The subsurface exploration includes waystops in brain damage, drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, the future of artificial intelligence, and visual illusions–all highlighting how our perception of the world is a hidden and awe-inspiring construction of the brain.
Why keeping your secrets is harmful
David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, has developed one of the most widely known theories explaining how keeping secrets hurts the brain.
“The main thing known about secrets is that keeping them is unhealthy for the brain,” writes Eagleman in his book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. “The reason a secret is experienced consciously is because it results from a rivalry.”
According to Eagleman’s theory, two brain regions are responsible for harboring a secret, and they become engaged in a “neural conflict.” One region wants to get the information off your chest to relieve stress and the other wants to bury it deep into your subconscious. Ultimately, one region wins, but all that fighting wears your brain down. Mic reached out to Eagleman for greater detail regarding the exact neurobiology, but he declined to comment.
Why an Agenda Cleanse Is Good Life Hygiene:
The problem with hiding your real motives is that you’re essentially keeping a secret, and as neuroscientist David Eagleman has written,”The main thing that is known about secrets is that keeping them is unhealthy for the brain.” When we begin to weave webs of deception, we need to expend enormous mental energy to prevent them from tangling. There’s less brain power left over for solving real problems, and we start to falter in other areas of our lives.
The problems may even show up in our bodies: Secrets and lies can weaken our immune systems. They’re also hell on relationships, both personal and professional. People can feel the difference between a pure agenda (you kissing your baby) and a murky one (a politician kissing your baby). They find ulterior motives vaguely to intensely repulsive. As a result, impurely motivated actions tend to backfire. Lie for approval, and people disapprove. Try to control people, and you lose control. Pretend to be perfect, and you risk being caught by folks who’ll abhor your pretense of perfection more than your imperfections themselves.
Honesty and seeking the truth is always the way to go. Honesty engenders confidence, faith, empowers our willpower and represents us in the best way for others to see and witness our example. Honesty improves our vitality. In an honesty experiment conducted by two University of Notre Dame professors, results showed that telling the truth is good for our health:
Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health, according to a “Science of Honesty” study.
The above <a class="bo dd io ip iq ir" href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/08/lying-less.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow" style="box-sizing: inherit; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; background-repeat: repeat-x; background-image: url(" data:image svg+xml;utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);”>results were presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention four years ago.
Fortunately, we don’t just have to go through intense suffering to experience these effects. There are also certain temporary states of being when we can sense meaning. I call these “awakening experiences”.
Usually these experiences occur when our minds are fairly quiet and we feel at ease with ourselves. When we’re walking in the countryside, swimming in the ocean, or after we’ve meditated or had sex.