, I’m aware that the earth is over flowing with more than enough for all of our species to live comfortably.
Prayer, mediation and neuroscience are where I imagine I and my fellow humans might find the imperfect but satisfying solutions to living kindly with each other as we pass through the human condition.