We are living in the middle of a revolution in consciousness. Over the past few decades, geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, and others have made great strides in understanding the inner working of the human mind. Far from being dryly materialistic, their work illuminates the rich underwater world where character is formed and wisdom grows. They are giving us a better grasp of emotions, intuitions, biases, longings, predispositions, character traits, and social bonding, precisely those things about which our culture has least to say. Brain science helps fill the hole left by the atrophy of theology and philosophy.
This is pseudo-science and, as Kedrosky pointed out, a bit zealous in its “ardor for neuroscientific determinism” but honestly, it rings a chord, which is to say that it correctly points out that it is more difficult to find a life of spiritual and emotional satisfaction than it is to make a million dollars. We have control over our conscious lives, and our rational brains tell us to achieve according to a certain rubric. Our unconscious lives, though – our instinct, our spirit, our animal being as it were – operate much differently. The rules of engagement are different, as are the metrics for success. I’m working on focusing more on the unconscious, and less on the conscious. More quality time with friends, loved ones, and future loved ones. And more singing. And more prayer.