Thursday, 24 July 2014

You are God!!


      ARE      GOD


                             ALSO   BY   SHIVAM



                          THE INSIGHTFUL MORTAL


It starts at the moment you are born. At least in Hindu Culture, in which I was born, I have no idea about the others though. It’s an Indian customary to take the child to the Priest so that the God can bless the child, and his life goes on great. If that was not enough, there are many other customs which follow after the birth. We search for our God, the entire life, yet no one has proved its existence. Many people contribute their whole life to the service of God in hope for “heaven”.

But there are very few in this world, who understands the real God lies inside you, all of you. And so the title of this book “You are God”. Although I am an atheist, I am not against the belief of so many people. According to me, one can do justice to his life if he stops searching for the invisible man in the sky and starts exploring himself. That’s the only way he can grow. This book is totally about that. What are you? Why do we exist? Why do we make decisions? My Purpose of writing this book is to let the readers know about what’s really happening inside their brain and how can they benefit from it by knowing more about it.

This book has no connection whatsoever to my last book “The Insightful Mortal” although I would suggest the eager young minds to take a look in that book if you have lots of questions about religion and God. This book is totally focused on a person, his brain, his existence and what he ought to achieve in this Universe. Unlike my last book, I think this book is suitable for all kinds of readers whether they are religious or anti-religious. At least I hope so!!

This book has lot of technological terms associated with Quantum Mechanics and neurobiology, So if any of these subjects freak you out, you might have a hard time grasping it although I have tried my best to simplify the terms and write it in a language anyone could understand. And also, I haven’t got pretty deep in any of the topics, just covered what was needed to explain my feelings towards it.

Chapter 1 is “God”. It is a basic summary of what people conceive God as, what it really is, and how can you discover it in you. Chapter 2 is “Existence” This is rather a pretty interesting and burning topic. Almost everyone has doubts about it. What are we? Why are we born? These questions are answered in Chapter 2. It mostly takes the Quantum Mechanics path to explain our existence.

Chapter 3 is “Consciousness”. Many People have doubts about this as well. Do we really exist? Or is everything just an illusion? Many people actually believe it to be an illusion, thus spending their life in solidarity since they believe life is meaningless and we cannot extract anything out of it. This chapter goes into depth about this topic. This time, neurobiology will help us explain what our consciousness really is and do we need to spend a meaningful life even if everything exists.

Chapter 4 is “The Placebo Effect” I have always been a firm believer of this effect, although many don’t know what is. In layman’s term, placebo is basically a fake medication given to a person to trick his mind into healing the body. There have not been 100% results yet, but I believe Science has a long way to go, and this is an important key to that, tricking your mind.  The whole idea of tricking your mind sounds unrealistic to some and quite interesting for others. In this chapter, we will discuss about this and how it works.

Chapter 5 is “Spock”. Yes, the spock, your favorite character of Star Trek. Everyone familiar with Star Trek knows about how good he was in controlling his emotions. So I have dedicated this chapter to him which will discuss about the ways in which you can control your emotions and how can you benefit from it.
For the help in preparation of this book, I would definitely like to thanks Chiren Boumaaza A.K.A  Athene, who has now disappeared from his YouTube viral series videos. His videos on “Athene’s theory of everything gave me the first clue to write this book. The way he has used Science to prove these stuff is definitely mind blowing. So my sincere thanks to him for completing this book.

                     CHAPTER      1



What is God? The answer to this question has is been seeked for a long time without any answers. Neurobiology has some answers, but rarely one believes it. It actually is funny to see people believe in imaginary creatures than in real science which has proof. God is often conceived as the supreme being and principal object of faith

The word “God” had different meaning for each different community. For Hindus, It might mean Brahma, Vishnu and whole other range of gods and goddess, for Christians it may mean Jesus and for Muslims Allah. So there is  no common connection and proof who is the real god and which is the supreme being. People don’t get answers, so they start fighting on the basis of religion claiming their God is the greatest.

What if I told you, the real answer to who your God is lies inside you. Yeah, You heard that right!! Each one of you is God. And just to justify the title “You are God”. Now there is a whole range of possibilities that arises from this statement too. Theists would say, each body has a soul and that represents the God. Again, like every time, theists don’t have proof of anything like this. So we would jump to the Atheist point of view. It’s the Brain which does all the tricks. It controls your body, and the moment it stops working, you are dead.

Aptly putting it in the word of Athene, in his famous book “Athene’s theory of everything”, “God is in the neurons!!”

According to Athene, The human brain is a network of approximately one hundred billion neurons. Different experiences create different neural connections which bring about different emotions. So, what you are now is basically summation of all your experiences in life. We will discuss this part thoroughly in Chapter 2 Existence.

Like said earlier, Our brain is made of billions of neurons and they all have a specific task to do. Each neuron has a voltage which can change when ions flow in or out of the cell. Once a neuron's voltage has reached a certain level, it will fire an electrical signal to other cells, which will repeat the process. When many neurons fire at the same time, we can measure these changes in the form of a wave. Brainwaves underpin almost everything going on in our minds, including memory, attention and even intelligence. As they oscillate at different frequencies, they get classified in bands, such as: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. Each are associated with different tasks. Brainwaves allow brain cells to tune in to the frequency corresponding to their particular task, while ignoring irrelevant signals, similar to how a radio homes in on different waves to pick up radio stations.

The transfer of information between neurons becomes optimal when their activity is synchronized. This is the same reason why we experience cognitive dissonance, the frustration caused by simultaneously holding two contradictory ideas. Will is merely the drive to reduce dissonance between each of our active neural circuits. Evolution can be seen as the same process, where nature tries to adapt or 'resonate' with its environment. By doing so, it evolved to a point where it became self-aware and began to ponder its own existence. When a person faces the paradox of wanting purpose while thinking that human existence is meaningless, cognitive dissonance occurs. Throughout history, this has led many to reach for spiritual and religious guidance, challenging science, as it failed to give answers to existential questions, such as: "Why or what am I?"

The answer to this question has always been inside us. People search for it in all the wrong places, Church or Mosque and Temple eventually screwing their logical thinking and fighting wars for no purpose. I found an apt slang on the Internet totally fitting this scenario. Here it goes “You are a piece made after billion years of Evolution. Just freaking act like it!!”


      CHAPTER     2

    “It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment”
Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude

What are we? Why were we born? What’s our importance in the Universe? Does ever existence mean anything?

These are some basic questions that comes across every logical person at some point in his/her life. This is where everything else stops making sense. Why were we born, this question is still unanswered. But what are we?  this has been answered by Physics and Neurobiology. We are our mind. Each and every decision we make, is controlled by our mind which is made of very large number of neurons. Some would say, our soul is responsible for what we do, and some would say, the Heart does everything, we must learn to listen to our hearts.

Well, about the soul, there has been no scientific proof yet about the existence of anything like that and how it governs us. So, that part is overruled. And People claiming to listen to their heart, this is one of the most stupid things, one could hear. Heart is just a blood pumping organ which pumps blood to every part of the body, and it has nothing else to do with mind. The brain makes all the decisions, what you like, what you don’t, whom do u “love”? There are different sections of brain and neurons looking over those facts.

Now, getting to the real question, what are we? This involves the understanding of Neurobiology. So things might get a bit technical from here. I would try to explain it in the easiest way I could, but if you have a strong hatred to Biology only you can help yourself, and I mean it literally!! I will talk about that thing in the later chapter.

The answer to what we really are is actually pretty simple and as most of you would think it’s the Brain. Every decision right from the childhood to our death is made by our Brain. The human brain is a network of approximately one hundred billion neurons. Different experiences create different neural connections which bring about different emotions. And depending on which neurons get stimulated, certain connections become stronger and more efficient, while others may become weaker.

We are a global network of neurochemical reactions. And the self-amplifying cycle of acceptance and acknowledgment, sustained by the daily choices in our interactions, is the chain-reaction that will ultimately define our collective ability to overcome imagined differences and look at life in the grand scheme of things.
So the Brain has the answer to what you are now. You are made of your experiences. For example, if you are training to be a sports person, your brain will create stronger neural connection in that part for you to be creative in sports. It’s just your mind which does the entire trick and therefore there is nothing impossible for you to do, you just have to believe in that and boom, your mind will do it.

There is a very interesting example pertaining to that. Rüdiger  Gamm, who was a self-admitted "hopeless student", used to fail at basic maths. He went on to train his abilities and became a famous "human calculator", capable of performing extremely complex mathematics. As you are made of your experiences, the more you train on the field you want to pursue, the better off you will be.

Another important aspect of existence is survival in a community or a group. Why do we fear when we are about to get our results? Why do we fear when we do something wrong? The answer to these questions lies in Evolution. The Humans have evolved to live in groups and their aim is to be socially acceptable to that group. When we grow up, our moral and ethical compass is almost entirely forged by our environment, so our actions are often the result of the validation we get from society. So when we think we have underperformed according to society, the neuron fires up causing you to feel guilty about it.

There are also instances when you can feel some nervousness while just watching some other person under the conditions mentioned in last paragraph. This has to do with a concept call ‘empathetic mirror neurons’. When we experience an emotion or perform an action, specific neurons fire. But when we observe someone else performing this action or when we imagine it, many of the same neurons will fire again, as if we were performing the action ourselves. These empathy neurons connect us to other people, allowing us to feel what others feel. And since these neurons respond to our imagination, we can experience emotional feedback from them as if it came from someone else. This system is what allows us to self-reflect.

We are constant trying to replicate the people around us, and looking for things which reflect our mental state. This is why our moods are so often affected by the people around us and why we can be so immersed in music, games or movies that resonate with us as if we're socially mirroring the artists or characters.

Everyone feels that there is always someone who can dominate over you and order you to do things. Well, this has to do with neuroscience too. Specific neurons and neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, trigger a defensive state when we feel that our thoughts have to be protected from the influence of others. If we are then confronted with differences in opinion, the chemicals that are released in the brain are the same ones that try to ensure our survival in dangerous situations. In this defensive state, the more primitive part of the brain interferes with rational thinking and the limbic system can knock out most of our working memory, physically causing narrow mindedness. On a neural level, it reacts as if we're being threatened, even if this threat comes from harmless opinions or facts that we may otherwise find helpful and could rationally agree with.

Another common question is why are some people always depressed or sad? The answer to this is totally based on last paragraph. People have tendency to fit into groups and in that process if that person tend to be suppressed, depression starts at that point. Self-esteem or self-belief is closely linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin. When the lack of it takes on severe proportions, it often leads to depression, self-destructive behavior or even suicide.  Social validation increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and allows us to let go emotional fixations and become self-aware more easily.

Now the most important question of them all. How can we overcome this and enjoy our only eternal life with total freedom? The answer to this lies in self-awareness. You must know who you are, and what are you capable to do. There is no one stopping you in attaining your goals. Always make your own decisions, people may come and go, but letting them influence your decision could turn out to be your worst decision. Research in the field of memetics shows that our cultural ideas and practices, or memes, are achieving evolutionary change at a much faster rate than our genes have ever done in the past. The most inspiring memes often live on and define our evolution. But unlike genes, memes are directly influenced by our intellectual awareness.

Be Selfish. Be clear in what you want. Do not fall for social obligations. The brain's neural activity resonates most coherently when there is no dissonance between these advanced new cerebral regions and the older, more primitive, ones. What we traditionally call 'selfish tendencies' is only a narrow interpretation of what self-serving behavior entails, where as in human characteristics are perceived through the flawed model of identity, instead of through a scientific view on what we are: a momentary expression of an ever changing unity, with no center. The only way you can be what you want to be is pursuing it the time you learnt that. No age is too late for that. You just need the right enthusiasm to achieve your goals. Most people learn it the hard way, and there are people like me who are still trying to learn how to outcome the social barrier and fulfill your wishes.

       CHAPTER    3

“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.” 
Brian Cox

Do we really exist? Is everything around us merely an illusion? Is there anything real in this Universe? Many people come across these questions. Some try to answer it using Science, and some try it to find the spiritual way. Well, I am more of a science guy, so you can expect another chapter full of scientific terminologies. Sorry, for that, but there are no other ways possible to explain this. The answer lies in Quantum Mechanics and also in our own Brain.

Most people have really hard time believing in the real world and our objective in life. And they have a genuine question. It’s complicated to describe that too. Let’s take an example to clear that up. Suppose we have a time machine (just suppose), now just travel 5000 years back in time and talk to a random person. Now, while talking to him, you start the conversation about Earth, and he says Earth is a flat disc. You will be amused and will try to convince him that it’s not. They obviously wouldn’t believe you and will ask for evidence. You, being a normal person obviously don’t have the evidence to prove it. So, taking a sad and dejected face, you come back to the current time. After some days, you again want to travel back in time, but this time just 500 years back. After meeting another random person there, you would be pretty relieved to know that they actually believe in the fact that Earth is round. But there is another problem here, they believe that Earth lies at the center of the Solar System and doesn’t move. This has dejected you again, and you come back to the present.

What does the last paragraph imply? It definitely tells us that at some particular time, we were not in a state to accept the truth because of lack of evidence. But as the time progresses, people eventually find out the reasoning behind everything. By analogy with these examples from the past, we can reconcile our experience of a real objective world.  Due to this limited experience, we often fall prey to the illusion that what seems to be absolutely true is absolutely true. But the moment we depart from the limitations of the ordinary and expand our experience to include more subtle observations, these fictions are revealed to be just approximations to a more comprehensive reality.

We would now try to find the answers using Quantum Mechanics. Neils Bohr and Warner Heisenberg were physics legend of 20th century. They are the creators of quantum mechanics, the most precise and far-reaching physical theory ever devised. It explains how the sun shines, how molecules bond together, how iron is magnetized, and even why objects are hard. This is the physics that gives us computer chips, lasers, and atomic bombs. So to dismiss quantum mechanics is to throw out the cornerstone of modern physics and the basic theory at the foundation of all these modern wonders.

Having understood how, in spite of our experience to the contrary, it is possible that the objective existence of the world is an illusion, let us now look at the quantum mechanical evidence itself. Around the turn of the century, experiments were beginning to open a window to the world of the atom, a world that had before been hidden completely from view. But the common-sense ideas of classical physics contradicted what was observed in this new world. For example color of light emitted by the atoms did not comply with the result given by the classical mechanics. Max Planck discovered that the observed colors can be explained if it is assumed that light is emitted in chunks that he called quanta. This was quite a paradox; since many experiments seemed to indicate that light was a wave.

To demonstrate this effect a very important Interference Experiment was conducted. Getting to the deep of will definitely get you all bored and confused. So I will jump to its conclusion. This experiment played a major role in accepting the wave theory of light. These experiments can be done with electrons, photons, protons, neutrons--any subatomic particle you like. The result will be the same. It unequivocally demonstrates that all subatomic particles do not have definite material existence when they are not being observed. These effects can also be observed with atoms and small molecules. When millions and millions of molecules are clumped together into a macroscopic object, however, the effects are not usually noticeable.  So all matter is really this way. Even large macroscopic chunks of matter. The independent existence of the material world is an illusion. This is very startling--or it should be very startling.

There was another famous physicist Schrödinger who was the inventor of quantum physics introduced a great theory called the “Schrödinger Cat Experiment”.  He imagined putting a cat in a box with a radioactive atom and a detector that would trigger a bottle of poison to break when the atom decayed. Since the whole thing is unobserved in the box, the state of the atom, and consequently the state of the cat, is not determinate. Just as the photon does not take one route or the other unless it is observed, the cat is not alive or dead unless it is observed.

That is exactly what quantum mechanics itself says. There is even hard evidence now that large macroscopic objects can exist in these strange non-local quantum states. Examples are superconductors, superfluids, and lasers. These are the exceptions, though. For most macroscopic objects, the quantum effects are not noticeable. They are there, to be sure, but they are not noticeable. The reason the quantum nature of most objects is not noticeable is because of a phenomenon called decoherence.

It is important to remember that, like the earth appearing flat, this decoherence effect is only an appearance and is not real. The quantum coherence is really still there--it is just hidden in the microscopic details and is not noticeable on the macroscopic scale. So, in principle, macroscopic objects, just like microscopic objects, do not have objective existence in definite locations while they are not observed. Nevertheless, because of this decoherence effect, the macroscopic world appears in a manner that is consistent with objectively existing matter. So, although the objects of the world do not actually exist objectively, they appear as if they did.

That was all about the Quantum Mechanics part. Now we have to get into the Neuroscience Part which will explain how our brain perceives the reality.

The task of Science of Consciousness is integrated into two subtypes- third person view and first person view.  When a conscious system is observed from the third-person point of view, a range of specific behavioral and neural phenomena present themselves. When a conscious system is observed from the first person point of view, a range of specific subjective phenomena present themselves. Both sorts of phenomena have the status of data for a science of consciousness.

In simple words, First person view is the type of information your brain processes. It is basically different experiences you have like Visual experiences (e.g., the experience of color and depth), other perceptual experiences (e.g., auditory and tactile experience), Bodily experiences (e.g., pain and hunger), Mental imagery (e.g., recalled visual images), Emotional experience (e.g., happiness and anger), Occurrent thought (e.g., the experience of reflecting and deciding).

On the other hand third person data involves the following: Perceptual discrimination of external stimuli, the integration of information across sensory modalities, Automatic and voluntary actions, Levels of access to internally represented information, Verbal reportability of internal states, the differences between sleep and wakefulness.

Both third-person data and first-person data need explanation. An example is provided by the case of musical processing. If we observe someone listening to music, relevant third person data include those concerning the nature of the auditory stimulus, its effects on the ear and the auditory cortex of the subject, various behavioral responses by the subject, and any verbal reports the subject might produce. All of these third-person data need explanation, but they are not all that needs explanation. As anyone who has listened to music knows, there is also a distinctive quality of subjective experience associated with listening to music. A science of music that explained the various third-person data just listed but that did not explain the first-person data of musical experience would be a seriously incomplete science of music. A complete science of musical experience must explain both sorts of phenomena, preferably within an integrated framework.
The Third-person data is often referred to as the easy type while the first person data is referred to as the difficult type for the obvious reasons. Scientists today have undertaken many projects for consciousness of first person type. We have achieved quite much till now and there are lots of breakthroughs to be made by Science in the upcoming years.

      CHAPTER    4

“Paranoia, the more you think of an imaginary problem, the more you feel as though it’s real”
                                    ― Simona Panova, Nightmarish Sacrifice

Everyone in this world has heard stories about blessed men sent by “God” who could apparently cure anything just by their touch. Well, this statement is partially true and partially wrong. Some people were actually cured, but not by his healing power but by their own brain, which actually thought that their body was cured, and it really did. This is the power of your mind, and the effect called Placebo Effect.
A placebo is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect. Placebo effect consists of several different effects woven together, and the methods of placebo administration may be as important as the administration itself.

Now, let’s get to the science behind it. It is again all about the parts of brain stimulated. Functional imaging upon placebo analgesia shows that it links to the activation, and increased functional correlation between this activation, in the anterior cingulate, prefrontal, orbitofrontal and insular cortices, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, the brainstem periaqueductal gray matter, and the spinal cord. These changes can act upon the brain's early stages of information processing: Research using evoked brain potentials upon painful laser pulses.

Different areas in the higher brain have different functions. The prefrontal involvement could be related to recalling the placebo and maintaining its cognitive presence in a "self-reinforcing feedback loop" (during pain an individual recalls having taken the placebo and reduced pain reinforces its status as an analgesic). The rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) and its subcortical connectivity could be related to the expectation of potential pain stimuli.

The higher brain works by regulating subcortical processes. High placebo responses link with enhanced dopamine and mu-opioid activity in the circuitry for reward responses and motivated behavior of the nucleus accumbens, and, on the converse, anti-analgesic nocebos responses were associated with deactivation in this part of the brain of dopamine and opioid release. It has been known that placebo analgesia depends upon the release in the brain of endogenous opioids since 1978. Such analgesic placebos activation changes processing lower down in the brain by enhancing the descending inhibition through the periaqueductal gray on spinal nociceptive reflexes, while the expectations of anti-analgesic nocebos acts in the opposite way to block this.

The biggest breakthrough in the science of placebo effect was Mr. Wright, who had advanced cancer of the lymph nodes. There was a physiologist, Bruno Klopfer who was one of the doctors participating in new drug test called Krebiozen. Now, Doctor Bruno Klopfer was treating his patient Mr. Wright. When he found out about the AMA and FDA experiments with Krebiozen, he asked to be a part of it. Mr. Wright had been through many unsuccessful treatments and didn’t have too much time to live. His neck, armpits, chest, stomach, and groin were full of tumors as big as an orange, not to mention the horrible condition of his kidneys and spleen.  So Mr. Wright agreed to be part of that medication.

Even though the study of Krebiozen wasn’t completed and it could have been fatal to the patient, Dr. Klopfer injected Mr. Wright with one dose of it. He was very worried that this “cure” would kill his patient. After few days, Mr. Wright got out of bed by himself and was able to walk around. It was a miracle! His tumors were twice smaller! Even the strongest radiation or chemotherapy could not have been expected to cause such a result. When Mr. Wright first got to the hospital, he wasn’t able to live without the oxygen mask, but now, ten days after Krebiozen was injected, he was released from the hospital as an absolutely healthy man without a trace of cancer. When Mr. Wright got back home from the hospital, he was able to pilot his own plane at the height of 3 kilometers.
Everything was going fine till 2 months, until when press started to release articles about Krebiozen and how it was ineffective in cancer treatment. Being an analytical person who was interested in science, Mr. Wright became depressed. Eventually, the cancer came back and he was forced to go back to the hospital.
This time Dr. Klopfer tried to perform a psychological experiment and injected him with distilled water convincing him that this is the new enhanced and powerful drug which has been tested successfully.  To his surprise, he found out that Mr. Wright became totally fine again and was discharged from Hospital.
But again, after 2 months, the American Medical Association released an official article, describing the Krebiozen drug to be a total failure in cancer treatment. This caused Mr. Wright depression again, and as a result, he developed cancer again and died within 2 days.

Our emotions are tightly connected to the endocrine system. For example, fear is connected to adrenaline. When we are afraid or anxious about something, adrenaline is released into our bloodstream. Conversely, when we are calm or not afraid of anything, there is no adrenaline in our system. Emotions and hormones are in balance.

Whatever we think, our thoughts get transformed into chemical reactions. The hypothalamus is responsible for that. It's located below the thalamus, just above the brain stem. Liberins, also known as releasing hormones, is a substance that regulates the release of the hormone, gonadotropin (or glycoprotein hormones) in the pituitary gland (or hypophysis). The pituitary gland is one of the most important glands in the human body. The nerve cells of the hypothalamus form these liberins and work as a receiver for theneuropeptides, which are small, protein-like molecules that help neurons communicate with each other. That way, after receiving a signal from other parts of the brain with the help of neuropeptides, the hypothalamus changes the secretion of hormones at the hypophysis and it controls sugar levels, hunger, body temperature, etc. It also regulates the adrenal glands, the working regime of our heart and lungs, and it has a direct influence on the digestive and circulatory systems.

Enough of the technical terms, this basically gives us the hint that we can control our body by our mind. We can cure ours elf, we can envoke positive thoughts inside us to help us perform better and many others.
This is actually a great secret towards living a wonderful life, you dream of. All you have to do is believe in yourself that you can actually do it.

Master Oogway has rightly said in the movie Kung Fu Panda
“You Must Believe!!”

This quote also has a scientific base and the best thing about it is it always works. Here are lists of statements that can keep you motivated in your life towards achieving your goals.

1.  I am perfect in whatever I do.
2. I don’t need anything more. I am happy with whatever I have now.
3. Every person on this planet is amazing, it’s just they want different things in life
4. I am getting stronger and stronger day by day
5. I don’t mind people doing things which I don’t like. This is the only process by which they can grow.
6. I am happy because I understand the illusion of the Brain, and I have learnt to live beyond it
7. I am what I am.

      CHAPTER   5

                  “Live Long and Prosper”
                                                           ― Spock

For all the geeks out there, Spock needs no introduction. This guy has had a great fan following and apparently everyone liked him. Some wanted to be like him, while some found his behavior amusing from a distance. Me being the person who has always wanted to be like him but damn I didn’t have any Vulcan roots.  For the rest of people who doesn’t seem to get a hang of him or Star Trek, here comes his introduction. Spock is a fiction character in Star Trek who plays the role of Science Officer in the Enterprise.
Star Trek is a kitsch guilty pleasure with big philosophical ideas. The show’s creator was an atheist and humanist who aimed to show characters co-operating through reason and humanity. First broadcast in 1966, it explored ethics, philosophy and politics and challenged its audience with a multi-racial cast and the first televised inter-racial kiss.

Star Trek’s Mr. Spock is probably the Stoic icon of pop culture. His character has brought Stoic ideas to millions. The use of Stoicism was deliberate and the show’s creator is quoted as saying he “gave Stoicism to Spock.” Spock is the ship’s science officer, guided by his Vulcan philosophy which is based on logic and emotional control. He controls his emotions and withholds judgment. He uses meditation and finds human emotions “illogical.” Yet he (as well as Stoicism) is often misidentified as being without emotion, coldblooded and unfeeling.

Now, what does Stoicism mean? Stoicism is essentially a system of ethics which is guided by logic as theory of method and tests upon Physics as foundation. Briefly, their notion of morality is stern, involving a life in accordance with nature and controlled by virtue.

This chapter will discuss about stoicism as well as being like Spock i.e. totally emotionless creature. I will discuss about the benefits of this principle and how can we achieve it.

Every one of us has seen different kind of emotions: happiness, anger, lust, sadness depression. At times, we feel at the top of the world on achieving something great and there are times when you feel sunk inside a hole. These emotions drive you around and affect your decision making. It might be good sometimes but not always. There are times when you wish you hadn’t done some thing or shouldn’t have said something due to anger. The only thing left at that time is remorse and eventually depression.

What If we can control these emotions? Wouldn’t it be great to be happy and careless always? There would be nothing to worry about. Some people might say, what’s the point in living such a boring a dull life where u cannot cherish the moments u love? Well, that’s absolutely correct. But since we are all human and I guess there is no one around here with a Vulcan half, we can just try to be emotionless; we can never completely overrule it. The good point with trying to be emotionless is that you will rarely feel negativity in you. All you would look for is happiness and trying to be yourself.

Believe it or not, all are actions are governed by a third person. Evolution says that we have all been evolved to stay in groups and to be a part of it, you need to make people around you feel worthy. This causes the problem to everything. To get approved, people have to look formidable, and hence comes the emotion. You might feel sad when you get less mark in exam because you feel you might not get accepted as honorary student in the society. This tale never ends. So you get the gist where does our emotions root from.

Each person makes his decisions either based on logic or driven by his emotions. An average person would say you make your decisions by your mind or your heart, and you should always follow your heart in these scenarios. Every time someone says this, Hulk inside me grows but the Spock controls the situation although by not much letting me shout “Bullshit”. Every decision is made by your brain. Heart is just a pumping organ, nothing more.

These two views are echoed in modern neuroscience by Daniel Kahneman. He sees each brain as operating two systems: System 1 makes rapid decisions based on intuition and emotion – while System 2 makes complex decisions based on analysis and logic. A Stoic is exhorted to act “for the common welfare.” Both these thinking systems can achieve this; System 1 by automatic mental responses where emotion triggers an action to avoid danger or protect those in need and System 2 by logical analysis.

How can we be emotionless? What are the tricks involved? Well there are some basic thumb rules which might help you to stay focused and achieve your goals without being buried in emotional turbulence.
1. Acceptance- This is the most important thing about self-realization. One must totally accept their fate and should go according to it. But it should not stop you from dreaming big. The thing about being emotionless is that you should not fall prey to the hurdles in between, accept it as fate and go on. Some would say Love often destroys your career path. But that’s again a stupid term. There is nothing called love, it’s just attachment between two opposite sexes for the reason everyone knows. It’s just the mind which makes up these things. If you can control your mind, there would be no such barrier

2. Community before self- This might sound like a statement negating my previous statement but trust me it doesn’t. Being around with someone is always good for your physical as well as mental health, provided it’s the person you like to be with. Always try to be with a person who invokes positive thoughts in you and are always positive. This way, you would have the opportunity to grow and discover your strengths. By helping others, volunteering, giving time to mentor or guide others, sharing your knowledge and your cup of sugar with other people in your community, you'll find your emotions aren't such a driving force. Another great thing about being with different kinds of people is that you can’t time to think of your emotional problems. This thing works pretty well when you are in some kind of distress.

3. Creating new mind gaps- According to neuro-leadership expert David Rock, it's very hard to rewire our neural pathways. Instead, it's a whole lot easier to make new ones. And the good news is that new mind maps, or new ways of thinking, tend to be stronger because they're fresh and highly focused. This also implies that instead of focusing on all the old problems and habits, one could create a new mind gap of being highly successful and motivated.  •   Spend all of your energy on creating this new mental map through actions that confirm objectively that this is the person you are. With practice, you'll shape this new neural circuitry and you can simply ignore the old wiring that had you so emotionally overwrought.

4. Thinking a logical answer to everything- It’s one of the hardest things to do since we are all controlled by our emotions. And at some particular point, we tend to make an emotional decision. The best thing to do in such situations is to view your life as a third man’s perspective. That way, the emotional factor governing the decision will be very less and you tend to make a logical and perfect decision.  With dissociation, you don't allow yourself to be subjective; instead, you remain objective, like a doctor treating a patient. In neuro-linguistic programming, this technique is called "reframing."

5. Live in Present- Most of the worries that a person gets is by overthinking or worrying about the future. There are many cases of depression and suicides pertaining to this. However hard the consequences are, it’s solution is pretty simple. Live in present, not in past, not in future, 100% present. It is not that easy as it sounds, but with practice, it gets better and you could enjoy your moment better. It doesn’t actually stop you from planning your future, it just tells you not to worry about it, once you have done your work.

6. Be logical- Rather than assuming things based on fear, anger or similar emotional reactions, work purely with facts. Logic often combats out-of-control emotions and allows you to see the reality in any situation. After all, reality is outside your head -- not your interpretation of it. If you did not qualify in a job interview or an exam, remind yourself that you were not qualified enough for that position.  Staying logical in an emotional crisis allows us to take well-established mental shortcuts instead of thinking things through more substantially. When you're used to reacting emotionally to difficult situations, you have to retrain your mind to think logically

7. Remove self -destructing thoughts- Don’t whip yourself into a frenzy of self-pity and internal loathing. Media images of the perfect body, the perfect lifestyle, the perfect job and the like are targeted at making us all feel "less than." You can choose whether or not to entertain these thoughts. The best solution to this is not comparing yourself with another person. That way you are ignoring the unique quality in you and suppressing it. Stop thinking that you aren't equipped to handle a situation or thinking everything always goes wrong anyway. Thinking this way actively undermines your functioning. Instead, replace thoughts like these with logic, and try to find a solution to your situation.

8.  Be cool- That’s another important that helps you control your emotions better. Be it meditation or deep breath at an emotional junction, anything that works out for you is the best.  Choose something active that makes you feel good. If you're sad or worried and you can't stop thinking, run outdoors with your pet, go to the gym for a workout or take your camera and go shoot photos of nature. Do anything that will actively engage your mind and force your thoughts away from emotional ones.

These 8 points are quite major ones to make you think rationally and relieve you the emotional factors. These things will definitely not come at once, but it needs great practice. Many of us had this childhood dream of becoming like Spock. Those people are definitely one step towards it. “Live Long and Prosper”